31st October 2013

Did You Know? Issue 170

1.  EU - Central American FTA: 2. WCO News Magazine: 3. More new Signatories to the ATA Carnet: 4. C81 and amending incorrect export entries: 5. Transit Guarantee – starts UK new London Gateway Port: 6. UK National Clearance Hub moves:7. Export Controls and Egypt: 8. EU to reopen accession talks with Turkey: 9. New VAT rules for telecoms and e-services: 
1.  EU - Central American FTA: As of 1 October 2013, a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the Central American countries was extended to cover Costa Rica and El Salvador. Honduras, Panama, and Nicargua ratified the agreement earlier in the year 1st August 2013.  Guatemala has not yet so the FTA does not apply to them yet. Although the ratification of the agreement by the EU member states is still awaited, this does not affect the provisional application of the FTA and the Movement Certificate (EUR.1) may now apply for exports to these markets and supplies into the EU. This certificate confirms that the goods qualify under the preference origin rules of the FTA and must not be raised or presented to customs at import without having evidence that the goods do qualify.
2. WCO News Magazine:  Check out the new WCO News Magazine for October 2013
Key topics include drafting FTAs, the Trade Facilitation Agreement, update on Tariff and Trade issues (non-preference origin/ valuation/ HS Code), the role of Customs in controlling the use of digital technology.
3. More new Signatories to the ATA Carnet:  As announced in DYK 165 (September 2013) Bahrain, Brazil and Indonesia are working towards accepting the ATA Carnet in 2014.  Two more countries have now declared an interest in running this temporary admission scheme they are Saudi Arabia  and Trinidad & Tobago, 2013 has already seen two new signatories to the Agreement - Madagascar  22nd April 2013 and Albania 25th February 2013.
4. C81 and amending incorrect export entries: A recent announcement from HMRC means that incorrect export entries must be amended with a C81 and this includes notifying the Trade Statistic unit (TSu) of CPC amendments. (Their  address is located on the back of the form.)  CPEI traders (CW/IPR/OPR/PCC/TA) that discover CPC errors on export declarations will also need to note any amendments in their records, retain supporting documentation and advise HMRC of the error during the next assurance visit.  We doubled checked on this with HMRC to ensure it did mean a C81 was required if, eg the wrong CPC used on the re-export of IPR goods (10-00-001 instead of 31-51-000) and they have confirmed it does.  Also they confirm that is no limit to the number of C81 post clearance amendments that can be made in a given year.  
5. Transit Guarantee – starts UK new London Gateway Port: Procedures requiring the presentation of a comprehensive Community Transit guarantee certificate or guarantee waiver certificate at the London Gateway port (GB000170) starts immediately.  Under the Provisions of the UCC such transit guarantees will be required for all T1 movements to and from ports/ airports in the UK, eg Inward Processing Relief, Customs Warehousing imports or re-exports.  If the company is AEO (C) approved they can apply for a guarantee waiver.  If you intend to move goods under Transit from London Gateway port you will need to ensure that you present or lodge guarantee or waiver certificates valid for the movement, taking into account any impact on the reference amount.  Further information CIP (13) 67
6. UK National Clearance Hub moves: On the 11thNovember 2013 the UK HMRC National Clearance Hub will move to a new address at:
National Clearance Hub
Ralli Quays
3 Stanley St
Salford M60 9HL
From 25th November 2013 there will be no staff based at the old Salford Quays address.
7.  Export Controls and Egypt: In August 2013 the Export Control Organisation (ECO) announced the suspension of export licenses for Egypt for any equipment which might be used for internal repression and removed Egypt from 47 OGELs.  The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now carried out a fuller assessment of conditions prevailing in Egypt and the Business Secretary, on the advice of the Foreign Secretary, has agreed to modify the way the suspension is applied and a blanket approach to the Egyptian organisations will no longer be taken but each current and new licence application will be assessed on its merits.  Read the ECO announcement for further information
8. EU to reopen accession talks with Turkey: EU ministers have agreed on to resume accession talks with Turkey on 5thNovember 2013 after a three year break.
Originally scheduled in June 2013, negotiations were put on hold after the EU accused Turkish police of using excessive force against anti-government protests earlier this year. The move comes after Germany dropped its strong opposition against Turkey's EU membership following episodes of police violence in Istanbul and Ankara.
But earlier this month, the European Commission praised recent judicial reforms in Turkey. 'We got the report of the EC about the situation in Turkey. Turkey had a good reaction. It is getting better and this is the right signal: the way of getting dynamic. This is really the signal to Turkish population that EU is ready to extension. Now Turkey has absolutely to work and improve on Justice and Rights', said German Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michael Link.
Talks on Turkey’s EU accession started in 2005, 18 years after Ankara applied for EU membership.
9. New VAT rules for telecoms and e-services:  The Commission has published practical guidelines to prepare businesses for the new VAT rules for telecoms and e-services, which will enter into force in 2015. The aim is to help businesses to be fully prepared on time for the change-over, whereby VAT will be charged where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is. A One Stop Shop will enable telecoms, broadcasting and e-services businesses comply with all of their VAT obligations in all Member States from their country of registration.  The guidelines are available from HMRC website in English; they will be translated into other EU languages. For more information see the press release (IP/13/1004).
For the state of play on the future of VAT, see our dedicated page
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