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Free Trade Agreements & Other Preference Programs

Because rules are different for each free trade agreement and preference program, and sometimes even for different goods within an agreement, companies must comply with stringent documentation requirements to take advantage of the duty eliminations and reductions available under these agreements. In addition, emerging U.S. efforts to renegotiate or revise the agreements can significantly shift the requirements for goods to qualify. Government agencies are watching with increased scrutiny to make sure the appropriate requirements are met, ready to hit violators with hefty penalties.

ST&R professionals can help review policies, procedures and controls; document program eligibility; establish a recordkeeping system to support origin and preference claims; and work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to resolve questions or disputes about product eligibility that may cause goods to be detained or seized.

ST&R also has a proven track record of helping companies advocate for their interests as new FTAs are negotiated and existing ones are updated. Click here for more information.

Contact us about our free trade agreement & preference program services

What are FTAs & Preference Programs?

The U.S. has free trade agreements with 20 trading partners that eliminate tariffs and lower other trade barriers. Preference programs like the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act offer duty-free and reduced duty treatment to imports from more than 100 developing countries. In addition, there are provisions in Chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. that allow for certain duty-free imports, including U.S.-made goods returned from abroad. 

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