3 june 2014

Did You Know? Issue 184

3rd June 2014

1. Using Earlier Sales price to value goods at import: 2. Iran & Russia New Customs Deal:  3. Changes in EU sugar regime: 4. Removing company’s registration of OGELs: 5. EPA deadline 1st October 2014:6. EU Reporting Formalities – ships: 7. Trade and Investment Barriers Report: 8. Yemen to become 160th Member of the WTO:  9. 10 EU nations set to tax financial transactions:  10. Discontent in Defense Sector over Export Controls:
1. Using Earlier Sales price to value goods at import: Any company using the Earlier Sales price as a basis for the Customs Value had to register a General Valuation Statement (GVS – form C109A) with Customs.  It was announced on 21st May 2014 that this is no longer required and that all currently held C109a will cease to be valid from the end of April 2014.  As a result of these changes, it will no longer be a requirement for importers to hold a signed copy of a valuation declaration at their registered premises for electronic declarations. However, HMRC retains the right to request the completion of a valuation declaration at any time, for example in respect of import declarations examined by our Officers on a post-importation intervention.
2. Iran & Russia New Customs Deal:  Head of Iran’s Customs Office Masoud Karbasian said Tehran and Moscow will ink a new customs agreement to meet the latest demands in the two countries' relations.  Speaking in a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian on Wednesday, Karbasian referred to the need for the two countries to exchange customs data electronically and said Tehran and Moscow will sign a new document on customs cooperation in accordance with today’s needs.  He said the new agreement is necessary given the development of bilateral relations and the rise in the level of trade between the two states.  Karbasian also underlined cooperation between Russian and Iranian customs in the fight against organized crimes.  Jagarian, for his part, highlighted the potential for expansion of trade between the two countries.  He also promised to work for resolving the problems Iranian traders are facing in Russia.  The Iranian customs chief met with the Russian ambassador prior to his visit to Moscow (28th May 2014)
3. Changes in EU sugar regime: The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest producer of beet sugar and the main importer of cane sugar for refining. About 50 percent of the world’s beet sugar is produced in the EU in the framework of a quota system establishing the division of the total production quota of 13.3 million tons among the EU sugar producing member states. A minimum price for beet sugar (only for in-quota quantities) and a reference price for white sugar and raw sugar are also part of the complex EU sugar regime. However, this regime will be reformed in 2017.  The upcoming change in the EU sugar regime will be discussed during the three-day 45th Council Session of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO), starting yesterday in Montego Bay, St James. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Roger Clarke said that challenges facing the sugar industry, including cost of production, will be discussed at the meeting. The minister added that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) delegates will be particularly interested in the discussion on the sugar regime.
In addition France has said it is concerned about the liberalisation of EU sugar market.  French sugar production in its overseas departments is poorly equipped to cope with the liberalisation of the European sugar market planned for 2017. According to a report by the French parliament, ending European support of the sugar sector will harm production in France’s overseas departments. Many people in French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and especially the Reunion, live from the proceeds of the sugar industry, which is currently protected by European regulation.
4. Removing company’s registration of OGELs: In January 2014 the Export Control Organisation announced that they would automatically de-register a company from certain Open General Export Licences (OGELs) if they had never been used, or not used for a number of years. This will still be happening but in May 2014 the ECO advised that they will not automatically remove your entitlement to use Open Licences without prior notification to the company involved. Read More...
5. EPA deadline 1st October 2014:  As it gets closer to the deadline EU Ghanaian exporters have asked their government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union (EU). They believe Ghana would benefit from signing the agreement. The president of the Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), Anthony Sikpa states that “The government should sign as this does not only concern the trade agreement but there also exist, amongst others, aspects linked to development and health. We tend to neglect these important aspects […] This EPA is a trade agreement and the citizens of the EU push their governments to do certain things just as we should push our governments to seek markets for us and therefore, we must contain emotions.” The deadline for countries signing the EPA is the 1st October 2014.  If they don’t sign the EPA by end of October 2014 they will lose EPA preference and the ones in red will not get GSP (* these qualify under ESAS for preference) – therefore main countries that could lose preference are Fiji and Kenya.  Read more...
  • Burundi
  • Botswana *
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cameroon
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Haiti
  • Kenya
  • Comoros (excluding Mayotte)
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia *
  • Rwanda
  • Swaziland *
  • Tanzania,
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

6. EU Reporting Formalities – ships: As part of the European Union’s drive to streamline and standardise the reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States, it has introduced wide-ranging legislation. EU Directive 2010/65/EU, commonly known as the ‘Reporting Formalities Directive’ mandates that Member States must adopt a “Single Window” system as soon as possible and, at the latest, by 1 June 2015.  Such a “Single Window" is a system that allows parties involved in trade and transport to submit once, standardized information using electronic data transmission with a single entry point to fulfil all ship, import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. The master, or any other person duly authorised by the operator of the ship, must provide the competent national authority with notification, prior to arriving in an EU port - the information required under the Reporting Formalities Directive. While the logic behind the legislation is straightforward, the reality of developing and rolling-out a compliant system is a good deal more complex both for authorities and shipping companies. 
7. Trade and Investment Barriers Report: The European Union Commission as posted on its website its Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2014. This report, like the previous three editions, addresses a selection of key barriers faced by European Union (EU) companies on the markets of the EU’s strategic partners, i.e. China, India, Japan, Mercosur, Russia and the United States (US). Its main objective is to raise awareness of the main trade restrictive measures and reaffirm the importance of tackling such barriers in a focused and concerted way Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2014.  In addition the EU guide has published a guide on how to protect EU exporters against foreign import trade barriers:http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/october/tradoc_146701.pdf
8. Yemen to become 160th Member of the WTO:  Yemen deposited its “Instrument of Acceptance” on 27 May 2014 with Director-General Roberto Azevedo, confirming its membership terms. According to WTO rules, Yemen will become a full-fledged member on 26 June 2014.
9. 10 EU nations set to tax financial transactions:  A group of 10 European Union countries has agreed to introduce a financial transaction tax from 2016 onward, in an effort to curb speculation and claw back revenues after governments had to bail out banks. The nations -- including economic heavyweights Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- will initially tax only the trading of shares and some derivatives, according to a joint statement published yesterday on the sidelines of a meeting of the 28-nation bloc's finance ministers. The levy's scope won't be as broad as supporters initially hoped, but the countries said they hope to reach agreement on a tax that would include trading in most financial products later on. Read more...
10. Discontent in Defense Sector over Export Controls:NationalDefenseMagazine.com, 28th May 2014 - Aerospace and defense firms have cheered the Obama administration's five-year effort to overhaul the U.S. export licensing system at a time when American manufacturers seek international growth. But industry groups of late are voicing displeasure with the pace and substance of the reforms. They also fear that the administration is weighing new export controls over increasingly sought-after technologies such as cloud computing, cyber security and encryption. Over the past 18 months, the administration has acted to remove civilian, or "dual use" technologies like aircraft components and communications satellites from the U.S. munitions list — managed by the State Department — to the less restrictive controls of the Commerce Department. While these changes have been welcome by the private sector, they do not go far enough, a coalition of 18 industry groups argued in an April letter sent to President Obama.  Join Strong & Herd and Gary Stanley at ourITAR Update London 20th June 2014
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