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EU Commission Proposes Measures Relating to the Movement of Excise Goods 26 Feb 2008
Imports of Textile Products from Bangladesh into the Community – Form A Origin Certificates 26 Feb 2008
EU Trade Commissioner in China to Discuss New High Level Trade Mechanism 26 Feb 2008
UK Bank Holiday Dates for 2008 19 Dec 2007

EU Commission Proposes Measures Relating to the Movement of Excise Goods 26 Feb 2008

The European Commission has adopted a proposal aimed at strengthening the fight against tax fraud and removing certain unnecessary tax obstacles to the movement of excise goods within the EU. The proposal seeks to review the Directive on the general arrangements for products subject to excise duty (alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and mineral oils). It would provide a legal framework for the use of a computerised system to monitor the movement of excise goods for which no tax has been paid yet. This Excise Movement Control System (EMCS), which should be operational from April 2009, will help to better tackle excise fraud by creating a faster and more efficient means of information exchange between excise authorities. Today's proposal also aims to liberalise existing rules for alcoholic beverages bought in one Member State and transported to another, and to simplify rules on the commercial movement of excise goods.

EU Taxation and Customs Commissioner László Kovács said: "The Commission and Member States are determined to combat fraud within the EU. The use of an electronic information exchange system to monitor the movement of excise goods will greatly increase our chances of achieving this goal, by allowing for better targeted and more risk-based controls. Today's proposal also contains important provisions which will ensure that private individuals and businesses in the EU are free to buy and sell goods across borders without unnecessary tax obstacles."

Excise Movement Control System (EMCS) to Monitor Movements of Goods for Which No Duties Have Been Paid

The Excise Movement Control System (ECMS) was conceived in light of a number of weaknesses identified in the current paper-based system for monitoring the movement of excise goods under suspension of duties (goods for which no duties have yet been paid) within the EU.

Today's proposal would provide a legal framework in which the EMCS could function. Once operational, it will replace the paper-based procedures and will be a crucial tool for tackling fraud. Moreover, it will facilitate trade by reducing related costs, as guarantees for duties will be released much quicker.

The EMCS will introduce electronic processing for declaring, monitoring and discharging movements of excise products under suspension of excise duties within the EU. EMCS will therefore:

  • allow both Member States and traders to monitor movements electronically in real-time
  • reduce the time needed for the discharge of tax liability for excise movements
  • provide excise authorities with the essential tools to effectively address fraud by permitting a more integrated, faster and risk oriented approach to controls
  • First movements under EMCS are expected to start in 2009.

    Movements Outside Excise Duty Suspension for Private and Commercial Purposes

    The Commission's proposal also includes elements to simplify and liberalise the rules on intra-EU movements of products (mainly alcohol) on which excise duty has already been paid in a Member State.

    For private individuals, the proposal aims to clarify the existing rules which apply to moving goods from one Member State to another, and to bring them more into line with the internal market principle that products acquired by private individuals for their own use should be taxed in the Member State in which they are bought.

    For goods moved for commercial purposes, the Commission proposes that the basic principle whereby excise duty is payable in the Member State of destination is maintained, but that the procedures to be followed in that Member State are simplified and harmonised.

    These provisions for the private and commercial movement of excise goods within the EU were already proposed by the Commission in 2004. However, following discussions in Council, it was decided that they should be suspended until the Commission proposed a complete review of the Directive on the general arrangements for products subject to excise duty, as it has done today.

    To view the text of the proposal click EMCS Legislation

    For further information click EMCS Project

    For further information click Excise Products Legislation

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    Imports of Textile Products from Bangladesh into the Community – Form A Origin Certificates 26 Feb 2008

    The following notice has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union:

    “The European Commission informs Community operators that there is reasonable doubt as to the origin of textile products of HS chapters 61 and 62 from Bangladesh, for which the benefit of GSP preferential tariff treatment is claimed.

    Within the framework of a Community administrative and investigative cooperation mission carried out in Bangladesh with the assistance of the local authorities, it was found that a significant proportion of Form A origin certificates were either false or issued on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information.

    Community operators declaring and /or presenting documentary evidence of origin for imports of textile products of HS chapters 61 and 62 from Bangladesh are therefore advised to take all the necessary precautions, since the release of the goods in question for free circulation may give rise to a customs debt and lead to fraud against the Community’s financial interests.

    This notice replaces the Notice to importers - Textile products imported into the Community from Bangladesh under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) published in Official Journal to the European Union, C119 of 30.4.1999, which reminded importers that they should always exercise due care over Form A origin certificates.”

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    EU Trade Commissioner in China to Discuss New High Level Trade Mechanism 26 Feb 2008

    EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is currently in China where he has had his first meeting with the new Chinese Minister of Commerce Mr. Chen Deming. They are taking forward the establishment of an EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Mechanism, which was agreed at the last EU-China Summit. This new group will bring together senior decision-makers from the Chinese leadership and their counterparts from the European Commission, to address issues that concern trade and the economy and that have a strategic dimension. Commissioner Mandelson is also due to meet other key Chinese authorities and European businesses operating in China.

    Speaking following his meetings with Minister Chen, Commissioner Mandelson said: "We have laid the foundations for a constructive and strong personal relationship, and provided the basis to advance a positive EU-China trade agenda. The High Level Mechanism is not a quick-fix - it will map out the long term strategic direction of our economic and trade relationship, and help smooth out issues we encounter along the way".

    During the meetings, Mandelson and Chen exchanged views on how the mechanism should work. Discussions revolved around three key questions - what should be included in the agenda, how the mechanism will help arbitrate disagreements, and what the timescale would be for first results. Mandelson and Chen tasked their respective services with taking the preparations forward in a businesslike and brisk manner in order to create a work programme, with the prospect of a launch of the mechanism in April.

    EU-China Trade

    The EU is strongly committed to China's success. The High Level Mechanism is only one of a number of dialogues between the EU and China focused on the successful integration of China into the global trading system and the machinery of global governance and the management of the environmental, social and economic impact of China's growth.

    Europe's imports from China have grown by around 27% per year for the last five years. In 2006, the EU imported €191 billion worth of goods from China. China is Europe's biggest source of manufactured imports. Two decades ago China and Europe traded almost nothing. At the same time, China is Europe's fastest growing export market. Europe exported €63 billion worth of goods to China in 2006. Exports from the EU to China grew by 100% between 2002 and 2006. Although a large consumer market is developing in China, the EU still exports more to the 7.5 million people who live in Switzerland that the 1.3 billion people who live in China.

    Europe's trade deficit with China is growing at €17 million every hour. In 2006 it was €131 billion euros. In 2007 it is likely to be about €170 billion euros. The trade deficit is focussed in office and telecom equipment, textiles and light manufacturing. Although imports from China have surged, Asia's share of total EU imports has increased only very moderately by 10% over the last decade as there has been a shift within the economies of Asia to focus production in China. But the deficit still reflects the considerable problems EU businesses have accessing the Chinese market.

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    UK Bank Holiday Dates for 2008 19 Dec 2007

    The following list shows the UK Bank Holiday dates for 2008. On these days Langdon System will be closed.

    01 Jan 2008 - New Year's Day (Tues)

    21 Mar 2008 - Good Friday (Fri)

    24 Mar 2008 - Easter Monday (Mon)

    05 May 2008 - May Day (Early May Bank Holiday) (Mon)

    26 May 2008 - Spring Bank Holiday (Mon)

    25 Aug 2008 - Summer Bank Holiday (Mon)

    25 Dec 2008 - Christmas Day (Thurs)

    26 Dec 2008 - Boxing Day (Fri)

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