ECCT makes progress on issues raised in 2013 Position Papers
The ECCT resolved four issues and made progress on a further 11 of the issues that were raised in its 2013 Position Papers. The announcement follows the chamber's meeting with the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) and attended by Taiwan's major government ministries and agencies to discuss the government's official reply to the business issues raised in the papers. The annual meeting brought together around 30 officials from a number of government ministries and agencies to discuss priority issues with co-chairs of the ECCT's industry and support committees. The meeting is the culmination of dozens of bilateral meetings held between the ECCT and various government agencies over the course of the past year.
ECCT issues resolved
SITE's fees for securities firms' services: Following reviews by the Securities and Future's Bureau and the Financial Examination Bureau as well as industry players, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) will allow market forces to decide reasonable fees for securities firms' services as long as healthy competition and transparency in the financial market can be ensured.
Equality of treatment for foreign residents - Health checks: The National Immigration Agency has approved the exemption of applicants and their family members from submitting health check certificates when applying for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) in cases where a dependent spouse holds a nationality that is different from the job-holder, provided that nationals from the spouse's country are usually exempt from having to undergo health checks.
Strategy to reduce harm from alcohol: Following the ECCT's recommendation, authorities agreed that existing regulations governing alcoholic beverages are sufficient and that all stakeholders should work together to identify and implement non-legislated solutions that seek to enhance public awareness of the effects of misuse and encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol.
Sustainable management of drug expenditure: The Department of Health (DoH) has implemented a two-year Drug Expenditure Target (DET) pilot programme, which follows ECCT recommendations to introduce a sustainable price adjustment mechanism to manage drug expenditure in the public health service.
ECCT issues where progress was made
Developing Taiwan-based wealth management business and cross-Strait financial services: Authorities now permit onshore funds to be denominated in renminbi (RMB). Offshore funds still may not be denominated in RMB.
Pension fund scheme reform: Financial regulators are planning to set up the framework for a self-directed pension fund scheme by the end of this year.
Promoting Taiwan as an offshore RMB market: Taiwan's Central Bank (CBC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its mainland Chinese counterpart to allow RMB business to be conducted both onshore through Domestic Banking Units (DBUs) and offshore through Offshore Banking Units (OBUs).
Simplifying the application process for new outsourcing services: The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has updated the Q&A of rules governing internal operating systems and procedures for the outsourcing of financial institutions' operations and the application process has been partially simplified.
Electrical Engineering & Equipment
Directive 401: The Minister of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Energy (BoE) will allow companies to submit self-declarations that products manufactured at their ISO-9001-certified factories meet Taiwan's safety standards. The BoE will accept these self-declarations for an initial period of three years. This validation period could be extended for another three years after the relevant factories have been visited by the BoE. These conditions offer companies a temporary reprieve and allow them to conduct their regular business of commissioning and quotations that would otherwise have been severely disrupted.
PRC import ban: The ban on two items manufactured in China and listed on the Healthcare Enhancement committee's 2013 PRC import ban priority list has been lifted and can now be imported into Taiwan. (Please see appendix for the list of items.)
Foreign currency-denominated traditional insurance products: The FSC is considering adding a clause to ease the foreign investment restrictions for smaller insurance companies.
PRC import ban: The ban on 50 items manufactured in China and listed on the Luxury Goods committee's 2013 PRC import ban priority list has been lifted and may now be imported into Taiwan. (Please see appendix for the list of items.)
Retail & Distribution
Product labeling issues - Commodity labeling law: The Department of Commerce is planning to submit draft regulations to the legislature in line with ECCT recommendations that makes the printing of the following on product labels optional rather than compulsory: 1) Manufacturers' information (only importers' information is required) and 2) The date of manufacture for non-perishable items.
Product labeling issues - Labeling of multi-packs: The Department of Health will allow importers to print clear “Not Available for Resale” or similar wording on original product labels and to make agreements with purchasers to clarify the labeling responsibility with retailers who decide to break up and resell smaller units of a multi-pack.
PRC import ban: The ban on the nine items manufactured in China and listed on the Retail & Distribution committee's 2013 PRC import ban priority list has been lifted and may now be imported into Taiwan. (Please see appendix for the list of items.)
Look-back period of documentation for review of VAT refund applications: The MoF issued a ruling on 11 July 2013 specifying that when certain conditions are met, taxpayers will be able to claim VAT refunds resulting from business deregistration before the tax authority's assessment if the documentation for the refund applications have been certified by a certified public accountant (CPA) to verify that supplementary VAT payments, if any, have been filed and paid.