Latin America Trade Bulletin: Drawback, Export Licenses, Value Chains, FTAs
This new 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.”
WTO ruling opens U.S. market to Argentine meat products
Argentina is celebrating an apparently favorable ruling by the WTO Appellate Body in a dispute over U.S. measures affecting the importation of animals, meat and other animal products. Although official publication is not expected until the end of May, WTO sources say the favorable ruling has already been notified to the parties. The U.S. has blocked imports of chilled boneless meat from Argentina for more than 14 years despite a favorable classification of that country by the World Organization for Animal Health that was endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Port of Neuquén allowed to process certain goods
Argentina requires imports of various products to be processed by certain specialized customs ports. Affected items include textiles, apparel, footwear, toys, tableware and kitchenware, luggage and bags, glassware, imitation jewelry, certain appliances, tools, electrical machinery and equipment, certain automotive parts, bicycles, motorcycles, watches and lamps. The most recent amendment to this system will allow the port of Neuquén to process goods of HS Chapter 82 and headings 8307, 8421, 8467, 8471, 8473, 8531, 8536 and 8544.
Commercial mission to Peru to focus on oil and gas, medical supplies
Small and medium-sized corporations from the metal, mechanical, oil and gas, and medical supplies sectors are invited to participate in a commercial cooperation mission to Peru set to take place June 22-24. Enrollment is open until May 19.
First lithium carbonate export to Japan
Argentina made its first exportation of lithium carbonate to Japan April 30. This product comes from a mine located in the northern province of Jujuy that will produce an estimated 17,500 tons of lithium carbonate and 20,000 tons of potassium chloride annually. This is roughly ten percent of the global demand for these minerals, which are mainly used in electronic products such as batteries, computers, mobile devices, etc.
Argentina to supply alfalfa to China
After several meetings in Beijing, Argentina and China resolved to negotiate the exportation of Argentinian alfalfa to this Asian country. Argentina is well known for the production of this fodder, which is used mainly for cattle feeding. The two sides are also continuing to discuss matters such as the exportation of bone-in meat and soy oil, both currently restricted by the Chinese government.
Closer commercial ties sought with Mexico and Turkey
Chilean trade officials recently met with their counterparts from Mexico and Turkey in an effort to further enhance economic and trade relations with those countries. In an April 27-28 meeting in Ankara, officials discussed the possibility of implementing an electronic origin verification system within the framework of their bilateral free trade agreement. They also considered allowing the exportation of live bovine animals from Chile to Turkey and establishing technical cooperation programs on phytosanitary matters.
Chilean trade officials met with their Mexican counterparts May 1 in Mexico City to discuss the progress achieved by the Chile-Mexico FTA Subcommittee on Origin Rules and address direct shipment and transshipment issues. The two sides also discussed matters of mutual interest in the areas of air transport, geographical indications and investment.
Updated list of products excluded from simplified drawback program
Chile has a simplified duty drawback program for non-traditional exports that reimburses a company up to three percent of the value of the exported good if 50 percent of that good consists of imported raw materials, subject to a maximum export value of US$32,097,600 per eligible tariff line in 2014. The Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism recently published a new list of goods and raw materials excluded from this program, which must be updated on an annual basis.
Temporary duty reduction on sugar extended
For the month of May Chile will reduce duties on imports of raw sugar and refined sugar in grades 1 through 4 and sub-standard grade classified under HTSCL 1701.12.00, 1701.13.00, 1701.14.00, 1701.91.00, 1701.99.10, 1701.99.20 and 1701.99.90. The deductions are US$20.78 per ton for raw sugar, US$112.15 per ton for refined sugar in grades 1 and 2, and US$57.32 per ton for refined sugar in grades 3 and 4 and sub-standard grade.
Chile updates tariff nomenclature in FTA with Colombia
Chile has enacted into law the amendments to its bilateral free trade agreement with Colombia that were agreed Nov. 25, 2014. These amendments update the tariff nomenclature used in the text and annexes of the agreement to reflect the 2012 changes to the Harmonized System nomenclature.
Mexico and Colombia to create strategic partnership
Mexico and Colombia will work together to increase bilateral trade through the establishment of a strategic partnership in economic, commercial security, tourism, culture, education and other issues. The two countries do a significant amount of trade and work together in sub-regional organizations such as the Pacific Alliance and the Association of Caribbean States.
AD actions on decorative laminates and ceramic tiles
Colombia has decided to proceed to the final phase of its AD investigation of certain high-pressure decorative laminates classified under HTSCO 3921.90.1000 from India without the imposition of any provisional measures.
Colombia has extended until May 27 the deadline for a preliminary determination in its AD probe of ceramic tiles and paving classified under HTSCO 6907.90.0000 and 6908.90.0000 from China.
Poultry imports from 12 U.S. states banned over avian flu concerns
Peru has temporarily banned the importation from the following U.S. states of live birds, fertile eggs, specific pathogen free eggs, poultry meat and other products capable of transmitting or serving as a vehicle for avian influenza: Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. This ban will be in place for 180 days from April 29.
New sanitary/phytosanitary requirements for various products
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has issued or amended sanitary or phytosanitary requirements for the following products: pork meat and products thereof from the United States; bovine animals for breeding purposes, fairs or expositions from the United States; rice in the husk from the United States; brown rice from the United States; deboned beef from Brazil; henequen fiber from El Salvador; coffee seeds from various countries; and corn seeds from France.
The ministry has also established five risk categories for livestock goods based on their ability to carry pathogens of diseases that pose a risk to public or animal health.
R.D. Nº 0012-2015-MINAGRI-SENASA-DSA (risk category regulation only)
AD duty order on Chinese slide fasteners rescinded
Peru has rescinded effective May 5 its AD duty order on slide fasteners and parts thereof classified under HTSPE 9607.11.0000, 9607.19.0000 and 9607.20.0000 from China. Imports of these fasteners had been subject to a specific AD duty of US$6.30/kg to US$9.50/kg since May 2012.
Uruguay demands from Mercosur flexibility to discuss trade accords with third parties
A deteriorating economy in Brazil and recessionary tendencies in Argentina, Uruguay’s largest trading partners within the Mercosur bloc, are prompting Uruguay to press for flexibility that would allow it to negotiate trade opening agreements with third parties. Mercosur rules currently require all members to agree to such negotiations, but with exports to its Mercosur partners down sharply this year Uruguay wants to modify this clause to make it easier to pursue growing markets such as China and the U.S.
New online systems to facilitate export transactions
The Venezuelan government has announced the implementation of two automated online systems intended to facilitate export procedures and enhance the competitiveness of Venezuelan products in global markets. The first system will enable domestic producers to register their products in an electronic database while the second will allow exporters to request special export licenses online. Once a company enters all of the required information into the second system it will be able to apply for a license electronically and check on the status of its application until the process is complete.
Alcoholic beverage importers designated as tax collection agents
Venezuela’s National Integrated Service for the Administration of Customs Duties and Taxes has designated producers and importers of alcoholic beverages as tax collection agents for purposes of collecting the applicable value-added tax on these products. Agents must collect 100 percent of the applicable VAT, which must be calculated on the basis of the difference between the retail price marked on the label or container and the invoice price.
Latin American and Caribbean countries can succeed in global value chains, IDB study says
A recent study finds that aside from Mexico, few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are taking advantage of the benefits offered by joining global value chains. The study points to the lack of physical and information technology infrastructure in Latin American countries as the cause of their low participation in global value chains. Among other things, the study notes that if LAC countries modernize their transport and logistics sectors to reach levels similar to those of the European Union the region could attract 20 percent more foreign direct investment associated with value chains.
Andean Community to update terms of ground transportation regulations
Andean Community members are working to update the organization’s rules concerning the international carriage of goods by road, including with respect to the authorization and registration of vehicles and cargo units. Among other things, members are working to design and implement a common Andean Community database of registered carriers and vehicles and cargo units approved for transporting goods across borders.