21 Dec 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 21 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
EUROSTAT: Eurostat publication – How is the EU doing in terms of agriculture, forestry and fisheries? – Latest facts and figures in these areas
Which Member States are the biggest producers of cereals, tomatoes or apples? How much cow’s milk is collected by dairies in the European Union (EU)? Which Member States produce the most cheese, butter or cream? And which produce the most meat from cattle, pigs or poultry? How many people work in the agricultural sector in each EU Member State? How have prices changed over recent years? How important are the forest resources in the EU? How many tonnes of fish were caught and how large is aquaculture production? Full text available on EUROSTAT website
VAT: Commission proposes options for Member States to derogate from the current EU system, under certain conditions
The Commission has today put forward a proposal which, if adopted, would enable EU Member States to apply a different VAT system to the rules currently in force across the EU. In order to protect the Internal Market, this derogation would be available only under certain strict conditions. Currently, all businesses in the production and supply chain of goods are partly responsible for the collection of VAT. Today’s proposal for an optional General Reverse Charge Mechanism (‘reverse charge’) means that EU countries would be able to apply temporarily a system which derogates from the current fractionated payment of VAT. Sales between businesses of more than €10,000 could be invoiced free of VAT, with only the final consumer being liable for the full VAT costs. This proposal comes at the request of certain Member States who argue that such a mechanism would help to put an end to a specific type of cross-border tax fraud known as carousel fraud which involves goods being sold back and forth between businesses in different countries. While VAT is charged on some of the transactions, the revenue does not find its way to the national authorities. Following the adoption, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici said: “Some Member States have expressed the wish to use an optional general reverse charge mechanism for VAT on their domestic market. Today, we are fulfilling our promise to deliver on this proposal, while setting out principles to ensure the integrity of the internal market. The first priority for this Commission is to put in place a definitive VAT system for the EU based on the destination principle. Once again, I call on Member States to support our ongoing efforts to modernise the EU’s VAT system and to create a robust and fraud-proof single European VAT area. This is the only long-term viable solution for the internal market when national treasuries are losing €160 billion in VAT revenues every year.” The full proposal takes the form of an amendment to the so-called ‘VAT Directive’ and would require unanimous agreement by all Member States to become law. More information on the VAT Action Plan from earlier this year is available here.
Commission sets out the strategic way forward for the EU’s Customs Union
The European Commission today adopted its long-term plan to give fresh impetus to the management of the Customs Union, a basic pillar of the European Union which supports and protects the Single Market. The role of customs authorities in ensuring our safety and security in the EU is increasing. A strong and well managed system helps to protect the public against terrorist, health, and environmental threats while at the same time fostering and developing competitive businesses. Today’s Communication sets out a strategic vision for the Customs Union which would see cooperation among national authorities increase in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial affairs, Taxation and Customs said: “Common threats require common actions from Europe. National customs authorities have an important role to play across the EU to protect our interests. From trade facilitation and border security to civil protection and the fight against the smuggling of illegal weapons and counterfeit goods, the European Commission wants to equip national customs and their 120.000 dedicated people with the right tools to handle this crucial mission. Next year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Customs Union. Let’s further improve this great achievement for the years to come.” A full press release is available here.
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