14

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Mutual recognition of goods

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 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 rules at the EU level or, where there are no harmonised rules, the principle of mutual recognition under which goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be sold in another Member State. The proposal addressed a number of shortcomings in the application of the mutual recognition principle. A provisional agreement between the co-legislators was reached on 22 November 2018. The text was adopted in plenary in February 2019. The new rules will improve collaboration among national authoritites and enhance the role of national product contact points. They will introduce a faster problem-solving procedure for disputes between companies and national authorities, as well as a new voluntary declaration to be filled in by economic operators to prove lawful marketing in an EU Member State. The new rules will apply from 19 April 2020. Fourth 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.

Fairness and transparency for business users of online services

12-04-2019

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 ...

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 businesses, app stores), which use such online platforms to sell and provide their services to customers in the EU. The regulation, which, inter alia, harmonises transparency rules applicable to contractual terms and conditions, ranking of goods and services and access to data, is considered to be the first regulatory attempt in the world to establish a fair, trusted and innovation-driven ecosystem in the online platform economy. Now that Member States' and Parliament's negotiators have endorsed the compromise text, the political agreement must be voted in plenary by the European Parliament and formally adopted by the Council to complete the legislative procedure.

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade

15-01-2019

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 ...

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 of the April 2016 VAT Action Plan. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions is planned in several consecutive steps. The first step focuses on B2B transactions in goods, while the second one in services. Directive 2018/1910, adopted on 4 December 2018, was put forward by the Commission in October 2017 as part of the ‘definitive VAT system package'. The directive amends the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) so as to introduce the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) goods transactions. 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 fairness and transparency in the online platform environment

21-09-2018

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 ...

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 briefing provides you with an appraisal of the quality of the impact assessment, which accompanies the Commission's proposal.

How to include ’Mode 5’ services commitments in bilateral free trade agreements and at multilateral stage?

11-07-2018

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 ...

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 trade and the European Union. This report explores different avenues for including Mode 5 service commitments in multilateral trade agreements and free trade agreements, analyzing benefits and associated challenges. The broad conclusion is that while it may be possible to pursue Mode 5 options at the multilateral level, the most viable immediate strategy would consist in including such commitments in free trade agreements between the EU and its trading partners.

Zunanji avtor

Ms Marina FOLTEA

Rates of value added tax

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 ...

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 the common system of value added tax in 1967, the commitment was made to create a definitive VAT system operating within the European Community.

Mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another Member State

06-04-2018

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 ...

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, the introduction of a declaration of compliance could have benefited from further substantiation of its added value. While an SME test was conducted, the analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness is largely missing. The Commission has consulted a broad range of stakeholders, whose views have been extensively analysed and illustrated. The research, analysis, and supporting evidence included or referenced in the IA provide ample and detailed insights on the different issues considered, making the overall analysis, and the assessments of the retained options, reasonably sound.

Zunanji avtor

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Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Singapore – Analysis

16-03-2018

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 ...

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 in goods and services that currently exist between the parties will be reduced or removed on EUSFTA's entry into force. EUSFTA, as with other 'new-generation' FTAs negotiated by the EU, adopts a comprehensive approach, and contains innovative provisions on investment, intellectual property rights, competition and public procurement. It also contains provisions which reflect growing concerns about the impact of global trade, such as those on trade and sustainable development. With regard to EUSFTA's potential impact on trade, the economic modelling estimates an increase of around 10 % in trade volumes and greater volumes of foreign direct investment between the EU and Singapore as a result of the agreement. It also concludes that EUSFTA should lead to small increases of the gross domestic products of the EU and Singapore (0.06 % and 0.35 %, respectively). The responses of a wide-range of EU and Singaporean stakeholder consultation reveal that, in general, EUSFTA is viewed positively and is considered a very ambitious agreement, which will offer new opportunities for trade and investment in the EU and Singapore. However, some concerns have been raised, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The implications of the result of the Opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU in case 2/15 of 2017, on whether the EU had exclusive competence to sign and conclude EUSFTA alone, is also analysed in detail. The study recommends, notably, monitoring closely that commitments taken under sustainable development provisions are implemented and used effectively in practice.

Zunanji avtor

Glyn CHAMBERS, Managing Economist Capital Economics, Melanie DEBONO, Economist Capital Economics, Costas FRANGESKIDES, Partner Holman Fenwick Wilan, Jody GALLAGHER, Trainee Solicitor Holman Fenwick Willan, Dr Peter HOLMES, Reader in Economics at Sussex University (project leader), Jeremy KELLY, Associate Holman Fenwick Willan, Eirini ROUSSOU, Senior Associate Holman Fenwick Willan, Cliff STEVENSON, Cliff Stevenson Consulting, Anthony WOOLICH, Partner Holman Fenwick Willan

Geo-blocking and discrimination among customers in the EU

02-02-2018

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 ...

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, the co-legislators agreed to ban some types of unjustified geo-blocking practices. However, the ban will not apply initially to content and services protected under copyright (for instance, e-books and downloads of music and audiovisual content). At the request of the Parliament, a review clause has been introduced which requires the Commission to re-examine the situation two years after the entry into force of the regulation.

E-commerce: Ban on unjustified geo-blocking and discrimination practices among customers

31-01-2018

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

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