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Trade Policy Review Body - 17 and 19 November 2015 - Trade policy review - Jordan - Minutes of the meeting - Addendum
日期:2016/02/02
作者:Jordan
文件編號:WT/TPR/M/325/Add.1
附件下載:WTTPRM325A1.doc
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TRADE POLICY REVIEW

Jordan

minutes of the Meeting

Addendum

Chairperson: H.E. Mr. Atanas Atanassov Paparizov (Bulgaria)

This document contains the advance written questions and additional questions by WTO Members, and replies provided by Jordan.[1]

 

 

Organe d'examen des politiques commerciales

17 et 19 novembre 2015

EXAMEN DES POLITIQUES COMMERCIALES

Jordanie

Compte rendu de la réunion

Addendum

Président: S.E. M. Atanas Atanassov Paparizov (Bulgarie)

Le présent document contient les questions écrites communiquées à l'avance par les Membres de l'OMC, leurs questions additionnelles, et les réponses fournies par Jordanie.1

 

 

Órgano de Examen de las Políticas Comerciales

17 y 19 de noviembre de 2015

EXAMEN DE LAS POLÍTICAS COMERCIALES

Jordania

Acta de la reunión

Addendum

Presidente: Excmo. Sr. Atanas Atanassov Paparizov (Bulgaria)

En el presente documento figuran las preguntas presentadas anticipadamente por escrito y las preguntas adicionales de los Miembros de la OMC, así como las respuestas facilitadas por Jordania.1


REPLIES TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

2 TRADE AND INVESTMENT REGIME

2.4 Trade Agreements and Arrangements

2.4.2 Regional and bilateral agreements and 2.4.3 Other preferential arrangements

Page 22

 

EU question No 1: In view of Jordan's participation in a number of regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements, could Jordan elaborate on perspectives for further deepening trade relations with its neighbouring countries in general and with other member countries of the Agadir Agreement in particular?

 

Jordan seeks to promote its trade relations within the region. Currently, GAFTA members are discussing closer trade relations in services to boost regional integration. Expanding the scope of Agadir Agreement to cover trade in services is also under consideration by members, in addition to considering the accession of new Arab countries to the Aghadir agreement.

 

2.5 Investment Regime

Paragraph 2.20, page 26

The EU has noted with interest the WB Doing Business report of 2015 and the ranking of Jordan for ease of doing business as well as the one of the World Economic Forum. We also noted that Jordan has adopted a new investment law in 2014 facilitating investment procedures and that, for certain sectors, FDI restrictions are in place. 

 

EU question No 2: The EU would like to know more about the rationale of these restrictions in particular those related to trade activities (such as distribution of goods and services) and services (such as professional services) as well as the FDI prohibitions in place in certain sectors, such as for instance passenger and freight road transport services, sports clubs or real estate.

 

A: Jordan has undertaken extensive commitments under GATS that have provided for full ownership of foreign investors in sectors such as Banking, Telecommunications, insurance, education and health services. The Non- Jordanian investment regulation is currently being reviewed.

 

3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE

3.1 Measures Directly Affecting Imports

3.1.1 Customs procedures valuation and rules of origin

Paragraph 3.5, page 31

According to the report "customs declarations may be made either by the owners of the goods (or their authorized representatives), or by licensed customs agents. No foreign firms may import goods without appointing an agent registered in Jordan."

 

EU question No 3: Could Jordan explain what is meant by 'foreign firms'?

 

A: to be provided later

 

3.1.2.3 Tariff exemptions and reductions

Paragraph 3.20, page 38

According to the report, goods imported into Jordan, on which customs duties and other taxes were not collected, must be re-exported, or used in the free-trade zone or the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. Goods imported by specific state-owned enterprises and non-profit organizations are also exempted from import duties. The Investment Law No.30 of 2014 regulates situations where exemptions may be applied to import duties (section 3.4.1).

 

EU questions Nos 4 and 5: Could Jordan clarify whether this provision means that all goods (including agricultural products) imported into Jordan duty free, can only be used in the free-trade zone or have to be re-exported? Could Jordan clarify how they monitor that such duty free goods are not sold on the internal market?

 

A: In respect of goods within the Free zones, all goods including agricultural products imported into Jordan duty free zones are under customs control and are tracked whether they are re-exported or consumed within the free zones.

Standards and other technical requirements

Paragraph 3.1.6, page 42

Standards legislation and conformity assessment procedures are fundamental for product safety and consumer protection, as well as facilitation of trade of industrial goods. Concerning horizontal legislation in this area the EU notes that the amendment law on standards and metrology is waiting for discussion in the Parliament while the draft accreditation law has been withdrawn for redrafting.

 

EU question No 6: Given the importance of these pieces of legislation for the regulatory approximation between Jordan and its international trade partners, the EU would like to know what is the current situation of Jordan's reforms in this area and what are the steps the government has decided to take in order to accelerate discussion and adoption of these texts as well as any related secondary texts and technical regulations.

 

A: The Amendment of the Law no. 22/2000 on Standards and Metrology was endorsed by the Parliament and published in the official gazette on 02 August 2015.  In addition, a Bylaw on Accreditation no. 18/ 2015 was approved by Cabinet and  issued in the official Gazette on  18 October 2015 to give the accreditation the needed impartiality and independence. Other horizontal legislation are draft Instructions on Market Surveillance, draft Instructions on Accreditation, draft Instructions on Conformity Assessment procedures and draft Instructions on Designation and Notification of Conformity Assessment Bodies, which will be endorsed upon the inclusion of comments from relevant stakeholders .

 

The Draft General Product Safety Instructions are ready for publication based on Amendment Law no. 22/2000 on Standards and Metrology.

 

3.1.6.2 Sanitary and phytosanitary requirements

Page 44

Jordan has stated that in the area of SPS requirements the country follows international standards in food safety as well as animal and plant health. Until August 2015 Jordan made several notifications to the WTO of sanitary and phytosanitary measures taken mainly in the form of temporary import bans.

 

EU questions Nos 7 and 8: Could Jordan inform whether any temporary ban for poultry and poultry products is currently in place? Should it be the case, could Jordan clarify the reasons for their application as well as the envisaged timing for their elimination?

 

A: With regards to EU member countries (Italy, Netherlands, Hungary and United Kingdom) the temporary ban of poultry and poultry products will be officially lifted except for Germany in which the import is suspended only from zones that have registered cases the ban will be lifted after three months from resolving the case according to OIE standards, on 3/12/2015 unless new cases are registered.

 

3.1.7 Government procurement

Page 47

The EU has noted the complexity of the Jordanian government procurement system as well as the limiting factors for the participation of foreign firms in certain activities such as public works and technical services. Furthermore, Jordan has stopped its GPA accession process pending finalization and adoption of its new unified procurement by-law.

 

EU question No 9: Could Jordan clarify what is the status of this reform and the anticipated timing for the adoption of the new legislation and what implications will this have for Jordan's GPA accession?

 

A: Jordan is continuing its efforts in the field of procurement reforms. The new draft legislation is still under review by the Legislative Bureau at the Prime Ministry and relevant government authorities. The draft legislation harmonises procurement procedures in all ministries, government agencies, and institutions; as well as harmonizing procurement procedures pertaining to public works, goods and services, with the exception of some Procured Items

 

 

 

3.2 Measures Directly Affecting Exports

3.2.2 Export fees

Page 49

The EU notes that Jordan applies a regime of export fees for a number of certain mining and quarrying row materials as well as a number of manufactured products.

 

EU question No 10: What is the rationale of these fees for the concerned products?

 

A: This is according to the Quarries fees bylaw No. 86 for the year 1986. Article 4 indicated that any exports of quarrying raw materials shall be subject to fees.  The fees aim at sustaining natural recources.

 

3.3.3 Competition policy and price controls

3.3.3.1 Competition policy

Table 3.20, page 58

 

EU questions Nos 11 to 13: Under abuse of dominant position, it is stated that below cost pricing is not prohibited for perishable goods, liquidations and sales. Could Jordan clarify whether below cost prices are prohibited for all other types of goods and services and in situations other than liquidations and sales? If yes, does the prohibition only apply to dominant firms, or to all firms? What is the justification for the prohibition?

 

A: Below cost pricing for perishable goods, liquidations and sales stated under Practices Detrimental to the Fairness of Commercial Transactions (Article 8).

 

Article 6 : “An Enterprise with a Dominant Position in the local market or a significant part thereof is prohibited from abusing this Dominant Position in order to prevent, limit or weaken competition including the following:

 

b- An activity or action which leads to setting barriers of entry of other enterprises to the market, or their elimination there from, or their exposure to gross losses including loss selling.”

 

Article 8: “Practices Detrimental to the Fairness of Commercial Transactions

A producer, importer, wholesaler or service provider may not:

 

B-  1- The resale of a product as is at a price below its actual purchase price plus the taxes and charges and transport costs applicable thereto, if any, is prohibited if the purpose of such a sale is to limit competition.

 

    2- For the purpose of this paragraph, the actual purchase price shall mean the price set in the invoice after deduction of the discounts specified in the same invoice. The aforementioned restriction shall not apply to perishable goods and allowed reductions on sales for the purpose of liquidation of a business, or to restock at lower prices.”

 

EU question No 14: Mergers have to be notified if a 40% market share threshold is exceeded. Please explain how the market share should be calculated.

 

A: (Article 9 b) For completing the economic concentration operations, which would be of effect on the level of competition in the market by either realizing or reinforcing a Dominant Position, it is stipulated to obtain the approval of the Minister in writing, in case that the total share of the Enterprise or Enterprises concerned in the economic concentration operation exceeds (40%) of the total transactions in the market;

 

The market share shall be calculated based on the sales of the last financial year of the concerned companies, and if this was not possible, certain reliable data will be used.

 

EU questions Nos 15 and 16: The Competition Directorate has the power to monitor notified mergers. What does this monitoring entail? Does the Competition Directorate or the Judicial Council have the power to prohibit proposed mergers or make them subject to conditions?

 

A: According to article (11) of the competition law: “The Minister may, upon a submission made by the Director(competition Director), issue a justified decision on requests submitted by virtue of the provisions of Article (10) hereof as follows:

 

1-Approve the economic concentration operation in case the same does not adversely affect the competition, or has positive economic effects that outweigh any adverse effect on competition, such as that the same results in lowering of the price of services or commodities, creating job opportunities, encouraging export, attracting investment, or supporting the capacities of national Enterprises to internationally compete.

 

2-Approve the economic concentration operation provided that the concerned Enterprises undertake to implement the conditions specified by the Minister for that purpose.

 

3- Disapprove the economic concentration operation and issue a decision on termination thereof and the return to the status quo ante.”

 

Paragraph 3.117, page 59

 

EU questions No 17: How does Jordan ensure the operational independence of the Competition Directorate? Are decisions in competition cases adopted by the Judicial Council subject to appeal?

 

A: According to article (12) of the competition law The Directorate, in coordination with the concerned entities, shall assume the following duties and powers:

 

1.     To gather information to detect the practices that violate the rules of competition, in cooperation with the concerned authorities within the provisions of the laws in effect;

2.     To conduct investigations in the practices it detects, on the basis of complaints and claims that it receives, or those assigned to it by the competent courts, and to prepare reports on the findings thereof and presenting submissions or reports to the Minister or the Court, as the case may be;

3.     To receive and follow up requests related to economic concentration operations and to prepare reports, submissions and draft decisions thereon;

4.     To accept and follow up the requests for exemption and to make submissions with respect thereof;

5.     To issue explanatory opinions on matters related to the activities thereof, either spontaneously or upon the request of the Enterprises;

6.     To contributing to drawing up the general plan of competition and legislations and studies related thereto;

7.     To work on promoting the culture of competition, and protecting and encouraging the same

8.     To seek the assistance of experts or consultants from outside the Ministry to accomplish any activities within the competences thereof;

9.     To cooperate with peer bodies outside the Kingdom for the purposes of exchange of information and data, as well as matters related to the execution of competition rules within the limitations permitted by international treaties on a basis of reciprocity.

 

Decisions of the Court in cases related to competition shall be appealable before the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation.

 

Paragraph 3.118, page 59

 

EU questions No 18: It seems that the Competition Directorate is underfunded. Does Jordan have any plans to increase the budget of the competition Directorate?

 

A: Allocating an annual budget for the Competition Directorate within the ministry's budget takes into account the annual work plan and the projects to be implemented during the year. The Directorate is in need for technical assistance and capacity building.

 

3.3.5 Intellectual property rights

Page 63

The EU notes with satisfaction the ratification by Jordan of a series of important international treaties in the area of protection of IPRs as well as the adoption of related legislation. Jordan has also made important efforts in the area of customs enforcement of IPRs.

EU question No 19: The EU would like to get more information on the way the management of IPRs is organised within the IPR directorate of MITS and whether Jordan has the intention to create an independent Patent and Trademark Office.

A: At the time being, creating an independent Patent and Trademark Office is not envisaged. The IPR Directorate operates pursuant to relevant IP laws.

 

EU question No 20: the EU would like also to know more about the non-exclusive licence for translation of copyrighted works issued by the Minister of Culture (§3.39) and the authors compensation; also on the nature of legal cases initiated by the Copyright Office of the National Library (§ 3.141) and in particular its ex-officio enforcement competences.

 

A: The non-exclusive license for translation of copyrighted works issued by the Minister of Culture

Article 11 of the Jordanian Copyright Law No. 22 of the Year 1992 and its Amendments limits the license for translation and reproduction only and sets the conditions required for obtaining a non-exclusive license. These conditions are:

 

§  For Translation, only for the purposes of education (school or university) and for research.

§  For reproduction, only for the purpose of education

Art. 11 states that:

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article (9) of this Law:

 

a)     Any Jordanian citizen shall have the right to obtain an inclusive license whose title cannot be transferred, from the Minister or the person authorized by him, to translate any foreign work published in a printed form or any other form to the Arabic language and to publish this translation in printed form or any other similar form, provided that three years have elapsed since the first publication date of this work, and that no translation thereof has been published in Jordan in the Arabic language by the owner of the translation right or with his approval or in the case the translated copies have been consumed.

 

b)     Any Jordanian citizen shall have the right to obtain an inclusive license whose title cannot be transferred to others, from the Minister or the person authorized by him, to reproduce or publish any of the following published works according to the following conditions:

 

1.    The lapse of three years since the first publication date of any printed work related to technology, natural sciences, physics or mathematics, or after the lapse of seven years since the first publication of poetic, theatrical, musical works, art books and novels or the lapse of five years since the first publication of any other published works.

2.    That no copies thereof have been distributed in the Kingdom to fulfill the needs of the general public or school or university education through the owner of the right of reproduction or with his approval and at a price compatible with the prices of similar works in the Kingdom

3.    That the published copies be sold in accordance with the provisions of this clause at a price equal to or less than the price stated in clause (2) of this paragraph.

c)     Translation licenses provided for in paragraph (a) of this Article shall only be granted for the purposes of school or university education or research. Reproduction licenses provided for in paragraph (b) of this Article shall only by granted for use in the field of school or university education.

 

d)     Upon the granting of a translation or reproduction license the original author of the work which was translated or reproduced shall become entitled to a just compensation compatible with the standards of the monetary rights of the author which are prevalent in voluntary license contracts between people in the Kingdom and between people in the author’s country.

 

e)     The conditions and procedures for the granting of licenses provided for in this Article shall be determined in pursuance to a regulation issued for this purpose.

 

 

 

-       The authors compensation

Article 49 of the law describes in detail the circumstances and conditions of compensation, it states that:

 

The author who any of the rights entitled to his work have been violated may, in pursuance to the provisions of this Law, receive a just compensation provided that the author’s cultural standing, the value of the literary or scientific or artistic work and the value of the original work in the market and the extent to which the violator benefited from exploiting the work are taken into account. The compensation ruled for the author in this case shall be considered a privileged debt on the net sum resulting from the sale of the items used in the violation of his right and the sums seized in the course of the lawsuit.

 

-   the nature of legal cases initiated by the Copyright Office of the National Library and in particular its ex-officio enforcement competences.

 

Most of legal cases initiated by the Copyright Office through its Ex-officio authority are for DVDs, CDs, and books.

 

EU question No 21: Finally some more information on the competences of JSMO in fighting counterfeiting and piracy will be welcomed.

 

A: JSMO has a role in the prevention of counterfeiting products detected at the borders and in the market according to Article 33-b, Article 33-d and Article 34-a-5, by confiscating and destroying the counterfeit product at the borders and in market, and sending the violator to the court. Also through the Anti-counterfeiting Verification and Notifying Unit, JSMO is responsible for verifying the genuineness of the trade mark fixed on the product label through correspondence with the trade mark owner.

 

3.3.5.5 Enforcement of intellectual property rights

Paragraph 3.145, page 66

 

According to the report, Jordan Customs have the right to suspend the release of goods which it suspects may constitute an infringement of intellectual property rights at the border. The right holder can file a criminal or civil case before the competent court during eight days after being notified of the customs decision to suspend the release of the goods. In 2014, there were 253 IPR infringement cases, of which 28 were filed to court.

 

EU question No 22: Could Jordan clarify if the above-mentioned provisions of enforcement of intellectual property rights at the borders are also applied to Protected designation of origin (PDO) and/or Protected geographical indication (PGI) products?

 

A: According to Jordanian Customs Law No. 20 of 1998 in Article No. 41/h Intellectual Property Rights are applied to Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and/or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products.


REPLIES TO AUSTRALIA

Report by the Secretariat – WT/TPR/S/325

 

2 TRADE AND INVESTMENT REGIME

2.3 Trade Policy Objectives

Page 22, Paragraph 2.11 AND

 

4 TRADE POLICIES BY SECTOR

4.2 Mining and Energy 

Pages 75-76, Paragraph 4.28 AND

 

4.2.2 Petroleum refining and distribution sector

Page 80, Paragraph 4.46 AND

 

4.2.4 Minerals, oil and natural gas

Page 81, Paragraph 4.52 AND

 

4.2.5 Oil and natural gas

Page 84, Paragraphs 4.62, 4.63

 

Question 1

To what extent do Jordan’s priorities and initiatives (‘Jordan 2025: National Vision and Strategy’, ‘2007-2020 Master Strategy of the Energy Sector’, ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law’) influence or support Jordan’s mining equipment, technology and services sector?

 

A: Main goals of Jordan Master strategy of energy sector 2007-2020 and its updated strategy up to 2025 are to increase the contribution of local energy resources in energy mix by enhancing and utilizing renewable energy to contribute with 15% of electricity generation in 2025, enhancing oil shale investment to contribute with 14% of electricity generation, introducing a nuclear power for electricity generation and increasing energy efficiency in the sector. Implementing the aforementioned goals will definitely support Jordan mining equipment and Jordan will need many types of energy technologies such as wind mills, photovoltaic energy efficiency equipment as well as many types of services with regard to technical consultancy studies.

 

What are the types of equipment, technologies and services that the Jordanian resources sectors need for the future?

 

A:Jordan will be in a need of many types of high performance technologies such as nuclear reactor technologies, power plant technologies, burning oil shale technologies, wind power technologies, solar power technologies, and energy efficiency technologies such as LEDs.

 

4 TRADE POLICIES BY SECTOR

4.1 Agriculture

4.1.3 Agricultural Policies

Page 72, Paragraph 4.16

 

Question 2

Could Jordan explain how the National Strategy for Agricultural Development (2014-20) interacts with Jordan Vision 2025?

 

A: The National Strategy for Agricultural Development (2014-2020) was updated and extended until 2025 in order to ensure harmony with the national vision 2025. Jordan’s vision 2025 goals were reflected in the Strategy and will be achieved through certain procedures and policies that adopted in the Strategy on the sector level according to a flexible timetable that takes into account the developments on the global and regional levels.


4.2.5 Oil and natural gas

Page 84, Paragraph 4.62

 

Question 3

Australia recognises the importance of the mining and energy sector to Jordan’s economic development and notes the significant role of foreign investment in this sector. Could Jordan please provide further detail on opportunities for foreign investors and services suppliers in this sector?

 

A: Jordan is rich in mineral resources as the following:

 

1-     Metallic Resource, such as: Copper and Gold

2-     Non-metallic Resources, such as: Kaolin, Silica Sand, Zeolitic tuff, Dolomite, Basalt, Zircon, Chalk, Feldspar, Bentonite, Diatomite and Limestone.

3-      Energy resources, such as: Oil Shale and Uranium.

 

The exploitation of mineral resources

 

Some of the mineral resources in Jordan were exploited, exported and also consumed in the domestic manufacture of fertilizers such as phosphate and potash. Meanwhile, limestone is also exploited and exported. The other mineral resources, such as silica sand, feldspar and kaolin ….etc. are still not exploited in a large scale.

 

Several of the mineral deposits in Jordan have high levels of purity that facilitate processing to high value added products for different industries which have a high promising investment opportunities such as: Silica Sand, Feldspar, Basalt, Zeolitic tuff, Gold, Copper and Zircon.

 

Investment in energy sector:

 

So far, the only important indigenous source of energy in Jordan is Oil Shale. Jordan possesses a very large energy resource in its vast reserves of oil shale; it is ranked as the fourth country in the world. Jordan has more than 70 billion tons of surficial proven reserves and the deep reserves are estimated tens of multiples thereof for the surface oil shale. The need for developing the only indigenous energy resources (i.e. oil shale) sets as a high priority on the national agenda of the Government of Jordan.

 

Jordan is endowed with a high insulation intensity averaging 5 to7 kwh/m3 that is one of the highest intensities recorded anywhere in the world. Jordan offers an excellent solar regime for deploying photovoltaic and low to high temperature solar systems for power generation. Jordan also has a potential wind regime suitable for electricity generation and direct water pumping. It is estimated that about 2 to 3% of total fuel consumption in Jordan can be substituted by solar and wind energy generation.

 

4.3.1.1 Banking Sector

Pages 84-85, Paragraph 4.66

 

Question 4

Could Jordan outline the accreditation process for foreign financial services suppliers seeking to provide Islamic Banking services in Jordan? Which bodies are responsible for issuing any necessary accreditation, and are the requirements for the accreditation process available on-line?

 

A: The Central Bank of Jordan is the only official accreditation body where licenses for banks (local, foreign, Islamic or regular) are granted in accordance with the “Banking Law” which is the main legislation governing the banking sector in Jordan. The “Bank Licensing Guidelines” explain in detail the licensing process and are available online on the website of the Central Bank of Jordan (www.cbj.gov.jo). Articles 50-59 of the “Banking Law” discuss in detail Islamic Banking activities.

 


4.3.3.1 Air Transport

Page 94, Paragraph 4.115

 

Question 5

Australia notes the important role of air transport in Jordan’s economy. Could Jordan please outline the opportunities for foreign firms wishing to provide services related to air transport, such as airport operations consultancy services and ground handling?

 

A: Since adopting the Civil Aviation Law in 2007 the policy of separating the “Operator from Regulator” operating Jordanian Airports by foreign firms became allowed as well as providing Ground Handling Services (GHS); whereas Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) is operated by foreign firm Airport International Group (AIG) since November 2007, and under the terms of a 25-year concession agreement, (AIG) became the responsible for the operation of (QAIA), the rehabilitation of the airport’s facilities, and the construction of the new passenger terminal. Also the right of providing (GHS) at (QAIA) is limited to Royal Jordanian and Mynzys until the 1st of January 2016, nonetheless; Airlines shall have the right to perform their own ground-handling in (QAIA) until 2016 or contract with a competing agent of their choice, including any other airlines which perform ground-handling, for such services in whole or part, to any other airlines until 2016. These rights shall be subject to JACR Part (140).

 

Furthermore the Aviation Consultancy Service is generally liberated.

 

Report by Jordan – WT/TPR/G/325

1 INTRODUCTION

1.2 Jordan Vision 2025

Page 3, Paragraphs 1.6, 1.7, 1.8  AND

 

3 SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

3.2 Natural resources, mining and energy

 

Page 6, Paragraphs 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 AND

3.3 Industrial sector

Page 7, Paragraph 3.13

 

Question 6

To what extent do Jordan’s priorities and initiatives (‘Jordan 2025: National Vision and Strategy’, ‘2007-2020 Master Strategy of the Energy Sector’, ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law’) influence or support Jordan’s mining equipment, technology and services sector?

 

A: Please see answer of Question no (1)

 

What are the types of equipment, technologies and services that the Jordanian resources sectors need for the future?

 

A: Please see our answer of Question no 1

 

1.2 Jordan Vision 2025

Page 3, Paragraph 1.8

 

Question 7

Could Jordan outline what agricultural initiatives or projects are planned under Jordan Vision 2025?

 

A: The initiatives include the following

 

·         Encouraging the use of agricultural technology and organic production.

·         Encouraging water efficient technologies for agricultural production.

·         Increasing the number of quality assurance for plantation units.

·         Encouraging agricultureal applied research.

·         Maintain the sustainability of agricultural resource and biodiversity

·         Ensure a healthy and safe agricultural production

 

 

3 SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

3.2 Natural resources, mining and energy

Page 6, Paragraph 3.6

 

Question 8

Australia recognises the importance of the mining and energy sector to Jordan’s economic development and notes the significant role of foreign investment in this sector. Could Jordan please provide further detail on opportunities for foreign investors and services suppliers in this sector?

 

A: Please see our answer of Question no 3.

 

4 Services

Page 7, Paragraph 3.17

 

Question 9

Australia notes the important role of air transport in Jordan’s economy. Could Jordan please outline the opportunities for foreign firms wishing to provide services related to air transport, such as airport operations consultancy services and ground handling?

 

A: Please see answer of Question no (3).


REPLIES TO CAnada

 

Report by the Secretariat (WT/TPR/S/325)

 

Part III. Trade Policies and Practices by Measure: Measures Directly Affecting Imports: Other charges affecting imports: paragraph 3.22, p. 38.

 

Paragraph 3.22 indicates that Jordan Customs collects a number of services allowances on imports, including: an import processing fee, which is levied at the rate of 0.2% of the transaction value, with a minimum of JD 10 and maximum of JD 250 per declaration; a transit fee of JD 20 per transaction; and a re-export fee of JD 15 per transaction.

 

1.     Could Jordan please explain how these fees are consistent with Article VIII of the GATT, particularly the obligation to limit fees imposed in connection with importation to the approximate cost of services rendered?

 

A: These fees are consistent with the ‘cost of services’ requirement in relevant GATT articles. The revenues of this fee are directed to the Customs Department and other involved government agencies as a return for the services they provide and is used to improve such services in terms of training, improving customs houses and other aspects.

 

Part III. Trade Policies and Practices by Measure: Measures Directly Affecting Imports: Labelling and packaging requirements: Paragraph 3.53, p. 44.

 

Canada notes with interest that the Secretariat’s report states that “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not allowed to be imported into Jordan, according to an instruction published by the Ministry of Environment in 2009. JFDA took a decision through its supreme committee for the control of food to prohibit the importation of all GMOs and their products intended to be used as food or in food production.”

 

2.     Can Jordan provide full details of Jordan’s measure to Canada, including a list of products covered?

 

A: The measure applies to all countries and on both foreign and domestic products. It covers all food items including raw materials, semi-finished products, and ready to eat food.

 

3.     Can Jordan provide details regarding the objective and rationale of this measure?

 

A: For environmental and food safety purposes

 

4.     Did Jordan notify the WTO of its measure and provide Members with an opportunity to comment?

 

A: Jordan will be notifying this measure to WTO

 

Part III.  Trade Policies and Practices by Measure:  Government procurement: Paragraph 3.66, p. 47

 

The Report by the Secretariat notes that Jordanian “authorities stated that Jordan intends to pursue its accession process [to the WTO plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)] after finalizing the ratification of the new procurement by-law.” Canada welcomes this development and is looking forward to working with Jordan towards its accession to the GPA.

 

5.     When does Jordan plan to be able to re-engage in its WTO GPA accession process? Are there precise timelines for the ratification of the new procurement by-law?

 

A: The new draft legislation is a key element for the GPA accession and it is still under review by the Legislative Bureau at the Prime Ministry and relevant government authorities.

 

Paragraph 3.69, p. 47

 

The Report by the Secretariat noted that “Jordan is preparing a unified procurement by-law, which is awaiting ratification by the Cabinet. The new by-law has provisions for almost all types of government procurement with several key reform features.”

 

6.     Will all procuring entities be covered by this unified procurement by-law?

 

A: The draft legislation aims at harmonizing procurement procedures in all ministries, government agencies, and institutions; as well as harmonizing procurement procedures pertaining to public works, goods and services, with the exception of some Procured Items.

 

7.     Will the unified procurement by-law treat domestic and foreign companies differently?

 

A: The draft unified procurement by law is still under review as mentioned in the answer to question (5) above. A number of principles in the by-law will depend on the GPA market access negotiations outcomes.


REPLIES TO BRAZIL

 

PART I - QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SECRETARIAT REPORT

 

Page 7 (Para 1)

 

At the time of the last Trade Policy Review of Jordan in November 2008, Jordan was affected by the ongoing unrest in Iraq and the onset of the global financial crisis and, since 2011, it has been affected by the civil war in Syria. The combined effect of these factors has disrupted trade, reduced investment, and greatly increased the number of refugees in the Kingdom.

 

Questions:

 

1. Could Jordan specify some of the measures taken by the Government to alleviate the effects of the political and security crisis affecting its neighboring countries?

 

A: The Government is working intensively and has taken all measures to ensure the kingdom’s security and stability. The Jordanian economy was able to recover from the global crisis and regional unrest due to the solid economic grounds and the resilience of the economy. Jordan continued to attract investments exports continued to grow until 2014. The new regional developments with the closure of borders in Syria and Iraq in 2015 represent a major challange to the Jordanian industry.

 

2. Does the Government of Jordan believe that there are any trade policies that could be changed to help shield the Jordanian economy, given the current regional context?

 

A: Jordan strongly believes that economic reform is a continuous process. The Government has been working on additional reforms to improve business environment that aim at promoting private sector development and enhancing investment environment, those include new laws governing investment, Public Private Partnership. Moreover, The Government is also working on foreign trade policy to enhance national exports in terms of diversifying products exported and also in finding new export markets as the regional developments led to a loss of Jordanian traditional export markets.

 

Page 51 (Para 3.85)

 

In October 2014, Jordan submitted to the Council for Trade in Goods a request to extend beyond 2015 the transition period for the elimination of export subsidies, and revised its request in June 2015. The authorities stated that a confluence of exogenous factors which have significantly worsened since the last Review, have had a detrimental effect on trade, investment and industry and, therefore, Jordan had requested an extension to the waiver for four years to allow the economy time to adjust.

 

Question:

 

3. Could Jordan elaborate on any other measures being undertaken by the Government to strengthen its export sector in order to overcome the effects of the Syrian and Iraqi crises?

 

A: Jordan is currently working on drafting a new trade policy. This document takes into consideration regional developments. One of the new policy's pillars aims at enhancing competitiveness and diversifying exports:

 

·         The Government is trying to find different means of transport for exports due to the high cost of transportion for exports.

·         The Government is also working with trade partners to overcome all the obstacles and make the flow of goods much easier and more competitive.

·         The Government is currently working, in cooperation with the private sector, to find new markets for Jordanian exports.

 

 

 

 

Page 55 (Para 3.104)

 

Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) initiative was launched to support the peace process and economic cooperation between Israel and its neighbours (Jordan and Egypt). QIZs are designated industrial parks in Egypt and Jordan from which goods can be exported duty-free and quota-free to the United States. For goods moving into and out of the zones, customs procedures are streamlined and tariffs do not apply. Qualifying businesses must meet certain criteria such as promoting economic cooperation, and satisfying local content requirement: at least 35% must be produced locally, of which a minimum of 11.7% must be Jordanian and 8% Israeli (7% for high-tech products).

 

The other 15.3% may come from either a Jordanian QIZ, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or the United States (a maximum 15% U.S. content). The QIZ initiative has no expiry date and thus does not require renewal by the U.S. Congress.

 

Questions:

 

4. Does the Jordanian Government take any precaution to avoid that companies or capital involved in any manner in the settlement activities in the Occupied Arab Territories are benefited from this mechanism?

 

A: to be provided later

 

5. Does the Jordanian Government have any particular mechanism to encourage business from Palestine to benefit from the QIZ initiative?

 

A: The original rationale of the QIZs was to encourage trade among the Parties including Palestanians. The agreement stipulates that for a product to be qualified for QIZ benefits, at least 35% of the appraised value must be locally sourced with possible input by the Palestinians.

 

Page 86 (Para 4.70)

 

The Jordan Deposits Insurance Corporation (JDIC) was created in 2011, as a public entity established to protect customer deposits of up to JD 50,000 for all licensed banks operating in the country. Membership of the Corporation is compulsory for all Jordanian banks and foreign branches operating in the country. Jordanian banks operating abroad are exempt from such requirements as well as licensed Islamic Banks operating in Jordan. The JDIC's capital is jointly paid through a government contribution of JD 1 million and JD 100,000 per member.50

 

Question:

 

6. Why are Islamic Banks exempt of JDIC membership? Are deposits of Islamic Banks customers protected by JDIC?

 

A: to be provided later

 

Page 87 (Para 4.72)

 

The main legislation governing the banking sector in Jordan is Banking Law No. 28 of 2000 and its amendments. To obtain a license to operate in Jordan, a bank must be a public shareholding company, whilst subsidiaries, offshore companies, and branches of foreign banks are exempt. Branches of foreign banks must obtain prior approval from the regulator in their home country and the CBJ before applying for a license. The CBJ's decision on granting licenses takes into account whether reciprocal treatment is granted by the bank's home country. Upon commencing its activities in the Kingdom through one or more branches, a foreign bank is required to appoint a resident regional manager at its branch or branches in the Kingdom. Such an appointment shall be based on an official document providing that the manager must be fully responsible for the activities, assets and management of the branch before the CBJ and other official agencies.

 

 

 

 

Question:

 

7. Regarding the responsibility of resident regional managers, does the Jordanian law consider it as legal or contractual? Would it be possible to prosecute and convict them for offences committed by other employees?

 

A: The responsibility of resident managers is a legal responsibility in general. As for the criminal responsibility, resident regional managers will not be responsible for offences committed by other employees unless such offences committed jointly under inducement of those managers.

 

Page 87 (Para 4.74)

 

Licensed banks are not, without prior approval from the CBJ, permitted, inter alia: to terminate their activities; to open new branches or offices in Jordan or abroad; to own shares in another bank or certain companies specified in the Banking Law; or to employ foreigners. The CBJ is responsible for regulating the number of foreign employees and their ratio to total employed persons in the sector. In addition, licensed banks are prohibited from engaging in non-financial activities.

 

Question:

 

8. Are licensed banks exempt of obtaining prior approval of CBJ to employ foreigners who are intra-corporate transferred to Jordan as executives, managers and specialists? In case not, is this measure considered compatible with Jordanian Specific Commitments established on GATS/SC/128?

 

A: Licensed banks are not exempt from obtaining prior approval  from the CBJ to employ foreigners , as stated in articles 12(b) and 28 of the Banking Law:

 

Article 12

 

b. Upon commencing its activities in the Kingdom through one or more branches, a foreign bank shall appoint a resident regional manager at its branch or branches in the Kingdom. Such appointment shall be based on an official document providing that he shall be fully responsible for the activities, assets and management of the branch before the Central Bank and other official agencies. A certified true copy of such document shall be lodged with the Central Bank.”

 

Article 28

 

“Subject to labor legislation, a bank must obtain the approval of the Central Bank to employ a non-Jordanian. The Central Bank is authorized to determine the number of non-Jordanian employees and their ratio to the total number of employees at a bank.”

 

This measure is compatible with Jordanian Specific commitments in GATS/SC/128.

 

Page 87 (Para 4.76)

 

In 2007, the CBJ issued a regulation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, with new instructions published in 2010.54 Additionally, the CBJ has started to amend the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing instructions issued to the banking sector in line with the amendments made to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The regulation and the instructions are applicable to all banks and their subsidiaries operating in Jordan as well as to branches of Jordanian banks located abroad. Under the instructions, banks are required to implement internal system procedures to classify all its customers and apply controls according to the degree of risk. In addition, banks are required to store records and documents of domestic or international financial transactions for a minimum of 5 years.

 

A: In June 16th, 2015, the Law No. (31) for the year 2015, the Law Amending the Anti Money Laundering Law, was published in the Official Gazette whereby the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Law became a permanent Law after it was amended twice in 2010, by issuing temporary laws, criminalizing Terrorist Financing; extending the range of predicate offences; in additions to other amendments. Due to the issuance of the new FATF International Standards in 2012 and the New FATF Methodology in 2013, the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Unit is currently under the process of amending the Acting AML/CFT Law to be in line with the new obligations adopted by the (FATF).

 

The Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Instructions No. (51/2010) for banks were issued pursuant to the provisions of article (99/b) of the Banking Law No. (28) of 2000 and to the provisions of article (14/a/4) of the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Law No. (46) 2007 in force. It is worth mentioning that the CBJ as the supervisory and regulatory body on banks is currently amending the above mentioned instructions for banks that are subject to the provisions of the Anti money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Law in force in accordance with the FATF International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of 2012.

 

Question:

 

9. Does Jordanian regulation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism cover all the financial sanctions established on UN Resolutions and FATF recommendations on high risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions?

 

The legal basis that requires all persons in the Kingdom to freeze the funds/assets of persons and entities designated by the United Nations pursuant to UNSCRs 1267/1989 and 1988, and prohibits funds/assets being made available to designated persons/entities is stipulated for in Item (2) of paragraph (a) of article (6) and paragraph (c) of article (37) of the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Law No. 46 for the year 2007 in force and in the framework of Jordan's membership in the UN and in order to comply with the Security Council resolutions and FATF international standards, the National AML/CFT Committee adopted in 2010 instructions and for implementing the obligations under the UNSCRs 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001), and due to the issuance of the UNSCRs No. 1989 (2011) and 1988 (2011) Instructions, the Instructions were amended in 2014 to comply with the new resolutions.

 

Not only that but also Article (10) of the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Instructions No. (51/2010) for banks stipulates that the entities subject to the provisions of these instructions shall implement the obligations contained in the relevant and enforceable international resolutions and that is informed by the Central Bank of Jordan or the competent authorities in this regard.

 

Moreover, Article (14) of the AML/CTF Law in force stipulates for the entities subject to the provisions of this law including the banks to undertake to comply with paying special attention to the high risk customers' categories, business relationships or transactions and set the relevant measures including risk management systems for money laundering and terrorist financing to include the classification of customers into categories according to the degree of risk while developing the required measures to appropriately deal with such risks, and review such classification periodically or in the event of changes that require conducting such review.

 

Also, kindly be informed that all the anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing instructions issued for all the financial and non-financial entities subject to the provisions of the AML/CTF Law inforce including banks included specific procedures and enhanced CDD mesures in relation to customers categories that are considered high risk customers including customer who belong or are in countries that do not apply or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations.

 

PART II - QUESTIONS REGARDING THE GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

Page 5 (Para 2.9)

 

The instability in the region as a result of the unrest in the region had severe impacts on the trade performance of Jordan, and led to the loss of many of the traditional markets for Jordanian exports. In the first half of 2015, the statistical data shows that the total exports in value, decreased by 8.2% in comparison with the same period of 2014. Meanwhile, the trade deficit decreased by 18.6% compared with the same period of 2014 due to the decrease in the imports, as a result of the decrease of the value of the crude oil and its products imports.

 

Question:

 

10. Has the Jordanian Government taken measures to promote the diversification of its trade partners given the longevity of the political and security crisis in Syria and Iraq?

 

A: The Government is seeking for diversification in terms of both products and its export markets. A strategic reorientation and refocusing on the promising markets beyond the region is under way.


MISSING QUESTIONS

WRITTEN QUESTIONS FROM BRAZIL

 

Page 55 (Para 3.104)

 

Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) initiative was launched to support the peace process and economic cooperation between Israel and its neighbours (Jordan and Egypt). QIZs are designated industrial parks in Egypt and Jordan from which goods can be exported duty-free and quota-free to the United States. For goods moving into and out of the zones, customs procedures are streamlined and tariffs do not apply. Qualifying businesses must meet certain criteria such as promoting economic cooperation, and satisfying local content requirement: at least 35% must be produced locally, of which a minimum of 11.7% must be Jordanian and 8% Israeli (7% for high-tech products).

 

The other 15.3% may come from either a Jordanian QIZ, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or the United States (a maximum 15% U.S. content). The QIZ initiative has no expiry date and thus does not require renewal by the U.S. Congress.

 

Questions:

 

4. Does the Jordanian Government take any precaution to avoid that companies or capital involved in any manner in the settlement activities in the Occupied Arab Territories are benefited from this mechanism?

 

A: Exports to USA used to benefit from arrangement of QIZ until 2010 when the Jordan-USA FTA reached its full implementation.

 

Page 86 (Para 4.70)

 

The Jordan Deposits Insurance Corporation (JDIC) was created in 2011, as a public entity established to protect customer deposits of up to JD 50,000 for all licensed banks operating in the country. Membership of the Corporation is compulsory for all Jordanian banks and foreign branches operating in the country. Jordanian banks operating abroad are exempt from such requirements as well as licensed Islamic Banks operating in Jordan. The JDIC's capital is jointly paid through a government contribution of JD 1 million and JD 100,000 per member.50

 

Question:

 

6. Why are Islamic Banks exempt of JDIC membership? Are deposits of Islamic Banks customers protected by JDIC?

 

A: Islamic banks are not exempt of JDIC membership which depends on Shariah principles (Islam principles) and Fatwa as an essential prerequisite to the compulsory membership of Islamic banks was issued by the General Ifta' Department. In respect of deposits of Islamic banks customer protected. Please note that theses deposits are not protected by JDIC where none of them is JDIC member.

 


REPLIES TO SINGAPORE

 

PART I:  QUESTIONS REGARDING THE Secretariat Report

 

II TRADE POLICY REGIME FRAMEWORK AND OBJECTIVES

 

QUESTIONS:

 

Trade Policies And Practices By Measure

 

Page 31 (Para 3.3)

 

1.         Could Jordan share more information on the importer card framework? For example, what is the purpose of implementing the importer card, and what are the qualifying criteria?

 

All importers are required to obtain an importer card for customs clearance purpose. Importer card aims at regulating the trading sector and for statistical purposes as well. Importers must be registered at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply and the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Qualifying criteria are listed in the Import/ Export by- law and instructions issued pursuant to it.


REPLIES TO CHINA

 

Part I.  Questions based on Report by the Secretariat (WT/TPR/S/325)

 

Page 7, Para 5

 

Agricultural products have both the highest tariffs (average 17%) and the greatest variation (standard deviation 27), with particularly high rates of up to 200% for some products in the category of beverages, spirits, and tobacco.

 

Question 1

 

Please introduce the tariff rates of tobacco leaf products and cigarette products. Are there any restrictions on the foreign investment in Jordanian cigarette manufacturing enterprises? Are there any restrictions on the imports and exports of domestic cigarette manufacturing enterprises in Jordan?

 

A: Industrial investments enjoy 100% foreign ownership. No restrictions on the imports and exports of domestic cigarette manufacturing enterprises in Jordan.

below is the tariff rates of tobacco leaf products and cigarette products:

HS code

Description

tariff

24011030

Imported by factories as industrial inputs

%45

24011090

Other

%150

24012030

Imported by factories as industrial inputs

%45

24012090

Other

%150

24013030

Imported by factories as industrial inputs

%45

24013090

Other

%150

24021000

Cigars, cheroots and cigarillos, containing tobacco

%150

24022000

Cigarettes containing tobacco

%150

24029010

Cigars

%150

24029020

Cigarettes

%150

24031100

Water pipe tobacco specified in Subheading Note 1 to this Chapter

%150

24031910

Tobacco imported by factories for manufacturing of cigarettes

%75

24031990

Other

%150

24039110

Other

%45

24039190

Other

%150

24039930

Tobacco extracts and essences

%5

24039940

Other

%45

24039990

Other

%150

 

Page 8, Para 9

 

9.     The complex systems of free zones, development areas, and industrial estates was simplified by a 2010 amendment to the Development Areas Law which merged the administration of these zones into a single agency, the Jordan Investment Commission, while the Aqaba Special Economic Zone remains under a separate authority.

 

Question 2

 

Please explain why the Aqaba Special Economic Zone remains under a separate authority. Are there any plans to include this economic zone under the uniform regulation of the Jordan Investment Commission in the future?

 

A: Aqaba is the only port in Jordan and a success story for attracting investments and represents a major logistical hub for trade in Jordan at the region. Aqaba will remain a separate authority.

 

 

Page 27, Para 2.25

 

2.25. Another measure which should improve the investment climate was the creation, in 2008, of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Office receives complaints to decisions taken by the public administration. From 2009 to 2014, 725 complaints were received by the Ombudsman, concerning mainly the procedures of the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization, and the customs fees.

 

Question 3

 

Please introduce the settlement rates of received complaints and the general procedure of accepting complaints by the Ombudsman.

 

A: First: For the acceptance terms that adopted by the Ombudsman bureau

 

1- The Ombudsman bureau shall receive the complaints against the public administration according to the definition in Ombudsman Law (ministries, public departments, general organization ...etc.).(Article 2/A from Ombudsman bureau Law).

 

2- The complaints must be rise by the affected part from any of the public administration unfair or illegal decision whether it's (Natural or legal person Jordanian or from any other nationality).(Article 14/lA from Ombudsman bureau Law).

 

3- The complaints must be submitted in accordance with the approved form in the Ombudsman bureau. (Article 14/B from Ombudsman bureau Law).

 

4- The complaints shall not be pending before any judicial authority in any way. (Article 12/A from Ombudsman bureau Law).

 

5- The complaints shall be raised in a period of one year from the date of the incident. (Article 1.6/8 | Ombudsman bureau Law)'

Second: with regards to the settlements rates: In general the settlement rates, solving complains reached 75o/o of all received complaints.

 

Page 27, Para 2.26

 

2.26. Foreign investors in general have the same treatment as domestic investors, with some exceptions. Differences exist in:

 

        - land ownership: land ownership for foreigners is allowed in Jordan provided ownership is related to a business activity, except in free zones where land may only be leased;

 

        - minimum capital requirements: foreign investment must have at least JD 50,000 of capital (about US$70,000), while the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies is JD 1; and

 

        - prohibited or restricted sectors: some sectors are prohibited from foreign investment, and some have foreign equity restrictions of 50% or 49% (Table 2.4).

Table.1 FDI Restrictions

Foreign investment restrictions/prohibitions

Notes

Foreign ownership is limited to a maximum of 50% in:

Trade activities:

 

Wholesale trade

Except for firearms and pharmaceuticals where foreign investment is not allowed

Retail trade

Except for pharmaceuticals where foreign investment is not allowed

Source:   Regulation No. 54 of 2000; OECD (2013), OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Jordan 2013, OECD Publishing; and information provided by the authorities.

Question 4

 

The government of Jordan prohibits foreign investment in the pharmaceuticals industry. Does the policy also apply to traditional drugs?

 

A: Foreign investors are allowed to own industrial investments with 100% foreign ownership, but there is a 50% foreign equity ceiling for “Wholesale and Retail trade” in general except for pharmaceutical products where foreign investments is not allowed.

 

Page 31, Para 3.1

 

3.1 Since the previous Review in 2008, there have been significant changes to customs procedures. Jordan started implementing single-window procedures from 2009, with 15 single-window centres operating in 2015.

 

Question 5

 

Please introduce the authorities included in and the function of the single-window procedures. And what are the functions of single-window centres? What are the leading authorities in the single-window procedures?

 

A: The authorities involved in the single-window are :-

 

1-    Ministry of agriculture

2-    JFDA (Jordan food and drugs administration)

3-    JSMO.( Jordan standards and metrology Organization)

4-    Telecommunication Regulatory Commission

5-    Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission.

 

The leading authority in single window procedure is Jordanian customs department.

 

Page 31, Para 3.4

 

3.4. Since 2010 Jordan has fully implemented ASYCUDA WORLD, allowing online customs declaration submissions, which has reduced the customs clearance time for traders (Table 3.1). The e-declaration share is 100%. Jordan has also implemented a number of other reforms during the review period to facilitate trade. For example, Jordan initiated a "golden list" programme in 2005 and upgraded it in 2010, which gives preferred operator status to companies demonstrating low risk and strong compliance history with customs requirements.

 

Question 6

 

How many enterprises are included in the "golden list"? What are the preferential treatments provided by the programme? Does the government of Jordan have a plan to develop its own Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) mechanism?

 

A: As of 05/11/2015, the number of enterprises included in the Golden list is 54.

The Golden List program, launched in 2005, qualifies companies to consign through green channel. Jordan Customs recently introduced new mechanisms that include revised and less stringent requirements and more benefits. Jordan is in the process of launching the “Unified National Golden List programme” aiming to provide preferential treatments and facilitation to authorized operators by the relevant government agencies in the international trade.

For more information, visit Jordan Customs website: www.customs.gov.jo

 

Page 44, Para 3.50

 

The Jordan Quality Mark (JQM) is a voluntary system assuring the quality of products. It is granted by the JSMO based on JQM Instruction 4/2007. The Quality Mark certificate is valid for 3 years, covering all products except for pharmaceuticals and veterinary products.

 

 

 

Question 7

 

Does the Jordan Quality Mark (JQM) apply to traditional medicine? If so, what are the standards?

 

A: No, the Jordan Quality Mark as a product certification can be granted to all products with the exception of  pharmaceutical products, medicines, veterinary medicines, serums and vaccines which are exempted from the Law no. 22/ 2000 and its Amendment on Standard and Metrology.

 

Page 58, Para 3.116

 

3.116. …The Competition Law of 2004, amended in 2011 (Competition Law No. 18 of 2011), regulates anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant positions, and mergers and acquisitions (Table 3.20).

 

Question 8

 

Please introduce the main content of the Competition Law amended in 2011. Compared with 2004 version, what are the new changes? And why are these changes made?

 

A: Jordan amended the Competition Law to develop provisions so that they match with the national needs based on the reality, implementation outcomes and development of markets.

 

2011 Competition law Amendments

 

Article (6) add the excessive pricing to the aspects of abuse of dominant position (according to this an instructions of excessive pricing had been issued)

Art (10) adjust the documents requested for economic concentration applications.

Art (14) adjust the members of the competition affairs committee.

Art (20) raised the fines to 5000 JD up to 50.000 JD. For valuation, the Articles (5-6) of the competition law if the sales value for valuator was unknown.

Art (20) Prevent any committee or association from issuing any decision may affect the competition under the legal responsibility of penalty

 

Question 9

 

Please introduce the procedure of amending the Competition Law in Jordan.

 

A: The draft Law submitted to the Parliament for its approval after the approval of the Prime Ministry. National Laws are ratified and promulgated by the HM the King through a Royal Decree.

 

Page 58, Para 3.116

Table 2 Competition policy: key characteristics

Subject

Exceptions

Anti-competitive agreements

 

The Law bans any explicit or implicit agreements that would restrict competition

De Minimis agreements are exempted from this ban, provided that they do not fix prices or share markets.

The MITS has set a 10% threshold for market share below which agreements qualify as de minimis agreements.

 

Practices and arrangements that fall under the definition of anti-competitive practices shall not be considered anti-competitive if they lead to positive results with a common benefit that cannot be achieved without this exemption, including the improvement of competitive ability of enterprise, or production or distribution systems, or providing certain benefits to the consumer.

Abuse of dominant position

 

The Law prevents enterprises with a dominant position in the domestic market from abusing their dominance to limit competition.

Dominant position is defined as the status in which the institution is able to control and influence the market.

Abuse of dominant position includes discrimination, tying, predatory pricing, etc.

Below cost pricing is not prohibited in the cases where it concerns perishable goods, liquidation of businesses, or sales to restock a business.

Mergers and acquisitions are subject to monitoring

 

The merger notification threshold is set at 40% of the market share.

 

Unfair practices

 

Producers, importers, wholesalers, and service providers are prohibited from setting a minimum resale price for a product or service, whether directly or indirectly, and from subjecting another party to benefit "from preferential and unjustified prices or conditions of sale or purchase in such a manner as to impart upon such party a benefit as regards competition".

 

Source:   OECD (2013), OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Jordan 2013. OECD Publishing.

Question 10

 

Please further specify the legal responsibility for all kinds of violations of the law.

 

A:

Anti- Competitive Practices

Article 5

a)     Practices, alliances or agreements, whether explicit or implicit, that prejudice, limit or prevent competition, shall be prohibited, in particular those with the subject or objective hereunder:

1)     To fix the prices of commodities, services or conditions of sale, and the like;

2)     To fix the quantities of commodities or the provision of services;

3)     To share the market on the basis of geographical regions, quantities of sales or purchases, or customers or any other basis that adversely affects the competition;

4)     To adopt measures with a view to obstruct the entry of Enterprises into the market or exclude the same there from;

5)     To collude in tenders or bids, whether by overbidding or underbidding; however, submittal of joint proposals in which the parties state beforehand that the same does not aim at prevention of competition or limitation thereon or violation thereof in whatsoever manner shall not be deemed as collusion.

b)     The provisions of clause (a) of this article shall not apply to agreements with insignificant effect in which the total share of the Enterprises party thereto does not exceed a rate to be set by instructions issued by the Minister, provided that such a rate does not exceed (10%) of total transactions of the market, and provided that such agreements do not contain provisions on fixing price levels and market sharing.

 

Article 6

 

An Enterprise with a Dominant Position in the market or in a significant part thereof shall be prohibited from abusing this Dominant Position in order to prevent or limit, competition including the following:

a)         Fixing or setting prices or conditions of resale of commodities or services;

b)         Performing an action or behavior which leads to setting barriers against the entry of other enterprises into the market, or exclusion there from, or exposing them to grave losses, including selling at loss;

c)         Discrimination between clients in similar contracts in terms of price of commodities or services or conditions of sale or purchase;

d)         Forcing any of the clients thereof to refrain from dealing with a competing Enterprise;

e)         Attempting to monopolize certain resources necessary for a competing Enterprise to carry out the activities thereof or to purchase a particular commodity or service to an extent that leads to increasing the price thereof in the market or preventing the decrease thereof;

f)          Refusing, without objective grounds, to deal with a particular client under the usual commercial conditions;

g)         Making the sale of a commodity or the provision of a service dependant on the purchase of another or others, on the purchase of a limited quantity or on a request for the provision of another service.

h)         Excessive prices in violation of the principles specified

 

Article 20

 

Each who violates the provisions of either Article (5) or (6) of this Law shall be subject to the following penalty:

a)         By a fine of not less than (1% ) nor exceeding (5%) of the total annual value of sales or revenues  of services of the violator calculated as follows:

1)         On the basis of total annual sales or total revenues of services in the market as stated in the financial statements of the fiscal year prior to the commission of the violation;

2)         On the basis of the total annual sales related to the commodities subject of the violation if the activities of the violator include various commodities and the violation was limited to some of them;

3)         On a basis established by the Court if the activities of the violator include various commodities and the violation was limited to some of them, and it was not possible to establish the total value of sales related to those commodities subject of the violation;

b)         With a penalty that is not less than (5000) five thousand Dinars nor exceeding (50000) fifty thousand Dinars, in case that the value of sales or revenues has not been defined;

c)         Any association or entity of the private sector assuming the regulation of the practice of any profession or sponsoring the interests of economic or commercial institutions shall be prohibited from issuing any decision that would be in prejudice of competition, or limitation thereon or violation thereof in violation of the provisions of this law or any other legislation; otherwise, the violating entity shall be subject to the penalty provided for in Clause (b) of this Article.

 

Article 8 Practices in violation of the Fair Commercial Transactions:

 

a)         Each and every producer, importer, wholesaler or service provider shall be prohibited from the following:

1)         To set, either directly or indirectly, a minimum resale price for a commodity or service;

2)         To impose upon, or obtain from, another party undue prices or conditions of sale or purchase, in a manner allowing him/ her to have a competitive edge or inflict damages thereupon;

b)          

1)         The resale of a commodity as is at a price lower than the actual purchase price thereof plus the taxes and charges and transport costs applicable thereto, if any, shall be prohibited if the purpose of such a sale was to prejudice the competition;

2)         For the purpose of this clause, the actual purchase price shall mean the price set in the invoice after deduction of the discounts specified in therein; however this prohibition shall not include to perishable products and licensed discounts on any sale for the purpose of liquidation of a business, or to relinquish the stock at lower prices.

Article 22

 

Each who violates the provisions of Article (8) of this Law shall be subject to a fine of not less than two hundred (200) Dinars nor exceeding twenty thousand (20000) Dinars.

 

Article 9

 

Economic Concentration

 

a)         For purposes of this Law, any business resulting in the full or partial transfer of title to usufruct of property, rights, shares or obligations by an Enterprise to another, and which may enable an Enterprise or a group of Enterprises to control, directly or indirectly, another Enterprise or group of Enterprises shall be considered as an economic concentration operation;

 

b)         For completing the  economic concentration operations, which would be  of effect on the level of competition in the market by either realizing or reinforcing a Dominant Position, it is stipulated to obtain the approval of the Minister in writing, in case that the total share of the Enterprise or Enterprises concerned in the economic concentration operation exceeds (40%) of the total transactions in the market;

 

c)         Notwithstanding the provisions of any other legislation, authorities in charge of licensing economic concentration operations in any sector shall, prior to issuing their final decision, seek the opinion of the Minister in writing regarding the extent of the effect of such operations on the level of competition;

 

d)         Any entity or authority shall provide the Ministry with any information that comes to the knowledge as to economic concentration operations that are subject to the provisions of clause (b) of this Article.

 

Article 10

a)         Enterprises that intend to carry out economic concentration operations referred to in clause (b) of Article 9 of this Law shall submit a request therefor to the Directorate, on the form adopted by the Ministry, within thirty days as of the date of entering into a draft agreement or an agreement on the economic concentration activity with the following attached thereto:

1)         A copy of the memorandum of incorporation and articles of association of the concerned Enterprises;

2)         The draft contract or agreement on the concentration;

3)         A statement of the most important commodities and services in which the concerned Enterprises are involved and their shares therein;

4)         A report on the economic dimensions of the operation, and particularly positive effects thereof on the market;

5)         The financial statements for the last two fiscal years for the institutions concerned with the economic concentration;

6)         A statement of the shareholders or partners of the concerned Enterprises and the share of each therein;

7)         A list of names of the board of directors, the management board, or the director thereof;

8)         A list of the branches of each Enterprise.

b)         The Enterprises may also enclose with the request any matters they deem necessary relating to obligations or suggestions aiming at limiting the possible adverse effects of the economic concentration operation on the market;

c)          

1)         Subject to the provisions of clause (c) of Article 11 of this Law, the Directorate may request, in writing and for one time, any additional information or documentation on the economic concentration agreement and the parties thereto, and shall thereafter issue a notification of the completion of the information and documentation, provided that the same does not derogate the right of the Directorate to request further information or to exercise supervisory powers;

2)         The terms, procedures, and all matters related to issuing the notice referred to in Item (1) of this Clause shall be determined by instructions to be issued by the Minister for this purpose and shall be published in the Official Gazette;

d)         The Directorate shall publish, in two daily newspapers at the expense of the applicant, an announcement on the submitted request for economic concentration in accordance with clause (a) hereof. The announcement shall include a summary of the subject of the request and an invitation to any interested party to present its opinion thereon within fifteen days as of the date of the announcement;

e)         The Minister may, upon consultation with the relevant bodies, take any precautionary measures until deciding on the submitted request in accordance with clause (a) of this article.

 

Article 21

 

person who violates the provisions of either Articles (9) or (10) of this law or fails to comply with any decision taken in accordance with the provisions of Article (11) thereof shall be subject to a penalty that is not less than (10000) ten thousand nor exceeding (50000) fifty thousand Dinars.

 

Article 23

 

Any person who discloses any confidential information that he/ she has received from any source except if that was according to a court order shall be subject to a fine of not less than one thousand (1000) Dinars nor exceeding ten thousand (10000) Dinars.

 

Article 24

 

a)         Any person who prevents an officer from carrying out the duties delegated thereto by virtue of Article (19) of this Law, or who conceals or destroys documents, instruments, records or files presumed to be helpful in an investigation shall be subject to a fine of not less than five hundred (500) Dinars nor exceeding five thousand (5000) Dinars;

 

b)         Each who refuses to testify or refrains from presenting any data, documents or instruments in accordance with the provisions of Clause (c) of Article (19) of this law shall be subject to the penalty provided for in clause (a) of this Article.

 

Article 25

 

a)         At determining the fines imposed under this Law, the amount of the benefit that the violating party has received and the value of the damages inflicted upon others shall be taken into consideration;

 

b)         The Court may mitigate the punishment of a violator of the provisions of Articles (5), (9) and (10) of this Law if such a violator provides the Directorate with information leading to the detecting such practices.

 

Question 11

 

Please specify the penalties for violations of the Competition Law, such as whether to impose a fine and level of fine.

 

Page 59, Para 3.117

 

3.117. Three competent authorities deal with competition matters:

 

    the Competition Directorate, under the MITS, is in charge of implementing the Competition Law;

    the Competition Affairs Committee, the advisory body of the Competition Directorate, provides opinions and advice on the general competition strategy and reviews matters related to the Competition Law;

    the Judicial Council and the Ministry of Justice are responsible for reviewing cases of practices contravening competition, and for dealing with the execution of specific provisions of the Law.

 

A: Please see answer to Question (10) above.

 

Question 12

 

In the review process of merger and acquisition, do the Jordanian competent authorities coordinate with other government industry regulators? What is the main way of coordination? Do the opinions of other authorities have any influence on the decision-making of the competent authorities?

 

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply has the main responsibility of working to formulate policies that support national industries.

 

According to the competition law:

·    Authorities in charge of licensing economic concentration operations in any sector shall, prior to issuing their final decision, seek the opinion of the Minister in writing regarding the extent of the effect of such operations on the level of competition.

·    Any entity or authority shall provide the Ministry with any information that comes to the knowledge as to economic concentration operations that are subject to the provisions of this Article.

·    The Directorate shall publish, in two daily newspapers at the expense of the applicant, an announcement on the submitted request for economic concentration.

 

Question 13

 

Please provide details on the functions, institutional setting and other relevant information of the Competition Directorate.

 

The Competition Directorate of the Ministry of Industry & Trade is the entitled authority of implementing the Competition Law. It was incorporated within the organizational body of the

Ministry of Industry and Trade on 18/12/2002; the Directorate undertakes its tasks and competencies in compliance with the provisions of article (12) of the Law, which includes the following:

·         Investigating on anti-competitive practices.

·         Carrying out investigations that are either discovered by the Directorate or based on claims and complaints by other parties or competent courts.

·         Receive and follow up economic concentration requests, in addition to preparing reports and draft decisions in that regard.

·         Publish detailed records on Directorate issues, either by an initiative thereof, or under the request of concerned institutions.

·         Participate in preparing the general plan and the regulations for the competition, along with any related studies.

·         Promoting, protecting and encouraging the competition culture.

·         Utilizing the experiences of outdoor consultants and experts to carry out some tasks of the

·         Directorate mandate.

·         Cooperate with foreign agencies within the same field of interest, for the purpose of exchanging information and data, and matters related to implementing the Competition Law.

 

For more information, please visit www.mit.gov.jo

 

Question 14

 

Please provide details on the functions and powers as well as the administrative enforcement procedures of Jordanian competent authorities in the investigations.

 

A: Please see Answer of Questions no (10) and (13). For more information, please visit www.mit.gov.jo.

 

Part II.  Questions based on Policy Statement by Angola (WT/TPR/G/325)

 

Page 5, Para 2.13

 

2.13 Foreign Direct Investment continued to flow into Jordan, growing from US$1.47 billion in 2011 to US$1.76 billion in 2014.The Central Bank of Jordan implemented several rate cuts aiming at fostering investment. Many lucrative sectors for investment are; healthcare services, tourism, banking, mining, information technology, clean technology and pharmaceuticals sectors.

 

Question 15

 

What are the legal provisions of the Jordanian Government for the foreign investment in the field of traditional Chinese medicine in the mode of commerce presence?

 

A: For distribution services there is a 50% foreign equity limitation.

 

Page 6, Para 2.18

 

2.18. Jordan offers many attractive investment opportunities and present an ideal gateway to access major international markets. Several investment opportunities and incentives packages have been granted in the last few years in the special economic zones, which provide lucrative incentives for foreign investment, including income tax rates of only 5%, free repatriation of capital, profits and salaries.

 

Question 16

 

Please elaborate on the meaning of ‘present an ideal gateway to access major international markets’.

 

A: Through Jordan FTA's network with USA, EU, EFTA, AGADIR, Singapore, GAFTA, Turkey and Canada, all investors in Jordan can export and access all those markets, which made Jordan an ideal gateway for international market. In addition to the geographical location, which enables industries in Jordan to access major markets easily.


REPLIES TO THE UNITED STATES

 

PART I:  QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SECRETARIAT REPORT

 

2.  TRADE AND INVESTMENT REGIME

2.1 General Constitutional and Institutional Framework

 

Page 20, paragraph 2.2 states that “Special courts deal with issues such as customs and income tax. Article 97 of the Constitution stipulates that the judiciary is an independent and separate body. Judges of the civil and Sharia courts are appointed and dismissed by Royal Decree.”

 

·         How are judges of the special courts dealing with customs issues appointed and confirmed?

 

A: According to Customs Law No. 20 of 1998, as amended

 

Article (222)

A: A Court called (The First Instance Customs Court) shall be established and composed of the President and a number of judges appointed by the Judicial Council of the judges working in the judiciary.

 

B. The First Instance Customs Court shall be specialized to consider the following:

1. Smuggling offenses and equivalents in accordance with the provisions of this law.

2. Crimes and offenses committed in violation of the provisions of this law and the laws of import, export, investment promotion, and the sales tax law, as well as the rules and regulations issued thereunder.

3. Disputes arising from the application of international trade agreements to which Jordan is a party and any dispute whatsoever to the application of the laws and regulations mentioned in item 2 of this paragraph.

4. Objections to the collection orders under the provisions of Article 208 of this law.

5. Appeals of the decisions of fines in accordance with the provisions of Article 210 of this law.

6. Arrest and release of persons accused of crimes and offenses set forth in items 1 and 2 of this paragraph. In the event the case was not received by the court yet, the President of the Court may request any person charged under this law to provide a guarantee to secure his appearance in the court. Otherwise, the President decides to arrest him until the case ends or the person offers that guarantee.

7. Release of the seized goods in pending cases for a bank guarantee equivalent to the value of such goods, as well as the release of the modes of transport impounded after placing the impounding mark thereon by the competent departments.

 

C. The First Instance Customs Court session shall be held by a single judge.

 

D. The First Instance Customs Court shall hold sessions in Amman or anywhere else in the Kingdom.

 

Article (223)

A. A court of appeals called the (Customs Court of Appeals) shall be composed of the President and a number of judges appointed by the Judicial Council of the judges working in the judiciary.

 

B. The Customs Court of Appeals shall be specialized to hear appeals for decisions or judgments of the First Instance Customs Court. 

 

C. The Customs Court of Appeals shall be composed of three judges and issue its decisions or judgments unanimously or by majority.

 

D. The Customs Court of Appeals shall hold sessions in Amman or anywhere else in the Kingdom.

 

E. The period for appealing the decision or judgment of the First Instance Customs Court shall be thirty days starting from the day following the date of delivery if in presence and the day following the date of notification if as in presence or artificially in presence. 

 

 

 

2.5  Investment Regime

 

Pages 27-28, paragraph 2.26, and Table 2.4 and Page 7, paragraph 4 describe the restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Jordan, which include elevated minimum capital requirements and commercial sectors where foreign investment is either prohibited or limited to 49 or 50% of the equity investment.

 

·         Why does Jordan restrict investment in the sectors listed in Table 2.4?

 

A: Jordan has undertaken extensive commitments under GATS that have provided for a full ownership of foreign investors in sectors such as banking, telecommunications, insurance, education and health services, hotels, the manufacturing sector allows for full foreign ownership. Jordan still maintains some limitations in a limited number of sectors. However, Jordan is currently in the process of reviewing the non- Jordanian investment regulation

 

·             Aren’t these restrictions a burden on the goal of increasing foreign investment?

 

Jordan is receiving foreign investments in all sectors whether fully or partially liberalized, and doesn’t represent a burden on attracting foreign investments.

 

·         Why should an investor find it attractive to take a minority share in his investment, particularly with a high initial investment requirement?

A: The sectors with foreign equity cap allow foreign investors to own 50% of the business and it does not represent a minority share. Foreign investors are establishing partnerships in these sectors.

 

The council of Ministers may allow for increased share for foreign investors based according to the Non- Jordanian investment by- law. Criteria for defining such project may include jobs creation, technology transfer, size of investment / project, and development impact

 

·         Are these restrictions synchronized with Jordan’s Services commitments?

 

They comply with Jordan services commitments within the WTO.

 

Table 2.4 states that there are “restrictions/prohibitions” against FDI in the import and export sectors.

·         How are Jordan’s restrictions on foreign ownership manifested in the area of importation and exportation, i.e., what precisely is restricted?

 

The ownership limitation (which is 50% maximum foreign ownership does not affect importation or exportation of goods. In practice, industrial companies whether owned by foreign or domestic investors are allowed to import for their own use and export their products.

 

Table 2.4 states that there are “restrictions/prohibitions” against FDI in the sectors of “distribution of goods and services;” and “supply services?”

·         What is the difference between wholesale/retail/and franchising services and (a) “distribution of goods and services;” and (b) “supply services?”

 

These activities are considered to be under distribution services but they are classified under different categories in national legislations for more clarity when applied on the national level and to correspond to national classifications when registering a company in Jordan.

 

Table 2.4 states that there are “restrictions/prohibitions” against FDI in the sector of “Geology-related sciences; scientific and technical consulting services related to prospecting, surveying, exploration, exploitation and map making.” 

·         Please explain the rational for this restriction.

 

There is a foreign equity limitation on this sector to align it with engineering services as both sectors are inter-related.

 

Page 29, paragraph 2.27 states that the “equity level may be increased by the Council of Ministers.” Page 31, paragraph 3.2 states that “the Council of Ministers may allow a foreign investor to own or contribute with higher percentages in projects of large scale or special importance.”

·         How does the Council of Ministers act to increase the permitted equity level?

 

A: The council of Ministers may allow for increased share for foreign investors based according to the Non- Jordanian investment by- law.

·         Is the term “projects of large scale or special importance” anywhere defined in law?

 

A: Criteria for defining such projects may include jobs creation, technology transfer, size of investment/project, and development impact.

·         What does a petitioner have to do to get a permitted higher equity level for his investment?

 

A: Submit a request to JIC with proper justifications

·         How long does it typically take to get such an approval?

 

A: To be provided later.

·         How many such petitions have been requested/granted in the last 5 years?

 

A: To be provided later

 

Note: The non-Jordanian Investment by-law is under review and will provide for criteria related to the above.

 

3.  TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE

3.1  Measures Directly Affecting Imports

3.1.1  Customs procedures, valuation, and rules of origin

 

Page 31, paragraph 3.2 states that companies (both local and foreign) must be “registered as commercial importers/exporters with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply (MITS)” to “import and export for commercial purposes.  Foreign commercial traders are subject to a foreign equity limit of 50%.”

·         What does “import and export for commercial purposes” mean?

 

A: Import and export for commercial purposes means that the traders are engaging in trade activity than from their “own use”

 

·         Does “commercial purposes” mean only for resale, or does it include further processing?

 

A: It includes importing for resale only. However, a manufacturer is also eligible to register as commercial importers /exporters

 

·         Do these restrictions apply to manufacturers that imports good for further processing?

 

A: No equity limitation on manufacturing

 

·         What does the equity restriction mean in practice?  Does it mean that a foreign corporation (i.e., with less than 50% local equity ownership) cannot register to import or export for commercial purposes without a Jordanian equity partner at the level of 50%?

 

A: Yes.

 

·          Could such a firm pay the 2.5% “penalty” (see paragraph 3.3) and import notwithstanding its lack of local ownership?

 

A: The 2.5% penalty is applied to the corporation when importing without acquiring an importer card

 

·         This statement does not appear consistent with Jordan’s statement at the time of its accession (WT/ACC/JOR/33, paragraph 50) that “Without prejudice to Jordan's schedule of commitments on services, Jordan would modify the relevant laws, regulations and requirements to permit foreign firms, including sole proprietorships to register as importers without limitation on equity or application of an economic needs test, including for branches of foreign firms permanently registered in Jordan.”

 

o    Please explain why after so many years, this has not been accomplished.

 

A: No economic need test precondition is currently applied.

 

Page 31, paragraph 3.2 states that “for a company to be registered as an importer/exporter, it must become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, or Chamber of Industry, and its premises must have been inspected and approved by the local municipality.”

 

·         Inspected and approved for what?  What is the inspection for, health purposes?

 

A: For the purposes of issuing a vocational license for the first time for any business no matter what its objectives (including import and export), its premises must be inspected and approved to ensure the suitability of premises to conduct the activities it is licensed to conduct. 

 

Page 31, paragraph 3.3: The Secretariat’s report notes that “Once registered as a commercial importer, a company must obtain an importer card from the MITS (according to the authorities, this takes about 30 minutes). Under the Import and Export Law of 2001 (Article 3A), the importer card provides the commercial trader with a specific number and file that facilitates customs clearance. Companies without valid importer cards may still import goods for commercial purposes, subject to a penalty equal to 2.5% of the value of the imported goods. Individuals are not eligible for a card; hence, such importers are always subject to the 2.5% penalty.” 

 

·    Please explain how the 2.5% charge, which appears not to be a penalty, but rather the cost of being an importer for an individual and for a firm if the firm fails to secure an import card, is not a fee or charge imposed on or in connection with importation as described in Article VIII of the GATT 1994?  How does the charge relate to the cost of services rendered

 

A: The 2.5% is not considered as a charge or fee, it is a penalty for not having an import card.

 

Page 31, paragraph 3.5 states that “Customs declarations may be made either by the owners of the goods (or their authorized representatives), or by licensed customs agents. No foreign firms may import goods without appointing an agent registered in Jordan.  The agent may be a branch office, or a wholly-owned subsidiary of the foreign firm. The agent's connection to the foreign company must be direct, without a sub-agent or intermediary.”

 

·    Please clarify that the customs declaration must be made by an entity registered to do business in Jordan, i.e., either foreign owned or domestically owned.

 

Customs declaration can be submitted by both domestic and foreign owned companies.

 

Page 32, paragraph 3.7 states that Jordan’s notification under Category A of the Trade Facilitation Agreement for implementation in full upon the entry into force of the Agreement excludes, inter alia, “general disciplines on fees and charges imposed on or in connection with importation and exportation.”

 

·       Why were these requirements, which are also contained in Jordan’s accession commitments under Article VIII of the GATT 1994, excluded?

 

A: Jordan requires a transitional period to conduct the periodical review of fees and charges.

 

Page 39, paragraph 3.9The Secretariat’s report notes that “According to the authorities, customs valuation is based on the WTO Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII of GATT 1994. According to the Customs Law (Articles 28-32), customs value is determined as the transaction value of the imported goods. If the transaction value cannot be determined, the following alternative methods may be used in order of preference: (1) transaction value of identical goods; (2) transaction value of similar goods; (3) deductive value; and (4) computed value. As in the last Review, reference prices (not published) are used as a last resort to provide guidance when an importer fails to submit the required transaction value or the customs administration has reason to doubt the accuracy of the declared price.”

·         Please explain how the use of reference prices to set the value of imported goods is consistent with the WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation?

·         Why are the reference prices not published?

·         May importers appeal the use of a reference price to value their goods?

·         Approximately how frequently this method is employed?

 

A:

·         The use of reference prices is consistent with Article 7 of GATT 94 which allows customs to refer to their value database that contains transaction for identical and similar goods.

·         Jordan Customs publishes the mechanism and procedures of valuation process, but does not publish prices because these prices are confidential and were collected from importers and distributers.

·         Importers can appeal to Customs Department and to the Customs Court regarding valuation issues.

·         This method is applied on 0.002% of customs declarations.

 

Page 32, paragraph 3.9 also states that “Cars manufactured more than five years ago are not allowed to be imported into Jordan.”

 

·         One supposes that there are cars more than five years old in operation in Jordan (having been imported earlier in their life-cycle) and that these are not prohibited.  Are cars older than five years in Jordan tested or otherwise evaluated to retain their right of operation?  If not, what is the basis for discrimination against imports based on the age of the automobile?

 

The decision was taken to ensure that imported cars contain required safety features and for environmental purposes. Furthermore, cars older than 5 years are subject to annual check and test to ensure that they are in good operational condition at the time of the renewal of its license.

 

Page 33, Table 3.2 Jordan's rules of origin states that “A certificate of origin is required for imported products from all countries.”

·         Who must issue the certificate?

 

A: For countries that have a free trade agreement with Jordan, competent authority of exporting country issues the certificate of origin according to the agreement.

 

·         If there is no certificate, how else can imports declare their origin, or will the MFN rate be applied as a default?

 

A: In the case where imported goods do not have certificate of origin, Jordan Customs asks importers to declare the origin on the invoices. In this case the Customs authority impose 0.5% of invoice value as a penalty in addition to MFN rate.

 

The proof of origin requirement can be exempted if it is allowed by a free trade agreement (i.e. a self declaration will be accepted without levying a penalty).

 

3.1.2  Tariffs

3.1.2.1  MFN applied tariff

 

Page 37, paragraph 3.18 states that Jordan’s applied tariff schedule “may be amended by a decision from the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Customs Tariff Council. The Council is formed and consists of Ministers of the Ministries of Finance (chairman), and of Trade, Industry and Supply.”

 

·         Please clarify that the Customs Tariff Council has only two members.

 

A: The Tariff Council consists of the following members: Minister of Finance (Chairman), Minister of Industry and Trade and Supply, and the Director General of Customs.


3.1.3 Other charges affecting imports

 

Page 38, paragraph 3.22 states that “Jordan Customs collects a number of services allowances on imports, including: an import processing fee, which is levied at the rate of 0.2% of the transaction value, with a minimum of JD 10 and maximum of JD 250 per declaration; a transit fee of JD 20 per transaction; and a re-export fee of JD 15 per transaction.”

 

·         Please explain the purpose of the transit fee, in the context of the provisions of Articles V and VIII of the GATT 1994.

 

A: The transit fee represents a fee equivalent to the service rendered by Jordan Customs

 

Pages 38-39, paragraph 3.24 states that the general sales tax (GST) and the Special tax are applied “equally to the duty-inclusive customs value of imported goods, and the sale price of locally-produced goods. Special taxes are levied on, inter alia, cars, tobacco and tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and mobile phone and radio subscription services.”

 

·         Is the “sale price of locally-produced goods” an ex-factory, wholesale, or retail price?

·         Please list the special taxes.

 

A: With respect to the first point, Jordan applies the multi- stages Value Added Tax (VAT), where every time goods and services are sold, the registered person (Trader, manufacturer, and service render) has to collect General Sales Tax (GST) on the selling price, beside the privilege of input tax deduction. Therefore there is a registration threshold for registrants in the Sales Tax Department:  for services: 30,000 JD, for manufacturing: 75,000 JD, and for traders: 75,000 JD.

 

For those goods and services that are subject to the Special Sales Tax (SST), the (SST) is imposed one time only on the goods that are subject to this tax, and then the (SST) is added to the selling price to collect the General Sales Tax, and the registered person has to submit two tax returns, one for the SST and the other one for the General Sales Tax. The list of special taxes will be provided later.

 

3.1.4  Import prohibitions, restrictions, licensing, and quotas

 

Page 7, paragraph 5 states that “import prohibitions and non-automatic licensing are applied mainly for health, safety, security, or environmental reasons, to implement UN Security Council resolutions, or to protect public order and morals, and the conservation of natural resources.

 

·         What such measures are applied for other reasons?

 

A: The above mentioned reasons.

 

Page 39, Table 3.8 states that the import prohibition on tractors over one year old is to provide for the “safety of public transport.”

 

·         How is the safety of public transport assured for tractors older than one year already in Jordan?

 

A: To protect against the risk of accidents on the roads and the safety of citizens according to legislations and laws that governs traffic management.

 

·    How are such vehicles regulated in a manner that ensures that used tractors are not discriminated against just because they are imported?

 

A: To be provided later

 

Page 39, Table 3.8 Is the prohibition on the importation of “mosaics” applied to the individual pieces of tile or to a fully formed representation/piece of art?

 

A: The prohibitions on the importation of mosaics applies to both.

 

3.1.5 Contingency measures

 

Page 40, paragraph 3.32 identifies Jordan’s contingency measures, “i.e., safeguards, anti-dumping and countervailing duties, are regulated under the National Production Protection Law No. 21 of 2004, together with the Regulations on Safeguard of National Production No. 55 of 2000, and the Anti-dumping and Anti-Subsidies Regulation No. 26 of 2003.”

 

·    Have these laws and regulations been notified to the respective WTO Committees for review?

 

A: The National Production Protection laws and regulations issued pursuant to it have been notified to the respective WTO Committees.

 

The table below shows the WTO documents concerning the Jordanian notifications of legislations

Jordan's legislation on trade remedies

WTO document

National Production Protection Law No. 21 for the year 2004

G/ADP/N/1/JOR/3

G/SCM/N/1/JOR/3

G/SG/N/1/JOR/3

13 January 2005

Anti-dumping and Anti-Subsidies Regulation No. 26 of the year 2003

G/ADP/N/1/JOR/2

G/SCM/N/1/JOR/2

8 October 2003

Regulation on Safeguard of National Production No. 55 of the year 2000

G/SG/N/1/JOR/1

27 November 2000

 

Page 41, paragraph 3.36 The Secretariat’s report indicates that Jordan notified that it had initiated safeguard investigations during the review period on a number of products; of the six investigations initiated, three resulted in the imposition of measures, two were terminated without measures, and one is ongoing with definitive measures proposed for three years (Table 3.9) (emphasis added). According to Table 3.9, the proposed measure relates to size A4 writing and printing paper.

 

·    Please explain when a final decision will be made in the ongoing investigation of size A4 writing and printing paper and when Jordan will notify the WTO Committee on Safeguards of this action.

 

A: A decision is expected to be issued soon by the Council of Ministers, and accordingly the WTO Committee on Safeguards will be notified.

 

3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements

3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations

3.1.6.1.1 Standardization

 

Page 42, paragraph 3.37 In addition to potash, e.g., as noted in the earlier reference to the activities of the Arab Potash Company, please identify “products from the Dead Sea.”

 

A: Products from the Dead Sea include in addition to Potash the Bromine and Bromine derivatives produced by Jordan Bromine Company JBC.  Furthermore Numeira Mixed Salts and Mud Company which is 100% owned by Arab Potash Company utilizes the Carnality (the mixed salts) produced in APC solar ponds system in the manufacturing of Dead Sea Skin care products. In addition to the black mud which is extracted directly by Numeira from the southern shores of the Dead Sea the mixed salts along with concentrated Dead Sea Waters are being sold locally and internationally for skin care applications after being semi treated by Numeira.

 

3.1.7 Government procurement

 

Page 47, paragraph 3.67 states that “the main targets for the public procurement regime in Jordan are to select the best evaluated bidder with the lowest possible price to execute the work, taking into consideration transparency, parity and neutrality issues. It also has secondary targets such as protecting the environment and facilitating innovation.”  However, page 7, paragraph 7 states that “foreign equity restrictions on construction and contracting firms . . . act to limit access to government procurement contracts.”

·         Please explain how Jordan reconciles its need for “the best evaluated bidder” with its intent to restrict access to foreign investment in construction and contracting firms bidding on procurement contracts. 

 

A: A foreign investor can establish a construction firm in partnership with a Jordanian company and submit offers to public procurement tenders in Jordan.

 

·         How, in practice, do the foreign equity restrictions “act to limit access to government procurement contracts” by foreign firms?

 

A: To be provided later

 

·         Jordan took a commitment during its accession negotiations to initiate negotiations for membership in the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) after WTO accession. Negotiations for accession have stalled.  If Jordan accedes to the GPA, such restrictions may have to be relaxed for covered entities.  What are Jordan’s plans in this regard?  Will the restrictions be relaxed?

 

A: To be provided later

 

3.1.9 Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures

 

Page 23, Table 2.2

·         In regards to the section under the “Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures”, does Jordan concur that not all the SPS measures listed should be identified as “Emergency measures”; for example, G/SPS/N/JOR/25 and G/SPS/N/JOR/26 were not notified to the WTO as emergency measures?

 

A: To be provided later.

 

·    Would a secondary designation, such as “Notifications on sanitary and phytosanitary measures”, under this section of the table better classify non-emergency SPS measures that Jordan notified to the WTO?

 

A: To be provided later.

 

Page 44, paragraph 3.55

In regards to the draft Food Law currently under review by Parliament, would Jordan describe the scope and intentions of the law?

 

A: The intention of the law is to guarantee safety and quality of imported, exported and domestic food.

 

·         Is Jordan able to provide a timeline for when the draft Food Law will be notified to the WTO and available for public comment?

 

A: The law has been enacted and published in official gazette since 16/6/2015.

 

Page 45, paragraph 3.64

·         Under what circumstances does Jordan deviate from notifying non-emergency SPS measures to the WTO at an early stage, prior to adoption and when comments from interested Member States can still be taken into account, as stipulated in Article 7, and Annex B of the SPS Agreement?

 

A: Jordan will provide a comment period for proposals when the measures are not emergency measures.

 

·    Will Jordan provide a comment period for proposals that will allow sufficient time for review and comment by interested Member States, as provided in Article 7, and Annex B of the SPS Agreement?

 

A: Jordan will provide a comment period for proposals that will allow sufficient time for review and comment by interested member states if the situation is not an emergency measure or the measure have not entered into force.

 

3.2  Domestic legal framework for procurement and related reforms

3.2.2 Export fees

 

Page 50, paragraph 3.79 states that “temporary export fees apply to the exports of scrap iron at JD 50 per tonne, for a period of six months from 2 November 2014. . . . to secure the needs of the domestic industry.”

·         Was this export fee renewed or changed during 2015?  If so, when and for what duration, and by what legal instrument?   How long does Jordan expect to levy this “temporary” export fee?

 

A: The fee was renewed on 17/5/2015 with the same value for six months, pursuant to the Law of Export and Import number 21 for the year 2001. Periodic studies are conducted to track the market status and availability of scrap for domestic industry needs.

 

Page 8, paragraph 8 states that “export fees are applied to exports of a range of mining and quarrying products, manufacturing products, and agricultural products.”

 

·         Why would Jordan tax its manufacturing and agricultural products, e.g., what policy factors require such measures?

 

A: Jordan adopts export fees on such products to sustain natural resources and maintain input materials for its industries.

 

3.2.5 Other export support measures

 

Page 53, paragraph. 3.92: Could Jordan please explain why Jordan has not reported the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC) in the WTO Questionnaire on Export Competition, given that the JLGC website indicates that agricultural products are covered under the Corporation’s programs?

 

·         Please describe the export financing program offered by JLGC for which agricultural commodities and products are eligible. Will be provided later.

·         What was the value of agricultural exports supported by the export financing programs during 2013 and 2014? Will be provided later.

·         What were the products, destinations, the maximum and average annual repayment terms, and the average premium rate associated with these transactions? Will be provided later.

 

3.3.5  Intellectual property rights

3.3.5.1 Overview

We understand that there is a 2014 amended version of Jordan’s 1992 copyright law. We have been unable to find a copy in English and we don’t have any detailed information on the amendments that were made.  We also cannot find notification of new text by Jordan to the WTO.

 

·         We would appreciate receiving as soon as possible an English translation of the changes that were made in Jordan’s copyright legislation, e.g., the 2014 amended law.

 

A: To be provided later.

 

Page 63, Table 3.25: The Secretariat Report notes that Jordan has signed but not yet ratified the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances and the Marrakesh VIP Treaty (Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled). Please provide further details on when Jordan plans to ratify the two treaties, and whether any legislative reforms will be needed before Jordan accedes to these treaties.

 

A: Ratification of the two national treaties requires the amendment of the Copyright Law.

 

Page, 64, paragraph 3.133, Table 3.25: The Secretariat’s Report refers to Jordan’s Law on Geographical Indications No. 8 of 2000.

·         Could Jordan please state the term of protection for geographical indications in Jordan?

 

A: The Geographical indications law of 2000 provides protection for GIs and complies with the requirements of the TRIPS agreement. It empowers the Trademark Registrar to reject the registration of any trademark which contains or consists of a geographical indication with respect to goods not originating from the place of origin implied by the use of the geographical indication in a manner that misleads the public.

 

3.3.5.3 Copyright

 

Page 21, Table 2.1 and Page 65, paragraph 3.140 The Secretariat points out that Law No. 23 of 2014 amended the Copyright Protection Law No. 22 of 1992, and notes that “The amendments were intended to create a favourable environment for investment in the information and technology sector, particularly software.”

 

·         Because an English translation of the amendments is not available at this time, we would appreciate a summary that identifies the key areas of the 1992 law that were amended.

·         In addition, we would appreciate the views of the Government as to which particular provisions of the amended law are currently contributing to a favorable investment climate.

 

A: To be provided later.

 

Page 65, paragraph 3.139 The Secretariat Report states that “Jordanian citizens may obtain a non-exclusive license from the Minister of Culture to translate foreign works into Arabic after three years of first publication, subject to fair compensation of the author.”  We understand that this provision exists in the 1992 copyright law, and that Jordan availed itself of the provisions in the Appendix of the Berne Convention but that availability expired as of October 10, 2004, according to WIPO.  We have several questions.¨

 

·         First, given that the availability of the Berne Appendix has expired, under what authority are the translation licenses being issued?

 

A: To be provided later.

 

·         Second, how many translation licenses has the Ministry issued in recent years?

 

A: No translation licenses have been issued at all.

 

·    Third, please describe how fair compensation of the author is calculated and how payment to the foreign authors is facilitated.

 

A: Fair compensation is calculated according to the conditions stated in Article 49 of the Copyright Law, which are:

 

1-       the author’s cultural standing,

2-       the value of the literary or scientific or artistic work

3-       the value of the original work in the market

4-       the extent to which the violator benefited from exploiting the work are taken into account..

and there is no distinction between foreign and national authors in calculating compensation according to the law.

 

·    Fourth, how is the compensation accounted for when authors cannot be determined or located?

 

A: Article 49 of the Law is not an ex-officio Article, and according to Article (4/A/2) when the author is not known it’s the publisher who can file the case and claim compensation on behalf of the author according to Article 49.

 

Page 65, paragraph 3.141, page 66 Table 3.27, and page 67, paragraph 3.148 The Secretariat Report notes that the National Library is responsible for copyright protection and initiates legal cases of copyright infringement.  The Report also indicates that the number of cases initiated has generally declined between 2009 and 2014.  We have several questions.

 

·    First, are the 270 cases cited for 2014 attributed to the full year or just through July 2014? We also would appreciate clarification regarding the nature of these actions (raids, inspections); are they administrative actions (as compared to criminal or civil actions)?

 

A: The 270 cases are only the cases for the period that the report covered from January- July 2014.

 

The nature of these actions is not administrative, it is considered criminal action taken by the Ex-Officio authority given to the copyright officers, who refer the cases to the Public Prosecutor who in turn take the criminal action. As for the civil action, it is taken by the right holder.

 

·    Second, what reasons or circumstances might explain this decline?  Were there any changes to enforcement procedures during this period, if so, please describe them.

 

A: According to our reports, there is no decline in the number of cases, if we compare the number of cases for the last three years, we notice that in 2012 the number of cases was 467, in 2013 it was 462 and in 2014 it was 460 cases.

 

There is no change in the enforcement procedures used during this period.

 

·    Third, please provide any statistics available on how these cases are resolved, including how many of those cases were referred to the First Instance Court, which we understand has jurisdiction over both criminal and civil matters.

 

A: The cases mentioned in our report (460 cases) are those referred to the Public Prosecutor, who refer them after investigation to the First Instance Court.

 

·    In addition, please include statistics on how many of the referred cases were civil copyright infringement cases and how many were criminal.

 

A: All the cases referred from the Copyright office to the Public Prosecutor are considered criminal cases. We have no statistics on the Civil cases which are initiated by the right holders.

 

3.3.5.5 Enforcement of intellectual property rights

 

Page 66, paragraph 3.145:  The Report indicates that Jordan Customs can suspend the release of goods which it suspects may constitute an infringement of Jordan’s intellectual property laws and regulations, and the rights holder may file a criminal or civil case before the competent court during an eight day timeframe after being notified.  The Secretariat notes that in 2014 there were 253 IPR infringement cases, of which 28 were filed to court.

 

·         What percentage of these cases involved copyright claims?

 

A: To be provided later.

 

4. TRADE POLICIES BY SECTOR

 

4.1.2 Trade

 

Page 71, paragraph 4.10 states that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supplies is the main importer of barley.

 

·         Is barley state traded?  Why does the government do the importing?

 

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply imports barley to maintain a strategic inventory of barley and sells it at subsidised prices to herds owners. Private sector is allowed to import barely.


4.1.3 Agriculture policies

4.1.3.2 Price-related measures

 

Page 73, paragraph 4.23 states that “at the end of the last [Trade Policy] Review period, it was reported that new policies were to be introduced that reduced subsidies and applied a new method for subsidizing farmers. However, from the notifications to the WTO, Jordan has continued to use administered prices for barley which, like those for wheat, have varied from one year to the next, ranging from JD 122 per tonne in 2005 to JD 370 in 2012. According to the authorities, the administered prices are decided based on international prices and shipping costs plus a margin to ensure domestic production is viable.”

 

·         What changes does Jordan contemplate, and when, to bring grain production, importation, and domestic sale under market conditions?

 

A: To be provided later.

 

4.2 Mining and Energy

4.2.5 Oil and natural gas

 

Page 84, paragraph 4.61 states that the “the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources oversees the development of the oil and natural gas industry as well as granting concessions for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.  Concessions are granted for 5-8 years and are subject to extension during the development phase of 25 years. The state-owned National Petroleum Company has exclusive rights, until 2046, in the natural gas and crude oil industry (Table 4.9).”

 

·         Since the NPC has exclusive rights until 2046 in the natural gas and crude oil industry, please clarify the purpose and nature of the concessions being granted.

 

A: The NPC has exclusive rights until 2046 in the natural gas production within the Risha Block which is 7600 sq. km.

 

The rest of the Concessions are being granted to other international companies to explore, exploit and or/develop hydrocarbons in the Kingdom as shown in the Petroleum Blocks below.

 

 

 

Page 8, paragraph 15 states that “the partly state-owned Arab Potash Company has exclusive rights to exploit, manufacture and market mineral resources from the Dead Sea.”

 

·         Jordan does not appear to have notified this entities as a state trading enterprise (STEs) within the meaning of Article XVII of the GATT 1994 and the Understanding on Article XVII.  As it has exclusive trading rights, why not?

 

A: Jordan will be notifying STEs in near future

 

PART II:  QUESTIONS REGARDING THE GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

4.  FOREIGN TRADE POLICY

4.2 Doha Development Agenda (DDA)

 

Page 9, paragraph 4.8: The Government report notes that “Moreover, the successful implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreements is one of Jordan's priorities to ensure the harmonization of legislation and improve the efficiency of supply chain logistics as well as the development and technical adjustment requirements.”

 

·         Could Jordan provide an update on when it expects to deposit its letter of acceptance of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?

A: Jordan is currently in the ratification process .

 

5.  Technical Assistance Needs

 

Page 9, paragraph 5.1, bullets 2 and 5: Can the Jordan identify what technical assistance they are requesting to assist with the IPR related issues identified in bullets 2&5?

 

A: Adequate and targeted training for IPPD officials is needed in intellectual property rights issues and in negotiation skills through specialized training courses (workshops/ Training of trainers/ Study visits/ internships) at the WTO Secretariat.

 

Improving public awareness and developing a wider culture across the Jordanian society for the importance of intellectual property rights within broader efforts in the country towards development and economic growth (including for young people, civil society and economic operators).

 

- Establishing efficient cooperation with public and private sector to better take advantage of national IP frameworks, through specialized seminars and workshops on specific issues, involving private stakeholders, especially SMEs.

 

Assist in the review and modernization of IPRs laws and regulations (ex: Utility model law, patent law)

 

Page 9, paragraph 5.1:

 

·         What types of topics and activities does Jordan envision in regards to SPS technical capacity building?

 

Capacity building and Training needed:

 

-Upgrading plant and animal quarantine facilities.

-Upgrading residue laboratories.

-Upgrading the capacity of regulatory bodies responsible for setting sps measures.

-Training plant health quarantine specialists.

-Training veterinary quarantine specialists.

 

Upgrading food laboratories

Capacity building and training to Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan Food and Drug Administration, and Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization.


REPLIES TO FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES

 

Page 38, paragraph 3.3.5.1: We appreciate the answer that a translation of the 2014 copyright law amendments will be provided at a later date.

·                We ask if the Government can provide a general timeframe as to when this document will be available.

 

A: Jordan will publish the legal translation of the law as soon as available

 

Page 38, paragraph 3.3.5.1 (in response to question at Page 63, Table 3.25):  We appreciate the response that the copyright law will need to be amended before Jordan ratifies the Beijing and Marrakesh Treaties.

 

·                Does the Government have any general timeframe in mind for when the implementation legislation might begin?  If so, what is the timeline for such amendments?

 

A: No Government decision has been taken until now for amending the Copyright Law. The decision is still under discussion.

 

Page 39, paragraph 3.3.5.3 (in response to question at Page 65, paragraph 3.139) as well as answers provided at Page 7 to EU question 20: We appreciate the answers provided on pages 7 and 39 with respect to the scope of the translation and reproduction licenses afforded under Article 11 of the Copyright Law of 1992, as amended in 2014. We see from the answers that no translation licenses have yet been issued and we acknowledge that our questions are somewhat limited because a translation of the law is not available.

We have two questions:

 

A: Note: Article 11 was not included in the 2014 amendments of the Copyright Law.

 

·                     Could Jordan provide additional information on the scope and procedures needed regarding “just compensation” provided to authors whose works are translated and reproduced under an Article 11 license?

We acknowledge that the Government’s answer to the EU on page 7 contains the text of Article 11. There, Article 11(d) indicates that the author is “entitled to a just compensation compatible with the standards of the monetary rights of the author which are prevalent in voluntary license contracts between people in the Kingdom and between people in the author’s country.” Article 11(e) states that the “conditions and procedures for the granting of licenses provided for in this Article shall be determined in pursuance to a regulation issued for this purpose.”

o    Have any such regulations been issued on this point?

o    Furthermore, when is the compensation collected from the licensee, and when is it distributed to the original author?

o    What steps must the original author take to receive the compensation? What role, if any, does the Government play in facilitating this transaction?

 

Answer: No regulations or bylaws have been issued in relation to Article 11 of the Law.

 

·                Could Jordan clarify that the “just compensation” phrase in Article 11 is not the same “fair compensation” concept discussed on page 38 in reference to Article 49?

          We inquire because the Government’s answer to the EU (on page 6) also identified Article 49 and the “circumstances and conditions of compensation.” The Government’s answer (on page 38) lists several factors for calculating “fair compensation” under Article 49, all of which appear to be related to infringement actions. It seems that compensation under Article 49 is not the same thing as “just compensation” for the purposes of the Article 11 licenses, and clarification by the Government would be helpful on this point.

 

A: The compensation mentioned in Article 11 needs certain conditions in a specific regulation, which as we mentioned before is not issued.

 

As for Article 49, the compensation conditions which are stated in the said Article are limited to infringement on copyright cases.


MISSING QUESTIONS

WRITTEN QUESTIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES

 

Page 39, Table 3.8 states that the import prohibition on tractors over one year old is to provide for the “safety of public transport.”

·                     How are such vehicles regulated in a manner that ensures that used tractors are not discriminated against just because they are imported?

 

A: Jordan does not produce such vehicles.

 

Page 47, paragraph 3.67 states that “the main targets for the public procurement regime in Jordan are to select the best evaluated bidder with the lowest possible price to execute the work, taking into consideration transparency, parity and neutrality issues. It also has secondary targets such as protecting the environment and facilitating innovation.”  However, page 7, paragraph 7 states that “foreign equity restrictions on construction and contracting firms . . . act to limit access to government procurement contracts.”

·                     How, in practice, do the foreign equity restrictions “act to limit access to government procurement contracts” by foreign firms?

 

A: Foreign equity restrictions do not constitute a limitation to access government procurement contracts. Any company registered in Jordan regardless of the nationality of its owners is allowed to participate in government procurement contracts.

 

·                Jordan took a commitment during its accession negotiations to initiate negotiations for membership in the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) after WTO accession. Negotiations for accession have stalled. If Jordan accedes to the GPA, such restrictions may have to be relaxed for covered entities. What are Jordan’s plans in this regard? Will the restrictions be relaxed?

 

A: This will be considered within the negotiations of Jordan accession to the GPA

 

3.1.9 Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures

 

Page 23, Table 2.2

·                In regards to the section under the “Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures”, does Jordan concur that not all the SPS measures listed should be identified as “Emergency measures”; for example, G/SPS/N/JOR/25 and G/SPS/N/JOR/26 were not notified to the WTO as emergency measures?

 

A: All sps notifications listed in table 2.2  are for emergency measures except G/SPS/N/JOR/25and G/SPS/N/JOR/26 which were notified for transparency matter on measures taken by government.

 

·                Would a secondary designation, such as “Notifications on sanitary and phytosanitary measures”, under this section of the table better classify non-emergency SPS measures that Jordan notified to the WTO?

 

A: Other designation such as "other notifications on sanitary and phytosanitary measures" can classify notifications G / SPS / N / JOR / 25 and G / SPS / N / JOR / 26 better.

 

3.2.5 Other export support measures

 

Page 53, paragraph. 3.92:  Could Jordan please explain why Jordan has not reported the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC) in the WTO Questionnaire on Export Competition, given that the JLGC website indicates that agricultural products are covered under the Corporation’s programs?

 

·                Please describe the export financing program offered by JLGC for which agricultural commodities and products are eligible.

 

A: The JLGC does not provide direct export financing as mentioned above. However the JLGC provides export credit insurance program which is available for all exporters regardless of the size, products and the type of entity.

·                What was the value of agricultural exports supported by the export financing programs during 2013 and 2014?

 

A: The value of agricultural exports supported by the export credit guarantee programs during 2013 and 2014 were 2,901,606 JD and 2,108,912 JD respectively.

 

·                What were the products, destinations, the maximum and average annual repayment terms, and the average premium rate associated with these transactions?

 

A: Agricultural products constituted 3% & 4% of the total exports covered by JLGC. Fruits and vegetables are mainly exported to United Kingdom and France, with credit term between 90-150 days and premium rate doesn’t exceed 0.6% on each shipment.

 

3.3.5 Intellectual property rights

3.3.5.1 Overview

We understand that there is a 2014 amended version of Jordan’s 1992 copyright law. We have been unable to find a copy in English and we don’t have any detailed information on the amendments that were made. We also cannot find notification of new text by Jordan to the WTO.

 

·                We would appreciate receiving as soon as possible an English translation of the changes that were made in Jordan’s copyright legislation, e.g., the 2014 amended law.

 

A: There is only an Arabic version of the amended law.

The Following is a summary of the main amendments on the Law, taking into consideration that the amended law has been subject to several modifications since 2008 until its adoption in 2014, during which it has been discussed by the Legislative Bureau, Legal Ministerial Committees, Legal Committees at the Parliament and finally the two chambers of the Parliament (the Representatives and the Senates):

1-     The title of the Law was amended to be (Protection of Copyright and Related Rights Law).

2-     Adding more definitions to Article (2) to clarify some terms and words mentioned in the Law.

3-     Amending Article (4) by adding two paragraphs (d ) and (e) which are:

d-     Any person, whose name is shown in the usual manner shown on the work, recorded performance, sound recording, or audiovisual work shall be considered to be the right owner of the work, performance or sound recording or audiovisual work, unless proven otherwise.

e-     Unless otherwise proven, there shall be a presumption of subsistence of copyright or neighboring right in the work, performance, sound recording, or audiovisual work.

 

4-     Amending Article (7) by adding a statement that the ideas are not protected to be in conformity with chapter (2) section (1) article 9 of the TRIPS Agreement.

5-     Amending Article (17) by adding the three-steps test at the beginning of the article in order to be applied on all exceptions and limitations.

6-     Amending Article (55) relating to Circumvention of Technological Measures to be in conformity with FTA requirements.

 

3.3.5.3 Copyright

 

Page 21, Table 2.1 and Page 65, paragraph 3.140: The Secretariat points out that Law No. 23 of 2014 amended the Copyright Protection Law No. 22 of 1992, and notes that “The amendments were intended to create a favourable environment for investment in the information and technology sector, particularly software.” 

·                Because an English translation of the amendments is not available at this time, we would appreciate a summary that identifies the key areas of the 1992 law that were amended.

 

A: Following is a summary of the main amendments on the Law, taking into consideration that the amended law has been subject to several modifications since 2008 until its adoption in 2014, during which it has been discussed by the Legislative Bureau, Legal Ministerial Committees, Legal Committees at the Parliament and finally the two chambers of the Parliament (the Representatives and the Senates):

1-     The title of the Law was amended to be (Protection of Copyright and Related Rights Law).

2-     Adding more definitions to Article (2) to clarify some terms and words mentioned in the Law.

3-     Amending Article (4) by adding two paragraphs (d ) and (e) which are:

d-     Any person, whose name is shown in the usual manner shown on the work, recorded performance, sound recording, or audiovisual work shall be considered to be the right owner of the work, performance or sound recording or audiovisual work, unless proven otherwise.

e-     Unless otherwise proven, there shall be a presumption of subsistence of copyright or neighboring right in the work, performance, sound recording, or audiovisual work.

 

4-     Amending Article (7) by adding a statement that the ideas are not protected to be in conformity with chapter (2) section (1) article 9 of the TRIPS Agreement.

5-     Amending Article (17) by adding the three-steps test at the beginning of the article in order to be applied on all exceptions and limitations.

6-     Amending Article (55) relating to Circumvention of Technological Measures to be in conformity with FTA requirements.

 

·                In addition, we would appreciate the views of the Government as to which particular provisions of the amended law are currently contributing to a favorable investment climate.

 

A: The existence of a copyright law as a whole have a positive effect on investment not only the amendments.

 

Page 65, paragraph 3.139:  The Secretariat Report states that “Jordanian citizens may obtain a non-exclusive license from the Minister of Culture to translate foreign works into Arabic after three years of first publication, subject to fair compensation of the author.”  We understand that this provision exists in the 1992 copyright law, and that Jordan availed itself of the provisions in the Appendix of the Berne Convention but that availability expired as of October 10, 2004, according to WIPO. We have several questions.

 

·                First, given that the availability of the Berne Appendix has expired, under what authority are the translation licenses being issued?

 

A: Kindly note that no translation licenses have been issued at all and in order to enforce this article, a bylaw needed to be developed, so this article is not enforced at all.

 

3.3.5.5 Enforcement of intellectual property rights

 

Page 66, paragraph 3.145:  The Report indicates that Jordan Customs can suspend the release of goods which it suspects may constitute an infringement of Jordan’s intellectual property laws and regulations, and the rights holder may file a criminal or civil case before the competent court during an eight day timeframe after being notified.  The Secretariat notes that in 2014 there were 253 IPR infringement cases, of which 28 were filed to court.

·                     What percentage of these cases involved copyright claims?

 

A: no cases.

 

4.1.3 Agriculture policies

4.1.3.2 Price-related measures

 

Page 73, paragraph 4.23 states that “at the end of the last [Trade Policy] Review period, it was reported that new policies were to be introduced that reduced subsidies and applied a new method for subsidizing farmers. However, from the notifications to the WTO, Jordan has continued to use administered prices for barley which, like those for wheat, have varied from one year to the next, ranging from JD 122 per tonne in 2005 to JD 370 in 2012. According to the authorities, the administered prices are decided based on international prices and shipping costs plus a margin to ensure domestic production is viable.”

 

·                What changes does Jordan contemplate, and when, to bring grain production, importation, and domestic sale under market conditions?

 

A: Government of Jordan will review the subsidies policies.


REPLIES TO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

 

REGARDING JORDAN REPORT (WT/TPR/G/325)

3 SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

3.1 Agriculture

3.2. p 6

 

The Jordan valley is characterized by its unique climate. It is considered as the food basket for Jordan due to the year-round agricultural climate, fertile soils, higher winter rainfall and extensive summer irrigation. Vegetables, cut flowers, herbs are the main products in the Valley for the off season. Olive trees are grown in the highlands which receive the highest rainfall in Jordan.

 

Question: Could you please provide further information about phytosanitary characteristics of areas aimed for plant products cultivation? What kinds of plant products are produced in Jordan?

 

A: In Jordan Valley the units for plantation are close to each other, there are no bounderies between the cultivation units, also there are no zones applied for phytosanitary measures.

 

Main Plant products which are produced in Jordan are:

 

Vegetables:

Tomatoes ,Squash ,Eggplants, Cucumber ,Potato, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Hot pepper, Sweet pepper, Broad beans, String beans ,Peas, Okra ,Lettuce, Sweet melon ,Water melon ,Spinach ,Onion green ,Onion dry, Snake cucumber, Turnip, Carrot ,Parsley, Radish Cow-peas.

 

Fruit Trees:

 

Olives ,Grapes ,Apples, Dates ,Peaches, Lemons, Oranges, Clementines, Apricots, Bananas, Nectarines, Plums and prunes ,Mandarins ,Pears, Almonds ,Pummelors, Pomegrantes ,Figs ,Guava, and rapefruits.

 

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SECRETARIAT REPORT (WT/TPR/S/325)

3.  TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE

3.1.4 Import prohibitions, restrictions, and licensing

3.31 p 40

 

Import licences may be cancelled in certain circumstances, for example, in case of a disease outbreak in the exporting country. Cancellation of a licence may be appealed before the High Court of Justice. During the review period, no import licence was cancelled.

 

Question: Could you please specify the certain circumstances for the cancellation of import licenses? Please elaborate on the legal basis setting out such circumstances.

 

A: According to Article (10) of the Import and Export law No. 21 of 2001, the issuing authority retains the right to cancel an import licence and refund the fees under certain conditions or in emergency situations, for example in case of a disease outbreak in the exporting country. Cancellation of a licence may be appealed before the High Court of Justice.

 

3.1.6.2 Sanitary and phytosanitary requirements

3.55 p 44

 

The SPS regime is governed mainly under the Food Control Law, the Drug and Pharmacy Law, the Food and Drug Administration Law, and the Law on Agriculture. The authorities stated that a draft Food Law is under review by the Parliament.

 

Question: Please specify which legal acts govern food and feed safety? Please specify if there are any other legal acts on SPS under development in Jordan, and which SPS-related acts are applied to the imported food?

 

A: The enacted law and published in official gazette since 16/6/2015. Food law is the legal act for food safety. SPS-related acts are applied to the imported food; Food law, risk management criteria, golden trader programme

For Agricultural products legal acts are articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,and 10 of Agriculture Law No. (13) of year 2015.

 

3.56 p 45

 

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for SPS measures to protect animal and plant health against pests and diseases. The Ministry is also the national enquiry point under the WTO SPS Agreement. The Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) is responsible for the safety and quality of food and drugs.

 

Question: Which measures are applied to protect animals and plants from pests and diseases? Please specify the authority responsible for veterinary control of the products?

 

A: Both Plant Quarantine, and Animal quarantine directives for the year 2003 are governing measures to protect animals and plants from pests and diseases. Veterinary Directorate in Ministry of agriculture is the responsible body for veterinary control.

 

3.57 p 45

 

Imports (and exports) of animals and animal products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate issued in the country of origin. Importers of animals and animal products, and plants and plant products, need to register with the MITS before they apply for an import licence. The competent authority in the country of origin is required to provide veterinary certificates, phytosanitary certificates, and food safety certificates.

 

Question 1: Please clarify the registration procedure in MITS. Please explain the rationale for the registration? Whether there is a special register of SPS-controlled products importers.

 

A: the importer registers in the Importers/Exporters Registry should:

·         Be registered as commercial company or individual institution

·         Be registered in the Chamber of Commerce or industry

·         Be registered in the Income and Sales Tax Department

·         Has Valid vocational license

There is no special register of SPS-controlled products importers.

 

Question 2: Please specify the requirements (conditions) for obtaining an import license? Please provide the information on the legal acts introducing such requirements.

 

A: According to Import Instruction No. 1 of 2012, the importer must have a valid importer card before the issuance of import license for the goods requiring to get the license for.

 

3.58 p 45

 

Imports of live animals or their products are subject to quarantine procedures, which include risk assessment studies before importation, pre- and post-import quarantine, checking the health situation in the country of origin, and requiring each consignment to be accompanied by veterinary health certificates issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin. Veterinary quarantine procedures are stipulated in Veterinary Quarantine Regulations No. (Z/5) for 2015, in accordance with Article 46, 50, and 51 of interim Agriculture Law No. 13 of 2015. Exceptions from quarantine requirements may be granted for shipments from exporting countries or regions with disease-free status according to OIE. Jordan recognizes equivalent SPS measures in those exporting countries with which it has mutual recognition agreements (MRAs); so far, Jordan has MRAs with respect to quarantine procedures for live animals with Algeria, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the State of Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

 

Question 1: Please specify, which body carries out the risk assessment studies prior to imports.

 

A: Ministry of agriculture

 

Question 2: Could you please provide the internet link or specify other sources of information where we could get acquainted with Jordan’s MRAs.

 

A: All MRAs are published in the Official Gazette-Prime Ministry. Website: www.pm.gov.jo

 

3.60 p 45

 

Testing and inspection at the border is conducted by the Customs, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the JFDA. Inspection procedures are in accordance with International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), Codex, and national standards.

 

Question: Please provide details on the legal framework (procedures) for the inspections at the border conducted by Jordan, the way of testing/inspections conducting. May the mentioned competent authorities inspect the same shipment simultaneously?

 

Risk based border inspection system incorporates criteria that determine the risk of each shipment taking into consideration 5 major components (country of origin, trader, history, food item, targeted population).

 

It is conducted by ASYUCUDA world system.

Testing is according to the channel randomly selected.

Red channel (lab testing, considering Jordan standards based on Codex)

Yellow channel subject to documentary check

Competent authority conducts simultaneous inspection activity.

 

3.61 p 45

 

Food is classified as high-risk or low-risk items, according to their country of origin, the history of trader, and features of the food items (if they are perishable), with different testing and inspection procedures. Most food items (72%) are imported through "yellow channel", where the shipment is subject to documentary check and physical inspection. The rest (28%) is imported through "red channel", where shipment is subject to sampling and laboratory testing, in addition to documentary check and physical inspection. The classification is decided by the Risk Management Unit and Technical Committee, and approved by the Food Control High Committee.

 

Question 1: Please clarify the legal framework introducing this classification. Whether the information on procedures of products classification (yellow and red channels) is transparent and accessible to the public?

 

A: Food is classified according to risk management criteria depending on 5 major components (country of origin, trader, history, food item, targeted population) and it's transparent and the procedures for dealing with the channels are clear.

 

Question 2: Is there an approved list of products classified as high-risk or low-risk? What plant products are classified as high-risk or low-risk? Whether the mentioned classification is conducted at the border? Please provide more information about the Risk Management Unit (a brief description of its functions, of its interaction system, of its competence).

 

Risk management duties are to Identify, collect, analyze, evaluate, mitigate and monitor potential risks for all collected data related import. Developing risk criteria and/or improving existing risk criteria for actual use on the “Single Window” through ASYCUDA .Creating efficiency measures and informative management reports that are suitable for immediate implementation through Golden list traders. Supervising the implementation of golden trader and risk management legislations. The classification is conducted based on the risk management criteria mentioned in question 1.

 

Question 3: It is mentioned that the «history of trader» can be considered in determining the product’s risk classification. Please provide more details on the application of such criteria, notably on the importer data recordkeeping, and at what stage this analyze is carried out.

 

A: As a proactive approach to encouraging compliance with food law and related we have Golden trader programme and non-compliant trader list.

 

3.63 p 45

 

All products in the market are inspected, with different inspection frequency.

High

Up to 4 times / year

Medium

Up to 2 times / year

low

One inspection visit / year

 

Question 1:

Please specify which legal acts regulate the frequency of the inspections? What determines the inspections’ frequency?

 

A: Legal act is domestic food inspection legislation the frequency of inspection determined according to type of food.

 

Question 2:

Please specify the order of plant products exports with regards to SPS measures?

 

A: All plants and plant products when exported from Jordan must be accompanied with a phytosanitary certificate except shipments when exported to countries which permit importation of these shipments without phytosanitary certificates.


REPLIES TO THAILAND

 

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SECRETARIAT REPORT (WT/TPR/S/325)

 

Paragraph 2.15, 2.17 (Page 24, 26)

2.4.2 Regional and bilateral agreements, 2.4.3 Other preferential arrangements

It is stated in paragraph 2.15 that “Jordan has seven FTA in force: the Pan-Arab Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA),  ……” and bilateral agreements with Canada, EFTA, EU, Singapore, Turkey, and the United States.”; and in paragraph 2.17 that “Jordan receives trade preferences under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) schemes of Australia; Japan; New Zealand; Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation.”

 

Thailand can use Jordan as a gateway to PAFTA and other developed countries. Consequently, we would like to know your policy on trade and investment promotion in tourism, hotels, textiles, fertilizers, and agricultural products processing.

 

A: Industrial business products can access all Arab Countries free of customs under PAFTA. All of these sectors are open for foreign investors and benefit from the incentives in the new Investment Law no. (70) for the year 2014.

 

Paragraph 3.67 (Page 47)

3.17 Government Procurement

It states in this paragraph that “… the main targets for the public procurement regime in Jordan are to select the best evaluated bidder with the lowest possible price to execute the work … It also has secondary targets such as protecting environment and facilitating innovation.”

 

Q. 1) Please confirm as to whether the core criteria, in addition to the lowest possible price, used to select the best evaluated bidder to execute the work also cover the quality aspect.

 

A: The lowest possible price is not the only criteria taken into consideration. The procured goods and services should meet the technical requirements and standards, and there is also a criteria to ensure quality of procurement is also used when required, is to have points for technical evaluation of the procured services in addition to points for the financial proposal.

 

Q. 2) With regard to the secondary targets, e.g. protecting environment and facilitating innovation, please clarify whether these secondary targets will be taken into consideration irrespective of origin or not.

 

Those targets are taken into consideration irrespective of their origin.

 

Paragraph 3.69 (Page 47)

3.17 Government Procurement

It is narrated in this paragraph that “… Jordan is preparing a unified procurement by-law, which is awaiting ratification by the cabinet. The new by-law has provisions for almost all types of government procurement with several key reform features. It intends to … establish a policy and legislation unit, and a complaint remedy system.”

 

Please elucidate how the complaint remedy system under the new by-law functions and confirm whether this system encompasses the appeal mechanism for public works and engineering services, as the current legislation, i.e. Regulation of Government Works No. 71 of 1986, provides no appeal mechanism for public works and engineering services.

 

To be provided later.

 

Paragraph 3.104 (page 55)

3.2.6.3 Qualifying industrial zones (QIZs)

It states in this paragraph that “QIZs are designated industrial parks in Egypt and Jordan from which goods can be exported duty-free and quota-free to the United States.”  Which sectors does Jordan promote to invest in the QIZs?

 

A: All sectors can benefit from QIZs, The QIZ comprised mostly of the textiles and garment industry.

Paragraph 4.22-04.23 (Page 73)

4.1.3.2 Price-related measures

Could Jordan explain more about the calculation of the administered price and the future action to make these measures conform to the Article 6 of the Agreement of Agriculture?

 

Price support is highly affected by world market price, external fixed reference price depends on the interval period (97-99), therefore a huge gap exists between actual world market price and external fixed price, the subsidy element is grossly overstated by comparing present day administered prices with fixed reference price period, which is unrealistic.

 

Quantity purchased by government must meet special standard and requirement, such as purity, injury percentage.

 

QUESTIONS REGARDING JORDAN'S REPORT (WT/TPR/G/325)

 

Paragraph 4.7 (page 9)

4.2 Doha Development Agenda (DDA)

It is stated in this paragraph that “ ……. Jordan has to import approximately 90% of its needs in food including animal feeds.”

 

Thailand is the major net halal food exporting country and our policy is to be the kitchen of the world. We would like to expand our trade and investment in this sector as well as to transfer technology to Jordan. What is your policy to enhance our mutual trade and investment in this sector.

 

A: Jordan welcomes expanding trade with Thailand and any investments in this promising sector, as well as technology transfer.

 

ADDITIONAL WRITTEN QUESTIONS FROM THAILAND

 

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SECRETARIAT REPORT (WT/TPR/S/325)

 

3. Trade Policies and Practices Measure

 

3.3.4 State-owned enterprises, privatization and state trading

3.3.4.1 SOEs and privatization process

 

For those fields in which SOEs operate and are not yet opened for private investors, what is the government view on future competition in those fields?

How does the government set priority on which SOEs to be privatized?

Regarding the promotion of PPP policy design and project implementation in Jordan,
does the government aim at promoting certain types of project or infrastructure in particular? What types of project are the main priorities? What is the rationale behind such prioritization?

 

Answer 1

The privatization program was concluded in 2010 and the privatization Law (No. 2 25 for the year 2000) was replaced by law (No. 2 for the year 2015). The Government has no current plans to privatize any of the remaining state owned enterprises.

 

Answer 2

 

The PPP law (No. 31 for the year 2014) was passed on November 2nd, 2014. According to article No. (7) of the law, the PPP unit was established under the Ministry of Finance.

 

The PPP regulation which mainly covers the procurement process of PPP projects and the project life cycle was endorsed by the cabinet and published in the official gazette on Nov 1st, 2015.

 

The PPP regulation has special provisions that covers the implementation of small scale projects which were recently defined by the PPP council as projects with capital expenditures not exceeding 15 million Jordanian Dinars. The regulation also covers procedures for dealing with direct unsolicited proposals.

The PPP Unit is currently in the process of developing its pipeline of potential PPP projects, where several projects have been identified in different sectors such as water, wastewater, environment and transport.

 

In cooperation with the World Bank the unit is also developing a prioritization tool to classify projects using specific criteria which will include factors such as the economic and financial viability of each project, project size, the need for government funding, availability of funds and others

 

QUESTIONS REGARDING JORDAN’S REPORT (WT/TPR/G/325)

 

4. Foreign Trade Policy

4.1 Jordan and WTO

 

According to Article 4.3. on the Trade Policy Review report by Jordan, could you please elaborate on the criteria of determination on green-lane treatment; for both, the expedited shipments free of and with de-minimis inspections?

 

A: Imports are classified according to risk management criteria depending on 5 major components (country of origin, trader, history, food item, targeted population) and it's transparent and the procedures for dealing with the channels are clear.


Missing questions

WRITTEN QUESTIONS FROM THAILAND

 

Paragraph 3.69 (Page 47)

3.17 Government Procurement

It is narrated in this paragraph that “… Jordan is preparing a unified procurement by-law, which is awaiting ratification by the cabinet. The new by-law has provisions for almost all

Types of government procurement with several key reform features. It intends to … establish a policy and legislation unit, and a complaint remedy system.”

 

Please elucidate how the complaint remedy system under the new by-law functions and confirm whether this system encompasses the appeal mechanism for public works and engineering services, as the current legislation, i.e. Regulation of Government Works No. 71 of 1986, provides no appeal mechanism for public works and engineering services.

 

A: The complaint remedy system is included in draft unified Government procurement legislation and is still under discussion.

 


REPLIES TO MEXICO

 

Report by the Secretariat

 

Question 1. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 Measures Directly Affecting Imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.1 Standardization.

 

Paragraph 3.38. (Page 42) The Standards and Metrology Law No.22 of 2000 covers the preparation, adoption and application of standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures. Draft amendments, which aim to protect the health and safety of consumers and prevent deceptive practices including trade in counterfeit products, were discussed by Parliament and are waiting for approval by the Senate. The draft amendments include new provisions on product safety, market surveillance activities, conformity mark and legal metrology, and penalties and sanctions.

 

In what consists the “conformity mark" and how can it be obtained?

 

A: The Amendment of the Law no. 22/2000 on Standards and Metrology was endorsed by the Parliament and published in the official gazette on 02 August 2015. Accordingly, the quality mark which is defined in the law is put on a product if this is required by the Technical Regulation that covers this product. This mark is fixed on a product according to instructions issued by JSMO's board of directors.

 

Question 2. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 Measures that affect directly imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.1 Standardization.

 

Paragraph 3.39. (Page 42) The Jordanian Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) is the national standardization body and the TBT enquiry point. The procedure to develop national standards and technical regulations remains the same as in the previous Review. Jordan applies the Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption, Application and Notification of Standards and Technical Regulations in accordance with the TBT Agreement. Standards and technical regulations may be proposed by any interested party, and prepared by technical committees comprising experts from interested parties in Jordan and are open for comments for 60 days. The JSMO is authorized to decide whether to approve national standards and technical regulations. Technical regulations may also be issued by other government bodies such as the Ministry of Environment, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and the Ministry of Health. What is the procedure for the elaboration of national standards and technical regulations of the Jordanian Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO)?

 

A: Question is not clear.

 

Question 3. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 Measures that affect directly imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.2 TBT Notifications.

 

Paragraph 3.43. (Page 43). Between January 2008 and August 2015, Jordan made 44 notifications on standards and technical regulations to the WTO. Among these, 39 were notified under Article 2.9 of the TBT Agreement. One notification was submitted by the MITS, on the import prohibition of automobiles with tinted glass with opacity above 10% (section 3.1.4). 16 The other 38 notifications, on proposed technical regulations, were submitted by the JSMO, each with a comment period of 60 days. The products concerned include household electronic appliances, automobiles, toys, and energy related products. According to these notifications, all draft technical regulations approximate EU regulations or directives.

 

What criteria are used to determine that all draft technical regulations issued by Jordan are similar to EU regulations or directives?

 

A: Not all technical regulations issued by Jordan are similar to EU regulations directives. Moreover, the reference of the Draft technical regulation and the type of adoption is mentioned clearly in the text of the TR.

Question 4. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 measures directly affecting imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.3 Conformity assessment, accreditation.

 

Paragraph 3.46. (page 43) Jordan's accreditation system of conformity assessment bodies was designed to meet the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17011 standard for accreditation bodies. The draft Accreditation Law establishing an autonomous national accreditation body (“Jordan Accreditation Commission”) was recently withdrawn from the Parliament; according to the authorities, this was because the international requirements of the International Laboratory Accreditation Corporation (ILAC) regarding the independence of national accreditation bodies had changed. Thus, Jordan's accreditation system is still under the JSMO, although the Accreditation Unit is now connected directly to the JSMO's Board of Directors. A bylaw is under preparation to ensure the integrity and impartiality of the accreditation system, and to remove the conflicts of interest with other functions of the JSMO (such as testing and certification activities). Amendments to the Law on Standards and Metrology expanded the scope of accreditation to include inspection bodies, from the current scope of including laboratories (testing, calibration and medical laboratories) and certification bodies.

 

What are the new requirements for the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation regarding the independence of national accreditation bodies?

 

A: A Bylaw on Accreditation no. 18/ 2015 was approved by Cabinet and  issued in the official Gazette on  18 October 2015 to give the accreditation the needed impartiality and independence.

 

Question 5. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan ; Report by the Secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 measures directly affecting imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.3 Conformity assessment, accreditation.

 

Paragraph 3.47. (page 43) After the termination of the Daman programme (the International Product Conformity Certification Program) on 1 September 2007, imported products are now subject to inspection, sampling and testing when necessary at the border, instead of inspection and testing in the country of supply. Locally-produced goods remain subject to inspection, sampling and testing when necessary. The percentage of inspection of imported products and domestically-produced ones is based on a risk assessment system within ASYCUDA. In accordance with this system, Customs declarations are automatically grouped into three channels, on the basis of the nature and origin of the product, the country of the exporter and the importer (Table 3.10).

 

How is the risk evaluated in the system in order to subject the imported products to inspection, sampling and testing at the border, instead of inspection and testing in the country of supply?

 

A: According to 5 major components (country of origin, trader, history, food item, targeted population).

 

Question 6. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 3 TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES BY MEASURE; 3.1 measures directly affecting imports; 3.1.6 Standards and other technical requirements; 3.1.6.1 Standards and technical regulations; 3.1.6.1.4 Labelling and packaging requirements

 

Paragraph 3.51. (page 44) Labelling and packaging requirements are issued as technical regulations or voluntary standards. Labelling for food and toys must be in Arabic; for other products the label is in Arabic and/or English.

 

Which are the voluntary standards and technical regulations that regulate the labelling and packaging?

 

A: Please find attached a list of valid Standards and Technical Regulations that are issued by JSMO and regulates labelling and packaging. For updates you can find these information on JSMO's website: www.jsmo,gov.jo.

 

Report by Jordan

 

Question 7. WT/TPR/G/325 • Jordan; Report by Jordan; 4 FOREIGN TRADE POLICY; 4.1 Jordan and WTO.

 

Paragraph 4.3. (page 8) The Customs Law and the related agency, Jordan Customs Department, are the main pivotal point concerned with goods trading, import and export. The Customs Department upgraded its customs facilities and automated some of the paper-based customs system. It also adopted many concepts and practices of trade facilitation for a speedier flow of goods across borders. For example, the department provides green-lane treatment to companies through expedited shipments free of or with de-minimis inspections upon arrival at ports of entry (Golden List program). Jordan's Customs leads in the Middle East in the single window implementation. Customs related laws, regulations, administrative rules, information on customs processes, conditions for importation, charges applicable under customs law, tariff rates, tariff classification opinions, and bilateral and regional trade agreements are all available in a transparent manner to operators. Furthermore, The Customs Department provides advance rulings based on requests from traders who seek clarification on specific matters, such as classification and applicable tariff rates.

 

What are the requirements / criteria for goods to be considered within the Golden List Program and have a free of or de-minimis inspection upon arrival at the port of entry? Through which mean / way and in which languages the laws, regulations and administrative rules of Jordan’s customs system are made available for operators?

 

A: Requirements of the GLP is related to the operators in the supply chain process, specifically (importers, exporters, warehouse operators, brokers..etc), each sector has its own criteria that should be met through defined measures. All laws and regulations are available in Arabic as it is the formal language in Jordan. However, some documents are available to operators in English.

 

Question 8. WT/TPR/G/325 • Jordan; Report by Jordan; 4 FOREIGN TRADE POLICY; 4.2 Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

 

Paragraph 4.7. (page 9) On a parallel track, Jordan falls under the small and vulnerable economies (SVEs) and as a Net Food Importer Developing Country calls for additional flexibilities within the agriculture negotiations to assure food security elements for SVEs. As previously stated, Jordan has to import approximately 90% of its needs in food including animal feeds.

 

What additional flexibilities on agriculture is Jordan exactly requesting within the DDA?

 

A: Jordan is committed to implement all the elements of the Bali Package, including those on agriculture. With much interest, we are looking forward to an agreement by members on the way forward for the basis of future negotiations.

 

Question 9. WT/TPR/G/325 • Jordan; Report by Jordan; 4 FOREIGN TRADE POLICY; 4.2 Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

 

Paragraph 4.8. (page 9) Moreover, the successful implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreements is one of Jordan's priorities to ensure the harmonization of legislation and improve the efficiency of supply chain logistics as well as the development and technical adjustment requirements. On the other hand, Jordan already implemented several parts of the Bali Agreement. Steady increase in trade, greater export diversification, enhanced foreign investment and improved national competitiveness are a few of the many expected gains of this agreement.

 

What parts of the Bali Agreement Jordan has already implemented?

 

A: Jordan notified its commitments under category A in the document no WT/PCTF/N/JOR/1.


Report by the Secretariat

 

Question 1. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 2 TRADE AND INVESTMENT REGIME; 2.5 Investment regime.

 

Paragraph 2.22. (Page 27) The Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) is responsible for promoting and facilitating investment in Jordan. According to the authorities, the JIC is formulating a new national investment strategy with an intention to enhance the one-stop shop. The board of directors of the JIC was replaced by the Investment Council from 2014, which is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes the following members: the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply; the Minister of Finance; the Minister of Labour; the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; the Chairman of the Investment Commission; the Central Bank Governor; the Head of Jordan Chamber of Industry; and the Head of Jordan Chamber of Commerce. In addition, four representatives from the private sector are to be nominated by the Cabinet upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The term of these representatives is for two years, renewable for one extra term of 2 years. Their term may be terminated by nominating a substitute.

 

Paragraph 2.23. (page 27) The JIC provides "one-stop services" to facilitate investors with all related administrative procedures including registration and licensing applications. It takes maximum 14 days for the one-stop shop to obtain from the concerned government bodies the necessary approval for registration and licences.

 

Mexico wants to know more details about the one-stop shop services that are currently offered to the investors to facilitate administrative procedures. In addition, Mexico wants to know in what will consist the New National Investment Strategy, which is being formulated by the Investment Commission.

 

A: The One Stop Shop at Jordan Investment Commission offers full service assistance for investors from licensing and registration services to granting financial exemptions as stipulated in the Investment Promotion Law No (30) of 2014. These exemptions from custom fees, sales taxes, and income tax breaks in addition to the After-care services and policy advocacy create an attractive environment for investors and empower the commission to achieve its strategic goals. Moreover, the law empowers the One Stop Shop representatives to issue permits and licenses and provide information and services to investors.

 

To enhance transparency to investors, the Investment Commission is in the process of issuing a licensing manual that contains the conditions, procedures, requirements and legal periods for issuance of licenses.

 

The Government is working diligently to develop an “Investment Promotion Strategy” aiming at attracting FDIs in export-oriented manufacturing production and services, high-value added and knowledge-based sectors.

 

Question 2. WT/TPR/S/325 • Jordan; Report by the Secretariat; 4 COMMERCIAL POLICIES BY SECTOR; 4.3 Services; 4.3.2 Telecommunications

 

Paragraph 4.102 (page 92). In 2006, the TRC issued a regulation on competition safeguards.68 The regulation establishes procedures and criteria for determining anti-competitive practices. Such procedures aim to define terminology related to competition in the telecommunication sector, including market, market share, dominance, and abuse of dominant position.69 The regulation aims to provide a common framework for competition-related proceedings in the sector, including complaints, dispute settlement, and dominant licensees' obligations under the Telecommunications Law.

 

Paragraph 4.103. (Page 92) The TRC's regulatory responsibilities include creating effective competition in the sector. This includes adopting legislation to achieve effective competition; implementing regulations for markets lacking effective competition, such as the fixed-phone subsector; adopting licensing instructions to simplify procedures; and handling complaints regarding anti-competition practices in coordination with the Competition Directorate under the MITS.70 Furthermore, there is a memorandum of understanding between MITS and TRC regarding competition cases in the sector. Additionally, TRC is also initiating a process of amending the competition safeguards instructions.

 

In this regard, does the complainant may go indifferently to either of both authorities? What kind of coordination framework exists to ensure that anti-competitive practices are duly punished?

 

A: The complainant may go to either or both authorities.

 

Both TRC and MITS agreed in the MoU that they will:

 

1.     Provide each other with the needed legal, economical and technical assistance.

2.       Consult each other before proceeding with any decision related to a complaint submitted to both authorities.

 

A: Telecommunications: Complainant may submit complaint to either the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission alleging anticompetitive behavior by a licensee, or to the Competition Directorate at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply.

 

According to article (16) of the competition law No. (33) for the year 2004 and its amendments, the punishment for anti-competitive practice will be determined in the court, according to article (20) of the competition law the amount of fines will not exceed 5% of the revenue.

 

In addition, Article (9(b)) of Safeguard Competition Instructions, TRC has some flexibility to impose appropriate sanctions pursuant to the Telecommunication lLow No. (13) for the year 1995 and its amendments, and/or the terms of Licensee`s license in case licensee violate general prohibition of safeguard competition instructions.

 

Report by Jordan

 

Question 3. WT/TPR/G/325 • Jordan; Report of Jordan; 3 SECTOR DEVELOPMENT; 3.4 Services.

 

Paragraph 3.20. The Government has continued revising polices to execute its commitment to the ICT sector. As a provider of talent and skilled professionals, Jordan is witnessing significant growth in ICT in its liberal market. The sector generates income representing approximately 14% of the country's GDP. Amman is considered as the 10th best place to start a technology company in the world. Moreover the country also enjoys on-the-ground presence of global companies.

 

In this regard, how many companies dedicated to the development of information technologies and communication have been established in Jordan? And what kind of incentives exist for the technology companies in particular those related to the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors to settle in Jordan?

 

A: According to the latest available data, there are 540 companies operation in the ICT markets (77 of which are in the Telecome market).

 

Incentives for those companies include:

 

1.     3G and 4G equipment used to provide those services are exempted from customs during first deployment.

 

2.     The information technology sector has been added to the list of activities to benefit from the incentives and benefits offered by the investment Law; those include:

 

Exemption of goods necessary for the economic activities of information technology services from customs duties and subject to the general sales tax rate of (zero) if imported or locally purchased.

 

All services needed for IT activities –if imported or locally purchased by the Information Technology activities are subject to general sales tax of 16%, where this tax will be returned to them within 30 days, by a written request to tax department.

Reducing the income tax due on information technology services activities by 30% in all regions of the Kingdm for a period of 10 years, renewable. SO that it becomes 14% instead of 20%.

 

The Central Bank of Jordan has expanded the umbrella of grants offered to the medium-term economic sectors to include the information technology sector, where interest rate does not exceed 5%.


REPLIES TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

 

Secretariat Report (WT/TPR/S/325)

4. TRADE POLICIES BY SECTOR

(4.3) SERVICES

(4.3.1) Financial Services

(4.3.1.1) Banking Sector

 

Paragraph 4.70 states:

 

"The Jordan Deposits Insurance Corporation (JDIC) was created in 2011, as a public entity established to protect customer deposits of up to JD 50,000 for all licensed banks operating in the country. Membership of the Corporation is compulsory for all Jordanian banks and foreign branches operating in the country. Jordanian banks operating abroad are exempt from such requirements as well as licensed Islamic Banks operating in Jordan. The JDIC's capital is jointly paid through a government contribution of JD 1 million and JD 100,000 per member."

 

Q1. What is your plan for including the Islamic bank in JDIC and how Islamic deposit insurance scheme will be different from JDIC?

 

A: The membership of all Jordanian banks and branches of foreign banks operating in Jordan is compulsory while the membership of Islamic banks is voluntary which gives the Islamic banks the discretion to join the Corporation in order to insure their deposits held by them. These Islamic banks decided not to join the Corporation because insuring Islamic deposits by conventional deposit insurance contradicts with Shariah principles. These deposits are not protected by JODIC where none of them is JODIC member as mentioned above.

 

Q2. Could you please elaborate on the process and requirements if one of these banks decides to join JDIC?

 

A: Islamic banks licensed to operate in the Kingdom, unless any one of them decides to join the Corporation which is subject to Shariah principles and Fatwa as an essential prerequisite to the compulsory membership of Islamic banks was issued by the General Ifta' Department.


REPLIES TO ARGENTINA

 

Translation

 

Regarding the Trade Policy Review of Jordan, these questions reflect Argentina's interest on the Middle East-Asian countries' development.

 

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Ships, which came from countries that subsidize fishing, were accused of plundering the Red Sea, in an evident manifestation of the predatory use of these subsidies, which perform overfishing and overexploitation of valuable species in international markets (in a maritime area where specially required resources such as Bluefin tuna are caught). In this context, Jordan enacted a protective regulation that guards fish resources on the framework of the Agriculture Code (Part IV, Articles 180 to186, Marine and Aquatic Resources).

 

Therefore, Argentina would like to know:

 

a) What actions are being taken by Jordan to tackle IUU?

 

b) Could Jordan inform about recent cases of this type of fishing, especially the most harmful ones, and the flags of the ships that were involved in such cases?

 

A: Please note that Jordan has small coast (27 Km), does not have fishing vessels and not allowed to enter such vessels to fishing in its territorial waters, and never be notified of such cases.

 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

 

Could Jordan please provide details regarding the current situation of the amendments to the laws on rules, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, which by the end of August 2015 were awaiting approval from the Senate? (page 7 paragraph 6)

 

A: The Amendment of the Law no. 22/2000 on Standards and Metrology was endorsed by the Parliament and published in the official gazette on 02 August 2015. In addition, a Bylaw on Accreditation no. 18/ 2015 was approved by Cabinet and issued in the official Gazette on  18 October 2015 to give the accreditation the needed impartiality and independence.

 

d) Can Jordan please provide more information on the Food Bill that is under review in Parliament? (page 44)

 

 

Food law has been enacted and published in official gazette since 16/6/2015.

It is the legal act for food safety. SPS-related acts are applied to the imported food; Food law, risk management criteria, golden trader program. Also to guarantee safety and quality of imported, exported and domestic food.

 

e) Agricultural Document 2009 identifies the challenges that the Jordanian faces in  agriculture, while including a wide range of programs to address these problems, such as improving infrastructure, research and development, animal health and vegetable, etc.

 

In the framework of these programs mentioned, is Jordan expected to promote any cooperation plans? (P. 72)

 

A: Jordan welcomes international cooperation in areas related to agriculture.

Con relación al Examen de Política Comercial de Jordania, estas preguntas expresan el interés de la República Argentina en el desarrollo de los países Asiáticos ubicados en la región de Oriente Medio.

 

En razón de que buques de Pesca No Declarada No Reglamentada (INDNR) fueron acusados de depredar el mar Rojo, siendo provenientes de países que subvencionan la pesca y en clara manifestación del uso depredatorio de dichos subsidios, los cuales realizan sobre pesca y sobre explotación de especies muy valiosas en los mercados internacionales, estos fueron acusados de dicha acción (en un espacio marítimo donde se capturan recursos especialmente requeridos como el atún rojo). En ese contexto Jordania sancionó una normativa protectiva y tutelar sobre los recursos ictícolas en el Marco del Código de Agricultura (Parte IV, Artículos 180 al 186, sobre Recursos Marinos y Acuáticos).

 

Por ello, la Argentina desearía conocer:

 

a) ¿Cuáles son las acciones desarrolladas por Jordania a fin de enfrentar la pesca INDNR?

 

b) ¿Podría informar sobre casos recientes, especialmente los más perjudiciales y los pabellones de los buques involucrados?

 

PREGUNTAS ADICIONALES

 

c) ¿Qué detalles podría ofrecer respecto al estado de situación de las enmiendas a las leyes relativas a las normas, reglamentos técnicos y procedimientos de evaluación, las cuales hacia fines de agosto de 2015 estaban esperando la aprobación del Senado? (pág. 7 punto 6)

 

d) ¿Podría brindar mayor información respecto al Proyecto de Ley de Alimentos que se encuentra en revisión en el Parlamento? (pag. 44)

 

e) El Documento de Agricultura 2009 (Agriculture Document 2009) dice identificar los desafíos que enfrenta la agricultura jordana, al tiempo que incluye una amplia gama de programas para abordar estos problemas, tales como la mejora de la infraestructura, investigación y desarrollo, sanidad animal y vegetal, etc.

¿En el marco de esos programas que se mencionan, se prevé impulsar acciones de cooperación? (pág. 72)

 

 


REPLIES TO TURKEY

THE GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

2.3 Investment and Investment Policy pg. 5, para. 2.15, 2.16

 

It is stated in the Government Report that “The new law gives the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) the power and authority required to centralize and expedite all investment related procedures. The JIC is able to tailor specific geographic areas in the Kingdom for companies interested in establishing and managing sector-specific special economic zones, thus contributing to regional economic development. The law provides incentives for the following sectors: manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment cities, research centers, media production, convention centers and events, transport, distribution and/or extraction of water, gas and oil derivatives using pipelines, air transport, sea transport and railways.

 

Could Jordan kindly provide further information about the incentives? Could Jordan elaborate about incentive packages for each of the above mentioned sectors?

 

A: The Cabinet issues positive lists for incentives as follow:

a-   Table No. (1/A) relating to the production inputs necessary for practicing  the economic, industrial or vocational activities which are exempted from customs duties, and are subject to  the applicable General Sales Tax Law  in case they were imported or purchased locally.

b-              Table No. (1/B) relating to production inputs.

c-              Table No. (1/C) relating to production requirements and fixed assets.

d-  Table No. (1/D) relating to dual use production requirements and fixed assets necessary for practicing the industrial or vocational economic activities which are exempted from  custom duties, and reduce the general percentage provided in the general sales tax to (zero percent).

e-   Table No. (2) relating to services which are subject to general sales tax in accordance with the provisions of the applicable General Sales Tax Law.

f-    Table No. (3) relating to the commodities  necessary for the below mentioned economic activities which are  exempted from custom duties and are subject to (zero percent) general sales tax when imported or purchased locally, namely:

1-               Agriculture and livestock

2-               Hospitals and specialized medical centers.

3-               Hotels and tourist facilities.

4-               Entertainment and tourist recreation facilities.

5-               Call centers.

6-               Scientific research centers and scientific laboratories.

7-               Artistic and media production.

8-               Conference and exhibition centers.

9-               Transport and/or distribution and/or extraction of water, gas and oil derivatives by using pipelines.

10-             Air transport, sea transport and railways.

The income tax payable in the less developed regions of the Kingdom on the industrial, economic and vocational activities as well as the economic activities shall reduced not less than (30%) and provisions relating thereto  shall be specified pursuant to a regulation issued for that purpose, specifying the following:

 

a-    The regions which enjoy income tax reduction and the category of each region in accordance with the level of economic development thereto.

 

b-    The regions which enjoy income tax reduction and the category of each region in accordance with the level of economic development thereto.

c-     The economic activities that are excluded from benefiting from income tax reduction.

d-    The percentage of reduction enjoyed by the economic activity according to the region in which the activity is exercised.

e-    Basis, criteria and conditions of enjoyment of income tax reduction.

f-     Duration of enjoyment income tax reduction

 

 

 

 

3.4 Services, p. 7, 3.18

 

It is stated in the report that “Given its relative political stability and its diverse range of tourism offerings, it is likely that the Kingdom will again become an established tourist destination in the Middle East, especially offering high quality and adequate medical services and treatment. Medical tourism generated more than US$1.41 billion in 2014. These revenues include patients' expenditure on medical procedures, accommodations, transportation and other expenses.”

 

Could you please provide detailed information regarding the medical treatments at which Jordan is internationally competitive?

 

A: Jordan’s strength lies in the following matters:

·    The high quality standards in healthcare in Jordan. Most of Jordanian private hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), which ensures patients a quality health care experience, and underscores Jordan’s commitment to enhance all phases of the medical services sector.

·    Some of the most popular treatments include cosmetic surgery, neurological surgery, orthopedics, organ transplants and many others.

·         The Competitive costs, which come to as low as 10- 30 % of competitive countries costs

·         Investor-friendly business environment with world class medical infrastructure

·         The most convenient travel in which most nationalities do not even require a visa

 

4.3 Regional and bilateral trade liberalization Pg. 9, Para. 4.10

 

It is stated in the Government Report thatIn line with the WTO commitments and in complementarity to the efforts in the WTO, Jordan is also engaged into strengthening its bilateral ties with several countries and economic blocs. Jordan has free trade agreements with GAFTA U.S., EU, Canada, Turkey, Singapore, EFTA states. It is also part of the Agadir Agreement between Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Furthermore, Jordan is negotiating an FTA with Mexico.”

 

Could Jordan please provide its position regarding concluding Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, significantly extending the scope of its existing preferential trade agreements to include trade in services, government procurement, competition, intellectual property rights, investment protection and etc.?

 

THE SECRETARIAT REPORT

 

2.5 Investment Regime, pp. 27, para. 2.22 and para. 2.23

 

It is mentioned in the report that “According to the authorities, the JIC is formulating a new national investment strategy with an intention to enhance the one-stop shop.” “The JIC provides "one-stop services" to facilitate investors with all related administrative procedures including registration and licensing applications. It takes maximum 14 days for the one-stop shop to obtain from the concerned government bodies the necessary approval for registration and licences.”

 

There is some unclear information about legislation implementing the new Investment Legislation. Can Jordan kindly comment about when the new implementing (i.e. secondary) legislation is expected to be put into force? Besides, will this secondary legislation bring any changes in delegation of authority among national bodies?

 

A: All the Investment legislations are in place now, the new Investment Law No.30 for the year 2014 and the One-Stop-Shop bylaw.

 

There is a delegation of authorities from different government bodies to their representatives in the One-Stop-Shop.

 

5. Appendix Tables, Table A3.1 Major Incentives Schemes in Jordan, 2015, p.111

 

It is stated that “item 4: the following activities are exempted from the customs duties and are subject to 0% GST: agriculture and livestock; hospitals and comprehensive medical centres; hotels and tourist facilities; entertainment and tourist recreation cities; communication centres; scientific research centres and scientific labs; artistic and media production; conference and exhibition centres; transport and/or distribution and/or extraction of water, gas and oil derivatives using pipelines; air transport, sea transport, and railways.”

 

Could you please explain if there are other incentives provided for the healthcare sector?

 

A: Hospitals and specialized medical centers are exempted from custom duties and are subject to (zero percent) general sales tax when imported or purchased locally,

 

2.5 Investment Regime, pg. 27, para. 2.26

 

It is mentioned in the report that “Foreign investors in general have the same treatment as domestic investors, with some exceptions. Differences exist in:

 

- land ownership: land ownership for foreigners is allowed in Jordan provided ownership is related to a business activity, except in free zones where land may only be leased;

 

- minimum capital requirements: foreign investment must have at least JD 50,000 of capital (about US$70,000), while the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies is JD 1; and

 

- prohibited or restricted sectors: some sectors are prohibited from foreign investment, and some have foreign equity restrictions of 50% or 49% (Table 2.4).”

 

Does Jordan consider further improvement in its investment regime by removing abovementioned minimum capital requirements and foreign equity restrictions that affect foreign investment?

 

A: For the time being no, such minimum capital will not affect FDI and in order to protect domestic investors in this strategic sectors.

 

3.3.1 Incentives, pg. 55, para.2.27

 

It is stated in the report that “The incentive scheme in Jordan is regulated under the Investment Law No. 30 of 2014. Incentives are provided under various schemes, both for different zones (such as defined zones of investment, preferential economic zones), and for certain sectors and activities (Table A3.1). The Council of Ministers may grant benefits and exemptions from tax and fees to an investment project for a period with conditions it deems appropriate. Although the Council of Ministers considers many factors (such as the development impact of the project, R&D, increase in exports, transfer of technology, job creation, and geographical location), its prerogative to grant benefits and exemptions may create some uncertainty and may lead to questions on the transparency and effectiveness of the incentive scheme.”

 

Under the incentive scheme of Jordan are there any different treatment between local investors and foreign investors?

 

A: No, all foreign investors enjoy equal treatment as a local investors.

 

4.3 Regional and bilateral trade liberalization pg. 9, Para. 4.10

 

Could Jordan please provide its position regarding concluding Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, significantly extending the scope of its existing preferential trade agreements to include trade in services, government procurement, competition, intellectual property rights, investment protection and etc.?

 

Answer: Jordan did not start any negotiations to expand the scope of any of its signed agreements.

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