Indonesia to host WTO’s 2013 Ministerial conference

17th August 2012 By: Callie Lombard

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced, following its general council meeting, held from July 25 to 26, that the ninth WTO Ministerial conference would be held in Bali, Indonesia, during the first week of December 2013. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO, and usually meets every two years. The eighth WTO Ministerial conference was held in Geneva last December.

In thanking members for their decision, the government of Indonesia said: “In the situation where crisis is still hampering the global economy, Indonesia continues to believe that the multilateral trading system has a significant role in fostering fair global trade, sustaining the world economic growth, eradicating poverty and creating job opportunities. In this regard, the next Ministerial conference will, therefore, be very important to re-energise the negotiation process and the progress achieved so far and to strengthen the multilateral trading system. Finally, Indonesia fervently hopes that the exotic ambiance of the land of the gods and goddesses, the warm weather and the hospitality of the people of Bali will rejuvenate and renew the constructive spirit of the Doha Development Agenda negotiation in the WTO.”

Lever Arch Binding Mechanism
On August 3, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) informed of the insertion of six rebate items relating to “binders (loose-leaf or other types), file covers and files of plastics” and “binders (loose-leaf or other types), folders, file covers and files of paper and paperboard”. The rate of customs duty in all instances is zero.

Note 3(b) in Schedule No 3
Sars informed on August 3 of the substitution of Note 3(b) in Schedule No 3 of the Customs and Excise Act with the following: “Any customs duty in respect of any goods referred to in paragraph (a) shall include, in each case, any excise duty specified in and payable under any tariff item or sub item in Part 2 of Schedule No 1 in respect of such goods.” The amendment is with retrospective effect from April 1.

‘Luxury Goods’ Amendments
On August 3, Sars informed of the substitution of Notes in Schedule No 1, Part 2B, of the Customs and Excise Act and the substitution of the tariff items in the same schedule of the Act. The schedule relates to “luxury goods” and is titled “Ad Valorem Excise Duties on Locally Manufactured Goods or Imported Goods of the Same Class or Kind”. The amendment is with retrospective effect from April 1.

‘Sin Goods’ Amendments
Sars informed on August 3 of the substitution of Notes in Schedule No 1, Part 2A, of the Customs and Excise Act and the substitution of the tariff items in the same schedule of the Act. The schedule relates to “sin goods” and is titled “Specific Excise Duties on Locally Manufactured Goods or Imported Goods of the Same Class or Kind”. The amendment is with retrospective effect from April 1.

General Note 5B in Schedule No 1
On August 3, Sars informed of the substitution of General Note 5B in Schedule No 1, Part 1, of the Customs and Excise Act with the following: “Any duties on imported goods specified in parts 2, 3 and 5 of this schedule are additional to any duties specified in Part 1 of the said schedule in respect of such goods.” The amendment is with retrospective effect from April 1.

Hydraulic Brake Fluid
Sars informed on August 3 of the insertion of tariff subheading 3819.00.10, which deals with hydraulic brake fluid. The rate of duty, irrespective of the country of origin, is zero. Owing to its being an eight-digit tariff subheading, it can be deduced that this is a South Africa-specific tariff subheading.

Uncooked Pasta Tariff
The proposed increase in the rate of customs duty on other uncooked pasta not stuffed or otherwise prepared, classifiable under tariff subheading 1902.19, from 30% ad valorem to 45% ad valorem. The applicant is Pioneer Foods, trading as Sasko Pasta.
Comment is due by August 17.

Pneumatic Tyres Review
A proposal has been made for the review of rebate items 460.07/4011.10/01.06 and 460.07/4011.61/ 01.06 relating to new pneumatic tyres of rubber, for which the extent of the rebate of the duty is “full duty”. The applicant is the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa.
Comment is due by August 17, 2012.