9 Dec 2013

Did You Know? Issue 172

9th December 2013 

1.  S&HLLP Christmas shut down:  2. CHIEF Replacement:3. UCC Time-line: 4. EU-Central America FTA finalised: 5. Reminder EU Intrastat Reports: 6. Export of food products to China:  7. Canada to amend its Military List: 8. GSP in Canada: 9. Russia – Measures Affecting TIR Movements
1. S&HLLP Christmas shut down:  Strong & Herd LLP offices will be closing at lunchtime Tuesday 24th December 2013.  Staff will be covering the office on Friday 27thDecember 2013 and we will re-open fully on Thursday 2ndJanuary 2014.  There will be regular monitoring of emails during the Christmas period, especially members’ questions sent to onecall@strongandherd.co.uk and import advices.  We wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday.
2. CHIEF Replacement: CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) - the UK Customs Computer which has been handling import and export declarations since 1988 and handles 40 million declarations – is due for replacement.  The current version of CHIEF (now entitled “CHIEF Classic”) is due for replacement.  It is hoped that “Enhanced CHIEF” will be operable by January 2017.  Other EU Member States (MS) also have to upgrade their Customs interface/ computers and a collaborative consortium between 6-7 MS is being considered to standardise the enhancements and cut costs.
3. UCC Time-line:  The EU Union Customs Code (UCC) is now in place.  UCC Regulation 952/2013 will be divided almost equally into what are known as Delegated Acts (DA) and Implemented Acts (IA).  The first draft of DA/IA will be available January 2014.  DA’s are mandatory and Member States (MS) cannot vote on the implementation but IA’s are debatable as they will have differing impacts on different MS.  Between Jan-Feb 2014 there will be monthly meetings in Brussels to negotiate the important Implementing Provisions (IP) with work on reviewing the Articles starting on 10th February 2014.  UK HMRC will begin an official awareness campaign from April 2014 (watch this space for updates).  It is expected that in the 1st 7 months of 2014 there will be 33 meetings held in Brussels.  The Final Agreed Text of the IP will be available in May 2015 providing 12 months in which we can assess the new procedures which will go live on 1st May 2016 (not 1stJune 2016 as outlined in the UCC).  Implementation of the UCC in full across the MS is expected to take from May 2016 to December 2020.
4. EU-Central America FTA finalised: On 1st December 2013 the last of the 6 Central American countries finalised the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU.  Guatemala was the last country in this trading group to sign the FTA. This means that now the whole region of Central America can now benefit from the agreement, as the deal is already implemented with the other five member countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. This ambitious trade partnership will open up new markets and simplify rules which will boost trade and investments on both sides.  The agreement is based on qualifying rules of preference origin and the issuance of the Movement Certificate EUR1 or invoice declaration.
Full Text of FTA
5. Reminder EU Intrastat Reports: From 1st January 2014 the assimilation threshold for submitting Intrastat Reports to UK Customs on EU Arrivals will increase from £600,000 pa to £1.2 million – so removing about 4,000 businesses from the requirement to submit arrival Intrastat reports.  In addition the threshold for having to submit Delivery Terms on the Intrastat reports (eg FCA, DAP, etc) is increased from £16 million to £24 million pa.  Note this is a UK change only.
6. Export of food products to China:  DEFRA have issued a Customer Information Note (CIN) is to inform exporters a revised Food Safety Law document has been received from the authorities in China.  ALL exporters who send food products to China are advised to read the document at the link below to ensure their commodities comply with the amended requirements and they are aware of the implications of the changes.  Read More
7. Canada to amend its Military List: The Canadian Government has been quietly working to remove restrictions on the transfer of hundreds of Canadian-made, military-related goods.  The federal government of Canada created a list of “controlled goods” in 2001 as part of a broader effort to prevent material that can be used for military purposes from falling into the wrong hands but it has been said to be more restrictive than that of the USA.  In the wake of the USA Export Control Reform on ITAR controlled goods, Canada will be hoping to implement its own reforms in November 2014.  Watch this space.
8. GSP in Canada:  Following similar moves in the EU, Canada as announced that it will be restructuring its GSP Scheme which currently gives preferential duty access to a large number of developing markets. They will be removing GSP benefits under the General Preferential Tariff from 72 current beneficiary countries though this will still make it available to 103 countries. However, Canada intends to continue to review GPT eligibility biannually and to remove benefits for countries that (a) are classified for two consecutive years as high- or upper-middle income according to the last World Bank income classifications or (b) have a 1% or greater share of world exports for two consecutive years according to the latest World Trade Organisation statistics.  It should also be noted that the USA GSP Scheme expired in July 2013 and has still not be re-instated.  Read More
9. Russia – Measures Affecting TIR Movements: The Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) announced on 2 December that the application of the TIR procedure in Russia will continue to be applicable in the customs offices subordinate to the Siberian and Far Eastern regional customs administrations.
This revised the earlier (Sept 2013) FCS statement which said that the TIR would no longer be accepted anywhere in the Russian Federation as of 1st December 2013 due to the termination of the agreement between FCS and its national guaranteeing association ASMAP (the Association of International Road Transport Carriers).
Russian customs originally scheduled their requests to claim additional guarantees for goods moved by road under cover of the TIR procedure, transport operators in August 2013 but the measures have been temporarily postponed following the reaction from EU Member States.
The TIR procedure will now continue until 1st July 2014.  Read More
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