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Australia

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On 15 June 2021, the UK Government announced that the UK has secured a trade deal with Australia eliminating tariffs on all UK goods and boosting jobs and businesses across the country, in the first major trade deal negotiated from scratch by the Government since the UK left the EU. The announcement said that the main elements of the deal were agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a…

On 2 June 2021, the UK government announced that the CPTPP nations had agreed to the UK’s bid to begin the accession process to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), covering 500 million people. The announcement said the UK will continue to work closely with Japan, as this year’s…

Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that on 9 April 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and became the first country to complete the official process for ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. It is understood that China, Japan and Thailand completed their domestic procedures to approve RCEP, but apparently have not deposited their instruments of ratification with ASEAN. RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement and…

The Italian Government has blocked the export of 250,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Australia. This decision represents the first application of the newly enacted EU transparency and authorization mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines provided for by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/111 of January 29, 2021. This mechanism establishes that, until March 31, 2021, exports of COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the prior authorization by the Member State where products are manufactured with the purpose…

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,…