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South Korea was met with widespread condemnation when it launched another aid package for its strained shipping industry last week.
We reported this information as the South Korean shipping line, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) launched the world’s largest containership while also receiving aid from the South Korean government.
Both Danish Shipping and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) accused the aid, which targets companies like container line HMM and several large shipbuilders, of keeping loss-incurring companies afloat. However, many nations across the world – including Europe – are also providing aid to the shipping industry through lower taxation. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated that EU countries support their shipping companies with at least EUR 3 billion annually, not just during the COVID-19 crisis.
Two initiatives in Denmark, its tonnage tax and seafarer tax schemes, cost close to DKK 1.75 billion (USD 256.9 million), while shipping lines also benefit from a fuel tax exemption for over DKK 1 billion, according to new figures from the Ministry of Taxation.
Lower taxes a basic condition, but does direct aid give some carriers unfair advantage?
One carrier expert explains that lower taxes for shipping is a basic condition internationally, while direct support helps give the South Korean carriers an unfair advantage in global competition. He argues that this skews competition, but the general tax schemes are the same for all countries with major maritime industries.
The lower taxation scheme ensures that the Danish flag carriers, such as Maersk, stay competitive on the global market. In principle, a carrier could have wage expenses just as low by using a different flag and hiring seafarers from other countries. So they argue the they are not receiving a special financial advantage that another carrier couldn't get anywhere else.
Overall, the Danish Shipping and ICS argue the move by South Korea could put their carriers at an advantage in the marketplace when times are already tight for shippers globally.
USMCA to Take Effect July 1
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer has notified Congress that the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement will take effect on July 1, a month later than initially proposed. In a statement, Lighthizer said both Mexico and Canada had taken measures necessary to comply with their commitments under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
More information on what is included in the USMCA is outlined here.
Key Trade Developments for Importers & Exporters
USTR Accepting Comments on Select Expiring Section 301 Exclusions
In July, two groups of Section 301 exclusions are scheduled to expire. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is asking for comments from the public concerning the extension of certain exclusions granted under 7/9/2019 and 7/31/2019 exclusion notices in Federal Register. Instructions for submitting comments is found at the below links:
List 1 ($34 Billion) – Exclusion granted effective date 7/9/2019 will expire as of 7/9/2020 – statistical reporting number 9903.88.11
List 2 ($16 Billion) – Exclusion granted effective date 7/31/2019 will expire as of 7/31/2020 - statistical reporting number 9903.88.12
The portal is open for comments today, May 1, until June 1, 2020.
NCBFAA Hosting "COVID-19 Regulatory Changes Impacting Importers and Exporters" Webinar
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has presented unique challenges for the U.S. supply chain and for the U.S. economy as a whole. Front and centre is the shortage of critical medical equipment and personal protective equipment ("PPE"), including ventilators, respirators, masks, gloves, swabs and other equipment. Meanwhile, state and local governments across the country have ordered "non-essential" businesses to shutter operations indefinitely. These circumstances have resulted in regulatory changes that affect both U.S. importers and exporters.
This May 5 webinar will address some of the recent regulatory actions taken in the wake of COVID-19 that are relevant to importers and exporters, including:
Registration for this webinar can be made here - https://www.ncbfaa.org/4DCGI/events/875.html?Action=Conference_Detail&ConfID_W=875&menukey=events
BRi China Offices Closed for Holiday
Please note that our China and Hong Kong offices will be closed for the Labour Day holiday.
Shanghai and Shenzhen will be closed May 1 - May 5.
Hong Kong will be closed May 1.
Shanghai and Shenzhen will reopen Wednesday, May 6.
Hong Kong will reopen on Monday, May 4.
BRi ERP and Order Management Program
To ensure you maintain visibility to your shipments as they move through the supply chain, please take advantage of BRi PATHWAY.
The information in PATHWAY is real-time and available 24/7.
To obtain a login for your account, please respond to this email so we can get you started!
As a valued customer, we hope that you will continue to trust us to source the best options for your supply chain needs now and into the future. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding USA News, please contact your assigned Customer Solutions Representative.
Keeping you updated,
BRi Customer Solutions TeamBack to News Page