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Irish PM calls for UK customs union

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar called for an EU-UK custom union and a transition period after Brexit during a visit to Ulster on 4 August. He suggested that it could be run along similar lines to the arrangement between the EU and Turkey, he said in a speech at Queen’s University Belfast. He said that he also favoured the UK joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – as are Iceland, ... [+]

Serbia joins Common Transit system

Serbia has joined the EU-EFTA common transit procedure and the convention on the simplification of formalities in trade of goods. Common transit operations with Serbia and the the EU, the EFTA countries, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey will begin on 1 February 2016. The rules are effectively ... [+]

Customs hold-up – updated

There has been a delay in publishing legislation on the EU's new Union Customs Code, BIFA reports. A Customs Business Group meeting was told on 5 June that texts have yet to clear Commission Inter-Services Consultation. This in turn is likely to delay a vote on the implementing act ... [+]

Germany has rethink over minimum wage rules for in-transit hauliers

The German government has suspended application of new minimum wage rules to transit haulage operations, in the face of a backlash from East European EU nations. Barely a month after introduction of the legislation, Germany said it had decided to exclude road transport operators crossing its territory from the scheme ... [+]

EU plans to fasttrack Ukraine trade package

The European Commission is planning to open its borders early to Ukrainian products, effectively bringing forward its own concessions contained in a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area due to come into force in November to June. The plan depends on the European Parliament voting in favour of the plan ... [+]

Setback for larger trucks

The rapporteur on the proposed review of the EU Directive on larger long trucks is reported to be opposed to allowing them to operate across borders, even between countries that permit their use domestically – for example between Sweden and Finland. Leichfried's draft report on the review of Directive 96/53 ... [+]

Brussels unveils standard VAT return plan

The European Commission unveiled plans on 23 October to standardise VAT returns across the Union from 2017. Under its plans, there would be five mandatory information boxes to be completed (chargeable VAT, deductible VAT, net VAT amount, total value of input transactions and total value of output transactions) although member ... [+]

Brussels signs Canada trade deal

The European Union reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) with Canada on 18 October. It would remove tariffs from about 93% of products in the EU including wines, spirits and chocolate although there will be larger annual quotas on beef, pork and sweetcorn ... [+]

Green light for US trade talks

EU trade ministers finally agreed on the negotiating mandate for the US-EU trade deal on 14 June, paving the way for the talks to be officially launched at the following week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland. A compromise deal with the French excluded the film and television sector was excluded ... [+]

Industry unimpressed as Brussels rubber-stamps new customs rules

The EU's Council of Industry Ministers rubber-stamped the new Union Customs Code (UCC) on 29 May. The UCC is intended to modernise the EU’s customs regulation and facilitate and supports intra-EU trade through the latest information and communication technologies -reducing costs, while improving the effectiveness of customs controls, according to ... [+]

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