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Trade Preference Program Changes Include AGOA Removal, Sugar Quotas

Thursday, December 24, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

President Obama issued Dec. 21 a proclamation removing Burundi from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, extending an agricultural agreement with Israel and making certain other technical changes.

AGOA. The proclamation terminates Burundi as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under AGOA effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Sugar and Sugar-Containing Products. Effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Jan. 1, 2016, the proclamation modifies the quantitative limitations on the importation of certain sugars, syrups and molasses in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S.

Burma. The proclamation replaces additional U.S. Note 4 to HTSUS Chapter 71 to reflect the July 28, 2013, expiration of the ban on imports of certain goods of Burma and the Aug. 7, 2013, effective date of a ban on imports of any jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and any articles of jewelry containing such gems.

Israel. In 2004 the U.S. entered into an agreement with Israel that provides duty-free access to specified quantities of certain agricultural products of that country. The proclamation extends this agreement through Dec. 31, 2016, to allow time for further negotiations on an agreement that will replace the original.

Technical Corrections. The proclamation modifies the HTSUS by (a) removing St. Kitts and Nevis from the list in General Note 4(a) of member countries of the Caribbean Common Market that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (this country’s GSP eligibility was terminated as of Jan. 1, 2014) and (b) correcting technical errors that affected the tariff treatment accorded to certain goods of Bahrain, Colombia and Panama under the U.S. free trade agreements with those countries.

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