U.S. CUSTOMS ISSUES RULE FOR EXPIRED ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCE ACT
U.S. Customs took an unusual step Friday by issuing a temporary rule which will allow importers of merchandise under the expired Andean Trade Preference Act to defer duty payments for the next 90 days.
The Andean Trade Preference Act was enacted under the first Bush administration on Dec. 4, 1991, and expired on Dec. 4. The trade benefits cover certain imports from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Customs said it expects the duty-free status for imports under the Andean Trade Preference Act to be restored soon, and there will be no need to extend the temporary rule beyond May 16.
“After consultation with the State Department, the Department of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and others, it has been determined that there is a national security interest to be furthered by an interim deferral of collection of estimated duties on merchandise from the Andean nations previously eligible for such treatment,” Customs said.
“The ATPA serves to help encourage and expand legitimate economic activities in countries combating illegal narcotic production and trafficking and related criminal and terrorist activities,” the agency added.