26 February 2014

Did You Know? Issue 177

26th February 2014

1. UCC and the First Sale Price Principle: 2. UK Suspended licences on Ukraine: 3. UK Changes Government Security Classifications: 4. UK list of Designated National and Expiry of Terrorism:  5. Syria Sanctions: 6. WTO membership for Afghanistan: 7. Customs Tariff Decision: 8. Easing UK Export control: 9. Updated Customs Notices:


1. UCC and the First Sale Price Principle:
The first draft proposals for the Commission Acts (Delegated Act (DA) and Implementing Act (IA)) supporting the implementation of the UCC were published by HMRC on 20thJanuary 2014.  One of the proposals include the removal of the facility for the use of “first sale” for export to the European Union (EU) as part of wider changes to EU customs legislation that will come into force between May 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020. In international trade, there are often a number of successive sales before the goods’ clearance through customs. For the vast majority of products, the customs duty payable on import to the EU is calculated as a percentage of the customs value of that product. The customs value is, in most cases, based on the invoice price relating to the last sale in the commercial chain prior to import to the EU. Under current EU legislation, however, an importer may use an earlier sale in the supply chain as a basis for the customs value, provided that it can show that this sale was for export to the EU. “First sale” is said to be widely used by EU importers as a way of reducing duty liability, although it is most commonly used in the case of imports from related parties. For any company relying on first sale for imports to the EU, this change, if implemented, could mean an increase in customs duties payable and made understanding Valuations for Customs Purposes even more important. HMRC CIP (14)03and Customs Valuation Training

2. UK Suspended licences on Ukraine: 
On 20th February 2014, in response to the deteriorating situation and increasing levels of violence and repression in Ukraine, the EU Foreign Affairs Council introduced targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban for certain individuals. At the same time Member States agreed to suspend, until further notice, all export licensing to Ukraine for equipment which might be used for internal repression. Read More
3. UK Changes Government Security Classifications:
  In October 2013 the UK Government announced changes to the Security Classification which will come into force on the 2nd April 2014.  The new classification system - the Government Security Classifications Policy - replaces the old Government Protective Marking Scheme which included Restricted, Confidential, Protect, For UK Eyes only.  The new security classification will be:
Top secret
Information marked as Top secret is that which whose release is liable to cause considerable loss of life, international diplomatic incidents, or severely impact ongoing intelligence operations.
This marking is used for information which needs protection against serious threats, and which could cause serious harm if comprised - such as threats to life, compromising major crime investigations, or harming international relations.
All routine public sector business, operations and services is treated as OFFICIAL. Many departments and agencies operate exclusively at this level. (As of April 2014 the OFFICIAL classification replaces Confidential, Restricted and Protect.) A limited subset of OFFICIAL information that would have more damaging consequences (for individuals, an organisation or government generally) if it were lost, stolen or published in the media is classified 'OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE'.
For a period of time (up to 10 years) the two schemes will run in parallel until all old drawings have been re-issued with the new classifications.  This will also require an amendment to UK Export Licence conditions, especially with regard to OGELs.
Read More
4. UK list of Designated National and Expiry of Terrorism:
  see attached for updated list of UK Designated Nationals (18th February 2014). 
5. Syria Sanctions:
Further financial sanctions were announced in February 2014 on Syria.  It covers restrictions on transfers of certain funds or economic resources.  Further licensing conditions have been added to Article 16 of the Regulation. This allows for the licensing of funds or economic resources to be used exclusively for payments to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) relating to the verification and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, as explained in the Regulation. See attached 
6. WTO membership for Afghanistan:
The EU and Afghanistan today signed a deal concluding their bilateral negotiations on Afghanistan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. Accession to the WTO is expected to make a lasting contribution to the process of stabilisation, economic reform and sustainable development in Afghanistan. Read More
7. Customs Tariff Decision:
 Reg nr 111/2014 (in OJ L38/16) published 4 February 2014 but EU provided a Tariff Decision on a touch-sensitive colour monitor (touch screen).  It is to be classified under CN code 8528 51 00 as other monitors of a kind solely or principally used in an automatic data- processing system of heading 8471.  Read More
Other tariff decisions include:

8. Easing UK Export control - licensing performance dashboard:
 Find out more about trends in licensing, with guidance on avoiding processing delays for your export licence applications. The dashboard is a regularly updated snapshot of the performance of the Export Control Organisation (ECO) against targets. It includes information on licensing decisions on a country-by-country basis. The purpose of the dashboard is to help exporters make better licence applications and so increase the efficiency of the whole licensing process. More...
9. Updated Customs Notices:
Notice 143: A Guide for International Post Users
Notice 179A Aviation Turbine Fuel (Avtur)
Notice 192 Registered dealers in controlled oil
Notice 237: Processing Under Customs Control
Notice 701/14: VAT - Food
Notice 702: Imports

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