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Argentina Modifies List of Products Subject to Higher Duties

Argentina recently modified through Decree 674/2017 the list of products subject to higher duties under a mechanism that allows Mercosur countries (currently Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) to temporarily increase their import duties on a limited number of products (up to 100 tariff lines) above the levels established in the common external tariff. Mercosur members will be able to take advantage of this mechanism through 31 December 2021.

The new list includes only 85 tariff lines, down from 100 tariff lines previously. Among other things, goods classified under the following subheadings have been excluded from the list and their duty has fallen from 35 percent to the amount indicated: 2003.10.00 (14 percent), 2008.20.10 (14 percent), 4504.90.00 (10 percent), 8462.21.00 (14 percent), 8510.20.00 (duty free), 8516.32.00 (20 percent), 8539.21.10 (18 percent), 9207.10.90 (1o percent), 9506.70.00 (20 percent) and 9608.10.00 (18 percent). Seventy-nine of the 85 items still on the list face a 35 percent duty, while six items face a duty of 20, 22, 25 or 28 percent.

Any Mercosur member state that wishes to increase its import duties under this mechanism must submit a request to the other member states, which have 15 working days to consider that request and raise any objections. If no objections are raised during the stipulated period, the member state requesting the duty increase may implement it immediately for up to 12 months, with the possibility of annual renewals.

Argentina has also issued through Decree 673/2017 a new national list of exceptions to the Mercosur common external tariff, which is a separate mechanism that applies to up to 100 tariff lines through 31 December 2021. The new list of tariff lines includes a range of items classified in HS Chapters 7, 11, 12, 15, 22, 28, 29, 31, 32, 37, 38, 39, 40, 45, 48, 54, 58, 59, 70, 72, 73, 76, 84, 85 and 87.

Finally, Argentina has established separate tariff-rate quotas for (i) up to 6,000 tonnes of uncarded and uncombed staple fibres of viscose rayon classified under NCM 5504.10.00; and (ii) up to 750 tonnes of 6-hexanelactam (epsilon-caprolactam) classified under NCM 2933.71.00. In-quota merchandise will benefit from a reduced two percent duty while out-of-quota imports will be subject to the regular MFN duty. The first TRQ will be in place for a period of 12 months and the second for a period of six months.

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