« AnteriorContinuar »
Customs administration is a third area of concern. There is so workable appeals procedure in practice in Japan. It would seem advisable to establish a Court of Customs Appeals in Japan such as exists in the United States. This court or similar body could be authorized to handle matters of customs classification as well as customs valuation (the Customs Valuation Code requires such a tribunal). Finally, efforts should also be exerted to minimize the number of ambiguities and "miscellaneous" listings in the Tariff Tables since miscellaneous categories are notorious for creating misunderstandings.
As indicated above, the GPC is aware that the Japanese and U.S. governments issued a Joint Statement on improving import procedures, including standards and testing procedures, on December 7, 1979 (see Annendix B for full text). We also understand that the governnentbusiness Manufactured Products Import Council on December 21, 1979 presented recommendations to the Japanese government for the im provement of the testing system for imported goods. We welcome these eliorts made by the two governments and by private circles.
Although some of the following recommendations may be similar to those already put forth by organizations outside of the TSG, because of their importanca we have included them in our recommendations.
1. Invite foreign scholars, experts and representatives of interested partics to present their views to JISC and other official standardswriting bodies whose decisions may in any way affect foreign products in the Japanese market. Japanese standards must be continuously compared to similar foreign standards in order that the former may reflect international trends over time. The electrical appliances case provides an example of what can be done in other industries.
Publicly announce standards changes sufficiently in advance so that comments from all interested parties may be reflected in final standards. Work with JETRO, the U.S. Department of Commerce and ACCJ in ensuring that such notices get the widest possible dissem. ination among interested foreign parties.
3. Make JIS and JAS readily available to foreigr. manufacturers. To ensure availability of JIS and JAS as a practical matter, it will be necessary to develop a means of qualifying and periodically inspecting. foreign factories, or of relying on some official or private foreigo? organization for this purpose.
4. Provide a periodical publication containing up-to-date informatios about changes in laws, regulations and procedures affecting exporters to Japan, indexed in a manner readily understandable by foreigners.
5. Develop a system whereby foreign manufacturers will not be pre: vented from making a free choice of agents and importers because of the Japanese system of awarding product import approvals to importers only.
Permit use of foreign test results wherever possible.
7. Develop and implement a customs valuation system based on "transaction value" in accordance with the GATT Customs Code as soon as possible.
8. Create new customs classifications where necessary to cover newly developed foreign products.
9. Increase transparency of quota administration, particularly with respect to indicating actual quotas currently held by trading comparies and others. *
10. Revitalize the appeals system for customs matters. Mere exist. ence owapplicable laws and statutes is insufficient. The regulations must be accompanied by an open, impartial and quick-responding implementing system staffed by people with sufficient expertise to bring about practical and authoritative settlements.
It may be worth considering the establishment of a Central Court of Customs Appeals within the judicial branch of the Japanese govern
Such a court would have the authority to adjudicate matters of customs classification and valuation, and could be freely utilized by domestic and foreign firms alike.
11. Create an advisory center to which foreign firms can go to seek information, advice and assistance with respect to any problem they may have concerning Japanese regulations, procedures or practices.
12. Expeditiously pass and implement the necessary legislation to comply with the new GATT Code agreed to as part of the MTN agreements.
Japanese authorities take the position that it is inappropriate to disclose quotas held by individual importers. This informatio: is considered confideatial information relating to the business concerned. The GATT and the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures explicitly provide that such disclosure is not required.
Aside from continuing to analyze specific problem areas such as those outlined above, and providing assistance to the various Products' task forces, the GPC regards the compilation and provision to all interested foreign parties of comprehensive and up-to-date information about existing Japanese laws, regulations and procedures as one of its most important future tasks. * In this regard, there is a crying need for reference sources, including written materials and a reference center, from which a potential exporter can learn about Japanese regulations and procedures affecting the marketability of his product in Japan. The written materials need not be so comprehensive as to provide all such regulations and procedures in detail, but should be sufficient to alert the manuiacturer to conduct a more thorough investigation in certain specific areas prior to attempting market entry. The GPC believes that such reference sources would assist the Japanese government in complying with sections 10 and 11 of the Staada:ds Code. We look forward to working with JETRO, appropriate officials of the Japanese government and other concerned parties in creating them.
Financial resources for translation and printing are presently inadequate. The existence of "transparent standards" will accomplish litile if American industry remains "blind" due to the language proolem.
PRODUCTS PROGRAM COMMITTEE
The Products Program Committee is charged with studying and analyzing the marketability of specific products and services with pas. ticular attention to any visible or invisible trade barriers. Currently, the Committee has established Products' task forces in various fields.
Task force progress reports presented here discuss electrical appliances, automobiles, forest products, agricultural chemicals, processed foods, health care products, and trade finance. These areas have been chosen for study as we became aware of specific problems, la many other areas, there appear to be no specific impediments to trade, or at least the companies operating in those areas have not come forward with problems.
Some of the material in the task force reports refer to the same kinds of problems described in the preceding section oa generic problems. Even though it involves some repetition, we have left such material in the Products' task force reports because it illustrates the impact of generic problems on specific product areas.
There is a considerable variance in tone and emphasis among the ta:': force reports. This is because they were prepared by a variety of incustrial groups who, for various reasons, may have somewhat differeut outlooks towards their business problems in Japan.
For the most part, tsere has been very little Japanese participation in our task forces to date. However, we welcome the participation of Japanese luisizessmen with knowledge oí specific products, so thet we can broarien our approach and accomplish our objectives.
ELECTRICAL APPLLANCES TASK FORCE
During 1978, its first year, the Electrical Appliances Task Force identified various issues related to the problems U.S. manuacturers escounter in eateriag the Japanese market. These problems were identified by comparing the standards and testing procedures set by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which Japanese manuiacturers use to ootain product approval for the U.S. market, and those established under the Japanese Electrical Applizaces Control Law, admiaistered by the Ministry oi Isteraational Trade and Industry (MITI), with which American mzuiacturers must comply to enter the Japanese market. Comparison revealed that the UL oifered several advantages to Japanese manufacturers over what MITI ofered to American manufacturers. Thus, the Task Force has been discussing three basic issues with MITI:
Lack of acceptance by MITI o U.S. test data for type approval
Lack oí adequate access by U.S. manufacturers to Japanese
Lack of adequate information by U.S. manufacturers on Japanese standards.
The firsi sign of progress was MITI's decision, announced at a November 1978 TSG meeting, to translate all technical standards for e!ectrical appliances and materials into English. MITI also agreed to allow U.S. manuíacturers of electric appliances to apply directly for VITI'S entrusted test approval through Japan Electric Testing Laboratories, and to allow suitably qualified U.S. manufacturers' representatives to sit on the various committees of the Japan Electric Association.
Current Status: Alihoug'i the above agreements became eiiective on April 1, 1979, the:e were some delays in printing anċ distribution oi the English versior of the related material. Howeve:, the mate:ial is cow available. *
Japan's Lega! Requirements for Electrical Appliances aad Materials