Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
Information for U.S. Exporters is available through the Department of Commerce at: http://www.export.gov/FTA/index.asp
The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is composed of the United States and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Implementation dates, depending upon the country, range from March 1, 2006 through January 1, 2009.
Most CAFTA-DR goods currently enter the United States free of duty and the merchandise processing fee (MPF), and virtually all will enter free by the time the Agreement is fully implemented on January 1, 2025.
If you have filled out a certification of origin but cannot substantiate the originating status of the goods therein, you are required to notify all recipients of said certification and the country of export.
To learn more about how to claim preference on these goods, select the following:
These documents provide the most relevant information in HTSUS General Notes 29 and in the 19 CFR Subpart J.
Any claim for preferences under the CAFTA-DR must be supported by a Certificate of Origin attesting to the imported product’s originating status. This link provides a PDF template demonstrating how such a Certificate of Origin can be structured. The template is fillable, and users may elect to use it. Its use, or adherence to its structure, is in no way compulsory. Nevertheless, pursuant to the relevant regulations, all of the data elements specified therein must still be provided upon request to CBP in connection with a claim for preferential tariff treatment.
CAFTA-DR Data Elements for the Certificate of Origin - Attachment A
As an alternate to the Certificate of Origin template, a free-form certification can be used by CAFTA-DR producers and exporters, and US importers, when attesting that their goods meet the requirements of the CAFTA-DR FTA.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) - CAFTA-DR General Notes 29
A current link to the general not including the General Rules of Origin, Definitions, Value (including Regional Value Content and De Minimis), Sets, Packing and Packaging Materials, Indirect Materials, Recordkeeping and the all-important Product Specific Rules of Origin.
NOTE: On the USITC link, select the “General Notes; General rules of Interpretation; General Statistical Notes,” link, followed by “General Notes 29”.
The following CAFTA-DR goods may be subject to a reduced tariff rate quota (TRQ): sugar, dairy, peanuts, peanut butter, fabric and apparel. Click here for an overview of quota. Go to the Commodity Graph Report for current fill levels. Go to the TPL Threshold to Fill List to see almost closed and closed quotas.
Use this tool to learn the duty that your CAFTA-DR goods will pay upon importation into the United States both today and in future years.
The reconciliation prototype is an alternate method of submitting on-going, high-volume post-importation CAFTA-DR claims. Like standard 19 USC 1520(d) claims, they must be made within one-year of importation and all preference program requirements and responsibilities remain in effect.
Additional Resources and Regulations:
The complete text of the agreement is made available by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
19 CFR Part 10 Subpart J—DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—CENTRAL AMERICA—UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. The current link to the e-CFR website including: Import Requirements, Filing a Claim, Regional Value Content (RVC) Certification, Post-Importation Refunds, Rules of Origin, Origin Verifications, Transshipment, and Penalties.
USITC Publications for CAFTA-DR
Each publication includes the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) General Note with both the general and specific rules of origin, a list of all of the goods that became duty free upon entry into force and the phase-out schedule for those goods that will become duty free over time.
Public Law No. 109-53, 119 Stat. 462 and codified at 19 USC 4001 Note
Presidential Proclamations Enacting the CAFTA-DR
Presidential Proclamation 7987 (El Salvador) was published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2006.
Presidential Proclamation 7996 (Honduras and Nicaragua) was published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2006.
Presidential Proclamation 8034 (Guatemala) was published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2007.
Presidential Proclamation 8331 (Costa Rica) was published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2008.