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Israeli settlement products must be labeled as such, EU’s top court rules

Foodstuffs originating from Israeli settlements must be marked as such, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled.

The European Union’s top court ruled that member states must oblige retailers to identify products made in Israeli settlements with special labels.

The issue has been politically divisive — Israel considers the labeling of settler products to be discriminatory and takes a highly critical view of it.


Ratification of EU-Singapore FTA a “panacea” for bilateral trade

After six long years of disputes, debates and legal back-and-forth, the member states of the European Union have endorsed the trade agreement between the bloc and Singapore, paving the way for the agreement to enter into force next week.

The Singapore deal is a ‘new generation’ bilateral trade agreement that, in addition to reducing customs duties and tariffs, also touches on matters relating to intellectual property, protection, investment, public procurement, competition and sustainable development.

[Global Trade Review]

Clear path for EU-Kazakhstan agreement to enter into full force

Italy was the last EU country to ratify the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with Kazakhstan, signed in 2015, paving the way for the trade deal to enter into full force.

The Council will now be able to conclude the ratification process after the Italian Senate approved the deal, often described as “WTO-Plus”, as its chapter on government procurement in essence mirrors the equivalent WTO chapter.

The EPCA also sets a legal framework for cooperation in 29 areas, from international and regional security to trade, investment, development of infrastructure as well as innovation in culture, sport and tourism sectors.


Middle East

Bahrain launches customs whitelist

Bahrain became the first country in the region to introduce a customs whitelist to allow an easier flow of supplies to the market.

A list that includes medical equipment, health products and raw chemicals for manufacturing processes was announced at a Press conference at the Interior Ministry’s Customs Affairs headquarters in Hidd.

Customs Affairs president Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa said the new system would allow speedier clearance of materials and products through the customs’ green light channel rather than wait for approvals from other parties concerned.

“The whitelist, a pioneering initiative in the region, will enable us to move supplies through the green light channel without delay, waiting for consent from other parties concerned, and this comes as we improve logistics and clearance procedures in the country,” he said.


Kuwait to ban non inverter air conditioning units from September 2020

The Ministry Electricity and Water has asked its commerce and industry counterpart to ban the sale and import of non inverter air conditioning units by September 2020, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources.

This decision will cover various types of air conditioning units such as split, window, stand alone and ceiling. Sources explained the inverter air conditioning units reduce power consumption by up to 60 percent, indicating that air conditioning units consume 70 percent of total electricity production during summer and 30 percent in winter.

Sources said non inverter air conditioning units will be banned in newly established cities, adding the State Ministry for Housing Affairs will stop the disbursement of construction subsidy for buying non inverter air conditioning units by September 2020.

[Arab Times]



New Terminal Operating System to begin operations December 2 in Tunisia

“The entry into activity of the new Terminal Operating System “TOS” at the port of Rades will be done gradually as of December 2, 2019. This system will help track the containers instantaneously and optimize the port management,” CEO of the Tunisian Company for Stevedoring and Handling (STAM) Farhat Zouaghi said.

“The essential component of the modernization project of the Port of Rades will be accompanied by two other components, namely the establishment of a “SMART GATE” which will help organize and plan the flow of goods at the terminal’s entry and exit gates, and to acquire 6 new cranes (RTG) to increase the storage capacity of the port,” he added at a one-day information seminar dedicated to the presentation of this project held on board of the ship TANIT at La Goulette port.

[Agence Tunis Afrique Presse]