Tag Archives: Trade

Using Customs Seizure to Stop Import of Infringing Products to Mongolia

Our firm’s Mongolian intellectual property lawyers have seen a lot of inquires in recent months from clients seeking assistance regarding counterfeit products which were being sold in Mongolia.

There are several mechanisms our Mongolian lawyers recommend to deal with counterfeit products in Mongolia.  One of the most important of these is utilizing Customs to restrict entry of counterfeit products or goods infringing registered trademarks from entering Mongolia.

This works by seizing infringing goods at Customs upon attempted entry into Mongolia. Before this may be done, the authentic goods bearing a validly registered Mongolian Trademark must be registered with Customs.

This registration process is relatively easy, requiring documentation of the registered trademarks, basic information regarding the trademark owner, a description of the products, and a list of items requested to be reviewed and protected by Customs. Our Mongolian lawyers will walk you through the process. The review procedure will talk approximately 30 days from the date of submission of the application, after which, the registered information will be forwarded to Customs entry points around Mongolia.

A written request for seizure of infringing goods, must be submitted along with a small cash deposit or bank guarantee. The customs office prefers having the deposit to avoid incurring any damages to importer before starting examination of infringing goods based on the original goods with customs registration.

Our Mongolian lawyers and clients have found such Customs seizures to be effective at blocking incoming shipments of infringing products. However it is important to note the applicant seeking to block the shipments must have a valid, registered Mongolian trademark in order to support such action by Customs.

Mongolia Continues Cooperation with China on Mutual Free Trade Zone

Chinese news media is reporting that China and Mongolia are beginning a new process of conducting a feasibility study regarding development of a new Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

This comes in the contest of the second China-Mongolia Expo, held in Hohhot, the capital of China’s Inner Mongolia region. The conference will occur in late September, and will serve as a forum to discuss issues of mutual cooperation and development between China and Mongolia.

Mongolia’s trade with China in the first six months of 2017 has been USD $3.1 billion. This is a 44.2% increase year-on-year. China mainly exports gas, diesel, food, machinery and equipment to Mongolia, and imports natural resources, fur and raw materials.

Talk of the new FTZ comes after the China-Mongolia Cross-border Economic Cooperation Zone (CECZ) was announced in 2015. The CECZ is a 18 square kilometer  territory evenly divided along the China-Mongolia border. The CECZ is intended to facilitate import/export processing, logistics, warehousing, and e-commerce.

The increase in economic cooperation between China and Mongolia is a core part of the wider China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor, which seeks to facilitate integration of Mongolia with the economies and infrastructure of China’s northern territories and Russia’s far east.

Importing Products into Mongolia without a Buyer? Put it in a Bonded Warehouse.

Foreign investors who import products into Mongolia may be required or need to place their products into a custom bonded warehouse. In this case, below are main regulations of the bonded warehouse and things to know.

The purpose of the placing products in the custom bonded warehouse is providing an opportunity to find a market for imported products, as well as to time for the importers to pay customs duties and other taxes.

The kinds of goods which should be stored in the bonded warehouse are firstly, Mongolian goods, secondly, foreign goods coming from abroad and thirdly, goods which are placed in the bonded warehouse temporarily in connection with other non-import or export procedures.

Importantly, Foreign goods placed in bonded warehouse are not subject to non-tariff restrictions which means goods which are not generally prohibited to cross the national border of Mongolia are not required to obtain any further permissions from the relevant authorities when goods are entering into the border of Mongolia. When products are kept in the bonded warehouse, any permission or licenses normally required for possession of such products are not required to be obtained from the relevant government organization. This is because the customs bonded warehouse is considered as being outside of the customs territory of Mongolia. Keep in mind that the relevant license or permission is required upon release of the products from the bonded warehouse.

The product is to be stored in the bonded warehouse under the name of the importer. When imported products are exported directly from the custom bonded warehouse out of Mongolia, payment of an export tax is not required. There are not any export controls/restrictions and/or any licences/permits, to be obtained in order to export the product from the bonded warehouse.

In contrast to imported goods, Mongolian goods placed in the bonded warehouse will be subject to non-tariff restric­tions, which mean the exporter is required to obtain permission from relevant authority and limits may be imposed on the quantity of the goods. Of course, goods which are prohibited to be carried through the national border will not be allowed.

There are two types of bonded warehouse in Mongolia, open and closed. Open bonded warehouse is for public use and all goods allowed to enter or leave Mongolia may be stored or placed in the open bonded warehouse.

A closed bonded warehouse is not for public use and is designated for use solely by one or more legal entities or organization. Goods which require special storage condi­tions, facilities and equipment or which may have af­fect on other goods are typically placed in a closed bonded warehouse.

The timeline for storage of goods in a bonded warehouse is up to two years. The Customs Office will extend the timeframe by up to 1 year with no further renewal possible.

Mongolia’s Role in the New Silk Road

When China held its Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing May 14 to 15th, China’s President Xi Jinping welcomed Mongolia’s efforts to help link the European and Asian economies.

China welcomes cooperation with Mongolia in areas of trade and investment, agriculture, industrial growth, and energy development. President Xi suggested that China Belt and Road Initiative complements Mongolia’s own Prairie Road development initiative. Cooperation is also important to promote a China, Mongolia, Russia economic corridor.

President Xi advocated for a study of establishing a Free Trade Zone on the Border wth Mongolia, and increasing economic cooperation between the countries, including cooperation on major mineral industry programs and infrastructure.

Prime Minister Erdenebat of Mongolia indicated cooperation with China is a Priority for Mongolia, and said China’s Belt and Road initiative is important for promoting development in Mongolia. According to Erdenebat, Mongolia may play an important role as a link between Europe and East Asia.

Mongolia is well placed between major powers Russia and China to serve as a conduit for economic and cultural exchange. Mongolia suffers from a lack of population compared to its large southern neighbor, however, Mongolia’s rich mineral resources mean Mongolia will be able to generate foreign interest and income for years to come. With budgetary reform in Mongolia well underway, further integration with China and Russia is one more positive development for the future of the Mongolian economy.

Foreign Exchange in Mongolia

Financial Regulatory Commission (the FRC) and Bank of Mongolia (Mongol Bank), which serves as the central bank of Mongolia, are authorized to regulate Foreign Exchange (ForEx) trading within Mongolia. The Law on Currency Settlement is the primary legislative authority as to conduct of ForEx in Mongolia.

The currency market of Mongolia operates on the basis of supply and demand and consists of the currency exchange activities of the authorized banks, exchanges and brokerage companies.

Mongol Bank is permitted to buy currencies and gold bullion from domestic and foreign banks, as well as from business entities, other organizations and from individuals. Mongol Bank’s primary official purpose for such purchases is management of currency and wealth reserves of Mongolia. Mongol Bank may likewise sell foreign currency and gold from its reserves as part of efforts to maintain the general stability of the Tugrug (the currency of Mongolia).

Mongol bank acts to fix the official exchange rate of the Tugrug, and to provide guidance as to the same. These fixed rates are set in relation to currencies which are bought and sold on the currency market by commercial banks on a comparative basis against a stable foreign currency used in foreign commerce by a majority of countries. The rate fixed by Mongol Bank is used in the State budget and for customs purposes.

An increase or decrease in the Tugrug exchange rate by 5 percent or more from the previous day shall be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister of Mongolia. This is only report and the Prime Minister has no authority to personally order or to prevent the Governor of Mongol Bank from increasing or decreasing the Tugrug exchange rate in accordance with market conditions.

Mongol Bank also sets various rules and regulations regarding foreign exchange activities, including as to FX swaps, forward transactions, and Forex auctions.

Commercial banks are able to establish their own exchange rate for using Tugrugs to buy and sell foreign currencies based on market conditions. Likewise the bank sets its own rate of commission.

Upon obtaining a license from Mongol Bank, Mongolian Commercial banks are allowed to facilitate non-cash transactions in foreign currency, buy and sell foreign currency in cash, establish and operation accounts in foreign currency (and pay required interest), provide credit and provide guarantees in foreign currency.

A Non-banking financial company may trade foreign currency after obtaining a license from the FRC.

Mongolia and Vietnam Promote Trade in Goat Meat

Vice President of Vietnam, Mrs. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, visited Mongolia for an official visit from May 07 -10. While in Mongolia, she participated in the Mongolian Vietnamese business forum in Ulaanbaatar on May 09. Mrs. Dang Thị Ngọc Thinh gave a presentation at the opening ceremony of the business forum discussing trade, investment and economic cooperation between Mongolia and Vietnam.

Vietnam’s trade volume with Mongolia is estimated at USD 59 million in 2016 alone. The trade includes over USD 40 million in race, sugar, canned foods and telecommunications equipment imported to Mongolia. Mongolia and Vietnam seek to increase cooperation and trade in natural resources and agricultural goods, which Mongolia is well placed to export to Vietnam.

Three main issues were touched on during the official talks between Vietnam’s Vice President and the Prime Minister of Mongolia. These included promotion of defense ties and cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

Also discussed was increased export of Mongolian meat products to Vietnam, particularly goat meat. Mongolia is scheduled to export 20 tons of goat meat to Vietnam this year, and trade is expected to grow significantly.

The agreement on export of goat meat highlights one of Mongolia’s current strengths in agricultural production of meat and dairy. The sector is ripe for foreign investment, including funding, technologies and techniques.

What’s Happening In Mongolia’s Meat and Dairy Industry?

The Mongolia Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry hosted a training and discussion event on January 09 2017 with presenters offering insights into a new powdered milk processing plant. The new plant comes right on time as Mongolia’s Meat and Milk Campaign started January 01, 2017 in hopes of increasing access to high quality meat and dairy products for all Mongolians.

Prime Minister J. Erdenebat met with diary entrepreneurs, local farmers, and researchers to discuss the meat and dairy industry in Mongolia.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce 600 liters worth of powdered milk in a single 8 hour day. The Prime Minister suggested that such plants should increase, hoping to stabilize prices for dairy products by establishing state of the art facilities around Mongolia. This would help to provide job security for the nation’s diary farmers who will be sure to have easy access to serve local demand.

With the needs of Mongolia’s population met, an increase in dairy farming and factories would power important exports of key dairy products. Such exports may be especially lucrative with China just south of the border with an increasingly wealthy population craving high quality natural and organic meat and diary products.

LehmanLaw Mongolia is knowledgeable about the Mongolia diary industry, and the legal issues encountered when starting up a new agricultural operation in Mongolia. Give us a call for an initial consultation to see how we can help guide you through Mongolian laws to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the Mongolian dairy boom.

Prime Minister Discusses Future of Mongolian Cooperation With Eurasian Economic Commission

On February 2-3, Mongolian Prime Minister J. Erdenebat met with a representative of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) for talks promoting economic cooperation between the EEC and Mongolia.

In the meeting, Mongolia indicated that it hoped to establish a Free Trade Agreement with the EEC. The EEC representative supported the PM’s proposal, suggesting a formal decision would be seen from the EEC relatively soon. As trade between Mongolia and the EEC has been stable but stagnant for several years, the EEC hopes to organize a business forum for entrepreneurs from EEC member states, and Mongolian organizations.

The Prime Minister was quick to agree and assured EEC companies there are great business opportunities in Mongolia, and made clear that the Mongolian Government is currently making efforts to improve its agricultural sector, including exports to EEC states.

The sides agreed to work to strengthen collaboration in establishing regulations and raising standards in veterinary, sanitation, and quarantine regulations and practices. There was also mutual agreement to promote joint training, and business seminars in Mongolia.

The meeting ended with an agreement on protocol for a second meeting to be held this year In November, and developing an action plan for joint working groups, which will include provisions to facilitate cooperation in transportation and infrastructure.

LehmanLaw Mongolia is pleased to learn of the government’s continued focus on developing the Mongolian economy through increasing trade and promoting the agricultural sector, as well as development of Mongolian infrastructure.

By any other Name, Would Champagne Taste as Sweet?

So what does it mean to be made in Mongolia? Or anywhere else for that matter? In Mongolia the protection of Geographical indications is governed by the Law on Trademark and Geographical Indication which has taken effective on July 25th, 2010. Under the law, “geographical indication” refers to any geographical indication of a product’s manufacturing country, area and territory where quality, reputation and other characteristics are defined by factors relating to the nature of the territory, climate condition or local practice.

Forms of geographical indication are expressed in single geographical names of territory that determine the origin of the goods and products, or a combination of the name of the goods and products with a territory. However, general names for goods and products of a territory within Mongolia are not considered as geographical indicators. Moreover, geographical indications are tools for protection of local industry by creating the suggestion that similar goods produced in other geographic regions will not have the same characteristics or quality. Champagne is only champagne, if it is from Champagne, France, otherwise it is sparkling wine.

Under Mongolian law, a community, association or organization of unified manufacturers of goods and products of a local region apply for geographical indication protection in writing as specified in regulation set by the Intellectual Property Office. The Intellectual Property Office examines the application within six months of filing the application. This term may be extended up to six months if required. If the Intellectual property office decides to register a geographical indication, that geographical indication shall be entered in the State register and a Certificate of Geographical Indication shall be issued. The protection of geographical indication is not limited for definite periods and is valid from the filing date of the application.

Mongolia has several traditional products that originate from its nomadic culture and its extremely continental climate. There are over 20 products which have been protected by geographical indications in Mongolia, for example dairy products, meat products, pure water and sea buckthorn. A few years ago, Champagne, the famous French drink received protected in Mongolia as a geographical indication. Accordingly, Champagne is protected against misrepresentation or infringement. This demonstrates that foreign geographical indications can be duly protected in Mongolia.

Free Trade Ties Between Mongolia and China Growing

In May this year, China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng led an economic and trade delegation from the PRC in a visit to Mongolia. The delegation met with Mongolian Prime Minister Saikhanbileg to discuss facilitation of trade between Mongolia and China. During the meeting of the China-Mongolia Economic and Trade Joint Committee, the two sides reached broad consensus as to several areas of cooperation.

At the meeting, Minister Gao indicated that China would like to actively promote cooperation, accelerate the establishment of a China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor, and promote the construction of free trade zone with cross-border economic cooperation zones, and generally promote the sustained and healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations.

The Mongolian side noted that Mongolia attaches great importance to relations with China, and regards China as a good neighbor, good friend and reliable partner. Mongolia will strengthen cooperation with China is several areas, including to accelerate the establishment of a free trade zone, and promoting cooperation in the development of mineral resources, energy and animal husbandry. Mongolia and China will work to facilitate trade.

The parties expect the construction of a Free trade zone between Zamiin Uud and Ereen hot (aka Erlian) to be completed by the end of this year, 2016. The Free trade zone will cover almost 18 sq.m on Mongolian and Chinese border. About 50 business entities from China and Mongolia will operate in the zone. According to the bilateral agreement on establishing cross-border economic cooperation zone, Mongolian and Chinese export and import taxes will be zero within the zone.