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ECCT announces progress on issues at 2015 Position Paper launch

At the launch of its 2015 Position Papers, the ECCT announced progress on a number of the issues raised in its previous (2014) Position Papers that had not been previously announced. In total, nine issues raised in the 2014 position were successfully resolved, sufficient progress was made in 11 issues and they have therefore not been raised again while an additional nine issues were partially but not completely resolved.


The following issues raised by the ECCT's Banking, Cosmetics Electrical Engineering & Equipment and Retail & Distribution committees have been resolved:

Banking - Expanding the Offshore Structured Product market in Taiwan: Foreign financial holding companies are now qualified to be issuers/guarantors of Offshore Structured Products.

Cosmetics - Corrective advertisements: The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration has followed the committee's recommendation to eliminate the policy of "corrective advertisements" from its draft regulations.

Electrical Engineering & Equipment - Avoidance of double testing - CNS 3376 explosion proof certificate: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) agreed to follow IEC standards and accept series type certification with additional explanatory documents in order to ensure the safety of equipment used in the work place.

Retail & Distribution     Product labelling issues - Sock labelling: The Department of Commerce has clarified that the responsibility for the labelling of socks should be attributed to retailers and wholesalers.

Additional issues were listed as resolved in papers but had already previously been announced by the Better Living committee and the Telecommunications Media and Content committee (see 11 June entry).

Issues where sufficient progress has been made since the publication of the 2014 Position Papers

Asset Management - Lifting of restrictions on private placement of onshore and offshore funds: The Securities and Futures Bureau has excluded offshore investors from investor quota limits for private placement funds.

Automotive    - Road traffic safety – Opening of radio spectrum frequencies for automotive safety devices: The authorities agreed to begin road testing of the radio spectrum frequencies for safety devices in order to verify that they will not interfere with other signals.

Banking - Building a competitive environment for the development of Formosa Bonds: The Financial Supervisory Commission has announced that qualified Chinese issuers are allowed to issue RMB bonds to professional institutional investors.

Banking - Expanding the scope of products and services available to qualified investors in Taiwan: Foreign banks are allowed to provide services for foreign cash bonds and derivatives including Offshore Structured Products to Professional Institutional Investors through the bond agency platform and derivatives information and advisory services model.

Banking - Enhancing cross-Strait RMB business services - Rationalizing regulations governing OBU's credit extension to China: The FSC issued a letter which clarifies that foreign banks may use Taipei branches' financial ratios and figures as the basis to file applications to increase Offshore Banking Units' credit extensions to China.

Better Living  - Equality of Treatment for Foreign Residents – Permanent Residence: The Executive Yuan has agreed to an ECCT suggestion to make Permanent Alien Residence more convenient. The proposal is pending approval by the Legislative Yuan.

Beverage Alcohol - Harmonisation of hygiene requirements with international standards: While the issue remains a concern, the National Treasury Agency has committed to ensure science-based international standards when formulating or amending hygiene requirements for alcoholic products and Taiwan's compliance with WTO notification procedures.

Energy & Environment - Indoor air quality act: The issue has been dealt with following the passage and implementation of the "Indoor Air Quality Management Act" at the end of 2012.

Insurance - Capital management: The Financial Supervisory Commission has kept monitoring and requesting insurance companies who cannot meet the minimum statutory RBC requirement or are insolvent to inject sufficient capital in order to strengthen their financial stability.

Insurance - Regulations governing insurance brokers: The Insurance Bureau (IB) has further tightened regulations governing insurance brokers by raising the minimum capital requirement for establishing an insurance brokerage and setting requirements for managerial staff, including the chairman and general manager. In addition, the IB has also requested the Insurance Brokerage Association of Taiwan to strengthen its internal control mechanism to enhance the corporate governance standards of insurance brokers in Taiwan.

Tax - Safe harbor threshold for separate transfer pricing analysis by each related party: The Ministry of Finance has requested all taxation bureaus to provide practical advice and to evaluate possible revisions to the transfer pricing safe harbour threshold.

Partially resolved issues
The following issues were partially resolved over the past year (the government has taken action to resolve certain aspects of the issue but because other aspects remain unresolved, the issues are raised again in the 2015 Position Papers).

Asset Management - Pension fund scheme reform: The government has established a new framework for the pension fund scheme. However, more reforms are needed to ensure long term sustainability of the pension fund scheme.

Automotive - CO2 emissions & fuel economy standards - CO2 emission standards for new vehicles: The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) formally announced draft CO2 emission standards in June 2013, which are in line with European practice. The Bureau of Energy (BoE) announced a higher fuel economy standard on 11 August 2014 and has also accepted some suggestions from the committee.

Automotive - Road traffic safety - Safety devices: The Vehicle Safety Certification Center (VSCC) has been collecting opinions from the industry and plans to implement the legislation to enhance road safety. However, details of implementation are still under discussion.

Better Living - Equality of treatment for foreign residents - National Health Insurance for newborn babies: The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) has indicated its willingness to treat all newborn babies the same regardless of nationality, provided the parents are already enrolled in the NHI system. This issue is pending official implementation.

Beverage Alcohol - Product traceability (addressed in previous papers under the heading "Production lot code regulations"): While the recent amendments to the Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act included an amendment to Article 32.6 specifying that the producer's lot code must be labelled, the industry is concerned over how the amendment will be interpreted and implemented.

Electrical Engineering & Equipment - Directive 401: The Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Energy (BoE) has started to work with the committee in order to make the guidelines for Directive 401 on the Indoors Wiring Standard more feasible and practicable.

Electrical Engineering & Equipment - Bringing CNS standards in line with IEC standards: The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) has included IEC 614391-1 and IEC 60364-1 in its draft plan for forthcoming revisions, currently in progress. However, other CNS standards are still not aligned with IEC standards.

Electrical Engineering & Equipment - Import ban on products from China: The ban on two items on the committee's 2014 priority list has been lifted.

Retail & Distribution - Import ban on products from China: The import ban has been lifted on three items on the committee's 2014 priority list but many other products remain banned.