GSP & Competitive Need Limitations for 2012

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has issued a Federal Register Notice (FRN # 16908) regarding the availability of the 2012 Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Product Review and is inviting the public to comment on possible actions related to Competitive Need Limitations, or CNLs.   Comments will be accepted until April 12, 2013, and should only be submitted regarding possible de minimis CNL waivers, possible re-designations of articles currently not eligible for GSP benefits before they previously exceeded the CNL thresholds, and/or possible revocation of CNL waivers.

Not sure what a CNL actually is or requires?   A CNL is a statutory provision that is part of the GSP program, which is for the duty-free importation of designated articles when imported from designated beneficiary developing countries or BDCs.    The regulation says that the President must  terminate GSP duty-free treatment for that article from that BDC no later than July 1 of the next calendar year, unless a CNL waiver is granted once it is determined that  exports of a beneficiary country to the United States during a calendar year either:

1)      A quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($155 million for 2012); or

2)      A quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value equal to or greater than 50 percent of the value of total US imports from all countries

Termination of GSP duty-free treatment for an article that meets these requirements but does not have a CNL will take place no later than July 1 of the next calendar year.   This is FRN notice is opening up comments to those that need to request waivers so that the GSP duty-free treatment of a BDC is not terminated under these rules.

More information on the process for determining termination and CNLs can be found in the FRN #16908.

Public comments, due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2013 should be submitted, in English, to the Chairman of the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee.  Comments are required to be submitted electronically using www.regulations.gov and referencing docket number USTR 2012 0013.  Note that hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted.  It is also strongly advised by the USTR that anyone submitting comments review the GSP regulations as well as the GSP Guidebook which is available on the USTR website – http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/trade-development/preference-programs/generalized-system-preference-gsp/gsp-program-inf

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