E-Flash No 85 - 21 November 2014

1. Moving the WTO baton one step closer India, U.S. reach agreement on stock piling

After months of negotiations and a missed July deadline, the two impeding states, India and U.S holding the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by its heels, closed an agreement on India’s massive food-stockpiling program paving the way for India to ratify the ever anticipated WTO agreement.

The issue was that India's food subsidy cost would be approaching 10% of the value of production in the coming years, exceeding the cap set by existing WTO rules. Initially, the WTO members had agreed not to challenge India for breaking WTO rules on stockpiling until 2017, while talks continued on a permanent solution. Under the latest proposed agreement, the U.S. clarified that it and others will not challenge India even beyond 2017, if no solution is reached by then. This proposed solution has not only secured food stockpiling for India but also secured India’s place in ratifying the agreement.

For more information, please consult: http://online.wsj.com/articles/india-u-s-reach-agreement-on-food-stockpiling-clearing-way-for-wto-deal-1415861725 


2. Sealing a major free trade agreement worth billions: Australia and China

Through this newly struck agreement between two major economies in the Asia Pacific region, the Australian agricultural sector will receive tariff free access to the massive Chinese market, while China will get greater access to investment projects in Australia.

About 85 percent of Australian exports to China will not incur tariffs, with this figure rising to 95 percent when the deal is fully implemented. The actual agreement will not take effect until after 2015, when all the legal points have been drafted and translated.

For more information, please consult: http://rt.com/business/206331-china-australia-trade-deal/


3. Breakthrough update on the heavily constructed North-South Trade Corridor

The construction of a north-south transport corridor, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), across Armenia will be fully completed by 2019. The transport corridor will stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia.

The Armenian government approved in January 2010, an investment programme to build the north-south transport corridor, as well as a $500 million framework loan agreement with the ADB. The north-south transport corridor will enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

For more information, please visit: http://asbarez.com/128597/north-south-transport-corridor-set-for-completion-by-2019/


4. Road charge hike in the Czech Republic

The Czech government is increasing road tolls and introducing a new rate for Euro 6 vehicles on January 1st 2015. The Euro 6 rate will also apply to vehicles with emission class EEV. The previous lowest rate will be retained. Vehicle documents must prove that the Euro 6 emission standards are fulfilled in order to qualify for the special low rate.

The Czech Republic abolished its obligatory HGV vignette system in 2007. Since that date, the country has been operating an electronic, distance-based road charging scheme. Commercial vehicles that use roads in the Czech Republic therefore have to carry a special toll device.

For more information, please visit: www.mytocz.cz


5. European Commission publishes 2015 version of the Combined Nomenclature (CN)

The Combined Nomenclature forms the basis for the declaration of goods:

(a) at importation or exportation or

(b) when subject to intra-Union trade statistics.

This determines which rate of customs duty applies and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes. The CN is thus a vital working tool for business and the Member States' customs administrations.

The Combined Nomenclature was established by Council Regulation on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. It is updated every year and is published as a Commission Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. This version applies from January 1st 2015. 

For more information on the CN and the Customs Union, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/policy_issues/customs_strategy/index_en.htm?utm_source=Freightfox+Update&utm_campaign=b71120f6de-Freightfox+Update+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4c7054191-b71120f6de-220474317


6. Review of Maritime Transport 2014 published by UNCTAD

Since 1968, UNCTAD’s Maritime Transport Review has provided coverage of key developments affecting international seaborne trade, shipping, the world fleet, ports, freight markets, and transport-related regulatory and legal frameworks.

The Review of Maritime Transport 2014 has 6 distinct chapters reflecting these categories. Also included in this edition is a special chapter on Small Island Developing States, which are particularly affected by maritime transport.

To download a copy of the 2014 Review of Maritime transport, please visit the following:  http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=1068


7. FIATA Fund for Ebola Relief remains open for donations

The Fund, established at the FIATA World Congress in Istanbul, has been busily receiving donations from FIATA Members around the world and is still open.

If you would like to contribute to the fund and help fight the dangerous Ebola outbreak in West Africa, please contact Matthew Huston in the FIATA Secretariat: Huston(at)fiata.com

For additional information on the situation unfolding: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-03/un-charters-food-ship-for-africa-as-ebola-disrupts-supply.html



21 November 2014



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