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Exchange of Diplomatic Notes on the Amendment of Annex 2 of JTEPA

Thailand and Japan have signed diplomatic notes on the amendment of Annex 2 (Product Specific Rules: PSRs) of the Agreement between Japan and the Kingdom of Thailand for an Economic Partnership (JTEPA).

Signing the diplomatic notes on 5 July 2021 were the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Mr. Don Pramudwinai, and the Ambassador of Japan to Thailand, Mr. NASHIDA Kazuya.

According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exchange of the diplomatic notes between the Royal Thai Government and the Government of Japan was arranged as a procedure to adopt the revised Annex 2 of JTEPA, from the outcome of the 6th Meeting of the Sub-Committee on Rules of Origin under JTEPA, on 24 February 2021, of which the Customs Department of Thailand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan are the main authorities.

The purpose of the exchange of diplomatic notes on the amendment of Annex 2 of the JTEPA is to transpose the PSRs under Annex 2 of JTEPA from the Harmonized System (HS) Code 2002 version to the HS 2017 version to facilitate the conduct of business for entrepreneurs of both countries, thereby allowing importers to shorten the preparation period for the related import documents and minimizing the risk of incurring additional tariff burdens in case of HS codes being wrongly assigned. The Thai Cabinet approved the signing of the diplomatic notes on 22 June 2021.

In addition, Thailand and Japan have adopted the revised Operational Procedures (OP) of JTEPA, which was arranged on 20 May 2021 by the exchange of letters between the respective chairs of the JTEPA Joint Committee (JC) of both sides in accordance with the functions of JC indicated in JTEPA.

The adoption of the revised OP has two main objectives, namely (1) to simplify the process of enacting relevant documents under JTEPA and to enhance clarity of rules related to the implementation following a transposition of PSRs, and (2) to develop systems for preliminary examination of the authenticity of certificate of origins (COs), which will allow officials from relevant agencies of Thailand and Japan to examine the authenticity of COs through provided systems.

Coming into force in 2022, the systems will accept the submission of JTEPA COs issued in PDF format and will be used as interim measures while both sides are moving towards the utilization of e-CO data exchange system in the future. Hence, JTEPA is considered as the first agreement for Thailand, which allows the submission and acceptance of COs issued in PDF format.

As next steps, relevant agencies of the Thai and Japanese sides will proceed with the amendment of related domestic regulations to enable the implementation of the revised Annex 2 (PSRs) and the revised OP of JTEPA which will be entered into force on 1 January 2022.

The Customs Department, Ministry of Finance of Thailand, and the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, will announce further details on the implementation of the above revisions.

Source: The Government Public Relations Department