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Argentina Strengthens Non-Preferential Origin Verifications to Prevent Circumvention of AD Measures

Argentina has updated its regulations to verify the origin of imported merchandise in an effort to better prevent the circumvention of trade remedy measures. The non-preferential origin requirements, which were previously found in several resolutions, have also been consolidated into a single regulation with certain modifications. The amended regulations will apply from 18 December.

Origin Documentary Requirements
The following products are subject to non-preferential origin documentary requirements: (i) goods subject to the application of antidumping, countervailing or safeguard measures; (ii) goods from countries that do not benefit from most-favoured-nation status; and (iii) goods whose origin must be determined for statistical reasons. These documentary requirements do not apply in the case of goods imported within the framework of an economic complementation agreement or other trade agreements ratified by Argentina.

Importers of merchandise outlined in points (i) and (ii) above are required to submit a sworn declaration of non-preferential origin in addition to the standard import documentation, although goods subject to the payment of AD duties under an AD duty order involving a single country are not covered. In the case of AD measures in place on a specific product from more than one country, the declaration will be required only for goods from the country(ies) facing the AD measures with the lesser economic impact.

Rules for Determining Non-Preferential Origin
The new regulations do not alter the basic framework for determining non-preferential origin. Accordingly, in the absence of specific origin rules for a product or group of products such origin will continue to be determined in accordance with the following rules: (1) goods wholly obtained or entirely produced in a country; (2) goods entirely produced in a country exclusively from inputs originating in that country; (3) goods transformed or perfected in more than one country, resulting in a shift in tariff heading, are deemed to originate in the country where the last change in tariff classification from a different heading occurred; and (4) goods made by the simple assembly or joining together of parts or components originating in more than one country are deemed to originate in the country in which the parts or components with the highest value originated. Certain guidelines are in place for establishing product-specific origin rules.

Certificate of Origin Requirements for Textiles and Footwear
The certificate of origin requirements for textiles, apparel and footwear of Chapters 51 through 64 have been preserved with certain changes.

Non-Preferential Origin Investigations
The process to conduct non-preferential origin investigations has been beefed up in various ways. For example, the Directorate of Merchandise Origin must now normally issue a technical report within 180 days from the date of initiation of the proceeding, although a 180-day extension may be granted. Once the technical report has been issued, the Trade Secretariat is required to issue a final determination within 90 days. If the declared origin of the goods is rejected, Argentinean authorities will impose a penalty of five times the amount of the tax liability, calculated on the basis of the highest applicable AD measure. The new regulations also specify that non-preferential origin proceedings may be pursued in response to complaints from the private sector and/or inconsistencies found in the sworn declaration or the certificate of origin by the General Customs Directorate or the Trade Secretariat.

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