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    • 25/11/2020
    • Articles

    EU publishes proposed amendments to the Dual-use Regulation

    On 10 November 2020, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed on the text of a long-awaited amendment to Regulation 428/2009 setting up an EU regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items (“Dual-use Regulation”). The proposal widens the scope of the EU dual-use control regime to cover cyber-surveillance technology and the supply of technical services related to dual-use items. Changes also include new conditions to obtain an export authorisation and the introduction of national control lists. This Client Alert sets out the proposal’s key points.

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    • 30/10/2020
    • Articles

    UK and Japan sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

    On 23 October 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) and Japan signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The CEPA is based on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and Japan. However, the CEPA also contains some enhanced provisions in areas such as rules of origin, financial services, and digital matters, and eliminates certain tariff lines earlier than the EPA. Once ratified, the CEPA is expected to enter into force as of 1 January 2021 and, as far as possible, provide continuity for trade between the UK and Japan after the EU-Japan EPA ceases to apply to the UK. Our overview of the UK-Japan CEPA highlights the key features of the agreement and identifies the main differences between the CEPA and the EPA relevant to stakeholders. Please click below to read our note on the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

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    • 20/10/2020
    • Articles

    EU Dual-use Regime

    Dual-use items are goods, software and technology that can have both civilian and military applications. The European Union controls the export, brokering and transit of dual-use items to third countries, as well as intra-EU movements of highly sensitive dual-use items. The dual-use regime aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as circumvention of conventional arms controls and is guided by multilateral initiatives on export control, such as the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. This VBB Insight sets out the key obligations under the dual-use framework and outlines the anticipated reform of the EU dual-use regime. Please click below to read our memorandum on the EU dual-use regime.

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    • 08/10/2020
    • Articles

    CJEU rules that it has jurisdiction over breaches by a Member State of WTO law

    On 6 October 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgement in Case C-66/18. The case related to the infringement proceedings brought by the Commission against Hungary in relation to its treatment of the Central European University (CEU) and more in general the requirements which Hungary applied to foreign higher education institutions seeking to supply services in its territory. The Court ruled that its jurisdiction in infringement proceedings brought by the European Commission against a Member State on the basis of Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) extends to a Member State’s failure to fulfil its obligations under World Trade Organization (WTO) law. The CJEU found breaches of the national treatment obligation under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), provisions relating to academic freedom, the freedom to found higher education institutions and the freedom to conduct a business in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the freedom of establishment and the free movement of services.

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    • 16/07/2020
    • News

    Yuriy Rudyuk speaks at webinar organized by EUROMETAL “After COVID 19: Survival strategies for steel distribution, SSC and Steel Trade”

    On 9 July 2020, Van Bael & Bellis partner Yuriy Rudyuk spoke at the EUROMETAL webinar on the outcome of the second review of EU safeguard measures applicable to imports of certain steel products as well as other trade defence measures in the EU affecting trade in steel. Yuriy’s comments on further reviews of the safeguard measures and their likely outcome were reported by Kallanish Steel https://eurometal.net/eu-plans-two-more-safeguard-reviews/ .

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    • 01/07/2020
    • Articles

    European Commission’s White Paper on Levelling the Playing Field as regards Foreign Subsidies

    Key Takeaway: The EU (and Member States) may be given new, far-reaching powers to tackle the perceived harmful effects of third-country subsidies benefitting businesses operating in the EU. Remedies could be imposed limiting participation in all sectors of the internal market, including prohibiting businesses from making subsidised acquisitions and participating in public procurement in the EU. On 17 June 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a White Paper on how to respond to third countries giving subsidies to companies active in the EU (“foreign subsidies”). In an effort to level the playing field, the Commission proposes new tools to address what it perceives as unfair competition from foreign players in the EU’s internal market. The Commission considers that existing tools, in the areas of notably trade defence, competition law and public procurement, are insufficient to avoid distortions resulting from foreign subsidies. The proposed new tool box fits within the EU’s new policy of “open strategic autonomy”. It signals a more pro-active approach on the part of the EU in responding to unfair and abusive practices distorting the EU internal market and undermining the level playing field.

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    • 15/04/2020
    • Articles

    EU Customs Issues and Covid-19

    The EU Commission has published a Communication entitled “Guidance on Customs issues related to the COVID-19 emergency” providing practical information for day-to-day customs operations in view of the COVID-19 crisis. The Communication addresses various issues, namely: e-commerce - customs representation, customs decisions, customs debts and guarantees, entry of goods, customs procedures, transit, special procedures, and exit of goods. The attached memorandum provides you some of the points raised in the Communication.

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    • 08/04/2020
    • Articles

    Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations in the EU

    On 13 March 2020, the European Commission published a Notice on the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations (the Notice). Pursuant to the Notice, the COVD-19 outbreak will affect the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations carried out by the European Commission as follows: 1. Suspension of verification visits The Commission decided to suspend all verification visits to the affected areas until further notice. Instead, the Commission will carefully examine the information provided by interested parties in the framework of the investigations and cross-check it with information available from other sources. Moreover, if the Commission considers the information submitted inaccurate or incomplete, it will base its findings on verified or other proven facts on the record of the investigation. In view of this, it becomes essential for all exporting producers cooperating with the European Commission to provide a complete, accurate and substantiated questionnaire response supplemented by all necessary annexes and worksheets in order to enable the Commission to verify and reconcile the data without visiting the company’s premises. 2. Extended deadlines Due to the extraordinary circumstances, the Commission may grant a 7-day extension to companies located in areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, the Commission will consider granting a longer extension if the requesting company is particularly affected by additional substantial safety measures (such as quarantine periods and/or mandatory factory closures). In order to qualify for an additional extension, the requesting company has to provide a sufficient explanation on how the additional time would help to prepare a more comprehensive questionnaire response. It is also necessary to describe how the additional substantial safety measures affect the requesting company’s capacity to provide the required information. It must be noted that the Notice does not address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the on-going second review of the steel safeguard measures. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the timeframe of the review or any of its substantive aspects will be affected by the pandemic. Please click here to access the Notice.

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