On 21 February, 2019, the Department for International Trade (DIT) issued guidance entitled, Existing trade agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which sets out the status of those agreements (free trade agreements, economic partnership agreements, association agreements and customs union) that may not be in place by exit day. It also links to trade agreements that have been signed and mutual recognition agreements that have been signed.
The Federal Council announced that on 16 December 2018, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the economics minister of Liechtenstein and representatives of Iceland and Norway signed a free trade agreement with Indonesia’s minister for trade, Enggartiasto Lukita. Under the agreement, 98 percent of Swiss exports to Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, will be exempt from customs duties over the coming years. Technical barriers to trade will be removed, market access for Swiss service providers made easier and bilateral economic relations in general improved. The EFTA states will collectively become Indonesia’s primary trading partner in Europe.
On 18 July 2018, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1013 of 17 July 2018 imposing provisional safeguard measures with regard to imports of certain steel products. On 26 March 2018, the Commission published a Notice of Initiation of a safeguard investigation concerning imports of 26 steel product categories (2018/C 111/10) in the Official Journal. The Commission decided to initiate the investigation in the light of sufficient evidence that imports of those products might cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the Union producers concerned. On 28 June, the investigation was extended to two additional product categories. There was also a high risk of further increase of imports resulting from trade diversion due to the measures against imports of steel adopted by the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (‘Section 232’). The 28 product categories (‘the product concerned’ or the ‘product categories concerned’) are all covered by the steel surveillance mechanism introduced by the Commission in May 2016. They are also subject to the US tariff measures under Section 232.
On 25 June 2018, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held its summer Ministerial meeting in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, during which the Ministers of the four EFTA States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ecuador, represented by H.E. Pablo Campana Sáenz, Minister of Foreign Trade of Ecuador. The signing, only two years after the launch of negotiations at the EFTA Ministerial Meeting in Bern in 2016, will strengthen economic relations between the EFTA States and Ecuador and give economic actors on both sides increased trade and investment opportunities.
On 26 April 2018, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) Federal Customs Administration (FCA) issued Circular No. 071-16.1 PH R-30 regarding the entry into force on 1 June 2018 of the Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States and the Philippines (FTA or Agreement).
On December 27, 2017, the Diario Oficial (Official Gazette) published the US Dollar and national money (Peso) thresholds for government procurements subject to free trade agreements. The Secretary of Public Function notified the amounts in Office No. UNCP/309/ TU/786/2017. The amounts are in effect from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that from 4 to 6 April 2017, delegations from the EFTA States and Turkey met in Ankara for the fourth round of negotiations on the modernisation and expansion of their existing free trade agreement (FTA). The announcement said:
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that on 26 August 2016, the EEA EFTA States and the European Union adopted a Joint Committee Decision (JCD) incorporating the new Marine Equipment Directive into the EEA Agreement.
On May 26, 2016, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a document [Public Notice: 9584] announcing that on May 3, 2016, it certified that 14 shrimp-harvesting nations (Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, and Suriname) have a regulatory program comparable to that of the United States governing the incidental taking of the relevant species of sea turtles in the course of commercial shrimp…
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that the EFTA Standing Committee and the EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 17 and 18 March 2016 respectively. At the Joint Committee, the EU side gave an update on the EU-US negotiations on TTIP. In the Joint Committee meeting, 25 decisions were adopted incorporating 39 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement. Among the acts incorporated was a regulation aiming to further prevent illicit trade in…