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Argentina

New regulation seeks to unify customs verification procedures
The General Customs Directorate has issued a new protocol that aims to unify criteria and define the actions customs agents should follow during the merchandise verification process in order to achieve greater overall control and transparency. The new protocol sets forth guidelines for customs agents related to oversight when the merchandise is presented to Customs, orange channel destinations, red channel destinations, merchandise to be verified, verification acts, verification intervention of other areas, and blocking the destination of the merchandise.
[General Instruction 8/2018]

Regulatory changes for goods subject to criterion values 
Argentina has rescinded a regulation that required products with a declared FOB value of less than 95 percent of the criterion value established by the General Customs Directorate to, among other things, face advance value-added tax at a rate of 21 percent in the case of goods subject to a 21 percent VAT rate and 10.5 percent for goods subject to a 10.5 percent rate.
[General Resolution 4339/2018]

AD sunset review of steel drums from Chile 
Argentina has initiated a sunset and changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on steel drums with a capacity between 200 and 230 liters from Chile. The review will result in either the revocation or continuation of the order.
[Resolution 117/2018]

Brazil

Input sought on duty reductions for 305 chemical substances
Brazil is seeking input by Dec. 21 on a proposal to lower to two percent the Mercosur common external tariff on 305 chemical substances of HS Chapters 28 and 29. These products currently face an MFN duty ranging from four to 14 percent, with most items subject to a 10 or 12 percent tariff. The list of products under consideration was put forward by Argentina and Uruguay at the Oct. 22-26 meeting of the Mercosur Technical Committee No. 1 (CT-1), which is tasked with examining tariff reduction requests.
[SECEX Circular 54/2018]
[Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services]

New electronic certification process for beverages trade
Brazil recently announced that the existing certification requirements for imports and exports of beverages will soon be fulfilled electronically, resulting in faster approval times and decreased bureaucracy. Electronic certifications for exports were expected to be up and running in November while electronic certification for imports will be in place by February 2019. According to the Ministry of Planning, companies will enjoy a 60 percent cost reduction as a result of this change
[Comex do Brasil]

Lower duties now in place for three products
Brazil is providing duty-free treatment for 12 months to up to five million doses of certain  diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines classified under NCM 3002.20.27 as well as up to ten million doses of certain human papilloma virus vaccines classified under NCM 3002.20.29. Additionally, up to 12,000 tons of imported dimethylamine classified under NCM 2921.11.21 will benefit from a reduced two percent duty during this period.
[CAMEX Resolution 87/2018]

Short supply exemption provided to aramid yarn from Colombia
Brazil has implemented a short supply exemption to the origin rules under the economic complementation agreement between Mercosur and Colombia to provide preferential duty treatment to certain Colombian aramid yarn that would otherwise not be considered to originate under the agreement.
[SECEX Directive 61/2018]

AD actions on hair brushes, rolling mill rolls, milk in powder form
– initiation of sunset review of AD duty order on Chinese hair brushes (imports currently face a dumping margin of US$12.55 or US$15.67 per kilogram)
[SECEX Circular 58/2018]
– extension by up to eight months from Jan. 26, 2019, of deadline to issue final AD duty determination on rolls for rolling mills of cast iron or steel from China
[SECEX Circular 56/2018]
– extension by up to two months from Dec. 6 of deadline to issue final determination in sunset review of AD duty orders on milk in powder form from the European Union and New Zealand
[SECEX Circular 57/2018]

Chile

New FTA with Brazil signed
The FTA includes provisions in the areas of trade facilitation; competition; temporary entry of people; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; good regulatory practices; electronic commerce; trade in services; telecommunications; trade and gender; trade and the environment; trade and labor issues; economic-commercial cooperation; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical obstacles to trade; and regional and global value chains. The agreement also incorporates a 2016 deal on investment and financial services as well as an April 2018 deal on government procurement.
[DIRECON]

Colombia

Deal permanently ends rice dispute with Peru
The agreement ostensibly allows the importation into Colombia of Peruvian rice that is both safe and fully compliant with applicable Andean Community origin certification requirements. In return, Peru has withdrawn the countermeasures it had imposed on various Colombian products with the acquiescence of the Andean Community Justice Tribunal.
[Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism]

AD actions on steel wire and cable, steel tube
– issuance of AD duty order on galvanized steel stranded wire, pre-stressed concrete steel stranded wire, and steel cables from China (15 percent AD duty imposed for two years)
[Resolution 259/2018]
– amendment of preliminary AD duty determination on welded carbon steel tube from China to exclude certain steel tube from the provisional duty of 20 percent
[Resolution 260/2018]

Mexico

AD sunset review on Chinese steel pipe 
Mexico has initiated a sunset review of the AD duty order on Chinese seamless steel pipe, which currently faces a dumping margin of US$1,568.92 per metric ton.
[Resolution issued Nov. 21]

Peru

FTA with China to be modernized
Among other things, the two sides intend to negotiate new disciplines in the areas of electronic commerce and competition and update existing disciplines related to trade facilitation, origin procedures, services, and intellectual property. A first round of talks is expected to be held during the first half of 2019.
[Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism]