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ASEAN/Hong Kong: Negotiations Concluded on Free Trade and Investment Agreements

(Oct. 13, 2017) On September 9, 2017, Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that they had concluded negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement. (Press Release, Hong Kong and ASEAN Conclude Free Trade Agreement Negotiations, Trade and Industry Department of the Government of the Hong Kong […]

Netherlands: Draft Law on New International Commercial Court

(Aug. 11, 2017) On July 18, 2017, Stef Blok, Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, submitted draft legislation to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) on the establishment of a new commercial court that would have the authority to render judgments in English on complex international trade disputes involving the Netherlands. (Legislative […]

China: Banks Ordered to Report Overseas Transactions of Chinese Bank Cards

(Aug. 10, 2017) In June 2017, China’s foreign exchange regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), ordered banks in China to collect information, on a daily basis, of overseas transactions made on Chinese bank cards. Starting September 1, 2017, any overseas cash withdrawal or single purchase made with an amount of more than RMB1,000 […]

United Kingdom: Border Force Has Bumper Haul of Seized Christmas Counterfeit Goods

(Jan. 5, 2017) Border Force, a law enforcement agency within the Home Office that is responsible for securing the borders of the United Kingdom through enforcing immigration and customs controls, seized more than 83,000 counterfeit items, with an estimated value of £3.5 million (about US$4.3 million) at airports during just six days in December 2016.  […]

New Zealand: Trans-Pacific Partnership Bill Passed

(Nov. 22, 2016) On November 15, 2016, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill (TPPA Amendment Bill).  (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill, New Zealand Parliament website (last visited Nov. 16, 2016); text of the latest version (133-3) of the Bill on New Zealand Legislation website.)  The Bill amends various pieces of […]

China/Slovak Republic: Memorandum on Customs Duties Signed

(Nov. 10, 2016) On November 5, 2016, China and the Slovak Republic concluded a memorandum to strengthen their relationship in the area of customs duties, with the goal of boosting bilateral trade. (Slovakia, China Sign Memorandum on Customs Duties Aimed to Accelerate Bilateral Trade, NEWS NOW (Nov. 6, 2016).) According to the State Secretary of […]

Macao/WTO: Ratification of Trade Facilitation Agreement

(Apr. 18, 2016) On April 11, 2016, Macao, China deposited with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat its instrument of acceptance of the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), becoming the 72nd WTO Member State to ratify the Agreement.  The TFA will enter into force upon ratification by two-thirds of the WTO Member States, or […]

Netherlands: Ban on Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

(Apr. 1, 2016) On March 15, 2016, the Dutch Parliament adopted a motion urging the government to ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia. The motion was based in part on Saudi Arabia’s violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen, including those described in the January 22, 2016, report of the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen.  […]

Iceland/European Union: Reduction in Import Duties, Increase in Quotas for Agricultural Products

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 17, 2015, Iceland’s government and the European Union agreed on new terms for agricultural trade. (Press Release, EU and Iceland Strike Deal to Protect Geographical Indications and Enhance Trade for Agricultural and Food Products (Sept. 18, 2015) EUROPA.) Under the new agreement, Iceland will reduce the tariffs on agricultural products […]

Vietnam: New Trade Agreement with Eurasia Economic Union

(June 16, 2015) On May 29, 2015, Vietnam signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Kyrgyzstan and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which officially comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The agreement was concluded in Kazakhstan and followed eight formal negotiation sessions, in addition to a number of other meetings. It is the first such […]