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EMEA Trade Weekly: UK Customs, FTAs, Classification, VAT


Europe, Russia & CIS

UK’s new customs system may not be ready in time for Brexit
The government began setting up a new customs declaration service in 2013 to replace the existing system for collecting import duties, but the National Audit Office says significant work is needed to complete system development by the planned date of January 2019. As a result, the NAO said there is a risk that the full functionality and scope of the CDS will not be available by March 2019, when the UK plans to leave the EU.

CETA provisionally applicable from 21 September
As of that date more than 90 percent of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada will come into effect. The FTA will enter into force definitively once all 28 EU member states and parliaments ratify it.

EU-Ukraine association agreement to take full effect on 1 September
The agreement has been provisionally in force since 1 January 2016 and was recently ratified.

[European Commission]
Canada-Ukraine trade agreement effective 1 August
As of that date 98 percent of Canadian tariffs on Ukrainian exports, and 72 percent of Ukrainian tariffs on Canadian exports, will be eliminated. Ukraine will increase its number to 98 percent within the next seven years.

EU to consider improvements to sustainable development chapters in trade agreements
A new non-paper sent from the Commission to the Parliament and the Council is intended to contribute to a debate in the coming months on whether the current chapters are meeting expectations and what could be done to improve them, whether a more assertive partnership on trade and sustainable development in bilateral FTAs should be pursued, and whether a sanction-based approach would address the shortcomings identified.

[European Commission]
EU Commission rules on classification of wax beads, paint additive

[Official Journal of the EU]
[Official Journal of the EU]

Middle East

Iran looks to finalize preferential trade agreement with Indonesia by end of 2017
During the third round of negotiations held recently in Tehran the two sides discussed draft lists of products that would be subject to reduced or zero duties when exported to each other.

[Antara News]
Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council approves draft VAT law
Only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of the six Gulf Cooperation Council members, have so far said they will implement the five percent VAT as of 1 January 2018.


World Bank urges single regulatory body to oversee Nigeria free trade zones
Officials said this is a global best practice and has benefits such as reduced administrative costs, long-term stability, streamlined operations, and safety of investments.

[Premium Times]
South Africa becomes 19th country to sign tripartite FTA
The TFTA covers 26 African countries with a combined population of 625 million and a total gross domestic product of $1.6 trillion. It will enter into force once 14 countries submit their instruments of ratification, which so far only Egypt has done.

[South African Government News Agency]
Angola to exempt goods exports from customs duties starting in 2018
To compensate the customs charge on the reexport of goods will be increased by 20 percent, though shipments transiting Angola can do so duty-free using the international transit system.  

[Macau Hub]