22nd July 2013

Did You Know? Issue 162

1. USA Major changes coming to Cat. XI: 2. WTO Releases Trade Policy Review on European Union: 3. Concerns over Trade Measures: 4. EU-USA Free Trade Agreement – first talks: 5. Revised Hong Kong’s control list came into effect on 8 July 2013: 6. AEO membership in some countries showing a slight drop: 7. Chinese Anti-Dumping Duties: 8. New Customs Notices:

1. USA Major changes coming to Cat. XI: The changes within ITAR ML XI – Military Electronics may have a significant effect on companies in that industry sector. Many USA exporters have routinely classified Mil-Spec electronic components under ML. XI as it seemed the safest thing to do. After the revised Category XI becomes final and goes into effec, that will no longer be the case. Cat. XI will be restricted to very specifically described articles, such as certain radars, sonars and focal plane arrays. Parts and components in this category would need to meet the "specially designed" definition, not be excluded under the "catch and release" rules and would have to be ones that modify or customise the properties of the specific articles controlled. The outcome will probably mean a reduction in controlled items but the path to get there will be more detailed and time consuming.
We believe the revised ML XI will probably come into effect in 2014.
2. WTO Releases Trade Policy Review on European Union: The World Trade Organizations (WTO) has releasedits eleventh review of the trade policies and practices of the European Union. The report finds that the EU, as a single entity, remains the largest trading bloc in the world and imports and exports continued to increase in 2011-12, although its share of world trade is declining due to faster growth in other countries. The EU is also an open economy with extra-EU trade in goods and services representing over 33% of GDP in 2011. Its rules and procedures are also transparent and, despite the wide diversity among its member States in terms of their economies, legal systems, and public institutions, it is a highly integrated economic unit with a single trade policy and common legislation in most trade-related areas.
3. Concerns over Trade Measures: At the WTO Council for Trade in Goods meeting on 11 July 2013, concerns were raised over certain trade measures by Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and Nigeria. The Council noted the recent notification of some 11 regional trade agreements. Read More
4. EU-USA Free Trade Agreement – first talks:  July 2013 saw the first talks begin on the much publicised Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the United States of America after 2 years of preparatory discussion. One big EU interest is getting exemptions from U.S. "Buy American" requirements on public works projects, while the United States wants the EU to reduce barriers to genetically modified crops that have frustrated U.S. farmers for years.
Hopes are on it being finalised by Spring 2014.  Read More
5. Revised Hong Kong’s control list came into effect on 8 July 2013. The Order amends Schedule 1 to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (“the Regulations”) to reflect the revisions adopted by the international non-proliferation regimes in their control lists subsequent to the last amendment exercise on Hong Kong’s control list for strategic commodities. For full details of the amendments, you may visit the websites of the Strategic Commodities Control System (http://www.stc.tid.gov.hk) or the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (http://www.gov.hk) to refer to the Order [Legal Supplement No. 2 of the Gazette published on 24 May 2013 (No. 21 Vol. 17)].
6. AEO membership in some countries showing a slight drop: This include the UK down from 317 to 313. Wonder why? Well, it’s revalidation time for a lot of companies and a couple of things are happening.  Firstly, some businesses just haven’t maintained the high compliance and security standards required by AEO since their initial acceptance into the scheme and, secondarily, there is not greater clarity on what Customs require under the Safety & Security part of AEO.  The reduction is either because companies have had their AEO status revoke, but more likely, suspended so they can work on improvements.  It has even been said that some companies have withdrawn from the scheme because of the lack of tangible benefits.  It's not a major reduction but 8 EU countries have seen 2 or 3 companies lose or have their AEO status suspended between May and July 2013. Malta is the largest loser with 7 less companies now AEO approved.
Germany still tops the chart with 5,307 approved companies
Netherlands 1,312 (down by 3)
France 877
Poland 620
Spain 514
7. Chinese Anti-Dumping Duties: June 2013 The European Union requested consultations with China in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concerning Chinese anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes (“HP-SSST”) from the EU. Japan had already started a dispute settlement proceeding on the same measure addressed against Japanese products. The duties of 9.7% to 11.1% imposed on European products are significantly hampering access to the Chinese market.
Read More
8. New Customs Notices:
Notice 102 General Guarantee Accounts.
Notice 226 Beer Duty
Notice 236 - Customs: Importing returned goods free of duty and tax
Notice 263 - clarification of an eligible voyage for reclaim of fuel duty
Notice 275 Customs: export procedures
Notice 300 Customs civil investigation of suspected evasion
Notice 452 Machine Games Duty
Notice 550 - Air Passenger Duty 
VAT Notice 700/56 Insolvency
Notice 725 The single market
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