Table of Contents

Back to top


1. UPDATE ON UNION CUSTOMS CODE

In October, the Council and the European Parliament decided not to raise objections to the Commission’s proposal for a Delegated Regulation to the Union Customs Code. On 24 November, the European Commission adopted the Implementing Regulation to the Union Customs Code after a vote on 12 November in the Customs Code Committee. It is expected that both the Delegated and Implementing Regulation to the Union Customs Code will be published by the end of this year in the Official Journal.  

Back to top


2. UPDATE IRAN SANCTIONS AND EU DUAL-USE LIST FOR EXPORT CONTROLS

The recent Adoption day of 18 October 2015, is a very important date in the timeline towards sanctions relief for Iran. Please visit for more information: https://www.meijburg.nl/nieuws/update-iran-sanctions-eu-dual-use

On 12 October 2015, the European Commission adopted a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, also known as the EU Dual-Use Regulation. Please visit this website for more information.

Back to top


3. 2015 GLOBAL TRADE MANAGEMENT SURVEY

In October 2015, the Global Trade management Survey was completed in a combined effort of KPMG's Global Trade & Customs practice and Thomson Reuters who, together, have surveyed hundreds of global trade specialists around the world to develop and present the findings of an extensive study on the state of global trade today. The survey examines operational practices in:

  • centralization
  • trade operations activity
  • global trade management systems
  • tariff classification
  • supply chain integration
  • free trade agreements; and
  • transfer pricing.

Survey respondents also indicated their top challenges, identified key trends and goals for the profession, and described how the right global trade management system plays a role in an increasingly complex global trade landscape. The complete report may be downloaded with the link below.

Download 2015 Global Trade Management Survey

Back to top


4. POSSIBLE BAN ON FISHERY PRODUCTS THAILAND

The EU IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) Regulation aims to ensure that no illegally caught fishery products end up on the EU market.

To achieve this, the Regulation requires countries to certify the origin and legality of the fish caught by vessels flying their flag, thereby ensuring the full traceability of all marine fishery products traded from and into the EU. The system thus ensures that countries comply with their own conservation and management rules as well as with internationally agreed rules. Based on this regulation the EU issued a yellow card to Thailand in April 2015. The Commission makes use of the yellow card as a warning procedure against third countries that their fisheries products may lose access to the EU market. Moreover, MEPs have warned that they would support giving a red card to Thailand, banning the import of its fishery products, if illegal fishing isn't curbed, and if the practice of using slave labor is not abandoned. It is therefore not unthinkable that Thai fishery products will be banned as of 1 January 2016.

A couple of weeks ago, Thai government approved a comprehensive package of measures to clamp down on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Now it has to be seen how the Commission will appraise these measures. Next month we will know whether fishery products from Thailand will face an import ban as of next year.

Back to top


5. NEW ADVANTAGES AUTHORIZED ECONOMIC OPERATOR IN THE EU AND CHINA

According to Dutch Customs, Authorized Economic Operators will have new advantages in China. Chinese Advanced Certified Enterprises (ACE’s), the Chinese equivalent of AEO’s, will encounter new advantages in the EU. These advantages are the result of the recently concluded Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).The advantages are in effect as of 3 November 2015

EU AEO’s and F certificate holders will have, among others, the following advantages in the Chinese import process:

  • Less safety-related inspections;
  • recognition of professional (businesslike) partners for entry and import;
  • Priority when following import procedures for goods;
  • Chinese ACE-companies may enjoy the same privileges in customs processes on entry or import of goods as AEO certified EU companies.

Back to top


6. COMMISSION PUBLISHES A MESSAGE FOR ECONOMIC OPERATORS CONCERNING AUTONOMUOUS TARIFF SUSPENSIONS

The Commission published a message for economic operators concerning a new list of requests for temporary suspension of autonomous common customs tariff duties in the Combined Nomenclature for certain industrial and agricultural goods (nr. 2015/C 323/06).

Economic operators are informed with this message by the Commission concerning the biannual (July 2015) list of requests for temporary suspension of autonomous common customs tariff duties for industrial and agricultural goods that were received according to the administrative procedures applicable.

The list of products for which a suspension is requested is available on the website of the Commission concerning the Customs Union.

Economic operators are also informed that 11 December 2015 is the ultimate date on which objections – to be filed via the national authorities – must be received by the Commission. On this date, the second meeting of the Economic Tariff Questions Group is planned. This group reviews all the requests for temporary suspension of autonomous common customs tariff duties presented to it by the Member States.

Interested economic operators are advised to regularly check the list to stay informed on the status of the requests.

Back to top


7. NEW RELEASE DUTCH AUTOMATED CUSTOMS SYSTEM AGS POSTPONED DUE TO THE WCO DATA MODEL.

The planned releases for 28 and 29 November 2015 of the Dutch customs system AGS are postponed according a message from the Customs management team.

Representatives of trade and industry and software providers warned that economic operators are not sufficiently prepared on the WCO data model published in April 2015. It would be too much of a risk for customs processes (storage and import declarations) to implement the changes. Therefore Dutch Customs came to the postponement.

The planned changes will be implemented in March 2016.

Back to top


8. BELGIAN EXCISE DUTY HIKE DUE TO TAX SHIFT

As part of the tax shift, the Belgian federal government has recently decided to increase the excise duty rates on:

  • Alcohol and alcohol beverages as of 1 November 2015
  • Gasoil used as motor fuel as of 1 November 2015 (including the re-introduction of the cliquet system)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages as of 1 January 2016 (final law not published yet, the concept might be subject to change)
  • Cigarettes and fine-cut tobacco as of 1 January 2016 (final law not published , the concept might be subject to change)

For more information please follow the links below:

Back to top


9. REDUCTION OF BELGIAN EXCISE DUTIES ON NATURAL GAS AS OF 1 JANUARY 2016

Since 2015, Belgian (energy-intensive) companies with an environmental policy agreement are no longer entitled to benefit from a reduced (nil) excise duty rate on natural gas used for heating purposes (commercial use). Last month, the Belgian government tabled a proposal allowing Belgian companies with an environmental policy agreement, as of 1 January 2016, to benefit from a reduced excise duty rate (read: contribution on energy) amounting to EUR 0,54 per MWh (in lieu of EUR 0,9916 per MWh).

Back to top