22nd April 2012

1. Mexico joins Wassenaar Arrangement:  2. UK signs up for IATA’s Secure Freight Program3. China Customs targets smuggling activities in 2012:  4. UPS to buy TNT:  5. New Russian Customs Code: 6. US-Colombia FTA:  7. Chile-Malaysia FTA  8. China Copyright Law


1.         Mexico joins Wassenaar Arrangement: 25th January 2012 Mexico has become a participating state in the Wassenaar Arrangement, one of the most important multilateral export control regimes. Its acceptance to the Wassenaar Arrangement means Mexico will be recognized as a safe exporter of dual-use goods and certain high-technology products.   Mexico became the 41st participating state in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.


2.         UK signs up for IATA’s Secure Freight Program:In the UK, the Department for Transport (DfT) has now agreed to endorse the secure freight principles, paving the way for further recognition of IATA’s efforts to build supply chain security capacity across the world.  Des Vertannes, IATA’s global head of cargo, said: “The UK DFT is an important indication of success so far and should encourage more governments to implement this global standard supply chain solution.”  The first authority to offer official endorsement to Secure Freight principles was the Australian Office of Transport Security last summer.   The agreement by Malaysia, Kenya, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Chile to be co-signing authorities on IATA’s information paper on secure freight is a major step forward in building shared global standards for cargo supply chain security programs. The Secure Freight program works across the entire air cargo supply chain, helping to secure shipments upstream by ensuring that cargo comes from either a known consignor or regulated agent.


3.         China Customs targets smuggling activities in 2012:At the national customs anti-smuggling working conference held in February 2012 in Shenzhen, the General Administration of Customs (“GAC”) director announced that China Customs has embarked on a special nationwide campaign in 2012 code-named National Gateway Protection or "Shield of Gate". The primary aim of the campaign is to strike decisively at smuggling activities, and regional customs offices have responded with detailed action plans.  While this campaign specifically targets illicit activities, legitimate companies should take care to avoid unnecessary investigations or penalties caused by careless operations. Businesses should conduct self-audits focusing on commodity classification, pricing policies, bonded materials, and tax-exempt equipment.  Based on experiences with similar special action programs in the past, China Customs will likely take a series of actions to accomplish the goals set out in "Shield of Gate". It will also strengthen investigations into and penalties on alleged smuggling or illicit behaviours.


4.         UPS to buy TNT: The world’s largest shipper, Atlanta-based United Parcel Service (UPS), announced a deal to acquire European rival TNT Express. TNT has agreed to an improved €5.16 billion takeover bid from its US rival that would see it expand across Europe and create a company with annual sales of €45 billion and 475,000 employees worldwide.   Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL has called on regulators to look carefully at the deal, which would be the biggest acquisition for UPS so far and has yet to be approved by shareholders. But the merger is not expected to face serious opposition from anti-trust authorities, as TNT has virtually no presence in the US, while the European market is highly fragmented. The offer comes after years of speculation about the future of the Dutch delivery company, which was split from the Dutch mail company PostNL and listed last year.

>> Learn more in the official joint press release from UPS and TNT


5.         New Russian Customs Code: The renewed Customs Code of the Customs Union will come into force on 1 January 2013.  The finalised new edition of the Customs Code is expected to be published by 1 July 2012 but will not come into force as from 1 January 2013, he said.  Amending the Customs Code is the main matter the Eurasian Economic Commission is working on now. The Commission has already taken over some authority and is now acting within its competence to revise decisions of the Customs Union Commission, making changes and additions, passing new documents in the form of resolutions of the councils and the board, said the official.


6.         US-Colombia FTA: The free-trade agreement with Colombia will go into effect on 15th May 2012, boosting the prospect of US exports to the Andean nation.   The agreement had been pending for several years before the Obama administration submitted it to Congress, which ratified it last year.


7.         Chile-Malaysia FTA: On April 18th the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Chile and Malaysia entered into force.  "From now on 98.6% of Chilean products will enter duty free to Malaysia, for example fresh fruits, while from Malaysia to Chile 95% of total exports products will enter with zero tariff, including tropical fruits," said the Director General of International Economic Relations (DIRECON), Rodrigo Contreras.


8.         China copyright law: At the end of March 2012, the National Copyright Administration published a draft for the upcoming revision of the Copyright Law in China.  It also issued an accompanying explanation as to which changes were made in the Copyright Law and why. Mainly, these changes are to be found in consolidating the copyright law regime, by including a number of provisions which were present only in administrative regulations; bringing the law in line with the WIPO treaties to which China acceded in 2007; instituting new requirements on copyright-related contract registration; and expanding the role of collective copyright management organizations. Also, the draft provides a safe haven for technological network service providers.  Click here for the BRIEF EXPLANATION

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