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Europe

Boeing WTO case: EU puts in place countermeasures against U.S. exports

The European Commission’s regulation increasing tariffs on U.S. exports into the EU worth $4 billion is published in the Official Journal of the EU.

The countermeasures have been agreed by EU Member States since the U.S. has not yet provided the basis for a negotiated settlement, which would include an immediate removal of U.S. tariffs on EU exports in the Airbus WTO case. The World Trade Organization (WTO) formally authorized the EU on 26 October to take such countermeasures against illegal U.S. subsidies to aircraft maker Boeing. The measures are taking effect as from 10 November. The European Commission stands ready to work with the U.S. to settle this dispute and also to agree on long-term disciplines on aircraft subsidies.

The countermeasures bring the EU equal footing with the U.S., with sizeable tariffs on each side based on two WTO decisions related to aircraft subsidies. They include additional tariffs of 15% on aircraft as well as additional tariffs of 25% on a range of agricultural and industrial products imported from the U.S., thereby strictly mirroring the countermeasures imposed by the United States in the context of the WTO case on subsidies to Airbus.

[European Commission]

The WCO has published the HS 2017 / HS 2022 Correlation Tables for the Harmonized System

The Harmonized System Committee (HSC) completed its examination of the correlations prepared by the Secretariat at its 66th Session in October 2020. Upon the adoption of the HSC/66 Report on 13 November 2020, the Correlation Tables were cleared by the HSC for release on the WCO website.

While not legal instruments, the Correlation Tables have become essential tools for Members and the wider trade community in preparing for the introduction of a new edition of the HS. These tables provide guidance on the correlations between the Seventh Edition of the Harmonized System (HS), which comes into force on 1 January 2022 and the current HS 2017 (Sixth Edition) of the HS. There are two tables released.

Table І establishes the correlation between the 2022 version and the 2017 version of the HS. It also includes remarks against many of the correlations, briefly specifying the nature of the goods transferred and, where appropriate, referencing other relevant amended legal provisions in the HS.

Table ІІ establishes the correlation starting from the 2017 version to the 2022 version. As a simple mechanical transposition of Table І, it does not include a reproduction of the remarks.

[World Customs Organization]

Commission welcomes agreement on the modernization of EU export controls

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on its proposal for a modernization of EU export controls on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies.

The changes will upgrade and strengthen the EU’s export control toolbox to respond effectively to evolving security risks and emerging technologies. Thanks to the new Regulation, the EU can now effectively protect its interests and values and, in particular, address the risk of violations of human rights associated with trade in cyber-surveillance technologies without prior agreement at multilateral level. It also enhances the EU’s capacity to control trade flows in sensitive new and emerging technologies.

This new Regulation provides a new basis for the coordination of controls on a wider range of emerging dual-use technologies between the Commission and Member States in support of the effective enforcement of controls throughout the EU. Due diligence obligations and compliance requirements for exporters have also been introduced, recognizing the role of the private sector in addressing the risks posed by trade in dual-use items to international security. Transparency will also be enhanced through the obligation to publish reports on the licenses granted.

Finally, the new Regulation provides a strong basis for the EU to engage with third countries in order to support a global level-playing field and enhance international security through more convergent approaches to export controls at global level.

[European Commission]

New IATA Guidance Prepares for Global Vaccine Distribution

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released guidance to ensure that the air cargo industry is ready to support the large-scale handling, transport and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. IATA’s Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution provides recommendations for governments and the logistics supply chain in preparation for what will be the largest and most complex global logistics operation ever undertaken.

Reflecting the complexity of the challenge, the Guidance was produced with the support of a broad range of partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) , UK Civil Aviation Authority, World Bank, World Customs Organization (WCO) and World Trade Organization (WTO). The guidance includes a repository of international standards and guidelines related to the transport of vaccines and will be updated regularly as information is made available to the industry. Accompanying the guidance, IATA established a joint information-sharing forum for stakeholders.

“Delivering billions of doses of a vaccine that must be transported and stored in a deep-frozen state to the entire world efficiently will involve hugely complex logistical challenges across the supply chain. While the immediate challenge is the implementation of COVID-19 testing measures to re-open borders without quarantine, we must be prepared for when a vaccine is ready. This guidance material is an important part of those preparations,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

[IATA]

Webinar Follow-up

Thank you for joining us for the second of our three-part webinar series on Brexit. The next session will be on Thursday, November 19 at 2PM UK Time, 3PM Warsaw, 9AM EST.

You can access the recordings on the STTAS YouTube channel here:

Session 1: https://youtu.be/DabdeANpLMQ

Session 2: https://youtu.be/_1lwfPb64-A

We are finishing up typed answers to the Q&A we received, and we will send those out in the next few days to those who attended.

Engage STTAS to help with Brexit and Stay Informed

If you’d like to engage one of our consultants to dive into your specific products, including a classification review, please contact Solutions@sttas.com and we can discuss how we can help you.

You can also stay up-to-date on trade compliance news and future webinars by subscribing to our newsletters at www.sttas.com/subscribe.

Thanks again for attending, and we look forward to seeing you next Thursday.

Register for the webinar today

 

Middle East

UAE Federal Tax Authority conducts its second virtual workshop for 225 tax agents on tax treatment of e-commerce

The Federal Tax Authority(“FTA”) confirmed that several general Value Added Tax (VAT) rules apply to e-commerce transactions, in addition to a number of special VAT rules specifically applied to e-commerce transactions. The FTA outlined that e-commerce generally refers to the supplies of goods and services that take place on digital platforms, where the supply of goods and services are obtained electronically, including via computers or mobile phones for purchase from websites or electronic applications.

This announcement was made during its second virtual workshop for accredited tax agents, on the tax treatment applied to the supplies of goods and services made through electronic means, such as the internet and similar electronic platforms.

During the workshop, which saw the participation of 225 accredited tax agents and a number of FTA officials, the FTA gave a presentation on how to apply VAT on the supplies of goods and services made within the e-commerce framework and how to calculate VAT on these supplies. The FTA also presented an overview of e-commerce, the principles of VAT on the supply of goods via e-commerce and the supply of electronic services, and the effects of VAT on electronic markets using practical examples.

[Zawya]

China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries signed the world’s largest trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries signed the world’s largest trade agreement on Sunday — a move that analysts said will further elevate China’s political and economic influence in the region.

The signing cemented the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as the largest trading bloc globally, covering a market of 2.2 billion people and $26.2 trillion of global output. That accounts for about 30% of the population worldwide, as well as the global economy. It is also larger than what’s covered under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the European Union.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed the mega deal with the region’s top trading partners China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. ASEAN is made up of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar — formerly Burma, and Laos.

[CNBC]

 

Africa

Egypt’s new customs law comes into effect

The Egyptian Customs Authority started this week the implementation of the new law on customs services, Al Mal News reported on 13 November.

The new act came into effect after President Abdel Fattah el Sisi ratified its bill over the weekend, the news portal added.

The law allows for expedited clearance, with its top changes including the introduction of electronic methods and automation.

Unnamed sources at the finance ministry had previously expected the new act to come to force during the first half of 2020.

Mohamed Maait, the finance minister, previously said Egypt would operate nearly 90% of the exports and imports system electronically by the end of this year.

[Arab Finance]