Indirect taxes and global trade

In recent years, issues related to managing indirect taxes — such as VAT, GST, customs and excise duties — have risen on the corporate agenda.

What EY can do for you

Knowing the indirect tax rules for your business operations and applying them correctly are key to avoid assessments, penalties and goods blocked on airports, harbors, roads, etc. Taxpayers and tax administrators do not always agree about the rules. Complex local legislation, evolving business models and widely different compliance obligations in different jurisdictions add to the risk of disagreements.

We can advise you on the steps to take to strategically meet your tax obligations and resolve tax controversy. We foster an open dialogue with customs authorities, government officials, business partners and other stakeholders about customs and international trade issues, the impact of policy decisions and the importance of free trade.

The latest edition of TradeWatch, issue 1, 2020 is out now

TradeWatch, issue 1, 2020 outlines key legislative and administrative developments for customs and trade around the world. This issue comes in an interactive and easy to share format, with links to EY resources, interactive graphics and maps. The publication also includes sections on Insights, Technology and Tax Alerts.

What's the latest in global trade?

In this issue we shine a spotlight on trade disruption, including Brexit, and the latest developments on the US-China trade dispute. We also consider how trade policy is disrupting global trade, and if data can provide trust to rewrite the terms, of trade. Our regional insights include Canada’s new Assessment and Revenue Management System, the new Repetro-manufacturing regime in Brazil for the oil and gas industry and the free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore. 

From the regions, TradeWatch includes the following insights:


  • A round-up of US trade disruption actions in 2019
  • Actions taken by Ecuadorian authorities to promote global trade
  • Canada’s Border Services Agency’s new Assessment and Revenue Management System
  • Issues affecting customs administrative processes in Mexico
  • New Repetro-Manufacturing regime for the oil and gas industry in Brazil
  • Overview of the Pacific Alliance and its development
  • United States Department of Justice’s revised export control and sanctions enforcement policy for voluntary disclosures

Asia-Pacific and Japan

  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – true progress or an opportunity missed?
  • Transfer pricing adjustments and customs in Asia-Pacific

Europe, Middle East, India and Africa

  • Brexit: latest state of play
  • Customs valuation cases in Germany: treatment of costs for print files used for the production of labels
  • European Court of Justice: preliminary ruling request on customs valuation of software provides opportunity to file refund applications


  • Customs valuation impact of the OECD/G20 BEPS project
  • Free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore enters into force
  • How is trade policy disrupting global trade?
  • International Chamber of Commerce launches Incoterms® 2020
  • WTO moratorium on electronic transmissions continues
  • WTO’s Appellate Body disbands

Technology articles in this issue cover:

  • Can data provide the trust to rewrite the terms of trade?
  • Digitize the road map to become an AEO?
  • The power of technology in global trade: webcast series

A round up of EY Global Tax Alerts related to global trade matters are presented using an interactive map display.

Why TradeWatch?

In today's global economy, moving goods internationally can be a complex and costly activity. TradeWatch provides timely information about customs and international trade developments to help our clients develop strategies to manage duty costs and the risks of global trade, to improve trade compliance and to increase the operational effectiveness of international supply chains.

Learn from an expert: EY Global Trade Manager, Martijn Schippers, explains the impact of INCOTERMS® on taxes.

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Managing indirect tax evolution

Our new Global Indirect Tax thought leadership report, sets out why indirect tax is becoming the “go-to” tax. @EY_Tax

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Our interactive, quarterly newsletter brings updates and insights on customs and trade matters worldwide.

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