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U.S. Bahrain Free Trade Agreement Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ's)

General Information

Question #1: Where can I find information on importing from Bahrain under the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (BHFTA)?

Answer #1: For questions about importing from Bahrain under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA, see the CBP Bahrain FTA page by searching “Bahrain” at www.cbp.gov.

Question #2: What information is available on the www.cbp.gov U.S.-Bahrain (BHFTA) FTA webpage?

Answer #2: The Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (BHFTA) went into effect on August 1, 2006 information is available from the Bahrain FTA webpage:

Question #3: Where can I find information on exporting to Bahrain?

Answer #3: Answers to questions on exporting to Bahrain can be found on www.export.gov.

Making a Claim for Preferential Tariff Treatment

Question #4: How does an importer make a preference claim under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #4: A U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim is made by prefacing the tariff item on the entry summary with the Special Program Indicator "BH" (19 CFR 10.803 or by filing a PEA/PSC claim within one year of importation.

Question #5: May a post-importation preference claim be made using a 19 USC 1520(d)?

Answer #5: No a 19 USC 1520(d) is not an option.

Question #6: What responsibilities does an importer assume by making a U.S.-Bahrain FTA preference claim?

Answer #6: By making a U.S.-Bahrain FTA preference claim, the importer attests that the good is eligible for U.S.-Bahrain FTA preference and accepts responsibility for the truthfulness and accuracy of the claim. The importer is also responsible for providing the Declaration and supporting documentation to CBP upon request. (19 CFR 10.804)

Declaration (Certification of Origin) and Required Data Elements

Question #7: If CBP requests a U.S.-Bahrain FTA Declaration, which one should the importer provide to CBP – the exporter’s, the producer’s, or his own?

Answer #7: If the U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim is based on the exporter’s or producer’s Declaration, the importer should provide that Declaration to CBP. If the U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim is based on the importer’s Declaration or importer knowledge, the importer should provide its own Declaration.

Question #8: Is there an official form or format for the Declaration under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #8: Although there is no official Declaration form or format required under the U.S.- Bahrain FTA, a free-form Declaration with all of the data elements in 19 CFR 10.804 may also be made.

Question #9: When must the importer provide a U.S.-Bahrain FTA Declaration to CBP?

Answer #9: The importer must provide CBP with a U.S.-Bahrain FTA Declaration upon request by CBP.

Question #10: Can an importer make a U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim without an exporter or producer Declaration?

Answer #10: If the importer has knowledge that the goods originate and can provide documentation to substantiate the claim, then the importer need not possess an exporter or producer Declaration.

Question #11: Will CBP accept an unsigned or undated Declaration?

Answer #11: No, the Declaration must be signed and dated by an individual with knowledge of the facts and the authority to legally bind the company.

Question #12: Will CBP accept a Declaration if the HTSUS number is incorrect?

Answer #12: CBP may accept a Declaration with an incorrect HTSUS number or request that amended Declaration be submitted with a copy of the original Declaration as an attachment. The correct HTSUS number on the Declaration is an important indicator that the origination analysis was performed using the correct product-specific rule in HTSUS General Note 30(h).

Question #13: Can an importer submit a Declaration to CBP dated after the preference claim?

Answer #13: An exporter or producer Declaration of origin signed after the date of the preference claim could not have been in the importer’s possession at the time of such claim. However, if the preference claim is based on importer’s knowledge, no exporter/producer Declaration is required.

Requesting Documentation and Verification

Question #14: CBP has requested that the importer provide documentation substantiating that the good originates. Bahrain has a wholly the growth, product, or manufacture" or Value Content + 19 CFR 102 or Product-Specific Tariff shift. What information must be provided?

Answer #14: The information required to substantiate an origination claim depends on the rule of origin and the nature of the good. In the case of a manufactured good using a product-specific rule of origin in GN 30(h), at a minimum, the following documentation should be provided:

  • copy of the product specific rule of origin
  • descriptive literature, diagrams, etc. to support classification of the imported good
  • bill of materials (with a description, HTSUS number, and the originating status of each material)
  • affidavit or Declaration attesting to the originating status of all originating materials that would otherwise fail the product-specific rule
  • cost data, if the product-specific rule has a regional value content (RVC) requirement
  • the regional value content (RVC) calculation US/Bahrain materials + direct cost of processing at least (35%) of appraised value. 19 CFR 10.810; 19 CFR 10.813-816; GN 30(b) & (c).

Question #15: CBP has requested manufacturing information to substantiate the originating status of a good, but as the importer, I do not have those records in my possession. Must I comply?

Answer #15: Yes, the importer is responsible for ensuring that CBP receives documentation substantiating that the good meets a rule of origin and otherwise complies with the terms of the U.S.-Bahrain FTA. If the importer hasn’t the information, he should contact the exporter and/or producer to ensure that the information is provided to CBP. To protect confidentiality, a manufacturer may provide documentation directly to CBP. Per 19 CFR 103.35, CBP is barred from releasing business confidential information to the importer or any other party without obtaining consent.

Question #16: If CBP requests a Supporting Statement, can the importer provide it via fax or as an email attachment?

Answer #16: Yes, CBP will accept a digitized Declaration as long as it contains a handwritten signature or the image of a handwritten signature.

Origination

Question #17: How does a good “originate” under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #17: In order to be an “originating” good, a good must meet a rule of origin and all other requirements (GN 30 and 19 CFR 10.810).

Question #18: What are the rules of origin under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #18: Generally speaking, a good will originate if:

  1. The good is wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Bahrain or of the United States, or both; or
  2. The good is produced entirely in the territory of Bahrain or of the United States, or both, satisfies all other applicable requirements of this subpart, and
    1. Each of the non-originating materials used in the production of the good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification specified in General Note 30(h), HTSUS, and
    2. The good otherwise satisfies any applicable regional value content or other requirements specified in General Note 30(h), HTSUS; or

The good is produced entirely in the territory of Bahrain or the United States, or both, exclusively from originating materials. (19 CFR 10.810)

Question #19: How does a producer know if a material used to produce his good originates?

Answer #19: Generally speaking, the producer will know that a material originates because his supplier will provide a declaration or affidavit upon request. If a material supplier will not provide a declaration or affidavit, then the producer should consider the material to be non-originating.

Question #20: If the imported good is substantially manufactured in Bahrain, can the U.S. importer assume that it meets the terms of the U.S.-Bahrain FTA and make a preference claim?

Answer #20: No, the importer would not be exercising reasonable care and may be subject to penalties if the good were found not to originate. By making a preference claim, the importer is certifying that the good meets the terms of the agreement and that the importer/exporter/producer will provide CBP with substantiating documentation upon request.

Question #21: Can a chemical reaction result in origination?

Answer #21: No, there is no chemical reaction rule of origin for goods of HTSUS Chapter 30 from Bahrain.

Question #22: Can purification result in origination?

Answer #22: No, there is no purification rule of origin for goods of HTSUS Chapter 30.

Question #23: What is the Repair and Alteration Provision?

Answer #23: Repair and Alteration Provision rules that apply for purposes of obtaining duty-free treatment on goods returned after repair or alteration in Bahrain as provided for in subheadings 9802.00.40 and 9802.00.50, 19 CFR 10.827.

Question #24: Is there a provision to allow for goods to originate even if they have been commingled with non-originating goods? What if originating materials have been commingled with non- originating materials?

Answer #24: No, there is no fungible goods and material provision for the Bahrain FTA.

Question #25: What does it mean when a producer says that a good meets a product-specific rule of origin?

Answer #25: It means that all non-originating materials, with the possible exception of a small de minimis value, used to produce the good undergo a tariff shift prescribed in General Note 30(h).

Question #26: What is de minimis?

Answer #26: There is no de minimis rule for the Bahrain FTA.

Question #27: What if the good in question does not have a product-specific rule of origin?

Answer #27: For the Bahrain FTA tariff items are (Certain goods in HTSUS 17,18,, 20,21,42, 50-61). all other are either Wholly the growth, or 35% DCP + VOM, and new article of commerce Unlimited US value may count towards 35%.

Regional Value Content (RVC)

Question #28: When should the RVC formula be used under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #28: The RVC formula should be used where it applies (Direct cost of processing, value of originating materials, adjusted value of imported goods.

Question #29: When performing the RVC calculation, how is the value of the good and the materials used to produce it determined? What adjustments can be made?

Answer #29: The value of a good and its constituent materials is determined in accordance with General Note 30(h), and 19 CFR 10.814, 19 CFR 817.

Indirect Materials

Question #30: How does the U.S.-Bahrain FTA treat indirect materials?

Answer #30: Indirect materials are to be disregarded in determining whether a good qualifies as an originating good under 19 CFR 10.810 of this subpart and General Note 30, HTSUS, except that the cost of such indirect materials may be included in meeting the value-content requirement specified in 19 CFR 10.810(b) of this subpart.

Third Country Transportation

Question #31: May a U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim be made on goods that entered the commerce of a non-Party or that were further processed while under customs control in a non-Party country?

Answer #31: Yes, Imported Directly: May leave customs' control, may not undergo further production in a 3rd country, limited operations specified; GN 30(d)(v); 19 CFR 10.817

Goods Subject to Tariff Rate Quotas

Question #32: Does the U.S.-Bahrain FTA provide for Tariff Rate Quotas?

Answer #32: No, Bahrain quotas ended January 1, 2015.

U.S. Goods Returned

Question #33: May U.S. goods returned from Bahrain to the United States be claimed under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #33: No, U.S. goods returned cannot be claimed under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA, but may be exempt from duty under HTSUS 9801.00.10.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)

Question #34: Are originating goods exempt from MPF under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #34: Yes, originating goods are exempt from MPF per 19 CFR 24.23(c) (8).

Question #35: Can unconditionally free goods obtain the MPF exemption even though the “BH” Special Program Indicator is not listed in the “Special” column of the HTSUS?

Answer #35: Yes, the importer can still make a U.S.-Bahrain FTA claim on unconditionally free goods to obtain the MPF exemption. All of the same requirements apply.

Question #36: What is the value of the MPF exemption?

Answer #36: MPF is 0.3464% of the adjusted value of the goods with a $25 minimum and $485 maximum.

Question #37: Are Tariff Preference Level (TPL) goods exempt from MPF?

Answer #37: No, TPL goods are not “originating” and thus are not exempt from MPF.

Duty Rates and Staging (Phase Out)

Question #38: Duty rates on originating goods under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA phase out on January 1, 2015. Where can I find the phase out schedule?

Answer #38: USITC Publication 3830, Annex 2, Section B, is available from a link on the Bahrain FTA webpage.

Question #39: Where can I get additional information with respect to importing into the U.S. under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA?

Answer #39: Questions may be addressed to our mailbox at fta@dhs.gov.

Last modified: 
November 21, 2017