COMMITTEE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TEXTILE AGREEMENTS

Consolidation and Amendment of Export Visa Requirements to Include the Electronic Visa Information System for Certain Cotton, Wool and Man-Made Fiber Textile Products Produced or Manufactured in Singapore

December 9, 1996.

AGENCY: Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).


ACTION: Issuing a directive to the Commissioner of Customs consolidating and amending visa requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 1997.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Heinzen, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-4212.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:


Authority:
Executive Order 11651 of March 3, 1972, as amended; section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854); Uruguay Round Agreements Act.



In an exchange of notes dated November 8, 1996 and November 26, 1996, the Governments of the United States and Singapore agreed to amend the existing visa arrangement for textile products, produced or manufactured in Singapore and exported on and after January 1, 1997. The amended arrangement consolidates existing and new provisions of the export visa arrangement, including provisions for the Electronic Visa Information System (ELVIS). In addition to the ELVIS requirements, shipments will continue to be accompanied by an original visa stamped on the front of the original commercial invoice issued by the Government of the Republic of Singapore.




In the letter published below, the Chairman of CITA directs the Commissioner of Customs to amend the existing visa requirements for textile products produced or manufactured in Singapore and exported on and after January 1, 1997.


A description of the textile and apparel categories in terms of HTS numbers is available in the CORRELATION: Textile and Apparel Categories with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States(see Federal Register notice 60 FR 65299, published on December 19, 1995). Also see 47 FR 6683, published on February 16, 1982; and 60 FR 56576, published on November 9, 1995. Information regarding the 1997 CORRELATION will be published in the Federal Register at a later date.

Interested persons are advised to take all necessary steps to ensure that textile products that are entered into the United States for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, will meet the visa requirements set forth in the letter published below to the Commissioner of Customs.

D. Michael Hutchinson,
Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.


Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
December 9, 1996.


Commissioner of Customs,
Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20229.


Dear Commissioner: This directive amends, but does not cancel, the directive issued to you on February 10, 1982, as amended, by the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, that directed you to prohibit entry of certain cotton, wool and man-made fiber textile products, produced or manufactured in Singapore for which the Government of the Republic of Singapore has not issued an appropriate export visa.

Under the terms of section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854); pursuant to the Export Visa Arrangement, effected by exchange of notes dated November 8 and November 26, 1996 between the Governments of the United States and the Republic of Singapore; and in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 11651 of March 3, 1972, as amended, you are directed to prohibit, effective on January 1, 1997, entry into the Customs territory of the United States (i.e., the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) for consumption and withdrawal from warehouse for consumption of cotton, wool and man-made fiber textile products in Categories 200-239, 300-369, 400-469 and 600-670, including part categories, produced or manufactured in Singapore and exported on and after January 1, 1997 for which the Government of the Republic of Singapore has not issued an appropriate export visa and ELVIS (Electronic Visa Information System) transmission fully described below. Should additional categories or part categories become subject to import quota the entire category(s) or part category(s) shall be included in the coverage of this arrangement.


A visa must accompany each commercial shipment of the aforementioned textile products. A circular stamped marking inblue ink will appear on the front of the original commercial invoice. The original visa shall not be stamped on duplicate copies of the invoice. The original invoice with the original visa stamp will be required to enter the shipment into the United States. Duplicates of the invoice and/or visa may not be used for this purpose.

Each visa stamp shall include the following information:

1.The visa number. The visa number shall be in the standard nine digit letter format, beginning with one numerical digit for the last digit of the year of export, followed by the two character alpha country code specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (the code for Singapore is ``SG''), and a six digit numerical serial number identifying the shipment; e.g., 7SG123456.


2.The date of issuance. The date of issuance shall be the day, month and year on which the visa was issued.

3.The original signature of the issuing official of the Government of the Republic of Singapore.

4.The correct category(s), part category(s), quantity(s) and unit(s) of quantity in the shipment as set forth in the U.S. Department of Commerce Correlation and in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, annotated or successor documents shall be reported in the spaces provided within the visa stamp (e.g., ``Cat. 340-510 DOZ'').

Quantities must be stated in whole numbers. Decimals or fractions will not be accepted.

U.S. Customs shall not permit entry if the shipment does not have a visa, or if the visa number, date of issuance, signature, category, quantity or units of quantity are missing, incorrect or illegible, or have been crossed out or altered in any way. If the quantity indicated on the visa is less than that of the shipment, entry shall not be permitted. If the quantity indicated on the visa is more than that of the shipment, entry shall be permitted and only the amount entered shall be charged to any applicable quota.

If the visa is not acceptable then a new correct visa or a visa waiver must be presented to the U.S. Customs Service before any portion of the shipment will be released. A visa waiver may be issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce at the request of the Embassy in Washington for the Government of the Republic of Singapore. The waiver, if used, only waives the requirement to present a visa with the shipment. It does not waive the quota requirements. Visa waivers will only be issued for classification purposes or for one time special purpose shipments that are not part of an ongoing commercial enterprise.
If the visaed invoice is deficient, the U.S. Customs Service will not return the original document after entry, but will provide a certified copy of that visaed invoice for use in obtaining a new correct original visaed invoice, or a visa waiver.

ELVIS Requirements:

A.Each ELVIS message will include the following information:
i.The visa number. The visa number shall be in the standard nine digit letter format, beginning with one numerical digit for the last digit of the year of export, followed by the two character alpha country code specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (the code for Singapore is ``SG''), and a six digit numerical serial number identifying the shipment; e.g., 7SG123456.

ii.The date of issuance. The date of issuance shall be the day, month and year on which the visa was issued.

iii.The correct category(s), part category(s), quantity(s) and unit(s) of quantity in the shipment as set forth in the U.S. Department of Commerce Correlation and in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, annotated or successor documents.

iv.The manufacturer ID number (MID). The MID shall begin with `SG,' followed by the first three characters from each of the first two words of the name of the manufacturer, followed by the largest number on the address line up to the first four digits, followed by three letters from the city name.

B.Entry of a shipment shall not be permitted:

i.if an ELVIS transmission has not been received for the shipment from Singapore;
ii.if the ELVIS transmission for that shipment is missing any of the following:

a.visa number
b.category or part category
c.quantity
d.unit of measure
e.date of issuance
f.manufacturer ID number

iii.if the ELVIS transmission for the shipment does not match the information supplied by the importer with regard to any of the following:

a.visa number
b.category or part category
c.unit of measure

iv.if the quantity being entered is greater than the quantity transmitted.

v.if the visa number has previously been used, except in the case of a split shipment, or canceled, except when an entry has already been made using the visa number.

C.A new, correct ELVIS transmission from Singapore is required before a shipment that has been denied entry for one of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 3.B.i-v will be released.

D.Visa waivers will only be considered for paragraph 3.B.i., if the shipment qualifies as a one-time special purpose shipment that is not part of an ongoing commercial enterprise.

E.Shipments will not be released for forty-eight hours or 2 calendar days in the event of a system failure. If system failure exceeds forty-eight hours or 2 calendar days, for the remaining period of the system failure the U.S. Customs Service will release shipments on the basis of the paper visaed document.


F.If import quotas are in force, U.S. Customs Service shall charge only the actual quantity in the shipment to the correct category limit. If a shipment from Singapore has been allowed entry into the commerce of the United States with either an incorrect visa, no visa, an incorrect ELVIS transmission, or no ELVIS transmission, and redelivery is requested but cannot be made, and after the Government of the Republic of Singapore does not issue a visa or ELVIS transmission or request a visa waiver (if applicable), the shipment will be charged to the correct category limit whether or not a replacement visa or waiver is provided or a new ELVIS message is transmitted.

Other Provisions.

Merchandise imported for the personal use of the importer and not for resale, regardless of value, and properly marked commercial sample shipments valued at U.S.$250 or less, do not require an export visa or ELVIS transmission for entry and shall not be charged to agreement levels, if applicable.

The visa stamp remains unchanged.

The actions taken concerning the Government of the Republic of Singapore with respect to imports of textiles and textile products in the foregoing categories have been determined by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements to involve foreign affairs functions of the United States. Therefore, these directions to the Commissioner of Customs, which are necessary for the implementation of such actions, fall within the foreign affairs exception to the rulemaking provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1). This letter will be published in the Federal Register.

Sincerely,D. Michael Hutchinson,
Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.



[FR Doc. 96-0000 Filed 0-00-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DR-F