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Notice

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice of Initiation of the 2013 Annual GSP Product and Country Practices Review; Deadlines for Filing Petitions

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice of procedures for submission of petitions from the public.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is prepared to receive petitions to modify the list of products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. USTR is also prepared to receive petitions requesting waivers of competitive need limitations (CNLs).

DATES:

The GSP regulations (15 CFR part 2007) provide the timetable for conducting an annual review, unless otherwise specified by notice in the Federal Register. Notice is hereby given that, in order to be considered in the 2013 Annual GSP Review, relevant petitions must be received by the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee by the following deadlines:

October 4, 2013: Petitions to modify the list of articles eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP or to review the GSP status of any beneficiary developing country must be received by 5:00 p.m.

November 22, 2013: Petitions requesting waivers of CNLs must be received by no later than 5:00 p.m.

Petitions submitted after the above listed deadlines will not be considered for review. Decisions on which petitions are accepted for review, along with a schedule for any related public hearings and the opportunity for the public to provide comments will be announced at a later date.

Note:

The specified deadlines for petitions will remain valid, and USTR will continue to receive submitted petitions, even if authorization of the GSP program lapses on July 31, 2013. However, no further action will be taken on any petition that is submitted as long as the GSP program is not in effect.

ADDRESSES:

Public comments should be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov in docket number USTR-2013-0024.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tameka Cooper, GSP Program, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20508. The telephone number is (202) 395-6971, the fax number is (202) 395-9674, and the email address is Tameka_Cooper@ustr.eop.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The 2013 Annual GSP Review

GSP Product Review Petitions: Interested parties, including foreign governments, may submit petitions to: (1) Designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, including to designate articles as eligible for GSP benefits only if imported from countries designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries, or only from countries designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); (2) withdraw, suspend or limit the application of duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP with respect to any article; (3) waive the CNL for individual beneficiary developing countries with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles (these limits do not apply to least-developed beneficiary developing countries or AGOA beneficiary countries); and (4) otherwise modify GSP coverage.

As specified in 15 CFR 2007.1, all product petitions must include, inter alia, a detailed description of the product and the eight-digit subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under which the product is classified. Before submitting petitions for CNL waivers, prospective petitioners may wish to review the year-to-date import trade data for products of interest. This data is available via the U.S. International Trade Commission's “Dataweb” database at http://dataweb.usitc.gov/​.

Country Practices Review Petitions: Any interested party may submit a Start Printed Page 45597petition to review the GSP eligibility of any beneficiary developing country with respect to any of the designation criteria listed in sections 502(b) or 502(c) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(b) and (c)).

Requirements for Submissions

All submissions for the GSP Annual Review must conform to the GSP regulations set forth at 15 CFR part 2007, except as modified below. These regulations are available on the USTR Web site at http://www.ustr.gov/​trade-topics/​trade-development/​preference-programs/​generalized-system-preference-gsp/​gsp-program-inf.

All submissions in response to this notice must be in English and must be submitted electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, using docket number USTR-2013-0024. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. Submissions that do not provide the information required by sections 2007.0 and 2007.1 of the GSP regulations will not be accepted for review, except upon a detailed showing in the submission that the petitioner made a good faith effort to obtain the information required.

To make a submission via http://www.regulations.gov, enter docket number USTR-2013-0024 on the home page and click “Search.” The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice by selecting “Notice” under “Document Type” on the left side of the screen and click on the link entitled “Submit a Comment.” (For further information on using the www.regulations.gov Web site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on “How to Use This Site” on the left side of the home page.)

The http://www.regulations.gov Web site allows users to provide comments by filling in a “Type Comment” field or by attaching a document using the “Upload file(s)” field. The GSP Subcommittee prefers that submissions be provided in an attached document. Submissions must include, at the beginning of the submission, or on the first page (if an attachment), the following text (in bold and underlined): (1) “2013 GSP Annual Review”; and (2) the eight-digit HTSUS subheading number in which the product is classified (for product petitions) or the name of the country (for country practice petitions). Furthermore, interested parties submitting petitions that request action with respect to specific products should also list at the beginning of the submission, or on the first page (if an attachment) the following information: (1) The requested action; and (2) if applicable, the beneficiary developing country. Submissions should not exceed 30 single-spaced, standard letter-size pages in 12-point type, including attachments. Any data attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.

Each submitter will receive a submission tracking number upon completion of the submissions procedure at http://www.regulations.gov. The tracking number will be the submitter's confirmation that the submission was received into http://www.regulations.gov. The confirmation should be kept for the submitter's records. USTR is not able to provide technical assistance for the Web site. Documents not submitted in accordance with these instructions may not be considered in this review. If an interested party is unable to provide a submission at www.regulations.gov, please contact Tameka Cooper at (202) 395-6971 to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.

Business Confidential Petitions

An interested party requesting that information contained in a submission be treated as business confidential information must certify that such information is business confidential and would not customarily be released to the public by the submitter. Confidential business information must be clearly designated as such. The submission must be marked “BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL” at the top and bottom of the cover page and each succeeding page, and the submission should indicate, via brackets, the specific information that is confidential. Additionally, “Business Confidential” must be included in the “Type Comment” field. For any submission containing business confidential information, a non-confidential version must be submitted separately (i.e., not as part of the same submission with the confidential version), indicating where confidential information has been redacted. The non-confidential version will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection.

Public Viewing of Review Submissions

Submissions in response to this notice, except for information granted “business confidential” status under 15 CFR 2003.6, will be available for public viewing pursuant to 15 CFR 2007.6 at http://www.regulations.gov upon completion of processing. Such submissions may be viewed by entering the docket number USTR-2013-0024 in the search field at http://www.regulations.gov.

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William D. Jackson,

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System of Preferences, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

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[FR Doc. 2013-18069 Filed 7-26-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3290-F3-P