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President Issues Proclamation Implementing GSP Modifications Effective July 1, 2009
July 10, 2009


June 30, 2008, President Bush issued  Proclamation 8394  to modify duty-free treatment and certain designations under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) as a result of the program’s 2008 annual review. During the course of its review, USTR considered petitions to:

  1. Designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, including to designate articles as eligible for GSP benefits only for countries designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries, or only for countries designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA);
  2. Withdraw, suspend or limit the application of duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP with respect to any article, either for all beneficiary developing countries, least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or for any of these countries individually;
  3. Waive the ‘‘competitive need limitations’’ for individual beneficiary developing countries with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles these limits do not apply to either least developed beneficiary developing countries or AGOA beneficiary sub- Saharan African countries); and
  4. Otherwise modify GSP coverage.

As a result of the review, the following tariff numbers have been added to the list of GSP-eligible products from all beneficiary countries, effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after July 1, 2009:

  • 0710.10.00 – Potatoes, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen.
  • 0710.30.00 – Spinach, New Zealand spinach or orache spinach (garden spinach), uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen.

In the proclamation, the President is designating the following 12 country/tariff number pairs as no longer eligible for duty free treatment under GSP:

  • 1604.15.00 – Prepared or preserved mackerel, whole or in pieces but not minced – from Thailand.
  • 2804.29.00 – Rare Gases, other than argon – from Ukraine.
  • 2819.10.00 – Chromium trioxide – from Turkey.
  • 2918.99.30 – A romatic drugs derived from carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function, and their derivatives, nesoi – from India.
  • 2933.59.59 – Nonaromatic drugs of heterocyclic compounds nesoi, with nitrogen hetero-atom(s) only, cont. a pyrimidine or piperazine ring – from India.
  • 3824.90.40 – Fatty substances of animal or vegetable origin and mixtures thereof – from Argentina.
  • 3907.60.00 – Polyethylene terephthalate in primary forms – from Indonesia.
  • 3920.59.10 – Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of acrylic polymers, flexible, nesoi – from India.
  • 7113.11.50 – Silver articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi, valued over $18 per dozen pieces or parts – from India.
  • 7907.00.20 Zinc, tubes or pipes and fittings for tubes or pipes – from India.
  • 8607.19.03 Parts of railway/tramway locomotives/rolling stock, axles – from Ukraine.
  • 8708.50.79 – Pts & access. Of mtr. vehic. For transp. of persons of 8703, parts of non-driving axels – from India.

Finally, USTR has determined on the following product to be “not produced in the United States,” pursuant to section 503(c)(2)(E)   of the Trade Act, making it eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP:

  • 7202.50.00 – Ferrosilicon Chromium

For a complete listing of the modifications made to GSP as a result of the 2008 review, click here.

USTR is already in the process of conducting its 2009 Annual GSP Review. Although the deadline to submit petitions to add products to list of eligible articles has passed, companies that currently import goods under GSP should review import statistics to ensure that their products do no lose their duty-free status due to Competitive Need Limitations (‘CNLs’).

According to the Trade Act of 1974, when the President determines that a beneficiary developing country (BDC) exported to the U.S. during a calendar year: (1) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($135 million for 2008), or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value equal to or greater than 50 percent of total U.S. imports from all countries (the “50 percent CNL”), the industry in the BDC is recognized as developed and the President must terminate preferential treatment for that country/article pairing.

Section 503(d) of the 1974 Act allows interested parties, including foreign governments and domestic importers, to submit product petitions requesting waivers for products that have exceeded their CNLs. For the 2009 GSP Annual Review, these requests for waivers are due by November 17, 2009.

For assistance in determining if products you import may require a CNL waiver or information on how to file a request for a waiver, contact a Barnes/Richardson attorney.

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