USDA News: Additional Duties on Agricultural Goods, Okra from Mexico
The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has issued a notice listing the updated quantity-based trigger levels for products that may be subject to additional import duties under the safeguard provisions of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture. This notice also includes the relevant period applicable for trigger levels on each of the affected products, which include beef, mutton, cheese, dairy products, peanuts and peanut butter, sugar and sugar products, cocoa powder, chocolate crumb, infant formula, mixes and doughs, condiments and seasonings, ice cream, animal feed, and cotton.
Under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, additional import duties may be imposed on imports of products subject to tariffs as a result of the Uruguay Round if the price of an individual shipment of imported products falls below the average price for similar goods imported during the years 1986-1988 by a specified percentage. It also permits additional duties to be imposed if the volume of imports of an article exceeds the sum of (a) a base trigger level multiplied by the average of the last three years of available import data and (b) the change in yearly consumption in the most recent year for which data are available. These additional duties may not be imposed on quantities for which minimum or current access commitments were made during the Uruguay Round negotiations, and only one type of safeguard (price or quantity) may be applied at any given time to an article.
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has amended entry requirements for the importation of okra from the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico that arrives in the U.S. between May 16 and Nov. 30. Specifically, importers may ship okra from Tamaulipas with a phytosanitary certificate issued by Mexico’s national plant protection organization verifying that the okra was grown and transported only within Tamaulipas and that the shipment is free from pink bollworm. Such okra may only enter through Texas at the ports of Brownsville, Progreso, Hidalgo, Rio Grande City, Roma, or Laredo.
Okra from other states in Mexico that arrives in the U.S. between May 16 and Nov. 30, and okra from Tamaulipas without the required certificate or entering at a port other than those listed above, must be fumigated.