Thursday, October 06, 2022
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Updated version of the "CITES Manual" issued

The main instrument used in Italy to coordinate the different bodies that, togheter with the Customs administration, participate to the function of control of the different kinds of imported or exported goods, is represented by specific Manuals and protocols of procedure adopted within Conferences of Services made up by all the interested administrations. Among these manuals and protocols there are the “Manual of procedure for the controls concerning the safety of products” (regulating the control procedures for those goods that are subject to safety controls) and the “CITES Manual". The CITES Manual has been adopted by the Italian Customs for the first time - jointly with the Ministry of Environment and protection of Land, the State Forestal Police and the Ministry for the Economic Development - within the Conference of Services of 7 May 2002. Updated recently within the Conference of Services of 10 May 2011 (extended also to the participation of the Ministry of Health), the CITES Manual containes the instructions addressed to the different offices and bodies of control concerning the procedures to follow to monitor the import, export, re-export, transit and transhipment of the specimen of endangered species of wild fauna and flora covered by the Washington Convention (CITES Convention), included their parts and derived products.

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New edition of the AEO compendium of the WCO

To promote the implementation - especially in the less developed countries - of the AEO program, The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has published on 31 August 2009 a document of analysis that put in comparison the various initiatives of strenghtening of the security of the supply chains developed by some of its members. The purpose of this compendium is to offer, in particular to those countries that have not yet adopted such initiatives, guidelines to guide their development. The AEO Compendium is updated periodically by the WCO Secretariat and illustrates both the AEO programs already implemented or in course of implementation by some countries of different areas of the world, and other similar customs compliance initiatives. The new version of ther AEO compendium is available here.

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Tradefirst: tutorage arrives in Customs

Since the launching of the AEO program (Authorised Economic Operator) by the World Customs Organisation, many Countries and areas of the world have introduced a variety of maesures aimed to facilitate international trade and securize at the same time traffics. A country always in the first line on this particular front is Singapore, that developed already on 1989 one of the first "single window" systems worldwide, nicknamed "Tradenet", for the exchange of data between the commercial and logistics community on one side, and Customs, on the other side. On 2007, Tradenet evolved in a more sophisticated project, named "Tradexchange", where the dialogue between the private and public sectors has been extended also to other Government agencies. On 26 January 2011, Singapore Customs has launched a new initiative, named "TradeFIRST", aiming to put all the trade facilitation programs available in the Country under a single roof. One of the most interesting aspect of TradeFIRST is represented by the fact that each operator participating to this program, will benefit from a form of tutorage from Customs: a customs officer acting as "Account Manager" will assist the company in designing and implementing all trade facilitations that better suit its business needs, acting as a single contact point when liaising with customs.

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Free Trade Agreement EU-Korea: modalities of activation of the safeguard measures established

The EC Reg. No 511/2011 of the European Parliament and Council of 11 May 2011 establishes procedures for the application of the bilateral clause of safeguard foresen by the free trade agreement concluded between the UE and the Repubblic of Korea (see our article). According to the new Regulation, such measures can be activated only if a certain product is imported into the Union in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause, or threaten to cause, serious injury to Union producers of like or directly competitive products. A “Serious injury” occurs when there is a significant overall impairment in the position of Union producers, while the ‘threat of serious injury’ is deemed existent if there is a clearly imminent serious injury, based on verifiable facts and not merely on allegation, conjecture or remote possibility.

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Customs representatives: the direct representation must be always explicitly conferred

The principle has been affirmed by the EU Court of Justice, in the decision of the Sixth Section of 7 April 2011 (Case C-153/10, Staatssecretaris van Financiën/Sony Supply Chain Solutions (Europe) BV), which establishes at point n. 31 that the provision referred to in art. 5, par. 4, second indent of the Community Customs Code (EEC Reg. 2913/1992, hereinafter "CCC"),
providing that "the person who fails to state that he is acting in the name of or on behalf of another person or who states that he is acting in the name of or on behalf of another person without being empowered to do so is to be deemed to be acting in his own name and on his own behalf", implies that the power of (direct) representation must be conferred always in an express form and never in an assumptive way. The implications for customs representatives are important. To act as direct representatives of their clients, they must dispose, before each customs operation or groups of customs operations to be carried out within a certain period (e.g. during the year), of a written power of attorney (i.e. an unilateral act authorizing the representative to act in the name of the represented person). Without such power of attorney, those who submit a customs declaration in the mode of the direct representation, can be considered by customs authorities as acting as "indirect representatives", with the relevant responsibility  in terms of joint responsibility for the customs obligation set forth in art. 201, par. 3, CCC).

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