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Notice

Determination Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

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Start Preamble July 13, 2007.

AGENCY:

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).

ACTION:

Directive to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

SUMMARY:

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has determined that certain textile and apparel goods from South Africa 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 South Africa with an appropriate visa will qualify for duty-free treatment.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 30, 2007.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Authority

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 of January 17, 2001; Sections 25-27 and Paras. 13-14 of Presidential Proclamation 7912 of June 29, 2005.

End Authority

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 textile and apparel products made in the beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries that may be eligible for the preferential treatment described in section 112(a) of the AGOA. In Executive Order 13191 (January 17, 2001) and Presidential Proclamation 7912 (June 29, 2005), 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 being handloomed, handmade, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics. (66 FR 7271-72 and 70 FR 37959, 37961 & 63).

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, handloomed, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics.

CITA has consulted with South African authorities and has determined that handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, place mats, and tablecloths), handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, and the ethnic printed fabrics described in Annex A to this notice, if produced in and exported from South Africa, are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under section 112(a) of the AGOA, as amended. After further consultations with South African authorities, CITA Start Printed Page 39608may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles. In the letter published below, CITA directs the Commissioner of U.S. 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”.

Start Signature

R. Matthew Priest,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements

July 13, 2007.

Commissioner of Customs,

U.S. 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 of January 17, 2001, and Presidential Proclamation 7912 of June 29, 2005, has determined, effective on July 30, 2007, that the following articles shall be treated as “handloomed, handmade, folklore articles, and ethnic printed fabrics” under the AGOA: (a) handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, placemats, and tablecloths), and handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, if made in South Africa from fabric handloomed in South Africa; and (b) ethnic printed fabrics described in Annex A, if made in South Africa. 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 the Republic of South Africa 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 South African authorities, CITA may determine that additional textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles.

Sincerely,

R. Matthew Priest,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

ANNEX A: South African Ethnic Printed Fabrics

Each ethnic print must meet all of the criteria listed below:

A) selvedge on both edges

B) width of less than 50 inches

C) classifiable under subheading 5208.52.30[1] or 5208.52.40[2] of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

D) contains designs, symbols, and other characteristics of African prints normally produced for and sold in Africa by the piece.

E) made from fabric woven in the U.S. using U.S. yarn or woven in one or more eligible sub-Saharan beneficiary countries using U.S or African yarn

F) printed, including waxed, in one or more eligible sub-Saharan beneficiary countries

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  printed plain weave fabrics of cotton, 85% or more cotton by weight, weighing over 100g/m2 but not more than 200 g/m2, of yarn number 42 or lower

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2.  printed plain weave fabrics of cotton, 85% or more cotton by weight, weighing over 100g/m2 but not more than 200g/m2, of yarn numbers 43-68

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[FR Doc. E7-14009 Filed 7-18-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S