InfoQuest, (April 17, 2019) -- At present, the Department of Foreign Trade is drafting a notice regarding three agricultural products exported to Japan that can enjoy tariff reduction and exemption from April 1 of 2019 to March 31 of 2020, according to the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA), as well as the criteria, methods, and requirements to apply for relevant certificates. The three agricultural products include 8,000 tons of fresh bananas, 300 tons of fresh pineapples and 1,200 tons of pickled pork, according to Adul Chotinisakorn, director general of the Department of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand.
This year marks the thirteenth year since 2007 that Thailand has obtained all or part of the import tariff reduction and exemption quota. The general import duties for fresh bananas were 20-25 percent, 17 percent for fresh pineapples, and 20 percent for salted pork, which were deemed too high. However, according the agreement, the agricultural products including fresh bananas and fresh pineapples exported to Japan are now exempted from import duties, and only 16 percent of import duties are levied on salted pork.
According to the director general, the exporters who are going to apply for trade rate quota according to JTEPA are required to have the following qualifications. Fresh banana exporters must be on the export quota allocation list stipulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; salted pork exporters must be listed by Department of Livestock Development and the pork must be processed by factories approved by Japan's health agency while there is no special qualification requirement for fresh pineapple exporters. In terms of fresh pineapples and salted pork, the Department of Foreign Trade will issue duty exemption certificate according to the principle "first come, first served", until the stipulated quota is met. More details about the application criteria and requirements will be covered in the notice mentioned above.
Relevant export certificates exporters can apply include Certificate of Origin (Form JTEPA) and Certificate of Tariff Rate Quota which are submitted to Japan's customs to obtain exemption of import duty, added the director general.
The relevant statistics on export quotas under the JTEPA agreement show the application proportions were relatively low last year, especially for fresh pineapples and bananas, Mr. Adul added. The tariff quota applied for fresh pineapple is only 1.6 percent (5.2 tons), mainly due to the weight limit stipulating that each pineapple must not exceed 900 grams. And the tariff quota applied for fresh bananas is only 24.3 percent (1,947.72 tons). As there is large domestic market and a large quantity are exported to other foreign markets, especially to China, coupled with the fact that the quality standards required by the Japanese market are hard to meet, Thailand's fresh banana exporters are not very interested in Japanese market. And the quota for salted pork is 1,200 tons per year, which is used up every year.
Source: InfoQuest, by Phana / Kasamarporn / Rachada, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
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