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News

15th August 2017

Future Customs Arrangements post BREXIT  

We welcome the UK Government paper detailing its vision for customs arrangements post BREXIT.  That this is the first paper in a series of documents only serves to emphasise what we have always held true in that customs procedures are of critical importance to the future prosperity of the UK.   Two options are proposed:

1. Using existing tried and tested procedures for trade with third countries plus innovative facilitations to ensure as frictionless a border with the EU as possible and

2. Negotiating a new customs partnership with the EU where imports of goods destined for the EU which are transiting via the UK would be imported ‘mirroring’ the EU’s requirements.

Morley Consulting has always emphasised the importance of the Authorised Economic Operator certification scheme (AEO) to future frictionless trade and this government paper also highlights the benefits under both options for companies holding AEO status.    

AEOs are seen as crucial to reduce pressure and risk of delays at UK ports and airports.  This makes it all the more important for companies to start the process to achieve AEO now, as reaching the internal compliance level required to become ‘trusted’ takes time prior to application.

AEO status is also vital for easy movement across the Irish land border post BREXIT.

The full paper is available here
Details of AEO training are available here


13th July 2017

Proposal for New Import Licencing Requirements 

The European Commission has today put forward new rules to clamp down on the illegal import and trafficking of cultural goods from outside the EU, often linked to terrorist financing and other criminal activity. The proposal for a Regulation will now be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Commission hopes that this will be swiftly adopted in the co-decision process.

The new rules foresee a number of actions which should ensure that the importation of illicit cultural goods becomes much more difficult in the future:

new common EU definition for 'cultural goods' at importation which covers a broad range of objects including archaeological finds, ancient scrolls, the remains of historical monuments, artwork, collections and antiques. The new rules will apply only to cultural goods that have been shown to be most at risk, i.e. those at least 250 years old at the moment of importation;

The introduction of a new licensing system for the import of archaeological objects, parts of monuments and ancient manuscripts and books. Importers will have to obtain import licences from the competent authorities in the EU before bringing such goods into the EU;

For other categories of cultural goods, importers will now have to go through a more rigorous certification system by submitting a signed statement or affidavit as proof that the goods have been exported legally from the third country

Customs authorities will also have the power to seize and retain goods when it cannot be demonstrated that the cultural goods in question have been legally exported.

Full press release can be found here 



12th July 2017

Export Finance  

Good news for exporters as new Government initiative makes more financial help available to businesses who wish to export.

Crucially support has been extended to companies in the supply chain who support exporters.

This will allow thousands of companies in manufacturers’ and service providers’ supply chains to access contract bonds and working capital loans with the government’s guarantee.

Further information is available here



16th June 2017

UCC Amendments  

The UCC Implementing Regulation (IA) has been amended and corrected with an effective date of 14th June 2017.

Notable changes:

Long Term Supplier’s Declaration of Preferential Origin – the template has been amended to show 3 dates;

1.the date of issue;

2.the date of commencement of the period (start date), which may not be  more than 12 months before or more than 6 months after the date of issue;

3.the date of end of the period (end date), which may not be more than 24 months after the start date

This amendment means that it is now possible for a Long Term Supplier’s Declaration to be issued for shipments undertaken prior to the issue date of the Declaration.

The maximum validity period for a Long Term Supplier’s Declaration is set at 24 months.

Transition arrangements for the REX system

When working with a preferential agreement where it is a requirement to register with the REX system for consignments valued over EUR6000 (or whatever value threshold is stated in the particular preferential agreement) exporters may continue to use their Approved Exporter Number on documents without the need for a signature until they complete registration on REX or until 31st December 2017 whichever is the sooner.

Alterations to TIR Carnet guarantee

Article 163 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 determines the limit up to which any guaranteeing association in the Union customs territory may become liable in relation to a particular TIR operation. The amount of covered guarantee  has been amended from EUR 60 000 to EUR 100 000 per TIR carnet.

Rules for designating the Office of Exit under the Transit procedure

Article 329(8) has been deleted. It provided for certain exceptions from the general rule determining the customs office of exit for the export of goods that are subsequently placed under a transit procedure. Due to a renumbering error, Article 329(8) mistakenly referred to paragraph 4 of that same Article but the intention was never to provide for an exception for the goods that are loaded onto a vessel that is not assigned to a regular shipping service.

Full details of the amendments can be found at here

5th April 2017

GSP Changes  

The status of Tonga and the Ukraine has been updated under the GSP regime.  You need to ensure your processes and procedures reflect the changes. 

Tonga - In 2013, 2014, 2015 Tonga was classified by the World Bank as an upper middle income country and therefore was to be removed from the list of GSP beneficiary countries in Annex II of EU Regulation 978/2012 with effect from 1 January 2017.

However in 2016 Tonga was classified by the World Bank as a lower middle income country. Therefore it has been re-instated to the list of GSP beneficiary countries in Annex II of EU Regulation 978/2012 with effect from 1 January 2017.

Therefore there has been no interruption to Tonga’s entitlement for eligible goods to benefit from GSP preference.

Tonga has informed the European Commission it is to implement Registered Exporter (REX) system with effect from 1 January 2017

Ukraine - The deep comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine took effect from 1 January 2016. As it provides better tariff preferences than the GSP for substantially all trade, Ukraine will be removed from the list of GSP beneficiary countries from 1 January 2018

If you believe you have paid full duties on goods eligible for preference you can submit a claim for repayment (C285) to the HMRC National Duty Repayment Centre

30th March 2017

HMRC Performance  

HMRC publish performance statistics which can be quite a reality check for those who are not closely involved in Customs work.  Take a look at February’s stats here

25th March 2017

SPIRE replacement testing  

The Export Control Organisation is looking for more volunteers to test elements of the system replacing SPIRE.   Now is your chance to ensure the new system is fit for purpose!  Information on how to get involved can be found here 

Export Information 

HMRC has released new data on exports by region details can be found here 

15th March 2017

Export Licencing  

The Export Control Order 2008 has been amended to reflect new rules concerning goods & drugs which could be used for cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.   Internal processes, procedures and guidelines should be updated accordingly.  Full details can be found here

14th March 2017

ISO 8559 series updated  

These standards for clothing manufacturers have been revised to take into account current changes in the sector and to harmonize size marking worldwide.

13th March 2017

Changes to Excise Duty  
Details of changes to Excise duty following the Budget can be found here

Systems, processes and procedures need to be updated accordingly.

8th March 2017

Tariff classification of Thumb grips for a game console controller  

Thumb grips for a game console controller measuring approximately 20 millimetres (mm) in diameter and 6mm in height. Made of elastic silicone (plastics) with an anti-slip surface. They are equipped with a self-adhesive aluminium profile, cut to the design of the support. These grips are used as caps on the joysticks of a game console controller.  Classified as 3926 90 97 as they are neither adapting the game controller for a particular operation, nor increasing its range of operations, nor performing a particular service relative to the main function of the game controller or of the game console

6th March 2017

Morley Consulting  

We are pleased to announce that Morley Consulting has become an Associate Member of BIFA with immediate effect.

Revised Triggers for UCC Re-Authorisation  

HMRC has further revised the triggers that will force a trader to apply for revised authorisation or guarantees for Special Procedures such as IP and OP.   Where possible the triggers have been reduced to allow traders to make use of their existing authorisations for longer.  Full details are available here

4th March 2017

Address changes for HMRC  

As part of HM Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC) digital programme they have centralised their postal mail facility which has produced changes to addresses.   It is important to note that most mail will now be scanned off site with the electronic files being sent to the relevant departments.  This scanning process means that time sensitive submissions should be sent earlier to ensure they are received on time.  Full details of the different addresses and what to do with original documents that you need returned can be found here

1st March 2017

Open General Export Licences  

The Export Control Organisation (part of the Department for International Trade) has amended some of the Open General Export Licences.  Please see here for details

Business Collaboration Standard 
A new standard: ISO 44001:2017 Collaborative business relationship management systems - requirements and framework, has been published designed to help business collaborate successfully.  The standard can be applied at multiple levels from single projects to multi organisation business relationships. 

24th February 2017

Importing Bicycles  

The anti-dumping duty legislation that has levied additional duty on imports of bicycles and bicycle parts from China has been amended to remove or suspend some suppliers thus significantly reducing the amount of duty payable on imports of their products.  Full details can be found here

Export Control  

A new edition of the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use Items that require export authorisation has been published.  Now is the time to review and update your internal product lists and procedures to take into account any changes that affect you.  The list can be found here


23rd February 2017

ISO Anniversary 

Congratulations to the International Standards Organisation on their 70th anniversary today. Read more about the organisation here

22nd February 2017

The Trade Facilitation Agreement  

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has been implemented today as it has now been ratified by more than 110 World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries.  This agreement will allow countries to benefit from more international trade by cutting the burdensome red tape associated with exporting and importing goods.  UK International Trade Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox, has stated that ‘studies suggest the Agreement, which largely concerns the cost of clearing goods for import and export – will greatly reduce costs, time and the number of documents required for goods to cross borders. They also suggest the TFA could add over £70 billion to the global economy, of which the UK is expected to benefit by up to £1 billion and could reduce worldwide trade costs by between 12.5% and 17.5%.’   In brief as a result of the TFA, those countries that have ratified will be required to:

  • publish fees and charges online
  • introduce a ‘fast track’ for perishable goods – reducing the amount of food that rots while waiting to cross borders
  • allow pre-arrival processing of documentation
  • allow the use of copies of documents, rather than originals
  • allow for the right to appeal customs decisions

 16th February 2017

 Changes to address  

 Exporters can send Export Accompanying Documents (EAD) to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)  using a new  freepost address for indirect export movements from another Member State, where the  UK is the Office of Exit and  is discharging the EAD

 The new address is:

 FREEPOST 
 BT OPS 
 EAD

3rd February 2017

Exclusions from GSP  

GSP preference will be suspended from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2019 for the following:

Country

GSP section
(Article 2(j)
of GSP regulation

Description

India

S-5
S-6a
S-11a
S-14
S-15a
S-15b

S-17b

Mineral products
Inorganic and organic chemicals
Textiles
Pearls and precious metals
Iron, Steel and articles of iron and steel
Base metals (exclude iron and steel), articles of base metals
(exclude articles of iron and steel)
Motor vehicles, bicycles, aircraft and spacecraft, ships and boats

Indonesia

S-1a
S-3

Live animals and animal products excluding fish
Animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes

Kenya

S-2a

Live plants and floricultural products

Ukraine

S-3
S-17a

Animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes
Railway and tramway vehicles and products


2nd February 2017
UK Government Brexit White Paper  
The UK Government have published the promised white paper setting out their strategy for the UK negotiations to leave the EU.    
Read the White paper here

1st February 2017
UK Parliament Brexit Vote  
Members of the UK Parliament passed the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill by 498 to 114 votes following two days of debate. The Bill allows the Government to invoke Article 50.

The Bill will now go into the Committee stage where amendments will be discussed before it moves on to House of Lords consideration.

You can read the Bill here



26th January 2017

Celebrating International Customs Day 2017 

This year’s theme is ‘Data Analysis for Effective Border Management’.   HMRC and the UK Border Force have indicated that they intend to enhance their current levels of targeted, intelligence led interventions for those considered to be either negligently or deliberately opening their international supply chains to risk.   Post BREXIT managing to ensure that the majority of shipments pass through ‘non-risky’ supply chains will be key to achieving the country’s global trade ambitions.   Find out more here 

Imports of Concrete 

Due to changes to anti-dumping regulation the following tariff codes have been deleted from the UK tariff listing with immediate effect -7214 1000 00, 7214 3000 00, 7214 9110 00, 7214 9190 00, 7214 9910 00, 7214 9971 00, 7214 9979 00, 7214 9995 00.   They have been replaced with new codes.  Please ensure you update your systems and use the new codes with immediate effect.

 

Changes to Open General Licences 

The Export Control Organisation which is part of The Department for International Trade has advised that 13 open general export licences (OGELs), two open general transhipment licences (OGTLs) and an open general trade control licence (OGTCL) have been updated.   The new OGEL’s will take effect from the 31st January 2017.   Details can be found here. Please ensure you understand the changes and how they apply to your business.

 

24th January 2017
UK Supreme Court Ruling on Brexit
  

The UK Supreme Court have issued their ruling on whether the UK Government can enact Article 50 without a Parliamentary Act. 

8 to 3 majority rules that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament.  

When the UK withdraws a source of UK law is cut off and changes are made to individuals rights.

The court has also ruled that the Government does not have to consult the Devolved Parliaments.

The full ruling is available here
 

23rd January 2017
US withdraws from TPP
  
President Trump has signed the order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He has also indicated that he plans to either re-negotiate or completely scrap the NAFTA trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada.

18th January 2017
Voice ID for HMRC services
 
HMRC are seeking to make it quicker and easier for customers to access their services by reducing the effort required for security.  This month see the introduction of voice recognition services for customers phoning the tax credits and Self Assessment helplines with customers being encouraged to enrol for the voice identification (Voice ID) by speaking a security phrase five times.  This phrase is then spoken and used to automatically perform over 100 element comparisons to determine the callers identity when phoning in to the services, reducing the number of security steps needed. 

Users of HMRC's mobile app are already able to use fingerprint recognition to access services on compatible phones/devices.


17th January 2017

PM Mays Brexit Plan  

The 'Plan for Britain'
1. Provide certainty about the process of leaving the EU
We will provide certainty wherever we can.

2. Control of our own laws
Leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

3. Strengthen the union between the four nations of the United Kingdom
A stronger Britain demands that we strengthen the precious union between the four nations of the United Kingdom.

4. Maintain the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland
We will deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland.

5. Control of immigration coming from the EU
Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe.

6. Rights for EU nationals in Britain and for British nationals in the EU
We want to guarantee rights of EU citizens living in Britain & rights of British nationals in other member states, as early as we can.

7. Protect workers' Rights
Not only will the government protect the rights of workers set out in European legislation, we will build on them.

8. Free trade with European markets through a free trade agreement
We will pursue a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.

9. New trade agreements with other countries
It is time for Britain to get out into the world and rediscover its role as a great, global, trading nation.

10. The best place for science and innovation
We will welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research and technology initiatives.

11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism

We will continue to work closely with our European allies in foreign and defence policy even as we leave the EU itself.
12. A smooth orderly Brexit
We believe a phased process of implementation will be in the interests of Britain, the EU institutions and member states.

PM May stated that the Brexit vote was the 'moment we voted to embrace the world' and to become a 'truly global Britain'. 

She comfirmed that she wanted the UK to be able to trade as freely as possilbe with the EU but that 'partial membership or associate membership or anything that leaves us half-in or half-out' was not acceptable. We will therefore not be members of the Single Market post Brexit. 

Instead she will lead the UK to be one of the firmest advocates of free trade anywhere in the world and will persue a bold, ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

PM May wants tariff free trade with the EU, not to be bound by the Common External Tariff and to lodge our own tariff with the WTO.  This will mean negotiation regarding the UK's place in the Customs Union to acheive an agreement but at this point she has no preconceived position regarding the shape of any such agreement but it may mean leaving the Customs Union. 

She was also clear that she did not want an 'indefinite' transitional period. She wants an agreement to be reached by the end of the two years negotiation post lodging Article 50 in March and then a period of phased implementation to prevent a 'disruptive cliff edge'. 

She also warned the EU that no deal was preferable to a bad deal for Britain as the UK would then be free to trade globally as it wished.


12th January 2017

Export Licencing 

All export licensing pages on .gov have been revised and moved.   If you have bookmarks you will need to change them.  Click on this link to access the new pages click here

New Registration requirement 

The EU has now made imports of certain hot-rolled flat products of iron, non-alloy or other alloy steel originating in Russia and Brazil subject to registration.   This means that should anti-dumping duty be allocated to these products (a decision is awaited) it can be applied retrospectively to registered products.   Importers need to adopt contingency plans to ensure they are covered for the possible additional import duty.

Full details can be found here

 

9th January 2017

Importing Solar Panels 

Imports from the following two companies are now subject to both anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty:

Ningbo Huashun Solar Energy Technology Company Limited   AD 36.2%   CD 11.5%

Jiangsu Seraphim Solar System Company Limited  AD 41.3%  CD 6.4%

Tariff codes concerned are:

8541 4090 21

8541 4090 22

8541 4090 23

8541 4090 29

8541 4090 31

8541 4090 32

8541 4090 33

8541 4090 39



6th January 2017

Registered Exporter Database  

The global transition period has begun which moves traders from the present system of origin certification to the new EU REX system, initially for GSP shipments.   The transition period will last until 30th June 2020.  As each set of countries implement REX the Form A certificate of preferential origin will be phased out and will be replaced with declarations on commercial documents.

Traders are reminded that registering for REX does not mean that the registered company has been vetted in any way regarding the validity of any origin statements it provides.  Traders are expected to conduct their own due diligence before relying on such statements.

It should be noted that post BREXIT the UK may or may not remain part of the EU GSP origin system of preferences.   Traders should therefore consider their strategic position in the event that the UK is outside the system and without a replacement option or has a new system in place.

The following countries will apply the REX system from 1st January 2017:

Angola

Burundi

Bhutan

Democratic Republic of Congo

Central African Republic

Comoros

Congo

Cook Islands

Djibouti

Ethiopia

Micronesia

Equatorial Guinea

Guinea Bissau

India

Jenya

Kiribati

Laos

Liberia

Mali

Nauru

Nepal

Niue Island

Pakistan

Soloman Islands

Sierra Leone

Somalia

South Sudan

Sao Tome & Principe

Chad

Togo

Tonga

Timor-Leste

Tuvalu

Yemen

Zambia

The following countries have indicated they will operate the REX system from 1st January 2019

Bangladesh

Benin

Burkina Faso

Cabo Verde

Cambodia

Haiti

Indonesia

Kyrgyz Republic

Lesotho

Madagascar

Mauritania

Mongolia

Nigeria

Paraguay

Philippines

Samoa

Senegal

Tajikistan

Uganda

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Vietnam

VAT Rate Decrease  

From 1st January 2017 the Romanian VAT rate has been decreased from 20% to 19%.  Traders are advised to ensure any systems that hold this data are suitably amended.

Updated CNENs  

Chapter 9404 Bedding and Furnishings stuffed internally with any material has been clarified to indicate that ‘stuffed internally with any material’ includes material of any thickness.

Chapter 8504 Electronic components that supply power to motor vehicles – specifically an electronic control unit (ECU) which supplies power to the xenon headlights of motor vehicles when the headlights are turned on by firstly converting the direct current 12 volts from the on-board electrical system into 1200 V DC and transmitting it to the igniter and then converting the DC into AC to light the lamps and continuously generates the voltage required to keep the lights burning.   Classification of this device is 85044090 other static converters.

The following countries have been removed from the GSP scheme with effect from 1st January 2017:

Cameroon

Fiji

Georgia

Iraq

Marshall Islands

Tonga

Samoa is removed from the Everything But Arms ‘EBA’ listing from 1st January 2017.


30th December 2016

Revised Valuation for Gifts 

The threshold before import VAT is applied to gifts sent between private individuals is increased from £34 to £39 from 1 January 2017.

Proper use of the gift relief involves a private individual from outside the European Union sending occasional gifts to other private individuals established within the EU for personal or family use by the consignee.

The gifts may not be sourced and sent direct from retail stores (actual or online), as this is not allowed within the gift relief protocols as all consignments must be of a non-commercial nature.

For further details see HMRC CIP69 here


Valuation under Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) 

There is no change from 1st January 2017 to the current LVCR limit, it will remain at £15. Goods with an intrinsic value of £15 or less will not be assessed for import VAT.

For further details see HMRC CIP69 here


Introduction of the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme  

The introduction of the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme (RTAS) is aimed at businesses and individuals, importing or using raw tobacco for any purpose. The scheme will be backed up by seizure powers and penalties for breaches of approval requirements.

From 1 April 2017, businesses or individuals who intend to carry on any activity involving raw tobacco must hold an approval from HMRC, unless an exemption applies.

The RTAS will aim to:

  • reduce the risk of excise duty evasion
  • prevent the illegal manufacture of tobacco products
  • control the movement of raw tobacco in the UK

The scheme will enable HMRC and Border Force officers to identify and seize raw tobacco and carry out further checks where a risk is identified.

HMRC will accept applications for approval from businesses or individuals from 1 January 2017. Applications can be made in writing and there’s a detailed guide available on GOV.UK on How to apply for the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme Full details of the scheme are set out in Excise Notice 2003: Tobacco Duty - the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme

If a business or individual intends to carry on a controlled activity from 1 April 2017 then applications for approval should be received by HMRC by the end of January 2017.

From 1 April 2017, a person who carries on any activity involving raw tobacco without an approval, or fails to comply with the terms of an approval or exemption, is liable to penalties and the raw tobacco liable to seizure.

For further details see HMRC CIP68 here

28th December 2016

Indirect exports  

An indirect export is when goods despatched from the UK leave the EU via a non-UK port or airport.   HMRC have noticed an increase in errors with this type of consignment.

Where an indirect export is being made from the UK, export formalities must be completed in the UK via CHIEF. These formalities can be summarised as follows:

  • pre-lodgement
  • presentation to customs (by means of an arrival message) at the place of export from the UK
  • acceptance and clearance (permission to progress (P2P))
  • departure from the European Union (EU) (indirect exports)

It is important to note that, whilst CHIEF will provide a Movement Reference Number (MRN) when the declaration is lodged, for indirect exports where Box 29 is populated, that information is not transmitted to the office of exit until the goods have been released and permission to progress is granted.

Failure to complete the exports procedure may result in customs in another member state demanding that the consignment be returned to the UK in order for it to be processed by UK Customs.

Where the export declaration is not arrived correctly on CHIEF a notification is issued to the declarant, or person submitting the declaration 22 days after the export data was first entered to CHIEF to advise them to take appropriate action. If the declarant or submitting trader ignores that notification, the export declaration is automatically deleted from CHIEF after a further 38 days as the export is deemed not to have taken place.

It is important that exporters ensure that data is correctly processed including the tariff code.  Failure to do so may prevent traders from zero rating their exports for VAT, receiving Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) refunds/export reliefs or from obtaining returned goods relief if the goods are re-imported. It will prevent electronic discharge of the MRN for the export movement.

If excise goods are not arrived, the legal requirements upon excise warehouse keepers will be compromised. Excise Duty suspension may not be applicable and the duty may be chargeable.

For further details see HMRC CIP64 here

23rd December 2016

New requirements for the importation of equipment pre-charged with Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)  

From 1 January 2017, refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment charged with HFCs shall not be placed on the market unless hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) charged in them are accounted for within the quota system.  

For purposes of the Regulation, placing on the market includes customs release for free circulation in the Union.

The 2014 EC number 517 F-gas regulations required importers and manufacturers of pre-charged HFC equipment to use a declaration of conformity. 

This is a document that ensures their products have been filled with HFC gas that has been offset against the Europeans HFC F-gas Quota.

Imports of goods within Chapters 84,85,86,87,88,89,90 and 94 are affected.

22nd December 2016

Imposition of Anti-Dumping Duty 

Following the investigation into oxalic acid produced by Yuanping Changyuan Chemicals Company Limited the EU is re-imposing anti-dumping duty on oxalic acid produced this company, with effect from 30 November 2016.

Anti-dumping duty of 14.6% with additional code B232. The product is classified in the tariff code 2917 1100 91.

20th December 2016

Items containing Rock Powder  

The explanatory notes to the tariff (CNENS) have been updated as follows:

Tariff code 3920 now includes:

Stone paper consisting of rock powder (approximately 80% by weight of calcium carbonate) and plastic (approximately 20% by weight of plastic resin) where the plastic gives the product its essential character because of its flexibility as the rock powder acts only as a filler material. Stone paper is a paper-like material that can be processed like paper (ie through printing, cutting, folding and affixing) as it has a density range similar to paper made from cellulose. It is suitable for instance for stationery, bags, packaging, adhesives, grease proof paper, wrappers and containers.

Tariff subheading 3926 40 00 Statuettes and other ornamental articles

This subheading includes ornamental articles for the home and garden consisting of rock powder (approximately 59% by weight of calcium carbonate), plastic (approximately 39% by weight of unsaturated polyester) and a small amount of other additives where the plastic gives the articles their essential character. The rock powder is in this case a filler material.

Tariff subheading 6810 11 10 items of light concrete (with a basis of crushed pumice, granulated slag, etc.)’ the following text has been inserted: 6810 99 00 Other - This subheading does not include stone paper

19th December 2016

Changes to the Transfer of Residence (ToR) Procedure  

The online application process has been live from 1 November 2016. ToR relief is only granted for UK residences and addresses. A 3 month implementation period is currently running where the new process will operate alongside current practices with manual forms (C3, C5, C104a), but as of 1 January 2017, only the online application process will be available.

The online application process should be completed by any private individual planning to relocate their normal place of residence to the UK. Such an application must be made prior to shipping any consignments of household effects and personal property to UK. If successful in obtaining ToR relief, the applicant will then be awarded unique declaration information that they or their third party agent must then present when making the import declaration using CPC 40 00 C01.

All items in the consignment declared to ToR must be retained by the Consignee at their residence for a minimum period of 12 months from date of import into UK. No items may be sold, loaned, gifted or transferred. Failure to comply with this post-import restriction can lead to demand of immediate payment of previously relieved import duties and charges.

17th December 2016

New rules for the import of timber 

The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.

FLEGT establishes a control system for certain timber products exported from countries that have entered into a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU. Commercial timber products exported from those countries must be covered by a FLEGT licence issued by the partner country assuring the legality of the timber.

Indonesia was the first country to begin issuing FLEGT licences to verify legal timber products exported to the EU from 15th November. The first shipments were expected to arrive in the UK mid December 2016. More timber producing countries will implement VPAs and issue FLEGT licensed timber in the future.  Personal imports of timber products are not subject to FLEGT licensing.

Timber and timber products exported from Indonesia from 15 November will not be released to free circulation unless a FLEGT licence is presented and accepted by the Competent Authority in the UK - Regulatory Delivery (RD) previously known as the National Measurement and Regulation Office. RD is a directorate in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is responsible for the enforcement of FLEGT in the UK.

The import process is as follows:

  1. When bringing timber products into the UK from a country that has entered into a VPA with the EU, the importer / agent must present the FLEGT licence to RD and lodge a customs declaration with HMRC’s National Clearance Hub (NCH).
  2. RD will verify the licence and inform the NCH of its decision to approve.
  3. Document code C690 (FLEGT licence) is to be quoted in box 44 of the import entry along with the status code and licence number.
  4. FLEGT licences can be paper based or electronic although electronic licences are likely to be verified more quickly by RD.
  5. The NCH will perform documentary checks and if satisfied release the products to free circulation.

Timber from Indonesia which arrives without a FLEGT licence will not be released for import.

For further details see HMRC CIP61 here

16th December 2016

Applying for a new Deferment Account 

Due to the changes introduced in the Union Customs Code (UCC) traders can no longer open a deferment account using a C1200 if they are going to incur customs duties and import VAT. A Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) authorisation will be needed instead.

The form changes in these instances are

CCG1 replaces the C1200

CCG2 replaces the C1201

Traders will need to complete the CCG1 and send it to the CCG Team in Harwich. This can take up to a maximum of 120 days to process the authorisation.

Once a Trader has been authorised to hold the deferment account they will be asked to supply the security in the form of a CCG2. This should be completed by an approved bank or financial institution.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will only accept guarantees from institutions included on the British Bankers’ Association and Financial Conduct Authority lists.

In the authorisation letter the Trader will also be given the links to the C1202 direct debit instruction and C1207N agents’ authorisation form.

Traders that currently hold a deferment account can continue to operate it unless they make a significant change at which point a new application for a CCG will be required under UCC rules.  To avoid any delay Trader’s should apply for the CCG as soon as they become aware of the change.

If a Trader’s deferment account only covers EU excise and related charges (no customs duty) then there will be no impact under the UCC changes.

For further details see HMRC CIP59 here

15th December 2016

Using a Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) with Special Procedures 

To ensure no charges are taken when a declaration to the special procedure is made the declaration processing system CHIEF needs to recognise that the CCG is active against the authorisation.

Entering an incorrect code, or none at all, will result in charges being taken against other methods of guarantee. To reduce the risk of errors being made on declarations to CHIEF a new status code has been introduced and should be used where appropriate.

The new status code CP should be used only if an importer has a CCG in place for a full special procedure authorisation issued under the Union Customs Code (UCC) when completing a customs declaration on CHIEF.

If a customs entry is made to a special procedure Customs Procedure Code (CPC):

  • where the document codes 9AID and 9AIV are required
  • the importer holds a full authorisation
  • a CCG is being used to guarantee the debt

Declarants should enter status code CP followed by the guarantee reference in the document reference field. The guarantee reference format is CCGXXXX.

14th December 2016

IP Authorisation by Declaration VAT reclaim  

The HMRC National Import Reliefs Unit (NIRU) has noticed that some importers who have lodged a deposit as guarantee at import are reclaiming the VAT as input tax, sometimes using the agent invoice as evidence once an entry has been made to IP. This is incorrect. Import VAT should only be reclaimed when a trader has received the C79.

If NIRU receive a satisfactory and timely bill of discharge (BOD3), they will authorise repayment of the deposit charges which usually include VAT.

If NIRU does not receive a satisfactory and timely BOD, they will instruct HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) accounts to bring the secured charges to account. The VAT element of the ‘brought to account’ charges will then appear on VAT certificate C79, generated against the importer’s VAT number and will be sent to the importer. The C79 may be used as evidence by the importer to support a reclaim of input tax, provided the import was made in the course of normal trading activities.

For further details see HMRC CIP62 here

Change to the Statistical Threshold static

 

Items below a given statistical threshold may be aggregated in member state’s trade statistics.

EU law permits member states to allow simplified export declarations to be made for goods valued below the statistical threshold using export Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 1000097, and, for Memorandum of Understanding approved operators to use Customs Procedure Codes 1000067 and 1000077 along with supplementary declaration CPC 1000007. It can also be used for imports of goods under Merchandise in Baggage.

Due to the current pound and euro exchange rate, and the revised legislation brought in under the Union Customs Code, the value aspect of the statistical threshold for the UK in 2017 will be £873.

This is an increase of £123 to the 2016 threshold of £750.

For further details see HMRC CIP58 here


VAT on Adult Colouring Books  
Following a recent clarification by HMRC, for VAT purposes colouring books marketed for adults do not meet the definition of a book and cannot therefore be zero rated for VAT.  However HMRC recognise that most of the products sold in this category could also be suitable for children under the age of 18. There fore they are giving traders until 1st April 2017 to re consider their marketing approach before requiring compliance to the clarified rules and will not seek tax recovery until after this time.

There 3 tests which will be used to decide if VAT must applied:

The books are:
1. Marked as suitable for adults or grown ups
2. Held out for sale in retail shops together with our adult books that are unsuitable for children or are not appropriately marked as suitable for children when for sale on a website
3. Contains images reflecting profanity, pornography, violence and illegal acts


If the book meets any of these three tests it will be subject to standard rate VAT

12
th December 2016
Revised GSP notice  
HMRC Notice 830 has been reissued.  The information regarding regional cumulation groups  has been updated and information regarding the Registered Exporter’s Database (REX) has been updated.   The full notice can be found at here

Voluntary Disclosure  
Businesses wishing to amend import entries and to voluntarily advise HMRC that import duty has been underpaid should use the for C2001.   This can be accessed via an account on the government gateway or by completing the form and posting it to HMRC.  Access both via this link

 

Repayment of overpaid import duty  

Businesses wishing to request the repayment of import duty should complete form C285.    This can be completed on-line but must be printed and posted to HMRC.   The form with the revised postal address can be found  here

10th December 2016
GSP – Registered Exporters Database (REX)  
From 1 January 2017, UK companies that export materials to GSP beneficiary countries that are then used to manufacture products to be imported back into the EU (bi-lateral cumulation) and UK established re-consignors of GSP goods to other member states, will be able to apply to HMRC to become REX registered. This will enable them to issue statements of origin when the value of the consignment exceeds €6000. Only these specific types of traders are eligible for REX registration.   UK traders can now apply for registration using the form to be found here


8
th December 2016
Export Licencing Record Keeping  
BEIS have reissued guidance and instructions regarding record keeping for controlled export activities.  Records must be sufficient to show a logical and traceable audit trail of each transaction made under an export licence.  Record of the individuals in the exporting organisation who are responsible for different aspects of export control and licensing compliance should be maintained and they should be updated whenever there is a change of personnel, or when someone’s duties are delegated.

The record-keeping policy should cover:

  • when you update your records
  • how you keep your records
  • where you maintain and store your records
  • what information you have available
  • how the information can be accessed
  • how long you keep your records

 

6th December 2016
Exports to the Special Territories  
HMRC have issued further guidance regarding the new country codes to be used for exports to the following special territories.  Current codes can be used in some circumstances until 1st July 2017 after which the new codes are mandatory.

 

Country            Declaration Type (Box 1)    New Country Code (Box 17)

Canary Islands

          CO

                                                 IC

Guadeloupe  

          CO

                                                 GP

Martinique

          CO

                                                 MQ

Mayotte

          CO

                                                 YT

French Guiana

          CO

                                                 GF


Fulfilment Houses
  – preparing for the new requirements  
In the March 2016 Budget HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published its estimate that overseas traders selling goods online to UK customers are costing the Exchequer £1-1.5 billion of VAT a year.    A consultation was launched to allow businesses to contribute to new legislation intended to combat this form of tax evasion.   HMRC have now published their conclusions and the way forward.

Following the consultation the Fulfilment House Due Diligence & Registration Scheme has been created.   The objective of the scheme, which will open for registrations in 2018, is to ensure that fulfilment houses play their part in tackling abuse.  A fulfilment house not on the register will be unable to trade. There will not be a de minimis or exclusion for incidental supplies.

HMRC will publish and maintain the online register of approved fulfilment houses and will encourage businesses who deal with unregistered fulfilment houses to report them to HMRC.

Fulfilment houses will be expected to undertake substantial due diligence on their overseas clients and to maintain extensive records regarding both the due diligence undertaken and individual transactions.  There will be penalties for those failing to meet the new requirements.   Companies are encouraged to begin planning for the changes as soon as possible.

16th November 2016
Revised UK Export Control List  
A revised UK Export Control List has been issued: click here

Companies are advised to review the new list and ensure their systems and data are updated accordingly.

31st October 2016
BREXIT: Terminology  
Are you finding the terminology in the BREXIT debate confusing? Our latest article will help you to understand the difference between the Single Market, The Customs Union and the UCC.  Read it here


18th October 2016
Relaxation of Authorisation Criteria  
In collaboration with Trade HMRC have been seeking ways to assist Traders in the pre-BREXIT period.  As part of this HMRC have now announced a relaxation of the ‘triggers’ that would require a Trader to seek a new Authorisation under the UCC thus allowing many Traders to maintain their existing non UCC Authorisations for longer than expected.  Full details can be found in this article

7th October 2016
Sanctions on Ruby and Jadeite lifted  
The U.S. Treasury announced on 7th October 2016 that the economic and financial sanctions on Burma (Myanmar) administered by OFAC are no longer in effect.   This means the ban on imports into USA of Burmese origin Ruby and Jadite and any jewellery containing them has been lifted with immediate effect.

1st October 2016

Excise Duty  

Excise Notice 197: receipt into and removal from an excise warehouse of excise goods has been re-issued.  Excise Traders should read the new notice and check their procedures accordingly.

21st September 2016
Tariff change – child seats  
8714 99 90’ under subheading ‘Other and parts’ the following text has been added, ‘includes child seats intended for the transport of children on adult bicycles. They can be either mounted on the luggage carrier, the frame or can be fitted on or to the handlebars. These seats are suitable for use principally with bicycles and are therefore considered as an accessory for a bicycle’.

19th September 2016
Tariff change – keyrings with a toy  
Tariff code 950300 now includes ‘combinations consisting of a keyring and a toy, which are joined together in a way that facilitates handling the keys attached (for example, a chain or swivel clips), and which, by their size, nature and design, are mainly intended to hold keys and are normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag (generally, constituent material of the keyring).’

15th September 2016
Anti-Dumping Duty  
COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2016/1647 of 13 September
2016 re-imposes a definitive anti-dumping duty and collects definitely the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain footwear with uppers of leather originating in Vietnam and produced by:

Best Royal Co. Ltd, Lac Cuong Footwear Co., Ltd
Lac Ty Co., Ltd, Saoviet Joint Stock Company (Megastar Joint Stock Company)
VMC Royal Co Ltd, Freetrend Industrial Ltd
Freetrend Industrial A (Vietnam) Co, Ltd
Fulgent Sun Footwear Co., Ltd
General Shoes Ltd, Golden Star Co Ltd
Golden Top Company Co., Ltd
Kingmaker Footwear Co. Ltd
Tripos Enterprise Inc.
Vietnam Shoe Majesty Co., Ltd

3rd September 2016
Competency for Customs Representatives Standard  
The new draft European standard - Competency for Customs Representatives is now being prepared for publication having passed its final meeting. It is not expected to be widely adopted in the UK although it will automatically become a British Standard

15th August 2016
Driving BREXIT opportunities for import and export
 

Some UK Government Departments have been reshuffled and new Departments have been created following the BREXIT vote.   UK exporters and importers now have unprecedented support for their activities from the UK Government as the focus is on creating opportunities, driving forward the UK ‘brand’ and encouraging international trade.   These are exciting times for any company involved in import and export which dares to look forward, to look for opportunities and benefits in the changes and to take advantage of the new situation.  The following link gives details of the new Departments and their responsibilities to help business to locate the teams they need to work with  click here for details

10th August 2016
Working with HMRC post BREXIT  
The Joint Customs Consultative Committee  (JCCC) has been in existence for many years.  Its function is to allow representatives from many different trade groups to directly interact with HMRC policy makers and for HMRC to directly interact with the ‘Trade’.  In this way HMRC and the ‘Trade’ can collaborate to facilitate imports and exports whilst meeting the legal requirements.    The JCCC has not been slow to react to the challenges and opportunities presented by the UK leaving the EU.   Please follow the link  here to see their response.

5th August 2016
E
nd-Use Relief Facilitation  
The new Union Customs Code (UCC) regulations require that a Bill of Discharge be submitted by the holders of an End-Use Authorisation.  Existing holders of End-Use Authorisations under the old Community Customs Code (CCC) have made HMRC aware that they are not all ready or able to supply this new form (BOD2).

Although there are no transitional arrangements for this provision HMRC have decided to permit a transition period for existing CCC End-Use Authorisation holders.   This means that they will not need to submit a BOD2 until their Authorisation is either reapproved under the UCC rules or until 30 April 2019 (whichever is the earlier). 

Holders wishing to take advantage of this transition period should notify their Supervising Office accordingly.

 25th July 2016

International Technology Agreement Expansion (ITA II)

This agreement between 21 countries plus the 28 Member States of the EU eliminates customs duties on 201 tariff codes in three equal steps with the first rate reduction effective no later than 1 July 2016, the second such rate reduction no later than 1 July 2017, the third such rate reduction no later than 1 July 2018, and the elimination of customs duties shall be fully completed effective no later than 1 July 2019. 

Full details of the affected tariff codes and the countries who are party to the Agreement can be found here

HMRC have advised that there are issues on CHIEF at present which require declarants to make a manual intervention in the entry process.

For instances where CHIEF has not currently been updated, the free or reduced rate of Customs duty will need to be manually calculated.   On the A00 tax line the override section of box 47c should be populated with DTY and box 47d should show the free/reduced amount of duty claimed.

Correct duty rates can be found in the tariff.



8th July
Standards and BREXIT  
The UK's national Standards Body (BSi) have said it is business as usual following the UK's vote to leave the EU. Until Article 50 is declared the UK remain full members of CEN and CENELEC and Committee Members and Chairs will continue to fulfil their duties.

The position following the Article 50 declaration will depend on the negotiated terms of the UK's exit from the EU but BSi policy is to seek to remain full members. 

4th July 2016
Competency Standard for Customs Representatives  
The public consultation for this new European standard closes tomorrow.  To review the standard and submit your comments click
here

28th June 2016
BREXIT and Customs in the UK  
There will be no immediate change to the movement of goods and people in and out of the United Kingdom (UK) from the EU.   

The UK is still a member of the EU.  Until Article 50 is invoked, the UK will continue to engage with EU business as normal and be engaged in EU decision-making in the usual way.

Once Article 50 is invoked, the UK will remain bound by EU law until the terms of the UK exit have been determined but the UK will not be involved in decision-making.

The period between invocation of Article 50 and the UK’s eventual exit from the EU is expected to last at least two years.

25th June 2016
Inward Processing Authorisation by Declaration  
HM revenue and Customs (HMRC) have become aware of a problem with the use of override codes DTY and VAT on Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) 51 00 001, 51 00 003 and 51 71 004.  With immediate effect the override codes of DTY and VAT will cease to be accepted on the above CPCs.   Any duty and VAT will need to be secured by guarantee.

24th June 2016
BREXIT & AEO  
AEO is a global business standard so the BREXIT vote should not have an immediate or significant affect on benefits to be gained. Yes the UK will have to sign its own mutual recognition agreements in a couple of years when BREXIT takes affect but the benefits are still there and still offer competitive advantage.

BREXIT  
The UK referendum on EU Membership has resulted in a Leave vote.  As negotiations progress the need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the available Customs processes and procedures will be paramount.  We will be keeping our
mailing list recipients up to date with discussions and progress as they become known.  

14th June 2016
Low Value bulking of Imports(LVBI)  
For existing holders of LVBI the following CPCs remain in use after the implementation of the UCC.  Holders are reminded to check the value limits carefully:

40 00 003 - refers to goods with an intrinsic value not exceeding £15

40 00 005 - refers to goods with an intrinsic value that exceeds £15 but not exceeding £135, but with the addition of box 22

49 00 003 - refers to goods with an intrinsic value not exceeding £15 from the Special Territories

49 00 005 - refers to goods with an intrinsic value that exceeds £15 but not exceeding £135, from the Special Territories, but with the addition of box 22

7th June 2016
Authorised Economic Operator  
From 1st May 2016 the criteria for obtaining AEO(C) were changed.  All the taxes that the company has to pay will now be examined not just import duty and VAT and the company now has to demonstrate that employees meet the level of customs knowledge and skill required to fulfil their roles.   This latter point is still true even if a company has outsourced its customs functions as there needs to be someone in the company who is competent to oversee the activities that the outsourcer provides.

In keeping with this the C117 and C118 forms have been updated.   Only the new forms should be  used from now on.

1st June 2016
Guarantee – Joint Contractual Liabilities (JCL)  
From 1st May 2016 a new type of Guarantor is available for potential debts.   This is known as a Joint Contractual Liabilities (JCL).    This guarantee is not provided by a financial institution but is given by an independent third party i.e. another company.   It may therefore be cheaper to arrange than the traditional bank guarantee. 

It is a contractual arrangement between the Guarantor and HMRC.    It can only cover potential debts relating to particular customs procedure(s) or Authorisation(s) covered within an approved Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG).

A JCL will not be accepted as security for actual debts, nor can it be used for potential debts for cross-Member State Authorisations and approvals including Transit.

Application forms can be found here

19th May 2016
Authorisation by Declaration (Simplified IP or End-Use)  
Since 1st May 2016 all imports via Authorisation by Declaration for IP and End Use relief (EnU) must have duty and VAT secured by a guarantee.

Goods subject to Anti-Dumping cannot be entered via Authorisation by Declaration.

For goods subject to anti-dumping measures a full authorisation and an economic test is required which can take some time.   Until this is in place imports to IP or End-Use will not be permitted so no relief from import duty and VAT will be available. The Authorisation will only be valid from the date of the economic test and cannot therefore be granted retrospectively.

A  guarantee can be put in place by any of the following methods.  The amount will be released upon receipt of a satisfactory bill of discharge using form BOD3 or BOD4.   However, this does not mean repayment will necessarily be immediate.

Method of Payment (MOP) codes:

  • N - mcd paper declarations
  • P - agents Flexible Accounting System (FAS) account
  • Q - security from deferment account
  • S - Security by individual guarantee
  • T- Security from declarants guarantee account
  • U -security from consignees guarantee account-standing authority
  • V - security from consignees guarantee account-specific authority

It should be noted that a reduction or waiver can only be applied for against a comprehensive guarantee.  This means that for any other kind of guarantee 100% of the guarantee has to be provided even if the person concerned has AEO(C) status.


11th May 2016
Urgent update for AEO applications  

Companies preparing their C117 Application form and C118 Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) should note that HMRC have issued revised forms on 10th May 2016.   These revised forms should be used with immediate effect.     Companies who have had their submission rejected will also need to upgrade to the new forms before making a new submission.

Whilst the C117 is essentially the same (it has revised legal references for the UCC) the C118 SAQ has some substantial changes and requires additional information concerning the applicants overall tax compliance (not just import duty and import VAT), professional competence and method of selecting business partners (suppliers etc.).   

If you would like a copy of our analysis of the changes please
contact us

Special Procedures  
HMRC have now issued revised Bills of Discharge for use with Inward Processing and End-Use.   These new forms should be used with immediate effect even if companies are using an Authorisation issued prior to 1st May under the transitional procedures.    

Form BOD1 is for Inward Processing with full Authorisation

Form BOD3 is for Inward Processing under Authorisation by Declaration

Form BOD2 is for End-Use with full Authorisation

Form BOD4 is for End-Use under Authorisation by Declaration

The UCC requires a Bill of Discharge to be submitted for all discharges from IP and End-Use Relief from 1 May 2016, irrespective of the date of import.  The current forms C&E 812 and C99 should no longer be used.  The new forms are available on the .gov website.  They must be completed on-line, and then be printed and posted.   If an attached schedule is used it must meet the requirements and format required by the UCC  (as set out in Article 175 of Commission Delegated Regulation 2446/2015 and Article 265 Commission Implementing Regulations 2447/2015).

Competency Standard for Customs Representatives  
T
he draft of the proposed new European Standard for Competency for Customs Representatives has just entered the public consultation stage.   The Standard is intended to meet the Competency requirements under the UCC for any company that provides any form of customs work for someone else and is meant to give assurance that the customs representative has an acceptable skill level.   Attaining the Standard is not mandatory in the UK but may become mandatory in other member states.   The deadline for comments is on 5th July 2016.

4th May 2016

End- Use & T5  

Whilst there is no provision to use the T5 for moving End Use goods under the Union Customs Code HMRC have now confirmed that if holders of an End-Use Authorisation wish to use the T5 to move goods between Member States they may continue to do so provided there is no subsequent declaration to free circulation (end use) and the T5 clearly shows the end date of the period of discharge.


 3rd May 2016
UCC Implemented

From 1st May 2016 all cross border movements (not within the EU) are now governed by the Union Customs Code (UCC).  CHIEF has been updated from Tuesday 3rd May 2016 in order to avoid the bank holiday.   This marks the biggest change in both emphasis and practice for over 30 years, whatever your role in the supply chain you will be affected. 

The rules are now risk based, taking a holistic view of compliance to include all forms of tax not just import duty and VAT and they offer benefits to those who are pro-actively compliant.   Attaining AEO certification offers the best route to the benefits of reduced bureaucracy, financial cost reductions, facilitations/simplifications not available to others and overseas benefits from the Mutual Recognition schemes.  However would be AEO companies must now also meet rules on staff training and knowledge in customs matters and across-the-board tax compliance.

To add to this in the UK we now have increasing scrutiny and a much more aggressive stance from the Government on tax avoidance schemes as well as opportunities for tax evasion connected to the supply chain.  This can be seen in the proposed due diligence rules for those involved in what has been termed the ‘fulfilment house’ model where logistics providers and freight agents will not only have to become registered but could also find themselves liable for their principals unpaid VAT.

22nd April 2016
Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) 
From 1st May 2016 it will be a requirement for companies who wish to apply for new customs authorisations/approvals that defer or suspend the payment of duty to hold a CCG authorisation with an appropriate guarantee for the duty deferred or suspended. The authorisation/approval cannot commence until the CCG is in place.  HMRC have now issued the form to permit companies to apply for a CCG under the UCC and have advised that it can take up to 120 days for the CCG application to be processed so some companies may need to take immediate action.

If a company that already holds an authorisation/approval wishes to amend it to take advantage of any of the UCC arrangements they will also need to hold a CCG authorisation with an appropriate guarantee before the amended authorisation can be issued.

Companies holding either AEOC or AEOF certification who wish to take advantage of the 70% reduction in the reference amount for their duty deferment account will need to apply for a CCG authorisation.

The application form requires companies to list the full names of all company officials, to make positive statements regarding the company’s compliance record, financial solvency and practical standards/qualifications of competency in customs matters.  Applicants must also be able to state the value of their actual and potential customs debts in order to complete the form.

The form must be completed on-line but then must be printed, signed and posted to HMRC.

The form can be found here


Low Value Bulking of Imports (LVBI)  
HMRC have now issued details of the transition period for those currently authorised to use LVBI and what can be used instead once LVBI is discontinued under the UCC.    Please click here to read CIP 23 2016 

  

Currency Conversion under the UCC  
HMRC currently publish rates of exchange and have the facility to make changes to these monthly rates during the month if the commercial rate for a currency fluctuates by more than 5% during the month.  Under the UCC such update activities will no longer be permitted.

Therefore from 1 May 2016, in order to comply with the UCC, HMRC will withdraw the current 5% exchange rate fluctuation facility.




5th April 2016
Cancelled OGEL’s  
BIS have advised the OGEL’s in the following link have been revoked.   Revised versions may still be available in some cases. Click here for details

28th March 2016
Fulfilment House issues  
HMRC have noted that there is currently a significant under declaration of goods values on a significant number of imports and issues with the non-tax registration of importers using the fulfilment house model.   HMRC is giving this issue considerable attention during 2016 and has launched a consultation to establish how legitimate companies within these supply chains can put measures in place to help to identify the potential under declaration of goods value.  Click here for details


26th February 2016
Exporter Details Released  
To compliment the importer details and cargo data which are already released on UKTradeinfo HMRC now intend to release details of exporters as well.    Details will include the name and address of the exporter, goods descriptions, tariff codes and the month/year of the export.   Some information which is considered ‘strategic’ to the UK’s interests will be suppressed.  Traders can opt-out but details cannot be removed retrospectively. 

19th February 2016
Essential compliance  
Companies seeking AEO certification require carefully managed internal audit procedures to ensure a sufficient level of compliance to obtain and retain AEO status.    HMRC will actively look for companies to demonstrate not just that they are compliant but how they monitor and maintain their compliance and deal with problems.

To learn practical internal audit skills see our training course

15th February 2016
 AEO application changes A 
Applicants for a VAT group are now being ‘encouraged’ by HMRC to complete a separate C118 self-assessment questionnaire for each legal entity within the group.

In addition the C118 must always be signed by a person with the legal capacity to act for all of the legal entities covered by the C118.  Otherwise, individual signatures will be required.

The facility to submit a single C118 for a VAT group will not be removed but applicants need to be aware that this is a facilitation which is only available to those VAT groups where the individual legal entities are applying the same corporate standards/procedures for their customs related activities.   If this cannot be clearly demonstrated this is likely to lead to a delay in processing the application.

Each individual legal entity within the VAT group must hold their own EORI number.

10th February 2016
Inward Processing  
HMRC advise that due to late changes by the European Commission the Economic codes shown in Notice 3001 for Inward Processing are not correct.   The correct codes can be found on the new application for authorisation form SP3.

To learn about the new Processing Procedures click here 

4th February 2016
Temporary Storage transition under the UCC  
Existing Temporary Storage (TS) approvals will be able to be used for a transitional period until either: A new authorisation is applied for after its natural expiry date or a trader needs to make an amendment to an authorisation or 1st May 2019 whichever is the earliest.  HMRC advise that any new applications for TS approval received after 1 February 2016 will be authorised under the UCC requirements.

30th January 2016
Replacement for CPEI  
The new application forms for Special Procedures under the UCC (the old CPEI) are now available:

SP1-End Use relief
SP2-Customs Warehousing
SP3-Inward processing
SP4-Outward Processing relief
SP5-Temporary Admission

Traders are advised to consider applications for authorisation to use these procedures at a strategic level, deciding whether to apply now for an authorisation under the old rules or to apply under the new rules to gain the new benefits.    HMRC advise that for an authorisation to be valid on 1 May 2016 traders need to apply at the latest by 1 March 2016 for a Customs warehouse authorisation and 1 April 2016 for all other authorisations.

15th January 2016
LCP and OSR  
Under the UCC the use of Local Clearance Procedure (LCP) declarations as a method of declaring goods to Onward Supply Relief (OSR) CPCs on removal from Customs Warehousing is withdrawn. LCP has been renamed Entry In Declarants Records (EIDR) under the UCC and will cease to be available for OSR ex Warehouse on 30 April 2016.  An alternative declaration procedure has been devised that will allow declaration using the Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP) as opposed to the normal full declaration.   For full details see here

8th January 2016
Andorra – changes to preferential trade  
The appendix to the agreement between the EU and Andorra which includes the preferential rules of origin has changed.  The changes took effect from 1 January 2016.  Changes concern the definition of the concept of ‘originating   products’ and methods of administrative cooperation.  Details can be found  here

5th January 2016
Moldova - preference  
The reciprocal Association Agreement between the EU (European Union) and the Republic of Moldova, will apply to the whole territory of Moldova with effect from 1 January 2016. Prior to this date goods originating in the region of Transnistria, were excluded from this agreement and were not eligible for preference.   The Autonomous Trade Measures for imports from Moldova to the EU ceased on 31 December 2015.

4th January 2016
UK Export Licensing amendments  
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) has published the latest version of the Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation.   The new control list implements over 100 amendments to the controls, adding, removing and adjusting items to take account of new technology and new agreements.   The new list can be found at here

Exporters should remember that whilst items on the list are likely to require an export licence of some kind, items that do not appear on the list may also require an export licence depending on the potential use, destination country, purchaser and end-user.

We are holding a half day seminar on 21st January 2016 for those wishing to learn more about export licencing. Book
here

Replacement for SPIRE  
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (
BIS) is leading a project to create a cross-government digital platform for import and export licensing. This is intended to replace the current SPIRE system.    BIS has arranged a seminar on 13th January 2016 in London.  To confirm that you would like to attend email eco.help@bis.gsi.gov.uk with ‘New Export & Import Licensing System – Wednesday 13 Jan’ in the subject line. Please also add the business sector in which you operate in the body of the email.

16th December 2015
New Trade Deal 
The EU and another 23 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO)have completed a trade deal that eliminates custom duties on more than 200 high-tech products.

The deal, initiated by the EU, extends the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to cover €1.3 trillion in global trade. This makes it the biggest tariff-cutting deal in the World Trade Organization in almost two decades.

The agreement will remove customs duties on a wide range of goods, including semi-conductors, medical equipment, game consoles and GPS devices, while respecting the sensitivity of those EU sectors that still require import tariffs (e.g. TVs, certain monitors, projectors and non-digital car radios).

5th December 2015
EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement 
The European Union and Vietnam have finalised talks regarding a free trade agreement (FTA) which marks the end of the negotiating stage of the process.   This new agreement builds on the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), currently undergoing ratification.   The legal review and translation into the EU's official languages and Vietnamese will now begin.  The Commission will then present a proposal to the Council of Ministers for approval of the agreement and ratification by the European Parliament.

21st November 2015

The end of Military End-Use for businesses 

Under the Union Customs Code and with effect from 1 May 2016, sub-contractors to the MOD who currently use the above scheme should begin changing to use Inward Processing  (IP).    This will require a new application for an Authorisation to use IP.

Holders of Military End-Use Authorisations will not be reauthorised once their Authorisation has expired or if substantive amendments to their Authorisation are required. 

Once existing Authorisations have expired or been superseded only the military force of the Member State may import goods using End-Use.

10th November 2015
Changes to Customs Procedures with Economic Impact (CPEI) 
In addition to previously reported changes to procedures such as IP, OPR, TA, End-Use, Customs Warehousing etc. is the removal of the option for an ‘Integrated Authorisation’.   Once existing Integrated Authorisations expire or require substantive changes Holders will be required to apply for separate Authorisations for each procedure they require.

8th November 2015
Customs Procedures with Economic Impact become Special Procedures 
It’s all change for CPEI’s.   Under the UCC their new name is Special Procedures.

The following CPEI’s are being withdrawn from 1st May 2016

  • Inward Processing Relief using Drawback  ( IP(D) )
  • Processing Under Customs Control  (PCC)
  • Type D Customs Warehousing
  • Low Value Bulking of Imports (LVBI)

Transitional measures will be in place but Holders of these Authorisations should already be transitioning to new Authorisations for alternate procedures or at the very least planning to do so.

5th November 2015
Customs Warehousing 
Customs warehousing prefix numbers will change under the UCC to either R-Public type 1(ex Type A) or U-Private (ex Types C,D,E).  These will be the only two types of customs warehouse that will operate in the UK.

2nd November 2015
Simplified Authorisations 
In future this will be known as ‘Authorisation by Customs Declaration’.    This popular easy option for small scale shipments will still be available for IP, OPR, End-Use and Temporary Admission however the rules are changing and it is unlikely this option will continue to be of practical use.   Under the new rules only three shipments per year will be permitted and a guarantee will need to be in place prior to import (cash deposits will not be permitted).   Businesses may wish to consider full Authorisation.

30th October 2015
Facts and Figures 
Almost 278 million customs declarations were handled by EU Customs Authorities in 2014, covering approx.. 307 million articles imported, and 260 million articles exported.

Source: Eurostat and DG Taxation and Customs Union

10th October 2015
Open General Export Licences (OGELs)  

UK Export Control Organisation has updated and amended 23 Open General Export Licences (OGELs) and revoked 1 Open General export Licence.   The old licences cease to be valid at 2359 hours on 18th October.    Further information on the changes can be found here

8th September 2015
Non-Preferential Origin  
The EU Commission intends to introduce the existing guidelines on origin into the UCC Delegated Act, making them mandatory.   This approach is likely to provides less flexibility for traders.

29th August 2015
Turkish Sea Bass and Sea Bream  
An EU anti-subsidy investigation has been announced relating to imports of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilt-head sea bream (Sparus aurata), fresh, chilled or frozen originating in Turkey:

  • in the form of whole fish (with heads on), whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, whether scaled or not scaled
  • with heads off, whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, whether scaled or not scaled
  • in the form of fillet

Sold for direct consumption or for further processing.

The investigation must be concluded within 13 months, although it can be terminated without measures earlier.   A decision to impose provisional duties can be taken after a minimum of 60 days from the start of the formal investigation. However, as provisional Countervailing Duty can only run for 4 months, it is more usual to impose provisional duty for the last 4 months of the investigation. If this happens, Countervailing Duty on imports is held on deposit or guarantee, until the results of the investigation are published.

Chinese candles  
The EU Commission has repealed the imposition of Anti-Dumping Duty on imports of candles, tapers and the like, originating in the People’s Republic of China, with effect from 8 August 2015.

The products concerned are currently classified within the commodity code 3406000090.

25th August 2015
UCC Latest Update  
The EU is now in the final stages of adoption of the UCC Delegated Acts and Implementing Acts. What has become clear as each version of these regulations has been issued, is that proposed simplifications and reductions in bureaucracy are being removed whilst additional requirements are being added. This is not the situation we had all hoped to find.  There is now very little time left to attempt to influence the final shape of this legislation and its impact on business. Affected companies are encouraged to discuss their issues with the MEP.

Over the next few days we will issue updates on individual aspects on the text changes and what they will mean for businesses.


14th August 2015

Exam Success!   

Latest class qualify as customs professionals by passing the Morley Consulting Certificate of Customs Competency accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.   Well done to all!

4th August 2015
Vietnam  
The EU and Vietnam have today reached an agreement in principle in the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), after two and a half years of intense talks.   It is said to set a new, better and modern model for Free Trade Agreements and should lead to the removal of nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the EU and Vietnam.

24th July 2015
Expansion of the ITA  
The European Union, the United States, China and the vast majority of the World Trade Organization (WTO) members that were participating in the negotiations agreed today to eliminate custom duties on 201 high-tech products.

An extension of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) has been agreed which is said to be the biggest import duty reduction deal in the WTO in almost two decades.

The agreement initiated and brokered by the EU, will benefit both consumers and firms alike by removing customs duties on a wide range of goods, including medical equipment, video games and consoles, home hi-fi systems, headphones, blue-ray/DVR players, semi-conductors, and GPS devices. All in all, the deal will cover €1 trillion in global trade, covering close to 90% of world trade in the products concerned.   A total of 54 WTO members (shown below) negotiated the expansion of the ITA.

Tariffs will be eliminated within 3 years from the date of application of the agreement, which is foreseen for 1st July 2016. For sensitive products longer phase-out periods will be negotiated to give industry time to adapt to a zero-tariff environment The EU has a trade surplus in the products covered of around € 15 billion. The deal will not cover certain electronic products subject to duties in the EU, such as certain monitors, projectors, non-digital car radios as well as TVs.

The current signatories are:  The European Union and its 28 Member States; Albania; Australia; Canada; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Korea; Liechtenstein, Malaysia; Mauritius; Montenegro; New Zealand; Norway; the Philippines; Chinese Taipei; Singapore; Switzerland; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States.  Other countries are expected to sign over the next few months.

23rd July 2015
HMRC Tariff Classification Helpline 
Following a review of the service and public consultation HMRC have announced that the Tariff Classification

Helpline will continue after 31st August 2015 but only as an email service.   An application form must be completed and emailed for each item.  HMRC aim to respond within one working day of receipt.   Applicants should take note that any suggested tariff code can only be as accurate as the information given on the form.   Applicants should take care to give a full and detailed description of the item and its intended use.   

Further information and a copy of the form can be found  here

3rd July 2015

ISO 14001:2015 Revision  
The Final Draft International Standard of the latest revision to ISO 14001 - Environmental Management Systems has been published.  The new version of the Standard is scheduled for publication in September 2015.  The Final Draft is available to purchase from member bodies.

See this
link for more information regarding the revision.

18th June 2015
EU Commission presents Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU  
The Commission has presented an Action Plan to fundamentally reform corporate taxation in the EU. The Action Plan sets out a series of initiatives to tackle tax avoidance, secure sustainable revenues and strengthen the Single Market for businesses. The intention is for these measures to make the corporate tax environment in the EU fairer, more efficient and more growth-friendly.

Key actions include a strategy to re-launch the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) and a framework to ensure effective taxation where profits are generated. The Commission is also publishing a first pan-EU list of third-country non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and launching a public consultation to assess whether companies should have to publicly disclose certain tax information.

For further information please see here 

17th June 2015
Extended Licencing Processing Times  
UK Export Control Organisation figures show that only 47.4% of SIEL applications were processed within the target time of 20 working days during May.   This continues the downward trend from 70.7% in February this year.   The ECO target is 70% within 20 working days.  ECO state that high volumes of applications are the reason for the extended processing time, which they currently believe to average 25 working days.   Exporters need to be aware of these extended timescales when setting customer expectations for delivery.

For details of training in Export licencing click here

9th June 2015
Yemen Y 
Additional parties have been added to the Yemen financial sanctions listing and are now subject to an asset freeze:

- AL-HOUTHI, Abdulmalik (Group ID: 13253)
-  SALEH, Ahmed, Ali, Abdullah (Group ID: 13254)

Traders are required to:

  • check whether you maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for these persons;
  • freeze such accounts, and other funds or assets;
  • refrain from dealing with the funds or assets or making them available to such persons unless licensed by the Treasury;
  • report any findings to the Treasury, together with any additional information that would facilitate compliance with the Regulation;
  • provide any information concerning the frozen assets of designated persons that the Treasury may request. Information reported to the Treasury may be passed on to other regulatory authorities or law enforcement.

Traders should note that failure to comply with Sanctions is a criminal offence.

For details of training in Export licencing click here

7th June
4 wheeled Skateboard  
EU Tariff classification for a motorised, four wheeled skateboard with remote control has been confirmed as 9506 99 90, a sport entertainment product.

For details of Tariff classification training click here

28th May 2015
Bicycles  
The anti-dumping duty on imports of certain bicycles, originating in the People’s Republic of China has been extended to cover goods consigned, directly or indirectly, from Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines.

To learn about managing customs issues click this here to view details of our Certificate of Customs Competency training

27th May 2015
Clothing from Dominican Republic  
The European Commission have granted a derogation from the rules of origin for certain textiles imported from the Dominican Republic under quota. 

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the CARIFORUM states that the conditions for acquiring originating status must be fulfilled without interruption in the CARIFORUM states or the EU.  Haiti, however, is currently not considered a CARIFORUM state because whilst it has signed the Economic Partnership Agreement, it has not ratified or provisionally applied it although much of the working and processing of textiles occurs in Haiti.

Therefore a derogation has been granted to confer origin on the following textile products exported from the Dominican Republic to the EU:

(a) Denim trousers of Harmonised System (HS) code ex 6203.42 Combined Nomenclature (CN) (CN code 6203 42 31) manufactured from non-originating fabric of HS codes 5209.42, 5513.12 and 5513.19 (CN codes 5209 42 00, 5513 12 00 and 5513 19 00) and cut in the Dominican Republic, sewn outside the territory of the CARIFORUM States and subsequently washed, ironed or pressed and packed in the Dominican Republic

(b) Cotton T-shirts of HS code ex 6109.10 00 10 (CN code ex 6109 10 00 10) manufactured from non-originating yarn of HS code 5205.23 (CN code 5205 23 00), knitted, dyed, finished and cut in the Dominican Republic, sewn outside the territory of the CARIFORUM States and subsequently printed and packed in the Dominican Republic

The quotas apply within the limits of first come first served quotas for goods released into free circulation on or after 10 March 2015 until 9 March 2017.

Box 7 of the EUR1 must include the statement ‘Derogation — Decision No 1/2015 of the CARIFORUM-EU Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade facilitation of 10 March 2015’

For details of our Origin training click here

 
24th April 2015
ISO 14001 Revision 
The final draft of the revision of ISO 14001 has been completed.  The new version of the standard is planned for publication in September 2015. See here for more details.

23rd April 2015  
St George's Day teasers - more fun to mark the day

16th April 2015
New Training Dates  
Due to popular demand and in light of the recent HMRC announcement that they can no longer provide mentoring of the AEO application process we have added extra dates for two of our one day AEO courses:

The Quality Manager's Guide to AEO - 7th May London £465
This course is a really valuable opportunity for non Customs specialists to gain an understanding of the customs elements which may be outside of their usual area of expertise. This coupled with a detailed examination of the practical security controls required and the applications and audit processes involved give delegates all of the practical skills they require to manage or participant fully in a successful AEO programme.  Click here to book

Achieving AEO Status - 8th May London £465
This course provides an indispensable exploration of the practical implications of AEO and how to approach your AEO project to achieve success. Suitable for anyone involved in the supply chain who needs to take an active role in the achievement of AEO Status for their organisation this course will guide delegates through the requirements and the application and audit processes in a practical and pragmatic way. Click here to book


15th April 2015
Changes to AEO Application & Audit Process  

HMRC advise that an exceptionally high percentage of AEO applications & audit evidence are unsatisfactory in the first instance. Currently HMRC have been assisting applicants to correct errors and omissions.

However due to the expected increase in applications because of the imminent implementation of the Union Customs Code, HMRC have advised that they will no longer be able to accept incomplete or incorrect applications and will no longer be able to mentor applicants through the AEO application process. 

If at audit businesses cannot provide evidence to show that appropriate procedures are being followed they will be advised to withdraw their application or it will be rejected.

Should you need assistance with your application we can provide a range of services to ensure that you get it right.  See
here for information.

13th April 2015

Special offer  
To mark Supply Chain Day: 5% discount for all bookings of Customs Competency made on 16th April.
Enter 'Supply chain Day' as the discount code on the booking form.


10th April 2015
PayPal and Sanctions  
PayPal is reported to have agreed to pay $7.7m (£5.1m) to the US government following claims it allowed payments that violated US sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan.  It is reported that PayPal said it had "voluntarily" reported to the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) certain payments it had processed between 2009 and 2013.  This is said to include a $7,000 transaction from someone listed by the US government as being involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The case highlights the need for companies in all countries, including the UK to ensure that they check their local sanctions and embargoes listings before permitting transactions to proceed.

For training on export licencing see here

To read the BBC report click  here


2nd April 2015  
Easter Teasers - a little fun for the holiday

27th March 2015

New practical Customs qualification  

Chartered Institute of Logistics (CILT) have endorsed the new Certificate in Customs Competency, leading the way in practical, vocational training for customs specialists.   Uniquely the five day course is suitable for new starters and those more experienced who wish to obtain a deeper and broader knowledge of the essential elements of competence in this area which is vital to the successful functioning of global supply chains.   The course also offers delegates and employers excellent independent evidence of competency to support AEO accreditation as required from May 2016.  

Changes to the OGEL Checker  
The Checker Tools (OGEL Checker and Goods Checker) operated by the Export Control Organisation (ECO) have been redesigned and will now operate under the SPIRE online export licensing system, as well as being available directly via the internet. 

The Checker Tools features will remain the same but the presentation has been updated.  The main differences are:

Users can now access the Checker Tools without needing to log on using a password. The new landing page has guidance on using the tools and examples.

If you are a registered SPIRE user, you can access the Checker Tools from within SPIRE, once you have logged on.

Help for AEO applications  
Due to the breadth and depth of AEO requirements many companies are placing Quality Managers or other non-customs specialists as team leaders for their AEO accreditation process.  Help is now at hand to give these individuals the knowledge they need to manage this successfully.  The one day course gives practical knowledge of the AEO Standard (both Customs and Security & Safety) including the additional sections being added from May 2016 to ensure these areas can be suitably prepared and audited.    See here for further information and booking

26th March 2015
ISO 45001 Ballot  
The ballot has started for ISO 45001 which sets the requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety Management System.  The Standard is currently at the Committee Draft with member countries who have chosen to take part having 2 months to formulate and a position and submit their comments.

Mackerel Exports Rise  
DEFRA have announced that UK exports of mackerel rose during the last year despite a Russian ban with increased exports to China and Nigeria following Government efforts being cited as important factors in offsetting the impact of the Russian European food ban. More details can be found here

25th March 2015
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)  
The European Commission has published a new fact sheet ‘The Top 10 Myths about TTIP – Separating Fact from Fiction’ with the purpose of clarifying the aims of the negotiations between the EU and USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.     A copy of the fact sheet is available here

24 March 2015
Export Week Reminder  
Don’t forget Export Week is 18th – 22nd May – start planning your events and activities now.

19th March 2015
Proposed Tariff changes  
Proposed changes to the structure of the Combined Nomenclature (CN) for 2016:

Proposal to introduce new CN codes for soy, cereal and nut based beverages (Chapter 22)
Proposed new CN codes for fluorinated greenhouse gases (2903)
Proposed new CN codes for ceramic tableware, kitchenware and other household/
toilet articles (6912)
Proposal to add supplementary units (number of items) to CN code 9304 00 00)

These proposals will be initially discussed at the next meeting of the Tariff and statistical Nomenclature Section of the Customs code Committee (CN Sector).  In addition the meeting will discuss the following proposals carried over from previous years:

Proposal for new CN codes for 0602, 0603 and 0604
Proposal for new codes for lubricants, succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol

The meeting will also discuss the possible introduction of statistical Taric codes for rare-earths. 

If you require further information on any of these proposals please contact:
 
mark.gammon@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

South Sudan added to prohibited destinations 

The UK Export Control Organisation (ECO) has added South Sudan to the prohibited destinations schedule of the following Open General Export Licences (OGELs):

Open general export licence (historic military goods)

Open general export licence (access overseas to software and technology
for military goods: individual use only)

20th March 2015
AEO Updates Published 


AEO Data Sharing  
HMRC and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are now legally required to share data related to companies with AEO(S) and AEO(F) and regulated agents / known consignors.  The data shared by HMRC will be limited to information related to non-compliance with the security and safety criteria where it may impact on the air authorisations. The CAA will share non-compliance data where it may impact on AEO(S) or AEO(F) status.

15th March 2015
VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and e-services
 
 
The final report on national rules applied in the EU for the use of the mini one-stop shop (MOSS) is now available here

The report includes a summary overview and a table of applicable VAT rates.  Basic information for micro businesses supplying electronic services has also been provided.

12th March 2015
New tariff codes  
The following two new codes have been added to the UK tariff:

8102 96 00 20
Molybdenum wire, containing by weight at least 99.95 of molybdenum, of which the maximum cross-sectional dimension exceeds 4.0 mm but does not exceed 110 mm

8102 96 00 40
Molybdenum wire, containing by weight 97 % or more but less than 99,95 % of molybdenum, of which the maximum cross-sectional dimension exceeds 4.0 mm but does not exceed 11.0 mm

4th March 2015

Customs control of Cash movements 

The EU has instigated a review of customs legislation on controls of cash entering or leaving the EU.   This review is in the form of a public consultation via an on-line survey.   Currently an individual or a company moving more than €10,000 in one shipment out of the EU is required to make a customs declaration.   There are penalties for failure to carry out the appropriate procedures.  The EU Commission believes that there may be a scope for improvement in the regulatory framework and/or the implementation procedures and penalties.

To take part in the consultation see details  here

 28th February 2015
Turkey and Rainbow Trout 
The EU anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports into the Union of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss):

— live weighing 1,2 kg or less each, or

— fresh, chilled, frozen and/or smoked:

— in the form of whole fish (with heads on), whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, 
weighing 1,2 kg or less each, or

— with heads off, whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1 kg or less each, or

— in the form of fillets weighing 400 g or less each,

currently falling within the CN codes ex 0301 91 90, ex 0302 11 80, ex 0303 14 90, ex 0304 42 90, ex 0304 82 90 and ex 0305 43 00 and originating in Turkey has been terminated.

 
Open General Export Licence Updates 
The following OGELs have been updated: 

26th February 2015
Russia WTO Dispute 
The EU has requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva concerning Russia’s excessive import duties, in particular on paper products, refrigerators and palm oil. This request follows EU efforts to find a solution with Russia since it joined the WTO in August 2012, including through formal WTO consultations that were held in November.

19th February 2015

EU Tariff Classification confirmation  

Silicon dioxide (also called ‘silica gel’) in the form of small transparent granules of 0.5 to 1.5 mm in diameter and packed in paper sachets or in plastic capsules that are water-vapour-permeable.

The silicon dioxide absorbs moisture and is presented to be used, for example, to protect and preserve medicines or to keep goods dry during shipment.

Tariff classification 3824 9096

13th February 2015
EU wins a WTO dispute  
A WTO panel in charge of the dispute opposing the EU, Japan and China declared the Chinese anti-dumping duties on stainless steel tubes - imposed by China in 2012 - illegal in the light of the Organisation's rules.

The WTO panel found that:

  • the Chinese measures did not fully respect the prescribed WTO methods to calculate dumping margins.
  • Margins calculated for one of the EU's exporting producers were found not to be correct.
  • China failed also to justify its finding that the tubes imported from the EU had caused injury to China's domestic industry.

The panel concluded that the Chinese antidumping procedure came short of the WTO requirements in terms of due process and transparency.

China will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on EU imports. The Chinese authorities can decide to appeal the ruling within the coming 60 days.

7th February 2015
C
hanges to OIEL applications  
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) is updating the application process for Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs).  The changes will come into effect on 13 February 2015.

These changes are intended to:

  • assist and guide the exporter before and during the application stage
  • make the whole process more efficient and customer-friendly
  • move away from the concept of a ‘concessionary’ licence to one where applications are accepted if an exporter can demonstrate a ‘clear business need’
  • encourage greater use of OIELs which, with a lifetime of up to five years, can save time and money.

The names of consignees or end-users will not normally be required unless specifically requested during the completion of the application form

The sectors in which the goods are to be used must be specified on the OIEL application (Armed Forces, Navy, Army, Air Force, Oil and Gas Industries, for example.)

Goods must now be described/specified using a ‘general goods description’ that can replace multiple goods lines, or part numbers which may change during the life of the OIEL.

Full details of the changes can be seen: here

5th February 2015
Imports subject to Trading Standards control  
New arrangements for the presentation of Import entries subject to Trading Standards controls are being put into place.

Receiving early notification, by way of a dedicated CHIEF print, Trading Standards can carry out advanced analysis before to the paperwork is sent in. This means the goods may not be held up for so long thereby helping to improve clearance times.  Paperwork will be emailed directly to Trading Standards by the trade between the hours of 9am to 5pm, this will alleviate the need for the NCH involvement.

Full information including new CHIEF codes can be found at : here

3rd February 2015
Amendment to UK Export Controls  
The international non-proliferation and arms control regimes (in which the UK actively participates along with other countries) have agreed to remove controls on items specifically listed on the new OGEL.

The OGEL is intended as a temporary measure placing the specified items under a less restricted form of licensing until such time as the Regulation and the associated UK Strategic Export Control Lists are updated.

The Open general export licence (international non-proliferation regime decontrols: dual-use items)
can be found
here

Exporters should ensure their records and any standing data held in computer systems is suitably updated

31st January 2015
HMRC Tariff Classification Helpline 

The trial of using emails to obtain tariff classification advice (which began on 1 December 2014), will cease on 30 January 2015.  

From 2 February 2015, the helpline service will return to accepting incoming calls on Telephone: 03000 513 777.

From this date the normal operating hours will be:

Monday to Thursday, 1pm to 5pm
Friday, 1pm to 4.30pm

If you need help with tariff classification our experts offer training and consultancy services

29th January 2015
Additional Tariff Codes  

Two new tariff codes have been added to the EU tariff effective immediately:

8522 90 49 65 - Printed circuit board subassembly, comprising:

- a radio tuner, capable of receiving and decoding radio signals and transmitting those signals within the assembly, with a signal decoder, - a radio frequency (RF) remote control receiver, - an infrared remote control signal transmitter, - a SCART signal generator - a TV state sensor
for use in the manufacture of home entertainment systems.

3906 90 90 87 - Aqueous solution of polymers and ammonia consisting of: - 0,1 % or more but not more than 0,5 % by weight of ammonia (CAS RN 1336-21-6) and - 0,3 % or more but not more than 10 % by weight of polycarboxylate (linear polymers of acrylic acid).

If you need help with tariff classification our experts offer training and consultancy services

Monosodium glutamate  
In addition to the anti-dumping measures which apply to monosodium glutamate originating in China, anti-dumping measures have now been applied to imports of monosodium glutamate originating from Indonesia.   

If you need training in this area see our Import Duty Management and Tariff Classification courses

21st January 2015
Changes to Quotas  
New quotas come into force on 4 February 2015, which apply from 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015 to Chocolate, sugar confectionery and some biscuits.  Retrospective claims can be made.  See 
here for details.

18th January 2015
Morocco-EU Agreement 
The European Union and Morocco have concluded negotiations on an agreement to mutually protect their Geographical Indications (GIs). Through this agreement Morocco and the EU will ensure high level protection for their respective GIs for food products.   The objective of this agreement is to better protect consumers in terms of not being misled on the true origin and quality of a product. The Agreement will now be passed to Council and the European Parliament – and to the legislative authorities in Morocco – where it must be approved before its final entry into force. 

15th January 2015
Imports to Argentina  
In a case brought by the EU, Japan and the US the WTO’s Appellate Body has now confirmed that the various practices imposed by the Argentinean authorities on companies as a condition to import goods into the country are illegal under WTO law.

The ruling confirmed that Argentina should no longer require foreign firms to limit their imports, offset the value of imports with equivalent exports, invest in the country and keep their profits there, or use certain amount of Argentine content in their products.

It also confirmed that Argentina should not require firms to secure an approval for their imports using the procedure known as the Advanced Sworn Import Declaration.

The WTO ruling is that Argentina should now renounce its practices allowing European companies to resume normal business with their Argentine partners.

8th January 2015
Export Licences  
The following OGELs have been revised with immediate effect:

Exporters should ensure they are compliant with the new versions.
To find out more about export licencing attend one of our seminars - see here for details

5th January 2015
Republic of Moldova  
New quotas have been issued for the import of fresh table grapes, apples and plums.  The Quota period covered is: 1 August 2014 to 31 December 2014 and 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015.  Qualifying imports within quota will be at 0% import duty.   Cider apples imported in bulk, from 16 September to 15 December do not qualify under the quota arrangements.  See here for further details. 

1st January 2015
Glass Fibre Products  
The European Commission have introduced a new measure imposing a definitive countervailing and anti-dumping duty, on imports of chopped glass fibre strands, of a length of not more than 50 mm; glass fibre rovings, excluding glass fibre rovings which are impregnated and coated and have a loss on ignition of more than 3% ( as determined by the ISO Standard 1887); and mats made of glass fibre filaments excluding mats of glass wool, originating in the People’s Republic of China.

See here for details of the companies involved and the duty rates to be applied.

Intrastats  
Notice 60 has been revised.  The latest version can be found
here

31st December 2014

Removal of option for paper customs entries
 
HMRC have launched a consultation exercise regarding the change under the UCC which will be implemented in May 2016 which will remove the option for customs entries to be submitted on paper.  This will affect the Non-Inventory Linked ports and airports in the UK.   The full consultation paper can be found here
   
To find our more about the UCC change attend one of our seminars- see here for details
   
30th December 2014

Changes to the Processing of Current Month Adjustments  
When submitting a CMA request the following requirements must be met in order for the adjustment to be considered:

The adjustment must be over £250.  The C285 must show the basis of the claim and provide clear and complete contact details. All relevant supporting documents must be supplied: copy entry and E2 (or equivalent), legible copies of invoices, copy airway bill/bill of lading, worksheet or training entry, original green GSP/EUR 1/ATR certificate.    

If the commodity code is incorrect and requires amendment technical literature must be supplied.

For the amendment of a CPC, for example a change is required from a free circulation CPC to an inward processing CPC, approval must be obtained from the appropriate authorisation team or supervising office prior to submitting the CMA request.

If only the deferment number is incorrect an amendment is not made by the NDRC. This is classed as a commercial matter and will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

If only the VAT number(s) is incorrect this is classed as a non-revenue amendment which should be submitted to the post clearance amendment team in Salford.

If a CMA request is submitted after the end of the month or not all the necessary documents are attached the application will be treated as a normal repayment and the deferment account will not be amended.

From 1 January 2015 onwards CMA’s should be submitted directly to:

National Duty Repayment Centre
Ralli Quays
3 Stanley Street
Salford
M60 9HL
Telephone: 03000 585344

Email: ndrc.nch@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

20th December 2014
Dual Use Items  
EU Control List of dual-use items has been comprehensively updated.  Exporters are strongly advised to take careful note of the changes which take effect from 30th December.   Details can be found
here
Click here for details of our Export Licensing Seminar

18th December 2014
Changes to Country Codes  
With effect from 1 January 2015, where you previously used country code QQ on your export declaration, HMRC will only accept the following country codes:

QR; in respect of goods for EU vessels and aircraft, and
QS; in respect of goods for non-EU vessels and aircraft.

9th December 2014
Tartaric Acid 
An anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of tartaric acid originating in the People’s Republic of China has commenced.  It is limited to one Chinese exporting producer namely Hangzhou Bioking Biochemical Engineering Co. Ltd.  Full details are available here

CHIEF error codes & solutions  
HMRC have published a new list of CHIEF error codes and their solutions to assist users.  For further details see
here

6th December 2014
CPC Codes and IP  
HMRC wish to remind everyone that the correct re-export CPC to use when IP goods have been entered to a customs warehouse prior to re-export is 31 51 000 and not 31 71 000.
Details of our IP training can be found here

ATA Carnets 
With effect from 1 December the new CPC for goods exported (or re-exported) using an ATA carnet is 10 00 052.

Change to Museums and Galleries Relief 
The changes will be effective from 1st February 2015 and will include a new, revised public notice number 361 and alterations / clarifications of CPC codes, record keeping, roles and responsibilities, debt liability and disposal for approval holders.

5th December 2014
Import entries subject to Trading Standards controls 
New arrangements are being considered for the presentation of Import entries subject to Trading Standards controls with implementation in early 2015.  See 
here for further details 

27th November 2014
Future of the HMRC Tariff Classification Helpline 
HMRC intend to alter the classification helpline service that they currently offer.  HMRC have asked for interested parties to offer their views and issues via a full consultation process.   From 1st December a pilot scheme will take effect where classification queries must be emailed to classification.pilot@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk  in a set format for assistance.  Phone queries will not be accepted.  Response will be by telephone within two working days.

The consultation closes on 18th February 2015 at 11.45pm.

Details are available:
here

Details of our Tariff Classification training are available here

Trade with Iran 
The E3+3 (UK, US, Russia, China, France and Germany) and Iran have been engaged in intensive negotiations to reach a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme since February 2014. This was made possible by the agreement in November 2013 of the Joint Plan of Action (JPoA), under which Iran and the E3+3 committed to a number of measures in order to create the time and space for a comprehensive negotiation.  The E3+3 and Iran have agreed to extend the Joint Plan of Action for a further 7 months until 30 June 2015.

This means that the limited EU sanctions relief under the Joint Plan of Action will remain in place until 30 June 2015. No additional sanctions have been suspended. All other EU sanctions and restrictions remain in place and in force. The government’s position remains not to encourage trade with Iran.

14th November 2014
Intrastat 
Changes to thresholds from 1 January 2015 -

Subject to UK Parliamentary approval, the Intrastat arrivals exemption threshold will be increased from £1,200,000 to £1,500,000 from 1 January 2015.

The exemption threshold for dispatches remains at £250,000 and the delivery terms threshold remains at £24,000,000.

13th November 2014

IPR Clarification  

The EU Commission has clarified the use of organic / non-organic products when using the INF5 EX/IM system. Further details are available here

14th October 2014
Is a snowball a ‘cake’?  

The First Tier Tribunal accepted that whilst snowballs do not have all of the characteristics of a cake they decided that they do have sufficient characteristics of a cake for them to be characterised as a cake. This means that they can be zero rated for VAT purposes.

In this case a ‘snowball’ was found to be a dome of marshmallow coated in any combination of the following:

  • chocolate
  • sugar strands
  • carob
  • cocoa
  • coconut

which may or may not include a jam filling. Of course, products which are also called ‘snowballs’ but not the same as those in this case may not be zero-rated.

Details of our IPR Training is available here

10th October 2014
Preference  

Clarification of the preferential status of certain ACP countries affected by the amendment of the MAR by EU Regulation 527/2013 after 1 October 2014.  Further information can be found here 

8th October 2014
Review of Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA) authorisation criteria   

Changes to the existing SIVA criteria will apply from 1 January 2015. The current criteria states that an applicant must have been VAT registered (and continuously trading) for 3 years or more.

Under the new criteria, HMRC may consider businesses with less than 3 years VAT registration (and continuous trading history) for SIVA authorisation where the granting of the authorisation poses no risk to the revenue. Businesses with less than 3 years VAT registration (and continuous trading history) will be subject to additional financial solvency and risk credibility tests.  

30th September 2014
UK Export Control  

As of 1 February 2015 the Export Control Organisation (ECO) is ‘withdrawing’ the ability to use ‘paper’ Open General Export Licences (OGELs).  ‘Paper’ OGELs are defined as those licences with a reference number usually starting ‘UKGL’ and not registered on SPIRE, the ECO’s online export licensing service.


24th September 2014
Moldova  
New quotas for fresh fruit and vegetables imports from Moldova have been issued.   Tariff Quota Notice 120 (2014).  Further details can be found at Here

Georgia 
New quotas for garlic imports from Georgia have been issued.   Tariff Quota Notice 121 (2014).   Further details can be found at here

18th September 2014
Temporary Storage 
HMRC have published a revised Notice 199A regarding Temporary Storage here

16th September 2014
Operation Snake
 

EU and Chinese customs joined forces earlier this year to target the undervaluation of goods at customs.   EU and national authorities prevented losses of over €80 million in customs duties, during this major  joint customs operation (JCO) coordinated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

 

Over a one month period, OLAF and the participating customs authorities detected more than 1,500 containers where the declared customs value was heavily undervalued. This included false descriptions of goods, false weights and quantities, and counterfeit goods.

Customs Valuation does not just mean stating the price shown on the invoice.   The value to be declared has to be calculated by adding in and taking out a variety of elements depending on the circumstances of the shipment.    We can help you get the right valuation – see our consultancy and training pages or call to talk to one of our specialist consultants.

Further details on Operation Snake can be found here


New species included in CITES regulations 
As of today 6 shark and Ray species are included in Annex B of the EU CITES regulations:

Porbeagle (Lamna Nasus)
Oceanic Whitetip shark (Carcharhinus Longimanus)
The Scolloped Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna Lewini)
Great Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna Mokarran)
The Smooth Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna Zygaena)
Manta Rays (Manta spp.)

Permits are required for the export or import of specimens of these species and their derivatives to or from the EU and other CITES signatory countries. This includes the introduction from the sea i.e. fishing

Whilst being members of CITES the following countries have adopted variants of these rules:

 

  • Denmark (Greenland)
  • Canada
  • Guyana
  • Japan
  • Iceland
  • Yemen

Contact us for further details help, alternatively we offer a practical training day - details here

23rd August 2014
Customs Risk Management  
The EU Commission has adopted a strategy and action plan for better customs risk management. A robust customs risk management is essential to protect the safety and security of the EU and its citizens, the interests of legitimate traders and EU financial interests, while at the same time enabling the smooth flow of trade.

 

The main priorities in the strategy to improve customs risk management are:

Efficient controls and risk-mitigation

Data Quality
Information Sharing
Interagency Cooperation
Cooperation with Traders
Capacity Building
International Customs Cooperation

Further details can be found here

22nd August 2014
Cash exported as freight 
HMRC have reminded exporters that there is only one commodity code applicable to bank notes which is 49 07 00 30 00.  Exporters are also reminded that exports of cash which is already in circulation should be made under Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 10 00 098.

16th August 2014
Export Licencing
 
The UK Government via BIS has added Russia as a prohibited destination to more export licences and given further detailed information regarding Russian sanctions.

For further information please see here

The holders of current export licences to Russia are strongly advised to check that their licence is still valid in the light of the above changes.

7th August 2014
VAT Retail Export Scheme
 
VAT Notice 704 :  VAT Retail Exports has been reissued to improve readability.  The scheme and conditions have also been reviewed and changed. The main changes have been introduced to:

1. take account of European Community (EC) enlargement from 1 May 2004 (covered in update 1, issued February 2004)

2. limit purchases under the scheme by overseas students and migrant workers to the end of their stay in the EC

3. include the new invoicing requirements arising from implementation of the EC VAT Invoicing Directive

4. set out conditions for retailers who complete refund forms after the date of sale

The revised notice is available from here

30th July 2014
Civil Penalties consultation
 
The Government has published a draft consultation paper regarding the issue of a customs civil penalty applicable to travellers entering the UK from outside the EU who have failed to declare goods in excess of their allowance when stopped before clearing customs controls.  For more details or to comment please see 
here

24th July 2014
EU and SADC EPA signed 

The European Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement Group (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) have concluded  negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The agreement takes into account the differences in the level of development between the EU and its African partners. It will open a long-term perspective of duty- and, quota-free access to the EU market for products from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, while South Africa will trade with the EU on the basis of improved conditions that build on the existing EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). The EU, in turn, will gain improved access to the SADC EPA market, particularly in the field of agriculture.

19th July 2014
Amendment to OGEL
 
International Non-Proliferation Regime Decontrols (Dual-Use Items) OGEL has been amended allows, subject to certain conditions, the export of the following items, provided the specific parameters described in schedule 1 to the OGEL are met:

a) Enterprise level servers, general purpose single board computers and similar general purpose 

    computing devices

b) Network switches and relays

18th July 2014
EU and Fiji EPA implementation  
The interim Economic Partnership Agreement provides for duty-free quota-free market access into the EU for all exports originating from Fiji and Papua New Guinea. For its part, Fiji will gradually open its market to European exports over a transitional period until 2023, with the exception of some agricultural and industrial sensitive products.

17th July 2014
EU and Ecuador trade agreement  
The agreement will allow Ecuador to benefit from improved access for its main exports to the EU – fisheries, bananas, cut flowers, coffee, cocoa, fruits and nuts. The terms of the new arrangement go beyond the unilateral EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences, for which Ecuador is no longer eligible. The Agreement will also provide improved access to the Ecuadorian market for many key EU exports, for example in the automotive sector or for alcoholic beverages. However, the agreement will not only secure access to markets; more importantly it will also create a stable and predictable environment that will help boost and diversify trade and investment on both sides.

Changes to Financial Sanctions 
The UK Treasury has issued a revised policy on funds arriving in the UK from or via a designated person based outside the EU.  From 1 August 2014 such funds will be required to be frozen.

10th July 2014
Crimea Sanctions Clarification  
On 23 June 2014, the European Union adopted regulation 2014/692/EU (O.J. L183 24.06.2014) concerning restrictive measures against Crimea.  The regulation bans:

• the import of any goods into the European Union originating in Crimea or Sevastopol;

• the provision by EU companies of finance, financial assistance, insurance or re-insurance relating to the import of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol.

Derogations :

- The import bans do not apply to goods which have a certificate of origin issued by a designated authority in Ukraine (this specifically excludes any certificates of origin issued from Crimea or Sevastopol).

- The import ban does not apply to an obligation arising from a contract concluded before the 25 June 2014 provided that:

• the goods are imported by 26 September 2014, and

• BIS has been notified at least 10 working days in advance to enquiries.ilb@bis.gsi.gov.uk.

2nd July 2014
VAT changes  
The six month countdown has begun to a major change in the EU VAT system, which will ease life for many businesses and ensure fairer revenue distribution between Member States. From 1 January 2015, VAT on all telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services will be due where the customer is based, rather than where the supplier is located.

24th June 2014
UK Prohibition on the import and export of Khat  
With effect from 00:01 on 24 June 2014, Khat in all its forms will become a controlled Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, in respect of which its importation and exportation will be prohibited in the absence of a Home Office licence.

Export Movement Certificates (EUR1/ATR1 etc) 

With effect from 1 July 2014, the following information is required by the National Clearance Hub (NCH) when submitting EUR1/T2L/ATR documents for endorsement.

* the correct commodity code for the goods must be declared on the paperwork/certificate

* a draft Bill of Lading/Air waybill must not be used as proof of shipment if the goods are retrospective /retroactive

* a copy invoice/packing list must be provided for each certificate

* a letter of explanation must be enclosed for any retroactive/retrospective authentication request for either a T2L or ATR along with proof of shipment

* a stamped addressed envelope must be provided for the certificate to be sent back to you.

* for EUR1s covering Mexico or Chile, the 4 digit commodity code must also be included in Box 8

20th June 2014
‘Mountain Products’ decision  
The European Commission has published a decision today defining new rules for using the optional quality term "mountain product" for food products coming from mountain areas. This is the first optional quality term to be introduced, as provided under the 2012 "Quality Regulation" aimed at highlighting to consumers products which have an important added value, but are not covered under the other EU quality labels. The Commission has also adopted two other legal acts today which clarify and simplify applications for protecting names as designations of origin (PDO) or geographical indications (PGI) for foodstuffs.   For further details see here

ATA Carnets  
HMRC has published revised CPC codes for use with ATA Carnets: 

Exports 10 00 052 Imports 00 08 020

The HMRC National ATA Carnet Section has moved.  The new address is :

HM Revenue & Customs
Ralli Quays
Stanley Street
Salford
M60 9HL

Telephone: 03000 579 060
Fax: 0300 588 459
Email: atacarnetunit@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

19th June 2014
Customs Warehousing  
A new public notice 232 – Customs warehousing has been issued.  The new notice is available 
here

18th June 2014
Excise Goods  
The EU Commission has released a new report on the findings of the ‘DISMANTLE’ project.  The report reveals that around 816 million cigarettes and 240 000 litres of alcohol were seized by EU customs over a 10 month period in 2013.  Full details available
here

17th June 2014
Changes to OGELS  
Some Open General Export Licences have been amended to reflect the new UK Government Security Classification System. This has implications for the MOD procedures on licences where approval  is required for the release of information or equipment at certain levels of classification.  See 
here for details.

9th June 2014
Bid for a share of £100 million  
Companies can now bid for a share of £100 million from a  UK Government scheme to help them strengthen their domestic supply chains and help bring manufacturing back to the UK.

The funding will provide research and development support, skills training and investment capital and encourage major new suppliers to ‘reshore’ in the UK.  It comes from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Follow this link for competition details  AMSCI 2014 website.

Changes to procedure for processing repayment claims  
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently implementing a number of changes aimed at centralising the majority of its Customs payment and repayment functions within a single centre of excellence located in the National Clearance Hub (NCH) in Manchester.   These changes are aimed at improving the consistency and efficiency of HMRC processing functions to ensure a high standard of customer experience is delivered.  For details of changes see 
here

7th June 2014
US Anti-Dumping Duty  
O
n June 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of crystalline silicon photovoltaic products (“solar products”) from China. DOC preliminarily found that China has subsidized the solar products covered by its investigation at rates ranging from 18.56 to 35.21 percent.

DOC’s preliminary determination will be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through the collection of CVD cash deposits in the applicable amount from U.S. importers of record. The cash deposit requirement will become effective on the date of publication of DOC’s preliminary determination in the Federal Register, expected on or around June 10, 2014.

Transfer Pricing 
The European Commission adopted a Communication which includes guidelines on three aspects of the treatment of transfer pricing transactions: risk management in dealing with transfer pricing, the application of secondary adjustments and the use of compensating adjustments.

These guidelines are very relevant in the context of the ongoing OECD work on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project (BEPS).  See
 
here for further information.

5th June 2014

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 
Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28 during the first quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter, according to second estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Outward Processing Relief  
HMRC has issued a revised Notice 235 Outward Processing Relief June 2014.  This new version of the Notice includes clarification of the use of the value added method of duty calculation for non EU goods released to free circulation prior to entering Outward Processing Relief.   The full Notice can be found
here  

Anti-EU Trade Defence Measures 
The European Commission’s latest annual report on trade defence actions taken by non-EU countries against EU exports shows that there was a considerable increase of activity against EU exports in 2013. The report also highlights the main achievements where the Commission has successfully defended European exporters by contributing to avoid the imposition of measures or at least minimize their negative effects on EU exports.

It reports that at the end of 2013 there were a total of 152 measures in force against the EU or its Member States. This is an increase of 14 measures compared to the previous year. The number of measures had followed a decreasing trend in the period 2005-2009, but since then it has been constantly rising – with the only exception in 2012 – and now it is back at its 2005 level. The new measures in 2013 were mostly anti-dumping.   India remained the most prolific user of trade defence against the EU or its Member States, closely followed by China, which every year has increased its number of measures against the EU.  See the full report here

4th June 2014

Refund of Anti-dumping duty  
The EU Commission has published new guidelines on how and when a refund of anti-dumping duty can be claimed.   The guidelines clarify the procedure to be used where anti-dumping duty is under dispute. This includes strict time limits within which the claim must be lodged and the evidence that is required for a claim to be considered.  See here for further information. 

Payments on Account  
HMRC has issued a revised Notice 700/60 June 2014 regarding Payments on Account.   The main changes included are the new address for the HMRC Payments on Account Team - 
7th Floor, Regian House, James Street, Liverpool L75 1AA.   In addition the
name 'VAT Process Owner Team' has changed to 'Indirect Tax Process Team'.    The full notice is available on the HMRC web site here

29th May 2014

Taxation of the Digital Economy  
The European Commission has now received the final report of the High-level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy. This independent group was asked to examine key issues related to taxing the digital economy in the EU, and to present their ideas on the best approach to various challenges and opportunities in this field.  Amongst those of particular interest to exporters and importers are the findings that:

- The upcoming move to a destination-based VAT system for digital services is commended, along with the simplification that the mini-One Stop Shop will bring for businesses (see IP/13/1004). The report recommends that this could be further expanded to all goods and services (in business-to-consumer transactions) in the future.

- To ensure neutrality and provide a level playing field for EU business, the Group recommends the removal of the VAT exemption for small consignments from non-EU countries.   This would be supported by a One Stop Shop and a fast track customs procedure.

Financial Sanctions  
An updated Financial Sanctions Notice : Ukraine (Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity) has been issued by the UK Treasury. 19 entries (for 17 individuals and 2 entities) have been amended on the consolidated list. These individuals and entities remain subject to an asset freeze.

You must:

i. check whether you maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for the persons set out in the Annex to this Notice.

ii. freeze such accounts, and other funds or economic resources.

iii. refrain from dealing with such accounts, funds or economic resources or making them available to such persons unless licensed by the Treasury.

iv. report any findings to the Treasury, together with any additional information that would facilitate compliance with Regulation 269/2014.

v. provide any information concerning the frozen assets of designated persons that the Treasury may request. Information reported to the Treasury may be passed on to other regulatory authorities or law enforcement.

vi. Where a relevant institution has already reported details of accounts, other funds or economic resources held frozen for designated persons, they are not required to report these details again


Failure to comply with financial sanctions legislation or to seek to circumvent its provisions is a criminal offence.

The consolidated list of financial sanctions targets can be accessed from: here

24th May 2014

Proposed changes to the Combined Nomenclature for 2015  

These proposals, which are being discussed by the EU Commission’s Tariff and  Statistical Nomenclature Section of the Customs Code Committee, are as follows:

- proposal to revise 0406 (cheese and curd) by introducing new CN codes for Mozerella and Maasdam and removal of codes for Schabziger and Butterkase

- proposal to simplify the CN codes for bulbs (0601)

- creation of new codes for prepared tuna (1604)

- proposed introduction of new codes within 2707

- proposal to introduce new CN codes within 2931 (other organo-inorganic  compounds)

- proposal to revise certain codes within 3824 and create new codes for municipal waste (3825)

Official publication of CN 2015 is 31 October 2014


WTO upholds EU ban on seal products  

The WTO’s Appellate Body upheld the EU’s ban on the importation and marketing of seal products. The findings were the result of a challenge by Canada and Norway to the EU’s legislation banning seal products.

The WTO confirmed the EU's right to ban seal products on moral grounds related to animal welfare and the way the seals are killed. It did, however, criticise the way the exception for Inuit hunts has been designed and implemented.

The European Commission will review the findings on these exceptions to the ban and consider options for implementation. Overall, the Commission welcomes today's ruling as it upholds the ban imposed in reaction to genuine concerns of EU citizens.

Inward Processing Relief  
Public Notice 221 Inward Processing Relief has been reissued (May).  Most sections have been updated and some changes have been included.   The new concept of 'Simplified Discharge by Anticipation (SDBA)' has been introduced for the simplified discharge under Article 544c for aircraft and aircraft parts.

The new notice can be found Here

Export Control  
A new version (May) of the UK Strategic Export Control lists has been published and should be used with immediate effect.    This list is the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation (export licencing).   The new list can be found
here

23rd May 2014

Earlier (First) Sale Value Changes  
The requirement to register a General Valuation Statement when using an Earlier Sales Value has been removed.  New codes have been issued for entries to CHIEF.  HMRC retain the right to request the completion of a valuation declaration (C105A or B) at any time.  Further details of the codes to be used can be found here

22nd May 2014

CHIEF CPC Validation  
From 1st June 2014 additional validation will take place in CHIEF for the export CPCs listed below.  (End Use, Inward Processing, Outward Processing Relief, Customs Warehousing, Temporary Admission and Processing under Customs Control).

10 40 006

10 41 000, 10 41 001

11 51 001, 11 51 002, 11 51 003

21 00 003, 21 41 002,

31 51 000, 31 51 001, 31 51 002, 31 51 003, 31 51 008, 31 51 009, 31 51 A 51,

31 51 A52, 31 51 E 52

31 91 000, 31 91 003

The validation is to ensure that the correct AI and GEN statements are included.  If the statement is not included the entry will be rejected.

IP Prior Export Equivalence  
The CPC codes for Inward Processing with Prior Export Equivalence have been changed.    
Full details can be found 
here

Use of INF5  
New guidelines have been published concerning the use of the INF5 form.  These guidelines have been agreed across the EU.  See here for full details.

Light Commercial Vehicles  
T
he European Union today requested consultations with the Russian Federation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concerning anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) from Germany and Italy.

The EU believes the anti-dumping duties are incompatible with WTO law, both on procedural and on substantive grounds. WTO consultations will give the EU and Russia the opportunity to find a negotiated solution. If the consultations are not successful, after 60 days the EU can ask the WTO to establish a panel to rule on the case. The duties of 23% to 29.6% imposed on European LCVs are significantly hampering access to the Russian market

17th May 2014
EU and China sign landmark mutual recognition agreement  
EU and Chinese trusted traders will enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their activities, thanks to a mutual recognition agreement signed today. Under the agreement, the EU and China commit to recognising each other's certified safe traders, thereby allowing these companies to benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance. Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, thereby improving supply chain security on both sides. The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having already signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011). See further details
here

16th May 2014

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)  
The European Commission today published negotiating positions in five more important topics of the current talks with the US on a future trade and investment deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The papers released today include proposals for enhancing the compatibility of each other's existing rules and regulations, or working more closely together in setting them in future, in five sectors:

EU position on chemicals  

EU position on cosmetics 

EU position on motor vehicles  

EU position on pharmaceutical products 

EU position on textiles and clothing 

In each sector, the papers focus on ways we can:

- end the unnecessary duplication of product testing or plant inspections

- recognise each other's existing regulations, or bring them more closely together

- align our respective procedures for approving or registering new products.

Video Glasses  
Tariff classification of video glasses as monitors.  For further details see
here

UK Export Control  
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) has amended the Export Control Order 2008. Schedule 2 has been replaced and there is one unrelated change to a national control in Schedule 3 (PL8001). The new Order can be found 
here

13th May 2014

TV simulator unit  
A tariff classification notice has now been issued classifying a TV simulator unit as a light fitting of Chapter
9405 40 39.  The unit’s primary function is to give the impression that there are people present in the house with the purpose of deterring burglars. See 
here for further details.

Radio-controlled (electrical) socket set  
A tariff classification notice has now been issued classifying a radio-controlled electrical socket set as a product is therefore to be classified under code 85365080 as other switches for a voltage exceeding 60 V.  See 
here for further details.

Active HDMI Switch  
A digital electronic apparatus with four High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMI) inputs, one HDMI output and a button for selecting the input (so-called ‘active HDMI switch’).  It incorporates an amplifier for regenerating weak signals, 4 LEDs for indicating the selected input and is supplied with 5 V DC. The apparatus supports full 1080p video signals with a data transfer up to 2.5 Gbps and the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) protocol. The apparatus is used for selecting one HDMI input to be connected to the HDMI output. It allows the selection of HDMI signals originating from different sources (for example, a DVD player, a set-top box) to be connected to one apparatus, for example, a television set. Coded as 85437090.

Shipwork end-use relief 
Shipwork end-use relief may allow customs duty to be relieved on any goods specifically imported for the construction, repair, maintenance, conversion, fitting out, or equipping of certain categories of eligible vessels and for eligible drilling/production platforms.

This paper highlights a recent decision by the Upper Tribunal on shipwork end-use which confirms that the processing of raw materials into goods for the equipping or fitting out of vessels is not permitted.

10th May 2014

Importing large machinery or plant in split consignments 
HMRC has issued a new clarification on how to use a single commodity code to import your goods in split consignments when importing large machinery or plant.  For further details see
here

Anti-dumping duty on bicycle parts  
Further information on exemptions from the extended anti-dumping duty on certain bicycle parts originating in the People's Republic of China has been published.  For full details see
here

Revised public notices  
The following revised public notices have been issued

Export Refinancing Facility  
£5 billion Export Refinancing Facility (ERF) launched to boost UK exports.  The
Export Refinancing Facility ( ERF ) will enable UK-based exporters to offer competitive long-term financing to overseas buyers who require loans in excess of £50 million to purchase UK capital goods and services.  For further information see here

18th April 2014

IP Prior Export Equivalence (PEE) 

HMRC have issued revised rules for the use of the INF5 form with Prior Export Equivalence.

For full details see here

LCD colour screen  
Further clarification of the classification of LCD monitors by HMRC see here


Change to location of C18 processing  
The address for the processing of C18’s has changed from Grimsby to Salford.  See here for more information.

2nd April 2014
Changes to OGELs  
Notice has been given by UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that Open general export licence (export for repair/replacement under warranty: military goods) and Open general export licence (military goods: for demonstration) have been amended to remove Russia from the permitted destinations.

Changes to goods subject to Brokering / Trafficking controls  
The Export Control Order 2008 (‘the main Order’) concerning Category B goods (trade controls) has been amended.   The amendment expands the list of items subject to Category B of the trade controls (trafficking and brokering) to include new paragraphs 18 to 22 to cover all the conventional arms which fall within the categories specified in Article 2(1) of the Arms Trade Treaty.  See
here for further information.

New address and contact details for the National Clearance Hub  
New postal address and phone numbers for the HMRC National Clearance Hub have been published.  See 
here for further information.

Homogenised composite food preparations  
A new Explanatory Note has been issued clarifying the characteristics of homogenised composite food preparations in order for them to be listed as tariff code 2104 20 00.  See here.   This is not considered to alter current UK practice.

Organic Food Imports  
The European Commission has published new proposals for a new Regulation on organic production and the labelling of organic products.

  • The Commission proposes in particular: 
    to strengthen and harmonize rules, both in the European Union and for imported products, by removing many of the current exceptions in terms of production and controls;
  • to reinforce controls by making them risk-based;
  • to make it easier for small farmers to join organic farming by introducing the possibility for them to sign up to a group certification system; 
  • to better address the international dimension of trade in organic products with the addition of new provisions on exports; and finally 
  • to simplify the legislation to reduce administrative costs for farmers and improve transparency

See here for further details

Rare Earths r 
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has issued a panel ruling against China’s export restrictions on rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum that are used as essential components by a wide range of European industries. In line with the previous ruling on other raw materials, the WTO found that China’s export duties and quotas were in breach of China’s WTO commitments and were not justified for reasons of environmental protection or conservation policy.  See here for more information.

Sweet Corn  
The EU has imposed a anti-dumping duty on imports of certain prepared or preserved sweetcorn in kernels originating in Thailand.  See here for further information.

Vehicle Imports to UK  
Changes have been announced to the rules regarding the notification to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of vehicles arriving in the UK (NOVA) where the intention of the ultimate use of a vehicle changes after the vehicle has entered the UK. The rule changes are to prevent penalties for late notification being generated where there is such a change of intention.   See
here for further information.

30th March 2014
New public notices  
The following public notices have been reissued by HMRC –  see links for full information:

Notice 703 VAT: Export of goods from the United Kingdom see here

Notice 550 Air Passenger Duty see here 

Notice 551 Special Accounting Schemes for Air Passenger Duty (APD) see here


N
ew AEO benefit  
HMRC has announced a new benefit for holders of AEO status and for those currently engaged in the application process.  This new benefit permits the movement of goods entered to CHIEF from the frontier to an External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) for examination and documentary checks.

Each AEO authorisation holder requesting the use of this benefit will be considered on its own merit by Border Force.

Fish Imports fis 
A new Port Health check release process for Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) imports of fish has been introduced.   This change to the IUU Fishing Regulation Catch certificate validation process is to enable imports of fishery products within scope of IUU to also benefit from the ALVS extension.   See here for detailed information.

Import of Cats and Dogs  
HMRC has issued new guidance on the standard values to be used for the import of cats and dogs where no purchase price is available (does not apply to pets).   The standard value for a cat is £60 and for a dog £100.

Electronic Invoicing  
Revised Notice 700/63 has been issued.   It has been updated to reflect the changes in invoicing regulations of 2013. It also contains revised content to reflect the technological advances since the previous version. See 
here

VAT Changes 2015  
The European Commission has published Explanatory Notes to prepare businesses for the new VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and electronic services, which will enter into force in 2015.  See further details at
here

27th March 2014
Performance Index  
The United Kingdom has just been rated 4th in The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2014.  This is up from 10th in 2012.   The LPI ranks 160 countries on six dimensions of trade -- including customs performance, infrastructure quality, and timeliness of shipments.  Aspects of international trade that have increasingly been recognized as important to development. The data used in the ranking comes from a survey of logistics professionals who are asked questions about the foreign countries in which they operate.  See full LPI here

Cyber Threats and the Supply Chain  
In an increasingly electronic world where even very small companies are using the internet and systems to facilitate their international trade it is becoming more and more important to ensure that the systems everyone relies on are secure and can be relied upon.   The threats posed and actions needed for security are recognised in standards such as AEO.  Practitioners and academics are working together to mitigate risk and secure the supply chain from cyber threats in a Hull University Business School research club.  Their next workshop is in London on 2nd April for more details see 
here 


22nd March 2014
New HMRC Repayments database  

The National Duty Repayment Centre has implemented a new computer system for repayments processing.  It was originally intended to go live last September but was delayed.   Whilst every effort will be made to continue to meet the 30 day target turnaround time staff training and general implementation issues are expected to continue until May and this could impact turnaround times.

Polysilicon - China  
China initiated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on European imports of polysilicon to China in November 2012, the German polysilicon producer Wacker Chemie AG and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) have  announced that an agreement has been found to settle the proceedings through a price undertaking

The agreement requires that European exports of polysilicon are not sold below a specific minimum price in China, whereas China agrees to refrain from imposing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on the imports.


UK Export licences suspension  
In response to growing concerns in relation to events in Russia and Ukraine the UK has suspended all existing licences and current licence applications for export to the Russian military for items that could be used against Ukraine. 

The suspension applies for direct export to Russia for military and dual use items destined for units of the Russian armed forces or other state agencies which could be or are being deployed against Ukraine.

It also applies to exports to third countries for incorporation into equipment for export to Russia where there is a clear risk that the end product will be used against Ukraine. 

EU Trade and Investment Barriers Report  
The fourth Trade and Investment Barriers Report (TIBR) has been presented to the European Council by the European Commission.

Examples where the European Union made progress towards eliminating some of the most trade-distortive barriers on the markets of the EU's strategic partners include:

  • In May 2013 China introduced discriminatory customs and taxation measures affecting the logistics and shipping industry. The EU together – with local partners – had a constructive dialogue with the Chinese authorities to resolve the problem. In December 2013, China issued a new circular correcting the discriminatory elements in the original taxation measures.
  • Access to the Indian market for EU manufacturers of telecommunication products and electronic goods has improved in 2013. For example, the Indian government has suspended the implementation of preferential procurement policies in favour of domestically manufactured electronic goods and telecommunication products. It has also postponed the mandatory testing and certification requirements for telecom network elements for security reasons and has introduced changes in its investment rules which open the possibility for 100% foreign ownership in the telecoms sector.
  • For Brazil, progress has been made on the list of 100 temporary exceptions to the Common External Tariff (CET). The list, applied in September 2012, was terminated at the end of October 2013. Even more importantly, a new list of 100 CET exceptions planned for early 2013 was in the end not enforced.

To see the full report here

Inward Processing Relief (IP) and Processing under Customs Control (PCC)  
HMRC have given further guidance and clarification on throughput periods.

See here

Inward Processing Relief using Prior Export Equivalence (PEE)  
HMRC have issued amended rules for the completion of the INF5.  Member States will no longer accept ‘lists’ in place of the importer and port of entry.  For full information see
here

Exporting Wine to China  
The European and Chinese wine industries, respectively represented by the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV) and the Chinese Alcohol Drinks Association (CADA), have reached an agreement which will lead to the termination of the Chinese anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into European wine exports initiated in July 2013 and will provide the basis for technical cooperation and exchanges planned for the next two years.

Upon the withdrawal of the complaint and the subsequent termination of the investigation by the Chinese authorities, the EU wine industry will provide a number of technical assistance packages to the Chinese side in areas such as of winegrowing – experimental vineyards and mechanization techniques - winemaking and quality controls, marketing approaches, wine tastings, and the Geographical Indications protection system. This assistance will be provided through activities such as hosting study visits in Europe, seminars, and other training and internship activities. The Chinese wine industry will assist the EU industry to organize EU wine tastings in China, to improve the wine knowledge among the Chinese consumers, and promote the appreciation of wines and its culture. Both parties will set up permanent information and communication exchanges, monitor the implementation of their cooperation, and collaborate at international level on advocacy activities aimed on improving market access conditions in third countries.

HM Treasury Financial Sanctions – Russia  
Council Regulation (EU) No. 269/2014, the Regulation imposing financial sanctions in respect of Ukraine (Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity), has been amended so that an asset freeze now applies to more people.

UK businesses and citizens are required to:
i. check whether you maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for the persons set out in the Annex to the notice.

ii. freeze such accounts, and other funds or assets

iii. refrain from dealing with the funds or assets or making them available to such persons unless licensed by the Treasury.

iv. report any findings to the Treasury, together with any additional information that would facilitate compliance with the Regulation.

v. provide any information concerning the frozen assets of designated persons that the Treasury may request. Information reported to the Treasury may be passed on to other regulatory authorities or law enforcement.

vi. failure to comply with financial sanctions legislation or to seek to circumvent its provisions is a criminal offence.

More information can be found here

HM Treasury Financial Sanctions – Afghanistan  
Sanctions have been amended to delist certain individuals see full list here

13th March

Help for Ukraine  
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for temporarily removing import duty on Ukrainian exports to the EU. The duty reductions are expected to apply between June and November 2014 after which the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) will enter into force.

The annual value of this support measure is expected to be approx. Euro 500 million in duty reductions. Existing EU duty for industrial goods exported from Ukraine will be removed for 94.7% of products.  Reductions will be given for the remainder.  For agricultural products there will be reductions but some quotas will apply.  For processed food products immediate reductions will apply to 83.4% of Ukraine's exports with the remainder benefiting from reductions controlled by quotas.

Ukraine will be required to maintain compliance with the relevant procedures linked to the 'rules of origin' as well as involvement in effective administrative cooperation with the EU. Other safeguards will apply.


More here

11th March

EU Commission VAT report  

The European Commission has adopted two reports which shed more light on problems linked to fighting VAT fraud within the EU, and which identify possible remedies.

The first report looks at VAT collection and control procedures across the EU Member States. Recommendations are addressed to individual Member States on where they could make improvements. The second report looks at how effectively administrative cooperation and other available tools are being used in order to combat VAT Fraud in the EU.   Reports available
here

12th March

Tariff classification change  

The product is a round, moulded bowl, of plastics. Its diameter is approximately 18.5 cm and its height is approximately 7 cm. The bowl holds approximately 700 ml. The bowl is a container for pet food to feed animals (for example, dogs).  Now classified as 3924 90 00 see here for further information

Tariff classification warming / cooling Giraffe  

A product in the form of a stylised giraffe (approximately 36 cm high and weighing approximately 820 g), consisting of a soft, textile exterior filled with various materials. 

The product can be heated in either a microwave or a traditional oven and also cooled in either a fridge or a freezer in order to be used as a heating or cooling cushion. The product is to be classified as a stuffed toy representing an animal under CN code 9503 00 41.  See here for further information.


Low Value Bulk Import Scheme (LVBI)  

HMRC have issued clarification on the completion of the import declaration and an update of terms and conditions of use.  See  here for detailed information.


GSP+
 

With effect from 28 February 2014 the following countries are also eligible for GSP+ preferential treatment:

El Salvador
Guatemala
Panama


7th March
Manganese Dioxide 
Following an expiry review anti-dumping duty will remain in place on imports of electrolytic manganese dioxides (i.e. manganese dioxides produced through an electrolytic process) not heat-treated after the electrolytic process, currently falling within CN code ex 2820 10 00 originating in the Republic of South Africa (‘South Africa’)

Inward Processing Relief (IPR) 
Notice 221 and 221A have been revised.  Latest issue is now dated February 2014. See 
here

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies 
Briefing 09/14 sets out HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) position on the tax treatment of income received from, and charges made in connection with, activities involving Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies, specifically for Value Added Tax (VAT), Corporation Tax (CT), Income Tax (IT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT).  See here

Conflict Minerals 
EU has proposed a responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones and a draft regulation (See 
here )setting up an EU system of self-certification for importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold who choose to import responsibly into the Union.

Intrastat 
The phone number for the HMRC Intrastat Online team has been changed to 03000 594 238.

Open General Export Licence 
Open general export licence (military goods: for demonstration) has been updated to reflect changes to the requirements for MOD  Form 680 approval.

Ukraine 
On 6 March 2014 the Council of the European Union imposed financial sanctions, including asset freezes, against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine.  This was imposed by Council Regulation (EU) 208/2014 (“the Regulation”).  

You are required to

i.  check whether you hold any accounts, funds or economic resources for the persons set out in the Annex to the notice;

ii.  freeze such accounts, funds or economic resources;

iii. refrain from dealing with such accounts, funds or economic resources, or making them available to such persons - unless licensed by the Treasury;

iv. report any findings to the Treasury, together with any additional information that would facilitate compliance with the Regulation;

v.  provide any information concerning the frozen assets of such persons that the Treasury may request. Information reported to the Treasury may be passed on, for example to other regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies.

Failure to comply with financial sanctions legislation or to seek to circumvent its provisions is a criminal offence.

28th February

Zimbabwe  
Changes have been made to UK financial sanctions see here

U.S. Treasury additional regulation  
U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published notice that it has listed eleven named parties as “Foreign Sanctions Evaders,” pursuant to Executive Order 13608 (May 1, 2012) (the “FSE” list) see  here   

The list contains individuals and entities determined by the U.S. government to have violated, attempted to violate, conspired to violate or caused to violate U.S. sanctions against Syria or Iran.

As such U.S. persons and companies, as well as their subsidiaries and controlled affiliates abroad, are effectively prohibited from engaging in transactions with parties included on the FSE list unless the transaction qualifies for an exemption from OFAC sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), or is otherwise specifically licensed by OFAC.   This list is not currently part of the Consolidated Screening list.

Ukraine  
The EU Foreign Affairs Council has introduced targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban for certain individuals in Ukraine. Member States have also agreed to suspend, until further notice, all export licensing to Ukraine for equipment which might be used for internal repression. The Export Control Organisation is reviewing whether it is necessary to revoke, suspend or amend any additional extant licences.  See here

Detecting Illegal Timber  
Illegal shipments of raw or processed lumber, as well as products manufactured from timber, such as furniture and mu­sical instruments are reportedly on the increase.  Violations of Customs law can include export and import of tree species banned under CITES, timber traded in contravention of national bans, cross-border movements without a licence or other necessary documents, use of fraudulent documents, underestimation of volumes and tonnage, and misclassifica­tion of wood products and species.  A feasibility study was initiated by WWF Germany, as the lead partner of a consortium with the enforcement agencies of EU Member States to see whether sniffer dogs could be used to detect illegal timber.   In trials they have proved 90% successful.     Further trials at seaports etc. will be undertaken and it is hoped that trained dogs will play an increasing role in future enforcement.

Samples for Exhibitions  
HMRC have issued guidance on entering giveaway goods for exhibitions with the intent to obtain duty relief (CPC40 00 C32).   The guidance clarifies when this procedure may be used and lists goods which are not eligible.  See here

Commonwealth Games  
HMRC have issued guidance on importing or exporting goods for the Commonwealth Games 2014.

See here   Good luck everyone!

Excise Duty  
HMRC have issued a revised Notice 179 Motor & heating fuels: General information and accounting for Excise Duty & VAT.   See here

26th February

Rainbow Trout  

The EU has initiated an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of rainbow trout originating in Turkey
for further details see
 
here

 
EU to chair plurilateral talks to open services markets  

The European Union will chair the 6th Round of negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).  TiSA negotiations aim at opening up markets in services among a diverse group of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) members who are willing to push ahead with liberalisation faster than the general membership of the World Trade Organization. The result will be a plurilateral agreement among a ’coalition of the willing’ to open up markets on services ranging from financial services, e-commerce to maritime transport. Participating countries range from the Australia to Paraguay and from Liechtenstein to the US. Of the 51 WTO members round the table, 28 are EU Member States, but the EU is counted as a single participant.


Inward Processing Relief (IP)  

HMRC have issued a revised form C& E 810 Application/Authorisation for Inward Processing Relief.

See here for more details

 
Customs Warehousing  

Customs have issued a reminder to operators of Customs Warehouses (Bonded warehousing) regarding the circumstances in which retail sales from the warehouse are permitted.    This is in response to instances where retail sales have taken place other than in permitted circumstances.

 
Where this happens customs debts (duty, tax, excise) become due.

 
Permitted retails sales:

 - to travellers en route to non EU countries

 - under diplomatic or consular arrangements

 - to members of international organisations or NATO forces

 
X-Ray security equipment  

China has lifted its anti-dumping duties on European X-ray security equipment following a successful challenge by the EU in the WTO.   The Chinese authorities have confirmed that the additional duties for imports from the EU were removed on 19 February 2014.


20th February  

15 inch LCD Monitors – tariff rulings

A new tariff ruling of 85285100 has been issued for approx.15 inch LCD touch sensitive monitors with a stand with a tilt and swivel mechanism and a glare free surface. These monitors are presented for use, for example, in point of sale/customer information point terminals.  The touch-sensitive surface enables the users to input data into these terminals and the monitor is capable of displaying signals from ADP machines.  See here for further details.

 

30 inch LCD Monitors – tariff rulings

A new tariff ruling of 8528 59 31 has been issued for colour monitors of the liquid crystal display (LCD) type with a diagonal measurement of the screen of approx. 75 cm (30 inches) with dimensions of approximately 71×45×11cm. They have a fixed stand without a tilt and swivel mechanism and is presented with a remote control. The monitor does not incorporate a video tuner or other electronics for processing television signals.

These monitors are presented for use in information display applications, such as public information access points, retail signage, financial exchanges, airports and trade show exhibits and are capable of displaying signals from both automatic data-processing machines and other video sources. See here for further details.

 

High Speed Camera – tariff ruling

A new tariff ruling of  8525 80 19 has been issued for a high speed camera (rectangular shape) comprising a lens and electronic circuitry with dimensions of approximately 12×12×11 cm. incorporating a volatile internal memory of 2 GB  and able to temporarily store images in a sequence with a maximum duration of 1,54 seconds at 1 000 frames per second (fps) at full resolution. (The captured images are lost when the camera is switched off). Connection by a cable to an automatic data- processing (ADP) machine is necessary for operating the camera and recording the images into the ADP machine. This is a change to previous practice. This tariff code attracts a duty rate of 4.9%.

See here for further details. 

 

LCD Monitor for Medical Use – tariff ruling

A new tariff ruling of 8528 59 31  has been issued for a colour monitor of the liquid crystal display (LCD) type with a diagonal measurement of the screen of approximately 54 cm (21 inches) with dimensions (without stand) of approximately 37×47×7 cm.  The monitor is presented for use in medical systems for displaying radiographic images for clinical diagnostics. 

See here for further details.

  
Control unit with touch screen – tariff ruling

A new tariff ruling of 85371010 has been issued for an electric control apparatus for a voltage not exceeding 1 000 V incorporating a liquid crystal display (LCD) with a touch screen.

The display has a diagonal measurement of the screen of 30,5 cm (12 inches) and a resolution of 800×600 pixels in a housing with dimensions of approximately 30×23×6 cm.  The apparatus incorporates an automatic data processing (ADP) machine presented with an operating system.  See here for further details.



13th February 

Inclusion of Non-Monetary Gold in Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS)

Monetary Gold (MG) and Non-Monetary Gold (NMG) are currently excluded from all Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS) products. From January 2014, Non-Monetary Gold will be included in these data series. This change will occur in  the January 2014 data which will be published in March 2014.

 
12th February

HMRC Notice 701/14  

HMRC Revised notice 701/14 (February 2014) has been issued. This notice explains when food can be zero-rated for VAT purposes.   It has been updated from the 2011 version to include information about the liability of sports nutrition drinks (see section 4 of the notice). See here

 
10th February

Afganistan 

The EU and Afghanistan today signed a deal concluding their bilateral negotiations on Afghanistan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).   The bilateral deal provides for lower tariffs and export duties for goods and for opening up services markets once Afghanistan joins the WTO.  Currently as a Least Developed Country, all Afghanistan’s products (except arms) have duty free and quota free access to the EU market.

 

6th February
Tackling tax fraud:  
EU Commission proposes stronger cooperation with non-EU countries on VAT as part of the intensified battle against tax fraud.  The Commission has launched the process to start negotiations with Russia and Norway on administrative cooperation agreements in the area of VAT.  The broad goal of these agreements would be to establish a framework of mutual assistance in combatting cross-border VAT fraud and in helping each country recover the VAT it is due. VAT fraud involving third-country operators is particularly considered a risk in the telecoms and e-services sectors.

5th February
OGEL changes

Open general export licence (export after exhibition: dual-use items) 
This Licence which allows the export of dual-use items if they have been temporarily imported into the UK for exhibition or demonstration has been revised with an additional paragraph
added to the Conditions and Requirements explaining that it will automatically run out if not used within a 2 year period see
here

4th February
OGEL change 
New reporting requirements for OGEL users have been published.  Details are available here

Tariff changes  
Chapter 61 Graduated compression hosiery (for example, stockings for varicose veins) – Other Commodity codes 611510 90 10 and 611510 90 90 have been deleted and replaced with the following new
commodity code:
611510 90 00 

3rd February
Binding Tariff Information 
HMRC has given notice that the facility to submit manual applications for a BTI request on form C103 will be withdrawn on 31 March 2014.  From 1 April 2014 all requests for a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) ruling will have to be submitted to HMRC on an electronic Binding Tariff Information (eBTI) form which is accessed via the Government Gateway. 

Before you can register with the Government Gateway you will need to obtain an  Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)
number. You will also need the business postcode.  (This included individuals).  Further information can be obtained here

New address for CITEX (Customs International Trade and Excise) 
With immediate effect written enquiries should now be sent to:

HM Revenue & Customs CITEX Written Enquiry Team PO Box 30001 GLASGOW G67 9EX

2nd February
Intrastat 

2014 Revised Notice 60 Intrastat General Guide is now available from here

Carnets 
2014 Revised Public Notice 104 ATA and CPD Carnets is now available from here

Tobacco 
Revised Public Notice 476 Tobacco Products Duty - updates - herbal tobacco. See here

1 February
Anti-dumping duty – ceramic tiles 
EU has given notice of initiation of a partial interim review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of ceramic tiles originating in the People’s Republic of China due to a change the relationship between the legal entities.

For further information see here

CHIEF Import entries 
Further guidance has been issued on the correct completion of Box 15a (Country of Dispatch) at import as there is evidence of incorrect codes being used.  The rules state “If no stoppage or judicial action unrelated to transport has taken place in an intermediate country, enter in box 15a the relevant Community code from Annex 38 for the country from which the goods were initially dispatched to the Member State of import. If such stoppages or actions have taken place, the last intermediate country is to be considered the country of dispatch/export.”  An EU country code will no longer be accepted.

For detailed guidance see here

29 January
Review of ERTS 
The Customs Policy Review of ERTS’ formally concluded 31 December 2012.

The Management Summary Review Report has now been published and its recommendations have now been formally accepted and signed off by the Customs Directorate Senior Management Team.

Revised Notice 702 issued 
Revised Notice 702 (January 2014) has been issued. This notice cancels and replaces Notice 702 (October 2013). Details of any changes to the previous version can be found in paragraph 1.2 of this notice.    More details can be found here

25 January
WTO dispute on seals products gets into the phase of appeal 
Canada and Norway today launched an appeal against the WTO panel report on the EU’s ban on importation and marketing of seals products. The WTO ruling had confirmed that the ban was justified on moral grounds relating to animal welfare concerns with regard to the way in which the seals are killed.  The WTO panel had previously rejected Canada’s and Norway’s claims against the ban.

Export Licence Update 
BIS has issued revised licences as follows:

24 January

On 20 January 2014 the EU amended the sanctions against Iran. ir 
The amendments are set out in Council Regulation 2014/42/EU amending Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012. These amendments implement within the EU the Joint Plan of Action agreed in Geneva on 24 November 2013 by the E3+3 (UK, France, Germany, USA, Russia and China) and Iran as a first step towards solving the Iranian nuclear issue.  For detail see link here

23 January
EU Commission Export Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy 
At their latest meeting the Group discussed how the digitalisation of the economy with the rise of e-commerce, has implications for the principles underlying the VAT system operated in the EU. The group took note of the new rules concerning the supply of electronic services that will enter into force in 2015. These rules will set the destination principle as the rule for telecommunication, broadcasting and electronically provided services and will be combined with a Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to facilitate administration for businesses.

For further information see here

Legal certainty for cross border transactions: VAT ruling pilot project extended 
Simplifying VAT for businesses – particularly SMEs – is a high priority for the EU Commission, as reflected in the work underway to reform the VAT system. The pilot project, which was launched in June 2013 has now been extend.    Businesses who want to engage in a complex cross-border transaction involving two or more Member States may submit their project to the tax administration of their country of residence. On this basis tax authorities, after consulting with tax administrations of other Member States involved, will give businesses reassurance on the appropriate VAT treatment and applicable obligations in all Member States concerned.

For more details see here

22 January 

Intrastat Declarations  

This consultation invites comments on EU proposals to reduce the burden on businesses required to submit Intrastat declarations, and seeks evidence on their impact on businesses and the statistical data made available to users. It also introduces a workable UK alternative to the EU proposals, and assesses and compares the relative impacts, costs and benefits. Views are welcome from anyone who has an interest in this area, in particular businesses required to submit Intrastat declarations and users of trade data.  See here for details  


20 January

Free movement of people: EU Commission to tackle tax discrimination against mobile EU citizens  

Member States' tax provisions are to be scrutinised to ensure that they do not discriminate against mobile EU citizens, in a targeted initiative launched by the Commission.

The focus is on both economically active individuals such as workers and self-employed, and those that are not, such as retired persons. For more information see the press release (
IP/14/31) and the EU website. The initiative complements and completes a previous project which looked at the tax treatment of cross-border workers (IP/12/340).

China  

The first round of negotiations for an EU-China investment agreement will take place in Beijing on 21-23 January 2014. A comprehensive EU-China investment agreement will benefit both the EU and China by ensuring that markets are open to investment in both directions. It will also provide a simpler, secure and predictable legal framework to investors in the long term.

19 January

Business Secretary beats the drum for UK business in the UAE   

Business Secretary Vince Cable embarks on his first trip as Business Secretary to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to boost trade with the region and encourage more inward investment into the UK.

 

17 January
Vietnam   

The EU and Vietnam today completed the sixth round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The talks were held in Brussels from 13-17 January

Negotiators made good headway on all chapters of the proposed FTA. Three areas – customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, and competition (anti-trust & mergers) – saw particular progress with the teams being able to conclude their technical work and reach agreement. 

Negotiators also had intense discussions on market access for goods, services and investment, and government procurement

The negotiations are aimed at achieving an ambitious agreement on goods, services and investment, eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers and covering other trade-related issues, such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and trade and sustainable development

Ecuador  

The EU and Ecuador today finished the first round of trade negotiations following their decision to resume the talks for Ecuador to join the Trade Agreement that the EU concluded with Colombia and Peru.


In this first round, negotiators discussed market access for goods, services and establishment, and government procurement.

16th January

Hand Pallet Trucks and essential parts originating in China & Thailand  

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 32/2014  of 14 January 2014  has initiated  a ‘new exporter’ review of Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1008/2011 which imposed a definitive anti-dumping duty of 70.8% on imports of hand pallet trucks and their essential parts originating in the People’s Republic of China as amended by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 372/2013.

Ningbo Logitrans Handling Equipment Co. Ltd. has requested the review as it claims it is new to the market and is operating under market conditions which should mean that it’s imports to the EU should not be subject to the 70.8% anti-dumping duty.    The EU review will determine whether or not a separate import duty rate for this company should be created.  Interested parties are welcomed to comment as part of the investigation see here 

15th January

UK Growth 
The UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills growth dashboard summarises important facts and figures on UK growth and industrial policy - see here 

UK Tariff change 
Please note the following amendments just issued to volume 2 of the printed tariff and CHIEF applicable from 1 January 2014.

Chapter 27 Commodity code 271019 21 00 (Jet Fuel) delete 4.7% in column 6 and replace with: Free.   Duty is suspended for an indefinite period.

 
Changes to GSP 

Customs Information Paper 14(01) announces changes to the GSP scheme with regards to beneficiary countries of the GSP+ arrangement    The GSP+ arrangement provides duty free access to the EU for listed products and commodities to countries which ratify and implement a number of international conventions on core human and labour rights, the environment and good governance. 

The beneficiary countries are Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Mongolia,  Pakistan, Paraguay and Peru

A full list of products and commodities covered under GSP+ can be found listed in Annex IX of Regulation 978/2012.

14th January

Imports from South Africa 

As of 1st January 2014 GSP preferences previously granted to South Africa ceased to apply.    In line with the new Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) -1999/753/EC standstill clause [article 19(3)] applied duty rates will not increase as a result of the loss of GSP. This means that products imported from South Africa to the EU that enjoyed a more favourable tariff preference under the previous GSP Scheme will continue to receive this GSP preference rate but under the TDCA system of preferences.

For all declarations the required proof of origin will be an EUR.1 movement certificate (or an invoice declaration made out by an ‘approved exporter’ for consignments exceeding the €6 000 threshold).

It is important to note that in order to obtain an EUR. 1 (or invoice declaration) under these new arrangements the goods will need to comply with the rules of origin applicable to Protocol 1 of the TDCA which may not be the same as the rules of origin for GSP.

For those shipments that were sent before 31 December 2013, accompanied by a GSP Form A, but arrived after 31 December 2013, the exporter may apply to the customs authorities in South Africa for a retrospective EUR. 1 provided that the rules of origin under Protocol 1 of the TDCA are met.

7th January

New Regulation NR 1362/2013  

A new Regulation laying down the methods for the sensory testing of uncooked seasoned poultry meat for the purposes of its classification in the Combined Nomenclature has been published.  It is not considered a change to UK practice.  The detailed text can be found here


Open General Export Licences amendment 

Most Open General Export Licences have been amended with information concerning new reporting requirements. 

-          users of Open General and Open Individual Licences will be required to make reports on these licences on an annual basis – not quarterly as previously proposed

-          reports will still be made using the SPIRE system

-          the reporting requirement will apply from 1 January 2014

-          you will be able to report on an ongoing basis throughout the year or make a consolidated report at year-end

-          you will need to make your report on 2014 by the end of January 2015 at the latest (guidance will follow)

 

Exporters will only have to provide information on the:

- country of destination

- type of end user

- number of times the licence has been used for that country/end user type

- there will no requirement to provide control list classifications or descriptions of the items 

  exported

- the first year’s data will be published in an aggregated form in 2015.

For further information click here


4th January 2014

Personal Export Scheme 
HMRC Notice 707 This notice describes the Personal Export Scheme (PES). The scheme allows motor vehicles to be supplied in the United Kingdom free of Value Added Tax (VAT) if they will soon be exported to a destination outside the European Union (EU).  This new notice contains the information previously available in Notices 705 and 705A.


Withdrawal of a Trade Statistics Bulking Concession for Exports of Motor Vehicle Parts 

HMRC has withdrawn the bulking concession for export of motor vehicle parts to third countries (tariff code 87089997) with immediate effect.  Exporters should now use the tariff code appropriate to the product being exported.


1st Jan 2014
Enlargement of Euro zone 
On 1st January 2014 Latvia joined the Euro zone.   18 member states out of the 28 EU member states have adopted the Euro.    At the time of joining there was a fixed conversion rate of €1 = 0.702804 Latvian lat.

 

Guatemala 

A derogation from the normal rules of origin for products listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 1366/2013 imported from Guatemala under quota has been issued.


The Regulation has now been published on the European Commission website detailing the derogations from the rules of origin laid down in Annex II to the Agreement (see Official Journal L346/2012) and the quotas for certain products from Guatemala to which they apply. The derogated rules themselves are set out in Appendix 2A to Annex II to the Agreement.

 

The quotas apply within the limits of first come first served quotas for goods released into free circulation on or after 1 December 2013. Applications must be accompanied by an acceptable proof of origin containing the following statement: "Product originating in accordance with Appendix 2A of Annex II (Concerning the Definition of the Concept of "Originating Products" and Methods of Administrative Cooperation)".


The entry processing system will be updated in due course. In the meantime, there is a risk that you could overpay duty on products eligible for these quotas.


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will consider retrospective claims which are covered by a retrospectively issued EUR1 or invoice declaration bearing the above derogation statement.


If you have already paid the full rate of customs duty on eligible products the endorsed retrospectively issued proof of origin should be sent with a claim to quota on a Form C285 to HM Revenue & Customs National Duty Repayment Centre Priory Court St John’s Road
Dover Kent CT17 9SH

 

22nd December

New CAP Legislation    

The 4 basic EU regulations of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been published. Click here for details.

 

20th December

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership   

The EU and US have concluded the third round of week-long negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  Negotiators made progress on the three core parts of the TTIP – market access, regulatory aspects and rules – and these will be the focus for the round of talks expected in March 2014.

The EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aims to open up trade and investment between the EU and the US, which together make up 40% of global economic output. The TTIP is expected to result in more jobs and more growth, and to help lift Europe out of the economic crisis.

EU requests WTO consultations over Brazil’s discriminatory taxes  
The EU has requested consultations with the Government of Brazil under the dispute settlement provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on tax measures that discriminate against imported goods and provide prohibited support to Brazilian exporters.  

These tax measures have a negative impact on EU exporters, whose products face higher taxes than domestic competitors. In addition, the measures restrict trade by favouring the localisation of production and supplies, and give an advantage to Brazilian exporters. The measures also result in Brazilian consumers facing higher prices, less choice and lower access to innovative products.  These taxes affect many products including motor vehicles, computers, smart phones and semiconductors.

 

19th December

Revised EU trade scheme to help developing countries applies on 1 January 2014    

The European Union's rules determining which countries pay less or no duty when exporting to the 28 country trade bloc, and for which products, will change on 1 January 2014. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP scheme) is seen as a powerful tool for economic development by providing the world's poorest countries with preferential access to the EU's market of 500 million consumers.

The new scheme will be focused on fewer beneficiaries (90 countries) to ensure more impact on countries most in need. At the same time, more support will be provided to countries which are serious about implementing international human rights, labour rights and environment and good governance conventions ("GSP+").

Which regime will apply to goods that left their point of origin in 2013 but arrive in the EU after 1 January 2014?

 

It all depends on the date of the customs formalities.  If the customs authorities of an EU Member State accept the customs declaration for release of goods for free circulation on or before 31 December 2013, the old preferences (based on Regulation 732/2008) will apply to the consignment.

 

If the declaration is accepted on or after 1 January 2014, the new preferences (based on Regulation 978/2012) will apply.


Rate Increases   

OOCL has announced plans to increase its rates on its South East Asia-Australia services. The company states that the current rates do not cover basic operating or transportation costs.

 
In order to maintain a high standard service level and a comprehensive liner network, the company advises that, with effect from January  15, 2014, freight rates for traffic to Australia from South East Asia and other countries including; Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the wider Middle East.

The increase will amount to $200 per TEU for both dry and refrigerated cargo. It will apply on top of existing ongoing market rates and will be subject to accessorial surcharges applicable at the time of shipment.

Financial Sanctions: Iran (Nuclear Proliferation)    

A new notice relating to Iran (Nuclear Proliferation) has been issued.

The notice can be found here

The consolidated list of financial sanctions targets can be accessed here

 

18th December

Changes to Intrastat thresholds from 1 January 2014   

·     the exemption threshold for arrivals is increased from £600,000 to £1,200,000

·      the Delivery Terms threshold is increased from £16 million to £24 million

·      the exemption threshold for dispatches (EU exports) remains unchanged at £250,000

12th December

Anti-Dumping Duty   

COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 1343/2013 published imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of peroxosulphates (persulphates) originating in the People’s Republic of China following an expiry review pursuant to Article 11(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009

 
COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 1342/2013 published repealing the anti-dumping measures on imports of certain iron or steel ropes and cables originating in the Russian Federation following an expiry review pursuant to Article 11(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009

 
Tariff classification   

A new regulation was published on 3/12/13 OJ L322/13 NR 1231/2013 Item 13:

Treated distillate aromatic extract (TDAE) classified as 2707 99 99 – see full notice here

A new regulation was published on 3/12/13 OJ L322/15 NR 1232/2013 Item 15:

The product is presented as a non- alcoholic beverage consisting of fruit juice concentrates, a vegetable juice concentrate and fruit purees classified as 2202 90 10 – see full notice here

 

The World Trade Oganisation   
The WTO’s Bali Ministerial Conference has concluded with a new agreement called the ‘Bali Package’.  Trade facilitation is one element of the deal.

The trade facilitation decision is a multilateral deal to simplify customs procedures by reducing costs and improving their speed and efficiency. It will be a legally binding agreement and is one of the biggest reforms of the WTO since its establishment in 1995 — other agreements struck since then are on financial services and telecommunications, and among a subset of WTO members, and agreement on free trade in information technology products.

The objectives are: to speed up customs procedures; make trade easier, faster and cheaper; provide clarity, efficiency and transparency; reduce bureaucracy and corruption, and use technological advances. It also has provisions on goods in transit, an issue particularly of interest to landlocked countries seeking to trade through ports in neighbouring countries.

Part of the deal involves assistance for developing and least developed countries to update their infrastructure, train customs officials, or for any other cost associated with implementing the agreement.

The benefits to the world economy are calculated to be between $400 billion and $1 trillion by reducing costs of trade by between 10% and 15%, increasing trade flows and revenue collection, creating a stable business environment and attracting foreign investment. The text adopted in Bali is not final, although the substance will not change. It will be checked and corrected to ensure the language is legally correct, aiming for the General Council to adopt it by 31 July 2014.

9th December

Jet fuel    

The Council today adopted a regulation removing duties on jet fuel imports as from 1 January 2014 (16241/13).

 
The suspension of duties for jet fuel will avoid an increase of price that would otherwise have occurred because of the application of the new scheme of generalised tariff preferences, which starts running as from 1 January 2014.

The suspension of the duties for jet fuel, currently at 4.7%, will be reviewed within five years.

 

6th  December
Tariff Amendment   

There has been an amendment  to volume 2 of the UK printed Tariff and CHIEF applicable from 6 December 2013

Chapter 85  - Delete the description for the following Commodity Codes:

850131 00 73, 850132 00 30, 850133 00 50, 8850134 00 30, 850161 20 30, 850161 80 30, 850162 00 50, 850163 00 30, 850164 00 30 and 854140 90 10 for solar chargers and replace with new description.  See full notice here

EU Beef Exports to USA soon to be permitted    
The European Commission has welcomed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rule announcement to bring US legislation in line with international standards for BSE. This will mean that EU beef and other bovine products will again be allowed to be imported into the USA.  The US market has been closed since January 1998 when the US imposed a ban on EU beef on BSE grounds.

This action will be published in the US Federal Register soon. The rule will become effective 90 days after publication.

 

Anti dumping duty   

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1205/2013 of 26 November 2013  imposing a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of solar glass from the People's Republic of China published.


EU trade deal with Guatemala becomes operational   
As of 1 December 2013, trade barriers will be lifted between the European Union and Guatemala, (EU–Central America Association Agreement).   With Guatemala joining, the whole region of Central America can now benefit from the agreement, as the deal is already implemented with the other five member countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. This ambitious trade partnership intends to open up new markets and simplify rules in order to boost trade and investments on both sides.

The Agreement will open up markets for goods, public procurement, services and investment on both sides. The intention is to create a stable business and investment environment based on predictable and enforceable trade rules which, in many instances, go further than the commitments the parties have made in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

As a result, the Agreement will facilitate economic integration of the region while at the same time providing for new market opportunities for European economic operators, exporters and investors. The Central American economy is expected to grow by over €2.5 billion per year now that the Agreement applies to the entire region.

TIR movements and Russia  

The Russian Federal customs service (FCS) announced on 2 December that the application of the TIR procedure in Russia will continue.

The announcement revises an earlier FCS statement according to which TIR  would no longer be accepted anywhere in the Russian Federation as of 1 December due to the termination of the agreement between FCS and its national guaranteeing association ASMAP. According to the
statement issued on 2 December

, the termination of the agreement has been postponed until 1 July 2014.

FCS announced that it continues to accept the TIR Carnets in the customs districts of Vyborg, Karelia and Murmansk as a customs transit procedure. In other customs districts, the TIR Carnet could continue to be accepted as a transit procedure, but an additional guarantee, not provided for in the rules of the TIR Convention, is still required in these other regions.

 

5th December

FedEx air freight operations go paperless    

Federal Express has announced the launch of an environmentally friendly initiative aiming to reduce the carbon footprint and increase the cost efficiency of the company. As part of its EarthSmart commitment FedEx is in the process of taking its 32 tons of paper kits off all the airplanes in its fleet.

In addition to on-aircraft computer access to digital information, FedEx distributed over 4,300 tablet computers to all its pilots so they can access all necessary information onscreen. In doing so Fedex has removed all paper documents from its aircraft fleet. This move has achieved a carbon emissions reduction equivalent to taking 780 cars off the road.

 

The benefits for Fedex extend to reduced costs for the distribution of paperwork, reduced fuel costs incurred by aircraft and easier access to information for pilots and other Fedex employees.

27th November 2013  

The Russian customs authorities have since September 2013 gradually extended their requests for additional guarantees for goods moved under cover of the TIR procedure, in spite of the conclusions reached by UN TIR bodies that such measures are in breach of the TIR Convention.

As of 1 December the situation will change, as the Russian customs authorities have confirmed the termination of the TIR guarantee agreement with their national guaranteeing association ASMAP. This step will lead to the non-application of the TIR procedure in Russia as of 1 December and to the application in Russia of the transit procedure of that country only. Transport operators are strongly advised to prepare themselves for that scenario.

The details are available from the
Information note issued by European Commission services.

26th November 2013   

As of 27 November 2013 the EU will impose definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The antidumping measures consist of an additional duty of on average 24.6% for Argentina and 18.9% for Indonesia. The measures are based on a decision taken this week by the Council, following a 15-month investigation carried out by the European Commission. It revealed that Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel producers were dumping their products on the EU market. The dumped exports had a significant negative effect on the financial and operational performance of European producers.

 
 

The European Commission's competition 'Directorate' has announced that it will start formal anti-trust proceedings based on information it obtained when it raided the offices of a number of shipping companies in 2011. The companies concerned are reported to include Maersk, CMA CGM, Hamburg Sud, Hanjin, Evergreen and Hapag Lloyd.

25th November 2013  
The European Commission has proposed amendments to key EU corporate tax legislation, in order to significantly reduce tax avoidance in Europe.

The proposal will close loopholes in the Parent-Subsidiary Directive, which some companies have been using to escape taxation. In particular, companies will no longer be able to exploit differences in the way intra-group payments are taxed across the EU to avoid paying any tax at all.

For further information see the press release
(IP/13/1149), the questions and answers (MEMO/10/1040), and Commissioner Šemeta’s statement (SPEECH-13-969).  The proposal, the related impact assessment and its summary are available from the EU website.


23rd November 2013  
The supplementary units for waters, beer, cider and wines, commodity codes 2201 to 2206 require the number of  liquid litres to be entered in box 41 of the customs entry.

A liquid litre weighs more or less 1 kilogram. For statistical purposes HMRC expects the net mass (kgs),box 38, to correspond exactly with the liquid litres (supplementary units), box 41.

Nett mass is the weight of items excluding any packaging.

 
21st November 2013 


A Notice relating to Belarus financial sanctions was issued last night. 
It updates the Treasury’s Consolidated List of persons subject to financial sanctions.

For details click here



20th November 2013
 The European Commission published a MEMO and three press releases on 20 November about infringement procedures in the fields of taxation and customs concerning seven EU Member States.

For each case, the Member State(s) involved and the policy area are briefly mentioned below:

  • Belgium, customs offices’ opening hours and fees (IP/13/1104);
  • Belgium, tax on dividends and provisions on interests paid to foreign investment funds (IP/13/1105);
  • Cyprus, VAT invoicing rules (MEMO/13/1005);
  • France, implementation of key EU rules against tax evasion (MEMO/13/1005);
  • Greece, inheritance tax provisions on real estate and bequests to non-profit organisations (MEMO/13/1005);
  • Italy, rules on ancillary costs to VAT exempt imports (MEMO/13/1005);
  • Latvia, implementation of key EU rules against tax evasion (MEMO/13/1005);
  • Sweden, VAT on postal services (IP/13/1111).

 

 An EU Trade agreement with Costa Rica and El Salvador has now been signed allowing for a reduction in import duties.  Further information is available here

 

 The National Clearance Hub has moved from Custom House, Salford to Ralli Quays, Salford.  Further information is available here


15th November 2013   
The USA has today crushed more than six tons of ‘blood ivory’ consisting of tusks, carvings and jewellery.  The items were seized from smugglers, traders and tourists at US ports and airports of entry since 1989.   Trade in ivory is prohibited under the CITES regulations.
   Link to full news item

14th November 2013   
Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 - Renewal of final designations

The UK Treasury has renewed the final designations in respect of the entities named in the Annex to this Notice with effect from 11 November 2013. Each entity remains a “designated person” for the purposes of the Act and is referred to as such in this Notice. The final designations expire one year from the date they were made unless revoked earlier or renewed.     Link to the Notice 
 

12th November 2013 

The Myanmar-EU Taskforce being held in Myanmar is aimed at setting a new level of ambition as to the future of our bilateral relations and the role of the EU in supporting a peaceful transition and helping economic development, for example in the agricultural sector

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-975_en.htm

Customs Information Paper (13) 68 Published  

Information for importers and agents requiring repayment of Customs Duty http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/jccc/cips/2013/cip13-68.pdf

 

11th November 2013 

Council implementing regulation (EU) No 1106/2013 of 5 November 2013 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain stainless steel wires originating in India http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/november/tradoc_151877.def.en.L298-2013.pdf



8th November 2013 

The EU anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of seamless pipes and tubes of iron or steel, other than of stainless steel, of circular cross-section, of an external diameter exceeding 406,4 mm, originating in the People’s Republic of China, currently falling within CN codes 7304 19 90, 7304 29 90, 7304 39 98 and 7304 59 99, is terminated as the complaint has been withdrawn.

 

The UK Government has announced a £75 million fund which will enable businesses to make and test low carbon technologies that will keep the UK at the forefront of engine design and help safeguard up to 30,000 jobs in engine production. They will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, and will channel £1 billion investment from government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next 10 years. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/75-million-to-build-cars-of-the-future

 
7th November 2013

In September 2013 compared with August 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell by 0.6% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 0.3% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

 

The first commercial container vessel has arrived at the new London Gateway port in Essex, England.   The port is owned by DP World and claims that it can save shippers considerable distribution costs over other ports in the UK.     

 

5th November 2013

HMRC has published the following Customs Information Paper (13) 67 regarding Community Transit procedures at the London Gateway port.

3rd November 2013

European Commission has published the 2014 version of the Combined Nomenclature.

2nd November 2013

European Commission Agricultural & Rural Development CAP Sector

A new report has been published entitled - Evaluation of the structural effects of direct support.

This evaluation examines the effects of the direct support schemes laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 of 29 September 2003 (later Council Regulation (EC) No 73/09) on farm structural changes.

 

31st October 2013

HM Revenue & Customs

Notice 703: VAT - Exports of goods from the United Kingdom. This notice cancels
and replaces Notice 703 (August 2006). Details of any changes to the previous
version can be found in paragraph 1.2 of this notice

Notice 700/8: Disclosure of VAT avoidance schemes. This notice cancels and
replaces Notice 700/8 (February 2006). Details of any changes to the previous
version can be found in paragraph 1.2 of this notice.

Customs: Commission publishes the 2014 version of the Combined Nomenclature 
The European Commission has published the latest version of the Combined Nomenclature (CN) applicable from 1 January 2014.

The Combined Nomenclature forms the basis for the declaration of goods (a) at importation or exportation or (b) when subject to intra-Union trade statistics. This determines which rate of customs duty applies and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes. The CN is thus a vital working tool for business and the Member States' customs administrations.

The Combined Nomenclature was established by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. It is updated every year and is published as a Commission Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union, L Series. The latest version is now available as Commission Regulation (EU) No /2013 in
EU Official Journal L290  of 31 October 2013. This version applies from 1 January 2014. 


30th October 2013

HM Treasury :Financial Sanctions: Belarus

A notice concerning financial sanctions for Belarus was issued today. The notice can be found at the following URL address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-belarus


4th October 2013

As per Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website:

The Federal Government is currently shut down due to a funding lapse. As a result, the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is no longer accepting export license applications, classification requests (CCATS), encryption reviews, encryption registrations, or advisory opinion requests. Similarly, BIS will not be issuing any final determinations. The SNAP-R application on BIS's Website is not available and will not reopen until the Federal Government shutdown ends. All pending export license applications, commodity classification requests, encryption reviews, encryption registrations, and advisory opinion requests will be held without action by BIS until the shutdown ends.

Applicants may request emergency processing of export license applications for national security reasons by submitting email requests to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration Matthew Borman at Matthew.Borman@bis.doc.gov.

The subject line of the email should read "Request for Emergency License" and the email must identify the applicant (including point of contact), intermediate and ultimate consignees, and end user(s), items, end use, and national security justification for the emergency processing.

 

11th September 2013

The Union Customs Code (UCC) has been adopted by the European Parliament today.

The Union Customs Code is the framework Regulation on the rules and procedures for customs throughout the EU. 

The new Code introduces measures to complete the shift by Customs to a paperless, fully electronic environment, and includes provisions to reinforce swifter Customs procedures for reliable traders (Authorised Economic Operators).

The intention is for The Council to adopt the Regulation for the Union Customs Code so that it can enter into force by 1 November 2013.

6th September 2013
A new EU campaign against tax fraud and tax evasion has just been launched by the European Commission. A video is available along with key information on the problem and the actions being taken: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/missing-part_en.htm

21st August 2013
Member States of the European Union agreed to suspend all export licensing to Egypt for equipment which might be used for internal repression.

14th August 2013
CITES new EU controlled species Annexes published

7th August 2013
President Obama today signed an Executive Order extending the ban on the import to the USA of Burmese rubies and jade  - The Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008.  The ban not only covers rubies and jade mined in Burma (Myanmar) but those treated or processed in other countries such as Thailand.

3rd August 2013
HMRC Notice 700 The VAT Guide has been revised and re-issued.

31st July 2013
The Chinese government has announced their VAT programme will be implemented across the whole of China with effect from 1st August 2013. VAT will be charged on all charges which are paid in China including prepaid ocean freight.

1st July 2013
Croatia joined the EU today making 28 Member States.  Ensure your systems and processes for intrastat and VAT have been updated.