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On 19 September 2022, the Commission unveiled its proposal for a Regulation for the New Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) to secure crucial supply chains in future emergency situations. The Commission describes the SMEI as a crisis governance framework to ensure the free movement of goods, services and persons and the availability of critical goods and services within the EU during emergencies. The SMEI is not specific to health but applies to all kinds of crises having an impact on the functioning of the single market and its supply chains. ‘Crisis’ is quite vaguely defined as an exceptional unexpected and sudden, natural or man-made event of extraordinary nature and scale that takes place inside or outside of the Union.

Operators may request a binding information decision from the relevant customs authorities in the EU, in order to obtain certainty about the application of customs legislation in respect of the tariff classification or the origin of imported goods across the EU. Currently, EU customs legislation does not facilitate the issuing of a binding information decision in respect the value of imported goods. This can present real challenges for importers where customs authorities across the EU adopt differing approaches on customs valuation matters, which is not uncommon, particularly for the most complex valuation matters (e.g. treatment of royalties/licence fees, assists, transfer pricing adjustments, etc.).

The Trade Specialised Committee on Customs Cooperation and Rules of Origin (the “Committee“) is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday 7 October. The joint EU/UK Committee was established by the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA“) with the role of monitoring and reviewing the consistency in implementation of the TCA Rules of Origin across the EU and the UK as well as related enforcement, and to provide a joint forum for discussing related technical issues.

Following the entry into force of the new EU Dual-Use Regulation 2021/821 last month (see also our recent post), the EU has introduced new document codes that need to be used on EU customs export declarations for exports and transits of dual-use items.
Notably, specific codes now apply depending on the relevant (type of) authorisation/licence. The old code “X002” (which was previously valid for all dual-use authorisations) has been replaced and cannot be used anymore.

On 25 August 2021 the EU Commission published guidance on the transitional rules of origin in the pan-Euro-Mediterranean area. The EU is currently amending 21 origin protocols within the pan-Euro-Mediterranean area by implementing an alternative set of rules of origin which will apply alongside the rules of the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin.

In December 2019, the European Commission launched the Green Deal, a comprehensive sustainability strategy with specific measures to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), commercial aviation is responsible for 2-3% of the global carbon emissions. In terms of the European Union, aviation accounts for 3% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the steady increase in emissions in the aviation sector since 1990, action in this area to address climate change is essential.

Belarus-related sanctions restrictions were recently introduced by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and Ukraine. The objective of newly introduced sanctions is to mount international pressure against the current oppressive regime in Belarus by preventing international companies from doing business in selected economic sectors of this country.

This edition takes a bite-size look at the different rates of progress of environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulation and voluntary standards across the European Union, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.