Customs helps importers navigate new global rules on textile quotas
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have recently met three times with the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements to develop rules on how to admit goods once textile quotas expire at the end of the year for most countries.
Some of the rules should be published soon in the Federal Register, Janet Labuda, CBP director of textile enforcement, said during Friday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations.
Textile and apparel importers, who have dealt with supply constraints for decades, have been clamoring for Customs to clarify how to deal with new trade environment because they are beginning to make purchasing decisions for the spring season. American buyers don’t want to start ordering merchandise from a certain country, only to find out later that the government has changed its mind and instituted trade barriers to protect domestic producers.
COAC unanimously recommended that Customs maintain a quota-preprocessing program after the phase out of quotas because several non-World Trade Organization countries did not sign on to the trade agreement and still will be subject to quotas and visas. Companies that need Customs advice on how to fill out paperwork to make sure they stay within quota for a particular product can prefile their entries. Labuda said she didn’t foresee any problems with extending preprocessing.
Sandra Fallgatter, who represents J.C. Penney on COAC, praised Customs for creating a Frequently Asked Questions section on its Web site that gives guidance on how CBP is approaching quota-related issues.