Mon, Apr 19, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Next ECFA talks to produce early harvest list: official

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The third round of talks between Taiwan and China later this month on a proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) is expected to produce a clear draft of an “early harvest” list of products and services for tariff concessions, a finance official said yesterday.

Negotiations on financial services between the two sides will be held ahead of the third round of ECFA talks, the official said.

A panel of experts, commissioned by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Customs Administration, has been in consultation with its Chinese counterparts on the details of place-of-origin regulations for imported products, the official said.

The issue includes rules on “substantial transformation” of a product, added value tax rates and changes in the customs tariff codes, the official said.

“Substantial transformation” refers to the extent to which a product is substantially changed after being imported for a specific manufacturing or processing purpose.

At present, the added value rate in Taiwan is 35 percent, but under an ECFA, a different rate will be applied to imported goods that are included in the early harvest lists, based on the characteristics of the products.

Taiwan and China will also discuss imposing new regulations on imported textile products in an effort to stop illegal shipments of textiles that have falsified country-of-origin information to avoid duties.

During the second round of ECFA talks last month, Chinese negotiators requested that 700 items be put on the early harvest list, said the official, who added that in the next round of negotiations, “China is unlikely to propose that many items.”

“The list will be acceptable to Taiwan,” because China has promised to make concessions so that Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would benefit; it is therefore unlikely that China would make requests that could negatively affect SMEs, the official said.

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