Recent Updates

China Tariff Reduction – Hidden Implications/ Considerations

The China Government has announced to significantly cut import tariffs for a large range of goods with effect from 1 December 2017 through the Interim Import Duty Rate (IDR) System. The IDR system generally provides importers with lower tariff rates than the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) duty rate (i.e. the WTO bound rates). Hence such goods are subject to lower import tariff rates than those under China’s WTO commitments. The intention is to encourage consumer spending and to further open up China’s markets. IDR rates are typically reviewed by the China Government every 6 months and revisions are made to reflect changes in the business environment and government policy.

TPP trade deal advances without the United States

On the side-lines of the recent Asia – Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Summit in Vietnam, the remaining 11 member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) have agreed to proceed with a “new” trade pact, named the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the TPP (CPTPP). The countries have managed to reach an agreement on the core elements of the legal text and will continue with discussions for conclusion of the restructured agreement.

Singapore updates: The e-ATIGA Form D will go live on 1 January 2018

Singapore Customs has just published a circular announcing that the electronic exchange of Form D through the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) will be ready to go live on 1 January 2018. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, the ‘exchange-ready’ member states, will be the first ASEAN member states allowing the electronic exchange of e-Form D through the ASW between one another. However, there has been no official announcement from any other ASEAN member states on this yet.

Philippines Updates: Philippines Customs’ Green Lane Temporarily Suspended

On the day he assumed office, the newly appointed Customs Chief, Isidro Lapeña, the former Director of the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), instructed the temporary suspension of green lane for clearance of all import shipments and ordered a thorough review of the Customs’ risk management system. This means importers need to anticipate a longer customs clearance lead time as cargoes previously routed to green lane are now diverted to yellow or red lane that is subject to Customs scrutiny. Cargoes tagged under the yellow lane are subject to documentary review and those under the red lane are subject to both documentary review and physical inspection prior to their release from Customs area.

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