EC lies about nEUtered video cameras

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Joined: Dec 9 2000

I sent a petition to the European Parliament regarding tax on not nEUtered video cameras. Since the European Parliament has limited or almost no power at all, I also directed my petition to the Commission. This is the answer I got from EC Directorate - General for Trade:
Dear Mr Wahlsten,
Thank you sending the Commission a copy of your petition dated 19 September concerning EC import duties on video cameras.
EC import tariffs on video cameras, as on a range of other consumer electronic products, are at 14% (fariff line 8525 40 99) in the Common Customs Tarff). N.B. This rate applies whether or not they have digital input or output.
You should be aware that many members of the World Trade Organisation, including the EC, are parties to the WTO's Information Technology Agreement (lTA). This phased out import duties on a wide range of IT products. Most participants (again including the EC) eliminated their tariffs in January 2000. Developing countries and new WTO Members generally have longer to phase out their tariffs. Negotiations have taken place to broaden the range of duty-free IT products. Most n A participants are opposed to the inclusion of consumer electronic products and consider that the IT A should focus on eliminating duties on core IT products. The EC is working for the launch of a broad-ranging round of multilateral trade negotiations that should include improved market access for industrial products. Such market access negotiations should be comprehensive, covering all industrial products without a priori exceptions. The aim should be to reduce and harmonise tariffs. It is in the context of these negotiations that the EC will review tariff levels on all industrial products, including consumer electronics, when seeking a balance of concessions with other WTO Members.
Yours sincerely
Head of unit

Is the “Head of unit” trying to pull my legs? Yes, the truth is that duty on amateur video cameras without digital input is 4.9% (tariff line 8525 40 91 00). Tariff line 8525 40 99 applies videocassette recorders and amateur video cameras with digital input. If you support my campaign against stupid trade barriers, why don’t you send a mail to the European Commission? Here is the hard to find E-mail address: You may copy the essential part of my petition:

Subject: EC trade barrier on video cameras
I would suggest that Common Custom Tariff should be rewritten so that only devices that are capable of receiving OFF AIR broadcast be classified as videocassette recorder and that digital copying be viewed as merely data copying.