Customs Duty

US: Government confirms duty-free access for some goods from Nepal

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The US government has confirmed that 66 Nepali goods now eligible for duty-free entry into United Nations through Trade Preferences Act (TPA).  The confirmation was made during the third joint council meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) on 20 April 2017.

A total of 66 Nepal-made items, including carpets, headgear, shawls, scarves and travel goods, can now enter the US market without being subject to any form of duty. The US government has authorized this Nepal-specific program until 2025.

US: President launches investigation into steel dumping

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Donald Trump has initiated a wide-ranging antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigation into countries that export steel to the US.

The investigation is aimed at stopping countries from flooding the U.S. with artificially cheap steel that is undercutting local suppliers. Under the investigation ten countries are subject to AD investigations including Belarus, Italy, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the UK. Only Italy and Turkey are subject to CVD investigations over unfair subsidies.

The alleged dumping margins for Belarus are 161.75 percent to 280.02 percent, Italy 18.89 percent, Korea 33.96 percent to 43.25 percent, Russia 214.06 percent to 756.93 percent, South Africa 128.66 percent to 142.26 percent, Spain 32.70 percent, Turkey 37.67 percent, Ukraine 21.23 percent to 44.03 percent, UAE 84.10 percent, and the UK 147.63 percent.

Vietnam: Imposes anti-dumping tax on steel imported from China

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On March 30 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade officially decided to levy anti-dumping duties on imported coated steel from mainland China including Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea.

Therefore, Bazhou Sanqiang Metal Products will be taxed 26.36%, BX Steel POSCO Cold Rolled Sheet 38.34 %, Bengang Steel Plates-27.36%, Tianjin Haigang Steel Coil – 26.32%, Hebei Iron & Steel Co Ltd, Tangshan Branch – 38.34%, Wuhan Iron and Steel – 33.49%.

However, Chinese Yeih Phui Technomaterial was taxed at the lowest rate of 3.17%. South Korean POSCO of the RoK will be charged 7.02% anti-dumping tax while other RoK exporters will be taxed 19%.

The decision takes effect after 15 days after the signing and will be in place for five years.

India: Payments to Belgian entities not taxable as fees for technical services

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Recently, the Ahmedabad Bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal in the case of: ITO v. Cadila Health Care Ltd [2017] 78, decided that the payments made to Belgian entities are not taxable as “Fees for Technical Services (FTS)” in view of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause under the India-Belgium tax treaty.

According to the case fact, the services provided to the taxpayer by the non-resident parties did not fall within the services/technical services and therefore here was no liability on the taxpayer to deduct tax at source under Section 195 of the Act.

Most of the Indian tax treaties include MFN clause to grant a benefit of a restricted scope or a reduced tax rate available in a subsequent beneficial tax treaty. The Ahmedabad Tribunal in the instant case has provided the benefit of ‘make available’ clause under the India-Canada and India U.S.A. tax treaty to the taxpayer in view of MFN clause under the India-Belgium tax treaty.

Kazakhstan: Decree No. 56 amends to specific customs levies

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The Governmental Decree No. 56 of 13th February 2017 amends provisions on the specific customs levies that apply in addition to customs duties. For the first customs declaration, specific customs duties of KZT 25,000 apply and then KZT 11,000 for every extra customs declaration list for the objective of customs processing of goods. Specific duties ranging from KZT 5,000 to KZT 353,000 applies for customs escort and KZT 29,000 for a primary ruling. The amendments are effective from 1st March 2017.

Canada: Trump Import Tariffs impact

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The US President gave warning of raised import tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States. He also made an indication that Canadian exports could be subject to the same tax treatment. He said that he would impose 35% import tariff from multinational companies situated in US, especially motor industries in Mexico. He also pointed out on US trading arrangements in Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In other words, Canada would be directly engaged in any such future reconciliation, the close links between its motor company and the US could also be unprotected. Any warning on Canadian exports tariff could trigger US multinationals (such as general motors and ford) to reconsider their current manufacturing facilities in Canada.

China: Adjustments to tariff items

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On 19 December 2016, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council issued the adjustments to the tariffs in 2017. The new plan comes into force on 1 January 2017. According to the plan, the number of items to be taxed in 2017 will reach 8,547. To meet domestic demand, tax rates will be lower on some imported commodities next year including hydraulic actuators for aircraft.

Imports tariff will also be reduced on commodities including tuna and arctic shrimp. Exports tariffs on commodities including nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers will be scrapped and commodities such as steel billet will see reduced export tariffs.

According to trade pacts, more imports from Macao and Hong Kong will be tariff-free next year, while some commodities from the Republic of Korea, Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand will see reduced tariffs.