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STTAS EU Trade Weekly

Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report


European Commission publishes 2015 version of Combined Nomenclature

The latest version of the Combined Nomenclature will be applicable from 1 January 2015. This document forms the basis for the declaration of goods at importation or exportation or when subject to intra-EU trade statistics. This determines which rate of customs duty applies and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes. (Official Journal of the EU)

WTO publishes annual package of trade and tariff data

The World Trade Organization released new editions of its key statistical publications, including World Tariff Profiles, which provides a unique collection of data on tariffs imposed by WTO members and other countries. (WTO)

European Parliament’s trade committee to discuss conflict minerals

In order to break the link between the illegal extraction of minerals, trade and the financing of armed conflicts, the European Commission has come up with proposals aiming to contribute to existing instruments such as the American Dodd-Frank Act and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. The proposed regulation is aimed at setting up an EU system for supply chain due diligence and is being discussed by the European Parliament. (European Parliament/draft proposal)

Shippers want transparency on low sulphur fuel impact

The Global Shippers’ Forum is calling for more information regarding the impact of low sulphur fuel ahead of the implementation of Emission Control Areas from 1 January 2015. As of that date new legal requirements will come into force in North Europe (including the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel) and North America (200 nautical miles from American and Canadian shores) that will lower the maximum allowed content of sulphur in fuel burned in the ECAs from 1 percent to 0.1 percent. (World Maritime News)

Czech Senate approves third, reduced VAT rate

The Czech Senate approved on 22 October a draft bill to introduce a third value-added tax rate of ten percent. This reduced tax rate will apply to books, medicine and baby food. If signed by President Miloš Zeman, the new bill should come into force from the start of 2015. (Penize Cz)

Poland Customs Service will work closely with U.S. military forces

Poland and the United States signed on 23 October an executive agreement concerning customs procedures. The agreement governs the principles of imports and exports of goods to and from Poland for official purposes of the U.S. armed forces as well as for the personal use of members of these forces, civilian personnel, their family members and employees of U.S. contractors. (Służba Celna)

Azerbaijan simplifying customs clearance

A draft law that has been submitted to the country’s parliament for consideration would reduce the time spent for verification of goods at customs clearance from three days to two after receipt of a declaration by the customs authority and the submission of documents and goods. Verification is carried out to check the compliance of information in the customs declaration and other documents as well as the name, origin, quantity and value of goods. (Trend)

Middle East / Africa

UAE and Luxembourg to amend agreement on avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion

The two countries signed on 26 October a protocol aimed at amending the agreement, which was initially signed in November 2005. The amendments include the addition of new provisions that were determined based on the Ministry of Finance’s suggestions as well as entities and funds not included in the original agreement. (UAEinteract)

Algeria to hold oil and gas auction within weeks

Algeria is preparing a new auction of oil and gas blocks after awarding just four of 31 fields in September in the first attempt to lure foreign investors since 2011. Algeria supplies a fifth of Europe's gas needs but relies on mature fields for most of its energy output and looks to foreign explorers to help develop new reserves and increase flagging production. (Trade Arabia Business News

South Africa issues tax dispute resolution guide

The South African Revenue Service has issued a new guide on the resolution of tax disputes, with particular regard to the provisions contained in the new Tax Administration Act enacted on 1 October 2012. The guide confirms that when taxpayers are aggrieved by an assessment or a decision they have a right to dispute it. (Offshore Trusts Guide)


China-Sri Lanka FTA to be signed in June 2015

A proposed free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and China is to be signed in June 2015. Although Sri Lanka's exports to China increased from US$28.39 million in 2005 to US$121.63 million in 2013, the trade balance remains significantly in favor of China. Bilateral trade reached $US3.62 billion in 2013. (Xinhua)

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