Regulatory Compliance updates April 2024

April 25, 2024

EU Commission proposes increased tariffs on Russia grain imports

The EU Commission has submitted a proposal to increase the tariffs on imports of cereals, oilseeds, and derived products from Russia and Belarus, including wheat, maize, and sunflower oil. Depending on the specific product, the tariffs will increase to either €95 per tonne or to an ad valorem duty of 50%. The proposal will now be considered by the Council.

EU Commission launches targeted consultation to get feedback on the rules governing tax dispute resolution in the EU

The European Commission launched a targeted consultation giving stakeholders the chance to give feedback on the functioning of the EU’s framework to help resolve cross-border tax disputes for businesses and citizens in relation to double taxation issues. Double taxation occurs when two or more countries claim the right to tax the same income or profits of a company or person. This can happen, for example, due to a mismatch in national rules or different interpretations of the transfer pricing rules in a Double Taxation Treaty (‘DTC’). This can cost businesses and citizens time and money to resolve.

The general objectives of the DRM are to improve the EU business environment, help boost investment and the creation of jobs, and improve the confidence of business and citizens in public administration. The DRM focusses on the main stakeholder(s) affected by double taxation situations and broadened the scope of previous tools that focused mostly on transfer pricing and the attribution of profits to permanent establishments. In accordance with Article 21 of the DRM, the Commission is now conducting a review and preparing a report on its functioning, with a focus on the Directive’s implementation in its first years. To this end, the Consultation launched on 12 March 2024 seeks to obtain stakeholders’ views. The deadline for submission to this consultation is 10 May 2024.

EU Commission updates Russia sanctions FAQs

The EU Commission has updated 19 of its Russia sanctions FAQs on the prohibition of the provision of certain services to the Russian government and entities.

  • EU subsidiaries are prohibited from providing prohibited services to Russian parent companies;
  • EU persons can still provide all services that are not prohibited in their capacity as employees of Russian entities;
  • the prohibition applies to non-Russian branches of Russian entities which have no legal personality of their own;
  • the provision of services to Russian entities owned solely or jointly by EU entities (or partner countries) is exempt from the prohibition until 20 June 2024 (to provide the restricted services after 20 June 2024, operators must obtain an authorisation from the relevant national competent authority eg see German general authorisation);
  • “IT consultancy services” covers assistance or advice relating to software updates and upgrades but not the supply of automatic software updates to previously purchased software other than bespoke software; and
  • the provision of prohibited services to Russian entities by EU operators via their subsidiaries in third countries could be considered an indirect provision of these services and therefore would be prohibited. Link

EU Commission publishes FAQs on reporting outgoing transfers

The EU Commission has published 16 FAQs on the obligation of Russian-owned entities and EU credit and financial institutions to report transfers from Russian-owned entities out of the EU (Article 5r of Council Regulation 833/2014). Link

UK prohibit import & trading of certain Russian metals

From 13 April 2024, the UK has prohibited the London Metal Exchange (LME) from trading new aluminium, copper, and nickel produced by Russia.  The UK prohibited the import of Russian aluminium, copper, and nickel in December 2023. The UK trade Licence for acquisition of metals, according to the LME guidance and notice, divides Russian metal warrants into two types:

  • Type 1 Russian warrants – Russian metals warrants in existence before 23:59 on 12 April 2024 can be re-warranted at the same warehouse and the metal can be moved between warehouses;
  • Type 2 Russian warrants – UK members and clients cannot withdraw Russian metals warrants issued on or after 13 April 2024 for their own account or change the location of the metal to which the warrant is related. UK members can cancel or withdraw the metal underlying type 2 warrants for the accounts of non-UK clients. Link

European Commission and OECD sign agreements on the Commission’s financial contribution to the OECD IFCMA

On 10 April 2024 OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann and DG TAXUD Director-General Gerassimos Thomas signed two agreements paving the way for the European Commission’s financial contribution to the OECD Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches (IFCMA). The OECD IFCMA initiative is designed to help optimise the global impact of emissions reduction efforts around the world through better data and information sharing, evidence-based mutual learning and inclusive multilateral dialogue. It brings together relevant policy perspectives from a diverse range of countries from around the world, participating on an equal footing basis, to take stock of and consider the effectiveness of different carbon mitigation approaches. The IFCMA is also identifying and addressing challenges inhibiting the widespread use of carbon intensity metrics. Granular and timely carbon intensity metrics can play a key role in providing the necessary information for the development of markets for low carbon goods and underpin the transition to net zero.

EU inserts humanitarian exception into human rights sanctions regime

The EU has implemented a humanitarian exception to its sanctions regime regarding individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations. Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 has been amended by Regulation (EU) 2024/1034 which outlines that sanctions shall not apply to the making available of funds or economic resources necessary to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance or to support other activities that support basic human needs by certain humanitarian organisations. Link

EU Traders offered online access to the new central PoUS system

From 1 March 2024, in accordance with the provisions of the Union Customs Code (UCC), the Proof of Union Status (PoUS) system phase 1, which establishes electronic proofs in the form of T2L and T2LF data, has been launched by the Commission. The T2L and T2LF data are means to prove the Union status of goods in free circulation which have been brought from one point to another within the customs territory of the Union and temporarily leave that territory. The PoUS system allows for a harmonised and integrated process across the EU.  The PoUS system provides a central platform for the management of Economic Operators' proof requests and enables communication among the Member States' Customs Authorities and between them and Economic Operators for the purpose of submitting and processing the proofs of Union status in the form of T2L and T2LF data regulated by the UCC.  The PoUS system replaces the paper T2L and T2LF proofs and offers the benefit that Economic Operators and Customs Authorities have access to the data throughout the whole process.

European Union: Open general export licence (export of dual-use items to EU member states) updated

Open general export licence (export of dual-use items to EU member states) updated to permit the export of certain items controlled under Schedule 3 of the Export Control Order 2008, to certain destinations. The updated licence will come into force on 1 April 2024. Link

Finland extends Russia border closure indefinitely

Finland will indefinitely extend the closure of land border crossings with Russia and add several ports to a list where travel from its eastern neighbour is prohibited, the government said on Thursday (4 April).  The government had said in February that the border closure was set to last until 14 April. Finland annoyed Russia last year by abandoning its long-held stance of military non-alignment and joining the NATO alliance in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The Nordic nation has also signed a bilateral defence pact with the United States. The government said it had decided to close three ports to leisure boating – on the Baltic Sea islands of Santio and Haapasaari, as well as at Nuijamaa on the banks of an inland lake shared by the two countries – to prevent “instrumentalised” migration from spreading as spring sets in. The Finnish border authority has said that over 1,300 asylum seekers from nations including Yemen, Somalia and Syria entered from Russia between August and December last year. Prior to this period, the numbers had averaged just one person a day.

GUM - Guarantee Management System

The Guarantee Management System will enable the granting and management of the authorizations for comprehensive guarantees and the monitoring of the guarantees, except for Transit which is handled in NCTS. Guarantee management covers registration, verification of the existence and validity, monitoring of the reference amount and release of the guarantee. Also, a guarantee is a financial cover for customs duties and other chargers that are temporarily suspended and shall be required both for customs debts which have been incurred as well as those which may be incurred, unless otherwise specified. New requirements for the Guarantee Management and the resulting business have stemmed from the UCC, such as:

  • an increase in the volume of cases where the guarantee management takes place: it is now required to provide the guarantee in the context of temporary storage and all special procedures, other than transit and free movement of goods.
  • the possibility to have a guarantee valid in more than one Member State is introduced. This makes it possible to declare guarantees established in a MS other than the MS in which the customs declaration or declaration of temporary storage is granted;
  • all communication shall be performed by electronic means, with a view to improve traceability, reliability and integrity of data, and shall allow for paper-based communication only in defined exceptional cases.

UK parliamentary research on Israel-Hamas conflict

The UK House of Commons Library has published a research briefing on the Israel-Hamas conflict and the UK and international response, including the use of sanctions since 7 October 2023. UK Sanctions:

  • 5 rounds of sanctions on Hamas;
  • proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist group;
  • travel restrictions on Israeli settlers; and
  • IRGC has been sanctioned but not designated as a terrorist group (despite calls from MPs). Link

United Kingdom: Update to Betel Leaves Prohibition from Bangladesh:

This update is due to the Department for Business and Trade correcting their dataset entry in respect of removing an incorrect prohibition on the import of Betel leaves from Bangladesh. The measure set on the following commodity code has been end dated for 10 April 2024: 1404900010.

United Kingdom: Update to Additional duties measure for Belarus:

This update is due to the Department for Business and Trade correcting a missing tariff dataset entry in respect of an additional duties measure for Belarus on the following commodity code to begin from 11 April 2024: 8311000000.

United Kingdom: India Steel Quota Category 4

The Quarter four steel quota for India category four (quota number 058106) is exhausted. Under the UK Steel safeguarding rules, India will now be added to the residual “all other countries” quota (quota number 058007) so that trade can continue without the safeguard additional duty applying until the residual quota is exhausted. Importers of Indian origin category 4 steel should be able to use quota number 058007 for the remainder of this quota period from 8th April 2024.

United Kingdom: Update to DEFRA Veterinary Control Measures

This update is due to the Department for Business and Trade correcting a missing tariff dataset entry in respect of DEFRA Veterinary Control measures. The following commodity codes have had the ‘Y930’ waiver code are classified under tariff heading 1905.


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