119

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Detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system

08-02-2019

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967 and reformed in 1993 in order to adapt it to the entry into force of the internal market. Therefore, the existing rules governing intra Community trade, which were intended to be transitory, are now 25 years old. VAT is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, but the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. It presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high ...

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967 and reformed in 1993 in order to adapt it to the entry into force of the internal market. Therefore, the existing rules governing intra Community trade, which were intended to be transitory, are now 25 years old. VAT is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, but the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. It presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses, and a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. As part of the action plan on VAT, the European Commission adopted a new proposal in May 2018. This proposal would amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) to introduce the detailed technical measures of the definitive VAT system for the intra-EU business to business (B2B) trade in goods. The present proposal follows another proposal that sets out the basic features of the reform of the common EU VAT system. Some aspects of the previous proposal were taken out of the negotiations to be examined with this one. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Promoting renewable energy sources in the EU after 2020

15-01-2019

In November 2016, the European Commission launched the Clean Energy package, including a recast of the Directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources (‘RES Directive’), with the objective of greatly increasing the share of RES in final energy consumption by 2030. The revised RES Directive aims to provide guiding principles on financial support schemes for RES, renewable energy self-consumption, energy communities and district heating. It seeks to enhance mechanisms for cross-border cooperation ...

In November 2016, the European Commission launched the Clean Energy package, including a recast of the Directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources (‘RES Directive’), with the objective of greatly increasing the share of RES in final energy consumption by 2030. The revised RES Directive aims to provide guiding principles on financial support schemes for RES, renewable energy self-consumption, energy communities and district heating. It seeks to enhance mechanisms for cross-border cooperation, simplify administrative processes, strengthen the sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions-savings criteria for biofuels, and mainstream the use of RES in the transport sector and in the heating and cooling sector. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and resulted in a provisional agreement on 14 June 2018. The final text was formally adopted by Parliament (13 November 2018) and Council (4 December 2018), published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2018 and entered into force three days later. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Single digital gateway

19-12-2018

As part of the ‘compliance package’, the Commission intends to provide a single digital entry point to offer easy and efficient online access for businesses and citizens, comprising: (1) information about Union and national law and administrative requirements, (2) procedures, such as company registration, and (3) services providing assistance upon request. The portal would serve start-ups and growing companies, as well as helping companies conducting business in another country. Access to these services ...

As part of the ‘compliance package’, the Commission intends to provide a single digital entry point to offer easy and efficient online access for businesses and citizens, comprising: (1) information about Union and national law and administrative requirements, (2) procedures, such as company registration, and (3) services providing assistance upon request. The portal would serve start-ups and growing companies, as well as helping companies conducting business in another country. Access to these services would be non-discriminatory, i.e. citizens and businesses from other Member States would have full access to the information and services, and this not only in the language used in the country in which they want to do business. The proposal builds on several existing schemes, such as single points of entry at national level; these cover only a few fields, are not always interconnected, suffer from being little known and are therefore underutilised. In May 2018, trilogues concluded with a provisional agreement, which was then confirmed by both Parliament and Council. The final act was signed on 2 October 2018.

European Maritime Single Window environment

18-12-2018

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some ...

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some minor inconsistencies, the IA provides a solid analysis of the current problems related to reporting obligations of ships when calling at a port.

VAT for small enterprises

25-10-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added tax as regards the special scheme for small enterprises simplifies the rules, so as to reduce VAT compliance costs for SMEs by introducing simpler measures regarding invoicing, VAT registration, accounting and returns for SMEs, whether they operate in wholly domestic markets only or also across borders in the EU. The legislative proposal falls under the consultation procedure. The European Parliament adopted its resolution on 11 September 2018, and the proposal is now with the Council. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions

11-07-2018

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into ...

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into national law, the situation continues to vary between Member States with regard to average payment periods (especially from public authorities), and the level of implementation of additional voluntary measures (such as prompt payment codes). In the absence of harmonised measurement methods, business surveys and consultations indicate improving practices, but the attribution of this development to the LPD cannot be separated from broader economic contexts and cultural aspects easily. Further exchange of best practices and better monitoring of their effectiveness might facilitate future developments in the area of late payments, including legislative action.

New lobbying law in France

04-07-2018

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives ...

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives were then under the obligation to report their lobbying activities in this repertoire by 30 April 2018. The repertoire, with just over 1 00 registrants to date, is overseen by the 'Haute Autorité pour la Transparence de la Vie Publique' (HATVP). In France, the cultural acceptance of lobbying as a profession has been slow, and the new law will make a huge difference in terms of making lobbying activities public, with a regulation closely following the Irish example. The Sapin II package aims for a general increase in public accountability and transparency of the decision-making processes. Some incremental steps in this direction had been taken previously, primarily with the establishment of the HATVP in January 2014 as an independent body to oversee the integrity and transparency of the national public institutions.

Tax transparency for intermediaries

03-07-2018

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information ...

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information by companies. In June 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal aimed at ensuring early information on such situations, by setting an obligation to report cross-border arrangements designed by tax intermediaries or taxpayers and by including the information collected in the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities within the European Union. The directive was adopted on 25 May 2018, and it is to be applied from 1 July 2020. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Maritime Single Window

14-05-2018

Reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States are currently set out in Directive 2010/65/EU – the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD). The directive aims to simplify and harmonise administrative procedures in maritime transport by introducing a single window for reporting formalities for ships. The European Commission's ex-post evaluation of the functioning of the directive showed that, eight years after its adoption, several serious problems are hampering ...

Reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States are currently set out in Directive 2010/65/EU – the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD). The directive aims to simplify and harmonise administrative procedures in maritime transport by introducing a single window for reporting formalities for ships. The European Commission's ex-post evaluation of the functioning of the directive showed that, eight years after its adoption, several serious problems are hampering its harmonised application throughout the EU. The main problem drivers are (1) an unsatisfactory level of national and EU harmonisation, (2) the limited scope of the directive and (3) an inefficient use of the received data by national authorities of Member States. The European Parliament has already underlined the need for simplification and harmonisation of administrative requirements for ships in maritime transport. The European Commission intends to address the problems identified to date by submitting a legislative proposal to revise the RFD in the second quarter of 2018.

Revision of the visa code

27-04-2018

Although an increasing number of people have been travelling to the EU for tourism and business in recent years, visa application procedures are still costly and cumbersome. With the recast proposal on the visa code, the Commission aims to facilitate tourism, trade and business, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal provides an overall convincing analysis tackling the problems of (1) insufficient finances to support visa ...

Although an increasing number of people have been travelling to the EU for tourism and business in recent years, visa application procedures are still costly and cumbersome. With the recast proposal on the visa code, the Commission aims to facilitate tourism, trade and business, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal provides an overall convincing analysis tackling the problems of (1) insufficient finances to support visa processing; and (2) Member States' diverging practices when issuing multiple-entry visas. The Commission, however, also proposed (3) to address the lack of cooperation of some third countries in readmission matters in the visa code. One would have expected a more thorough analysis on this last aspect considering that there is no hard evidence on how visa leverage can translate into better cooperation with third countries on readmission. The Commission made efforts to consult with stakeholders and provide data, yet, the IA displays a general lack of data, statistics and evidence.

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