12 March 2014

Did You Know? Issue 178

12th March 2014
 
1. Trading with Ukraine: 2. Sanctions on Russia: 3. Inward Processing Relief (IP): 4. Changes to MOD Form 680 approval: 5. Change of UK Intrastat contact numbers:  6. EU 3 new GSP+ countries: 7. Update UK Customs computer – CHIEF Replacement:  8. Rolls-Royce Faces US Corruption Probe: 9. Updated Customs Notices:

 

1. Trading with Ukraine: On 20 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; this included, in the UK, the amendments of 3 Military OGELs to remove Ukraine as an accepted destination (for repairdemonstration and exhibition).
In addition on 11th March 2014 the EU agreed to freeze assets of ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and 16 senior officials suspected of misusing state funds and violating human right at an emergency summit in Brussels.  The referendum in the Crimea scheduled for Sunday 16th March 2014 "would not be legal under Ukraine's constitution and therefore would not be accepted by the United States and its international allies and partners" according to
 
2. Sanctions on Russia: 10th March 2014 the European Union was said to be preparing fresh sanctions such as imposing travel bans and freezing assets against Russia in response to the ongoing crisis in Crimea. This comes as NATO announced it was to deploy reconnaissance aircraft in Poland to monitor events in Ukraine. "I can confirm that the preparatory work has started," the EU's external action service Maja Kocijancic said on Monday. The fresh sanctions could be formally approved at a summit of EU foreign ministers on 17th March 2014.  This would mark the second stage in the EU’s three-step response agreed at a summit last week. EU leaders had agreed to a three-stage process of increasing pressure on Russia over its incursion in Crimea, beginning with the suspension of visa talks and negotiations over a new investment agreement.  The third step would likely involve an arms embargo and trade restrictions.
            In Washington, the White House gave its strongest indication yet that Russia is effectively being thrown out of the G8 group of industrialised nations on Monday, and insisted the world community would refuse to accept the results of a Crimean referendum later in the week.  The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any sanctions would "boomerang" back on the USA and EU.  We were advised by one S&H client on Friday that a shipment had been detained leaving Russia for the USA … we’d be interested to learning if your trade is affected by this situation.  Contact us
 
3. Inward Processing Relief (IP): HMRC has revised the C&E810 application form for Inward Processing Relief to include guidance on how to complete the application on the reverse of the form.  In addition, Customs Notice 221A (which covered the conditions relating to simplified IP) has been withdrawn and the information included into a newly revised Notice 221IP form 
 
4. Changes to MOD Form 680 approval: In DYK 177 we outlined the changes coming into force on the 2nd April 2014 to the MoD Security Classification.   To keep it in-line with these changes the MoD Form 680 approval will be amended – again coming into effect on 2nd April 2014.  Further information  This also means that the UK OGEL military goods: for demonstration has been amended.
 
5. Change of UK Intrastat contact numbers: Intrastat users should be aware that the Intrastat Education team phone number has been changed to 03000 594 231 and the Intrastat Online team has been changed to 03000 594 238.
 
6. EU 3 new GSP+ countries: El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama have been added to the list of GSP+ countries from 28th February 2014.  But these countries are also covered by the EU – Central America Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  So, in effect, you have a choice of two preference agreements when importing from these markets, though only one – the FTA – if you sell into these markets.  The GSP+ arrangement provides additional preferences to countries which ratify and implement a number of international conventions on core human and labour rights, the environment and good governance. 
 
7. Update UK Customs computer – CHIEF Replacement:  All UK’s import and export customs declarations are handled by a computer known as CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) which is about 30 years old.  Due to amendments to EU and UK customs regulations and information needed on customs declarations going forward CHIEF needs to be replaced.  

8. Rolls-Royce Faces US Corruption Probe: DefenseNews.com, 6th March 2014 - British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed Thursday that it is facing a corruption probe in the United States as well as Britain. “The group is currently under investigation by law enforcement agencies, primarily the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK and the US Department of Justice (DOJ),” the company said in its annual report. “Breaches of laws and regulations in this area can lead to fines, penalties, criminal prosecution, commercial litigation and restrictions on future business.” Rolls-Royce had revealed late last year that Britain’s SFO had launched a formal investigation into alleged bribery linked to the group’s overseas operations.
 
9. Updated Customs Notices:
Revised Notice 179: Motor and heating fuels
Revised Notice 221: Inward Processing Relief
Notice 221A – Simplified Inward Processing Relief withdrawn
Revised Notice 600: Classifying your Imports and Exports
Revised Notice 701/30 VAT: Education and vocational training
Revised Notice 700/1 Should I be registered for VAT

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