Mittwoch, 30. November 2016

FDF - Switzerland and San Marino sign joint declaration on introduction of AEOI

FDF - Switzerland and San Marino sign joint declaration on introduction of AEOI
Bern, 30.11.2016 - On 30 November 2016, Switzerland and San Marino signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. Both countries intend to start collecting data in accordance with the global AEOI standard in 2018 and to exchange it from 2019 onwards.

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

UNCTAD’s Global Action Menu on Investment Facilitation will take place on Tuesday 6 December 2016

We are writing to invite you and your students to the high-level discussions of UNCTAD’s Global Action Menu on Investment Facilitation that will take place on Tuesday 6 December 2016 in Geneva as part of the annual session of the Trade and Development Board.
Facilitating investment is crucial for sustainable development and inclusive growth. It is also critical for meeting the annual SDG financing gap of $2.5 trillion that developing countries are facing today. However, to date, national and international policies have paid relatively little attention to investment facilitation. UNCTAD’s Global Action Menu for Investment Facilitation aims to complement existing investment policies and proposes 10 action lines with a series of options for investment policymakers and government agencies for national and international policy measures.
We realize that this invitation is of rather short notice and we therefore fully understand if you are not able to join us. It could however be a great opportunity for your students interested in international investment law and policy to get an insight look of an intergovernmental policymaking process and make first contacts with UNCTAD’s investment policy staff to ask questions of interest.
Attendance of the event is free, but prior registration is needed.
Please find more information here:
Looking forward to seeing you and your students next week!
The IIA team

Montag, 28. November 2016

WTO Dispute Settlement: In new case, WTO rules against state’s tax breaks for Boeing 777X plants

The WTO ruled Monday that the business-tax reduction granted by Washington state to Boeing in 2013 for the forthcoming 777X jet is a prohibited subsidy. Experts on both sides say the reality on the ground is unlikely to change even if that’s upheld on appeal.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled Monday that the extension of the business-tax reduction that Washington state granted to Boeing in 2013 for the forthcoming 777X jet is a prohibited subsidy.
The term “prohibited” signifies the WTO’s strictest legal category, denoting a subsidy that cannot be allowed to stand. If the ruling is upheld on appeal, action to remove the subsidy would be required.
Yet even then, in a testament to the excruciating frustration of the WTO process, legal experts on both sides of the case say the outcome will almost certainly leave Boeing’s bottom line untouched — and Washington state’s tax coffers none the richer.
“You can remove a subsidy in a hundred different ways that don’t in any way impact the benefit Boeing might get,” said Bob Novick, a former general counsel to the U.S. trade representative and now an outside counsel to Boeing on the WTO dispute.

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A lawyer on the European side of the case, who asked not to be identified because he spoke before the ruling is being officially made public, agreed that Boeing is unlikely to suffer financially.
Monday’s ruling is new. It’s a separate case from the two original WTO lawsuits: the one filed by the U.S. in 2004 over the Airbus “launch aid” and the countersuit Europe filed in 2005 over the state tax breaks to Boeing as well as research grants it got from NASA and the Department of Defense.
The European lawyer recalled that when the WTO initially ruled in 2010 that government loans to Airbus to launch its A380 superjumbo jet were prohibited subsidies, Boeing crowed about the outcome and demanded that Airbus either repay or restructure the loans.
That A380 ruling was reversed on appeal a year later. Now, Boeing’s biggest tax break is on the same chopping block.
“The tables are turned. Boeing’s been tagged,” said the European lawyer. “But nothing is actually going to change.”
Michael Luttig, Boeing’s general counsel, agrees.
“After any appeal,” Luttig said, “we fully expect Boeing to preserve every aspect of the Washington state incentives.”
And while an Airbus press release hyped the ruling as “a knockout blow to Boeing’s record-breaking subsidies” and demanded that the Washington state tax breaks “be withdrawn immediately,” Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier conceded that he has ” little faith in the US compliance with the WTO rulings.”

WTO pounces on one clause

The latest ruling certainly means Boeing and Washington state will have to do something if it withstands appeal.
The problem is a clause that was inserted into the 2013 tax-break legislation to protect jobs in this state: It says the extension of the business and occupation (B&O) tax reduction out to 2040 will be terminated if the state determines “that any final assembly or wing assembly … has been sited outside the state of Washington.”
“That’s what killed them,” said the European lawyer.
The WTO interpreted that to mean the law expressly favors local production over imports — the definition of a prohibited subsidy.
For example, the 787 Dreamliner’s wing was built in Japan, yet this clause would punish Boeing if it outsourced the wing of the 777X.
Of course, that clause was inserted because of the state’s experience in providing similar tax relief to win local assembly of the 787. (There was no similar clause in the 2003 legislation that established the original aerospace tax breaks for the 787.)

Jeune abattu par la police à Bex: le Congo demande des explications aux autorités suisses

Tragédie de Bex - Suite au décès du jeune Hervé, abattu à Bex par la police lors d'une intervention, le Congo demande des explications aux autorités suisses. En parallèle, l'ambassadeur suisse à Kinshasa a été convié à un entretien auprès des services congolais.
La République démocratique du Congo (RDC) a demandé des explications aux autorités suisses après la mort du jeune Hervé abattu à Bex (VD) par un policier. Elle veut savoir ce qui s'est réellement passé, explique lundi l'ambassade de RDC à Berne, revenant sur des informations du Matin de samedi.
"C'est une note verbale" qui a été adressée après le drame au Département fédéral des affaires étrangères (DFAE), précise un responsable de l'ambassade. "Nous allons suivre très attentivement l'évolution de l'affaire. Nous n'avons pas encore de réponse", ajoute-t-il.

Marche pacifique à Lausanne

En parallèle, l'ambassadeur de Suisse à Kinshasa a été invité il y a deux semaines à un entretien auprès des services congolais. L'émotion est "très forte" après cette mort, comme on a pu le constater lors de l'enterrement d'Hervé vendredi à Lausanne suivi par plus de 300 personnes, relève l'officiel congolais.
Le 19 novembre, plusieurs centaines de personnes ont marché pacifiquement à Lausanne pour rendre hommage au jeune homme et protester contre "le profilage racial". Père d'un garçon de sept ans, Hervé est décédé le 6 novembre à Bex lors de l'intervention de la police du Chablais dans son immeuble.
Selon les forces de l'ordre, un agent a tiré à plusieurs reprises dans sa direction alors qu'il se ruait sur les policiers un couteau à la main et après les sommations d'usage. Une enquête est en cours.

Freitag, 25. November 2016

FDF - Double taxation agreement with Liechtenstein enters into force

FDF - Double taxation agreement with Liechtenstein enters into force
Bern, 25.11.2016 - The double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and Liechtenstein will enter into force on 22 December 2016. The DTA contains a provision on the exchange of information upon request according to the internationally applicable standards. The DTA will contribute to the development of good economic relations between Switzerland and Liechtenstein.