Determining the AGOA-Eligibility of a Specific Product
Below is link to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) U.S. Tariff and Import Database for tariff and import data. The ITC has the most current tariff information for specific products. By following the steps below, you will be able to determine the import duty for your product and whether it qualifies for AGOA or other preferential treatment. Please note that for guidelines on apparel product eligibility go to the Apparel Eligibility page.
1. Type the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number in the SEARCH box on the USITC page linked below. The Harmonized System Classification is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. This identifying number is assigned to each product and used by customs officials around the world to determine the duties, taxes and regulations that apply to the product.
Note you do NOT need to know the precise HTS category number. Enter either the first part of an HTS category number up to 8 digits--e.g., "8501" or "850110"--, or any part of a product description--e.g., "bovine", or "articho"--(without the "quotes"!) The search is not case-sensitive, so the results for "Bovine" will be the same as for "BoVinE"
2. Once you enter this information, the results will likely provide several product options. Select the specific product and click the "Detail" button.
3. View the U.S. ITC Tariff and most recent U.S. import information.
4. Click on "imports by source country" to view competitor countries exporting the product to the United States.
5. Scroll down to "preferential" (duty-free or reduced rate) tariff program applicability to this HTS item, which describes tariff preferences for the product.
6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "begin" button to start a new search.
The following codes displayed on the ITC Tariff and Import Database are relevant for AGOA-eligible products. Each code indicates the product may enter the United States duty-free. If a product is eligible under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or Normal Trade Relations (NTR), known formerly as Most Favored Nations (MFN), it can enter the United States duty-free. See below for a description of relevant codes for products:
- Code A, indicating GSP preference
- Code A+, indicating Lesser Developed Beneficiary Country (LBDC) GSP preference
- Code D, indicating AGOA GSP eligibility
Note that many items that are indicated as "not eligible" for AGOA are still exempt from import duty if they are indicated as "eligible" under GSP, or their statutory import duty is zero.
Further inquiries about the AGOA eligibility of a specific product can be directed to your nearest U.S. Customs Representative. U.S. Customs determines AGOA-eligibility and provides importer requirements for products imported into the United States.
GSP Product Eligibility
AGOA authorizes the President to provide duty-free treatment under GSP for any article, after the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) have determined that the article is not import sensitive when imported from African countries. On December 21, 2000, the President extended dutyfree treatment under GSP to AGOA eligible countries for more than 1,800 tariff line items in addition to the standard GSP list of approximately 4,600 items available to non-AGOA GSP beneficiary countries. The additional GSP line items which include such previously excluded items as footwear, luggage, handbags, watches, and flatware were implemented after an extensive process of public comment and review.
AGOA extends GSP for eligible Sub-Saharan African beneficiaries until September 30, 2015. Sub-Saharan African beneficiary countries are also exempted from competitive need limitations which cap the GSP benefits available to beneficiaries in other regions.
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