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Tariffs on/tariffs off: a compliance nightmare

Paul Hodgson | June 11, 2018

“I have steel on the water on the way to the United States at the moment. How do I invoice my customer with a 20 percent tariff? How do we cope with the VAT [value added tax] on that?” 

This is just one example of the problems facing compliance officers following the announcement of U.S. Section 232 tariffs, according to U.K. Steel Director Gareth Stace. “Even the top U.S. trade lawyers had no definite answers to any of the questions that manufacturers asked,” he said. “And the last time this happened was in 2002, so much of that historical knowledge for compliance has gone.”

In this world of on-again, off-again sanctions and tariffs, dealing with compliance issues under the current U.S. administration has become not just a nightmare for compliance officers in the United States, but also for those in the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. The latest tariffs on steel and aluminum for the European Union, which still includes the United Kingdom, makes complying...

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