Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Classification of fermented beverages containing distilled alcool: a clarification from the ECJ

Fermented alcohol-based beverages corresponding originally to heading 2206 of the Combined Nomenclature in Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (as amended by Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2587/91 of 26 July 1991), must be classified under heading 2208 of the Combined Nomenclature (‘Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 80% vol; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages …"), rather then under heading 2208, when a certain proportion of distilled alcohol, water, sugar syrup, aromas, colourings and, in some cases, a cream base have been added to them, so that the result is a loss of the taste, smell and/or appearance of a beverage produced from a particular fruit or natural product.

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The EU adopts the new Directive on the security of toys

The Directive 2009/48/EC replaces the Council Directive 88/378/EEC of 3 May 1988, on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys (transposed into the Italian legal system with Decree 20/10/2004), subsequently repealed  with effect from 20 July 2011, except for Article 2(1) thereof and Part 3 of Annex II, which are repealed with effect from 20 July 2013.

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Extinction of the customs debt, a clarification from the European Court of Justice

Under the article 233 of Reg. (EC) n. 2913/1992 (Community Customs Code , "CCC"), the customs debt shall be extinguished, among other things, when, with regard to the goods declared for a customs procedure entailing the obligation to pay duties, goods, after their irregular introduction in the EU customs territory, before their release, are either seized and simultaneously or subsequently confiscated.

The Court of Justice specifies that the extintion of the customs debt takes place only if the the seizure of goods unlawfully introduced into the customs territory of the Community has been executed before the goods have gone beyond the first customs office situated inside that territory. Accordingly, the seizure and confiscation of the goods after that time no longer results in an extinction of the customs debt.

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U.S. Customs refund importers retaliatory duties paid under the beef hormone dispute

On 16th June 2009, the U.S. Court of International Trade issued a decision (Slip-Op. 09-58, “Gilda Indus., Inc. v. United States”), which holds that the right of Customs to collect 100% duties on goods of EU origin imposed under the "Beef Hormone War", expired on 29 July 2007.

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U.S. proposal to raise the "Harbor Maintenance Fee"

The recently introduced bill (HR 2355) on "Making Opportunities Via Efficient and More Effective National Transportation", also known as “Movement Act” (2009), that is pending at present before the U.S. Congress, proposes to raise the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) from 0.125% to 0.4375%. 

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