Inward Investment & North South Unit Guidelines and Procedures on Tariff Suspension
Tariff Suspension/ Quota Scheme
Article 28 of the Treaty of Rome provides for the temporary suspension of duties under the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) on imports of raw materials and components for further processing, where it is established that industry within the EU is unable to obtain supplies of the product or suitable substitutes. The aim of the tariff suspension is to enable Union enterprises to use raw materials, semi-finished goods or components not available or produced within the Union, with the exception of ‘finished’ products. ‘Finished’ products are defined as those which:
• are ready for sale to the end-user;
• are disassembled finished goods;
• will not undergo any substantial processing; or
• already have the essential character of the complete product.
The suspensions/ quotas approved constitute an exception to the normal state of affairs. Both measures permit the total or partial waiver of the third country duties applicable to imported goods in order to strengthen the Union’s industrial production capacity, thereby making it easier for its producers to compete with third country suppliers. Goods for which anti-dumping or countervailing duties are applicable will normally be excluded from granting a suspension or quota. Goods which are subject to import prohibitions and restrictions (e.g. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will also be excluded from this scheme.
Products which are subject to the rules of the customs union with Turkey (all goods except agricultural products and products that fall under the ESC Treaty) will fall under the same criteria, as Turkey’s rights and obligations in this case are similar to those of the Member States.
Goods imported under the tariff suspension/ quota scheme enjoy freedom of movement throughout the Union. Consequently, once a tariff suspension or quota is granted, any operator in any Member State is eligible to benefit from it.
A suspension allows the importation of the product into the EU at zero or partial duty rate. The period of validity of a suspension is five years and quota is either 6 or 12 months, with provision for extension where it can be demonstrated that all the conditions which gave rise to the original suspension continue to apply. Duty revenues forfeited as a result of this are a loss to EU Revenue.
Differences in price between the imported and Union products are not taken into account in the evaluation.
Grounds for Refusal of Requests
A tariff suspension will not be granted where:
• the amount of uncollected customs duty is less that ¤15,000 per year
• identical or equivalent products are manufactured within the Union
• the goods are finished products intended for sale without further processing
• the goods imported are covered by an exclusive trading agreement
• exclusive intellectual property rights exist, e.g. patents etc.
• the benefits of the measure are unlikely to be passed on to the Union processors or producers concerned
• other special procedures exist, e.g. inward processing
• the applicant will use the merchandise for trade purposes only
• a conflict with any other Union policy would arise
We are aware that there are duty suspensions where direct imports into Ireland are not sufficient to generate duty savings of ¤15,000 but when combined with imports into other EU Member States would generate the required duty savings. If you are in this situation, please contact us and we will organise a joint request with other Member States to ensure the continuation of the duty suspension you use.
Applications by Irish Companies
Applicants should indicate that they have recently made a genuine, though unsuccessful, attempt to obtain the goods in question or equivalent or substitute products from potential Union suppliers. For tariff quota requests the Union producer’s name must be indicated on the request.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation advertises this scheme on the Departmental website twice yearly, usually in January and June. An application in response to such an advertisement is for a suspension period commencing twelve months ahead, for example those applications submitted in the current round will not come into effect until 1st January 2014. This lead-in time enables all the necessary investigations to be carried out to ensure that the criteria for granting tariff suspension in respect of each application are satisfied.
Applications must be made on the prescribed form (see below) and must be accompanied by all the documentation required for a thorough examination of the measures concerned (technical data sheets, explanatory sheets, statistics, block diagrams etc). Incomplete applications will not be considered by the Commission.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, on receipt of applications, carries out the following procedures:
• general examination to ensure requests are satisfactorily completed;
• technical evaluation of application forms by the State Laboratory;
• consultation with Revenue Commissioners re. customs classification; and
• consultation with relevant industry representative bodies if required.
Applications will then be forwarded to the Commission to be considered and approved by the Economic Tariff Questions Group. The ETQG consists of the Commission and representatives of all Member States and meets three times per round. The group will meet in November, December and January to consider applications for the round currently advertised. Ireland is represented at this group this Group by an official from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Closing date for the receipt of applications is 31st January 2013 and should be sent via email to email@example.com and posted to Laura Brady at Inward Investment Unit, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. The suspension of duties on these applications, if they are successful, will come into effect from 1st January 2014. Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be accepted by the Department in accordance with Commission procedures.
Applications by other Member States
Requests for duty suspensions from other Member States are assessed in the Department with input from the relevant industry organisations and where necessary individual Irish-based companies. A firm which manufactures items (or substitute or equivalent ones) which are the subject of a new application or an existing suspension and who wishes to object to the granting or continuation of that suspension should inform the Department as early as possible in proceedings and should supply all relevant documentation on contacts with the applicant firms plus confirmation of capability to produce the product (or equivalent or substitute ones). Where there are valid grounds for objections, these are pursued on behalf of Irish producers by the Department.
Changes to existing suspensions
Beneficiary companies who wish to be made aware of proposals for the withdrawal, termination or changes in an existing suspension or quota should inform the Department of those suspension cases which are of interest to them. Many companies only contact this Department when a suspension or quota has been withdrawn or amended in a manner which does not suit them. In order to protect Irish interests, this Department should be kept fully informed of all duty suspensions used by companies.
Any Irish company using a duty suspension anywhere in the EU should contact firstname.lastname@example.org with company details and a list of the duty suspensions that are of company interest so that the Department’s records can be updated and also to inform you in the future of any changes or updates which may occur from time to time.
For further information or if you would like to be included on our mailing list please contact Laura Brady at the above email address or phone 01 631 2704.
Last modified: 08/01/2013