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New import monitoring system unveiled
Among other things, Argentinean authorities will conduct a systematic analysis of import declarations based on a risk assessment and/or an examination of the financial ability of the importer to carry out the operation in question. The importer will be contacted electronically when additional information is required.
[Joint Resolution 4185/2018]

Tax reform legislation approved
The Argentinean Congress has approved a comprehensive tax reform bill that will lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent over five years. The bill will also tax financial investment profits through a 15 percent tax for foreign currency-denominated and inflation-linked instruments as well as a five percent tax for peso-denominated debt. Non-residents are generally exempt from taxes.

Decrees implement or confirm trade provisions
The two decrees implement a number of trade-related provisions, some of which had been adopted previously and are simply being confirmed. These provisions include new versions of the Mercosur tariff schedule and the national list of exceptions to the common external tariff, an updated list of capital goods and information technology/telecommunications goods benefiting from duty-free or reduced duty treatment, the continuation of the higher (35 percent) import duty on toys, and a ratification of an earlier decision to lower by 0.5 percent per month from January 2018 through December 2019 the export tax on certain soybeans and soybean products.
[Decree 1126/2017]
[Decree 1/2018]

Postal regime regulations modified to improve customs clearance
Notably, postal shipments with a value no higher than US$25 may now be delivered to the addressee without the need to complete a sworn declaration.
[General Resolution 4182/2018]

Excise tax exemption for champagne extended
The exemption from the 12 percent excise duty for domestically-produced and imported champagne will remain in place through Dec. 31.
[Decree 1103/2017]

Export duties on soybeans to be reduced
The duties on soybeans and their byproducts will be lowered by 0.5 percent per month from January to December 2019.
[Agro Sitio]

AD actions on road wheels, sunglasses

– new AD duty order on Chinese aluminum alloy road wheels (AD duty of 36.90 percent)
[Resolution 1/2018]

– determination that imports of sunglasses classified under NCM 9004.10.00 that are exported to Argentina by Taiwan’s Kinlong International Corp. and Homax Corporation, as well as frames and mountings for spectacles classified under NCM 9003.11.00 that are exported to Argentina by Taiwan’s Hwa Meei Optical Co. Ltd., are not circumventing the AD duty order on sunglasses from China
[Disposition 80/2017]
[Disposition 81/2017]
[Disposition 82/2017]


Trade minister resigns ahead of expected run for Congress
Marcos Pereira, who resigned as minister of industry, trade, and services Jan. 3, has presided over the center-right Brazilian Republican Party (Partido Republicano Brasileiro) since 2011.
[Merco Press]

Comment period on new trade-related regulatory agenda extended to Jan. 31
Brazil is seeking input on practices and problems associated with domestic regulatory bodies that play a role in international trade. The results of this public consultation process will be used in the development of the international trade regulatory agenda for 2018-19.

Import duties lowered
Brazil has established tariff-rate quotas on imports of the following products to correct a lack of supply in the Brazilian market.

– up to 35,040 tons of polycarbonate in powder or flakes classified under NCM 3907.40.90 (reduced two percent duty for 12 months)
– up to 1,300 tons of non-vulcanized composite based on ethylene-propylene rubber classified under NCM 4005.99.90 (reduced two percent duty for six months)
– up to 2,200 tons of bicomponent elastic polyester non-textured filament yarn, known as elastomultiester, classified under NCM 5402.47.10 (reduced two percent duty for 12 months)
– six units of generator circuit breaker systems classified under NCM 8537.20.90 (reduced two percent duty for 12 months)
– 25 units of plug and switch systems classified under NCM 8537.20.90 (reduced two percent duty for 12 months)

Additionally, the 33,000 ton TRQ established in May 2017 for 12 months on partially oriented polyester yarn classified under NCM 5402.46.00 has been increased to 82,000 tons.
[CAMEX Resolution 99/2017]

Automotive agreement between Brazil and Colombia comes into force
The agreement provides for a tariff-rate quota that will allow duty-free entry of up to 12,000 vehicles in the first year, 25,000 in the second year, and 50,000 in the third year.
[Marco Trade]

Import procedures for goods subject to sanitary oversight simplified
Among other changes, the import licensing process has been simplified and importers will no longer be required to submit certain documentation that was only available after their shipments had arrived in Brazil, thereby lowering storage costs.

New AD probe of PET film from Bahrain and Peru
[SECEX Circular 68/2017]


Electronic verification system for fruit exports to China
Starting this year a pilot program will test the use of QR codes by Chilean fruit exporting companies to verify and monitor fruit exports to China.
[Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile]

Amendments to FTAs with Korea and Cuba enacted into law
The changes include amending the Chile-Korea FTA product-specific origin rules to reflect the 2012 Harmonized System nomenclature and amending the tariff preferences provided under the Chile-Cuba Economic Complementation Agreement.
[Decree 176/2018]
[Decree 177/2018]


New private-public alliance focuses on beef exports to U.S.
The four-year effort will focus on monitoring pathogen and residue levels in slaughterhouses and implementing U.S. inspection requirements.
[Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism]

Allocation procedures for sugar exports to U.S. announced
Colombia has announced the procedures to allocate the 54,500 metric ton TRQ for exports of sugar (47,960 tons) and sugar products (6,540 tons) to the United States during 2018. Sugar allocations will be based on 2017 production levels while 90 percent of sugar product allocations will be assigned based on historical trends.
[Circular 38/2017]

AD duty order on Chinese ceramic tableware and kitchenware renewed for three years
Subject goods classified under HTSCO 6911.10.0000 will continue to be subject to a minimum base price of US$2.88/kg while goods classified under HTSCO 6912.00.0000 will continue to face a minimum base price of US$1.71/kg.
[Resolution 227/2017]


New agreements on cultural goods, customs cooperation, investment/tax cooperation
Mexico has approved (1) a bilateral agreement with Colombia for the prevention of illicit trafficking in cultural goods, (2) deals with Guatemala and Jamaica for the avoidance of double taxation, (3) customs cooperation agreements with Bolivia and Costa Rica, and (4) investment cooperation agreements with Brazil and Haiti.
[Colombia agreement]
[Guatemala agreement]
[Costa Rica agreement]
[Bolivia agreement]
[Jamaica agreement]
[Brazil agreement]
[Haiti agreement]

Import restrictions on used motor vehicles extended until March 31, 2019
Among other things, used motor vehicles may not be imported into Mexico if their circulation is restricted or prohibited in their country of origin, if they have been reported as stolen, or when the vehicle does not comply with all applicable physico-mechanical properties and environmental protection requirements.
[Decree issued Dec. 28, 2017]

TRQs announced for agricultural goods, baby products and toys
The Mexican government has implemented separate TRQs, as well as associated allocation procedures, for up to 100,000 tons of onions classified under HTSMX 0703.10.01 (duty-free treatment from Jan. 1 through March 31 of every year) as well as up to 140,000 tons of lemons classified under HTSMX 0805.50.01, 0805.50.02, and 0805.50.99 (duty-free treatment from Jan. 1 through April 30 of every year). In addition, the TRQs on certain beef, rice, and poultry have been extended through 2019, while the TRQ on certain baby products and toys has been amended and extended through 2020. Finally, the TRQ allocation procedures for certain milk in powder form from Uruguay have been modified.
[Agreement issued Dec. 26, 2017 (onions and lemons)]
[Agreement issued Dec. 26, 2017 (beef and rice)]
[Agreement issued Dec. 26, 2017 (poultry)]
[Agreement issued Dec. 26, 2017 (toys and baby products)]
[Agreement issued Dec. 28, 2017 (Uruguay)]

Quota amount for sugar exports to U.S. announced
As of December 2017 there was a maximum quota of 1,150,612.860 metric tons available for sugar exports to the U.S. during the period Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018.
[Notice issued Dec. 27, 2017]