Too Much Flexibility in Rules of Origin

Costa Rican agricultural and industrial businessmen are requesting modification in the rules of origin chapter of the Singapore FTA.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

After the second negotiation round for the Costa Rica - Singapore Free Trade Agreement, a consensus was achieved on rules of origin. This established a general rule under which two things would be considered: firstly, if there is a tariff category change; and secondly, a 35% regional content value.

"For Juan María González, president of the Costa Rican Industry Chamber, the deal struck by the negotiators leaves a lot of space for triangulation between Asian countries", reports "There is talk on recognizing origin when there is a change in tariff categories. This is a far too flexible rule, specially with Singapore which doesn't have raw materials, but could triangulate with India, for example".

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Fernando Ocampo, chief negotiator for Costa Rica, informed they have consulted with the private sector, and the main concern of the businessmen, and key point in the negotiation, is the definition of rules of origin, as Singapore imports lots of food and other products in order to reprocess them.

Food Industry Against Rules of Origin

August 2009

For Costa Rican sector leaders, having access to raw materials from all over the world is essential.

Costa Rica's chief negotiator for the Singapore FTA said that the most important topic to deal with is Rules of Origin. In response to this, the president of the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry, Tomás Pozuela, said that "they are a sector in favor of opening markets, but they oppose the restriction of not being able to access international markets in search for raw materials protected by tariff policies".

Rules of Origin Key Topic in Costa Rica - Singapore FTA

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In the upcoming second round of negotiations, Costa Rica will seek to establish tight rules of origin for Singaporean products.

The idea is to prevent the Asian country from importing raw materials from other countries, processing them and exporting them to Costa Rica with Free Trade benefits, remarked Fernando Ocampo, chief negotiator for Costa Rica.

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