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Digital markets act

Briefing 28-05-2021

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 15 December 2020 and referred to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament. The proposal is part of the digital services act package, which includes the digital services act itself. In her political priorities for the European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen ...

Mutual recognition of goods

Briefing 25-04-2019

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product ...

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines ...

How to promote fairness and transparency in the online platform environment? The Commission's answer to this question can be found in its recent legislative proposal. It stipulates that providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) have to implement certain measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses which use such platforms to provide their services to customers in the EU. This ...

Mode 5 refers to services which are incorporated into goods which are then traded across international borders. Unlike traditional services, Mode 5 services are not subject to the existing international trade regime under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Rather, they are subject to trade rules under the framework that governs trade in goods. As a consequence, trade in Mode 5 services is not fully liberalised, even though liberalisation would be in the best interest of international ...

Rates of value added tax

Briefing 25-04-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 18 January 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. The proposal amends Directive 2006/112/EC (hereafter the VAT Directive), which sets out the rules governing the current temporary VAT system (dating from 1993), which are currently based on the principle of origin. When the Council adopted ...

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment accompanying the Commission proposal clearly defines the problem, as well as the general and specific objectives. Operational objectives appear to be relevant and achievable, even though they appear not to be entirely set according to the recommendations included in the better regulation toolbox. The IA presents a reasonable range of options and choses a combination of soft law measures and legislative changes (options 2 and 4). Among the measures proposed ...

This study analyses provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in May 2015 ('EUSFTA'). It compares EUSFTA with other 'new-generation' free trade agreements, such as the EU-Republic of Korea and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Overall, EUSFTA adopts a WTO+ approach and as a result significantly liberalises trade between the EU and Singapore compared to the current trade relationship. The study finds that a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade ...

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations ...