Progress made on 2017 Position Paper issues
15 November 2017
At the release of its 2018 Position Papers today, the ECCT announced progress on a number of issues. Since the publication of the 2017 Position Papers, eight issues have been successfully resolved, sufficient progress has been made in 10 issues and they have therefore not been raised again and 10 issues have been partially but not completely resolved.
The issues listed below have been resolved by respective committees following the government’s adoption of ECCT recommendations:
Environmental issue - Scrappage programme for old trucks: On 16 August 2017 the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) officially announced a subsidy scheme, effective on the same day, for scrapping Euro I and Euro II heavy duty commercial diesel vehicles. The initiative is in line with the committee’s proposal.
Environmental issues - Noise control for vehicles: On 11 August 2017 the EPA announced draft amendments to Phase VI Noise Control Standards. The announced testing procedures adopt UN/ECE Regulation No. 51-03 and its subsequent amendments are consistent with the committee’s recommendations.
Environmental issues - Noise control for vehicles - Stationary noise: The EPA has decided to focus on the management/control of noise of existing (in-use) and retrofitted vehicles, instead of imposing stricter standards on the stationary noise of new vehicles, for which the EU does not specify limits. This decision echoes the committee’s recommendations.
Allowing banking staff to take charge of "bond agency" and "derivative information and advisory" functions concurrently: Following a relaxation of regulations, employees of banks are now permitted to take charge of "bond agency" and "derivative information and advisory" functions concurrently.
Elimination of pre-market registration for cosmetics advertisements and the establishment of advertising guidelines: The Constitutional Court has ruled that the requirement for pre-approval of cosmetics advertisements is unconstitutional.
Increasing flexibility for foreign students in Taiwan to work: The government has changed the law to allow foreign students studying in Taiwan to have open work permits and be able to work for up to 16 hours per week. This change is exactly in line with the committee’s recommendation.
Retail & Distribution
Food waste processing services: The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has assisted ECCT members to identify certified food waste service providers. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) and various local governments have introduced food bank projects.
Supply Chain (formerly Customs & Logistics)
Labelling at the time of import: Authorities have relaxed regulations and procedures to allow goods importers to clear unlabelled goods at Customs and move the goods to their own warehouses for labelling. The only requirement is that the goods are labelled before they are sold.
Mostly resolved issues
Although not completely resolved, owing to sufficient progress made, the following issues have not been raised again in the 2018 papers.
Regulations for classic cars: The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has developed a classic car license and management scheme, which has been agreed upon by all relevant agencies, except the EPA. The committee has since held discussions with the relevant agencies and drawn up a proposal aimed at addressing concerns raised by the EPA. Given significant progress made already, it is hoped to fully resolve this issue in 2017.
EMC testing of individual vehicle components for after service: The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections (BSMI), working with the Electronic Testing Center (ETC), has devised a testing procedure designed to resolve the difficulties addressed by the committee. The issue has not been repeated this year in acknowledgement of the progress made and pending follow-up monitoring.
Allowing repo/reverse repos to be covered under offshore bond agency licenses: The FSC has filed a ruling to relax the net worth requirement for conducting repo/reverse repos under foreign bond proprietary licenses. This issue has not been repeated in anticipation of final resolution of the issue.
Advertisements: In a proposed draft of the Medical Device Affairs Act, restrictions would be relaxed to allow advertisements for consumer-operated medical devices.
Regulatory framework for biological products: Authorities have given positive responses to some of the recommendations made on this issue. The issue has not been repeated pending follow-up action and monitoring of the results.
Batch testing of vaccines: Authorities have given positive responses to some of the recommendations made on this issue. The issue has not been repeated pending follow-up action and monitoring of the results.
Project & Procurement
Code of conduct and anti-corruption laws: The Executive Yuan has authorised and implemented a code of ethics for procurement personnel and instructed relevant agencies to conduct training programmes in this regard.
Establishing seamless procurement supervision and collaboration between central and local government: The special municipalities of Taipei City, Xinbei City, Taoyuan City, Taichung City, Tainan City and Kaohsiung City have established a procurement audit team to audit procurement operations handled by their respective authorities.
Allocating more resources to deal with significant international tax developments: The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has proposed new rules in line with OECD recommendations to address the issue.
Withholding tax on the costs of services: The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has proposed new rules in line with OECD recommendations to address the issue.
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 issue is raised again).
Enhancing corporate disclosure requirements to strengthen AML and corporate governance: Amendments have been made to the Money Laundering Control Act, which includes provisions regarding domestic politically exposed persons (PEP) and ultimate beneficiaries. However, currently companies’ shareholders lists are not available on Taiwan’s current governmental company registration disclosure platform, making it difficult for financial institutions to implement review procedures on corporate clients to verify their ultimate beneficiary owners.
Environmental issues - Encouraging fuel economy and carbon reduction technologies in passenger vehicles: The Customs Administration under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has followed our recommendations in a series of actions to simplify the application process for passenger vehicle scrappage subsidies. However, subsidies are still limited to certain technologies.
Equality of treatment for foreign residents - National health insurance for newborn babies: The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) has agreed to address the issue of a lack of coverage for newborn babies and legislation to this effect has been passed by the Legislative Yuan.
Equality of treatment for foreign residents - Dual nationality: The National Immigration Agency has proposed changes to allow certain outstanding foreign nationals obtain dual-nationality. However, the current guidelines are overly restrictive.
Electrical Engineering & Equipment
Localization of ACB Certificates: The Bureau of Standards Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) has confirmed that the current examination and application process for Voluntary Product Certification (VPC) will be continued after 2018. However, this only applies to applicants with IEC 60947-2 type test reports, which had already passed BSMI examinations before 30 June 2016. Applications submitted after this deadline may still be subject to additional tests even if applicants have IEC 60947-2 test reports.
Expanding the business scope of e-commerce for the insurance industry: In 2016 the FSC allowed products such as annuity insurance and endowment insurance to be sold online. In the meantime, the Ministry of Interior has introduced and authorized the “Citizen Digital Certificate” as an identity verification measure. Notwithstanding this progress, the application process is time-consuming and tedious, limited to certain types of life insurance products and sums assured, among other restrictions.
Retail & Distribution
Technical barriers to trade for European food products - Sanitary and phytosanitary and food safety approval process: On 18 September 2017 the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration announced draft regulations regarding market access for beef from The Netherlands and Sweden. However, the sanitary and phytosanitary approval process for imported European food products remains excessive.
Technical barriers to trade for European food products - Disclosure of mandatory testing items and standards for organics: Amendments to “Imported Organic Agricultural Product and Organic Agricultural Processed Product Management Regulations” allow the application review process to be conducted prior to the arrival of imported organic food products and a series of new rules implemented by the COA since then has simplified the organic labelling permit application process for importing organic products. However, The COA has not announced a list of required testing items and standards for plasticiser tests.
Import ban on products from China: The import ban has been lifted on five of the items that appeared on committee’s 2017 priority list of items banned for importation from China to Taiwan. There is still an extensive list of products that remain banned or restricted.
Transparency and consistency of government policies - Transparency and consistency of regulations and procedures: In February 2017, the Executive Yuan implemented a rule that all trade related regulations drafted by government agencies are required to provide a 60-day-commentary period to the public. This has greatly increased the transparency of the regulation-making process. However, there has been no progress on the recommendations to conduct Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), or at least, a cost-benefit analysis before implementing regulations to ensure that regulations are practical and durable and there have been several instances of inconsistencies in explanations of regulations and enforcement practices.