Responsible comrades of the International Department of the Ministry of Commerce interpreted the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (RCEP) Part 2 here is part 1
4. What important consensus has RCEP reached on market opening?
In terms of trade in goods.
The 15 parties have adopted bilateral two-by-two bidding methods to make arrangements for the liberalization of trade in goods. After the agreement takes effect, more than 90% of the goods trade in the region will eventually achieve zero tariffs, and the tax will be reduced to zero immediately and within 10 years. Zero, so that the RCEP free trade zone is expected to fulfill all its commitments to liberalize trade in goods in a relatively short time. It is foreseeable that with the implementation of unified rules such as rules of origin, customs procedures, inspection and quarantine, and technical standards, the abolition of the superposition of tariff and non-tariff barrier effects will gradually release the trade creation effect of RCEP and significantly reduce intra-regional trade costs and product prices. Enhance the competitiveness of products in the region and benefit all companies and consumers.
Seven members, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, adopted negative list commitments, while the remaining eight members including my country adopted positive list commitments, which will be converted into negative lists within 6 years after the agreement takes effect. As far as the level of openness is concerned, all 15 parties have made open commitments higher than their respective “10+1” free trade agreements. China’s service trade opening commitment has reached the highest level of existing free trade agreements. The number of service departments promised is based on the approximately 100 departments promised by China’s accession to the WTO, and 22 new departments including R&D, management consulting, manufacturing-related services, and air transport , And raised the level of commitments in 37 departments including finance, law, construction, and shipping. Other members have made high-level openness commitments in the construction, medical, real estate, finance, transportation and other service sectors that China focuses on.
All 15 parties have adopted a negative list method to make high-level openness commitments for investment in the five non-service sectors of manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishery, and mining, which greatly improves the transparency of policies of all parties. The negative list of Chinese investment reflects the latest developments in domestic reforms. This is also the first time that my country has made a commitment to the investment sector in the form of a negative list under the free trade agreement, to improve the domestic pre-access national treatment plus the negative list foreign investment management system, and lock in domestic compression The results of the reform of the negative list of foreign investment are of great significance to expand market access for foreign investment.
Movement of natural persons.
The parties promise that investors from countries in the region, internal mobile personnel, contract service providers, accompanying spouses and family members, and other business personnel, can obtain a certain period of residence, enjoy visa convenience, and carry out various activities if they meet the conditions. Kind of trade and investment activities. Compared with previous agreements, RCEP extends the scope of its commitment to all types of natural persons that may move across borders under agreements such as investors other than service providers, accompanying spouses, and family members, and the overall level basically exceeds that of the members in the existing free trade agreements. The level of commitment in contracting practice.
5. What content does RCEP have on benchmarking international high-standard free trade rules?
RCEP expands the scope of the original “10+1” free trade agreement rules, not only benchmarking international high-level free trade rules, including intellectual property, e-commerce, competition, government procurement and other topics, but also in small and medium-sized enterprises, economic technology Provisions have been made to strengthen cooperation in areas such as cooperation.
The field of intellectual property,
RCEP covers a wide range of content such as copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications, patents, designs, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and folklore. While taking into account the different development levels of various countries, it has significantly improved the level of regional intellectual property protection. E-commerce field
In addition to provisions for electronic authentication and signature, online consumer protection, online personal information protection, network security, and cross-border electronic information transmission, RCEP has also included data in free trade agreements for the first time in compliance with my country’s laws and regulations. Provisions on flow, information storage, etc. In the field of trade remedies,
On the basis of WTO rules, RCEP made detailed provisions on anti-dumping, countervailing, and safeguard measures, and for the first time included a “prohibition of zeroing” clause in the free trade agreement; at the same time, drawing on international high-standard rules, the “best practice” list is notable Improve the technical level and transparency of anti-dumping and countervailing investigations. Competitive field,
RCEP has reached a high level in areas such as the promotion of antitrust and consumer protection. Government procurement field
The parties reached a consensus on actively carrying out government procurement information exchange and cooperation, providing technical assistance, and strengthening capacity building. Cooperation field
Highlighting that RCEP countries use the free trade agreement platform to strengthen support and investment in SMEs and economic and technical cooperation, so that the contents of the RCEP agreement can better benefit SMEs and developing economies.
6. What important consensus has RCEP reached on rules of origin?
In terms of rules of origin, RCEP uses the regional accumulation principle in this region, so that the value component of product origin can be accumulated in the region composed of 15 member states, and the value component from any party of RCEP will be taken into account, which will be significant Improve the utilization rate of treaty preferential tax rates. For example, according to the previous bilateral free trade agreement, the country of origin cannot be counted as a certain product of a country’s origin. After the accumulation of regional value, it may be recognized as RCEP regional origin and enjoy RCEP preferential tariffs. This will help multinational companies to carry out industrial layout more flexibly, establish a more refined and complete industrial chain division system, and reduce the production cost of final products. It will not only help expand trade between RCEP members, but also greatly promote regional The deep integration and development of supply chain and value chain.
At the same time, compared with the previous “10+1” agreement, RCEP has further enriched the types of certificates of origin. In addition to traditional certificates of origin, it will also allow approved exporters’ declarations and exporters’ independent declarations. It marks the transformation of the declaration of origin system from the issuance mode of officially authorized visa agencies to the independent declaration mode of enterprise credit guarantee, which greatly saves the government’s administrative management costs and the enterprise’s operating costs, and further improves the timeliness of customs clearance of goods.
7. What are the provisions of RCEP in enhancing the level of trade facilitation in the region?
RCEP’s trade facilitation measures mainly include customs procedures and trade facilitation measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. In terms of customs procedures and trade facilitation,
RCEP simplifies customs clearance procedures, adopts efficient management methods such as advance rulings, pre-arrival processing, and the use of information technology to promote customs procedures. When possible, it strives to release express goods and perishable goods within 6 hours after arrival. Promoted the development of new cross-border logistics such as express delivery, and promoted the rapid customs clearance and trade growth of fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products. The overall level exceeds the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. In terms of sanitary and phytosanitary measures,
A series of measures have been formulated to protect the life or health of humans, animals or plants, and ensure that these measures do not restrict trade as much as possible and do not constitute unreasonable discrimination against other RCEP members. On the basis of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, RCEP has also strengthened the implementation of risk analysis, audit, certification, import inspection, and emergency measures. In terms of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures,
RCEP promotes all parties to reduce unnecessary technical trade barriers in the recognition of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, and encourages the standardization bodies of all parties to strengthen information exchange and cooperation on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. These measures will greatly improve the facilitation level of goods trade in the region, reduce trade costs, shorten logistics time, and further promote the formation of a regionally integrated market.
8. In addition to the market access commitments, what other regulations do RCEP provide for trade in services?
In addition to market opening and related rules, the service trade chapter also contains three annexes: financial services, telecommunications services, and professional services. It has made more comprehensive and high-level commitments in the fields of finance and telecommunications, and has cooperated in mutual recognition of professional qualifications. arrangement.
Financial Services Annex
It represents the highest level of commitment in our financial field. The introduction of new financial services, self-regulatory organizations, financial information transfer and processing and other rules for the first time, made a high-level commitment to financial regulatory transparency, and provided financial services to all parties on the premise of preserving regulatory space to maintain the stability of the financial system and prevent financial risks The provider has created a more fair, open, stable and transparent competitive environment. These rules will not only help Chinese financial companies to better expand overseas markets, but also attract more overseas financial institutions to operate in China, injecting vitality into the domestic financial market.
A set of rules and framework related to telecommunications service trade has been formulated. On the basis of the existing “10+1” agreement telecommunications annex, RCEP also includes supervision methods, international submarine cable systems, unbundled network elements, access to electric poles, pipelines and pipe networks, international mobile roaming, and technology selection. Flexibility and other rules. This will promote the coordinated development of the information and communication industry in the region, drive the shift of regional investment and development focus to the frontier areas of technology, promote the integration of industrial innovation in the region, and promote the upgrading and reconstruction of the industrial value chain.
Professional service accessories
A series of arrangements have been made for RCEP members to communicate on professional qualifications. It mainly includes strengthening the dialogue between institutions that recognize professional qualifications, encouraging all parties to negotiate on the qualifications, licenses or registrations of professional services of common concern, and encouraging all parties to discuss education, examinations, experience, conduct and ethics, professional development and re Establish mutually acceptable professional standards and guidelines in areas such as certification, practice scope, and consumer protection.
9. In addition to investment liberalization regulations, what are the other regulations in the investment chapter of RCEP?
The RCEP investment chapter rules mainly include four aspects. In addition to relevant rules on investment liberalization, it also includes investment protection, investment promotion and investment facilitation measures. Specifically, the chapter contains investment protection clauses such as fair and equitable treatment, expropriation, foreign exchange transfer, and loss compensation, as well as investment facilitation clauses such as dispute prevention and coordination and settlement of foreign complaints.
The parties also agreed to discuss the investor-state investment dispute settlement mechanism within two years after the RCEP agreement comes into effect. The RCEP Investment Chapter is a comprehensive integration and improvement of multiple “10+1” investment agreements, which will create a more stable, open, transparent and convenient investment environment for investors in the region.