15 April 2013

Did You Know? Issue 155

Did You Know? Issue 155  
1. Croatia – new EU member 1st July 2013 2. Anti-Dumping Regulations: 3. Modernisation of EU Import Control Mechanism: 4. Saudi Conformity regulations: 5. Transparency in Strategic Export Controls UK:  6. UK Export Control Organisation: 7. EU-Japan FTA: 8. India tightens its export control: 9. Discharging IPR under Civil Aircraft End-Use:  10. China – Interim Import Duty Rates (IDR): 
1.         Croatia – new EU member 1st July 2013: Remember this means you will have to complete EU Sales Lists (ESL), add values for Croatian sales/purchases in Boxes 8 and 9 of your VAT returns and Intrastat (where relevant) for sales/ movements to/from Croatia starting 1st July 2013.  Ensure your software is capable of assimilating this information and that you have your customers’ VAT numbers and/or have supplied you UK VAT numbers to Croatian suppliers.  The country code for Croatia is HR.
From 1 January 2013, the VAT rate of 0% (applied on bread, milk, books, certain drugs, implants, scientific journals and public film screenings) was increased to 5%. The reason for this is to harmonize with the VAT Directive 2006/112. The 5% tax rate will also apply to boats used for sports and entertainment which will have been customs cleared by 31 May 2013, and which were previously temporarily imported (on which basis the VAT was not paid).
More information:       Intrastat  Sales List
                                    EU Taxation Issues
2. Anti-Dumping Regulations: Commission Regulation (EU) No 322/2013 of 9 April 2013 initiating an investigation concerning the possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures imposed by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 791/2011 on imports of certain open mesh fabrics of glass fibres originating in the People’s Republic of China by imports of certain open mesh fabrics of glass fibres (7019 51 and 7019 59) consigned from India and Indonesia, whether declared as originating in India and Indonesia or not, and making such imports subject to registration.  New TARIC endings have been introduced into the EU
  • 701951 00 14*          CONSIGNED FROM INDIA
  • 701951 00 15*          CONSIGNED FROM INDONESIA
  • 701959 00 14*          CONSIGNED FROM INDIA
  • 701959 00 15*          CONSIGNED FROM INDONESIA
CHIEF has been updated as of 11/04/2013 and these changes will appear in the June 2013 amendment of the printed tariff. 
3. Modernisation of EU Import Control Mechanism: The European Commission on 10th April 2013 outlined aims at adapting the EU’s rulebook to tackle unfair competition from dumped and subsidised imports to the contemporary challenges facing the EU’s economy.  The proposed changes would make the EU trade defence work better for all stakeholders, including both EU producers and importers. Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy instruments will be more efficient and better enforced to shield EU producers from unfair practices of foreign firms and from any risk of retaliation. At the same time, importers will enjoy greater predictability in terms of changing duty rates, which will make their business planning easier. The entire system will become more transparent and user-friendly.  Read More
4. Saudi Conformity regulations: Bans on imports may also be introduced in order to stimulate domestic production and support the Saudi industry, which holds true, e.g. for water desalination equipment. Other prohibitions intend to unify national and international norms, e.g., all electrical goods with an operating voltage of 127V have been banned since May 2012, spare parts for these products may be imported and sold until 9 November 2025. Electrical appliances with a dual voltage (127/220V) will be prohibited as of 28 February 2016.
5. Transparency in Strategic Export Controls UK: Work is in hand to make technical changes to SPIRE, and to the Reports and Statistics websites, and in preparing guidance for exporters. ECO are working with a number of exporters to ensure that the system is user-friendly along with internal (ECO) testing of the system.  They intend to have completed the changes to SPIRE during April 2013. This is when exporters will be able to begin uploading data. In line with ECO normal practice, they will publish the data three months after the end of the quarter to which it relates – the first publication of this new data will, therefore, be in October 2013.  Read More
6. UK Export Control Organisation: Did You Know that over 1,750 companies registered to use Open General Export Licences in the UK (OGELs) and that this saves over 50,000 Standard Individual Licence (SIEL) applications annually.  Despite this SIEL licences have increased - 2007 – 9,600: 2010 – 16,734: 2011 – 15,734: 2012 – 15,045.
7. EU-Japan FTA: The EU are starting formal discussions with Japan on the 15th April 2013 to set up a Free Trade Agreement between the two markets hopefully within 2013.  The starting negotiations, among other things, agreed:
  • To the mandate which sets out a strict and clear parallelism between the elimination of our duties and non-Tariff Barriers in Japan. 'Like for like' if you will.
  • There is to be a safeguard clause to protect sensitive European sectors.
That the EU explicitly reserve ourselves the right 'to pull the plug' on the negotiations after one year if Japan does not live up to its commitments on removing non-tariff barriers.  Read More
8. India tightens its export control: In March 2013, to prevent sensitive technologies and materials falling in hands of terrorists, India tightened its export control regulations.   This affects the SCOMET List =  Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies = which either prohibits or permits under licenses the export of dual-use items and technologies. India’s national SCOMET list has been updated to be on par with the current NSG and MTCR lists. In some respects, the controls are said to be more stringent than those practiced by the NSG and MTCR.
9. Discharging IPR under Civil Aircraft End-Use: There has been some confusion on how legally a discharge from IP to C-EU can be evidenced with a couple of our client’s Customs auditors having different viewed.  After some queries from us and similar organisations, the EU has issued guidance for businesses using Inward Processing (IP) who are authorised to discharge civil aircraft and parts under Article 544(c).  This new guidance issued by EU replaces Paragraph 13.8 in Public Notice 221 which will not be updated until the notice is reviewed later this year.  The main points agreed by the Customs Code Special Procedures Committee are:  READ MORE
10. China – Interim Import Duty Rates (IDR):  China has a number of products under a special IDR as they are viewed as essential items.  They fall within the all areas of the tariff and reducing Chinese import duty by at least a third often more making products more competitive.  The challenge is that this IDR must be claimed at import or the standard duty rate is applied, eg 8504-40-30 MFN (standard duty) 10% IDR 6%; 9001-2000 MFN 8% IDR 6%; 7018-2000 MFN 20% IDR 5.5%.   784 items are covered by this special IDR in 2013 and more are expected next year.  View this PWC report for more information
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