COMMITTEE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TEXTILE AGREEMENTS

Determination under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

July 12, 2006.

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

ACTION: Directive to the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
SUMMARY:The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has determined that certain textile and apparel goods from Madagascar shall be treated as "handloomed, handmade, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics" and qualify for preferential treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Imports of eligible products from Madagascar with an appropriate visa will qualify for duty-free treatment.

EFFECTIVE DATE:July 17, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anna Flaaten, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3400.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Authority: Sections 112(a) and 112(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)); Sections 2 and 5 of Executive Order No. 13191 dated January 17, 2001; Sections 25-27 and Paras. 13-14 of Presidential Proclamation 7912 dated June 29, 2005.

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 products eligible for the preferential treatment described in section 112(a) of the AGOA. In Executive Order 13191 and Presidential Proclamation 7912, 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 handloomed, handmade, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics. See Executive Order 13191, 66 FR 7271, 7272 (January 22, 2001); Presidential Proclamation 7912, 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 (66 FR 7837). The first digit of the visa number corresponds to one of nine groupings of textile and apparel products that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment. Grouping "9" is reserved for handmade, hand-loomed, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics.

CITA has consulted with Malagasy authorities and has determined that handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, place mats, and tablecloths), and handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, if produced in and exported from Madagascar, are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under section 112(a) of the AGOA, as amended. After further consultations with Malagasy authorities, CITA may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles or ethnic printed fabrics. In the letter published below, CITA directs the Commissioner of 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".

James C. Leonard III,
Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.




Committee for the Implementation of Textile AgreementsJuly 12, 2006.

Commissioner,

Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC 20229.

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 dated January 17, 2001, and Presidential Proclamation 7912 dated June 29, 2005, has determined, effective on July 17, 2006, that the following articles shall be treated as articles eligible under Category 9 of the AGOA: handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, placemats, and tablecloths), and handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, if made in Madagascar from fabric handloomed in Madagascar. 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 Madagascar 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 Malagasy authorities, CITA may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles or ethnic printed fabrics.

Sincerely,


James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

[FR Doc. 06-0000 Filed 0-00-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS