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3. Barriers to trade
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3.1 Tariff and tariff administrative measures

Argentina's tariffs average approximately 12.7 percent. Most imports are subject to an additional statistical fee of 0.5 percent.

3.2 Import restrictions

On August 31, 2005, Ministry of Economy and Production issued two decisions, requiring that non-automatic import licensing be applied to toys and footwear. The Chinese side has noted that the products covered by the said decisions include some that are not manufactured in Argentina. As a result, the import of these products would neither bring any competition to Argentina's domestic manufacturing nor affect the development of its national industry. Meanwhile, the period allowed by the decisions for application for import licenses has been found too short for importers to complete all the relevant procedures. The implementation of the decisions, therefore, has not only affected the business of Argentine importers concerned, but also hindered Chinese normal export to Argentina. The Argentine side brought the above-mentioned measures into operation within 20 days right after consultations with the Chinese side. While expressing its regret, the Chinese side requires that Argentina restrain itself from adopting these import measures against China's exports.

Chinese firms complain of cumbersome certificate of origin requirements, particularly in the electronics and textile sectors.

3.3 Barriers to customs procedures

In order to fight against low-priced customs declaration, the Argentine Ta x Bureau (AFIP) amended in August 2005 the standards for the evaluation of imports. According to the new standards, the customs declaration that is made at or below 80 percent of the standard value shall be subject to a punitive additional VAT and an income tax ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent and from 7 percent to 10 percent respectively. The new standard value of such products as textiles, toys, footwear, household electrical appliances is calculated as 200 percent of the original reference value. Obviously, the new standards have exerted adverse impact on the said exports of China.

In addition, the AFIP requires that the clearance of fabrics, clothing, toys and footwear made in China be conducted at specially designated customs offices. This requirement has aroused great concern of the Chinese side.

3.4 Sanitary and phytosanitary measures

On June 10, 2005, Argentina issued a draft decision that replaces and incorporates several articles contained in the Argentine Food Code, and thereby constitutes health and hygiene requirements for dairy products. The requirements include: sensory attributes, toxic metals, toxic substances, microbial toxins, antimicrobial residues, pesticide residues, additives, etc. It also sets requirements concerning dairy product identification and quality.

3.5 Trade remedies

Argentina was one of the major countries/regions that took trade remedies against China. By the end of 2005, Argentina has initiated a total of 49 cases involving trade remedies, of which 46 are anti-dumping cases while 3 are related to safeguards. The products covered include light industrial products, electronics, chemicals, machinery, building materials, textiles, pharmaceuticals, etc.

In 2005, Argentina launched four anti-dumping investigations against imports from China: furfural and products, stainless seamed steel pipes of Austenite iron, tape measures and screw drivers respectively. It also called for anti-dumping reviews against four Chinese products, namely ball bearings, air conditioners, playing cards and thermos bottles. In addition, it insists on furthering anti-dumping investigation against automatic circuit breakers of Chinese make.

In the anti-dumping case against eyeglasses concluded in July, 2004, the Argentine side set a minimum price of $0.46 per pair of sunglasses imported from China, which would be maintained effective for three years. Although China and Argentina signed in 2004 the Memorandum, wherein Argentina officially recognizes China's status as a market economy, the Surrogate Country approach was still adopted by the Argentine side during the course of investigation. China hopes that Argentina could correct these discriminatory practices at an early date, implement the agreement reached between both sides, and grant the treatment of full market economy status to Chinese enterprises involved in the anti-dumping case.

Besides, on December 16, 2004, the Argentine government issued Act No. 1859/2004 and Act No.1860/2004. Of the two legislations, one aims to establish the special safeguard mechanism against products from China and the other, to impose quantitative restrictions on Chinese textiles. These two acts have in fact laid the foundation for Argentina's legislation to set up special safeguards against Chinese products. China hopes, therefore, that Argentina would restrict itself from taking such measures against imports from China.

3.6 Barriers to trade in services

Argentina has committed to allow foreign suppliers of non-insurance financial services to take all forms of commercial presence and has committed to provide substantially full market access and national treatment to foreign suppliers of non-insurance financial services. The only significant remaining issue involves lending limits for foreign bank branches that are based on local paid- in capital, not parent bank capital. This effectively removes the rationale for establishing in branch form.

There are nationality restrictions for some internal shipping, private security, and education providers. Provinces can impose their own barriers on the provision of services.

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