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CBP to Issue Interim Regulations for U.S.-Colombia FTA Implementation
September 25, 2012


On September 26, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expected to publish an interim rule to amend CBP’s regulations to implement the preferential tariff treatment and other customs-related provisions in the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Colombia FTA). The President signed Proclamation 8818 to implement the U.S.-Colombia FTA on May 14, 2012. The interim rule will take effect September 26, 2012, and comments on the rule will be accepted until November 26, 2012.

The interim regulations include the following amendments to 19 CFR Part 10, Part 24, Part 162, Part 163, and Part 178.

Temporary Importation Under Bond

The interim rule amends Section 10.31(f) by adding references to certain goods originating in Colombia for which no bond or other security will be required when imported temporarily for prescribed uses.

Import Requirements

Claiming Preferential Tariff Treatment:
Section 10.3003 sets forth the procedure for claiming preferential tariff treatment under the U.S-Colombia FTA at the time of entry and states that an importer may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment based on a certification by the importer, exporter, or producer or the importer’s knowledge that the good is an originating good. This section further provides that when an importer has reason to believe that a claim is based on inaccurate information, the importer must correct the claim and pay any duties that may be due.

Certification Requirements:
Section 10.3004 requires a U.S. importer, upon request, to submit a copy of the certification of the importer, exporter, or producer if the certification forms the basis for the claim. It also specifies the information that must be included on the certification and sets forth the circumstance under which the certification may be prepared by the exporter or producer of the good. It further provides that the certification may be used either for a single importation or for multiple importations of identical goods.

Importer Obligations:
Section 10.3005 sets forth certain importer obligations regarding the truthfulness of information and documents submitted in support of preferential treatment claims.

Non-Commercial and Low-Value Importations:
Section 10.3006 provides that a certification is not required for certain non-commercial or low-value importations.

Records Maintenance:
Section 10.3007 implements provisions for maintaining relevant records regarding the imported good.

Export Requirements
Section 10.3009 sets forth certain obligations for a person who completes and issues a certification for a good exported from the United States to Colombia. A person who completes such a certification must provide a copy of the certification to CBP upon request and give prompt notification of any errors in the certification to every person to whom the certification was given.

Post-importation Duty Refund Claims
Section 10.3010 through 10.3012 permit an importer who did not claim tariff benefits under the U.S.-Colombia FTA on a qualifying good at the time of importation to apply for a refund of any excess duties at any time within one year after the date of importation, even if liquidation of the entry would otherwise be considered final.

Rules of Origin
Sections 10.2013 through 10.3025 address general rules of origin, regional value content requirements,  accumulation requirements, and de minimis rules for goods to qualify for preferential treatment. They also address issues related to accessories, spare parts, packaging materials, and transshipment.

Origin Verifications and Determinations
Section 10.3026 to 10.3029 addresses issues concerning verifications to determine whether imported goods are originating goods.

Penalties
Section 10.2020 to 10.3032 concerns the application of penalties to transactions under the U.S. Colombia FTA and provides penalty exceptions for exporters, importers and producers who promptly and voluntarily provide notification of having provided incorrect certifications or make corrected claims.

Part 24 – Merchandise Processing Fee
An amendment made to Part 24 provides that the merchandise processing fee is not applicable to goods that qualify as originating goods under the U.S.-Colombia FTA.

Part 162 – Inspection and Examination
Part 162 addresses regulations regarding the inspection and examination of imported merchandise.

Part 163
Part 163 also addresses document maintenance requirements.

For further information regarding regulations related to the U.S. Colombia FTA, please contact a Barnes/Richardson attorney.

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