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Archived Langdon News


European Commission and Caribbean Countries Decide on Full Economic Partnership Agreement 19 Dec 2007
Mandelson Backs EU Textile Exporters Demanding Better Treatment in China 19 Dec 2007
UN-Based System to Replace CHIP 28 Aug 2007
EU Expresses Serious Concerns on US Requirement for all Containers Destined for the US to be Scanned Prior to Loading on a Vessel in a Foreign Port 4 Aug 2007
EU Commission Welcomes Political Agreement on the Modernised Customs Code 30 Jul 2007
Trade Facilitation and Security: Initialling of the Customs Cooperation Agreement with the Government of Japan 6 Jul 2007
Director-General of the Dutch Tax Administration Informs VNO/NCW on Horizontally Supervised Compliance Enforcement 5 Jul 2007
Prior Document Compulsory for Prior Scheme in Sagitta-Export 2 Jul 2007
Customer Service Versus ECS in the Netherlands (Text in Dutch) 9 Feb 2007
SAD Harmonisation – Changes to the UK Implementation Timetable 8 Feb 2007
EU Concerned Over US Plan to Introduce 100% Container Scanning 8 Feb 2007
Irregular Preference Certificates 23 Nov 2006
HMRC Reminder on Claiming Tariff Preference 23 Nov 2006
SAD Harmonisation – Changes to the UK Implementation Timetable 21 Nov 2006
New Requirement for CFSP Traders Using Local Clearance Procedures (LCP) 20 Nov 2006
Modernised Customs Code - Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) 30 Jun 2006
Ignore Customs Benefits at Your Peril 2 May 2006
LANGDON and Manhattan deliver Best of Breed integrated solution to BOSCH 25 Apr 2006
15% Duty Added to Certain US Goods 9 May 2005
EU Commission to Pay Back Duty 23 Feb 2005
EU Commission Statement on the Elections in the Northern Part of Cyprus 22 Feb 2005
Commission Adopts Favourable Opinion on the Accession of Bulgaria and Romania 21 Feb 2005
Changes to Excise Trader Numbers 6 Jan 2005
EU prepares for WTO textiles and clothing quota elimination from 1 January 2005 5 Nov 2004
"Qualified Yes" to Opening Accession Negotiations with Turkey 2 Nov 2004
Important Information for CFSP Traders 29 Oct 2004
Worrying Number of NCTS Undischarged Movements 27 Oct 2004
Important Information for CFSP Traders 6 Sep 2004
Tax Stamps for Spirits 1 Jul 2004
Bollman Hat - UK Importers Penalise Themselves By Ignoring Customs Benefits 14 May 2004
Langdon Systems ASP Solution Proving a Success 5 May 2004
Automating the Calculation of Additional Duty for US Imports 5 May 2004
NCTS Goes Live 5 May 2004
LANGDON will deliver two Single European Authorisation Projects for 2004 18 Dec 2003
SEA Update 21 Jul 2003
EU and US Trade Security Statement 18 Jul 2003
When to Connect to NCTS 18 Jul 2003
Europe Cargo Security Forum 18 Jul 2003
NCTS and CFSP 17 Jul 2003
When to Connect to NCTS 17 Jul 2003
NCTS Implementation 17 Jul 2003
EU & US Security Statene 17 Jul 2003
NCTS - Backbone for Future EU Customs Projects 24 Apr 2003
NCTS - UK Update 24 Apr 2003
Electronic Import Licensing Update 24 Apr 2003
NCTS - EU Update 24 Apr 2003
Enlarged EU Means More Opportunities for SME's 24 Apr 2003
UK Customs Take Control of Stopping Illegal Imports of Meat 24 Apr 2003
EU Commission Seeks Electronic Customs Clearance 24 Apr 2003
Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 24 Apr 2003
Langdon NCTS Certified in The Netherlands 15 Apr 2003
Excise Movement & Control System (EMCS) 25 Feb 2003
EU and Vietnam Agree Trade Deal 25 Feb 2003
Container Security Initiative 25 Feb 2003
Langdon Sponsors ITF 2002 29 May 2002
Best of Breed Demands Best Practice 20 Dec 2001




European Commission and Caribbean Countries Decide on Full Economic Partnership Agreement 19 Dec 2007

The European Commission welcomes the agreement on a full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the countries of the Caribbean region under the CARIFORUM sub-grouping of ACP countries. The agreement guarantees and extends access for the Caribbean countries' exports to the EU. The full EPA includes WTO-compatible trade in goods, trade in services, rules on trade related issues, as well as development cooperation.

EU Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson and EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel released the following statement: "We welcome the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and CARIFORUM. This agreement will help bring together progressive liberalisation, economic governance, and regional integration to put trade at the service of development in an innovative and ambitious package".

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Mandelson Backs EU Textile Exporters Demanding Better Treatment in China 19 Dec 2007

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has thrown the weight of the European Commission behind the European textile industry's demand for better access to export markets for European textiles and tougher action by EU trading partners on counterfeiting. In this context, he has also called for the newly agreed high level trade deficit mechanism between the EU and China to deliver real results for all sectors where Europe has export interests.

For further information click here

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UN-Based System to Replace CHIP 28 Aug 2007

The UK Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has launched a 12-week consultation on the proposed EU Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals, based on the United Nation’s Globally Harmonised System (GHS).

The regulation, which is currently being negotiated by EU Member States, will eventually replace the existing classification and labelling system that many chemical suppliers will know through the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations — known as CHIP.

The consultation invites interested parties to review the proposed regulation and respond to the HSC with any comments, which will be taken into consideration once detailed negotiations begin in mid-September.

The UK will seek to secure the wider global benefits offered by the adoption of the UN GHS for classification and labelling of chemicals, but wishes to keep close to the boundaries of the well understood and long-established EU system for supply and transport.

The regulation is seen by the HSC as a major step towards achieving a global system for identifying the hazards in chemicals and advising users of those hazards through labels.

It will introduce some new scientific criteria to classify hazards, some new hazard pictograms or symbols and new hazard and precautionary statements for the labels which will alert users to the dangers present.

The consultation document is available at:

CHIP Consultation
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EU Expresses Serious Concerns on US Requirement for all Containers Destined for the US to be Scanned Prior to Loading on a Vessel in a Foreign Port 4 Aug 2007

László Kovács, European Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, expresses strongest concerns on the adoption by the US Congress of a piece of legislation introducing a unilateral requirement for all containers destined for the US to be scanned prior to loading on a vessel in a foreign port.

It is thought that this legislation would create a disproportionate burden on EU traders without proven benefits for security. “I am extremely concerned by the possible introduction of the US HR1 legislation which would introduce 100% scanning of US bound cargo containers. Experts on both sides of the Atlantic have already considered this measure to be of no real benefit when it comes to improving security while it would disrupt trade and cost legitimate EU and US businesses a lot of time and money. I also regret that the USA did not await the results of the pilot actions that the EU and US Customs are about to launch before pressing ahead with this piece of legislation", said Mr Kovács.

He added: "Instead of a 100% scanning, I advocate applying risk analysis for the selection of cargo containers to be checked prior to leaving the EU for the US. This would find a balance between legitimate trade facilitation and customs security, an approach that the European Union has always supported."

By introducing the US HR1 legislation, the USA transfer unilaterally and without coordination with its trading partners the resource burden for protecting the United States onto them. For the EU and other major partners, the legislation would require major re-structuring of EU ports and place a very heavy financial burden on EU business and ultimately its taxpayers. This measure has the potential to damage the possibility for EU trade to compete fairly with their US competitors. According to the US plans, this measure has to be implemented within a 5 year deadline. Currently, US and EU customs are preparing pilot actions.

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EU Commission Welcomes Political Agreement on the Modernised Customs Code 30 Jul 2007

The European Commission welcomes the political agreement reached by the EU Council of Ministers on a modernised Community Customs Code which will simplify legislation and streamline customs process and procedures for benefits of both customs authorities and traders (IP/05/1501). The agreement now needs to be confirmed by the European Parliament in a second reading which is expected to come in the next months.

"In full respect with our "better regulation" and e-government strategies, the modernised Community Customs Code will provide fewer and simpler rules adapted to a modern electronic and paperless customs environment." said László Kovács, Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs. "I am very pleased that, thanks to the efforts of the Austrian, Finnish and German Presidencies, we have been able to reach an agreement in the Council. I now encourage the European Parliament to start a second reading as soon as possible after the adoption of the common position by the Council, in order rapidly to reach a final decision."

Together with the electronic customs initiative (IP/07/627), the modernised Customs Code is part of the Commission's global reform aimed at creating a new electronic customs environment. It will simplify customs legislation and streamline customs processes and procedures while, at the same time, the electronic customs initiative will provide for more convergence between the IT systems of the 27 customs administrations. As a result, traders will save money and time in their business transactions with customs.

The modernised Customs Code will:
  • Introduce the electronic lodging of customs declarations and accompanying documents as the rule
  • Provide for the exchange of electronic information between the national customs and other competent authorities
  • Promote the concept of "centralised clearance", under which authorised traders will be able to declare goods electronically and pay their customs duties at the place where they are established, irrespective of the Member State through which the goods will be brought in or out of the EU customs territory or in which they will be consumed.
  • Offer bases for the development of the 'Single Window' and 'One-Stop-Shop' concepts, under which economic operators give information on goods to only one contact point ('Single Window' concept), even if the data should reach different administrations/agencies, so that controls on them for various purposes (customs, sanitary...) are performed at the same time and at the same place ('one-stop-shop' concept).
The political agreement reached today paves the way for a common position to be formally adopted by the Council under the Portuguese Presidency before the second reading in Parliament can start.

Background

The present Community Customs Code, which codified the existing regulations and directives and harmonized the customs rules of the Member States in force in the eighties, was adopted in 1992. Since then, only limited changes addressing specific problems have been made which has meant that it has not kept pace with the radical changes to the environment in which Customs and traders operate, particularly in respect of the rapid and irreversible adoption of electronic data exchange. The Customs Code has to be adapted to fit the electronic environment. Current customs procedures and processes are unnecessarily complex. Not only are they out of line with the IT environment, but they also do not reflect either the decline in customs duties which has taken place over the past 20 years or the changing focus of customs work, which is shifting away from the collection of these duties towards the application of non-tariff measures. These include, in particular, security and safety measures, such as the fight against counterfeit goods, money laundering and drugs, and the application of sanitary, health and consumer protection measures, as well as the collection of VAT and excise duties on importation or the exemption from such taxes on exportation.

Further information on the modernised Customs Code can be found at:

Modernised Customs Code

The Commission's proposal is available at this website:

Commision's Proposal

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Trade Facilitation and Security: Initialling of the Customs Cooperation Agreement with the Government of Japan 6 Jul 2007

News from the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union of the EU Commission Taken from Press Release

The Commission welcomes the initialling of the Customs cooperation agreement between the European Community and the Government of Japan, that took place today in Berlin in the margins of the EU-Japan Summit. The agreement aims at simplifying and harmonizing customs procedures for reliable operators and provides the means to fight against customs fraud and to exchange information on mutual assistance matters. This agreement is part of the EU external policy to cooperate on customs matters at international level with its largest trading partners. The European Community has already concluded agreements with the United States, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, China and India. Both the European Community and Japan authorities have agreed to take the necessary measures towards a formal signature of the agreement in the coming months.

"EU exports to Japan account for 4.1% of EU exports while Japan is the fourth largest source with a 6.2% share of the EU import market. This represents an average of around €15 billion trade exchanges each year" said László Kovács, Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union. "We therefore need to strengthen our customs cooperation with Japan in order to promote trade facilitation for reliable traders, to improve the fight against fraud and to provide protection of Intellectual Property Rights."

Background Information

With a share of 4.1% (2005) of the EU exports, Japan is the EU's fifth largest export market after the USA, Switzerland, Russia and China. Japan accounts for 7.36% of EU agricultural exports, 5.46% of textile, 5.39% of chemical products, 4.21% of transport materials. With a 6.2% (2005) share of the EU import market, Japan is the fourth largest source of imports into the EU after the USA, China and Russia. Imports from Japan are mainly in the sectors of machinery and transport equipment (45.1%) and chemical products (15.4%). Taking into account factors such as the exchange rate and the Japanese production in China, Japan still remains overall our second trade partner after the USA.

Europe is equally a very important market for Japan. In 2004, the EU ranked 3rd place in Japan's imports and 2nd in its exports. In 2004, EU imports and exports of services from and to Japan were 10.2 and 18.9 billion €.

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Director-General of the Dutch Tax Administration Informs VNO/NCW on Horizontally Supervised Compliance Enforcement 5 Jul 2007

The Director-General of the Tax Administration, Mrs. J. Thunnissen, recently wrote a letter to the VNO-NCW about the way in which Customs intends to introduce horizontal supervision on the basis of certification. In her letter she wrote that Customs also intends to facilitate as much as possible bona fide businesses in the Netherlands. Customs aims to achieve this by developing new enforcement procedures based on certification. The goal is to prevent unnecessarily frequent and prolonged logistic delays at the external borders.

Why Horizontal Supervision?

The key element of horizontal supervision is that businesses and Customs share their responsibility for the safety and integrity of flows of goods. This does justice to society, EU Member States and other trading partners that set strict requirements to the safety of goods crossing the external borders. At the same time it facilitates the needs of businesses which will profit from simplified and smooth trading practices. This is of major importance to ensure a soundly operating internal market, particularly since the volume of the flow of goods is increasing year by year.

Who will Receive Facilities?

Horizontal supervision may be introduced for businesses that are able to demonstrate how they protect their flow of goods, e.g. by means of certification. Business will be expected to duly comply with laws and regulations. In her letter, the DG defines the requirements that Customs sets these enterprises and the advantages that Customs can offer in due course. In this respect Customs, as the enforcement agency in the field of flows of goods crossing the external borders, shall at all times abide with European laws and regulations. The basic principles of the Authorised Economic Operator, worked out in detail in the current and future Community Customs Code, direct the certification process in the Netherlands. Customs will continue its traditional supervision of non-certified companies supplemented by modern means of inspection as a result of which logistic delays suffered by these flows of goods can be restricted.

Joint Effort

Horizontal supervision enables the business community and Customs to create a safer, faster and simpler cross-border movement of goods. Together they work towards a far-reaching horizontalization of the supervision process. The DG considers it of essential importance that Customs and the business community combine forces. For this purpose several pilots and consultations have been launched.

For the text of the above letter click the link:

brief van de directeur generaal Belastingdienst aan VNO/NCW downloaden (only available in Dutch).

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Prior Document Compulsory for Prior Scheme in Sagitta-Export 2 Jul 2007

Prior Document Compulsory for Prior Scheme in Sagitta-Export (02/07/07) Starting on 17 June 2007 Sagitta-Export (‘DSU’) will be checking whether the section ‘Prior document’ has been completed. You are required to complete this section as soon as the scheme code on the tax return indicates that a prior scheme applies (unlike 00).

Example

Goods are imported under the inward processing scheme with suspension – ‘AV/S’ (scheme code 51 00). Upon re-exporting the goods the scheme code 31 51 must be used, whereby the code 51 refers as prior scheme to imports under the AV/S scheme. It is now compulsory to complete the section ‘Prior document’, which in this particular example is the return used for importing the goods, for example Z-IM-99999999999-99-99999999-99. Or, if the AV local clearance procedure applies, it must be registered in the accounts, for example Y-CLE-JJJJMMDD-99.

You can find more information about completing the sections and the codes you should use on the following links on the NL Customs website (only available in Dutch):

Notes to the Single Administrative Document

Codeboek Sagitta section Export

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Customer Service Versus ECS in the Netherlands (Text in Dutch) 9 Feb 2007

Customer service is een begrip dat een groot scala van onderwerpen resp. administratief ondersteunende activiteiten omvat in een onderneming en onder diverse namen wordt uitgevoerd. In bedrijven die goederen uitvoeren buiten Nederland respectievelijk de EU ondersteunt Customer service veelal deeltaken. In geval het Intra communautaire transacties betreft kan dat zijn het verzamelen en archiveren van het bewijs van aflevering in de andere EU lidstaat. Ingeval van uitvoer uit de EU zijn de taken meer uitgesproken, zoals vervaardiging en indienen van de uitvoeraangiften en/of vervaardiging van oorsprongsdocumentatie.

Met name op het gebied van de uitvoer (buiten de EU) zien we dit jaar een belangrijke ontwikkeling te weten de invoering van het zogeheten Export Control System (ECS). Vooruitlopend op de introductie in 2007 is hiervoor op 17 december 2006 het Douane Sagitta Uitvoer (DSU) geüpgrade ter voorbereiding op de introductie in juni a.s. Vanaf juni 2007 zal in eerste instantie de indirecte uitvoer (dit is de uitvoer via andere lidstaten) via ECS worden afgewikkeld; waarschijnlijk nog later dit jaar gevolgd door de directe uitvoer.

In eerste instantie heeft ECS gevolgen voor de afwikkeling door douane waarbij wordt ingespeeld op de veranderde veiligheidssituatie in de wereld. In tweede instantie heeft ECS ook een positief effect op het gebied van BTW en wel met betrekking tot de eis dat het nulrecht kan worden toegepast indien kan worden aangetoond dat goederen uit EU zijn uitgevoerd. Momenteel wordt hiertoe, naast commerciële documenten, het voor uitvoer afgestempelde 3e exemplaar van de uitvoeraangifte gebruikt. Een veel gehoorde klacht in de afgelopen jaren is dat deze exemplaren maar mondjesmaat terug worden ontvangen ondanks de genomen maatregelen.

In het ECS ondersteunende IT systeem worden op de kantoren van uitgang, dit zijn dus de douanekantoren vanwaar de goederen rechtstreeks de EU verlaten, alle uitvoerzendingen bevestigd. Deze bevestiging resulteert ook in een elektronische terugmelding via DSU naar de exporteur of de dienstverlener die in diens opdracht de formele uitvoerformaliteiten heeft verricht. Deze manier van werken verzekerd in beginsel een grote mate van volledigheid met betrekking tot het verkrijgen van de genoemde uitvoerbewijslast voor BTW.

Door ECS als systeem en als procedure tijdig te implementeren in de bedrijfsprocessen snijdt het mes aan twee kanten. Enerzijds worden de douaneprocessen ondersteunt waardoor logistieke winst kan worden geboekt, anderzijds wordt het vergaren van de bewijslast voor BTW ook eenvoudiger. Het mag duidelijk zijn dat een customer service afdeling, die tijdig op deze verandering inspeelt, ondanks de ‘verzwaarde’ douanecontroles, een vlotte douaneafhandeling kan bewerkstelligen. Hierdoor kan een vlotte afwikkeling van uitgaande transacties worden gecontinueerd.

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SAD Harmonisation – Changes to the UK Implementation Timetable 8 Feb 2007

SAD Harmonisation is an EU initiative to harmonise the rules for completing the Single Administrative Document (SAD) across all EU Member States. It is also a pre-requisite for a number of EU Custom’s initiatives such as the Export Control System (ECS).

HMRC announced two key dates relating to SAD Harmonisation in the UK, M Day and H Day. M Day was the day on which CHIEF would begin to accept the new ‘harmonised’ declarations alongside current declarations. H Day is the date from which CHIEF will not accept current declarations with ‘harmonised’ declarations being mandatory.

M Day was initially the 7th January 2007 but was moved to 31st March 2007. However, HMRC has now stated that due to technical issues with a phased approach M Day is not deliverable. H Day is set for 1st July 2007 and will now be the single implementation date for the new ‘harmonised’ declarations.

Further details relating to SAD Harmonisation can be found on the HMRC website.

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EU Concerned Over US Plan to Introduce 100% Container Scanning 8 Feb 2007

László Kovács, the European Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, stated recently, in a letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff, that "I am extremely concerned by the possible introduction of the US HR1 legislation which would introduce 100% scanning of US bound cargo containers. I naturally support the principle of increased security checks at the borders and I have always been supportive of any actions in this direction. However, every measure taken must be first assessed as to its effectiveness.

Currently, US and EU customs are preparing pilot actions in order to determine whether a 100% scanning policy is effective. I hope the US will await the results of these actions before taking any decision towards a 100% scanning legislation. Applying risk analysis for the selection of cargo containers to be checked prior to leaving the EU for the US would find a balance between legitimate trade facilitation and customs security, an approach that the European Union has always supported. I am afraid that a 100% scanning legislation could disrupt trade and cost legitimate EU and US businesses a lot of time and money."

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Irregular Preference Certificates 23 Nov 2006

HM Revenue & Customs has stated that the EU Member States’ Customs authorities are becoming increasingly aware of preference documents which do not meet the stipulated legal requirements regarding the ‘look and feel’ of the documents, especially in regard to the background.

GSP Form A, EUR1 and EUR-MED movement certificates must meet the following requirements:

Size - The paper should be 210mm x 297mm (A4); a tolerance of up to minus 5mm or plus 8mm in the length may be allowed.
Weight of Paper - The paper should weigh no less than 25g/square metre (not less than 60g/square metre in the case of EUR1’s issued in the African, Carribean and Pacific [ACP] states).
Layout - The paper must be white, sized for writing, not containing mechanical pulp and meet Customs layout requirements with a serial number, printed or not, for identification purposes.
Background - The backgound must consist of a green (shade not specified) guilloche pattern. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary describes guilloche as ‘ornamentation imitating braided or interlaced ribbons’. The EC Commission has provided an example of a green guilloche pattern background on its website.

After contact with the countries supplying irregular preference documents the European Commission has agreed a range of deadlines for the replacement of documents that do not meet the legal requirements. Further details and a list of the countries supplying preference documents with irregularities can be found here.

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HMRC Reminder on Claiming Tariff Preference 23 Nov 2006

Importing under preference allows traders to import goods into the EU paying a lower, or zero, rate of customs duty. Primarily, preference rates are given to certain goods originating in developing countries or goods from a country with close trade ties with the EU i.e. EFTA countries.

HMRC has recently issued a ‘reminder’ to importers about the conditions for claiming preference and what they can do to ensure their goods meet all the necessary requirements.

There are 3 basic conditions which must be met by an importer prior to making a preference claim:
  • Your goods must meet the appropriate preferential rule of origin (details are contained in the Tariff).
  • You must hold a valid proof of origin - GSP Form A, Form EUR1, Form EUR-MED or invoice declaration (depending upon the preferential arrangement concerned).
  • Your goods must have been transported direct from the preference receiving country to the European Community and must not have undergone any processing en route which could result in them losing their preferential origin. Further information is contained in JCCC (06) 43 issued by HMRC.
Further information can be found here.
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SAD Harmonisation – Changes to the UK Implementation Timetable 21 Nov 2006
Background/Introduction

SAD Harmonisation is a major step by the EU towards harmonising the rules for completion of the SAD (Single Administrative Document) across all EU Member States. It is also a precursor to a number of future EU initiatives such as ECS (Export Control System).

The impact is minimal as regards completing transit declarations, but is greater in regard to the completion of Community Status documents and will be very significant as regards the completion of declarations for imports, exports and goods being placed into or being removed from Customs and/or Excise warehouses.

The SAD form itself is not changing (box numbers, names, size etc) but there will be a significant change in the information input to many of the boxes eg new/changed codes. Details of the changes are contained in the EC Commission Regulation 2286/2003 (dated 18 December 2003).

Changes to UK implementation timetable (M and H days)
The HMRC SAD Harmonisation Project Board has decided that ‘M’ day (harmonised declaration Message day) will be moved to 31 March 2007 (previously planned for 7 January 2007).

‘H’ day (Harmonisation day) remains at 1 July 2007.

From ‘M’ day CHIEF will support harmonised declarations submitted by the trade. For those traders that use harmonised declarations from ‘M’ day existing, not new, CPCs, Tax Types and Quota Numbers are to be input. HMRC has investigated the possibility of including these 3 data items (CPCs, Tax Types and Quota Numbers) on the harmonised declaration from ‘M’ day but due to technical difficulties this will not be possible until ‘H’ day.

Between ‘M’ day and ‘H’ day current declarations (ie those submitted under current, not harmonised) completion rules will continue to be supported by CHIEF.

From ‘H’ day only harmonised declarations will be supported by CHIEF. These will contain new CPCs, Tax Types and Quota Numbers. Current (‘old’) declarations will no longer be supported.

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New Requirement for CFSP Traders Using Local Clearance Procedures (LCP) 20 Nov 2006

Once goods arrive at your premises from the frontier under NCTS or National Transit the transit movement needs to be ended by notifying either NCTS or the CSFP National Assurance Team (CNAT), depending on the type of transit movement used.

When the goods have been cleared from transit they are deemed to be in Temporary Storage (TS). The goods can remain in TS for up to 20 days by the end of which the goods must be entered to a Customs procedure.

If you are unlikey to meet the 20 day deadline for any consignment you must now contact the CNAT (as opposed to your local Customs officer as outlined in Notice 760) no later than 5 days before the 20 day deadline is due to expire.

You need to have the following information for the CNAT:
  • SFD entry number and date.
  • Details of the consignment – description, commodity code, quantity, weight, value, UCR.
  • Date entered into TS
  • The reason the goods will not be entered to a customs procedure within 20 days
Requests for short extensions to the 20 day limit will only be allowed if the delay is due to circumstances beyond your control and is evidenced to the satisfaction of CNAT.

The notification should be sent to CNAT in one of 3 ways:
  • by e-mail to cfsp_cope@hrmc.gsi.gov.uk
  • by fax to 0113 3894490
  • by post to:
    CFSP National Assurance Team (CNAT)
    Peter Bennett House
    Redvers Close
    West Park Ring Road
    Leeds
    LS16 6RQ
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Modernised Customs Code - Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) 30 Jun 2006

The EU is moving closer to introducing the status of “Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)” for companies engaged in international trade. The status of AEO will affect their dealings with customs and authorities e.g. those responsible for security, and ultimately allow only these parties to benefit from simplified declaration and other procedures. Other benefits may be available but the details that have been under discussions for some time are not yet known.

The concept of AEO was introduced in 2003/04 when the first drafts of the modernised Customs Code were published. Much of the thinking behind AEO was drawn from Member States (MS) whom had already implemented schemes which conferred benefits on companies who met given criteria and were able to comply with conditions relating to their operations or operating customs and other procedures. The commission recognised though their equitable treatment could only be achieved if such schemes were available community wide and all MS contributed to their formulation.

The basis for AEO will be introduced as an amendment to the current Customs Code. It is expected that this will be achieved by mid 2007. Although this will enable companies to apply for AEO status and be authorised as such no further benefits over and above those in the current code will be available. Likewise those currently authorised to operate simplifications currently available will be able to carry on doing so without having to achieve AEO status. This will change in 2009 when it is planned the new Code will be implemented. It is envisaged that simplified procedures and other benefits e.g. reduced financial security etc will only be available to those having AEO status. Given the amount of companies authorised for these procedures currently the re-authorisation of them is likely to be an administrative nightmare.

On the subject of authorisation it is planned that importers/exporters in their own right may be authorised as well as 3rd party service providers such as clearance agents, forwarders etc. In some circumstances non-EU companies may be authorised. Discussions are continuing about the whole subject of authorisation and in particular the scope. Some MS want an all encompassing authorisation for an operators activities Community wide whilst others see it as restricted to a MS and even further to only part of a company or its activities. This and other areas not yet agreed upon will be discussed at meetings planned for later this year.

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Ignore Customs Benefits at Your Peril 2 May 2006


Conversation With Bollman

Thousands of UK importers are ignoring the financial and SCM (Supply Chain Management) benefits of Customs regimes, and are penalising their own finances and competitiveness in the process, each losing many thousands of £’s per year.

One man who can count the cost – and actually has, using the techniques of cost benefit analysis – is Colin Corlett, financial director of the UK arm of the world famous Bollman Hat Company.

“For years we used an agent to customs clear our imported hats, at the UK port of entry, from the manufacturer in China,” he said.

“At that point,” he continued, “the agent paid duty on our behalf, for subsequent invoicing to us, and the imports were transported straight to our Cumbria DC, in the north of England, where they often remained in store for several months before re-export or distribution to UK retailers.”

It turns out that the payment of duty, and the VAT liability, could have been deferred until the hats actually left the Cumbria warehouse, this creating substantial cashflow savings.

In fact, outside of the UK, the end destination of the hats means that duty and VAT are not always payable. For re-exports to non-EU destinations, neither is payable, and for re-exports to EU destinations, only the duty is, VAT being accounted for in the receiving country.

Excessive Duty Payments

But Bollman was also paying excessive duty on the imports, because the correct valuation for duty was much lower when the circumstances of Bollman’s total supply chain were taken into account, since these involved moving component materials ex-EU to China, before import of the finished hats back into the UK.

Past practice also excluded trialing alternative methods of duty calculation, to assess which offered the greatest benefits to Bollman. The rate of duty is one thing, but duty calculation is another.

All this became clear to Bollman when it realised that the number of preference rates and Customs regimes, available to a company such as itself, are unlikely to be known by an agent, since they are the province of specialist duty management system providers.

Evaluating Duty Management Partners

Colin Corlett checked with the users of such systems, who gave him the benefit of their experience, both negative and positive, which he projected onto the Bollman business, to assess the potential gain.

He also took the advice of peer group companies in the technology industry before approaching a duty management system provider.

“In their view, “ he said, “Langdon Systems best met the criteria of product performance, customer service and track record. The dot com bubble sent a warning to everyone about technology providers in general, but Langdon has specialised exclusively in its systems since 1984, and its list of well known clients speaks volumes”.

He added that Langdon showed him how the UK Customs import declaration known as CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures), coupled with the use of appropriate regimes, “is the best way of squeezing every available penny out of the regulatory environment”. He has subsequently used Cost Benefit Analysis to demonstrate how these procedures and regimes “generate huge cash flow advantages, which are very substantial”.

Before recommending CFSP, Langdon conducted an examination of the Customs clearance regimes available to Bollman, an assessment of the specific duty and VAT levels actually payable in Bollman’s individual case, and an evaluation of alternative duty calculation methods.

In addition to implementing the appropriate online system, Langdon supports it with all the relevant training and consultancy – with the result, as Colin Corlett says, that “Langdon actually saves us money, no doubt about it at all.”

To expand, he calculates that, after the first year’s implementation of the system, the consequential savings will pay for that year’s startup cost.

In subsequent years, the savings per year will exceed the ongoing annual system cost, and will drop straight down into the bottom line. The greater the volume of imported traffic, the greater the commensurate savings.

About the Bollman Group:

The Bollman Group provides the world with the headwear industry's top brands that include:

The Bollman Group

These brands can be found throughout the world in the finest retail locations For more information, visit www.bollmanhats.com

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LANGDON and Manhattan deliver Best of Breed integrated solution to BOSCH 25 Apr 2006

LANGDON’s Duty Management System complements implementation of Manhattan Associates Supply Chain Solutions at Distribution Centres in The Netherlands for Bosch Security Systems.

Bosch Security Systems is a division of Bosch group and is one of the largest suppliers of security systems in the world, serving a vast range of customers from hospitals, schools and factories to individual households. It has implemented Warehouse Management for Open Systems, a component of Manhattan Associates’ Integrated Logistics Solutions™, along with the solution vendor’s Performance Management solution, as part of a worldwide initiative to overhaul its enterprise systems infrastructure. The Manhattan Associates solutions were implemented initially in the company’s Fire & Access division and are integrated with Bosch Security Systems’ SAP ERP system. Bosch also selected Manhattan Associates’ packaged interface solution, Enterprise Integration Services for SAP, to integrate the two complementary solutions.

Bosch expects to see a number of tangible benefits from the implementation, including reduced inventory levels, higher order accuracy and shorter cycle times. With a wide range of product lines and a rapidly growing customer base, Bosch will also be able to scale up its operations efficiently as they grow. A further benefit is the availability of real-time information about specific warehouse activities, productivity and inventory levels as well as customers, vendors and shippers.

The project has been managed from Bosch Security Systems’ headquarters in Munich, Germany. Dr. René Deist, director of IT at Bosch Security Systems, commented, “We now have a cost-effective and efficient supply chain model that can support the company globally. The flexibility of our new logistics solutions means that a single system can meet the very different needs of our supply chain in each country, regardless of product volume. We have been very pleased with the support we have received from Manhattan Associates and look forward to expanding our partnership with them in the future.”

Further complementing the Netherlands implementation is a duty management system from Langdon Systems. This modular solution for addressing and automating the complex challenges of European Customs legislation allows Bosch to exercise control over its bonded stock—those goods sourced from overseas, destined for European markets and held in a Customs warehouse, on which duty or value added taxes are due and pending payment. Bosch is one of a growing number of clients that are exploiting the power of the full integration between Langdon’s duty management system and Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management solution. The two systems’ ability to share product and customs data seamlessly provide Bosch with a further level of control over its international logistics operations.

“Bosch has successfully transformed its supply chain operations across the world,” commented Steve Smith, Manhattan Associates’ European vice president. “With its new systems infrastructure, Bosch can look forward to achieving operational efficiency improvements across all of its global divisions and we are delighted to be a part of that vision. The deployment at Bosch is one of a fast-growing number of examples of how Manhattan Associates’ Supply Chain Solutions complement ERP systems and make them run more efficiently.”

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15% Duty Added to Certain US Goods 9 May 2005

As of the 1st May 2005 an additional 15% ad-valorem duty has been imposed on a range of goods imported into the European Community from the United States of America

The extra duty is the European Commission's resonse to the US legisaltion, the Byrd amendment. The Byrd amendment allows the yearly distribution to US companies of Anti Dumping Duty (ADD) and Countervailing duty revenues collected during the preceding year. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) deemed this legislation to be contrary to it's rules on fair trading, enabling the EC to apply retailitory measures against the Byrd amendment.

For further details from Customs please click click US Additional Duty

Further answers to frequently asked questions received by Customs and a list of the affected goods can be found by clicking FAQ Byrd Amendment.doc

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EU Commission to Pay Back Duty 23 Feb 2005

The European Commission has issued a Notice to Importers in the Official Journal regarding the repayment or remission of additional duties relating to the WTO Dispute Settlement concerning the US tax treatment of Foreign Sales Corporations (‘FSC ’).

On 7 May 2003,the Community was authorised by the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to impose countermeasures up to a level of USD 4,043 million in the form of additional 100% 'ad valorem' duties on certain products originating in the United States of America. On 8 December 2003 the Community adopted Council Regulation (EC)No 2193/2003 which allowed the EU to implement a fraction of the authorised level of retaliation in additional ad-valorem duty, starting at 5 per cent from the 1 March 2004 and increasing by 1 per cent each month for twelve months.

Following the adoption by the United States of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004,the Community adopted Council Regulation (EC)No 171/2005 suspending the application of the additional customs duties set out in Council Regulation 2193/2003. Regulation 171/2005 is due to enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union but is applicable, in so far as it suspends the application of the additional duties, as from 1 January 2005.

Consequently as from 1 January 2005 the additional duties set out in Council Regulation No 2193/2003 are not legally owed. Accordingly, interested parties are hereby informed that they may apply for repayment or remission of these duties from the national customs authorities to which a payment has been made or is due in accordance with Article 236 of the Community Customs Code.

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EU Commission Statement on the Elections in the Northern Part of Cyprus 22 Feb 2005

In a recent statement on the elections held in the northern part of Cyprus the EU commission said "The European Commission welcomes the results of the 'parliamentary' elections in the northern part of Cyprus. The results indicate a clear desire of the Turkish Cypriot community to continue preparations for their full integration into the EU. The results also show that the Turkish Cypriots are committed to the reunification of Cyprus. The Commission is determined to seek the rapid adoption of its proposals on both the financial assistance (€259 million) and on special conditions for trade. This package is seen as a way to put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriot community and to facilitate reunification by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Commission continues to remain ready to actively support all efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem."

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Commission Adopts Favourable Opinion on the Accession of Bulgaria and Romania 21 Feb 2005

The European Commission has adopted today a favourable Opinion on the accession to the European Union of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania. This decision follows the successful conclusion of the accession negotiations by the European Council meeting in Brussels on 17 December 2004 and the finalisation of the Treaty of Accession in February 2005.

On the occasion of the adoption of the opinion, Commissioner Rehn said: “Today’s decision is another milestone in our relations and a clear signal that the Commission welcomes Bulgaria and Romania in the European family. However the authorities in the countries can not lie back and relax: in 2005 and 2006 a lot of hard work will be needed to progress on reforms in order to fully and timely meet all conditions for membership“.

Following the conclusion of the Accession Negotiations and the finalisation of the Treaty of Accession, the adoption of the Commission Opinion is the first step in the procedure leading to the signature of the Treaty. In accordance with the timetable established by the Luxembourg Presidency, in agreement with the European Parliament and with the Commission, to enable the signature of the Treaty of Accession to take place in Luxembourg on 25 April 2005, the decision on assent of the European Parliament is planned to be taken on 13 April 2005 and the Council decision is to follow on 25 April 2005, the same day as the date of the signature.

The Accession Treaty needs to be ratified by the present and future Member States and will enter into force on 1 January 2007.

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Changes to Excise Trader Numbers 6 Jan 2005

As part of the ongoing development of the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) it is now necessary to harmonise the format of the System for Exchange of Excise Data (SEED) trader number.

This change will remove inconsistencies across the EU and should also alleviate some of the problems traders may have encountered when moving excise goods between Member States.

All existing SEED numbers will be replaced with a 13 digit alphanumeric trader identifier, which will be prefixed with the relevant country code. In the UK the existing 7-digit number will be replaced by a 13 digit one, by the addition of a GB0000 prefix. So for example an existing number of 1234567 will become GB00001234567. Excise traders will need to insert the new number in the relevant fields on any movement documentation i.e. AAD which requires the insertion of an Excise Trader Number in order that other Member States when they check SEED will be able to verify it.

The EU Commission stated that the change needed to come into effect by 01/01/05. However, a number of Member States reported to the Commission that traders would have difficulty in implementing changes to their systems by the end of 2004. The Commission has therefore agreed to a transitional period until 30/06/05 for traders to make the necessary amendments to their systems.

Users of the Langdon Excise Warehouse module should note that the system already accepts a 13 digit alphanumeric trader number. Therefore users of the system can use the new number immediately.

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EU prepares for WTO textiles and clothing quota elimination from 1 January 2005 5 Nov 2004

In order to implement one of the key commitments taken at the end of the last WTO Trade Round (“Uruguay Round”) in 1994, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for the elimination of the quotas applying to imports of textile and clothing products from WTO countries. This proposal will now be sent to the EU Member States for its adoption so that quotas can be removed by 1st January 2005. EU customs will be nevertheless checking until 31 March 2005 quotas for textile products shipped to the EU before the end of 2004. The European Commission has also proposed the introduction of an automatic import licensing system for imports of certain textile and clothing products. “The EU will scrupulously respect its WTO obligation to eliminate textiles and clothing quotas by 2005. But we will also closely follow imports after that date to be able to react in case of serious market disruption, using the means available under the WTO rules”, stated EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.

The European Commission’s proposal for a Council Regulation in detail:

  • Eliminate all quotas applied to the import of textile and clothing products from WTO countries, as of 1 January 2005. Currently the EU applies 210 quotas for the import of textiles and clothing products from 11 WTO countries or territories (Argentina, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand), which have been in force under bilateral agreements concluded under the former GATT Multi-Fibre Agreement in the 70s.
  • To ensure to respect the bilateral textile agreements, goods shipped before 1st January 2005 and subject to quotas in 2004 shall be subject to the import regime prevailing in 2004, even if they are presented for customs clearance after 1st January 2005. However, in order to avoid excessive burdens on trade and customs, from 1st April 2005 all such goods will be allowed to enter the EU freely.
  • In order to follow closely imports of the most sensitive textile and clothing products, a monitoring system will be set up for Chinese imports. Such a scheme will be compatible with the WTO rules on import licensing, and designed to ensure a smooth transition to a quota-free system as from 1 January 2005.
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"Qualified Yes" to Opening Accession Negotiations with Turkey 2 Nov 2004

Commission President Romano Prodi informed MEPs recently that the Commission has recommended saying yes to the opening of accession negotiations with Turkey, but it is "a qualified yes". The Commission advocates ending negotiations as soon as any breakdowns occur in the "progress towards democracy, human rights, fundamental rights and the rule of law." Also, long transition periods or permanent safeguard clauses may be necessary in the case of the free movement of workers. And Mr Prodi stressed "the outcome is not a foregone conclusion… However, we cannot imagine a future for Europe in which Turkey is not firmly anchored".

The Commission believes that "Turkey's accession to the EU may make a positive contribution to the Union. However, the country’s size, geographical position and traditions as a regional power, its defence capacity, population and demographic growth, its current level of development, the disparities between its regions, its infrastructure and the size of its rural and farming population call for profound reflection and clear precautions in conducting accession negotiations, so as to prevent Turkey’s integration from weakening the structure we have been building for over 50 years."

Mr Prodi concluded by appealing to Turkey, its people and its government to show determination in pursuing further reforms and wisely conducting the accession process. He called on the European public to demonstrate equal perseverance, pointing out that a Europe with self-confidence and a Constitution, with strong institutions and well-established policies had nothing to fear from Turkey's accession and that Turkey's integration will also bring opportunities in terms of growth and prosperity.

Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen stressed that the decision whether or not to open accession negotiations with Turkey is the prerogative of the European Council, when it meets in December.

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Important Information for CFSP Traders 29 Oct 2004

During a recent audit of the UK’s simplified import procedures by the European Commission they identified areas requiring improvement. As a result HM Customs & Excise notified all CFSP traders of changes to requirements and the need to comply with existing procedures. The details were sent in a letter and are also contained in CFSP Information Paper 15.

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Worrying Number of NCTS Undischarged Movements 27 Oct 2004

The UK, along with the other countries using NCTS, has been investigating the high number of undischarged NCTS movements. HM Customs & Excise (HMCE) have found that in the UK a major reason for non-discharge is that goods and/or the TAD are not being presented to Customs at the Office of Destination.

According to HMCE ‘Transit consignments are being driven directly to the consignee’s premises and unloaded where there is no authority to do so. In some cases customs declarations are being made without reference to transit while in others no customs declarations are being made at all. Some Authorised Consignees are not recognising the TAD as an official document and are not sending NCTS arrival messages.’

In light of their findings HMCE have issued Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) Paper (04) 42. This paper draws attention to the legal responsibilities of importers and carriers and explains what Customs are doing to promote compliance.

To understand these responsibilities and the actions being carried out by HMCE please see NCTS Undischarged Movements

To view a specimen copy of a TAD please see TAD.pdf

To understand more about NCTS and the procedures for compliance please use the link below:

An Overview of NCTSClick here to download Acrobat Reader
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Important Information for CFSP Traders 6 Sep 2004

During a recent audit of the UK’s simplified import procedures by the European Commission they identified areas requiring improvement. As a result HM Customs & Excise notified all CFSP traders of changes to requirements and the need to comply with existing procedures. The details were sent in a letter and are also contained in CFSP Information Paper 15.

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Tax Stamps for Spirits 1 Jul 2004

In the last Budget the Chancellor announced that tax stamps for spirits in the UK would be introduced in 2006.

The tax stamps will most likely take the form of strips on spirit bottle necks to show whether excise duty has, or hasn't, been paid. The Government feels that tax stamps will address the issue of identification - the ability for consumers, retailers and Customs officers to distinguish readily between licit and illicit products.

Both the Government and the spirit industry recognise that spirits fraud is a serious problem. Customs estimate that around £600m of revenue was lost through spirits fraud in 2001 - 2002, while a fraud estimate from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) put the level at between £100m to £150m for Scottish whisky. After looking at these figures the National Audit Office stated that these estimates were 'reasonable' but as the measuring of illegal activity is inherently difficult the Customs figure should be expressed as a range from £330m to £1,080m and those of the SWA as £10m to £260m.

The decision to introduce tax stamps was not taken without extensive discussion and consultation with the UK spirit industry. The industry, predominantly through the Joint Alcohol and Tobacco Consultation Group (JATCG), proposed a package of alternative proposals, including risk-based notification of movements and transactions using Memoranda of Understanding, and tighter control by the trade on the use of their financial guarantees. However, the Government decided that the anti-fraud impact of the trades package falls significantly short of that estimated for tax stamps. Customs estimate that tax stamps will produce additional revenue of £160m in 2006/7 while the spirit industry's alternatives would be unlikely to generate more than £70m, and probably less.

There are industry concerns that tax stamps will have an adverse affect on the spirit industry, and in particular the Scottish whisky industry which accounts for about £2.3 billion of Scottish exports annually. Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said 'Tax stamps will impose financial pain on legitimate business, particularly smaller enterprises, but will not defeat the fraudster. We are bitterly disappointed that the Chancellor has not joined with us and taken advantage of the very real benefits of our alternative anti-fraud package, which offered the Treasury an effective solution to fraud, and more money, more quickly, than tax stamps'.

Gavin Hewitt estimated that the initiative will cost the spirits industry £25m to set up, and will set the spirits supply chain back another £60m - £70m per year. These figures are close to the Governments which put the set up costs at £23.2m and the annual costs at £53.9m.

The Government has said that it will implement tax stamps in such a way that additional costs to business are minimised, and will introduce measures to reduce the remaining compliance costs burden. The Government plans to:

  • Seek to implement the scheme without requiring upfront payments for stamps thus preventing increased cash flow costs and ensuring the trade continues to benefit fully from the facilitation offered by duty suspension and deferment.
  • Set aside £3m fund for assistance with capital investment, targeted at the smallest firms, to offset upfront costs.
  • Bear the full production and distribution costs associated with tax stamps, estimated at 1p per bottle thus reducing trade compliance costs by £5m - £10m.
  • Freeze spirits duty for the remainder of this parliament.

In summary the Government feels that tax stamps are the most effective option currently available to help combat spirits fraud. The spirits industry, while welcoming moves to combat spirits fraud, think tax stamps will place unfair costs and compliance issues on legal traders. It remains to be seen whether the stamps prove to be a success without severally hindering the facilitation of the spirits industry in the UK.

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Bollman Hat - UK Importers Penalise Themselves By Ignoring Customs Benefits 14 May 2004

Thousands of UK importers are ignoring the financial and SCM (Supply Chain Management) benefits of Customs regimes, and are penalising their own finances and competitiveness in the process, each losing many thousands of £’s per year.

One man who can count the cost – and actually has, using the techniques of cost benefit analysis – is Colin Corlett, financial director of the UK arm of the world famous Bollman Hat Company.

“For years we used an agent to customs clear our imported hats, at the UK port of entry, from the manufacturer in China,” he said.

“At that point,” he continued, “the agent paid duty on our behalf, for subsequent invoicing to us, and the imports were transported straight to our Cumbria DC, in the north of England, where they often remained in store for several months before re-export or distribution to UK retailers.”

It turns out that the payment of duty, and the VAT liability, could have been deferred until the hats actually left the Cumbria warehouse, this creating substantial cashflow savings.

In fact, outside of the UK, the end destination of the hats means that duty and VAT are not always payable. For re-exports to non-EU destinations, neither is payable, and for re-exports to EU destinations, only the duty is, VAT being accounted for in the receiving country.

But Bollman was also paying excessive duty on the imports, because the correct valuation for duty was much lower when the circumstances of Bollman’s total supply chain were taken into account, since these involved moving component materials ex-EU to China, before import of the finished hats back into the UK.

Past practice also excluded trialing alternative methods of duty calculation, to assess which offered the greatest benefits to Bollman. The rate of duty is one thing, but duty calculation is another.

All this became clear to Bollman when it realised that the number of preference rates and Customs regimes, available to a company such as itself, are unlikely to be known by an agent, since they are the province of specialist duty management system providers.

Colin Corlett checked with the users of such systems, who gave him the benefit of their experience, both negative and positive, which he projected onto the Bollman business, to assess the potential gain.

He also took the advice of peer group companies in the technology industry before approaching a duty management system provider.

“In their view, “ he said, “Langdon Systems best met the criteria of product performance, customer service and track record. The dot com bubble sent a warning to everyone about technology providers in general, but Langdon has specialised exclusively in its systems since 1984, and its list of well known clients speaks volumes”.

He added that Langdon showed him how the UK Customs import declaration known as CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures), coupled with the use of appropriate regimes, “is the best way of squeezing every available penny out of the regulatory environment”. He has subsequently used Cost Benefit Analysis to demonstrate how these procedures and regimes “generate huge cash flow advantages, which are very substantial”.

Before recommending CFSP, Langdon conducted an examination of the Customs clearance regimes available to Bollman, an assessment of the specific duty and VAT levels actually payable in Bollman’s individual case, and an evaluation of alternative duty calculation methods.

In addition to implementing the appropriate online system, Langdon supports it with all the relevant training and consultancy – with the result, as Colin Corlett says, that “Langdon actually saves us money, no doubt about it at all.”

To expand, he calculates that, after the first year’s implementation of the system, the consequential savings will pay for that year’s startup cost.

In subsequent years, the savings per year will exceed the ongoing annual system cost, and will drop straight down into the bottom line. The greater the volume of imported traffic, the greater the commensurate savings.

For more about about Bollman, please see their website www.bollmanhats.com
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Langdon Systems ASP Solution Proving a Success 5 May 2004

In 2003 Langdon Systems launched LANGDON DMS R3WEB, which offers full duty mangement functionality through a fully managed web deployed ASP solution. This latest release is aimed at companies with complex Customs reporting requirements who wish to take advantage of the benefits from using a web-based application.

Take up of the LANGDON DMS R3WEB has been good with positive feedback from the clients using it. One such client is the Bollman Hat Company, a leading manufacturer of headwear who supply their products worldwide. Please click on the following article to find out more about the relationship between the Bollman Hat Company and Langdon Systems - UK Importers Penalise Themselves by Ignoring Customs Benefits.

Intrastat reporting has proved popular through LANGDON DMS R3WEB, offering a cost effective solution. The application can meet the reporting requirements in multiple EU countries, with one client making all their intrastat declarations from the UK for Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. Also additional functionality has provided a real add-on value to companies using the Intrastat module as a suppliers dispatch information can be sent to their customers and downloaded as their arrival information.

For more detailed and technical information please click on LANGDON DMS R3 WEB.

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Automating the Calculation of Additional Duty for US Imports 5 May 2004

In response to the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) subsidies being granted in the US ad valorem Customs duty has been imposed by the EU on certain goods originating in the US. The additional duties levied began at 5% from the 1st March 2004 and increases by 1% for each succeeding month ending in a final rate of 17% in March 2005.

In order to ensure our clients were compliant with the changing extra duty rates Langdon Systems went through a number of steps.

Langdon's Account Managers discussed the situation with their clients to ensure those companies that imported from the US were identified. Next the Langdon Duty Management System (DMS) was upgraded to ensure compliance with the ad valorem duty rates.

When goods are imported the DMS checks the country of origin and the 8 digit Commodity Code. If the goods originated in the US and are in the table of affected items supplied by Customs the ad valorem rate applicable on the date the import declaration is made is added to the standard rate. If the goods are not from the US or or not in the table the standard duty rate is declared. The same method is used for removals from a Customs Warehouse with the additional check to ensure the ad valorem duty rates are only applied to goods imported into the EU after the 17th December 2003 (the date supplied by Customs).

Each month the Langdon DMS updates the ad valorem rate ensuring the correct duty is paid. The table of affected goods is flexible allowing goods to be removed or added as defined by Customs. The Langdon DMS also offers a full audit trail so clients or Customs can check the duty rate used for each declaration.

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NCTS Goes Live 5 May 2004

The New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) went live in the Netherlands on the 1st April 2004. This applies to transit goods being dispatched and received.

In the Netherlands all goods not in Free Circulation must use NCTS when being imported or exported. Imported goods that this applies to must use NCTS to move from the frontier (port / airport) to an inland location. An example of this would be imported goods being entered into a bonded warehouse at the importers premises. For bonded goods being exported it works the opposite way, with NCTS being used when the goods are moved to the frontier i.e. from a bonded warehouse to a port. Additionally bonded goods being moved from the Netherlands to another EU country or bonded goods being moved within the Netherlands must use NCTS. An example of this would be moving bonded goods from one bonded warehouse to another.

All of Langdon's clients in the Netherlands use transit procedures and therefore needed to migrate to NCTS. Implementation was carried out before the deadline and the change over from the Old Transit System (OTS) to NCTS is progressing well.

Langdon pride themselves on meeting deadlines imposed on our clients by changes to Customs procedures. Once again Langdon's experience enabled us to meet our clients requirements in what was a new concept for transit procedures, namely electronically making declarations to Customs from their own premises.

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LANGDON will deliver two Single European Authorisation Projects for 2004 18 Dec 2003

With interest in SEA gaining momentum, certainly with UK based companies, LANGDON have recently received confirmation from two of their existing clients in the Sports Sector, to proceed with the implementation of an SEA Project for 2004.

The first of these projects will support Customs Warehouse operations between the UK and The Netherlands, and the second between the UK and Belgium. As with both implementations, VAT and Statistics will be reported locally.

These two projects will add to the already successful SEA implementation performed by LANGDON for a major US Corporate Client between the UK and The Netherlands, which is delivered through an ASP based Duty Management Solution. This implementation was achieved within a record period of time.

LANGDON have also supported another major corporate in achieving SEA authorisation through supporting specialist Customs Consultancy.

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SEA Update 21 Jul 2003

The SEA User Group met at the offices of Ernst & Young in London on the 3rd July to discuss the latest SEA developments. The User Group meetings provide an opportunity for those traders interested in SEA, to receive and discuss the latest SEA news. Attendees included representatives from companies that are either participating in the Pilot Scheme or have a serious interest in joining, together with representatives from UK and German Customs who were able to provide an update on their own Country’s position and progress to date.

UK Customs Update

UK Customs originally allowed 20 applications for the UK SEA Pilot Project, with 12 places guaranteed. However, at the moment there are only 5 live companies on the project, with 7 of the original 12 having become dormant and given up their places.

As this has been a little disappointing, UK Customs are keen to work with companies interested in SEA and ensure all 12 places on the pilot are filled. Therefore any companies that have a genuine desire and commitment to adopt S.E.A. are invited to contact Customs with a view to joining the Pilot. If you require further information, please contact LANGDON at SEA@langdonsystems.com

Customs were keen to point out that whatever the outcome of the SEA pilot the government will not withdraw any SEA authorisations that have already agreed. They also confirmed that they are waiting for the SEA Working Group in Brussels to report back as to when SEA will become global. Members of the User Group were reminded that Michael Lux, head of the unit responsible for Customs legislation for the European Commission, has been quoted as saying that his vision is for all goods entering the EU to be eventually reported to one central Customs point.

In the meantime, the UK has developed a Joint Understanding Confidentiality Agreement (JUC). This covers most countries participating in SEA. The JUC provides the legal framework to enable SEA operations between the UK and other EU Member States.

The following list shows the current situation between the UK and other EU Member States in accepting the SEA JUC:

France: The UK is still in negotiations with France, who have asked for a few amendments. The UK is now awaiting a response from them.

Belgium: Only Traders using regimes of economic impact such as IPR, Customs Warehousing etc will be considered for S.E.A. This is their clear position and is extremely unlikely to change. UK customs are trying to arrange a 6-month review to discuss live and intended users. A number of UK based companies have already expressed serious interest in operating an SEA between the UK and Belgium.

Sweden: Their parliament has issues with SEA and until they are resolved no JUC can be passed. As soon as this is resolved Swedish Customs will inform the UK. (Sweden does have SEA’s with other Member States other than the UK prior to the JUC being introduced).

Spain: Has no wish to proceed with SEA pilots.

Italy: Has no wish to proceed with SEA, as EC Law does not cover details of the JUC (details such as receiving duties).

Ireland: JUC in place

Germany: JUC in place, however it is agreed to use Simplified Procedures rather than Local Clearance. This is mainly due to Germany having SEA pilots in place prior to the introduction of the JUC.

Netherlands: JUC in place. There are already 5 SEA’s in NL, 3 NL based authorisations and 2 UK based authorisations. One of the UK based authorisations with the Netherlands is for a major US manufacturer that uses the LANGDON SEA web enabled system.

Austria: JUC in place, however it is agreed to use Simplified Procedures rather than Local Clearance. This is mainly due to Austria having SEA pilots in place prior to the introduction of the JUC, as with Germany.

There has been no interest in either Portugal or Greece.

As and when new information becomes available, we will post it on this site.

If in the meantime, you require any further information, please contact LANGDON by e-mail at SEA@langdonsystems.com

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EU and US Trade Security Statement 18 Jul 2003

Joint Statement of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the European Commission

25 June 2003

After meetings this week in Brussels, between representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and of the European Commission, assisted by representatives of member states, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union, Robert Verrue released the following statement:

“We welcome the positive work currently being undertaken by U.S Customs and Border Protection and the European Commission, supported by Member States' Customs Authorities, with respect to the Container Security Initiative and other customs-related aspects of security of international trade.

This is an important opportunity to maximise supply chain security on both sides of the Atlantic and to facilitate legitimate trade. The United States and the European Union will continue to expand and intensify customs co-operation and to take practical measures to improve the security of ocean-going and other modes of international trade.”

Issued in Washington and Brussels


Background information provided by the European Commission

Successful meetings were held on 23 and 24 June 2003 between representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and of the European Commission, assisted by representatives of Member States, to discuss the possible way forward as regards the Container Security Initiative and other customs-related aspects of security of international trade.

Both sides found a common approach and decided to continue close co-operation with the aim of concluding in the near future an agreement, covering the whole of the Community, to intensify and broaden co-operation under the existing EC-US Customs Co-operation Agreement. The intensified co-operation aims at initially improving the security of sea-container traffic and at a later stage other shipments from all destinations that are imported into, transhipped through, or transiting through the European Community and the United States of America.

Taxation and Customs Union Director-General Robert Verrue and the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection stated that: "This is an important opportunity to maximise supply chain security on both sides of the Atlantic and to facilitate legitimate trade." The United States and the European Union continue to expand and intensify customs co-operation. They might soon appoint a technical working group to make recommendations for practical measures to improve the security of transatlantic maritime container transport. The group will be comprised of representatives of US Customs and Border Protection, the European Commission and of interested Member States.

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When to Connect to NCTS 18 Jul 2003

The European Commission set a deadline of the 30th June 2003 for contracting countries to implement the NCTS (EU Member States, EFTA and Visegrad countries).

The NCTS has been successfully introduced in 18 European countries, using Community and Common Transit procedures, according to UK Customs. At LANGDON we have been reliably informed that all the CT offices in the UK and the Netherlands are connected to the NCTS. However, it will be some time before all the CT offices in all the participating countries are linked to the system and full transition to the NCTS is achieved.

During this transitional period the paper based old transit system (OTS) will remain in use, running parallel to NCTS. CT traders, therefore, currently have the options to move to NCTS or continue to use the OTS. These options will remain until there are changes to CT legislation and/or the European Commission withdraws the use of OTS.

Customs, though, warn traders that if they continue to use OTS they may find it becoming very much a 'second-class service' and run the risk of finding themselves at a disadvantage to those traders using the NCTS. NCTS users can expect quicker processing (UK Customs use the Customs Charter Standards for electronic declarations, which is 90% within 4 hours), rapid electronic discharge of each movement upon its arrival at destination and automatic notification of that discharge. CT traders continuing to use the paper based OTS will be tied to its standards of processing, control and discharge, including the significant wait for the return of documents, by mail, before a CT movement can be discharged and guarantee liability released.

Customs also feel that the OTS, which is widely held to be unreliable and unsatisfactory, is likely to deteriorate further as more CT traders move to NCTS and the levels of NCTS transit movements increase. CT offices throughout Europe must give priority to NCTS EDI declarations, to ensure the NCTS benefits are delivered, and it is possible that the current processing times for paper T - Forms can not be maintained. For example, UK Customs point out that presently processing times at many CT offices are substantially quicker than their Charter Standards require, if not 'stand and wait'. However, as NCTS overtakes OTS they are warning that Principals or Declarants that continue to submit OTS paper declarations (T - Forms) to a CT office can,. As time goes by, only expect return of the T - Form, authenticated as at present, within UK Customs Charter Standards for paper declarations (90% within 12 hours).

If you would like more information on NCTS or LANGDON'S NCTS products please contact us through the Contact page on this website.

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Europe Cargo Security Forum 18 Jul 2003

Brussels 16-18 June 2003

Forum organised by eyefortransport

Langdon Systems were recently an integral part of the Europe Cargo Security Forum held in Brussels. Dave Bradbury, Langdon's Customs Manager, chaired the event on the 17th June.

The forum offered an opportunity for representatives from a wide range of companies and organisations involved in international trade to meet and discuss the current security issues within the industry. The organisers and speakers were keen to ensure the event did not just become a platform for companies to promote their own security products and services, but was an open forum to discuss the impact and solutions to security concerns throughout the logistics industry. Helping achieve this goal was one of the reasons Langdon Systems chaired one of the days. Although we have nearly 2 decades experience of supplying Duty Management Solutions in Europe, and understand and respond to the security requirements of our clients we do not offer specialist security software, enabling us to maintain impartiality.

Another important aim of the European Cargo Security Forum was to ensure all aspects of security within international trade was covered. Since 9/11 many column inches have been taken up in both the general daily newspapers and specific trade publications regarding the security needs to counter terrorism. This media attention shows no sign of abating, fuelled by the war in Iraq, the recent actual and perceived terrorist activities in the Middle East and Africa and the strained relationships between the US and North Korea and Iran.

As well as the media focus their have been many conferences and public meetings dedicated to security against terrorism as well as highly publicised new legislation from US Customs, itself renamed to US Customs & Border Protection as a result of 9/11. Furthermore, many companies selling security related products and services to the international trade community are using the opportunities presented from finding themselves in the spotlight to promote themselves.

Security in relation to terrorism is, of course, important and was discussed in depth at the forum. There are, however, other security issues requiring discussion and effective solutions including organised international crime and corporate fraud and corruption. These issues are not new and are major problems but the worlds current focus on terrorism has removed these topics from many agendas.

To these ends The Europe Cargo Security Forum covered a wide range of security related topics in various formats; traditional speeches, panel discussions and 'roundtable' sessions, which were led by experts in their field but actively encouraged contributions from attendees. The topics included a look at the latest EU directives relating to Customs and security in the supply chain, discussions on securing international trade without disrupting the supply chain and the challenges and chances security issues bring to the logistics industry. The 'roundtable' sessions covered more specific topics including solutions to cargo theft and intra-europe cargo security threats such as stowaways and hijacks, the implications of US initiatives and Smart and Secure Tradelanes (SST). Some of these sessions also discussed security issues for specific industry sectors, including air cargo, ports, trucking industry, ocean freight and 3PL's and other logistic providers.

The forum was very well attended, not least because of the diverse and important topics covered and the quality and knowledge of the speakers and contributors. The whole of the international trade industry was well represented with delegates from logistic companies including; DHL, Eagle Global Logistics, Exel Global Logistics, Panalpina, Tibbett & Britten, TNT Express and UPS. Industry was represented with delegates from GlaxSmithKline, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Sony Logistics, Sweden Post AB and Boeing, to name but a few. Delegates from government bodies and trade organisations were also present including; Ministry of Transport, Netherlands, European Commission, Freight Transport Association, US Customs & Border Protection and the World Customs Organisation.

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NCTS and CFSP 17 Jul 2003

A number of CFSP traders that use the Local Clearance Procedure (LCP) are asking UK Customs whether NCTS will affect them. CFSP traders using LCP must be approved as Authorised Consignees' and are unsure if they will be required to connect to NCTS.

UK Customs has responded to this question by stating that connection to NCTS will depend on whether or not the CFSP LCP trader receives goods moving under full Community / Common Transit. Many CFSP LCP traders are not receiving goods under this procedure, but only receive goods directly into the UK from a country outside the EU. These goods are then moved from the UK (air)port of discharge to their nominated premises for temporary storage using the CHIEF based UK Transit Simplified Procedure for LCP. These CFSP LCP traders are termed 'CFSP Consignees' by Customs and do not have to connect to the NCTS.

CFSP LCP traders are approved as CT Authorised Consignees and those that receive 'indirectly imported goods', i.e. that arrive in the UK via another EU country and are under cover of full CT documents, should use 'through transit'. This means the transit movement should continue without interruption to, and be ended at, their nominated temporary storage premises. Traders operating these procedures need to be connected to, and use, NCTS before 31st March 2004.

The purpose and benefit of CFSP LCP is to remove the need for transaction processing at the UK point of entry. UK Customs see 'through transit' as part of this and thus of benefit to the CFSP trader. Therefore Customs advise CFSP LCP traders who receive indirectly imported goods under cover of full CT documents to end CT movements at their designated office.

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When to Connect to NCTS 17 Jul 2003

The European Commission set a deadline of the 30th June 2003 for contracting countries to implement the NCTS (EU Member States, EFTA and Visegrad countries).

The NCTS has been successfully introduced in 18 European countries, using Community and Common Transit procedures, according to UK Customs. At LANGDON we have been reliably informed that all the CT offices in the UK and the Netherlands are connected to the NCTS. However, it will be some time before all the CT offices in all the participating countries are linked to the system and full transition to the NCTS is achieved.

During this transitional period the paper based old transit system (OTS) will remain in use, running parallel to NCTS. CT traders, therefore, currently have the options to move to NCTS or continue to use the OTS. These options will remain until there are changes to CT legislation and/or the European Commission withdraws the use of OTS.

Customs, though, warn traders that if they continue to use OTS they may find it becoming very much a 'second-class service' and run the risk of finding themselves at a disadvantage to those traders using the NCTS. NCTS users can expect quicker processing (UK Customs use the Customs Charter Standards for electronic declarations, which is 90% within 4 hours), rapid electronic discharge of each movement upon its arrival at destination and automatic notification of that discharge. CT traders continuing to use the paper based OTS will be tied to its standards of processing, control and discharge, including the significant wait for the return of documents, by mail, before a CT movement can be discharged and guarantee liability released.

Customs also feel that the OTS, which is widely held to be unreliable and unsatisfactory, is likely to deteriorate further as more CT traders move to NCTS and the levels of NCTS transit movements increase. CT offices throughout Europe must give priority to NCTS EDI declarations, to ensure the NCTS benefits are delivered, and it is possible that the current processing times for paper T - Forms can not be maintained. For example, UK Customs point out that presently processing times at many CT offices are substantially quicker than their Charter Standards require, if not 'stand and wait'. However, as NCTS overtakes OTS they are warning that Principals or Declarants that continue to submit OTS paper declarations (T - Forms) to a CT office can,. As time goes by, only expect return of the T - Form, authenticated as at present, within UK Customs Charter Standards for paper declarations (90% within 12 hours).

If you would like more information on NCTS or LANGDON'S NCTS products please contact us through the Contact page on this website.

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NCTS Implementation 17 Jul 2003

Customs in the UK and the Netherlands have both stated that they met the deadline for connecting all the CT offices in their respective countries to NCTS. The deadline was set for the 30th June 2003 by the European Commission.

NCTS has also been successfully introduced in a further 16 European countries, using Community and Common Transit procedures, according to UK Customs and over 3,000 transit movements a day now use the system in and between these countries. Not all the CT offices in every country are currently connected to NCTS, though, and it will be some time yet before a full transition to NCTS can be made.

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EU & US Security Statene 17 Jul 2003

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ITF 2002 once again promises to be the premier event for buyers of products and services to facilitate International Trade. The event is a unique mix of conference, seminars and exhibitions with Langdon Systems sponsoring the first day of seminars, which focus on Customs and customs issues. Some of the key subjects that will be covered include.

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NCTS - Backbone for Future EU Customs Projects 24 Apr 2003

The following statement is taken from a recent report from the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of NCTS.

"Initially, the NCTS project was restricted to transit procedures, however, given the possibilities offered by the system in terms of the exchange of information between Customs administrations and given recent developments the NCTS has become the backbone for all these projects. These developments include export control requirements, the US Container Security Initiative (CSI), the need to monitor the movement of excise goods, and the commission's plan to develop the 'electronic-customs' project."

"As a matter of fact, the philosophy of the NCTS, coupled with the structure developed for it and the way of exchanging information among administrations, will serve as a basis for all these projects. Actually, NCTS is paving the way for the different European Customs Administrations to work in a new way."

As can be seen, the statement clearly indicates that NCTS will be expanded in the future to incorporate other EU Customs projects. As information for these projects is made available Langdon Systems will provide details on this web site.

Overviews for the following projects are currently available on this site:

An Overview of the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) Click here to download Acrobat Reader
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An Overview of the Container Security Initiative (CSI)Click here to download Acrobat Reader
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An Overview of the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) Click here to download Acrobat Reader
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NCTS - UK Update 24 Apr 2003

UK NCTS Preparing for EDI

The UK NCTS Project Team has now, by use of dummy declarations, succesfully tested all of the IE exchange messages between trader and system required by NCTS. This has been completed for both Normal and Simplified NCTS procedures. The NCTS Project Team now confirms that they are fully prepared for trader connection during the next quarter.

Electronic Transit Declarations

According to UK Customs one consequence of the introduction of NCTS under trial conditions at the pilot sites, during which Customs staff are keying in transit declaration data from the paper (T-Form) declarations presented, has been to expose the lack of completeness and accuracy in many of the transit declarations currently being presented.

NCTS automatically validates the data input to the system and will reject any declaration that is not complete, i.e. that does not have all of the mandatory data fields completed, or that has invalid codes or other data included. While small errors on a paper declaration may be missed, or simply amended, by the Office of Departure, the NCTS demands complete accuracy.

The Langdon NCTS system checks all data prior to a declaration or a message being sent, therefore any incomplete messages must be amended before they can be sent. As a result there are fewer error messages being sent from NCTS and less need to re-submit declarations, resulting in a quicker throughput time for NCTS declarations.

It should be noted that UK Customs say an electronic NCTS declaration requires exactly the same type and amount of information, set down in EU regulations, as does the current T-form declaration, and the fields in the electronic declaration co-relate directly to the Boxes on a SAD. Declarants must ensure that all declarations, whether paper or electronic, meet the legal requirements. Guidance on the correct completion of CT documents is included in Customs Notice 751, How to fill in CT Documents, and in Volume III of the UK Tarriff.

Customs Office List

One particular area of concern for UK Customs relating to the completion of transit declarations is the common inclusion by declarants of CT offices across Europe that don't exist. The old reference for CT Offices, "The Grey Book", published by the EU Commission has been replaced by an electronic Customs Office List (COL) on their Europa Website. The URL for this list on the Europa Website is:

     http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/dds/en/csrdhome.htm

Electronic declarations to the NCTS will require the Reference Number, listed on the COL, rather than the name, of the declared offices and will automatically reject a declaration containing invalid data.

It is essential that all CT declarants familiarise themselves with the Customs Office List and ensure that the only CT offices of Transit and Destination included on their declarations, paper or electronic, are taken from this list and have that defined role. In cases of doubt, enquiries should be made of the intended consignee to confirm the proper office.

The Langdon NCTS system stores the new Customs Office List ensuring that only accepted reference numbers are used in declarations.

UK Customs NCTS information was taken from the NCTS Newsletter - March 2003

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Electronic Import Licensing Update 24 Apr 2003

The deadline for the issuing of electronic import licences by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been met. New RPA licences have been issued since 02nd February 2003 and DTI licences since the 14th April 2003. All new RPA and DTI import licences are now only issued electronically.

Import licence details are now sent electronically in Supplementary Declarations to the Customs computer CHIEF for licence write-off, surrender and exhaustion.

For a detailed overview of the changes to import licences:

An Overview of Excise Movement and Control SystemClick here to download Acrobat Reader
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NCTS - EU Update 24 Apr 2003

Twelve EU Member States are on target to meet the deadline of 30th June 2003, set for implementation within the EU of the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), according to a report from the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament.The report though draws attention to the fact that, according to their own implementation plans, some Member States will have a great deal to do between now and 30th June if they are to meet the deadline for implementing NCTS. Austria, Greece and Luxembourg may have particular difficulties.

Among the Transit Convention countries, Norway and Switzerland have connected all their customs offices to the NCTS, and the Czech Republic will be fully connected very soon. While Iceland has a limited role in transit, it is likely to make the necessary arrangements to connect its few customs offices to the system. It is likely that Hungary and the Slovak Republic will start operations before their accession. Poland may have difficulties in implementing NCTS.

The other candidate countries that are not Parties to the Transit Convention will have to implement the NCTS by the time of their accession. Latvia may not be operational by the time of accession. These countries have provided plans concerning implementation and the Commission is monitoring the situation.

Frits Bolkestein, Commissioner responsible for Customs commented, "The computerised transit system is a key player in the fight against fraud and at the same time it helps to cut administrative red tape for business. I urge all Member States and candidate countries to take all the necessary steps to implement the system without delay."

The Commission will ask those customs administrations that are not fully operational to introduce ad hoc measures to ensure that NCTS transit movements will be completed without delay, even if the movements end at an office that is not connected to NCTS. This specifically applies to the customs administrations of non-EU countries, as EU countries have to meet the 30 June 2003 deadline. The measures could include, for example, requiring an office that is not connected to NCTS to ask a connected office in the same country to send an electronic message to a country of departure reporting on the arrival of goods.

The information for this news item was taken from a press release on the EU Taxation and Customs Union web site. The full press release and the report can be found at:

     http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/whatsnew.htm

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Enlarged EU Means More Opportunities for SME's 24 Apr 2003

At the moment ten new Member States are due to join the EU in May 2004, creating a total of 450 million consumers which is a bigger market than the United States and Japan combined. In fact it will be the largest single market in the world.

Addressing a conference hosted by smallbusiness / europe in Brussels, UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Minister Nigel Griffiths said this enlargement presented entrepreneurs with a massive opportunity to break into new markets. He urged small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK to take advantage of these opportunities by making the most of Government support networks like Business Link and Trade Partners UK.

The Minister said: "An enlarged Europe means that firms will have important new markets on their doorstep. The remaining obstacles to doing business with the new members will be removed, so it's an opening door for small firms. With the help of Business Link and the DTI's Trade Partners UK, many small businesses have already made inroads into these new markets. I urge more small firms to follow their example."

Since 1990, when many of the proposed new members emerged from communist rule, UK trade with the ten candidate States (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) has increased by over 400%, compared with a 43% increase in trade with the rest of the world.

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UK Customs Take Control of Stopping Illegal Imports of Meat 24 Apr 2003

UK Customs & Excise has taken over responsibility for anti-smuggling controls on illegal imports of meat and other animal products imported directly from non-EU countries at ports and airports.

The UK Government has committed to investing £25 million over the next three financial years to tackle illegal third country imports. UK Customs will be allocated £4 million to begin a rolling programme of work in tackling illegal imports of meat and animal products out of the £6 million provided for 2003/2004.

Customs aims to reduce the level of risk by deploying these additional resources at locations throughout the UK where the highest risks of exotic disease entering the UK from illegal imports of meat and products of animal origin from non-EU countries are identified.

The new investment will help fund an additional four mobile anti-smuggling detection teams with particular responsibility for tackling smuggling of meat and animal products from non EU locations and more detector dogs targeting this smuggling. It will also help to provide extra intelligence activity and a publicity campaign at ports and airports in the UK and overseas.

The attack on illegal meat imports was one of the key recommendations of a Cabinet Office Study, published in November 2002, into the organisation of controls on products of animal origin, fish, plants and forestry products commissioned following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. The transfer to Customs has been effected by the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003.

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EU Commission Seeks Electronic Customs Clearance 24 Apr 2003

The European Commission wants companies to switch over to electronic customs declarations as part of making Europe a paperless trade environment.

Speaking st a recent conference Michael Lux, head of the EU Commission customs legislation unit, stated that national customs procedures have not been able to cope with increased trade, globilisation and e-commerce. "The single market is still divided into national territories, notably when it comes to simplified and computerised procedures*, he pointed out. Online customs declarations would be a major step forward but "because of the difficulties, there are still those who prefer paper" he said.

Electronic Customs clearance varies widely across Europe, with Greece at 30%. Germany at 70% and Spain at 100% due to a new system. This year the EU Commission plans to release a legislative proposal to standardise export procedures, as part of its wide-ranging Customs 2007 programme which is currently awaiting EU Member States approval.

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Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 24 Apr 2003

In January 2003 the EU Commission proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy. This proposal is currently being negotiated by the EU Member States at Council.

An overview of the proposed changes can be found on the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) website at:

     http://www.rpa.gov.uk/rpa/rpaweb.nsf?open

A more in-depth look at the proposed changes can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) web site at:

     http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/issues/capreform.asp

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Langdon NCTS Certified in The Netherlands 15 Apr 2003

After 6 weeks of testing with the Dutch authorities, the LANGDON NCTS System has now been certified and approved for use in The Netherlands. The NCTS system will now be rolled out over the coming months to existing Customers as and when required.

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Excise Movement & Control System (EMCS) 25 Feb 2003

A proposal has been adopted by the EU Parliament to computerise the movement and surveillance of excisable products. This has grown out of the EU Commission’s determination to attack fraud in connection with excise duty on tobacco and alcohol, which was estimated to be costing Member States Euro4800 million per year.

The present system requires goods to be subject to excise duty at the time of production or importation to the EU. The duty only becomes chargeable once the product is released for consumption in the country of final destination, and at the rate applied in that country. The goods can thus move freely across the EU untaxed under the so-called duty suspension regime.

A special study revealed that it would be technically possible to computerise the movement and surveillance of all products subject to excise duty. The Accompanying Administrative Document (the piece of paper known as the AAD that currently accompanies all such products when they are moved between Member States under suspension arrangements) could be replaced with a computer messaging system linking traders with each other and also routing their messages through their respective national administrations. Such a system would provide the Member States with real-time information on current movements and allow them to carry out whatever pre-movement, wayside and/or post-clearance checks they deemed necessary.

Langdon Systems have produced an overview of the Excise Movement and Control System. Please click on the link below to download the overview.

An Overview of Excise Movement and Control SystemClick here to download Acrobat Reader
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EU and Vietnam Agree Trade Deal 25 Feb 2003

The EU and Vietnam have concluded a "mutually beneficial agreement on trade" that gives Vietnam an increase in textile and clothing quotas worth EUR 200 million a year in exchange for significant Vietnamese tariff reductions for the EU's textile and clothing sector and other liberalisation commitments in a large number of sectors.

The agreement was concluded last weekend by negotiators from both sides in Hanoi. The EU will shortly make the necessary proposals for an early adoption and implementation of the agreement by the Council, which will last until 2005.

Read the Full Article here.

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Container Security Initiative 25 Feb 2003

US Customs Implement 24-hour Advance Manifest Rule on 2nd February 2003

From the 2nd February 2003 US Customs have implemented, and are enforcing, the 24-hour advance manifest regulation. This regulation forms part of the US Customs Container Security Initiative. It requires sea carriers to provide the details of the contents of US bound containers 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto ships at foreign ports. US Customs state that they need timely and accurate manifest information to effectively evaluate and identify cargo that may endanger US security.

In the first week of operation (2nd - 9th February) US Customs reviewed the documentation for more than 142,000 sea containers. Of those US Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced that US Customs issued 13 'No Load' directives for violations of cargo description requirements of the 24-hour advance manifest regulation. A 'No Load' directive means that US Customs instructed an ocean shipping line not to load a container at a foreign port destined for the US.

"Last week, the U.S. Customs Service began to enforce the 24-hour rule by issuing "No-Load" orders, especially where the contents of a cargo container have not been adequately identified. This is another step forward for Homeland Security, " said Commissioner Bonner. "While we issued no-load orders for clear violations of the rule, we commend carriers and NVOCCs for taking the 24-hour rule seriously and for their growing level of compliance."

Langdon Systems have produced an overview of the Container Security. Please click on the link below to download the overview.

An Overview of Container Security InitiativeClick here to download Acrobat Reader
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Langdon Sponsors ITF 2002 29 May 2002

The International Trade Forum

18th-19th June 2002, Olympia 2, London

ITF 2002 once again promises to be the premier event for buyers of products and services to facilitate International Trade. The event is a unique mix of conference, seminars and exhibitions with Langdon Systems sponsoring the first day of seminars, which focus on Customs and customs issues. Some of the key subjects that will be covered include:

  • The Customs Blueprint
  • Community Transit
  • Customs e-business strategy
  • SEA in practice
  • New Export System (NES)
For more details on the complete seminar agenda visit www.itf-expo.com.

We will also be using the event to mark the launch of an exciting new product that will take the market one step closer to realising HM Customs and Excise plans for full on-line trading. This new web enabled product has the full functionality of the complete Langdon Duty Management System running through a web browser over the Internet.

There will also be live demonstrations of e-CFSP, the low cost web deployed interactive application that has SDI and SDW reporting capability. It remains Europe's first and only live Customs solution that fully supports SEA functionality.

So if you are planning to visit the event please come along to stand 228 and we will be only too pleased to discuss your Duty Management or Customs issues or demonstrate our web enabled applications.

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Best of Breed Demands Best Practice 20 Dec 2001
Laurence

Laurence Flanagan

Quality Manager
Laurence Flanagan Laurence Flanagan

"It must be the major goal of all companies to work to the highest standards in all aspects of their business and to deliver to customers products and services of the highest quality possible, meeting and exceeding their expectations."



ISO 9001

Following a recent assessment of LANGDON's Company Management Systems by ISO Auditors Societe Generale de Serveilance (SGS Yarsley ICS), LANGDON are delighted to announce that the System in operation within the LANGDON organisation conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 - Quality Management System Certification.

There has always been a belief at LANGDON that the products and services they deliver to the market are the best - an important ingredient in any successful company.

However not content with just self-belief LANGDON are now taking this whole process a step further. For the last year the staff at LANGDON, with the aid of external industry experts, have been working towards achieving ISO 9001:2000 accreditation. Their vision - to make customers the focus of their business activity.

Through a process of continual change and improvement they aim to be in the best position possible to offer their customers a quality service. This is achieved by identifying their requirements and fulfilling those requirements through planned and efficient use of their skills and expertise.

By becoming more customer centric and listening to their customers LANGDON will be best placed to deliver the products they want, when they want them and at the right price. This in itself is not new. LANGDON have a reputation for delivering very specialist software solutions to their client base and bringing many 'firsts' to this highly specialised market.

Seeking ISO recognised accreditation is not just an exercise for Langdon Systems. LANGDON Quality Manager Laurence Flanagan says, "It is a reflection on the way in which we have chosen to work within the market. Essentially it provides a tangible benchmark upon which our clients and future clients can assess our approach to delivering - in some cases - quite complex Customs solutions. One of the major concerns companies have is the fear that implementing Customs systems can have some major detrimental impact on their business if it goes wrong. We hear some real horror stories of projects that have failed and software houses have been subjected to penalty clauses because of poor planning. Not content with relying on our proven track record of delivering systems on time, to budget and with Customs authorisation, we believe this certification gives new customers that added feeling of security and peace of mind. ISO accreditation is the most visible way of demonstrating that Langdon Systems have achieved the highest standard possible".

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