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Higher Annual Limit on Duty-Free Apparel from Haiti

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Administration has announced that 322,629,971 square meters equivalent of apparel articles assembled in Haiti will be eligible for preferential treatment under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership for Encouragement (HOPE) Act for the period Dec. 20, 2013, through Dec. 19, 2014. Apparel articles entered in excess of this amount, which is 5.2% higher than the previous year, will be subject to otherwise applicable tariffs.

HOPE provides for duty-free treatment for certain apparel articles imported directly from Haiti. To qualify for such treatment apparel articles must be wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti from any combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit-to-shape and yarns. However, the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in Haiti or one or more countries described in HOPE, or any combination thereof, plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in Haiti or one or more specified countries, or any combination thereof, may not be less than an applicable percentage of the declared customs value of such apparel articles. Pursuant to the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010, the applicable percentage for the period Dec. 20, 2013, through Dec. 19, 2014, is 50% or more.

For every 12-month period following the effective date of HOPE, duty-free treatment under this value-added program is subject to a quantitative limitation. For the 12-month period beginning Dec. 20, 2013, this limitation is 1.25% of the aggregate square meter equivalent of all apparel articles imported into the U.S. in the most recent 12-month period for which data are available. For purposes of this notice, that period is the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, 2013.

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