Archive for February, 2012

New Partnership on Organic Trade between European Union and United States

The European Union and the United States announced that beginning June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in both markets. Formal letters creating this partnership were signed on 15 February 2012 in Nuremberg, Germany.
 
This agreement will benefit the organic farmers and food producers, this will mean easier access, with less bureaucracy and less costs, and the improver transparency on organic standards in each U.S. and E.U. region. The partnership will open new market opportunities and will create more opportunities for small businesses. The agreement will eliminates significant barriers, as double certifications to two standards as now. The products traded under the partnership must be shipped with an organic export certificate.
 
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program will both have oversight functions.
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European New Classification and Labelling Inventory

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published on February 13th the first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory for hazardous substances and mixtures.
 
The CLP Regulation (for “Classification, Labelling and Packaging”) aligns the European Union system of classification, labelling and packaging chemical substances and mixtures to the Globally Harmonised System (GHS). The main objective of the CLP Regulation is to protect human health and the environment, it also facilitate the functioning of the trade market.

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The Revised International Standards Adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The Financial Action Task Force  (FATF) is a global intergovernmental standard-setter for measures to combat money-laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation. It is composed by 36 members and count with the participation of over 180 countries through a global network.
 
The key changes introduced by the new Standards are:
  • Introducing a risk-based approach: the new standards introduce a risk based approach; the countries more at risk of money laundering or terrorist financing should adapt their Anti Money Laundering/ Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) system to the nature of these risks
  • Improving transparency measures: the new agreement has strengthened transparency requirements on various transfers, in particular electronic transfers; this means more rigorous requirements on the information which must accompany electronic funds transfers (the ownership and control of companies, trusts, and other legal persons or legal arrangements)
  • Towards more effective International Cooperation: the FATF has enhanced the scope of international cooperation between government agencies, and between financial groups (e.g. simplified extradition mechanisms
  • Identification of clear Operational Standards: the FATF revise and clarify the role and functions of the operational agencies responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing and present the range of investigative techniques and powers capacities
  • New threats & new priorities to be covered:
–          Financing of Proliferation – the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a significant security concern
–          Corruption & Politically Exposed Persons – the requirements have been expanded with new recommendations applying to domestic politically exposed persons and international organisations
–          Tax Crimes – the list of predicate offences for money laundering has been expanded to include tax crimes
–          Terrorist Financing – the financing of terrorism remains a major focus of the FATF

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New ICC Court’s Secretariat in New York

The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced a new office of the ICC Court’s Secretariat in will be open in New York. This it will be the third Secretariat office of the International Court of Arbitration, after Paris and Hong Kong. The ICC’s Court had stabilised representative office in Singapore, Panamá and Tunis.
 
Arbitration is one of the organization’s three main activities along with rules-setting and policy for international trade and investment.

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New ISO Brochure about ICT Standards Innovation

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ISO/IEC JTC, published a new brochure providing a overview about the benefices of information and communication technologies (ICT) standards.
 
The 24-page brochure is entitled “The force multiplier for ICT innovation – ISO/IEC JTC 1 Joint Technical Committee 1, Information technology, standards” and it explains how ICT standards can brings innovative solutions and best practice in all sectors of economy activity (business, industry, administration, education etc).
The application of information and communication technologies (ICT) pervade a large range of benefices: standardization, security, more choice and reduced costs, economies of scale for companies, greater consumer confidence in products or services.
 
The brochure can be downloaded as a PDF file free of charge from the ISO Website.

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The Galileo Navigation System on track for 2014

En a press release on February 2nd, it was announced the firm of a new there contracts to improved satellite navigation services,  Galileo Navigation System. The signed contras were: the contract signed with OHB System AG (DE)  (for comprising 8 satellites), Arianespace (FR) (for a booking option of up to 3 launches) and with Astrium SAS (FR) (to enable the current Ariane 5 launcher to carry 4 Galileo programme satellites per launch).
 
The Galileo programme is Europe’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system. Under European civilian control, Galileo will be compatible and, for some of its services, interoperable with the American GPS and GLONASS (Russia), the two other global satellite navigation systems. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure.
 
The main field of application of the Galileo Program are in aviation, traffic management (terrestrial, maritime or inland waterways) and agriculture; but through its services, Galileo will underpin many sectors of the European economy like financial transactions, rescue operations or peace-keeping missions.
 
More details on the European Union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA) web pages.

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WTO Approves Russia’s Entry into the Organization

The WTO’s Ministers welcomed Russia as a new member to the Organization and named this accession a historic moment. The Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation was established on 16 June 1993 and was the accession package was adopted on 10 November 2011. The membership will become effective only after being ratified by the Russian Parliament (Duma) and it may do this sometime in the middle of 2012.
 
The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations in order that trade flows as smoothly and freely as possible. Headquartered in Geneva in Switzerland, the WTO is grouping some 150 countries.

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