Higher Duty Triggers

The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has updated the 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, 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.

Exports to Chile

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that once a recent exchange of letters between the U.S. and Chile enters into force, current and future U.S. exporters of certain cheese and meat products will continue to be able to use certain terms for those products in Chile. USTR notes that these letters will be treated as an integral part of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, including for the purposes of dispute settlement.

Poultry Imports

Effective June 27 the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has imposed the following restrictions on importations from or transiting the Australian Capital Territory based on a determination that highly-pathogenic avian influenza exists in domestic birds in this area.

- Imports of unprocessed avian products and byproducts originating from or transiting this area are prohibited.

- Imports of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, and hatching eggs originating from or transiting this area are prohibited.

- Processed avian products and byproducts originating from or transiting this area, imported as cargo, must be accompanied by an APHIS import permit and/or government certification confirming that the products were treated according to APHIS requirements.

- Importation as cargo of fresh, unprocessed shell/table eggs and other egg products, void of the shell (i.e., liquid eggs, dried egg whites), originating from or transiting this area is prohibited unless the products are consigned from the port of arrival directly to an APHIS-approved breaking and pasteurization facility. An import permit and/or certificate is not required for these shipments when consigned directly to an APHIS-approved establishment.

Separately, effective June 20 APHIS has removed restrictions on imports of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, avian hatching eggs, unprocessed avian products and byproducts, and certain fresh poultry products originating from or transiting zone PCZ-223 in Alberta, Canada.

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