GCO Blog

Here you will be able to follow all the latest GCO news and EU updates on the latest legal issues that may affect your business.

EU UPDATE: Non-US Companies Hit by US Trade Sanctions Enforcement

In the just published 2014 OFAC (*) Civil Penalties Information Chart four out of the ten companies who settled  with the US authorities since January 2014 for alleged breaches of US trade sanctions are non-US companies. Three of them are EU companies.

Whereas the number of OFAC enforcement actions per year has been declining in the last decade, the financial amounts involved per year have been rising. Even though the biggest fines or settlements have usually been with financial institutions, other sectors, and both large and small companies as well as private individuals can and do get hit by US measures.

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EU UPDATE: Proposed Reforms at the EU General Court

The General Court is considering to adopt a series of sensible modifications in its Rules of Procedure.

One of the most striking proposals is the introduction of a more stringent rules and protections in relation to access to confidential information held by EU Institutions in the context of acts adopted under Article 215 TFEU.   

This will be of particular concern in cases concerning eg application of EU Sanctions. We attach below a link to the latest draft which has being submitted to the EU Council.

Click here to view

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International UPDATE: ICPA Brussels (13-14 May 2014)

GCO is honored to once again be an active sponsor of the next International Compliance Professionals Association event.

The 5th Annual ICPA EU Conference, will be held at the World Customs Organization (WCO) headquarters in Brussels, Belgium from 13 to 14 May 2014.

More info is available at the conference event website.

We look forward to meeting you there.

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Suspension and Debarment Colloquium

Peter Trepte, of counsel, is an invited panellist at the Suspension and Debarment Colloquium organised by the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development.

The colloquium is to be held at the World Bank Preston Auditorium in Washington DC on Thursday 15 May.

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Sanctions Update: Russia

The EU adopted further sanctions against Russia on Friday.  Leaving to one side the political aspects, from a purely commercial level, for companies subject only to EU jurisdiction (as compared to those subject to EU and US measures) the current EU sanctions are unlikely to have any direct commercial impact.

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EU UPDATE: EU Adopts Sanctions on Ukraine (20 February 2014)

The EU has responded directly to the worsening situation in Ukraine by agreeing "as a matter of urgency to introduce targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force. Member States agreed to suspend export licences on equipment which might be used for internal repression and reassess export licences for equipment covered by Common Position 2008/944/CFSP".

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EU UPDATE: European Parliament Approves New Public Procurement Directives

The European Parliament approved on Wednesday the proposal for new Directives on Public Procurement, reaching a further step in the ongoing modernisation process of the rules on Public Procurement.
 
The new Directives on public procurement and concession contracts will repeal the current rules as set forth respectively in Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC.
 
The next steps include approval by the Council. If approved without amendments, they will be published in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days following its publication.

See article by Peter Trepte in our eBook on Public Procurement which can be downloaded here.

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EU UPDATE: Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU: 1st of January until the 30th of June 2014

Greece is holding from the 1st of January until the 30th of June 2014 the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
 
It takes over the Presidency from Lithuania, which lists its achievements here: http://www.eu2013.lt/en/news/pressreleases/achievements-of-the-lithuanian-presidency-more-credible-growing-and-open-europe

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EU UPDATE: Customs – New EU Customs IPR Enforcement Rules – 1 Jan 2014

From the 1st of  January 2014 new Customs enforcement rules on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)  will enter into force in the EU as a result of Regulation (EU) No 608/2013.
 
It will replace Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003, and sets out the new procedural rules for Customs Authorities to enforce IPR’s for goods subject to customs supervision or customs control.

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International UPDATE: ICPA Shanghai (12-13 November)

GCO is honored to once again be supporting the next International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) event, this time as sponsor of the first ICPA annual conference in Asia.

It will take place in Shanghai, China at the Hyatt on the Bund from 12 to 13 November.

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EU UPDATE: Customs - Combined Nomenclature 2014 Published

The European Union’s updated Combined Nomenclature (CN), which will be applicable from 1 January 2014, has been published on the 31st of
October 2013 in the Official Journal: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:290:0001:0901:EN:PDF.

The Combined Nomenclature is updated on annual basis.

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Review of World Bank Procurement Sanctions for Corruption

The World Bank Group is currently undertaking a global consultation on its sanctions system. This consultation is a stock-taking exercise, evaluating the implementation of the system and its various reforms to date, with a view to identifying possible entry points for making improvements.

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EU UPDATE: New York State Bar Association - Whistleblowing

On 14 October Davide Rovetta will join a panel of speakers at a joint Law Society- NYSBA conference to discuss international developments in laws applicable to whistleblowing.

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EU UPDATE: Public Procurement – GPA - UNCITRAL

Peter Gjortler was a speaker at the IBC Annual EU Public Procurement conference in Brussels on 26 September.

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EU UPDATE: Laura Beretta Speaking at ERA Annual Conference on EU Trade Law

At the ERA Annual Trade Law Conference in Brussels on 1 October 2013, Laura Beretta will give a presentation on The New EU Regulation on Generalised System of Preferences.

Link to conference information here.

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EU UPDATE: Sanctions – Geographical Overview

The EU has increasingly been implementing within the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), besides the binding Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, its own autonomous restrictive measures or sanctions.

Such measures can target foreign governments, private companies, entities and individuals and can range from eg. arms embargoes, import and export bans, financial restrictions, to travel and visa restrictions.

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EU UPDATE: New Concessions Directive

Alongside the revision of the procurement directives, the Parliament is in the final stages of approving a new directive regulating the award of concessions. The latest consolidated proposal from September can be found on the Parliament’s website at the following link
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/imco/subject-files.html?id=20120214CDT38041#menuzone

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EU UPDATE: Revision of the EU Procurement Directives

This fundamental change to the directives is now largely agreed and expected to be adopted in January 2014. The latest consolidated proposals for the directives from September can be found on the Parliament’s website at the following link:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/imco/subject-files.html?id=20120214CDT38033#menuzone

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EU Sanctions & Export Control: GCO Contributes to ABA Handbook of Export Controls & Economic Sanctions

The American Bar Association’s Section of International Law has published a “Handbook of Export Controls & Economic Sanctions”.  The editors are Paul Lalonde (Heenan Blaikie) and Kay Georgi (Arent Fox).

Although principally focussing on the position under US and Canadian rules, John Grayston was invited to contribute a chapter on “Re-export Controls - Intersection of EU and U.S. measures”.

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EU Sanctions & Export Control: WorldECR Journal Brussels Focus Edition

The WorldECR journal of export controls and sanctions has published a focus edition on export control activities in Brussels and some of its  export control lawyers.

It can be downloaded from here: http://www.worldecr.com/wp-content/uploads/WorldECR-Brussels-Focus.pdf

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