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Notice

United States-Israel Free Trade Area Implementation Act; Designation of Qualifying Industrial Zones

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Under the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Implementation Act (IFTA Act), products of Qualifying Industrial Zones encompassing portions of Israel and Jordan or Israel and Egypt are eligible to receive duty-free treatment. Effective upon publication of this notice, the United States Trade Representative, pursuant to authority delegated by the President, is designating the Mushatta International Complex, the El Zay Ready Wear Manufacturing Company Duty Free Area and the Al Qastal Industrial Zone as Qualifying Industrial Zones under the IFTA Act.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edmund Saums, Director for Middle East Affairs, (202) 395-4987, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20508.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to authority granted under section 9 of the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Implementation Act of 1985 (IFTA Act), as amended (19 U.S.C. 2112 note), the President proclaimed certain tariff treatment for the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Qualifying Industrial Zones (Proclamation 6955 of November 13, 1996 (61 FR 58761)). In particular, the President proclaimed modifications to general notes 3 and 8 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States: (a) To provide duty-free treatment to qualifying articles that are the product of the West Bank or Gaza Strip or a Qualifying Industrial Zone and are entered in accordance with the provisions of section 9 of the IFTA Act; (b) to provide that articles of Israel may be treated as though they were articles directly shipped from Israel for the purposes of the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement (“the Agreement”) even if shipped to the United States from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or a Qualifying Industrial Zone, if the articles otherwise meet the requirements of the Agreement; and (c) to provide that the cost or value of materials produced in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or a Qualifying Industrial Zone may be included in the cost or value of materials produced in Israel under section 1(c)(i) of Annex 3 of the Agreement, and that the direct costs of processing operations performed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or a Qualifying Industrial Zone may be included in the direct costs of processing operations performed in Israel under section 1(c)(ii) of Annex 3 of the Agreement.

Section 9(e) of the IFTA Act defines a “Qualifying Industrial Zone” as an area that “(1) encompasses portions of the territory of Israel and Jordan or Israel and Egypt; (2) has been designated by local authorities as an enclave where merchandise may enter without payment of duty or exercise taxes; and (3) has been specified by the President as a qualifying industrial zone.” In Proclamation 6955, the President delegated to the United States Trade Representative the authority to designate qualifying industrial zones.

The United States Trade Representative has previously designated Qualifying Industrial Zones Start Printed Page 77689under Section 9 of the IFTA Act on March 13, 1998 (63 FR 12572), March 19, 1999 (64 FR 13623), October 15, 1999 (64 FR 56015), and October 24, 2000 (65 FR 64472).

The Government of Israel and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have agreed to the designation of the Mushatta International Complex (protocol dated November 22, 2000), the El Zay Ready Wear Manufacturing Company Duty Free Area (protocol dated January 12, 2000) and the Al Qastal Industrial Zone (protocol dated November 22, 2000) as Qualifying Industrial Zones. The Government of Israel and the Government of Jordan further agreed that merchandise may enter, without payment of duty or excise taxes, areas under their respective customs control in association with the Mushatta, El Zay and Al Qastal Qualifying Industrial Zones. Accordingly, the Mushatta International Complex, the El Zay Ready Wear Manufacturing Company Duty Free Area and the Al Qastal Industrial Zone meet the criteria under paragraphs 9(e)(1) and (2) of the IFTA Act.

Therefore, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the President in Proclamation 6955, I hereby designate the Mushatta International Complex, the El Zay Ready Wear Manufacturing Company Duty Free Area and the Al Qastal Industrial Zone, as established by the January 12, 2000 and November 22, 2000 Amending Protocols to the Agreement Between the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Government of the State of Israel on Irbid Qualifying Industrial Zone, as Qualifying Industrial Zones under section 9 of the IFTA Act, effective upon the date of publication of this notice, applicable to goods shipped from these Qualifying Industrial Zones after such date.

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Dated: December 4, 2000.

Charlene Barshefsky,

United States Trade Representative.

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[FR Doc. 00-31627 Filed 12-11-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3901-01-P