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Implementation of Union Customs Code is focus of new report
The Commission and member states are working intensively to implement the 17 electronic systems envisaged under the UCC, most of which will be deployed by 2020 but some of which will not be ready for full deployment before 2025. The Commission is therefore considering a legislative proposal to prolong the application of transitional rules to customs processes governed by these systems.
[European Commission]

EU trade defence update advances
The European Parliament’s international trade committee has endorsed the political agreement reached in December 2017 on the modernisation of the EU’s trade defence instruments. The new rules will enter into force once the European Parliament and the Council conclude their respective approval procedures.
[European Commission]

Biannual report on effects of GSP 
The report examines the effects of all three Generalised Scheme of Preferences arrangements (standard GSP, GSP+, and Everything but Arms). It is accompanied by country-specific analyses of the following GSP+ beneficiaries: Armenia, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
[European Commission]

EU policy on import/export licences for specific goods after Brexit
[European Commission]

UK discusses possible trade agreement with Mercosur
[The Rio Times]

Middle East

Saudi Arabia says no VAT on exports
In-kingdom enterprises exporting goods and services can deduct the VAT-eligible input taxes they paid as long as they file their tax returns as required. To qualify, the supplier must retain evidence that the goods or services were transported from the Gulf Cooperation Council region within 90 days.

UAE confirms online shopping subject to VAT


East African Legislative Assembly urges removal of regional trade barriers
Non-tariff barriers are a particular concern, Speaker Martin Ngoga said, and should be stamped out quickly to enhance the free movement of goods, labour, and services.
[The Citizen]

East African Community reluctance to opening borders hurting trade, businesses say
More than seven years after the common market protocol took effect, some EAC countries are still erecting non-tariff trade barriers such as a refusal to recognise certificates of origin for some goods.
[The East African]