On 21st October, lobby group Unearthed published a report saying that its investigation has found packaging from everyday British products – exported as recycling – discarded at multiple illegal dump sites in Malaysia. UK exports of plastic scrap for recycling to Malaysia rose after China – previously the world’s largest importer of the materials – closed its doors to such imports. It found, alongside a recycling facility that was shut down months ago, it found ripped-open recycling bags from UK local authorities discarded among a huge pile of plastic bags, alongside yet more food packaging from the UK and across Europe.
On 22nd October, Torres Law carried an article outlining where an export by defence contractors can be deemed to have taken place where a file has been uploaded that contains export-controlled data, has been inadvertently sent overseas or access has been allowed to unauthorised persons overseas. It deals with additional requirements of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS). An export or “deemed export” of controlled technical data or technology may have taken place, further access must be prevented, and it must be reported as a “cyber incident” within 72 hours to the Department of Defense (DoD).
On 19th October, law firm Allen & Overy published a detailed briefing on a recent UK case where a bank was ordered to disclose, to a customer, SAR that the bank had sent to the NCA at the time of freezing the customer’s bank accounts. The bank’s arguments concerning confidentiality, tipping-off and prejudicing an investigation were unsuccessful. The court’s made observations on the interplay between the SAR regime and the law on data protection, defamation and breach of contract.
VAT Live reported on 21st October that New Zealand has proposed scrapping the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and customs duty low-value consignment relief of $1,000. It will be requiring foreign e-commerce traders selling goods to local consumers to VAT register once their annual sales crossed a $600,000 threshold. Supplies to businesses will remain zero-rated. The aim is to ensure non-resident online sellers and marketplaces do not have an unfair tax subsidy compared to local online and bricks-and-mortar retailers. Australia did so in July 2018, and the EU is planning to withdraw its €22 VAT exemption in 2021.
The Malta Independent on 21st October reported that the European Commission has finally met Maltese representatives, including the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, to obtain the latest information on the Unit’s efforts to comply with European Banking Authority regulations. An EBA spokesperson said that the EBA will also conduct an on-site visit to the FIAU in mid-2019 as part of their on-going assessment of information of their recommendations – recommendations have only “partially met at present” by the Unit.