17 June 2014

Did You Know? Issue 186

17th June 2014

1. Chasing Import Entries – UPS: 2. HMRC National   Clearance Hub: 3. TTIP – EU-USA Negotiations: 4. Customs Valuation – Software to change: 5. S&H Clients are Winners – Queen’s Award for International Trade 2014: 6. Bahrain Joins ATA Carnet System: 7. UK Tariff Quota contact: 8. EU to remove all sanctions on Zimbabwe this year
1. Chasing Import Entries – UPS: You may already be aware that UPS – has introduced a new system for chasing copy import entries.  Below is the message received about their new automated system
(1) register your e-mail address with Neil Hill - nnhill@ups.com
(2) send e-mail to archives showing just waybill number in subject - archives@ups.com
(3) receive import entry paperwork promptly - if entry submitted and accepted by CHIEF
2. HMRC National Clearance Hub: HMRC is currently implementing a number of changes aimed at centralising the majority of its Customs payment and repayment functions within a single centre of excellence, located in the National Clearance Hub in Manchester.  These changes are aimed at improving the consistency and efficiency of our processing functions to ensure a high standard of customer experience is delivered.  To minimise impacts during the transition period all claims should continue to be sent direct to the National Duty Repayments Centre:
National Duty Repayment Centre
Priory Court,
St Johns Road
CT17 9SH
HMRC will be distributing the processing of these claims internally between the NDRC and the NCH.  It is therefore important during this transition period that you check any letters you receive carefully.  Any requests for additional information or responses to follow-up queries should be provided direct to the location assigned your claim in each individual instance.  This will avoid you experiencing any unnecessary delays in the handling of your claim.
3. TTIP – EU-USA Negotiations: Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were launched politically on 17th June 2013. By reducing tariffs, dismantling non-tariff barriers, both to trade in goods and services, and seeking the overcome the existing regulatory divide, the TTIP will define the legal framework for the world’s largest free trade and investment area. By expanding bilateral trade and investment, the TTIP should spark sustainable growth and create additional jobs. Parliament will have to give its consent to the TTIP once the negotiations are completed, as stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty. The EP largely supported the opening of negotiations. However, Members expressed caution with regard to several sensitive issues, including the need for high level of protection of personal data, US restrictions on maritime and air transport services, agricultural sector, i.e. differing perceptions towards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and cloning and the EU’s precautionary principle with regard to safety standards.
A selection of key publications prepared by the EP's Policy Departments on this issue is available here.
4. Customs Valuation – Software to change: The Committee on Customs Valuation, on 12th May 2014, discussed a proposal by Uruguay to update a 30-year-old decision that has allowed members to value, for customs purposes, software and data on the basis of the cost of the carrier media (such as magnetic tapes, CDs and DVDs in which they are transported from one country to the other).  Uruguay proposed updating the 1984 Decision on the “Valuation of Carrier Media Bearing Software for Data Processing Equipment”, which allowed members, for customs purposes, to value software according to the cost of its carrier media (e.g. CD-ROM or magnetic tapes). Uruguay said that under the current decision, customs may value software in a CD-ROM at $5, while the same software imported using a USB key could be valued at $1,000. It said the decision must be extended to USB keys or flash drives because of their growing popularity as carrier media for software. Argentina and Mexico supported Uruguay’s proposal.  Read More
5. S&H Clients are Winners – Queen’s Award for International Trade 2014: We are pleased to announce that, yet again, a number of our clients were granted the Queen’s Award for International Trade.  Congratulations to all the 150 companies who won the Queen's Award this year but an extra special congratulations to the 13 Strong & Herd LLP clients who won this award.
  • Alco Valves
  • Airbus
  • Caterpillar
  • Elekta Ltd (again)
  • Extronics
  • Graff Diamonds
  • Jaguar Landrover
  • JDR
  • Oxford Technology
  • Pico Technology
  • Prima Dental
  • Seacon
  • What More
Click here for full list  The Queen's Awards are made annually by HM The Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category. There is also an individual award, Enterprise Promotion, which is granted to people who play a significant role in promoting enterprise skills and encourage entrepreneurial attitudes in others in the UK. Entry to the Queen's Awards can be made between 21 April and the last working day of September every year, and it is free to enter. However there may be some cost incurred in accumulating the appropriate supporting paperwork.  Each Queen's Awards category has different entry criteria that you must meet before you enter. Will your company be a winner next year?  Have a go!  To find out whether you qualify to enter please see the guide on The Queen's Awards for Enterprise.
6. Bahrain Joins ATA Carnet System:   Following the United Arab Emirates in 2011, the Kingdom of Bahrain became the second GCC Member State to join the ATA Carnet Chain on 1st June 2014. Bahrain is the 84th country/territory to join the ATA Carnet system but will only  accept ATA Carnets for Exhibitions and Fairs.  Some things to be aware of:
  • Carnets are NOT accepted for unaccompanied goods.
  • Carnet entries may be restricted to six months.
  • Carnets ARE accepted for transit operations.
  • Carnets are NOT accepted for postal traffic.
  • Bahrain does not allow partial or split shipments. Any shipment entering Bahrain must be re-exported in its entirety.
  • Bahrain Customs will only process Carnets from Saturday to Thursday 7am to 7pm
The National Guaranteeing Association is Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Read More:  ICC Press Release
7. UK Tariff Quota contact: For an initial period of six months, the facility to contact the Customs Quota Team by telephone is withdrawn. Those seeking information about tariff quotas should, in the first instance, refer to the EUROPA website.  The database for tariff quota on the EUROPA website displays the balances of each tariff quota applicable in the current year as well as those in the past year. It also displays other important information, such as the date when a particular tariff quota is exhausted. Additional queries about whether a particular claim for quota was successful should be addressed to the tariff quota team using the email address in the contacts section below.  With effect 1st July 2014 initially until 1 February 2015
8. EU to remove all sanctions on Zimbabwe this year:According to an EU official, the EU will remove its sanctions on Zimbabwe this year. EU delegation ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, said the "last step" in the normalization of relations between Zimbabwe and the EU will be complete this year. "The European Council has unanimously decided that considering that there are no major disruptions to the democratic process in Zimbabwe, on the 1st of November 2014 the restrictive measures will be completely removed," he said.
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