Importer profile — Tom Ellis, First Class Products

15 February 2012

A British businessman is hoping to gain a lucrative 1% of the UK champagne market after gaining the exclusive distribution rights to a brand that had hitherto not been available in the UK. Sue Fenton reports.

MEPs call for simpler public procurement rules

1 February 2012

Under EU public procurement legislation, every local and national public body that needs to buy goods and services over a certain threshold price has to invite tenders and to make this process available to suppliers in any of the Member States. The rules in place have, however, developed from directives first introduced in the 1970s and recently the European Parliament agreed that it was time for reforms to make it easier for small firms to bid. Paul Clarke explains.

Court case: can manufacturers ban internet sales of products?

1 February 2012

European Court of Justice Case-439/09: Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS v Président de l’Autorité de la Concurrence and Ministre de l’Economie, de l’Industrie et de l’Emploi: Absolute ban on internet sales in the context of selective distribution agreements. Neil Baylis reports.

UK wholesaler gears up for Halloween

20 January 2012

Growing interest in Halloween in foreign markets is contributing towards a major UK fancy dress company’s aim to double its export sales over the next five years. Sue Fenton reports.

Future of EU Customs Union

17 January 2012

At the beginning of the 21st century, customs worldwide were, in the European Commission's opinion, facing a rapidly changing environment including evolving production and consumption patterns, increasing international trade, global threats such as terrorism, organised crime and environmental degradation and growing hazards from trade in dangerous goods. The Commission's response was to launch an ambitious reform programme. Paul Clarke reports.

EU crisis: who's in charge?

17 January 2012

It appears that any solution to the Europe’s current problems will require decisive, overall leadership. However, it is hard to see any individuals or bodies able to provide such leadership in an EU that is hamstrung by its origins, traditions and structure, writes Paul Clarke.