Today’s IAA specialist event entitled “Customs and excise taxes in the car sector” illustrated the challenges facing the globally active automotive industry in the field of import duty. “Import duties represent a huge operational challenge for all internationally oriented companies. Improving customs and excise law is now among the core tasks for corporate management, owing to its great economic importance and the cash flow situation in the companies,” explained VDA Managing Director Klaus Bräunig in his welcoming speech.
Uwe Grosse from the WTS Group and Harald Dewert from Schaeffler AG reported on market access strategies from the viewpoint of tax and excise law. They focused on Asia, and on China and South Korea in particular.
Dr Hans Georg Raber and Sarah Jänsch from Volkswagen AG spoke about “Non-Tariff Barriers.” Despite the WTO ban on non-tariff trade barriers, they said, import quotas, export restraints and local content clauses have expanded around the world. Standards were being introduced to make it more difficult for foreign providers to access the markets. Customs clearance was also being disrupted. Sarah Jänsch reported on specific certification regulations for importing goods to South Korea which affect numerous German firms.
Klaus Bräunig put forward a clear position: “The trend towards import duties, minimum prices, export bans and ‘grey area measures’ such as anti-dumping procedures must be stopped. Protectionism calls growth in the global economy into question.”
Harald Boes, Manager Corporate Customs Management and air freight security officer at ZF Friedrichshafen, dedicated his talk to the topic of air freight security. Since 2001, legislators in the USA and Europe have introduced extensive precautions to increase security in the passenger and freight areas. An exaggerated definition of the “secure supply chain” was resulting in higher costs and slowing down the logistics processes, Boes stated, and mentioned various options for saving time and money in a secure supply chain.
The final discussion chaired by Hans Georg Raber, chairman of the VDA’s committee on customs and excise duties, covered megatrends and current issues such as the increasing formal requirements placed on export shipments. The participants were invited to discuss what a sustainable reaction might be to barriers within trade and security policy.