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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…

Since it came into force more than three years ago, the Customs Department has endeavored to impose and amend departmental notifications and regulations in compliance with the Customs Act, B.E. 2560 (2017) (the “Customs Act”). However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Revenue Department’s enforcement of the transfer pricing regulation in 2020, the Customs Department is now carrying out stricter post-clearance audits and is more likely to challenge importers on complex issues – meaning…

On December 16, 2020, US Department of the Treasury delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. Treasury determined that both Vietnam and Switzerland are currency manipulators. For each country, Treasury assessed, based on a range of evidence and circumstances, that at least part of its exchange rate management over the four quarters through June 2020, and particularly foreign exchange intervention, was for…

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 October 30, 2020, the President issued a Proclamation to Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other Purposes (not yet published in the Federal Register). The Proclamation: suspends the duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP to certain eligible articles that are the product of Thailand, effective on December 30, 2020, and modifies general note 4(d) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS)to reflect that suspension;modifies the Rates…

On July 1, 2020, the Federal Register published Presidential Proclamation 10053 of June 29, 2020 To Take Certain Actions Under the United States-Mexico–Canada Agreement Implementation Act and for Other Purposes, which modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) – as set forth in Annex I to US International Trade Commission (USITC) Publication 5060 (which is incorporated by reference) to provide generally for the preferential tariff treatment being accorded under the USMCA, to…

On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

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 November 20, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket Number USTR–2019–0001] announcing the results of the 2019 annual Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review with respect to: Products considered for removal from the list of eligible products for certain beneficiary countries; decisions related to competitive need limitations (CNLs), including petitions for waivers of CNLs; and requests to reinstate/ redesignate products previously excluded from GSP…