European Commission has published the detailed report on EU sanctions imposed against Russia; report cover the following questions. 

  • What sanctions has the EU adopted so far?
  • Who is being sanctioned?
  • How is the EU’s trade with Russia being sanctioned?
  • What EU services to Russia are banned?
  • What does the oil ban mean in practice?
  • How does the oil price cap work?
  • What are the sanctions on transport?
  • How is the Russian banking system impacted by the sanctions?
  • Why has the EU sanctioned some media outlets?
  • What do EU sanctions against Russia NOT do?
  • Is the EU coordinating the sanctions with other partners?

For detailed report, please refer the

European Union: Commission welcomes ECA report on the EU’s AEO Programme

Companies participating in the AEO programme get a number of benefits that save them time and money, such as fewer controls and priority treatment at customs clearance. Member State authorities benefit because it increases safety and security, while helping them to collect customs duties and VAT more efficiently and effectively. Currently, more than 18,000 companies have been authorised as AEOs in the EU, accounting for just over 70% of imports and exports. While any EU business can apply to become an AEO, they must fulfil a number of criteria to be admitted to the programme such as compliance with customs legislation and taxation rules, financial solvency, transparent supply chains and proven competency and safety and security criteria. 

In its report, the ECA points to a solid, robust and well-run programme which delivers on its overall goals and enjoys a satisfaction rate of over 80% from traders. However, the ECA does highlight some shortcomings in the AEO programme, such as an uneven implementation across all Member States, which results in an unlevel playing field for AEO traders in terms of the benefits they enjoy. The ECA also highlights the lack of a common EU approach to measuring the programme’s performance and its ‘untapped potential’ to support EU businesses and Member State authorities alike.

European Union: 'Fit for 55': Council adopts key pieces of legislation delivering on 2030 climate targets

The Council adopted five laws that will enable the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions within the main sectors of the economy, while making sure that the most vulnerable citizens and micro-enterprises, as well as the sectors exposed to carbon leakage, are effectively supported in the climate transition. The laws are part of the 'Fit for 55' package, which sets the EU’s policies in line with its commitment to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. The vote in the Council is the last step of the decision-making procedure.

  • EU emissions trading system
  • Maritime transport emissions
  • Buildings, road transport and additional sectors
  • Emissions from aviation
  • Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
  • The Social Climate Fund

European Parliament adopts new law to fight global deforestation

To fight climate change and biodiversity loss, the new law obliges companies to ensure products sold in the EU have not led to deforestation and forest degradation. While no country or commodity will be banned, companies will only be allowed to sell products in the EU if the supplier of the product has issued a so-called “due diligence” statement confirming that the product does not come from deforested land or has led to forest degradation, including of irreplaceable primary forests, after 31 December 2020.
As requested by Parliament, companies will also have to verify that these products comply with relevant legislation of the country of production, including on human rights, and that the rights of affected indigenous people have been respected.

Products covered:
The products covered by the new legislation are: cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm-oil, soya and wood, including products that contain, have been fed with or have been made using these commodities (such as leather, chocolate and furniture), as in the original Commission proposal. During the negotiations, MEPs successfully added rubber, charcoal, printed paper products and a number of palm oil derivatives.

Parliament also secured a wider definition of forest degradation that includes the conversion of primary forests or naturally regenerating forests into plantation forests or into other wooded land.

Risk-based controls:
The Commission will classify countries, or parts thereof, as low-, standard- or high-risk based through an objective and transparent assessment within 18 months of this regulation entering into force. Products from low-risk countries will be subject to a simplified due diligence procedure. The proportion of checks is performed on operators according to the country’s risk level: 9% for high-risk countries, 3% for standard-risk and 1% for low-risk. The competent EU authorities will have access to relevant information provided by the companies, such as geolocation coordinates, and conduct checks with the help of satellite monitoring tools and DNA analysis to check where products come from.

Penalties for non-compliance shall be proportionate and dissuasive and the maximum fine must be at least 4% of the total annual turnover in the EU of the non-compliant operator or trader.
The new law was adopted with 552 votes to 44 and 43 abstentions.

Malaysia: Imposition of sales tax on low value goods imported into Malaysia

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) has stated that the Malaysian government would apply a 10% sales tax to all imported low-value goods (LVG) purchased online beginning 1 April 2023. Malaysians will soon be required to pay an additional 10% tax on imported items costing less than RM500 that are ordered online and delivered from overseas to clients in Malaysia through air, sea, or road freight (including duty-free areas and free zones). Such commodities, with the exception of cigarettes, tobacco, and liquor, are now free from sales tax when carried in by air courier services via certain international airports.

Ukraine: Commission extends customs duty and VAT waiver on imports of life-saving goods for ten Member States

The European Commission adopted a Decision which extends for ten Member States the current possibility to temporarily waive customs duties and VAT on the importation from non-EU countries of food, blankets, tents, electric generators and other life-saving equipment destined for Ukrainians affected by the war.

The extension of this measure, requested by ten Member States, will apply retroactively from 1 January 2023 and remains in place until 31 December 2023. The measure will apply in Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The original Decision applied from 24 February 2022 to 31 December 2022.

In the wake of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, around 4 million Ukrainians have been granted temporary protection in Europe. Millions more have had to flee their homes but remained in Ukraine. This is putting a lot of pressure on Member States, which need to provide humanitarian assistance to large numbers of persons fleeing the war, while also supporting internally displaced Ukrainians at risk of hunger and disease.

The duty and VAT waiver applies to goods imported by the following organisations in the Member States concerned:

  • State organisations (public bodies and bodies governed by public law including hospitals, governmental organisations, regional governments, communes/towns, etc.)
  • Charitable or philanthropic organisations approved by the competent authorities of the Member States.