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Europe

Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU

What is the new Brexit deal?

The new deal replaces the backstop with new customs arrangements.

Under the plan, the whole of the UK would leave the customs union. At this point, the UK would be free to sign and implement its own trade agreements with countries around the world. But Northern Ireland would also remain an entry point into the EU’s customs zone.

The UK would not apply tariffs to products entering Northern Ireland, as long as they were not destined to be sent across the border into the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland would continue to follow EU regulations for agrifood and industrial goods.

After four years, the Northern Ireland Assembly would have the opportunity to vote on whether Northern Ireland should continue the arrangement.

[BBC]

EU27 ponder how to deal with UK request for Brexit delay

EU27 leaders are considering Boris Johnson’s Brexit delay request and how to turn it to their own maximum advantage — though some are wondering if there’s any advantage left to gain.

After the British parliament withheld approval on the new Brexit deal clinched Thursday with the EU, forcing the prime minister to ask for a short extension, Johnson on Saturday night complied and sent Brussels a request to delay the October 31 deadline until January 31, 2020.

Johnson also sent a second letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, addressing him personally and by first name, to make clear that he is not happy about having been obliged to send the first letter, which he didn’t sign.

“A further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our EU partners, and damage the relationship between us,” Johnson wrote. “We must bring this process to a conclusion.”

[Politico]

US imposes record $7.5 billion tariffs on EU goods, targeting wine and Airbus

The United States imposed tariffs on a record $7.5 billion worth of European Union goods on Friday, despite threats of retaliation, with Airbus, French wine and Scottish whiskies among the high-profile targets.

The tariffs, which took effect just after midnight in Washington (0401 GMT), came after talks between European officials and US trade representatives failed to win a last-minute reprieve.

The WTO-endorsed onslaught from US President Donald Trump also comes as Washington is mired in a trade war with China and could risk destabilizing the global economy further.

In the line of fire are civilian aircraft from Britain, France, Germany and Spain – the countries that formed Airbus – which will now cost 10 percent more when imported to the US.

But the tariffs also target consumer products such as French wine, which Trump had vowed to attack in recent months. Wine from France, Spain and Germany will now face 25 percent tariffs.

[France24]

European Union aims to resume free trade talks with Thailand

The European Union aims to resume negotiations with Thailand on a free trade agreement (FTA), the Council of the European Union said in a statement, after suspending trade talks following a 2014 military coup.

Thailand held general elections in March and a pro-army coalition of parties has formed a government, officially ending five years of military rule.

“The Council also stresses the importance of taking steps towards the resumption of negotiations on an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement,” it said.

Trade between the EU and Thailand is valued at about 38 billion euros ($42 billion) in 2018, according to the European Commission.

[Reuters]

 

Middle East

Emirates enters e-commerce, offers UAE home delivery for US online purchases

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight unit of Dubai-based Emirates, on Tuesday ventured into e-commerce, offering the UAE residents and firms to shop from multiple online retailers across the US and then deliver those products directly to any home or office in the UAE.

Called Emirates Delivers, the new platform – which targets individuals and small businesses – allows the UAE residents to consolidate their purchases and store them in the US free for 30 days and then transport them to the UAE.

Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice-president for cargo at Emirates SkyCargo, said the UAE residents can order anything that can be legally transported from the US and the airline will take care of everything from customs duty to any taxes applicable on imports.

[Khaleej Times]

Saudi Customs, Agility ink MoU to build bonded area

The Saudi Customs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Agility Public Warehousing to transform some of the firms’ warehouses in Riyadh into bonded and re-export zone.

Accordingly, Agility will prepare the new zones and warehouses as per the rules and conditions approved by the Saudi Customs.

Boursa Kuwait-listed Agility will enjoy all of the benefits and services offered by Saudi Customs to foreign investors.

Furthermore, the procedures will allow free transfer of goods from and to the bonded zones or warehouses across the GCC region in the first entry point.

[Zawya]

 

Africa

Egypt drafts new customs law to boost business climate

Egypt’s draft customs law, which has been referred to the parliament for approval, will contribute to improving the North African nation’s business climate, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

The proposed law aims to facilitate customs procedures, reduce costs of goods, and cut clearance time through digitizing customs clearance procedures and benefiting from international experiences in applying the “single-window” system.

In addition, an electronic cargo tracking system and a risk management system will be launched.

[Mubasher]