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Taiwan authorities sentence death penalty to Belgian in 1.3kg heroin smuggling


TAIPEI: A Belgian man convicted of smuggling drugs into Taiwan was sentenced by the Taipei District Court to life imprisonment. Gunther van Eester was found guilty of entering Taiwan in November with 1.3 kilograms of heroin hidden in a compartment in his suitcase. The Belgian, who was jobless and homeless in Thailand, had been flagged by Taiwanese investigators after he ... Read More »

Hungarian green party LMP’s leaders protest in Brussels against EU-US FTA


BRUSSELS: Hungarian green party LMP’s leaders took part in a demonstration in Brussels in protest against the EU-US free trade agreement (TTIP). András Schiffer and Bernadett Szél also participated in a meeting of leaders of the European Green Party and lobbied for a ban against gold mining in Europe, which uses environmentally harmful cyanide leaching technology. The LMP leaders told journalists ... Read More »

Luxembourg leaks: EU lawmakers in Brussels agree to review tax rules


BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers have agreed to set up a special committee to look into national tax rules following the Luxembourg leaks revelations about sweet deals for big companies. The committee of lawmakers from the European Parliament will examine the Luxleaks case and other incidents of tax avoidance and evasion around Europe. The decision to set up the committee was ... Read More »

Belgium automotive chip designer Melexis expects sales to rise in 2015

china cars

BRUSSELS: Belgium automotive chip designer Melexis said quarterly sales would increase in 2015, as it expects the strong demand for pressure and temperature sensors to continue. Melexis said sales rose 17.3 percent from the same period last year in the fourth quarter to 88.13 million euros ($101.09 million) and it expected this number to increase to about 94 million euros ... Read More »

EU adds Belgium to its tax avoidance investigations


BRUSSELS: Belgian is allowing companies to reduce their tax bills significantly, it said on Tuesday, widening its inquiry into tax deals struck with multinationals across the European Union. The Commission, which rules on competition and subsidies in the European Union, said deductions granted through Belgium’s “excess profit” tax system usually amount to more than 50 percent of profits and can ... Read More »

Belgium polished diamond exports increase 2.5% YOY to $1.086b in 2014


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s polished diamond exports increased 2.5 percent year on year to $1.086 billion in December, according to data provided by the Antwerp World Diamond Center. By volume, exports dropped 8.3 percent to 512,830 carats. Polished imports rose 6.2 percent to $922.7 million, leaving net exports 14.3 percent lower at $163.3 million. Rough diamond imports fell 4.8 percent to $1.032 ... Read More »

Belgium polished diamond exports increase 2.5% YOY to $1.086b in 2014


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s polished diamond exports increased 2.5 percent year on year to $1.086 billion in December, according to data provided by the Antwerp World Diamond Center. By volume, exports dropped 8.3 percent to 512,830 carats. Polished imports rose 6.2 percent to $922.7 million, leaving net exports 14.3 percent lower at $163.3 million. Rough diamond imports fell 4.8 percent to $1.032 ... Read More »

Customs officers, broker charged for smuggling steel products worth around PHP 14.3 million


BRUSSELS: The Bureau of Customs filed smuggling charges against five top officials and the customs broker of a steel importing firm for attempting to illegally import steel products worth around PHP 14.3 million. Smuggling related cases were filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against officials of Stellent Corp., namely chairman of the board Mr Rico Rigor Cayunda Cinco, board ... Read More »

Belgium steel industry fears dumping of cheap foreign imports

Belgium steel industry fears dumping of cheap foreign imports

BRUSSELS: Steel bosses and unions have called on Brussels to protect the industry from the dumping of cheap foreign imports, which threaten thousands of jobs. Steelmakers urged the European Commission to intervene as new data showed the sector’s recovery in the UK stuttered in 2014. According to the latest figures from UK Steel, a division of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, ... Read More »

Euro zone consumer prices plunge by alarming 0.6% in Jan


BRUSSELS: Euro zone consumer prices plunged by an alarming 0.6% in January due to falling oil prices, accelerating further into negative territory and confirming deflation could be settling-in for the long term, EU data showed. It follows a decision by the European Central Bank last week to launch a €1.14 trillion bond-buying spree to drive up inflation in the euro zone. ... Read More »

European Shipping Week greets more keynote speakers and panelists


BRUSSELS: Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of CLIA Europe and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, and Paolo Tonon, Vice-President and Head of Maersk Technology join an impressive list of key industry shipping personnel and EU regulators at European Shipping Week in Brussels 2-6 March, reported European Shipping Week. Mr Goldstein and Mr Tonon ... Read More »

Belgium Antwerp port handles 199m tons shipment, surge 4.3% in 2014

Malaysia LNG imports

BELGIUM: The Belgium port of Antwerp handled 199m tons of shipment in 2014, 4.3% increases compared to 2013. The 5.9% increase in containers to 108.3m tonnes amounted to a 4.7% increase in teu, to 8.9m teu handled throughout the year. The increase was driven by a 5.9% growth in container volumes and a 5.6% improvement in liquid bulk, despite a ... Read More »

IMO’s Simone Leyers in Brussles to attend ship recycling workshop


BRUSSELS: IMO’s Simone Leyers reached Brussels, Belgium to provide an update on implementation of IMO’s Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention to participants at the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) Technical Workshop on Ship Recycling. The workshop hosted by ECSA with participation from the EU Commission, EU Member States, Recycling States (India and Bangladesh) and shipowners. Ms Leyers provided an update ... Read More »

UK’s M&G Investment launches in Belgium market, plans to raise €2b of assets till 2018

M&G investment launches in Belgium

BRUSSELS: M&G Investments has launched into the Belgian market and planned to raise €2 billion of assets under management in the next three years in Belgium and Luxembourg. The UK firm is targeting private and retail banks, platforms and independent financial advisers. M&G has appointed a dedicated sales manager for Belgium and Luxembourg, Kelly Hebert, and registered 34 mutual funds ... Read More »

64 year drug smuggler sent to jail for 8 years in Belgium


BRUSSELS:  A drug runner who used a specially adapted Porsche to smuggle drugs worth millions of pounds into the UK has been jailed for eight years. 64 year-old Johan De Craemer, from Bruges in Belgium was stopped by Border Force officers at Dover as he arrived on a ferry from Calais on the 20th January 2014. He claimed to be ... Read More »

Customs’ contribution to security against violent extremism, WCO delivers several security tools


BRUSSELS:  Violent extremism continues to be a major concern for the international community. Violent extremism and terrorism are increasingly global in nature and frequently have cross-border implications. Customs, which has the prime responsibility for controlling cross-border movements of goods, means of transport and people, plays an important role in the deterrence of border related security threats. The WCO’s landmark security ... Read More »

CBM focused on global customs, trade facilitations, cross border trade in 2015: WCO


BRUSSELS: For the year 2015, issues of coordinated border management (CBM) will be the focus of global customs administrations following the need to ensure an improved trade facilitation which is a crucial aspect of customs operations involving cross border trade between countries, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), has said. It is hoped that the choice of the global customs 2015 ... Read More »

ICC Secretary, TFC Chairperson visit WCO headquarter


BRUSSELS:  Mr. John Danilovich, who took up the post of Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) six months ago, visited WCO Headquarters on 6 January 2015 to meet with Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya. He was accompanied by the ICC Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission Chairperson, Mr. Norman Schenk. Both parties acknowledged the excellent relationship between the two ... Read More »

Accused Scottish drug smuggler pays €10,000 for bail to Belgium Customs


BRUSSELS: A Tayside (Scotland) accused of being a member of an international drug smuggling gang gave Belgian authorities a €10,000 bail payment to return home for Christmas. Raymond Urquhart, from Perth, was extradited out of Scotland in October to face charges of transporting cocaine and MDMA (ecstasy) across international borders. But it has emerged that lorry driver Urquhart who secured ... Read More »

Belgium Port Antwerp witnesses 4.2% increase in trade


BRUSSELS: Port of Antwerp in Belgium increased 4.2 percent more in comparison with 2013. Port of Antwerp had handled around 198.8 million tons of freight by the end of the 2014. The previous record dates from 2013, when the freight volume came to 190.8 million tones. The record growth was driven by container handling (up 5.6%) and liquid bulk (up ... Read More »