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Argentina

Digital or paper certificates of origin allowed for trade with Uruguay
Exporters of goods bound for Uruguay and importers who enter goods originating in that country may use the digital certificate of origin or the paper version.
[Boletin Oficial]

2018 import quotas for ozone-depleting substances announced
A total of eight importers have received quota allocations to import R22 (HCHC-22), three importers have received allocations to import R123 (HCFC-123), one importer has received an allocation to import R124 (HCFC-124), nine importers have received allocations to import R141b (HCFC-141b), and four importers have received allocations to import R142b (HCFC-142b). Authorities have also established quota amounts for new or eventual importers.
[Resolution 216/2018]

TRQ for electric vehicles allocated
The special tariff-rate quota for up to 500 electric, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the period April 21 through July 21 was recently allocated. This TRQ will provide duty-free or reduced duty treatment for these vehicles.
[Resolution 20/2018]

Brazil

Voluntary export restraint may secure exemption from U.S. steel, aluminum duties
The temporary duty exemptions the U.S. granted to Brazil and several other economies will expire May 1 unless a satisfactory agreement is reached or President Trump decides to extent them.
[Folha de S.Paulo]

Duty reduction for capital goods under consideration
The Ministry of Finance has reportedly asked the Foreign Trade Chamber (CAMEX) to gradually reduce Brazil’s import duties on capital goods and information technology products in an effort to align them in the coming years with the global average. It appears, however, that CAMEX would prefer to conduct an in-depth analysis of the potential impact of these duty reductions on the Brazilian economy before moving ahead.
[Diário do Comércio]

Marcos Jorge formally named Brazil’s trade minister
Jorge said he intends to continue the work of former minister Marcos Pereira and expressed optimism about the successful conclusion of the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union. The minister added that greater integration with the world will come from the tireless implementation of trade facilitation measures and the ambitious pursuit of better and greater access to foreign markets for Brazilian goods and services.
[Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Services]

Meat exports must be processed through new online module
Effective April 12, all export operations involving animal products and by-products subject to Federal Inspection Service oversight must be processed exclusively through the new export module in the Siscomex portal, Brazil’s online single window for international trade operations. This requirement applies to exports of poultry, beef, and pork, which last year totaled US$14.9 billion. All export operations are expected to be migrated to the new export module by July 2.
[Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Services]

Digital origin certificates from Uruguay allowed
As of April 9 Brazil is allowing the use of digital certificates of origin issued by the relevant Uruguayan authorities to justify preferential duty treatment claims under the Mercosur trade agreements. Digital certificates and any associated documentation will have the same legal validity and value as paper certificates of origin.
[Executive Act 7/2018]

Customs cooperation agreement with Turkey implemented
The agreement includes provisions in such areas as exchange of information, the presence of officials in the customs territory of the other party, and technical assistance.
[Decree 9346/2018]

Results of sunset reviews of AD duty orders on paper
Brazil has rescinded the AD duty orders on lightweight coated paper from the U.S. and Canada and renewed for five years the orders on such goods from Belgium, Germany, Finland, and Sweden.
[SECEX Circular 15/2018]
[CAMEX Resolution 25/2018]

Chile

Temporary duty reductions on wheat and wheat flour extended
For the period April 16 through June 15, wheat importers will be able to temporarily deduct US$98.05 per ton from the total duty owed (calculated using the regular six percent duty rate), while wheat flour importers will be able to deduct US$152.96 per ton.
[Exempt Decree 119/2018]

Deadline to comply with import requirements for propagative plant material extended
Chile has extended until Sept. 1 the deadline to comply with additional declaration requirements related to the importation of various propagative plant materials required to be free of the Xylella fastidiosa pest. Additionally, new phytosanitary import requirements have been adopted for sorghum vulgare dried branches.
[Exempt Resolution 1800/2018]
[Exempt Resolution 1801/2018]

Colombia

Origin certificates required for products subject to trade remedy actions
Effective April 26, Colombian importers will be required to submit together with the customs declaration an original copy of a non-preferential certificate of origin for goods subject to antidumping, safeguard, or other trade remedy measures. The country of origin of a product for non-preferential origin purposes is the last country where the product underwent a substantial transformation that conferred the essential character of the product. Such a transformation would normally require a change in tariff classification from a different chapter, heading, or subheading, although authorities may take other criteria into consideration.
[Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism]

New measures to combat illegal trade in steel and aluminum 
These measures include weekly monitoring of import trends in 72 different tariff lines comprising steel, aluminum, and scrap products; requiring importers of products in these tariff lines to make advance declarations; stepping up physical inspections; increasing verifications of compliance with technical requirements; investigating 45 companies that may be engaging in contraband activities; and seizing illegally imported goods.
[Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism]

Duty-free treatment provided to inputs for ship production
The measure, which covers inputs classified in 395 different tariff lines, is aimed at enhancing the productivity and optimizing the resources of the shipbuilding sector, which would also help shore up demand for products made by domestic manufacturers of metal, plastic, glass, chemical, and other products.
[Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism]

Ecuador

Manual on goods transfers between primary zones updated
[Aduana del Ecuador]

Mexico

Quota amount for sugar exports to U.S. announced
As of March 2018 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 April 10]

Peru

Single window for trade operation to be upgraded
This process is aimed at further simplifying administrative procedures while ensuring a more robust participation of all entities with a role in international trade. VUCE 2.0 is also expected to offer a suite of new services to trade operators.
[Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism]

Second round of FTA talks held with India
Topics addressed during these discussions included market access for goods, trade remedies, services, investment, and cooperation. Among other developments, the two sides identified specific services sectors where they hope to increase commercial exchanges. A third round will take place in India during the second half of the year.
[Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism]

New import requirements for U.S. seeds
Peru has established new phytosanitary requirements for carrot seeds from the U.S. and citric fruit seeds from California. Imports must be accompanied by an official phytosanitary certificate issued by the relevant authorities and comply with certain other requirements.
[R.D. Nº 0004-2018-MINAGRI-SENASA-DSV]
[R.D. Nº 0006-2018-MINAGRI-SENASA-DSV]

Region

Mercosur advances FTA talks with European Free Trade Association
The two sides wrapped up the chapter on competition and addressed a number of matters of special interest in the areas of trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade facilitation and customs cooperation, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, investment, intellectual property, sustainable development, and legal affairs. The next round will take place July 2-6 in Geneva.
[Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship]