On December 20, 2016, the Federal Register published Proclamation 9555 of December 2016 – To Implement the Nepal Preference Program and for Other Purposes. Some of the modifications are needed to update the rules of origin in FTAs due to changes in the Harmonized System. The Proclamation modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTS) as follows:
- Implements the Nepal Preference Program authorized by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 by adding a new subdivision (e) to General Note (GN) 4 and a Special Program Indicator (SPI) “NP” for certain articles of Nepalese origin that are the growth, product or manufacture of Nepal imported directly into the customs territory of the U.S. and meet the requirements (35% direct cost of processing in Nepal, of which 15% may be U.S., other than simple combining or packaging operations or mere dilution that does not materially alter the characteristics). For textiles and apparel, Nepal must be the origin pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 102.21. The modifications to the HTS set forth above shall continue in effect through December 31, 2025;
- Modifies GN 16(a) and U.S. notes 1 and 2(d) to subchapter XIX of chapter 98, HTS to add “Central African Republic” as a beneficiary and lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country;
- Extends the Israel agriculture provisions in subchapter VIII of chapter 99, HTS to December 31, 2017 and adds the 2017 quantities to the U.S. Notes to subchapter VIII, pursuant to section 4(b) of the U.S.-Israel FTA Act – shall be effective with respect to eligible agricultural products of Israel that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after January 1, 2017.;
- Modifies the U.S.- Oman FTA rules of origin (GN 31, HTS). effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the later of (i) February 1, 2017, or (ii) the thirtieth day after the date of publication of this proclamation in the Federal Register;
- Modifies the U.S.-Panama TPA rules of origin (GN 35, HTS) – to enter into effect on the date, as announced by the United States Trade Representative in the Federal Register, that the conditions set forth in the Agreement have been fulfilled, and shall be effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after that date; and
- Modifies the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR FTA) rules of origin (GN 29, HTS) – to enter into effect on the date, as announced by the United States Trade Representative in the Federal Register, that the applicable conditions set forth in the CAFTA-DR have been fulfilled, and shall be effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after that date.