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BLOMSTEIN Senior Associate Dr. Leonard von Rummel wurde im Rahmen der gestrigen Mitgliederversammlung des Forum Contracting e.V. in den Vorstand des Vereins gewählt.

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BLOMSTEIN advised Helsing, as it did on the previous Series A financing 2021, together with YPOG on the recent Series B financing round with a total volume of EUR 209 million. BLOMSTEIN supported with regard to investment control law. A big thank you goes to Helsing as well as to the entire YPOG team for the trust placed in us!

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Mit dem letzten gegen Russland verhängten EU-Sanktionspaket wurde eine ab dem 30. September 2023 geltende Nachweispflicht für die Einfuhr von bestimmten Eisen- und Stahlerzeugnissen eingeführt. So soll sichergestellt werden, dass keine Erzeugnisse in die Union gelangen, die in Drittstaaten unter Verwendung russischer Vorprodukte erzeugt worden sind. Die Frage, wie diese Pflicht für Importeure umzusetzen ist, hat zuletzt für erhebliche Unsicherheiten gesorgt. Auch die „Frequently Asked Questions“ (FAQs) der EU-Kommission, die die Verwendung von sog. Mill Test Certificates (MTCs) vorschlagen, brachten dahingehend keine abschließende Klarheit, sondern weitere praktische Umsetzungsprobleme. Nunmehr hat die Generalzolldirektion sich allerdings zu der Frage positioniert und erklärt, dass auch alternative Nachweise anerkannt werden. Damit wird voraussichtlich die praktische Umsetzung für deutsche Einführer erheblich erleichtert. Wir erläutern in diesem Briefing die Hintergründe und Details.

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BLOMSTEIN hat den deutschen Mobilitätsspezialisten ZF Friedrichshafen AG erfolgreich beim Verkauf seiner Anteile an der ASAP Holding GmbH an eine Tochtergesellschaft des indischen Technologieunternehmen HCL Technologies, Inc zu investitions- und fusionskontrollrechtlichen Aspekten beraten. Die Transaktion wurde zwischenzeitlich von den zuständigen Behörden, insbesondere dem Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, genehmigt.

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CELIS Institute invited BLOMSTEIN partner Roland M. Stein to join the Institute as Deputy Director. This appointment marks yet another milestone in the yearlong collaboration between CELIS Institute and BLOMSTEIN, further strengthening their shared commitment to advancing strategic dialogue amongst various stakeholders on foreign direct investment policy and economic security.

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Any company who has recently applied to the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) for an export licence or any other sanctions-related enquiry has had to reckon with long processing times. To speed up these processes, BAFA has, as announced on 1 August 2023, introduced five new and amended several other general export licences (Allgemeine Genehmigungen – AGGs) as well as implemented further procedural changes.

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In its judgment of 13 July 2023 in Case C-106/22 Xella, the ECJ ruled that the objective of ensuring the security of supply to the construction sector, in particular at the local level, with respect to basic raw materials such as gravel, sand and clay cannot justify a restriction on the freedom of establishment. The judgment is the first time the ECJ has taken a ruled on the scope of Regulation (EU) No 2019/452 (EU-Screening-Regulation). In addition, it tests the interference with the freedom of establishment by a national investment control regime against established, strict criteria.

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After long and apparently tough negotiations, EU Member States have agreed on another, eleventh package of sanctions against Russia. It entered into force on 24 June 2023. The declared aim of the new measures is in particular to prevent the circumvention of the broad range of restrictive measures already in place. But the package also includes further expansions of these measures. We highlight the most important changes below.

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On 17 May 2023, the European Commission has published proposals of significant reforms of the EU Customs Union, describing them as ‘the most ambitious and comprehensive reform of the EU Customs Union’ since its inception 1968. The reforms will create a data-driven vision for EU customs and simplify and enhance the customs procedures. According to the Commission’s press release, the reforms respond to the current pressures under which EU customs operates, including a huge increase in trade volumes especially in e-commerce, a fast-growing number of EU standards, unnecessarily complex customs procedures and shifting geopolitical realities and crises. The reforms are promised to make the customs framework fit for a greener, more digital era and contribute to a safer and more competitive Single Market and to reduce costs significantly. The Union Customs Code will be repealed and a new UCC introduced with a complete rearrangement of articles. The reform is awaited, as especially the national customs administrations wish for cost savings and streamlined and simple processes through digitalization.

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Over recent months, one of the most highly debated issues in the field of international trade law has been the expected introduction of a novel instrument of trade restrictions – the so-called Outbound Investment Screening. In Berlin, Brussels and Washington DC, governments and legislators are currently engaged in discussions over the exact nature of the tool, which seeks to both monitor and – under certain circumstances – restrict investments by Western companies in third countries (in particular China). While reports suggest that a Presidential executive order on this subject is imminent in the US, the EU has now equally taken a further step to clarify its intentions through a newly published position paper, which forms part of the new “European Economic Security Strategy”. The document entitled An EU approach to enhance economic security begins to illustrate how the European Commission intends to conceptualise the instrument for the EU single market, with European Commission representatives announcing concrete proposals for the end of the year. The position paper’s contents are also likely to have significant influence on the ongoing reform attempts by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

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