Feds Ease Colombia Trade Restrictions

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have amended tariff regulations to further open trade between Colombia and the United States.
     Last October, President Barack Obama signed into law the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, based on ongoing trade liberalization discussions between the two countries.
     The government describes the agreement as a “comprehensive trade opening agreement that will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade, open each country’s market for service providers, and promote investment.”
     U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of provisions of the agreement that relate to importation of goods.
     The interim regulation details changes to the trade agreement regarding tariffs and trade protections.
     Among other things, the regulation allows importers to make a claim for preferential tariff treatment if the imported goods meet the requirements for “originating” in Colombia.
     The law sets forth the requirements for determining “originating goods” under the rules of origin in the agreement. “Indirect materials” are considered to be “originating” under the act, regardless of where they are produced.
     The amended agreement also provides that the U.S. and Colombia will not be charged merchandise processing fees for goods that qualify as “originating” in Columbia.
     The agencies will accept comment on the rules until Nov. 26.
     Click the document icon for this regulation and others.

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