Representatives of the EU and New Zealand held negotiations from 14 to 31 March 2022, discussing most areas of the future free trade agreement between the jurisdictions. According to a two-pager published by the European Commission, EU’s request to be exempt from New Zealand’s import customs fees is the only outstanding element in the text as far as the topic “Trade in goods” is concerned.
In 2014, Ukraine and the EU signed a free-trade agreement in the form of an Association Agreement that contains a Title IV which relates to trade and trade related matters and has been applied since 1 January 2016. Article 29 of the Association Agreement provides for the progressive elimination of customs duties in accordance with the schedules included in the agreement and envisages the possibility to accelerate and broaden such elimination. Following a request of Ukraine, the European Commission has decided to put forward a proposal introducing the following trade-liberalising measures for products originating in Ukraine.
Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions Blog published the alert titled UK announces further import sanctions against Russia on 26 April 2022. Read the article via the link here. Please also visit our Sanctions Blog for the most recent updates.
On 21 September 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for a new EU scheme of generalised preferences, also called GSP. The GSP provides preferential access for products to the EU market originating in developing countries without the need for these countries to open their markets to EU exports in exchange. This preference shall be granted in accordance with the “Enabling Clause” set in Article 2a of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade, which provides a permanent exemption from the Most Favoured Nation (non-discrimination) for developed countries to unilaterally grant elimination or reductions of the tariff paid on imports from developing countries which share the same trade, financing and development needs.
On 7 April 2022, the ECJ issued its decision in the case C‑489/20 (UB vs Kauno teritorinė muitinė). UB arranged the unlawful introduction of cigarettes from Belarus to Lithuania. In September 2016, 6000 packages of cigarettes were thrown across the State border to be picked by vehicle on the other side. Lithuanian border officials managed to detain the vehicle carrying the cigarettes that same day.
On 31st of March 2022, the Wise Persons on Challenges Facing the Customs Union (WPG) released its report on the future of the EU customs union. The WPG has been appointed by the Commissioner Gentiloni to reflect on the development of innovative ideas and concepts. This report aims to contribute to a general inter-institutional debate on the future of the customs union.
Stay tuned to Baker McKenzie’s Supply Chains Disrupted video series for discussions and practical insights about current and emerging supply chain issues, with a focus on the tax, legal, trade and regulatory implications supply chain management teams should consider.
The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax becomes effective on 1 April 2022 and applies to plastic packaging in the UK that contains less than 30% recycled plastic content at a rate of GBP 200 per metric tonne. The tax is aimed at encouraging the use of more sustainable plastic packaging, increasing the use of recycled plastic and helping to reduce plastic waste. The PPT has been promoted by the UK government as a world leading measure and other jurisdictions are already putting in place similar regimes.
The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax is due to take effect from 1 April 2022 and will be payable by manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic content at a rate of £200 per metric tonne where certain thresholds are met.