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Jon Cowley

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The Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department (TID) recently released a new circular concerning the control of strategic commodities. Hong Kong exporters of US-origin electronics, computers, and telecommunications equipment should be clear about whether US authorization is required for any export, and ensure that all relevant authorizations and licenses are obtained prior to any shipment. Exporters relying on “License Exception CIV” will no longer be able to do so after 29 June 2020. Key Takeaways:…

After two years of negotiations, Australia and Hong Kong signed two agreements on 26 March 2019: the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHFTA), and a new Investment Agreement (IA), replacing an initial one signed in 1993, which was the basis of the claims made in the unsuccessful challenge of Australia’s plain packaging laws in 2012-2015. Both jurisdictions have been active in FTA negotiations. This is the fourth trade deal signed by the Hong Kong government…

CPTPP, trade, entry into force, Japan, Trade WareIn the midst of the trade war between the United States and China there is an opening up of trade in Asia–the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on December 30, 2018, 60 days after the date of the 6th entrant’s ratification. The members who will begin receiving CPTPP benefits beginning on December 30 are the six ratifying members: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.  As a result of the efforts of Japan and the other members, the landmark trade deal is taking shape and influencing the global trade landscape.  As the trade war tariffs impact investment and push supply chains out of China, the CPTPP will attract trade and provide incentives for the consolidation of supply chains in the member states and the Asia Pacific region. 

With the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by Mexico, Japan and Singapore, and the expectation that other parties will follow, we anticipate the agreement will enter into force by early next year. Although the CPTPP differs from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) due to the suspension of 22 provisions, most chapters of the new agreement remain untouched.  One of those is Chapter 3: Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures.Certificate of Origin, CPTPP, verification, ASEAN, ATIGA, Form D, self-certification, trade, customs, prepare, free trade agreement

As we get closer to entry into force, businesses should prepare to take advantage of the reduced tariffs and take steps to prepare for the new origin procedures. Under the CPTPP, the certificate of origin requirements are less onerous, do not require a specific form, require fewer data elements, and allow for self-certification. Many businesses will find this to be good news, and the simplified process is likely to facilitate trade among the eleven parties to the agreement.  However, in order to substantiate the claims, businesses should start preparing for the new requirements and put in place procedures, including recordkeeping requirements, to provide sufficient support for preferential duty claims made under the CPTPP.

Self-certification and verification requirements

The rules of origin under the CPTPP differ from the usual origin procedures that are utilized in the Asia Pacific region under the existing ASEAN agreements. For duty preference claims, the ASEAN agreements most often require a government-issued certificate of origin.  Under the CPTPP, importers, exporters and producers may “self-certify” or have the importer, exporter or producer sign the certificate of origin.