23rd June 2011

1. Reminder: EU/ S. Korea FTA:   2. New EU export authorisations: 3. Stamping of SIELs for EU shipments: 4. Belarus Sanctions: 5. Sierra Leone Sanctions lifted6. Croatia – membership of EU:  7. Other new members of EU: 8. Global Trade 2050: 9. ICS – full implementation: 10. Charging for Export Licences: 11. UPS transport restrictions imposed:

1. Reminder: EU/ S. Korea FTA:   The EU - South Korea Free Trade Agreement startes 1st July 2011.  It permits a preferential rate of duty to be applied to certain goods manufactured in these regions and meeting the additional qualifying rules (dependent on the commodity code).  It works on “approved exporter” authorisations but there is a provision for an invoice declaration to be used without the shipper being formerly approved.  This invoice declaration is only permitted for qualifying shipments with a total value of EURO 6,000 – which has been converted into the UK as £5390.00.

 2. New EU export authorisations: In case some of you haven't seen this yet, there has been an announcement that new Communtiy General authorisations will be issued for the movement of dual-use controlled goods/technology to certain destinations. These export authorisation will be valid for exports to the following destinations and should be similar to the CGEA in condition and use:
• Argentina
• Croatia
• Russia
• South Africa
• South Korea
• Turkey
• Ukraine
They are not in place yet up further information can be found HERE

3. Stamping of SIELs for EU shipments:We have been made aware (thanks Sue!) that HMRC have amended their system for stamping Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) when used for Military Goods going into the EU where OGELs do not apply.  Previously these had to be stamped in advance by HMRC Leeds, this system changed in March 2011 (linked to post codes) and again, it appears in June 2011.  We are still pushing for more information but it seems that the stamping of SIELs for shipments to the EU is now the responsibility of HMRC Southampton – you must email the licence and invoice to It.audit.south.district@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk BUT there are strict instructions.  If you need a copy of the document dated 13th June 2011 issued by CITEX Southampton, please email back.  We will keep you updated.

4. Belarus Sanctions: The European Union passed a series of stringent sanctions against Belarus in June 2011 amid growing anger from the international community over the former Soviet republic’s increasingly pariah status. Scores of political opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime have been imprisoned in what is one of the worst human rights crackdowns in recent memory. Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg agreed to a series of new sanctions against the regime, placing travel bans on key members of the judiciary and bringing in restrictions on three companies closely associated with Mr Lukashenko (BelTechExport, the country’s main arms manufacturer, as well as Sport Pari, which runs the country’s lucrative lottery, and Private Unitary Enterprise a telecommunications company.). Ministers hope that the financial sanctions will pile pressure on Minsk at a time when Belarus’ economy is rapidly failing as its currency reserves dry up.  The newly imposed EU restrictions against Belarus include an arms embargo and prohibitions relating to equipment which might be used for internal repression. Further details of the sanctions are published in:

  1. Council Decision 2011/357/CFSP (published in the Official Journal of the European Union L161, 21.6.2011, p25)
  2. Council Regulation (EU) 588/2011 (published in the Official Journal of the European Union L161, 21.6.2011, p1)

A prohibition on the sale, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, of “arms and related material of all types”; the UK interprets this prohibition as applying to all items on the UK Military List. (The UK Military List is published at http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/exportcontrol/controllists)

Western diplomats say Belarus earns more than £1.14bn annually in weapons sales, much of which goes into a secret fund controlled by the President. The vast majority of Belarusian arms sales, however, are to the developing world and it is unclear whether the new sanctions will have any effect on Mr Lukashenko’s ability to raise capital.

5. Sierra Leone Sanctions lifted: The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) have both lifted sanctions on Sierra Leone. The UK is now in the process of working to repeal relevant UK legislation. Whilst this happens, the UK will not automatically refuse applications to export goods listed in these embargoes.

6. Croatia – membership of EU: Croatiahas been given the go-ahead to become a member of the European Union, and is likely to join in 2013, the European Commission has said.  Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and formal negotiations began in 2005. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he would recommend EU nations wrap up talks and prepare to greet Croatia as the 28th member state. Talks on reforming the Croatian judiciary, a very sensitive area, had been successful, Mr Barroso said. Croatia will be the second ex-Yugoslav country after Slovenia to join.

7. Other new members of EU:Two other countries of the former Yugoslav federation, Montenegro and Macedonia, are currently candidates for membership. Serbia is expected to start membership talks next year, after the arrest last month of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic on war crimes charges removed the biggest obstacle Belgrade faced to joining the EU.

8. Global Trade 2050: We have a document produced by HSBC called Global Trade in 2050 – if you are interested we are happy to send you a copy.  Just email back – contents look at the rapid growth of the emerging markets, the global economy is experiencing a seismic shift. But why is this change occurring? Will it continue? And how will the world look if it does?  The answers to these questions are important for investors' decisions today.

9. ICS – full implementation: The pre-arrival messaging system was introduced in January 2011.  It requires the submission of early information to UK/EC customs on all shipments arriving from outside the EC.  This will allow customs authorities to refuse shipments if they are deemed to be a security risk.  ICS has been designed to fit within current processes such as the presentation of shipping/ airline manifests to obtain release of cargo.  A “period of grace” for UK uses of ICS was granted until 30th June 2011 – this has now come to an end.  Carriers and their 3rd party representatives must now ensure that they are fully compliant with all EU ICS regulations, including accurate completion of ICS data and conformance with the appropriate time limits.  Carriers have been reminded by HMRC that failure to comply fully with the EU ICS Safety and Security Regulations could result in Customs Civil Penalty (CCO) Action being taken against the carrier.  For course, for importers it could also delay cargo.

10. Charging for Export Licences: The UK BIS Export Control Organisation (ECO) has let it be known that they intend to introduce charges for issuing export licences from 6th April 2012. There are no formal details yet as there will be a two stage review this year, stage one (until Sept 2011) is intended to be an informal review while from Sept-Dec 2011 there will be an formal consultation which will include representatives from trade. It has been suggested that fees will be created for an annual registration for OGELs, for issuing OIELs and a fee for issuing SIELs – figures currently muted are £100 annual OGEL registration, £100-£200 for SIEL and £500 for OIELs, THIS IS NOT OFFICE.  We have been told this will go along with a full review of the current activities, timescales and "perceived inefficiencies" of the current system in order to improve service levels. If you wish to get involved with the review let us know.

11. UPS transport restrictions imposed:  17th June 2011: The UK Department for Transport (DfT) announced that is had taken the unusual step in restricting "the number of sites in the UK at which UPS are permitted to screen air cargo" .  It is understood that this restriction will be in place until UPS improves its security procedures.  UPS said that it was working to address the DfT's concerns but admitted that the government intervention had led to delays; there has been no announcement on what specific security concerns the DfT has with UPS or the locations involved, but they are hopeful of a return to normal service within the week.  UPS, like other fast parcel operators, use passenger aircraft to carry cargo and the safety of the travelling public is the key to the security regimes.

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