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Europe

The Commission publishes its proposal for an agreement on conformity assessment with the United States

The European Commission published its proposal for an EU-U.S. agreement on conformity assessment for industrial products, in line with its commitment to enhanced transparency in trade negotiations.

A product exported between the two sides often has to undergo an assessment to demonstrate that it complies with the technical and safety requirements of the importing party, a so-called “conformity assessment”. This often means additional costs for exporters, which is especially burdensome for smaller companies, who often decide not to export at all because of those costs and complexities.

The EU proposal seeks an agreement, under which the EU and the U.S. would accept the conformity assessment results of each other’s assessment bodies, certifying products against the legal requirement of the other side. This would enable exporters to seek certification of their products in their originating country.

[European Commission]

Trump weighs new trade investigation to justify tariffs on EU

Trump administration officials are considering whether to start a new trade investigation against the European Union as the window closes for hitting Brussels with automobile tariffs, according to multiple people briefed on the issue.

Such a move would mean that European auto imports wouldn’t be subject to duties out of national security concerns, but the trading bloc would be subject to a much broader inquiry, the people said.

“What it would do is it would create a situation that for another year would give the president leverage over the EU,” said a former administration official.

[Politico]

Middle East

Turkey, Georgia to work on simplified customs line

Turkey and Georgia have agreed to work on a simplified customs line which could pave the way for ending delays in transportation.

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Natia Turnava gathered for the final sitting of a joint economic committee held in the capital Ankara on Nov. 19.

“I offered to the minister to work on a simplified customs line cooperation, and she agreed,” Pekcan said.

She added: “Our goal is to prevent loss of time and money due to delays in shipping between our two countries.”

[Hurriyet Daily News]

 

Africa

Egypt applies ‘green channel’ customs system; 75 companies whitelisted

Egypt has introduced a new customs system that would allow the clearance of commodities of certain companies registered with the Authorized Economic Operator through “green channels”, the country’s finance minister Mohamed Maait said.

The new system will be applied as of 20 November in a bid to reduce clearance time, cut the costs of commodities in the local market, and help Egypt move up the World Bank’s cross-border trade index, Maait added.

A total of 75 companies that have been whitelisted will enjoy the “green channel” customs clearance system.

[Zawya]