* US – CARICOM Signed TIFA
The United States and CARICOM signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) which replace the agreement establishing a Trade and Investment Council (TIC) signed in 1991.
Follow the link for more.
* BRICS Launched BRICSMART
The BRICS Exchanges Alliance launched its own website to create a single data portal containing information on its member’s financial products and services.
The website is called BRICSMART.
Kindly follow the link.
* Iran – Indonesia Inked a MoU
Iran and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mutual trade cooperation.
* Copernicus – The EU’s Earth Observation Programme
The new name of the European Commission’s Earth Observation Programme, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is Copernicus. The programme aims at providing Europe with a continuous, independent and reliable access to earth observation data and information.
Read more here.
* IMO – Amended MARPOL
The new amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) entered into force on 1 January 2013.
The new chapter make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.
Find more on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) page.
* Laos – The WTO’s 158th Member
Laos will officially become the WTO’s 158th member state on 2 February.
Read more here.
* Comoros – The 146th Contracting Party to the Harmonized System Convention
The Union of the Comoros started the process of joining to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System).
Check the Press release.
* European Commission Proposed a New Framework for Marine Equipment
The European Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive on marine equipment (the “MED”).
The Commission has proposed a revision of the Directive on marine equipment to ensure an harmonised application of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standards.
The proposal has two general objectives:
– to enhance the implementation and enforcement mechanisms of the MED, and
– to simplify the regulatory environment.
For more information, check here and here.
* New Rules on Cleaner Fuels for Shipping
On 17 December 2012 entered in force the new EU environmental rules on marine fuels.
Check for more here.
* Switzerland Adopts Several Maritime Conventions
Switzerland adopted four conventions developed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to enhance the protection of the marine environment.
Switzerland has adopted the next conventions:
– Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention
– the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage
– the 2004 International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments
– and the 2011 International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships
* India & Mauritius Negotiate New DTA
India and Mauritius have completed a further round of negotiations towards a new Double Tax Agreement (DTA).
* Andorra Extends TIEA Network
Andorra approved the signature of new Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) with the Czech Republic and South Korea.
* WTO Statistics Database Updated
The World Trade Organization (WTO) updated its 2011 database on world merchandise trade.
Please check the Statistics Database here.
* New WTO Members: Russia and Vanuatu
On 22 August 2012, Russia becomes the 156th WTO member and Vanuatu will join the WTO on 24 August as its 157th member.