Trade Remedies System to protect UK businesses
The UK’s new independent trade remedies system will protect UK businesses from injury caused by unfair trading practices, such as dumping and subsidies and unforeseen surges in imports, when the UK leaves the European Union. The new system will be overseen by the UK Trade Remedy Authority (UKTRA).
It is important to highlight that during the implementation period the UK will remain within the EU customs union, and so EU trade remedies measures will continue to apply. Once the UK has left the EU customs union, we will transition over the measures identified in DIT’s call for evidence to become UK measures. UKTRA will carry out transition reviews for each of the EU measures that will become UK specific measures, to ensure they are fit for purpose and to reflect UK specific market factors.
UKTRA has already indicated that anti-dumping measures on bicycles, sweetcorn and solar glass will be dropped however the measures on tyres will remain.
A full list of the DIT’s call for evidence can be found on the link below:
2022 Edition of the WCO Harmonized System
The new 2022 edition of the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature has been accepted by all of the contracting parties to the Harmonized System Convention. The new edition, HS 2022, will come into force on 1st January 2022.
The new HS 2022 has 351 amendments covering a wide range of goods. The amendments recognise new product streams and address environmental and social issues. For example, HS 2022 includes specific provisions for the classification of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste), novel tobacco and nicotine-based products and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones. Many new subheadings have also been introduced for dual use goods that could be diverted for unauthorised use such as radioactive material. We will update our readers when HS 2022 has been published.
Brexit border checks within UK
The EU’s chief negotiator has confirmed there would be “checks and controls” between Britain and Northern Ireland. Under the deal sealed by Boris Johnson, animals and fresh food going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be subject to some physical checks, with a tariff and tariff rebate system operating. These checks are to protect any sub-standard goods entering into the EU via the Republic of Ireland. Experts have said the IT systems required for these special arrangements could not be delivered by the end of this year. The failure to implement these systems could result in legal action being taken by the European Commission.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Sajid Javid has made it clear there will not be alignment with EU rules following Brexit. This can only increase the possibility that a FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the EU will not be in place by the end of the transition period, and that full WTO duty rates will apply to UK exports to the EU. It also underlines the requirement for strong border controls on trade between the UK and the EU to be in place by the end of the transition period. UK businesses are advised to ensure they have prepared fully before the end of 2020.
Europe’s motor industry threatened by US
The US has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on imports of European automotive products if Britain, France and Germany do not formally accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 Nuclear Deal. The three countries have triggered the dispute mechanism within the agreement which amounts to a formal accusation that Iran has violated the terms of the agreement which could lead to the reinstatement of sanctions. With Iran formally accused by the European countries, it seems highly unlikely that the 25% tariff would be enforced.
EU VAT refunds claims portal closure put back
HMRC has advised that its on-line portal for making claims for VAT (including import VAT) incurred in other EU countries will remain open until 31 March 2021 for claims for the 2020 calendar year. It will still be possible to make claims for VAT incurred in the EU for years after 2020, but it will be necessary to use a manual procedure and then submit the claim directly to the relevant EU Tax authority. Going forward, you will need to submit all of the original invoices with the claim together with a Certificate of Status confirming your VAT registration. EU VAT claims will still be possible after Brexit but as the process will become more involved, it makes sense to submit any claims for 2020 prior to the deadline for the closure of the portal.
HMRC ITDLO Network swallowed up
HMRC’s ITDLO (International Trade Development Liaison Officer) Network has been absorbed into a larger stakeholder engagement team within the department. The network was responsible for supporting trade and promoting customs developments and trade facilitative procedures within international trade. The new contact email for the Stakeholder Engagement team is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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