On 3 June 2020, the Dutch State Secretary for Finance answered questions of the Dutch House of Representatives regarding signals that companies are leaving Dutch harbours and airports, because of the way the Dutch Customs are handling of goods. In a letter (with an extensive appendix) to the Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives, the state secretary covers topics like the integrity, screening and capacity of the Dutch Customs. This, and more, in this newsletter.
Announcement Upcoming Event (d.d. 23 July 2020)
In response to the concerns of the sanctions compliance community, the Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (”ACSS”) announced the ACSS Sanctions Virtual Summit. On 23 July 2020 ACSS will organise Virtual Sanctions Summit: 2020 ACSS. Mr. Sebastiaan Bennink, partner at BenninkAmar (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) will be one of the speakers during this event. You can register for free on their website.
Customs & Excise Duty
On 3 June 2020, the Dutch State Secretary for Finance answered questions of the Dutch House of Representatives regarding signals that companies are leaving Dutch harbours and airports, because of the way the Dutch Customs are handling of goods. In a letter (with an extensive appendix) to the Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives, the State Secretary covers topics like the integrity, screening and capacity of the Dutch Customs.
In the Official Journal of the European Union (“EU”) of 27 February 2020 Council Directive (EU) 2020/262 (“Excise Directive”) was published. This directive is laying down general arrangements for excise duty. According to article 57 of the Excise Directive, the directive “shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union”.
High-Tech & Cyberspace
On 21 May 2020, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) proposed export control-based reforms to it mandatory filing program. CFIUS is part of the United States Treasury Department and in the 21 May 2020 edition of the Federal Register, the Daily Journal of the US Government, the organisation explains that the proposed rule would revise the mandatory declaration requirement for foreign investments involving a US business that “produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates, or develops one or more critical technologies”.
According to The New York Times of 28 May 2020, Germany plans to invoke a new European sanctions mechanism to target a hacker who orchestrated a cyber attack on the German Parliament and the head of Russian intelligence.
On 1 June 2020 the Financial Times (“FT”) headlined that Huawei turned to mobile chip rivals to beat US pressure. According to the FT-news article Huawei is talking with “MediaTek, the world’s second-largest mobile chip developer after Qualcomm of the US, and Unisoc, China’s second-largest mobile chip designer after Huawei’s Silicon Technologies unit”. The FT is referring to sources familiar with the matter, and describes that Huawei wants to buy more chips as alternatives to keep its consumer electronics business afloat.
On 2 June 2020 the Washington Post published an article, stating that the South Korean government was planning to reopen a complaint with the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) over Japan’s tightened controls on technology exports to its companies.
Around the globe…
On 29 May 2020, Reuters published an article on its website regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. According to the news article of 29 May 2020, two US senators are expected to introduce sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that Russia is trying to finish. The sanctions, which would have to pass the US Congress and be signed by President Trump, are expected to be introduced by Senators Cruz, a Republican, and Shaheen, a Democrat.
On that same day – 29 May 2020 – US President Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong, in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the territory. According to Reuters, President Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating policy agreements on Hong Kong, ranging from extradition treatment to export controls.
Also on 29 May 2020, the Security Council of the United Nations renewed the South Sudan arms embargo and sanctions for one year.
On 2 June 2020, an Australian court ruled that the decision of the Australian government to ban farmers from exporting live cattle to Indonesia for six months in 2011 was unreasonable and invalid. According to the Financial Review exporters were entitled to “substantial damages” that could reach as much as USD 600 million.
On 28 April 2020 a Final Rule was published in the Federal Register, regarding the expansion of export, reexport, and transfer (in-country) controls for military end use or military end users in the People’s Republic of China, Russia, or Venezuela. These final rules will be effective from 29 June 2020.
If you want more information about one of the topics of this newsletter, such as the ruling of the EU Court in the Nord Stream 2-case and the possible effects of this ruling, for your business, or the letter of the Dutch State Secretary for Finance regarding signals that companies are leaving Dutch harbours and airports, you can contact BenninkAmar Advocaten at: firstname.lastname@example.org.