ECCT and NDC Grand meeting on issues raised in the 2017 Position Papers
The annual grand meeting between the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) and the National Development Council (NDC) was held on 29 March. At the meeting representatives of the ECCT's industry and support committees met with various government agencies to discuss the government's official reply to the business issues raised in the chamber's 2017 Position Papers. The meeting was chaired by NDC Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin. It began with opening remarks by the deputy minister and ECCT Chairman Hakan Cervell and lasted for four hours.
The ECCT committees represented were Asset Management, Automotive, Banking, Better Living, Healthcare, HR, Insurance, Pharmaceutical, Project & Procurement, Retail & Distribution and Travel & Tourism. The meeting was coordinated by officials from the NDC who invited representatives from the following government agencies: the Council of Agriculture (CoA), the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Ministry of Labour (MoL), the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MoTC), the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MoHW) and the Public Construction Commission (PCC).
At the meeting government officials undertook to take action on a number of issues. On issues where progress was not made, government agencies agreed to re-evaluate some of their current positions and arrange follow-up meetings with the ECCT in the weeks ahead.
ECCT committees and issues where progress has been made to date:
Issue: Improving Taiwan's international risk status and classification
Progress made: An amendment to the Money Laundering Control Act has been promulgated to require financial Institutions to conduct enhanced due diligence for both local and foreign "politically exposed" persons.
Issue: Scrappage programme for old trucks
Progress made: On 7 March 2017, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced a draft subsidy measure to subsidize Euro-III diesel commercial vehicles to install diesel particulate filters, as the first step to tackle PM (particulate matter) emissions of old trucks. It is understood that the EPA and the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) are currently developing a scrappage programme for Euro-I and Euro-II trucks.
Issue: Encouraging fuel economy and carbon reduction technologies in passenger vehicles - simplifying scrappage subsidy application process
Progress made: The Customs Administration under the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has launched online functions for application status queries and consumer qualification verifications. In addition, the Customs Administration has committed to revise the existing system to simplify the application process.
Issue: Noise control for vehicles
Progress made: The EPA has decided to adopt the EU's R51-03 testing procedure for noise control and focus on the management/control of noise of in-use and retrofitted vehicles, instead of imposing stricter standards on stationary noise of new vehicles, for which the EU does not specify limits.
Issue: Allowing banking staff to take charge of "bond agency" and "derivative information and advisory" functions concurrently
Progress made: The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has promulgated a new ruling to relax the personnel requirements of bond agency and advisory businesses.
Issue: New drug regulatory review, pricing and reimbursement process
Progress made: The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) has agreed to upgrade the functions of its website to enhance the predictability of new drug reimbursement timelines for medicine providers.
Retail & Distribution
Issue: Food waste processing services
Progress made: The EPA has assisted ECCT members to identify certified food waste service providers. Furthermore, the TFDA and various local governments have introduced food bank projects.
Issue: Review process to import organic food
Progress made: On 11 November 2016 the Council of Agriculture (CoA) issued a draft amendment on "Imported Organic Agricultural Product and Organic Agricultural Processed Product Management Regulations", which streamlines the application review process of organic food through an online review mechanism. The CoA is also in the process of amending the application guidelines to allow the review process of application documents, such as foreign organic certificate and application forms, to be conducted prior to the arrival of the products.
Issue: Import ban on products from China
Progress made: The ban on the following 3 items from Retail & Distribution committee's 2017 PRC priority import ban list has been lifted:
7009.91.90.00 All shaped glass mirrors which can be put within a 50*50cm square, unframed
7009.92.00.00 All shaped glass mirrors which can be put within a 50*50cm square, framed
7013.37.00.00 Drinking glasses and decorative drinking glasses, capacity (ml):20-95, Height(mm):50-71, Drinking glasses with volume smaller than or equal to 250ml
The meeting was the culmination of dozens of bilateral meetings held between the ECCT and various government agencies over the course of the past year. During the meeting, ECCT delegates discussed unresolved issues with government representatives with a view towards making further progress.
About the ECCT
With over US$38 billion in direct foreign investments, Europeans remain the largest group of foreign investors in Taiwan. The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan is the only foreign nationwide business chamber in Taiwan and the principal organisation promoting European business interests in Taiwan. The chamber represents over 850 members from over 400 companies and organisations. Through a network of 30 industry and support committees, the ECCT has been successful in addressing specific concerns and providing concrete recommendations to all levels of government to facilitate improving the business environment. The ECCT annually publishes a series of position papers that comprise issues identified by its committees as hindering the further development of their respective industries and provide recommendations to the government of Taiwan for improvement of the business environment on general issues as well as industry-specific problems. They also serve to keep the European Commission and parliament as well as the governments of individual European Union member states informed about Taiwan's business environment.