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Australia

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Export from Australia of hand sanitiser, face masks and other infection control items are temporarily prohibited effective 30 March 2020. The Customs (Prohibited Exports) Amendment (COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency) Regulations 2020 (Cth) (Regulation) amended the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (Cth) to temporarily prohibit export of goods that are key to minimising the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Australia. Under the Regulation, disposable face masks, disposable gloves, disposable gowns, goggles, glasses and eye visors,…

On 6 February 2020, Indonesia ratified the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). This followed ratification by Australia in mid-December. Indonesia is the fifth largest export market for Australian agricultural products. Once implemented, IA CEPA will provide preferential access for more than 99 percent of Australia’s agriculture goods imported by Indonesia.

On February 7, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a document announcing the country-by-country reallocations of 78,071 MTRV of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 in-quota quantity of the World Trade Organization (WTO) tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar from those countries that stated they do not plan to fill their FY 2020 allocated raw cane sugar quantities. See the notice for country-by-country reallocations.

On February 4, 2020, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS # 41538803 – GUIDANCE: Additional Duty on Imports of Derivative Aluminum and Steel Articles, excerpts of which are reproduced below: On January 29, 2020, the President issued Proclamation 9980 on Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles into the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862), providing for additional import…

On January 24, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles into the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Except as otherwise provided in the proclamation, all imports of derivative aluminum articles specified in Annex I to the proclamation shall be subject to an additional 10 percent ad valorem rate of duty, and all imports of derivative steel articles specified…

On January 24, 2020, 17 WTO members issued a statement agreeing to establish a temporary system for appealing WTO disputes. They reached an agreement during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The WTO members include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay. Canada and the EU had earlier established a separate interim appeals procedure. The statement indicated…

On December 23, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice setting the US dollar procurement thresholds to implement certain US trade agreement obligations, as of January 1, 2020, for calendar years 2020 and 2021. Executive Order 12260 requires the USTR to set the US dollar procurement thresholds for application of Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (TAA; 19 U.S.C. 2511 et…

On September 10, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published in the Federal Register a final rule [FAC 2019-06; FAR Case 2019-011; Item IV; Docket No. FAR2019-0011; Sequence No. 1] amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add Australia as a World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country. It applies to acquisitions over the WTO GPA threshold, as well as to acquisitions…

On August 9, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket DARS–2019–0037] that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add Australia as a new World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country. On October 17, 2018, the WTO Committee on Government Procurement approved the accession of Australia to the WTO GPA. Australia submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General of the WTO on…

On August 5, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13884 (“Venezuela EO”) blocking all property of the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”), a significant escalation of sanctions against the regime of President Maduro. Statements issued by the White House and State Department indicate that this escalation is meant to target the Maduro regime for its continued abuses of human rights and repression. The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) concurrently issued 12 amended general licenses and 13 new…