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Administrative cooperation in the field of value-added tax (VAT): amendments to the Regulation (EC) n. 1798/2003

A common system of administrative cooperation and information exchange amongst the competent authorities of the member States (and between those States and the Commission), was introduced by the EU Council in 1992 - with the Regulation (EEC) n. 218 of 27 January 1992 - to ensure the correct application of VAT and an effective contrast against frauds concerning this tax. Afterwards, such a system was reformed with Regulation (EC) n. 1798/2003 of Council, of 7 October 2003 (and its implementing provisions, adopted with Regulation n. 1925/2004 of 29 October 2004), defining ways of cooperation amongst the Member States' administrative authorities responsible for the application of the legislation in the VAT field, to the supplies of goods and services, intra-Community acquisition of goods and importation of goods. The above Regulations also lay down the rules and procedures enabling the competent authorities of the Member States to cooperate and to exchange with each other any information that may help them to effect a correct assessment of VAT.

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New general arrangements for goods subject to excise

The Council Directive 2008/118/EC of 16 December 2008, concerning the general arrangements for excise duty and repealing Council Directive 92/12/EEC of 25 February 1992 has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union L9 of 14.01.2009 .

The goods interested by the new Directive are the following ones:

  1. energy products and electricity covered by Directive 2003/96/EC;
  2. alcohol and alcoholic beverages covered by Directives 92/83/EEC and 92/84/EEC;
  3. manufactured tobacco covered by Directives 95/59/EC,92/79/EEC and 92/80/EEC.

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Monitoring and publication of the Customs Agency's “rulings”, new instructions from the Central Area

With notice N.1/D of January 12,  2009, the Italian Customs Agency provides new indications concerning the monitoring and publication of the “rulings” issued by the relevant Regional Directions of the Agency. Such instructions will complement those already supplied with the Notices N. 25/D of 19 July 2001 and N. 24/D of 10 August 2007.

The tax “ruling” is a written declaration that taxpayers can require to the Tax or Customs Administration to know its opinion on a particular operation they intend to put into effect, in order to obtain a confirmation - before starting such operation - about its "compliance" with the tax legislation in force. This tool aims therefore to eliminate a situation of uncertainty arising from a doubtful application of a tax rule, through an express request submitted to the administration, in which the taxpayer asks a juridical assessment (and/or in the merit) on the correctness of his conduct, solution or interpretation of the above rules.

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“10+2 Rule” effective on January 26, 2009

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), in a ruling published last November 25, 2008, announced that the new “Importer Security Filing” program (better known as the “10+2 Rule”), should be entered into force on January 26, 2009.

The entry into force of such regulation has now been confirmed. Accordingly, starting from that date, for all goods shipped to the United States via vessel (even just transiting the US territory), American customs will require the transmission, at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded on board of the vessel and in addition to the electronic cargo manifest, of a new pre-arrival information containing 12 basic data elements. The responsibility for transmitting these data will be on the importers (or their customs agents) for 10 data elements, and on the carriers for 2 of them. For further details read: "The new American rule of "10+2", Il Doganalista, n. 10 (July/August 2008).

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CMO and amendments to the import duties in the sector of cereals

The Commission Regulation N° 1347/2008, fixing the import duties in the cereals sector applicable from 1 January 2009, was adopted only on last 23 December. After less than two weeks, it is now amended by a new Regulation, the Commission Regulation (EC) N° 3/2009 of 5 January 2009, that will impact on the duty rates applicable to the future import of said products. Accordingly, Annexes I and II to Regulation (EC) No 1347/2008 are replaced from 6 January 2009 by Annexes I and II of the new Regulation (CE) n° 3/2009 (continues... in Italian)

 

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