STTAS EU Trade Weekly: Russia Sanctions, Organic Products, FTAs, Tax Amendment
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EU foreign ministers agree to extend Russia sanctions over Ukraine
The European Union's foreign ministers have agreed to draw up a new list of people to be targeted by sanctions within the next week. The final decision to implement the sanctions, which amount to asset freezes and a ban on those listed entering the EU, will be taken at a meeting of the foreign ministers on 9 February.
Council adopts clause to prevent tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning by corporate groups
The new amendment the EU’s parent-subsidiary directive, which seeks to ensure that profits made by cross-border groups are not taxed twice, gives EU members until 31 December to introduce into national law an anti-abuse rule designed to prevent the directive from being misused for purposes of tax avoidance.
EU, South Korea agree to equivalence recognition of organic products certification
The arrangement covers all processed products, such as processed cereal, dairy and meat products, olive oil, food preparations, baby food, chocolates, and wines and spirits.
EU and Vietnam hold eleventh round of FTA talks
Talks focused on services, investment, government procurement, competition and regulatory issues, and technical work was completed on combatting fraud, trade remedies, and trade and sustainable development.
Tripartite free trade agreement in Africa to launch in May
The free trade area between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community will cover 26 countries and 625 million people.
Israel interested in free trade with Eurasian Economic Union
Israel has reportedly expressed interest in negotiating a free trade zone with the EEU, which currently comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, with Kyrgyzstan expected to join soon.
Iran seeks to boost exports to Russia
Iran plans to sign with the Eurasian Economic Union this year a contract or memorandum of mutual understanding that will boost its exports to Russia, which are currently subject to high tariffs.
Vietnam may see little gain from FTA with EEU
An FTA that Vietnam is expected to sign with the Eurasian Economic Union early this year will eliminate tariffs on most Vietnamese produce, seafood, textiles, apparel, footwear and furniture, but external factors such as contract requirements, food safety requirements, and currency devaluation could limit the benefits for Vietnamese exporters.
Korea to soon make public concessions in FTA with China
The Korean government is planning to provisionally sign an FTA with China and make public the schedule of concessions this week. Translation of the agreement text will take three to four months, after which it will be officially signed.
India appeals panel report on agricultural import measures
India has appealed a decision by a WTO dispute settlement panel against its ban on imports of various agricultural products. A decision could be rendered within three months.
WTO Appellate Body report on Argentina’s import measures adopted
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has adopted an Appellate Body report finding that Argentina’s import licensing requirement and other import restrictions violate WTO rules.