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EMEA Trade Weekly: UCC, Brexit, CETA, Tariffs, Rules of Origin



EU Commission adopts corrections and amendments to UCC implementing regulation
The most important changes can be summarised as follows.
- clarification and simplification of the rules for issuing a long-term supplier's declaration (e.g., re-introduction of the possibility of issuing at any point in the year a single declaration covering the full calendar year)
- additional time for exporters to obtain a registered exporter number for purposes of free trade agreements, particularly CETA
- increase from €60 000 to €100 000 of the limit of liability of guaranteeing associations for international road transport operations  
- clarification of rules for designating the customs office of exit in cases of export followed by transit of excise goods

[Official Journal of the EU]
CETA may not take effect on 1 July over cheese dispute
Canada has agreed to allow nearly 18,000 additional tonnes of European cheese to be imported tariff-free under the agreement but has informed the EU that 60 percent of that amount would go to domestic dairy producers and processors. Europeans fear they won’t use it, meaning fewer new European cheeses would compete with Canadian products.

[CBC News]
EU working to conclude FTA with Japan by early July
The intention is for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit Brussels on 5 or 6 July to reach a political deal covering more than 90 percent of a trade agreement, leaving only a handful of issues to be resolved later. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for the week of 19 June.

Brexit could have detrimental effect on UK imports and exports
More than half of all UK imports come from other EU countries, but if the UK imposes tariffs or standards diverge after Brexit consumers are likely to face higher prices for a wide range of products, from fruits and vegetables to electronics and cars. In addition, 44 percent of UK exports currently go to the EU market, but some estimates say the loss of access to the EU single market after Brexit could wipe out 30-50 percent of those exports. Similarly, UK exports to countries in which the EU has preferential access may fall once the UK is no longer part of the associated agreements.

Annual report of hearing officer for trade proceedings

[European Commission]

Middle East

New Qatar-India shipping line launched
The line links Hamad port in Qatar with Mundra (Gujara) and Nhava Sheva (Maharashtra) ports in India and is aimed at helping to keep supplies to Qatar intact.

[Gulf Times]
India considers import duty increase on smartphones
Existing tax structures make smartphone imports 11.5 percent costlier than India-made handsets but a 12 percent rate under the forthcoming goods and services tax regime would wipe out that advantage. The government is therefore considering a basic customs duty of at least ten percent to promote domestic manufacturing.

[The Economic Times]


Zimbabwe looks to improve quality of exports
A memorandum of understanding between trade promotion body ZimTrade and the Standards Association of Zimbabwe focuses on developing programmes to ensure that export products are easily acceptable in international markets by certification to standards.

[The Herald]


WTO offers easier access to members’ rules of origin
WTO members and the general public will now be able to directly access members’ legislation and practices related to rules of origin via a revised WTO webpage that also contains updated information on the current work of the WTO’s Committee on Rules of Origin.

[World Trade Organisation]