Latin America Trade Bulletin: Import Licensing, Drawback, Phytosanitary Requirements
This bi-weekly publication offers an overview of the important regulatory and other developments affecting trade and customs throughout the region, including key markets like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. To receive this free publication in your inbox every other Thursday, visit our subscribe page and check “Latin America Trade Bulletin.”
Full compliance with WTO ruling against DJAI import licenses expected by year end
The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body issued in Jan. 2015 a ruling upholding a dispute settlement panel decision that Argentina’s import licensing requirement and other import restrictions violate WTO rules. Argentinean authorities have agreed to implement the recommendations of the Appellate Body by the end of this year, including the dismantling of the sworn advance import declaration (DJAI) regime. The government has reportedly asked sensitive sectors such as apparel, footwear and toys to consider whether any technical regulations should be adopted to protect domestic producers.
Argentina seeks enhanced market access for citrus fruit in India
Argentinean Vice-Chancellor Eduardo Zuaín has requested the Indian Department of Agriculture to accelerate the opening of the Indian market for Argentinean citrus fruit. Indian Vice-Chancellor R. Swaminathan recently observed that his government is working hard to make this happen. During Mr. Zuaín’s last visit to the South Asian country the two diplomats agreed to move forward on nuclear, mining, spaceship technology and pharmaceutical matters, among others issues.
New requirements for herbal products
Argentina has established new requirements for herbal medicines and traditional herbal medicines. Herbal medicines are defined as medicines containing as an active ingredient one or more herbal drugs or drug preparations, or one or more herbal drugs in combination with one or more herbal drug preparations. Traditional herbal medicines are described as medicines that have verifiable pharmacological effects and no adverse effects when used under traditional conditions of use and dosage. Among other things, the regulation establishes a registration system for these products.
AD actions on food processors, spanners/wrenches, transformers, joints
Argentina recently initiated sunset reviews of the AD duty orders on Brazilian and Chinese food processors or multi-processors, other than manually operated, classified under NCM 8509.40.50. The reviews will result in either the revocation or continuation of the orders.
Argentina’s Commerce Secretariat has decided to proceed to the final phase of its AD investigation of certain hand-operated spanners and wrenches classified under NCM 8204.11.00 from China, India and Taiwan without the application of any preliminary measures.
Argentina has extended for a period of two years the current suspension of the AD duty orders on three-phase, dielectric fluid transformers having a power handling capacity higher than 10,000 kilowatt amps but not exceeding 600,000 kVA, with a voltage higher than 220 kV, classified under NCM 8504.23.00, from Brazil, China and South Korea.
Chile and Mercosur assess bilateral trade relations
Chile and Mercosur on July 14 held the 24th meeting of the administrative committee of their bilateral economic complementation agreement, commonly known as ACE 35. In force since 1996, this agreement provides duty-free treatment to all originating goods traded between the parties. Among other things, Chile and Mercosur signed a customs cooperation, information exchange and mutual assistance agreement and discussed the evolution of regional trade and investment flows.
Chile’s General Directorate for International Economic Relations
Changes to certain drawback provisions implemented with respect to Brazil
Chile has announced that the changes to the ACE 35 drawback provisions that were enacted into law in May 2011 have entered into force with respect to Chile and Brazil. Among other things, the changes extended until Jan. 1, 2017 the deadline for originating products not to incorporate any inputs imported temporarily or under a drawback regime in order to benefit from preferential duty treatment under the agreement.
New phytosanitary requirements for Peruvian corn
Chilean authorities have established new phytosanitary requirements on imports of Peruvian corn (Zea mays) with husks intended for consumption. Among other requirements, corn imports must be accompanied by an official phytosanitary certificate issued by Peruvian phytosanitary authorities stating that the shipment was inspected and found free of Opogona sacchari. Shipments must also be free of soil and be shipped in brand new containers resistant to manipulation and labelled in accordance with applicable requirements.
Exempt Resolution 4860/2015
Chile looking to trade with African companies
A delegation of Chilean companies and trade officials visited South Africa, Angola and Ghana June 21-30 in an effort to strengthen trade relations between Chile and Africa. The Chilean companies also participated in Saitex, one of South Africa’s most important trade fairs. Chilean exports to Africa have tripled over the past decade, up from $94 million in 2004 to $313 million in 2014. South Africa is the top market for Chilean products with $134 million in total shipments last year, followed by Nigeria with $84 million and Algeria with $15 million.
Chile’s General Directorate for International Economic Relations
Colombia approves FTA with Costa Rica
Colombia on July 15 officially approved its bilateral free trade agreement with Costa Rica. The two sides must now agree on a mutually acceptable date to implement the agreement. Colombian products slated to benefit from duty-free treatment immediately upon the FTA’s entry into force include certain textiles and apparel, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles and automotive parts, toys, paints and fertilizer. On the other hand, coffee, oilseed, rice, sugar, beef, pork, and poultry and dairy products have been excluded from the deal.
Perfume imports require certain additional information
Colombia is requiring importers of perfumes to provide the name and address of the producer or the party responsible for the commercialization of the product in Colombia, in accordance with Andean Community regulations. According to Colombian authorities, the goal of this action is to ensure optimal market and safety conditions and allow parallel importations of perfumes.
New tariff breakouts for certain flowers, signal decoders
Colombian authorities have established new tariff breakouts under the subheading for other cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes (HTSCO 0603.19) in order to segregate imports of hydrangeas (HTSCO 0603.19.9010) from imports of other flowers (0603.19.9090). In addition, new tariff breakouts have been created under the subheading for reception apparatus for television not designed to incorporate a video display or screen (HTSCO 8528.71) for cable signal decoders (HTSCO 8528.71.0011), satellite decoders (HTSCO 8528.71.0012), digital terrestrial decoders (HTSCO 8528.71.0013), other decoders (HTSCO 8528.71.0019), free or incidental signal receivers (HTSCO 8528.71.0020) and other reception apparatus (HTSCO 8528.71.0090). The duties on these products remain unchanged.
AD actions on iron/steel wire rod, wire strand/steel cables, footwear
Colombia has initiated an AD investigation of Chinese iron and steel wire, of circular cross section measuring less than 14 mm in diameter, with a carbon content lower than 0.45 percent by weight, classified under HTSCO 7213.91.9010, 7213.91.1010, 7227.90.0011 and 7227.90.0090. Parties wishing to participate in this investigation must make themselves known to the relevant authorities by Aug. 9.
Colombia has issued a final negative determination in its AD investigation of galvanized wire strand, wire strand for pre-stressed concrete, and steel cables classified under HTSCO 7312.10.9000 from China.
Colombia has extended from July 13 to July 28 the deadline for the submission of questionnaire responses in connection with the AD investigation of certain Chinese footwear with leather, synthetic or textile uppers classified under HTSCO 6402.19.00, 6402.20.00, 6402.91.00, 6402.99.10, 6402.99.90, 6405.90.00, 6404.11.10, 6404.11.20, 6404.19.00, 6404.20.00, 6405.20.00, 6403.19.00, 6403.20.00, 6403.40.00, 6403.51.00, 6403.59.00, 6403.91.10, 6403.91.90, 6403.99.10, 6403.99.90 and 6405.10.00.
New customs administrative procedures issued
Peru’s National Customs and Tax Administration Superintendence (SUNAT) recently issued a new version of its unified text of administrative procedures (TUPA). The unified text includes detailed provisions on such matters as taxpayer registration, modification of taxpayer information, reimbursement of sales tax paid on imports, authorization to operate as a customs agent, authorization for express delivery companies to operate as a customs dispatcher, registration of new legal representatives, imports for consumption with an FOB value greater than US$2,000, imports for consumption with an FOB value of US$2,000 or lower, definitive importation of unaccompanied luggage and household goods, and entry/exit of postal and express shipments.
Peru and Korea sign cooperation agreements on customs, other matters
Peru and South Korea recently signed five separate bilateral agreements to promote cooperation in several key areas. Specifically, memoranda of understanding were signed to achieve greater cooperation on health issues; science, technology, innovation and creative economy; electronic government procedures; electricity distribution and power grid modernization; and customs matters.
Peru loses WTO case on agricultural import tariffs
Guatemala has won a WTO case against Peru in which the Central American country challenged an additional tariff established by Peru on imported dairy, corn, rice and sugar, among other products, when the international price drops below a certain level. The WTO determined that the additional tariff violated Peru’s multilateral obligations.
Various Mercosur sanitary and phytosanitary requirements implemented
The Venezuelan government recently incorporated the following Mercosur regulations into the country’s legal regime.
- sanitary standards for the importation of household canines and felines (GMC Resolution 17/15)
- sanitary standards for the importation of equines (GMC Resolution 20/07)
- sanitary standards for the importation of bovine embryos collected in vivo (GMC Resolution 25/10)
- sanitary standards for the importation of frozen bovine and bubaline semen (GMC Resolution 32/14)
- sanitary standards for the importation of goat embryos collected in vivo (GMC Resolution 47/14)
- sanitary standards for the importation of ovine embryos collected in vivo (GMC Resolution 48/14)
- sanitary standards for the importation of frozen ovine semen (GMC Resolution 54/14)
- sanitary standards for the importation of frozen goat semen (GMC Resolution 55/14)
- sanitary standards for the importation of household pigs for reproduction (GMC Resolution 56/14)
- glossary of phytosanitary terms (GMC Resolution 56/01)
Official Gazette dated July 10, 2015
Mercosur welcomes Bolivia as full member
Mercosur member countries recently signed a new protocol paving the way for Bolivia’s accession to the regional bloc. This action will become effective once Brazil and Paraguay have completed all applicable domestic ratification procedures but, as was the case with Venezuela, Bolivia will be allowed to participate in all Mercosur meetings from now on.
Cuba reopens embassy in Washington
Cuba this week reopened its embassy in the United States several months after the two countries agreed to normalize bilateral diplomatic relations. The U.S. embassy in Cuba is operational and will be formally inaugurated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry next month. However, most transactions involving Cuba or Cuban nationals continue to be prohibited as a result of the United States’ comprehensive trade and arms embargo, which can only be removed by Congress.
Paraguay proposes intra-Mercosur tariff elimination, more FTAs
Within the framework of the Mercosur chiefs of state meeting held July 16-18 in Brasilia, Paraguay expressed the need for more flexible rules and regulations. Paraguay has assumed the pro tempore presidency of the regional bloc and will work to eliminate any tariffs assessed on the internal movement of goods between Mercosur members.
Marco Trade News
New report on Asian investment in Latin America’s energy and mineral sectors
The Inter-American Development Bank has issued a new report on Asian investment in Latin America’s energy and mineral sectors. One of the most important trends in trade and investment over the past two decades has been the increased participation of Asian firms in global markets. The emergence of Asian actors as large investors in a variety of industries – from boosting advanced technology companies to leasing large tracts of land for agriculture – has certainly also been witnessed in Latin America.
Inter-American Development Bank