The legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday approved an amendment that would provide tariff-free treatment for 234 products imported from three of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies — Belize, Honduras and Paraguay.
The proposed amendment to the Customs Import Tariff Act (海關進口稅則), approved by the Executive Yuan in August, is to go to the legislative floor to be reviewed and voted on.
The bill would allow the import duty-free of 199 products from Belize, 25 products from Honduras and 10 products from Paraguay, to be instituted either on a designated date or over three years, the Ministry of Finance said in August.
Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei Times
Most of the items to be made exempt from import duties are agricultural products, such as beef, pork, fruit and cashew nuts, the ministry said.
If enacted, the amendment would bring Taiwan’s tariff rules in line with a trade deal that Taiwan inked with Belize in September last year, the ministry said.
Taiwan and Belize signed an Economic Cooperation Agreement in September last year, but it has not yet been ratified by the legislature, the Bureau of Foreign Trade said.
The scrapping of tariffs on products imported from Honduras and Paraguay would also be beneficial because it would expand bilateral trade cooperation and help consolidate Taiwan’s diplomatic relations with the two Latin American allies, the ministry said in a statement.
The committee also approved amendments to the Customs Act (關稅法), including those intended to reinforce the monitoring of goods in transit by the Customs Administration, and the management of import and export warehouses.
While lawmakers also considered other amendments aimed at increasing penalties for breaches of the Customs Act by private companies, they were unable to reach a consensus.
Those proposals were set aside for cross-party negotiations, which do not have a time limit.
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