18th October 2010

1.  Transparency for preferential trade arrangements: 2. Origin of Goods – “the world”:  3. New Defence & Security Roadshow for 2010: 4. EORI and Spain: 5. EU changes to flat screen import duties:6. New Customs Notices: 7. Anti-Dumping Action: 8. Commodity code changes to Chapter 7318:

1. Transparency for preferential trade arrangements: The Committee on Trade and Development approved a proposal by Brazil, China, India and the United States to establish a transparency mechanism for preferential trade arrangements (PTA). The proposal is to be transmitted to the General Council for adoption. Three developing countries—India, Brazil and China—reported on their programmes to provide duty-free, quota-free market access to least-developed countries (LDCs). India said that 18 LDCs now benefit from it Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme for LDCs. It added that it will be organizing a workshop on this scheme for LDCs. China said that since 1 July 2010, it had been granting zero-tariff treatment on 4,762 tariff lines for products exported by 33 LDCs. It would continue to expand the coverage of this programme. Brazil said that an inter-ministerial working group has been established to discuss the legal and procedures for its scheme, which it said would eventually cover 100 per cent of tariff lines. The European Union said that it was working to simplify the rules of origin for its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, which would particularly benefit LDCs.
 
2. Origin of Goods – “the world”: Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his speech to the French Senate in Paris on 15 October, asked for a new way to look at trade statistics, noting that the country of origin of goods has gradually become obsolete as various operations, from design to manufacture of components and assembly, have spread across the world. Nowadays, he said, more and more products are “Made in the World” rather than “Made in the UK” or “Made in France”. He cited the example of an iPod that may be imported from China but a lot of the value comes from the United States and other countries. In fact, according to American researchers, less than 10 of the 150 dollars actually come from China, and all the rest is just re exportation.  “The statistical bias created by attributing the full commercial value to the last country of origin can pervert the political debate on the origin of the imbalances and lead to misguided, and hence counter-productive, decisions,“ he warned.
“What we call “Made in China” is indeed assembled in China, but what makes up the commercial value of the product comes from the numerous countries that preceded its assembly in China in the global value chain, from its design to the manufacture of the different components and the organization of the logistical support to the chain as a whole.”  
The challenge, he concluded, is to find the right statistical bridges between the different national accounting systems in order to ensure that international interactions resulting from globalization are properly reflected and to facilitate cross border dialogue between national decision makers.
 
3. New Defence & Security Roadshow for 2010: FREE UKTI DEFENCE & SECURITY WEST MIDLANDS ROADSHOW
A ½ day morning event (9.30am – 12.30pm), helping companies within the West Midlands create and increase opportunities within the defence & security sectors in overseas markets. Hosted by DSO country experts and UKTI Local International Trade Advisors, the topics covered include: 
·              DSO “How Defence & Security can Reach International Markets”
·              UKTI “Support for Business to Develop International Sales”
·              Export Control Organisation – Basics of Licensing
·              Local Case Study for the Real Business Perspective in International Defence & Security Sales
Dates:   Malvern Hills Science Park – November 09, 2010
            Birmingham Chamber of Commerce - November 10, 2010
            Coventry Chamber of Commerce – November 11, 2010
If you would like to make a booking email back and we will send you the booking form.
 
4. EORI and Spain: Although formerly flexible, since the 1st October 2010 the Spanish Customs authorities are asking without exception for the use of the EORI number when importing in Spain. This change has been a source of significant trouble as, besides having a valid EORI number non resident companies must have the same linked to a Spanish tax identification number (the so called NIF) previous to its being valid for importation purposes. The big number of applications triggered by the new conditions has overwhelmed the Spanish Customs authorities and blocked the normal importation flows. The application for the linking of both numbers can be done electronically at the website of the Spanish Tax Agency by any of the following persons:
·              The local Customs agent in charge of managing the import on behalf of the company if properly authorized (a draft of mandatory letter is attached).
·              The local tax representative duly empowered.
 
5. EU changes to flat screen import duties: The European Union has backed down over a legal challenge by the USA, Japan and Taiwan to its practice of charging import duties on flat screen monitors and other information technology products. The EU said that, while it did not agree with the decision handed down earlier this year by a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel, it would adjust its policies to implement the ruling rather than appeal. WTO judicial rulings are routinely appealed. John Clancy, EU trade spokesman, said: “As in any dispute, there are certain aspects where we would have preferred the panel to rule differently. On balance, however, the EU has decided it was preferable not to appeal this report.” The EU reiterated its call for a fundamental renegotiation of the Information Technology Agreement, the deal under which the complaint was brought as the agreement was concluded in 1996, and the EU complains that the list of products covered has not been updated since, rendering it increasingly irrelevant.  Unusually for a world trade pact, the ITA is a voluntary deal to which WTO member states are not compelled to belong. It commits signatories to reduce import tariffs to zero on IT products.
            The history of this case are that the USA, Japan and Taiwan had complained to the WTO that Brussels had reclassified various products such as flat-screen monitors, set-top boxes and multi-function printers as performing media rather than IT functions, thus allowing the EU to impose tariffs on imports to protect its own producers. Some of the tariffs went as high as 14 per cent, suggesting that their abolition could create a modest reduction in the prices of consumer goods in the European market. The WTO panel ruled that the products should still count as IT and therefore be subject to the ITA. Estimates by the USA suggest that global exports of the goods covered by the dispute are worth $44bn.
 
6. New Customs Notices:
Attendance and charges by HM Revenue & Customs HMRC Reference:Notice 112 (September 2010) replaces the previous version (January 2004).
Attendance at private premises by HM Revenue & Customs HMRC Reference: Notice 112A (September 2010) This notice cancels and replaces the previous version in February 2004.
 
7. Anti-Dumping Action: 32 WTO members reported taking anti-dumping actions during the first half of the year (the European Union counting as one).  A number of these actions were questioned during the meeting, and the members concerned were urged to follow WTO rules.
The following members notified anti-dumping actions taken during the period 1 January- 30 June 2010: Argentina; Australia; Botswana; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Egypt; European Union; India; Indonesia; Israel; Jamaica; Korea; Lesotho; Mexico; Namibia; New Zealand; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; South Africa; Swaziland; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; Turkey; Ukraine and the United States.
 
8. Commodity code changes to Chapter 7318: Changes have been announced by HMRC on the tariff numbers within Chapter 7318 – fixings and fastening of iron and steel introducing new commodity code endings to indicate the goods originated in Malaysia * and new codes to show they are coming in for certain aircraft use **. This is linked to *ANTI-DUMPING DUTY AND ADDITIONAL CODE MAY APPLY and **TARIFF SUSPENSION MAY APPLY
The changing are to be made in CHIEF from midnight 29th October 2010 and will appear in the printed version of the tariff in January 2011.
Contact Strong & Herd
to discuss your requirements
Telephone
0161 499 7000
Fax
0161 499 7100
Strong & Herd LLP, Manchester International Office Centre
Styal Road, Manchester, M22 5WB