Issued: March 1, 2007
The U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (“the Act”; Public Law 109-53; 119 Stat. 462; 19 U.S.C. 4001 note) was signed into law on August 2, 2005. The Act allowed for the Agreement to take effect upon a determination by the President that those countries have taken measures to comply with the requirements of the Agreement. Currently, the Agreement is in effect for goods of El Salvador entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after March 1, 2006; for goods of Honduras and Nicaragua entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after April 1, 2006; and for goods of Guatemala entered, or withdrawn for consumption, on or after July 1, 2006.
A Presidential Proclamation posted on the White House website on March 1, 2007, implements the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) for goods of the Dominican Republic entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after March 1, 2007. The Proclamation incorporates by reference Publication 3901 of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) is modified by the Annex to Publication 3901 by updating General Note 29. Additionally, the Proclamation removes the Dominican Republic as a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA).
CBP issued implementation instructions for the CAFTA-DR on April 26, 2006, entitled “Amendments to the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Instructions”. Those instructions will apply for purposes of implementing the Agreement for goods of the Dominican Republic.
The document provides instructions on the filing and accepting of claims for preferential tariff treatment made under the CAFTA-DR. For purposes of applying the implementation instructions to importations of goods of the Dominican Republic, reference to a CAFTA-DR country is the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. However, claims for preferential tariff treatment on goods that originate in the Dominican Republic may only be made on goods that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after March 1, 2007. These claims shall be made at the time the entry summary is filed by placing on the CBP Form 7501 the SPI “P” or “P+” as a prefix to the HTS item number for each line on which preferential tariff treatment is claimed.
Program updates to the Automated Commercial System (ACS), which allow for automated processing, have been completed. Therefore, importers claiming preference under the CAFTA-DR may file ABI entries. Claims for preference under GSP, CBERA and CBTPA will no longer be allowed for goods of the Dominican Republic entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after March 1, 2007. However, a good of the Dominican Republic may receive preferential treatment under CBTPA when origin-conferring activities, such as production, take place in the Dominican Republic so long as the good undergoes processing in Haiti as well.