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Jul 27, 2012

WTO releases annual report

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The World Trade Organisation (WTO) released its 2012 World Trade Report this month. According to the executive summary, this year’s report ventures beyond tariffs and examines other policy measures that can affect trade.

As a result of the reduction in the rates of tar- iffs in recent years, which is in large part attribu- table to the formation of the WTO, the focus has progressively shifted towards nontariff measures, which are also known as nontariff barriers. According to the WTO, the range of nontariff measures is vast, complex, driven by multiple policy motives and ever-changing.

The report is divided into two parts, with Part 1 titled ‘World Trade in 2011’ and Part 2 ‘Trade and Public Policies: A Closer Look at Non-Tariff Measures in the 21st Century’.

The sections of Part 2 are an introduction, an economic perspective on the use of nontariff measures, an inventory of nontariff measures and service measures, the trade effects of nontariff measures and service measures, international cooperation on nontariff measures in a globalised world and conclusions.

WCO Annual Reports
The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has released its annual reports on drugs, intellectual property rights and tobacco.

The ‘WCO Customs and Drugs Report 2011’ analyses seizures on a regional basis and by category of drug intercepted, focusing, in particular, on routings, means of transport and concealment methods used, with an emphasis on the illegal trade in opiates, cocaine, cannabis and psychotropic substances.

In 2011, 47 000 seizures of drugs were reported, yielding a total of 1 795 t of narcotics, including 73 t of cocaine, 1 614 t of cannabis and 89 t of opiates. The number of seizures and the quantities of drugs intercepted in 2011 increased substantially, compared with 2010.

The report presents an analysis of all reported seizures in order to provide a global overview of the tobacco smuggling phenomenon and the various international initiatives to combat this illicit trade, to which the WCO contributes and in which it encourages its members to take part.

During 2011, there were 1 026 recorded seizures of illicit consignments of cigarettes, translating into about 1.9-billion cigarettes. These figures show a remarkable decrease in both the number of seizures and the amount of contraband seized in 2011.

The report confirms the changing nature of intellectual property rights infringements, noting that international fraud networks are still quick to react to new market conditions and the opportunities they present. During 2011, there were more than 25 500 reported cases involving the seizure of more than 143-million counterfeit or pirated articles. A rise in counterfeits can be observed in pharmaceutical products and mobile phones and their accessories.

Costa Rica WCO Contracting Party
On July 3, Costa Rica’s ambassador to Belgium visited the WCO headquarters to formally deposit his country’s instrument of accession to the WCO Harmonized System Convention, making Costa Rica the 143rd contracting party.

Provisional Antidumping Duties on Glass Grit
On July 13, the South African Revenue Service informed of the imposition of provisional antidumping duties on glass grit in the form of powder, granules or flakes, classifiable under tariff subheading 3207.40, originating in or imported from Brazil.
The rate of the provisional antidumping duties is either 41.68% or 100%, depending on the manufacturing or exporting company.

Brazil Files Chicken Dispute against South Africa
The WTO has reported that Brazil has requested consultations with South Africa under the WTO’s dispute settlement system concerning South Africa’s antidumping measures on chicken meat from Brazil.

A request for consultations formally ini- tiates a dispute at the WTO. Consultations give the parties (Brazil and South Africa) an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
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