(MENAFN-Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA))
Brasília – The Mercosur the countries agreed to reduce the common external tariff ( HEC ) rate of 10%. This tax is levied on most goods imported from other countries outside the South American bloc and varies by product.
The measure was announced this Wednesday (20) during the regular meeting of the Common Market Council, an event that preceded the 60th Mercosur Heads of State Summit and Associated States, which took place this morning in Asunción.
Yesterday (20), when announcing the joint decision, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Júlio César Arriola (pictured above) said the measure could help “improve the competitiveness” of member countries of the block and “access, under better conditions, to our productive sectors to inputs and capital goods.
In a note published today, Brazil’s Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs detailed that the 10% reduction applies to “most of the tariff universe, subject to the exceptions already existing in the block “. Under Mercosur rules, each member country can choose up to a pre-established limit of products for which the common tariff rules do not apply.
“The agreement takes into account the dissimilar needs of member countries, demonstrating Mercosur’s ability to move forward with a constructive vocation towards updating and adapting its tariff structure to current regional and global trade conditions in a balanced manner regarding the productive capacities of the bloc,” explained the Brazilian Ministry of Economy. The measure applies to around 80% of the tariff range and brings the levels practiced by Brazil and the other members of the bloc closer to the average international rates.
“This is a crucial step to increase the competitiveness of the countries of the bloc and strengthen regional production processes in order to promote a beneficial insertion of Mercosur production in global value chains,” the ministry said.
Also during the 60th ordinary meeting, the Common Market Council announced the conclusion of the negotiation process with a view to signing a free trade agreement between Mercosur and Singapore.
In addition to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay the South American bloc includes Venezuela, although the country has been suspended since 2007. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname are considered associated states of Mercosur.
Translated by Elúsio Brasileiro
The post Mercosur Approves 10% Cut in Import Tariffs appeared first on Agência de Notícias Brasil-Árabe.
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