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Europe

Boris Johnson pledges to leave the EU on October 31: ‘No ifs, no buts’

Boris Johnson said the U.K. would leave the European Union “no ifs, no buts” on October 31 as he pledged to “restore trust in democracy.”

Arriving at No. 10 Downing Street, the new U.K. prime minister pledged to strike a “new” and “better deal” which would maximize the opportunities of Brexit, claiming he had every confidence he would crack it in 99 days time.

He also called for a warm and close partnership with the EU, telling citizens of the bloc they would have the “absolute certainty of the right to live and remain [in the U.K.]”

Johnson also reiterated his threat that the U.K. could withhold the £39 billion Brexit settlement.

[Politico]

Free ports favored by Boris Johnson are money-laundering threat – EU

The Singapore-style tax-free zones favored by Boris Johnson have been identified as a money-laundering threat by Brussels.

In a report on money laundering, the European commission named free ports for the first time as a concept “potentially vulnerable to money laundering or terrorism financing” in the European single market.

Free ports are “the new emerging threat”, said the European justice commissioner, Věra Jourová. “This is something we want to focus more on.”

[The Guardian]

US-EU trade negotiations in stalemate, Malmström says

Almost a year after the joint US-EU statement, “there is a stalemate” in trade negotiations, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström conceded on Tuesday (23 July) speaking before the European Parliament.

The talks on a trade agreement concerning the elimination of tariffs on industrial goods between Brussels and Washington have not started yet, Malmström told the members of the International Trade Committee.

The US is not ready to negotiate unless agriculture products are included in the agreement. But agriculture “is a red line for us,” EU’s trade chief said. “We don’t have a mandate to enter in agriculture. So yes, there is a stalemate. Can we overcome this? I don’t know,” Malmström admitted.

[Euractiv]

 

Middle East

Oman introduces new advance rulings program for Customs

On the occasion of the national Renaissance Day, the Royal Oman Police, represented by the Directorate General of Customs, have announced the introduction of a new advance rulings program to facilitate international trade through the Sultanate’s points of entry.

The program is one of several initiatives planned to further empower the trade sector in Oman and will allow businesses to obtain advance rulings to import and export before starting the actual importing and exporting process. The program also seeks to guide businesses on how best to manage goods during the import and export process.

The introduction of the advance rulings program is part of ongoing government efforts to achieve the ambitious goals of the Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy 2040 (SOLS 2040), which aims to establish the Sultanate as a regional and international logistics hub.

[Oman Daily Observer]

Jordan clothing tariffs among highest in world

The Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate has called on the government to reduce taxes and customs on children’s clothes and shoes or exempt them completely in light of economic conditions.

Jordan’s taxes and customs on clothing and shoe imports are “the highest not only in the region but in the whole world”, Syndicate President Muneer Deyeh told The Jordan Times.

The following taxes are imposed on imported clothing: 20 per cent in customs fees, 16 per cent in sales tax, 5 per cent in customs duties fees, 2 per cent in income tax and 1.5 per cent in miscellaneous taxes, and the same costs apply to shoes, except for customs fees, which is 30 per cent instead of 20 per cent.

[The Jordan Times]