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Further to our alert on the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation (Link), we would like to share additional details about the RCEP based on the current information available. The RCEP members signed the RCEP on 15 November 2020 during the 37th ASEAN Summit. After the signing, the Thai government shall arrange for a public hearing before presenting to the parliament for ratification. We will keep you updated on this issue if…

On November 15, 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by China and 14 other nations — the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei*, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia*, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore*, Thailand and Vietnam*) plus Australia*, China, Japan*, New Zealand* and South Korea. Many of the products for which tariffs are eliminated are already duty-free. [Countries with an * are also signatories to the CPTPP] RCEP was originally proposed…

On September 22, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published notice of the allocations of additional Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 in-quota quantities of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar as announced by the Secretary of Agriculture. On September 10, 2020, the Secretary of Agriculture announced an additional in-quota quantity of the TRQ for raw cane sugar for the remainder of FY2020 (ending September 30, 2020) in the amount…

On 9 September 2020, the Department for International Trade (DIT) announced that the UK has taken a major step in the process of joining CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), one of the world’s largest and most dynamic free trade areas. The press release stated in part: International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, alongside the current chair of the CPTPP Commission, Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez, opened discussions between senior UK trade officials and…

On 24 July 2020, the European Commission announced that at a meeting of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, the European Union, backed by ten other members of the World Trade Organization (Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Switzerland), submitted a joint communication calling for more transparency in respect of trade-related measures introduced by partners around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to…

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…