The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has determined that certain textile and apparel goods from Burkina Faso shall be treated as “handloomed and handmade articles” and qualify for preferential treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Imports of eligible products from Burkina Faso with an appropriate visa will qualify for duty-free treatment.EFFECTIVE DATE: August 5, 2009.
Don Niewiaroski, Jr., International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-4058.
AGOA provides preferential tariff treatment for imports of certain textile and apparel products of beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, including handloomed, handmade, or folklore articles of a beneficiary country that are certified as such by the competent authority in the beneficiary country. The AGOA Acceleration Act further expanded AGOA by adding ethnic printed fabrics to the list of textile and apparel products made in the beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries that may be eligible for the preferential treatment described in section 112(a) of the AGOA. In Executive Order 13191 (January 17, 2001) and Presidential Proclamation 7912 (June 29, 2005), the President authorized CITA to consult with beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries and to determine which, if any, particular textile and apparel goods shall be treated as being handloomed, handmade, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics. See 66 FR 7271, 7271-72 (January 22, 2001) and 70 FR 37959, 37961 & 63 (June 30, 2005).
In a letter to the Commissioner of Customs dated January 18, 2001, the United States Trade Representative directed Customs to require that importers provide an appropriate export visa from a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country to obtain preferential treatment under section 112(a) of the AGOA. See 66 FR 7837. The first digit of the visa number corresponds to one of the groupings of textile and apparel products that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment. Grouping “9” is reserved for handmade, handloomed, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics.
CITA consulted with Burkina Faso authorities on July 21, 2009 and has determined that handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, place mats, and tablecloths), and handmade articles made from fabrics handloomed in Burkina Faso, if produced in and exported from Burkina Faso, are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under section 112(a) of the AGOA, as amended. After further consultations with Burkina Faso authorities, CITA may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles. In the letter published below, CITA directs the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow duty-free entry of such products under U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheading 9819.11.27 if accompanied by an appropriate “AGOA visa in grouping 9.”
Dear Commissioner: The Committee for the Implementation of Textiles Agreements (“CITA”), pursuant to Sections 112(a) and (b)(6) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-200) (“AGOA”), as amended by Section 7(c) of the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-274) (“AGOA Acceleration Act”) (19 U.S.C. §§ 3721(a) and (b)(6)), Executive Order No. 13191 of January 17, 2001, and Presidential Proclamation 7912 of June 29, 2005, has determined, effective on August 5, 2009, that the following articles shall be treated as “handloomed, handmade, folklore articles under the AGOA: handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, placemats, and tablecloths), and handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, if made in Burkina Faso from fabric handloomed in Burkina Faso. Such articles are eligible for duty-free treatment only if entered under subheading 9819.11.27 and accompanied by a properly completed visa for product grouping “9”, in accordance with the provisions of the Visa Arrangement between the Government of Burkina Faso and the Government of the United States Concerning Textile and Apparel Articles Claiming Preferential Tariff Treatment under Section 112 of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. After further consultations with Burkina Faso authorities, CITA may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles.