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Notice

Determination Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 46039 August 13, 2007.

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 additional textile and apparel goods from Mali 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 Mali with an appropriate visa will qualify for duty-free treatment.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 27, 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 describes 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 hand-loomed, handmade, folklore articles, or ethnic printed fabrics. See 66 FR 7271, 7271-72 (January 22, 2001); 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. See 66 FR 7837 (January 25, 2001). 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 Malian authorities and has previously determined that handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g., handloomed rugs, scarves, place mats, and tablecloths), handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, and certain folklore articles and ethnic printed fabrics are eligible for preferential treatment. See 71 FR 78408 (December 29, 2006). This directive expands Mali's existing Category 9 treatment to include certain additional folklore articles described in Annex A to this notice, if produced in and exported from Mali. These goods are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under section 112(a) of the AGOA, as amended. 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”.

Start Signature

R. Matthew Priest,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements

August 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 August 27, 2007, that certain folklore products described in Annex A 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 Mali 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 Malian 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: Malian Folklore Products

CITA has determined that the following textile and apparel goods shall be treated as folklore articles for purposes of the AGOA if made in Mali. Articles must be ornamented in characteristic Malian or regional folk style. An article may not include modern features such as zippers, elastic, elasticized fabrics, snaps, or hook-and-pile fasteners (such as Velcro © or similar holding fabric). An article may not incorporate patterns that are not traditional or historical to Mali, such as airplanes, buses, cowboys, or cartoon characters and may not incorporate designs referencing holidays or festivals not common to traditional Malian culture, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Eligible folklore articles:

(a) Bogolan (Mudcloth) Bags: This bag is constructed of several narrow strips of 100% heavy cotton hand-woven fabric, hand or machine sewn together, dyed and painted in geometric shapes using natural dyes. The Bogolan bags may or may not have an interior lining which is generally made of machine-made fabric. Handles attached to the top of the bag are also made of the handwoven mudcloth fabric. Dimensions vary.

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[FR Doc. E7-16154 Filed 8-15-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S