Michaela Merz


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Webcast: Poland – Revolutionary future


There’s an important change in VAT which you should know about if you generate revenues in Poland: from 1 April 2020 a new, uniform control file called JPK_VAT will replace the currently existing form. This is a crucial step in the Polish Ministry of Finance’s plan to abolish the VAT declaration requirement in 2020. In a nutshell, the new file could mean that VAT returns are no longer needed. Continue reading


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USA: President Trump announces additional tariffs of 10% on ‘List 4’ China imports


President Trump on August 1 announced via Twitter that, beginning on September 1, the United States will impose additional Section 301 duties of 10% on Chinese-origin products with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion, covered by List 4.

President Trump had agreed in June not to impose more tariffs while the two sides tried to reach a trade deal, but said August 1 that China has reneged on its agreement to buy agricultural products from the United States in large quantities, and also did not fulfill its commitment to stop the sale of fentanyl into the United States.

The announcement follows the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR)’s May publication of a notice in the Federal Register proposing additional Section 301 duties of up to 25% on the List 4 products. (For prior coverage of the List 4 tariffs, see PwC Insights, USTR proposes more tariffs on long list of China imports, May 15, 2019.)

Products that will be affected by the tariff increase include essentially all products not previously included in Lists 1-3, including all apparel, footwear, and manufactured textile products, as well as common consumer goods such as cellphones, televisions, toilet seats, and pillows. The proposed product list excludes pharmaceuticals, certain pharmaceutical inputs, select medical goods, rare earth materials, and critical minerals. Product exclusions granted by the USTR with respect to Lists 1-3 would not be affected.

 

The Takeaway

Now that President Trump has announced that additional duties on almost all remaining Chinese-origin products will begin in one month, US companies engaging in business with China need to assess their duty exposure. List 4 reinforces the importance of those companies taking action aimed at making their trade function and supply chains as efficient as possible.

Companies in previously unaffected industries need to re-examine their import profiles and supply chains, including the use of available analytical tools, to determine potential impacts and explore mitigation strategies.

 

For a deeper discussion regarding the Section 301 tariffs and how your business may be able to mitigate risks in the changing trade environment, please contact:

Simeon Probst, Partner
Customs, Trade and Indirect Taxes, PwC Basel
Tel. +41 58 792 53 51
simeon.probst@ch.pwc.com

 

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Turkey: Only a Turkish resident entity can act as importer


In accordance with the Turkish VAT Law, importation of goods and services is subject to VAT, and the taxpayer for the importation is defined as the importer. In other words, the importer of record is the party which imports the goods. Please note that tax ID is required for importation procedures; therefore, only a Turkish resident entity may conduct importation. Continue reading


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UK: Only the owner of the imported goods can deduct the import VAT as from 15 of July 2019


HMRC is aware of incorrect treatment by businesses whereby import VAT has been incorrectly deducted as input tax by non-owners of the goods.  As from 15th July 2019, HMRC will only allow claims for input VAT deduction if the owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT. In case the non-owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT, HMRC will not allow an input VAT deduction. A transitional period to 15th July 2019 has been put in place for businesses to make any necessary changes and implement correct procedures. This is especially important for toll manufacturer, who are acting as importer and recover the import VAT paid. These toll manufacturer does not own the goods.

Toll operators  import goods, process them and distribute them within or outside of the UK but to other EU countries (for instance for clinical trials). The toll operator does not take ownership of the goods and does not resell them. The only supply by the toll operator is of its services to its client not resident and not registered for VAT in UK (the owner of the imported goods).

Title to the goods at all times remains with the owners. However, the toll operator acts as ‘importer of record’ on UK import declarations, pays the import VAT to HMRC and receives the import VAT certificate (C79). HMRC has become aware that a number of UK toll operators who have paid import VAT on behalf of their not resident and not VAT  registered customers have also claimed a corresponding deduction for input tax under section 24 of the VAT Act 1994. However, there is no provision in UK law for such deduction.

There is no evidence to suggest that the businesses concerned have knowingly applied the wrong treatment. In all cases seen by HMRC, the toll operator has dealt with the importation and paid or claimed the import VAT to provide an administrative and cash flow benefit to their customers, as part of the overall service they provide.

The correct procedure is for the owner to be the importer of record and reclaim the import VAT, either in accordance with section 24 of the VAT Act 1994 (if registered for VAT in the UK) or under the Thirteenth VAT Directive (86/560/EEC).

For further details please see here >

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CANADA: No more surtax on steel and aluminium as from 20, May 2019


On May 17, 2019, Global Affairs Canada released a joint statement with the United States, announcing the elimination (which became effective May 20, 2019) of all tariffs imposed by the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion act of 1962 (19 USC §1862) – duties on steel and aluminum, and all retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada

Both countries have also agreed to terminate all pending litigation between them in the World Trade Organization, with respect to the section 232 duties on steel and aluminum and Canada’s retaliatory surtax. Continue reading


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NEW ZEALAND: Introduction of low value imported goods start date might be postponed even until 1 April 2020


NZ low value imported goods rules start date is still going through a decision-making process. The large platforms and several firms asked for more time as the law will with high probability be not passed until mid year. The industry asks for 1 April 2020 as a day of introduction rather than the original date of 1 October 2019. This will be a governmental decision and a compromise date could be 1 January 2020.

 

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POLAND: Change in the the simplified scheme for import VAT as of 1 May 2019


The cash-free import VAT settlement, as a result of the simplified procedure, will be limited from 1 May 2019. The end of April 2019 is the limit date for the reassessment of permits to use the simplified procedure. The need for their re-verification resulted from the introduction of the EU Customs Code (UCC) instead of the previously applicable Community Customs Code (CCC). Continue reading