Preferential treatment provided for in a free trade agreement is usually granted only to products originating from members of that FTA, so rules of origin are important. These are the criteria which determine the national origin of a product. The country of origin of a product is usually seen as the country where the last substantial transformation took place.
Enforcing and defining rules of origin for goods or services poses major problems. This issue has been very controversial in a number of agreements and trade unions and other critics have campaigned to highlight the ways in which rules of origin can be used and abused by governments and corporations alike. In particular there are concerns about the ease with which goods processed partly or fully in a third country can receive duty-free access under a bilateral agreement by being re-exported with just enough processing to satisfy rules of origin requirements. This is further complicated by the fact that different bilateral free trade agreements use different criteria to set rules of origin.
This includes the protocols on rules of origin which seeks to deal with the issue of third party exports into the free zone area.
Some outstanding negotiations are part of necessary conditions to ensure the success of the AfCFTA, but have been facing challenges from member countries despite commencement of the agreement.
In a more open market, Chinese products will face fierce competition from low-end products made by Southeast Asian countries with comparative advantages in labor and land, and high-end products by developed countries like Japan and South Korea.
Members of Africa’s new free trade area should complete their tariff reduction schedules and finalise essential rules of origin by July.
African Union Ministers of Trade held their twelfth meeting, undertaken virtually, which was focused on concluding essential elements that remain to be agreed in the AfCFTA talks.
Vietnam is continuing its institutional reform commitments made in the historic EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in an aim to boost exports of agricultural products and attract more investment from the EU trading bloc.
Nigeria has negotiated and almost concluded the rules of origin to pave way for Nigeria’s ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Government of India will implement a host of measures to curb the misuse of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) routes by unscrupulous importers, while ensuring that legitimate beneficiaries do not suffer.
India has pitched for stronger provisions in the rules of origin, removal of non-tariff barriers and better market access in the existing FTA with the the ASEAN, arguing the changes should kick off sooner rather than later.
To qualify for tariff-free trade, makers of heavy vehicles must meet various requirements, including a 60% regional content threshold that will increase gradually and 70% regional inputs of steel and aluminum.
India has urged the countries, with which it has FTAs, to allow imports of goods without certificate of origin are currently not issuing the document on account of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
South Africa will in May hold an extraordinary summit of the African Union to finalise a continental free trade agreement.
KTurbo claims US government violated terms of KORUS FTA, after US court judged that the company violated place of origin rules.
India is making efforts to speed up free trade negotiations with the EFTA countries comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Leichtenstein in parallel with its discussions with the European Union on a similar pact.
US rules-of-origin demand presents new challenge for Mexico. Requirements for cars are among most complicated USMCA topics.
India’s existing free trade agreements (FTAs) with Asean, Japan and South Korea already link duty concession to a 35% value addition, according to analysts.
Indian negotiators are in Bangkok trying to insert crucial provisions in the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact.
With the July 1, 2020 launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area approaching, 90% of outstanding issues on the rules of origin and tariff guidelines have been resolved.
India continues to grapple with the dilemma of wanting to stay in the group while protecting the interests of its vulnerable sectors and is yet to reach an understanding with other members, including China, on market opening commitments.
Only half of eligible companies enjoying fruits of 17 trade agreements.