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1.

BACKGROUND
Liberian made textile and apparel articles can be exported into the US free of duty under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). To receive that preference, the importer in the US needs to provide to the US Customs a n original commercial invoice that has been stamped with the AGOA VISA. Below is a sample imprint of the AGOA VISA:

The Government of Liberia (GOL) put in place legislation implementing the local requirements of the AGOA VISA. That legislation is the AGOA Textile Visa Regulations of 2011 . The Regulations came into effect 13 January 2011. Liberia s AGOA apparel visa system was formally approved on 8 February 2011.

2. TYPES OF ARTICLES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE AGOA VISA


Below is a list of the 10 preferential groups of textile/apparel articles that qualify for AGOA duty free treatment under US law.

Grouping No. Grouping 1 (A)

Grouping 2 (B)

Official description of Grouping Apparel assembled from U.S. fabrics and/or knit-to-shape components, from U.S. yarns. All fabric must be cut in the United States. Apparel assembled from U.S. fabrics and/or knit-to-shape components, from U.S. yarns. All fabric must be cut in the United States. After assembly, the apparel is embroidered or subject to

What does it mean? US yarn/fabric. Cut in US, knit to shape

US yarn/fabric. Cut in US, knit to shape. Further processed (stonewashing, bleaching)

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Grouping 3 (C)

Grouping 4 (D)

Grouping 5 (E)

Grouping 6 (F) Grouping 7 (G)

Grouping 8 (H)

stone-washing, enzyme-washing, acid washing, perma-pressing, oven-baking, bleaching, garment-dyeing, screen printing, or other similar processes. Apparel assembled from U.S. fabrics and/or U.S. knit-to-shape components and/or U.S. and beneficiary country knit-to-shape components, from U.S. yarns and sewing thread. The U.S. fabrics may be cut in beneficiary countries, or in beneficiary countries and the United States. Apparel assembled from beneficiary country fabrics, and/or knit-to-shape components, from yarns originating either in the United States and/or one or more beneficiary countries. Apparel assembled or knit-to-shape and assembled, or both, in one or more lesser developed beneficiary countries regardless of the country of origin of the fabric or the yarn used to make such articles. Note: this group will expire in September 2012 unless extended by the US Government. Knit-to-shape sweaters in chief weight cashmere. Knit-to-shape sweaters 50 percent or more by weight of wool measuring 21.5 microns in diameter or finer. Apparel assembled from fabrics or yarns considered in short supply in the North American Free Trade Agreement or designated as not available in commercial quantities in the United States.

U.S. Yarn, Fabric & Thread, cut in Sub-Saharan Africa

U.S. or African Yarn, Fabric Made in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lesser Developed Countries (Liberia is one of them) can use fabric from any country

Cashmere Sweaters Merino Wool Sweaters

Exception for Yarns & Fabrics in Short Supply in the NAFTA region NAFTA short supply fabric: y Silk y Linen y Cotton Velveteen y Fine Wale Corduroy y Harris Tweed y Certain Woven Fabrics of Fine Animal Hair y Certain Lightweight, High Thread Count Polyester/Cotton Woven Fabrics y Certain Lightweight, High Thread Count Broadwoven Fabrics Used in the Production 1

Grouping 9 (I)

Grouping 0 (J)

of Men s or Boys Shirts Handloomed fabrics, handmade articles Handloomed, Handmade & made of handloomed fabrics, or textile Folklore Articles; Ethnic Print folklore articles as defined in bilateral Fabric consultations: Ethnic printed fabric. Textile products of a lesser developed Textile products of a lesser beneficiary sub-Saharan African developed beneficiary country country classifiable under chapters 50 (HTS chapters 50-60, 63), that are through 60, or 63 of the Harmonized wholly formed in one or more such Tariff Schedule of the United States, countries from fibers, yarns, that are wholly formed in one or more fabrics, fabric components or such countries from fibers, yarns, components knot-to-shape that fabrics, fabric components or are also the product of one more components knit-to-shape that are also such countries. the product of one or more such countries.

A SIMPLE EXPLANATI N F THE P

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APPLYING F

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3. APPLICATION FOR AN AGOA VISA


A request for a AGOA VISA will only be granted if the clothing articles and textiles being exported to the US is accompanied by a completed textile certificate of origin. Applications must first be submitted to the inistry of Commerce and Industry ( the Division of Foreign Trade) who will carry out a documentary check of the certificate of origin . The exporter needs to do/provide the following to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Division of Foreign Trade) a. Manufacturer of AGOA textiles/apparel registered specially with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (section 3 of Regulations) see section 4 below and Schedule 1. b. Certificate of origin (known as the AGOA Textile Certificate of Origin (CO)) completed and signed (section 4 of Regulations) - See section 5 below and CO form in Schedule 2. c. Original commercial invoice (section 6(a)(i) of Regulations) see section 6 below d. Original transport documents (eg. bill of lading, airway bill) (section 6(a)(1) of Regulations) e. Other export documents required by law (eg. EPD) (section 6(a)(1) of Regulations) If any of these documents bear any manuscript or typewritten alterations, the document shall not be accepted by the Ministry.

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4. FILLING

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5. FILLING OUT/CHEC ING A COMPLETE CE TIFICATE OF ORIGIN

1. The le l name and address (incl ding co ntry of the e orter.

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2. Legal name and address (incl ding co ntry of the manufacturer.

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3. Legal name and address of the U.S. importer

If there is more than one producer, attach a list stating the legal name and address (including country of all additional manufacturers.

If this information is confidential, it is acceptable to state available to Customs upon re uest in bloc 2. If the manufacturer and the e porter are the same, state same in bloc 2.

4. The number and/or letter that designates the preference group which applies to the article, according to the description contained in the US legal provision cited on the Certificate for that group. Eg. Group 1-

MANUFACTURER HAS TO BE REGISTERE (SEE SECTION 4 ABOVE

5. Full description of each article - the description should be sufficient to relate it to the invoice description and to the description of the article in the international armoni ed Tariff System ( TS . The US TS Code can also be inserted if known. Include the invoice number as shown on the commercial invoice or, if the invoice number is not known, include another uni ue reference number such as the shipping order number.

5. FILLING OUT/CHEC ING A COMPLETE CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN

6. Legal name and address (including country of the fabric producer.

NOTE : Blo k 6 through 10 mu t be completed only when the block in que tion call for information that i relevant to the prefer ence group identified in block 4

7. Legal name and address (including country of the yarn producer

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Insert ref. no. of commercial invoice 10. Use only if preference (see block group is 8" / 4). State the name of the fabric or yarn that is in short supply in the NAFTA, or that has been designated as not available in commercial ommquantities in they c s United States. 13. Tick yes if CO covers multiple shipment of identical articles. Identical articles means articles that are the same in all material respects, including physical characteristics, quality and reputation

9. State name of the te tile folklore article; or state that the article is handloomed fabric, handmade article made of handloomedM s y o fabrics o c y or ethnic printed fabric

8. Legal name and address of the U.S. thread producer

9 12. Insert quantity of the articles covered by the CO. Use corresponding unit of measure set out in schedule 3 below (eg. 12 do ens, or 15 pairs)

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5. FILLING OUT/CHEC ING A COMPLETE CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN

14. Signature of the e porter (if he is the manufacturer). If e porter is not the manufacturer, e porter may sign on the basis: a. of reasonable reliance on the producer s written representation that the article qualifies; or b. on a completed and signed certificate of origin from the manufacturer

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18. Date of application

19. Complete only if the certificate covers multiple shipment. Insert period the certificate should be valid for. MUST NOT EXCEED 12 MONT S

16. Name of person o c y M s yo signing

Director of Division of Foreign Trade (or his acting) signs and imprints Division of Foreign Trade s own stamp

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20. Contact details

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17. Title of person signing

Schedule 3 Quantity rules for AGOA VISA


a. All apparel will be reported in dozens , with minor exceptions. 1) men's, boys', women's and girls suits, will be reported in number of suits; 2) panty hose, tights, stockings, socks, other hosiery, gloves, mittens and mitts, all of which will be r eported in dozen pairs ; and 3) textile products classifiable under chapters 50 through 60, or 63 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) will be reported in the unit of measure as determined by the relevant HTS number. b. If there are different types of garments in the same shipment, the total quantity should be listed on the visa. For example, a two-piece jogging outfit consisting of 100 dozen tops and bottoms will be reported as 200 dozen. The only exceptions include suits in w hich the number of suits (not number of pieces) shall be reported, and apparel items normally sold in pairs (i.e., socks and gloves), which shall be reported in dozen pairs (not number of pieces). c. For items reported in dozens, the number shown wi ll be a whole number. If the quantity is less than one-half, then it may be rounded down (i.e. 4 dozen and 4 pieces would be 4 dozen); if the quantity is one-half or greater, then it will be rounded up (i.e. 4 dozen and 6 pieces, would be 5 dozen). If the quantity in the grouping is less than 1 dozen, even if it is less than a half -dozen, the quantity shown will always be 1 dozen (i.e. 3 pieces or 6 pieces will be reported as 1 dozen). This same method will be used for dozen pairs.

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