CAFTA-DR Implementation Information for Honduras and Nicaragua
Issued: April 4, 2006
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 determination by the President for those countries that 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 Currently, the Agreement is in effect for goods of El Salvador entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after March 1, 2006.
Presidential Proclamation 7996 posted on the White House website on March 31, 2006, implements the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) for goods of Nicaragua and Honduras entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after April 1, 2006.
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 Honduras and Nicaragua implementing the Agreement.
The implement instructions provide information on the filing and acceptance of claims for preferential tariff treatment made under the CAFTA-DR. For purposes of applying the implementation instructions to importations of goods of Nicaragua and Honduras, reference to a CAFTA-DR country is the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. However, claims for preferential tariff treatment on goods that originate in Honduras or Nicaragua may only be made on goods that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after April 1, 2006. These claims shall be made at the time the entry summary is filed by placing on the document the SPI “P” or “P+” as a prefix to the HTS item number for each line on which preferential tariff treatment is claimed.
Currently, program updates to the Automated Commercial System (ACS), which allow for automated processing have not been completed. Therefore, until further notice from this office, importers claiming preference under the CAFTA-DR must file non-ABI entries. Importers will have the option to file ABI entries at release and follow through with manual entry summaries. This option is allowed only for CAFTA-DR claims and will terminate once ACS programming to allow electronic filing is complete.