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Europe & CIS

Brussels gives UK two-week ultimatum on trade talks
Britain has two weeks to make concessions in the Brexit negotiations if it wants to open trade talks by the end of the year, European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier said. A failure to meet this milestone could seriously jeopardise the Brexit timetable and steeply increase the likelihood of no deal.

UK announces new trade and customs bills
The trade bill will allow for the United Kingdom to create powers to assist in transition with existing EU trade partnerships, provide the UK with continuing access to government contracts in other countries, establish the Trade Remedies Authority, and ensure the UK government has legal abilities to acquire trade information. A forthcoming customs bill will continue the VAT and excise regimes “in line with the final deal reached in negotiations,” said a statement from the Department for International Trade.

Report highlights benefits of EU trade agreements, areas for improvement
The first-of-its-kind report shows that it is often the EU agricultural and motor vehicle sectors that benefit the most. Areas for improvement include increasing the percentage of EU exporters taking advantage of agreement benefits.
[European Commission]

New EU measures on cross-border tax recovery
A special standard form is now provided for requests for precautionary measures to facilitate the recovery of tax debts in cross-border situations.
[European Commission]

Uzbekistan simplifies import-export operations
The changes, which will take effect 1 December, include allowing exports without advance payment, letter of credit, bank guarantee, or insurance policy; repealing a requirement for approval of the cost of goods on export cargo customs declarations; and eliminating a requirement to issue permits for re-exports of goods under temporary import regime.
[JD Supra]

Middle East

Turkey building ties across Africa
Ankara now has more than three dozen embassies and billions of dollars in trade with the continent. The connections focus mainly on economics, one expert said, with Turkey looking to expand its exports and increase direct investment through private companies.
[Voice of America]


Africa could see free trade within five to ten years, Rwandan president says
President Paul Kagame said progress already made in various regions of Africa on customs unions, infrastructure integration, free movement of people, and other issues shows that the continent is “coming together.”
[Joy Online]

Nigeria introduces AEO program to streamline goods clearance
Requirements for participation will include trustworthiness and transparency, a record of compliance with customs legislation and tax rules, and no record of serious criminal offences relating to economic activity.
[All Africa]

Uganda customs modernisation effort gets US$30 million from China
The grant will support the capacity of the Uganda Revenue Authority to acquire non-intrusive scanners; modernize its customs risk management, supervision, and communication systems; support customs service and enforcement efforts; and improve border infrastructure.
[All Africa]

Uganda praised for enforcing COMESA treaty
The COMESA Treaty Implementation Act passed in 2016 paved the way for the establishment of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa in Uganda. The country has also taken steps to implement the COMESA customs union instruments by implementing 100 percent of the alignment to the customs management regulations, 74 percent alignment to the customs tariff nomenclature, and 74 percent alignment to the common external tariff.
[Daily Monitor]

New Sudanese airline aims to boost trade with Uganda
[Daily Monitor]