Trade Facilitation Agreement in the “Bali Package,” Dec 2013

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The trade facilitation part is a multilateral deal to simplify customs procedures by reducing costs and improving their speed and efficiency. It will be a legally binding agreement and is one of the biggest reforms of the WTO since its establishment in 1995. Other agreements struck since then are on financial services and telecommunications, and among a subset of WTO members, an agreement on free trade in information technology products. The objectives are: to speed up customs procedures; make trade easier, faster and cheaper; provide clarity, efficiency and transparency; reduce bureaucracy and corruption, and use technological advances.

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WTO Ministerial “Bali Package,” Dec 2013

Impression“The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which is the key element of the “Bali Package,” and part of the “Doha Package,” would simplify and harmonize dozens of administrative procedures and standards that dictate how goods cross borders or are handled in customs. It would drastically cut red tape that consumes precious resources for governments and companies, while slowing down supply chains, creating opportunities for corruption and increasing the cost of goods by an estimated 5 to 15 per cent.” – Victor Fung Read more

Shoes, shirts, and sugar: why Singapore trade talks matter (TPP)

garment coverSINGAPORE — Your GAP shirts and Nike shoes might get cheaper, but the jobs of the 1,350 U.S. employees of Boston-based sneaker-maker New Balance could be in trouble. Detroit automakers might get to sell more cars and trucks into Japan, but the U.S. manufacturers of the fabric used in those vehicles could be out of work. These are among the dozens of tradeoffs in play as officials from the United States and 11 other countries descend on Singapore this weekend to negotiate what would be the largest trade deal in world history — potentially 1.5 times the size of NAFTA and worth as much as $124 billion in new U.S. exports by 2025.

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WTO closes “$1 trillion trade deal” at Ministerial Meeting; focus is trade facilitation, customs procedures

wto_directorBALI, Indonesia —  The biggest element of the “Bali package” is a trade facilitation agreement that would make it easier and cheaper to move goods around the world by cutting red tape and improving customs procedures. Besides boosting trade, the pact could reduce corruption by eliminating opportunities for customs officials to extract bribes to get goods across borders. The binding agreement requires countries to implement reforms in a number of areas, but allows them to decide how quickly to do that and promises technical assistance from rich countries for the more challenging commitments.  Read more

New Vietnam Customs checks: importers fear delays, costs

New Customs Checks; importers fear zeusiChanges to customs procedures that now require quality checks of certain imports before they leave the port have got firms worried about cost and the risk of goods spoiling. The Ministry of Finance’s Circular 128, effective November 1, moves the quality checks from importers’ warehouses to ports, and companies fear that the country’s drawn-out customs procedures will mean they have to leave their shipments at ports for a long time. Read more

Customs – Business Dialogue, Rex Hotel, Nov 29, 2013, 08:00 – 12:00

Lê Mạnh Hà, Vice ChairmanA special dialogue to get updates on Vietnam’s “Customs – Business Partnership, 2013-2015,” Customs Administration and Business Facilitation in the amended Customs Law and in the TransPacific Partnership. In addition, ask questions, discuss current issues, future plans, and your experiences with Customs first-hand with Vietnam Customs Deputy Director General Vu Ngoc Anh, as well as local Customs officials from HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, the key manufacturing FDI provinces in the Southern Key Economic Region.

Vietnam Customs plans to emulate the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s “Custom – Trade Partnership,” and seeks regular dialogue with businesses. HCM City People’s Committee Vice Chairman Lê Mạnh Hà will lead the meeting and moderate the Q&A, organized by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), with AmCham’s support.

When: Fri, Nov 29, 08:00 – 12:00
Where: Rex Hotel

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New eCustoms (VNACCS/VCIS) Training, Nov 27 and Dec 5

hai quan bac ha noiJoin the training sessions to learn about the new eCustoms systems that will go into effect on Apr 1, 2014 the VNACCS/VCIS (Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System).

Training Sessions for Using the Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System

When: Session 1: Wed, Nov 27, 08:00 – 16:30
Session 2: Thu, Dec 5, 08:00 – 16:30
Where:VCCI-HCMC Bldg, 10F, 171 Vo Thi Sau, District 3, HCM City

Read more … Event Details and Registration Form

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HCM City People’s Committee Dialogue with FDI Business Associations, Fr, Aug 30

ho-chi-minh-city-peoples-committee-buildingWith FDI and GDP growth in a structural decline, this event is proposed and organized by the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of HCMC (ITPC) to provide Foreign Business Associations  a chance to discuss with relevant officials their concerns and difficulties in doing business in VN, particularly in HCMC. It will also allow Foreign Business Associations an opportunity to make recommendations to improve the business environment.