Tag Archives: law

Industry adversary charged under Iowa’s new food offenses law | Instant News

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An animal rights activist whose investigation turns him into a major enemy of the livestock industry has been accused of trespassing at hog facilities. It is the first case brought under Iowa’s newest so-called ag-gag law.

Matthew Johnson was charged with trespassing at a food operation due to his appearance February 5 at a sowing operation at Iowa Select Farms in Dows.

Investigators said Johnson’s video surveillance approached one of the buildings and tried to pull open the door to determine if it was locked before escaping.

Under a law signed by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds in June, trespassing in food operations is a minor offense that can result in up to two years in prison.

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.


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Germany Doubled Covid-19 Kick Speed ​​Amid Surging Cases | Instant News

Germany has doubled the pace of its Covid-19 vaccination after a slow start, as it battles a third wave of the virus that threatens a flood of medical facilities.

The country delivered about 720,000 doses on Thursday, the fourth consecutive daily record, thanks to a surge in vaccinations at doctors’ offices. That pace will continue for much of April as a network of about 35,000 GPs receives 1 million more doses every two weeks – and even more after that.

“We are on a good track with vaccinations,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday at a press conference in Berlin.

Germany’s impetus for inoculation comes as authorities try to check for an increase in infections that are increasing pressure on intensive care units. Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for stricter restrictions, but faces opposition from some of the 16 regional leaders, who disagree about the steps needed to prevent more infections and deaths.

The two sides appeared to have forgotten some of their differences on Friday, with Merkel’s government announcing a deal with the state prime minister and members of the ruling coalition parliament to update Germany’s infection protection laws.

The changes will establish national rules under which restrictions must be imposed locally if the seven-day incident rate rises above 100 per 100,000 people, Merkel’s spokesman, Ulrike Demmer, told a news conference in Berlin. A meeting planned for Monday to discuss the next steps in the pandemic strategy has been canceled and the law will be signed by Merkel’s cabinet on Tuesday, Demmer said.

“It makes sense that the rules are set for the whole country,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters. “Then you don’t have to meet every two weeks for further talks, as defined in law thanks to joint efforts by the federal and regional governments.”

Surge shot

Germany’s Covid-19 vaccines have surged after a slow start

Source: Robert Koch Institute, German Ministry of Health

With only about 15% of Germany’s 83 million people having received Covid injections, tighter restrictions are needed to prevent overloading of hospitals, Merkel said.

Some regions failed to implement the restrictions agreed upon with their governments, prompting them to threaten to seize central control of pandemic policy.

Germany’s Covid-19 incidence rate started rising again around mid-February, although its steady rise appeared to be checked during the Easter holidays.

Read more: Merkel Block Pushing for More Central Power Over Virus Strategy

Spahn, who also called for stricter lockdown restrictions, said on Friday that Germany would be able to comprehensively vaccinate the population by mid-summer. Allowing the country’s health system to become overloaded so close to achieving that would make no sense, he said.

“Do we want to test the limits? Do we want to test what countries can handle, in emergency situations, in intensive care units? What kind of thought is that? “Said Spahn.

While some have called for restrictions to be eased as inoculation programs escalate and the weather warms up – and people grow tired of measures that have been in place for about half a year – Spahn is urging people to stick around longer. .

“It’s about weeks, months with each other, to continue to avoid the health system overload that we’ve been able to avoid over the past 12 months,” he said. And yes, I suffered just like everyone else. I want out too. I want a daily routine too. And I want to celebrate, and I want to eat out and I want to shop. “

Stubborn Plague

Germany’s coronavirus transmission rates have been above key levels

Source: Robert Koch Institute

The head of the association representing the intensive care sector said Friday morning that the situation in German hospitals was “very dramatic” and ICU staff were “very worried.”

Gernot Marx, president of the DIVI association, told ZDF that there will be more than 5,000 Covid-19 patients in intensive care by the end of this month.

“This is a very high number and what is really worrying is how few free beds are,” said Marx. Many staff have indicated that they plan to leave the profession after the pandemic due to work pressure, he added.

“We really need a tight lock,” said Marx. “It makes absolutely no sense to think about an opening, instead we should lower the infection rate.”

– With the help of Chris Reiter, and Naomi Kresge

(Update with Scholz comments in the seventh paragraph)


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Kansas County ditches the mask rule before lawmakers act | Government. & Politics | Instant News

“I feel there will be many districts” that will withdraw their mandates, he said. “Only from what we have seen, only from districts that took action before yesterday.”

One reason is that the same rules that allow lawmakers to cancel Kelly mask orders also allow residents and businesses objecting to pandemic restrictions to trigger lightning-fast 72 hour reviews by judges. The burden of proof is on officials to show that their rules protect public health in the strictest possible way.

The commissioner in Sedgwick County, the second most populous state, cited the threat of litigation in last week’s vote to remove all remaining restrictions on COVID-19.

“I don’t see that we have much power left,” said Commissioner David Dennis at the time.

In Shawnee County, commissioners also cited legislation this week when they took action to allow businesses, churches and nonprofits to not need masks. The Topeka district center will need masks on city buildings. Reno County, where Hutchinson is located, took similar action last week, although it will continue to require masks at the courthouse.

In addition, many countries have orders for masks simply because they took no action to cancel Kelly’s orders in November. Now they have to lay out their own rules if they want to ask for masks, and it’s unclear if they will.


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Tariff-free trade? Understand the rules of origin – Nawala | Instant News

Overview of rules of origin
What does this mean in practice?
How do I claim preferential rate treatment?


After leaving the European Union, a key aspect of UK trade policy is creating free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries and trade blocs (for more details see “Back to basics: free trade agreements“).

To that end, Britain has negotiated a ‘roll over’ FTA to replace the EU FTA.(1) These include the UK’s most significant FTA, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which was concluded with the European Union on 24 December 2020.

An obvious benefit of an FTA is the ability of businesses to use ‘preferential tariff treatment’ (ie, reduced or zero rates and quotas) when shipping their products between parties to the FTA.

While FTAs ​​offer significant benefits, they also pose new challenges for businesses that are not accustomed to navigating the complex rules of origin set out in these agreements. Failure to take advantage of FTAs ​​and adhere to these rules of origin could result in businesses paying unnecessary large amounts of import duties as well as serious disruptions to global supply chains.

In addition, many UK businesses are, for the first time, faced with the added administrative burden of obtaining relevant supporting information about their products and supply chains to support their claims of preferential treatment.

This article provides an overview of common rules of origin and the main considerations for businesses to comply with these rules.

Overview of rules of origin

In order to attract preferential tariff treatment, goods must originate or be produced in the territory of one of the FTA signatories. This can be proven if the product:

  • has been acquired entirely within the territory of one of the parties;
  • contains a number of regional values;
  • experiencing a rate shift during the manufacturing process; or
  • requires a certain type of processing within a party’s territory.

Although this rule has a number of general principles, its application varies depending on the type of goods and the relevant FTA requirements.

Fully acquired product
Products will be ‘fully acquired’ if they occur naturally and are extracted from within the territory of a party to the relevant FTA. For example, crops or plant products grown and collected in the United Kingdom will be acquired entirely in Great Britain.

Alternatively, a product manufactured within a party’s territory that exclusively uses products originating from that party’s territory will be deemed entirely acquired within that party’s territory.

Regional value content
Under this rule, the finished product must contain the original material in the maximum amount or minimum percentage of the original material. For example, under the TCA, components from outside the United Kingdom or the European Union used in vehicles cannot be more than 45% of the total cost of the finished product work.

Shifting rates
If a product is produced within the territory of a party to the FTA using non-originating materials, that product will benefit from preferential tariff treatment if there is a change in its tariff classification as a result of the manufacturing process.

This means that non-originating materials used in the production of products must have different chapters, headings or subheadings from the Harmonized System.

Special processing
Finally, certain product origin rules under an FTA may require that certain types of processing be carried out within the territory of either party. This is especially prevalent for clothing and apparel items that may require “weaving combined with make-up including cutting of fabrics”.

Even if a product does not meet specific product origin rules, it may benefit from preferential tariff treatment under the FTA’s general tolerance rules. This rule allows manufacturers to use non-originating materials to a certain weight or value. However, these rules are specific to each FTA and will vary depending on the commodity code of the product.

Finally, importers can benefit from the accumulation provisions in the FTA.

The TCA allows for ‘bilateral accumulation’ (for example, a product originating from the UK will be deemed to be of EU origin if it is used as an ingredient in the production of a separate product within the EU or through further processing within the EU).(3)

Certain UK FTAs ​​go a step further by allowing ‘diagonal accumulation’, which allows products to include ingredients that do not come from a specific third country. For example, in a UK-Morocco FTA, products obtained in the United Kingdom and using materials originating from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Turkey or the European Union will be deemed to have originated in the United Kingdom.(4) Although the UK initially attempted to find a similar approach within the TCA, this was rejected by the European Union.

What does this mean in practice?

Rules of origin are complex and claiming preferential tariff treatment requires consideration of a number of different factors, including product commodity code and composition and applicable FTA provisions.

However, once a business has determined that their product is highly eligible, further procedural steps are required to claim preferential tariff treatment.

How do I claim preferential rate treatment?

Claims for preferential tariff treatment must be lodged with the customs authorities at the point of import by the exporter or importer of the product. This can be done in several ways, depending on the applicable FTA provisions. This includes:

  • statement of origin made by the exporter;
  • importer’s knowledge; and
  • movement certificates (for example, EUR1 or EUR-MED).

Declaration of origin
Under the EU and UK FTAs, exporters can provide a statement indicating that their product originates from a region that is a party to the FTA. These should be included on invoices or other commercial documents and should describe the product in sufficient detail so that it can be identified by the relevant customs authorities.

Importer’s knowledge
Both the Anglo-Japanese FTA and the TCA introduce the concept of ‘importer knowledge’ of the relevant product origin status as a way of claiming preferential tariff treatment.

Although the importer’s knowledge must be based on information indicating that the product originated, it is not necessary for the exporter to provide any information to the relevant customs authorities, including a statement on origin.

However, to take advantage of the importer’s knowledge option, the exporter must provide the importer with sufficient information about the product, such as commodity codes and details of the production or manufacturing process.

Movement certificate
Certain UK FTAs, such as the UK-Egypt association agreement, require submission to the customs authorities of the importing country a EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificate, issued by the customs authority of the exporting party, unless the exporter is an approved exporter or the value of the shipment does not exceed € 6,000.

The UK continues to use the EUR1 and EUR-MED formats for this certificate, even though the transition period has ended, although the place of origin is now marked as ‘Great Britain’.

For more information on this topic, please contact Bernardine Adkins or James Stunt at Gowling WLG by phone (+44 207 379 0000) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Gowling WLG site can be accessed at www.gowlingwlg.com.

Final Notes

(1) Details of the UK FTA are available here.

(2) See TCA, Annex ORIG-2.

(3) See TCA, Articles ORIG. 4 (1) – (2).

(4) Article 3 (1).

The material contained on this website is for general information purposes only and is subject to rejection.

The ILO is a premium online legal reform service for large companies and law firms around the world. In-house corporate advisers and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, are eligible for a free subscription.


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Capital cost rates for electricity supply, renewable energy production and high pressure natural gas networks – Bulletin | Instant News

Compensation for investors versus low consumer prices
Review of calculation methods


Swiss electricity supply is regulated by the Federal Electricity Supply Act 2007, which, among other things, regulates the cost structure to be applied by electricity suppliers when delivering electricity to end consumers. More specifically, the federal government adjusts this fee structure each year based on a predetermined method of calculation. Likewise, the 2016 Federal Energy Law uses the same calculation method to encourage investment in renewable energy production. An important element of this method of calculation is the capital cost rate, which electricity suppliers have criticized for being too low.

On March 2, 2021, the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) reaffirmed the 3.83% capital cost rate for investment in grids for the 2022 tariff year, as well as some higher capital cost levels for investment in renewable energy production for the tariff year 2021 (i.e., 4.98% for hydropower, 4.53% for biomass and 5.44% for geothermal power).

The capital charge rates applied to operators of high pressure natural gas networks are governed by a settlement agreement drawn up in September 2020 between the price supervisor and the operator. In particular, the parties agreed to a gradual reduction in the capital cost rate from 4.2% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2024. This will lead to lower prices for the transportation of super-regional and regional natural gas.

Compensation for investors versus low consumer prices

Under the Electricity Supply Law, the costs that must be paid by the end consumer for the use of electricity must not exceed certain leviable costs consisting of operational and capital costs. The rationale for considering the cost of capital in this calculation is that investors must receive market and risk-oriented compensation for tied up capital or to invest in electricity infrastructure. Compensation thus includes the investor’s costs of providing capital and the risk of loss. If investors’ returns are too low, they may refrain from investing in electricity infrastructure, which could adversely affect innovation, particularly regarding the transition to renewable energy, and, more generally, the security of energy supplies in Switzerland. Similarly, the Energy Act implements new tools to incentivize investment in renewable energy production and stipulates that market and risk-oriented levels of capital costs must be determined to compensate investors for appropriate risks.

The objective of compensating investors by determining a relatively higher level of the cost of capital provides a lot of friction with consumer interests, reflecting the inherent difficulty of finding the right balance between sufficient investment and innovation on the one hand and low prices for (end) consumers on the other. hand.


Under the current regime, weighted average cost of capital (WACC) represents compensation for investment in electricity infrastructure. The WACC is determined annually by the Federal Energy Office, an administrative unit of DETEC. Before determining the WACC, DETEC consults the Federal Electric Commission and certain other federal authorities. This commission is in charge of regulating prices and tariffs and can prohibit unjustified increases in electricity prices or retroactively reduce tariffs that are too high.

The WACC calculation is further specified in the Federal Electricity Supply Ordinance 2008. It consists of a cost of equity rate of 40% and a cost of debt rate of 60%. To calculate this level of equity and cost of debt, various components such as the risk free interest rate, the market risk premium and the credit difference are considered.

Review of calculation methods

DETEC recently signaled in its notification that this method for calculating the cost of capital rate is under review, the results of which are expected to be published in mid-2021. Depending on these results, the revised calculation method could lead to changes in WACC for the coming years and affect compensation. investors for infrastructure investment.

for further information please contact Marcel Meinhardt or Patrick Sattler at Lenz & Staehelin by phone (+41 58 450 80 00) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Lenz & Staehelin website can be accessed at www.lenzstaehelin.com.

The material contained on this website is for general information purposes only and is subject to rejection.

The ILO is a premium online legal reform service for large companies and law firms around the world. In-house corporate advisers and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, are eligible for a free subscription.


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