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3. Barriers to trade
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3.1 Tariff and tariff administrative measures

Chinese companies complain that in spite of tariff reforms, South Africa's tariff schedule remains complex and can create uncertainty for exports to the country.

3.2 Import restrictions

Imports such as waste produc ts are subject to licensing from the Import and Export Administration Bureau under South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, which should seek the agreement of the relevant competent departments involved prior to the issuance of an import license. Chinese firms report that they often have to face frequent delays in getting licenses issued when exporting related products to South Africa, which adversely affects their normal export to the country.

3.3 Technical barriers to trade

According to the new trademark regulation promulgated by South Africa's International Trade Administration Commission, as from 23 May 2005, foreign textile products, clothing and footwear can be imported into the country and sold on the domestic market only if they satisfy all the following six stipulations on trademarks: 1) designating the country of manufacturing, the registration number of the manufacturer and/or the import registration number of the importer, and the degree of product processing, 2) complying to South African Standardization Bureau's identification and marking standards regarding Universal Product Code (UPC) of textile products and clothing (SANS011) and UPC of synthetic and natural fibers (SANS0235), 3) itemizing the composition of raw materials by weight or by quantity and their respective percentages, 4) stating specifically as such, if the products have been reprocessed and re-treated, 5) specifying the names of the fibers in the order of their weight or quantity, in the case of a fiber product made through plastic spraying by two or more fibers differentiable by chemical means, and 6) indicating the ratio of labor cost to raw material cost of the product.

The mandatory provision of the South African government requiring all the above mentioned products to spell out the ratio of labor cost to raw material cost adds production processes and operation costs to foreign textile, clothing and footwear enterprises. As one of the major exporters of these products to South Africa, China is watching with concern the enforcement of the new trademark regulation.

3.4 Trade remedies

South Africa is among the countries that most frequently subject Chinese exports to anti-dumping investigations. In 2005, the South African authorities initiated five anti-dumping investigations on Chinese exports, involving primacord and delay detonators, styrene, toughened glass for automobiles, garlic, and tires.

South Africa's International Trade Administration Commission announced in October 2005 that after investigation, it had come to its initial ruling that dumping of stainless steel tube of Chinese origin on the SACU market was determined and that a provisional cash deposit at 49.81 percent of the import value was to be imposed. Although China's export of such products to South Africa was not particularly large during the period of investigation, affecting US$ 1.01 million's worth of Chinese exports, the anti-dumping measure has seriously restricted Chinese enterprises to continue and expand their exports of the products in question to South Africa.

After negotiations between the two sides, the South African government formally recognized in 2004 China's status as a market economy, pledging not to resort to the relevant stipulations in Article 15 of the Protocol on Accession of China to the WTO in future anti-dumping inquiries against Chinese exports. China's Ministry of Commerce has established a very good working relationship with the South African International Trade Administration Commission, which deals with anti-dumping investigations. On problems existing in South Africa's anti-dumping investigations launched against Chinese exports, for example, the implementation of South Africa's commitment as to its recognition of China as a market economy, the determination of the causal relationship between dumping and injury, the conclusiveness of evidence of injury to South African industries, and the issue of public interest, China's Ministry of Commerce have taken up these matters with the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa and received encouraging results. Of all the 6 rulings made between 2005 and January 2006 on anti-dumping charges against China, 2 investigations were brought to an end after it was concluded that no cause and effect relationship existed between dumping and injury, 1 investigation was terminated because the case had exceeded the time limit of investigation, 1 investigation did not result in any punitive measures because Chinese exports represented less than 3 percent of the South African total imports, 1 case awarded zero tariff to the Chinese enterprises that had responded to the investigations, and 1 case was rejected on the ground that the application filed by the complainants to launch an investigation did not agree with the fact.

Generally speaking, the South African authorities responsible for undertaking anti-dumping investigations have allowed all sides to fully present their views and based their rulings on objective facts, for which the Chinese government expresses its appreciation.

3.5 Government procurement

South Africa is still not a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. In the process of government procurement in South Africa, the principle of fairness and transparency is not always strictly enforced. To support the development of its own industries, South Africa leans towards domestic enterprises in its government procurement.

3.6 Inadequate intellectual property right protection

South Africa is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Since 2000, South Africa has made some progress in the protection of intellectual property rights, particularly concerning those related to imported products. However, problems such as counterfeit trademarks and copyright infringement still widely exist.

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