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EU Suspends Tariffs on Large Number of Commodities; Amends Quotas for Others

On 25 June 2015, the EU’s Official Journal published two regulations which may create trading opportunities for Hong Kong companies. Regulation 2015/982 amends the framework EU law (Regulation 1387/2013) suspending autonomous common customs tariff duties on a long list of agricultural and industrial products. Regulation 2015/981 amends another EU law (Regulation 1388/2013) which opens and provides for the management of autonomous tariff quotas for agricultural and industrial products. 

Regulation 2015/982 may be of particular interest to Hong Kong traders as it provides for the total suspension of the tariffs on 111 products that have not benefited from a tariff suspension. The Annex of the new Regulation lists those products. The products include the following:

  • A long list of chemicals,
  • Machine to accurately align and attach lenses into a camera assembly,
  • DC to AC inverter for a certain use in the manufacture of electric vehicles,
  • Lead-acid accumulators or modules,
  • Certain types of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries,
  • Information screen displaying safety feature information in a vehicle,
  • Ultrasonic parking sensor,
  • Integrated car loudspeaker housing,
  • Image scanning cameras,
  • LCD modules,
  • Insulated copper electrical wires.

Traders are advised to carefully examine the product descriptions of each item listed in the Annex of new Regulation 2015/982 (which amends Annex I of framework Regulation 1387/2013), to see how best they might benefit from the entirely suspended tariffs.

The same Regulation also states that the suspension of the tariffs will no longer be maintained for 15 of the products that have so far been benefiting from suspensions. The products concerned are therefore deleted from Annex I of framework Regulation 1387/2013. Furthermore, for 27 suspensions, the product descriptions have been modified. The original descriptions are therefore deleted from Annex I of Regulation 1387/2013, and the modifications are introduced therein, with an asterisk, in the interests of clarity. In sum, these changes are found in the Annex to new Regulation 2015/982, which amends Annexes I and II of framework Regulation 1387/2013.

Hong Kong traders should also bear in mind that – as stipulated in new Regulation 2015/982 – any mixtures, preparations or products made up of different components containing products subject to the tariff suspensions are not covered by Annex I of framework Regulation 1387/2013.

New Regulation 2015/982 entered into force on 25 June 2015, and began applying from 1 July 2015. However, the suspension related to products with specific TARIC codes (as laid out in Article 2 of Regulation 2015/982) apply on different (earlier) dates. Hong Kong traders should check said Article 2 to verify if TARIC codes of interest to them are published in that provision.

Please click into the following link to read Regulation 2015/982.

The Official Journal also published new Regulation 2015/981 on 25 June 2015. This Regulation amends framework Regulation 1388/2013 which opens and provides for the management of quotas for certain products, in order to ensure sufficient and uninterrupted supply of goods that are insufficiently produced in the EU, and to avoid any disturbances on the market.

The text states that it is necessary to open, with effect from 1 July 2015, tariff quotas at zero duty rates for an appropriate volume as regards seven new products. The Annex to the new Regulation lists those products, which include a list of chemicals, such as “colourants C.I. disperse yellow 54” and certain preparations based thereon. For an exact listing of the seven new products, Hong Kong traders should directly examine the product descriptions found in the Annex to the Regulation. 

The Regulation also notes that in some cases, the existing quotas need to be adapted, and in the case of two products the product description has to be amended. Furthermore, in the case of six products, the quota volumes need to be increased, in the interest of the EU’s economic operators. Even more interestingly, in the case of two products, the quotas are closed with effect from 1 July, and converted to tariff suspensions, as there is no longer any need to limit the import volume. In accordance with the foregoing, new Regulation 2015/981 amends framework Regulation 1388/2013.

This Regulation also clarifies that any mixtures, preparations or products made up of different components containing products subject to the tariff quotas are not covered by the Annex to framework Regulation 1388/2013.

Regulation 2015/981 began applying from 1 July 2015. Please click into the following link to read Regulation 2015/981.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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