The Supply Chain Initiative (SCI) published its annual report for the year 2018 today. The results of the annual survey of registered companies showcase that the SCI continues to make progress in the promotion of fair business practices in the food supply chain as a basis for commercial dealings.
Speaking after the approval of the EU-Singapore Trade and Investment agreements by the European Parliament today EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:
“Singapore evolved from a developing country to one of the most sophisticated and prospering economies in Asia within one generation. This success story can be put down almost entirely to Singapore’s unequivocal commitment to free trade. The European Parliament’s approval today opens a further avenue for mutual benefit through open and free markets, and confirms the EU as a promoter of the world trading system where important partners seem to be turning away from it.”
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Speaking today after agreement in trilogue negotiations on the Regulation on Transparency and Sustainability in the EC Risk Assessment Process, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:
“Retailers and wholesalers in Europe support the work of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its role as the independent European voice for food safety. Ensuring that the food we sell is safe and maintaining consumer trust is central to our business. EFSA provides a vital scientific reference for us in our concerted efforts to prevent unsafe food products entering the market and harming consumers.”
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Speaking today at the conclusion of trilogue negotiations between Council, European Commission and Parliament on the Compliance and Enforcement Regulation, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren congratulated the negotiators on finalising this important new regulation for consumers and all the supply chain:
“We are pleased to see agreement to a regulation which will help prevent serious harm to consumers, and allow law-abiding operators to compete on an equal footing. This will send a strong and positive signal to support traders’ efforts to bring safe and compliant products to the market. Rogue manufacturers and traders do not have a place in the EU market and dangerous products even less so.”
EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…
The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.
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EuroCommerce has lodged two complaints to the European Commission against a new tax on retailers (Act No. 595/2003). The tax, which applies only to foreign-owned companies active in the country, requires them to pay 2.5% of their net turnover, from which the Slovak government expects to raise €87 million. It entered into force on 1 January this year.
The EuroCommerce complaints focus on its clear view that the tax is incompatible with EU law on two counts. By exempting virtually all Slovak-owned retail chains, the tax constitutes unlawful state aid, similar to retail taxes previously proposed in Poland and Hungary, and subsequently found illegal by the Commission. Secondly, the discriminatory nature of the tax infringes the clear Treaty principle of freedom of establishment.
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Commenting on the entry into force today of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EUJEPA), EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:
“A new era of dialogue, cooperation and trade between the EU and Japan has started today. This agreement covers no less than one-third of the world’s GDP, getting rid of customs barriers and other unnecessary restrictions while safeguarding consumers with high standards.”
The EU-Japan is the largest trade and economic cooperation agreement ever concluded in terms of market size. It abolishes some 97% of the tariffs on the EU's exports to Japan and substantially liberalises all the others through tariff-rate quotas or cuts in tariffs. The EU’s annual exports in goods to Japan are currently worth more than 58 billion euros, with a further 28 billion euros accounted for by services exports. The European Commission estimates that the agreement will save EU exporters around 1 billion euros in customs duties alone every year, quite apart from the economic boost that closer ties with the world’s third largest economy will bring.