On January 13, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury announced that it had delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. In this Report, Treasury reviewed and assessed the policies of 20 major US trading partners. Treasury also assessed developments over the last several months with China and its currency practices. The announcement said: The Report concluded that while the currency practices…

On 1 January 2020, an approximate total of 23 legislative instruments (primarily consisting of amending legislations) affecting various aspects of trade and customs entered into force. An overview of the key changes is set out below: Amendments to primary legislations – Amendments spanning across approximately 172 pages in aggregate were effected to four primary legislations. This includes the Customs Act 1967 (Customs Act), the Free Zones Act 1990 (Free Zones Act), the Excise Act 1976 (Excise Act) and the Sales Tax Act…

2019 and the Upper House on 7 May 2019, and gazetted as an Act of Parliament on 9 July 2019. The date of coming into force of the Amendment Act is expected to be announced by way of gazette. The Amendment Act spans across 132 pages of amendments and, to date, it represents the most significant round of changes to the Customs Act introduced under the new Malaysian government. In summary, the Amendment Act outlines…


Sistem Maklumat Kastam (“SMK”) is the current operating system for customs declaration for import and export of goods. In a modernising initiative, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (“Customs”) is seeking to replace the SMK with the Ubiquitous Customs system, otherwise known as the uCustoms: a single-window, fully integrated, end-to-end system for customs clearance procedures. The uCustoms has been in the works for a number of years and as it progresses towards completion, we are pleased to provide an update on the status of the uCustoms and what businesses can expect of it.

On January 19, 2019, Global Affairs Canada reported that the inaugural Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission meeting was successfully concluded. The CPTPP Commission, consisting of representatives from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (the countries for which the CPTPP has entered into force), met in Tokyo, Japan and concluded their session by issuing a Ministerial statement. The Commission meeting allowed CPTPP countries to chart a course for next steps as well as agree on a framework for the accession of new members. The Ministerial Statement follows:

On 12 November 2018 the Vietnam National Assembly officially ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”). The agreement has already been ratified by Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore and it will enter into force on 30 December 2018 in those countries.

On 25 October 2018, New Zealand formally ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) bringing the number of ratifications to four. Canada cleared its last legislative hurdle when the Senate approved it on October 25 and Royal Assent was given the same day. Canada became the fifth to ratify when it notified New Zealand of its ratification on October 29, 2018. The Australian House and Senate also approved it and sent it to the Governor General who has given Royal Assent.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is moving forward and has gained momentum recently as Japan, Singapore and Mexico have ratified the 11-party agreement and Australia’s ratification is imminent because the deal recently passed both Houses of Parliament.  Canada is closing in on ratification as well.

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.