Chinese products get safer
- The European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Meglena Kuneva, will tell industry ministers today (22 November) that China has made a lot of progress on product safety and will not face bans on imports to the EU. Kuneva will point to a Chinese report - to be published today - showing that authorities have opened 184 new investigations into product safety since July, with 35 cases leading to export bans so far.
Norway demands end to EU duties after victory in salmon case
- Norway called on the EU to scrap duties on its salmon imports following a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday (16 November) that the duties broke trade rules. The WTO stopped short of calling for the measure to be repealed. Both sides can appeal against the decision. The case was brought by Norway following the EU’s imposition of minimum prices in 2006 after complaints from Scottish and Irish fish farmers that Norway was selling salmon below its real value.
Commission vets Romanian car aid
- The Commission opened an investigation on Wednesday (21 November) into state aid that may have been granted to Romanian car producer Automobile Craiova as part of its privatisation last month. Specific conditions on production levels and employee conditions were attached to the sale of the company to the Ford Motor Company.
Trans-European Network targets unveiled
- The Commission announced on Wednesday its proposals for which cross-border projects should be funded under the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme, 2007-13. Transport projects earmarked for support include trans-Alpine tunnels and road links between member states in the Baltic region. A total of €112 million is available for projects and final decisions will be made at the beginning of next year.
EU watchdogs fine members of Japanese videotape cartel
- EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday (20 November) hit hi-tech Japanese groups Sony, Fuji and Hitachi Maxell with a combined fine of €74.8 million for operating an illegal cartel in the market for professional videotape. The Commission found that the companies had colluded to raise or control prices from 1999 to 2002.
Accounting standards boost for EU firms registered in US
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday (15 November) voted to allow foreign companies to use international financial accounting standards (IFRS). The move will benefit EU companies registered in the US, which were previously required to reconcile their accounts to US standards.
MEPs move ahead with ‘Rome I’ regulation
- The European Parliament’s legal affairs committee approved the Rome I regulation on contractual obligations. The legislation is aimed at providing common EU rules on laws that apply in cross-border disputes. MEPs agreed that, in disputes between professionals and consumers, the choice of the court should favour the latter.
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