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Cablegate: Taiwan's New Packaging Rule: Industry Working On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TAIPEI 003145

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/RSP/TC AND OES/IHA

STATE PLEASE PASS TO AIT/W, USEPA AND USTR

USTR FOR KI, USEPA FOR OIA/THOMPSON

USDOC FOR 4431/ITA/MAC/AP/OPB/TAIWAN/MBMORGAN
USDOC FOR 3132/USFCS/OIO/EAP/ABACHER/ADESARRAN
USDA/FAS/ITP/MEYER, FARINA
USDA FAS FOR ITP/AAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON SENV TW ESTH
SUBJECT: TAIWAN'S NEW PACKAGING RULE: INDUSTRY WORKING ON
COMMENTS


A) TAIPEI 02673

1. Summary. In July 2004, Taiwan's Environmental Protection
Administration (TEPA) introduced a draft rule to limit
excessive packaging. Foreign industry representatives are
strongly opposed to the rule. As reported in reftel, AIT
persuaded TEPA to postpone its implementation (originally
scheduled for September 2004) to early 2005 and to submit
the proposed legislation to WTO for comment. AIT has now
also persuaded foreign industry representatives to respond
to TEPA's efforts to address their concerns by preparing
constructive comments, which include concrete examples of
the current draft rule's potential negative impacts to trade
and clear recommendations of how the rule should be amended.
End Summary.

2. Following TEPA's willingness to slow down the rule-
making process to allow for meaningful consultations with
foreign business interests and trading partners, AmCham and
ECCT members held a meetinga with some of the more
proactive industry representatives including: COSTCO,
Wellcome (the largest foreign supermarket chain in Taiwan),
Proctor and Gamble, Channel and Diagio on October 5. AIT's
Economic, Agricultural and Commercial Sections all had
representatives at the meeting. The business members forged
a clear strategy and plan to respond to TEPA's request for
comments. They agreed to look at the most egregious cases
of packaging waste that, if eliminated, would benefit the
environment with minimal impacts to trade. They agreed
they would support a rule banning them. They also agreed
they needed to articulate for TEPA the legitimate uses of
packaging that would be undermined by the proposed rule as
currently drafted.

3. To this end, COSTCO and Wellcome agreed to provide
examples of the range of products that might no longer be
available to Taiwan consumers if the rule went into effect
as currently drafted. Channel and P&G agreed to highlight
some of the serious problems the draft rule poses to the
cosmetics industry. Gillette will draft comments on how the
regulation might undermine some of the health and safety
benefits of packaging, Diagio agreed to draft the comments
on behalf of the alcohol and beverage industry. The
business members further agreed that, in addition to
providing specific examples of how the rule could harm
business interests, they also would provide recommendations
for amendments to the rule that would address their
concerns.

4. The various industries committed to provide their
comments to AmCham and ECCT within the next few weeks.
AmCham and ECCT will work together to prepare a presentation
for TEPA in a month or so.

5. AIT has learned that TEPA intends to issue the second
draft of the rule, which is not expected to be drastically
different than the current draft, next week. TEPA has told
AIT it will wait until it has responded to comments on its
second draft before submitting the rule to WTO for comment.
AIT will meet with TEPA, inform them that foreign industry
representatives are preparing comments, and request that at
least a month be allowed to comment on the draft rule.

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