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U.S. Sets New Limits On Duty-Free Apparel Imports From Haiti

The U.S. Department of Commerce has set a new twelve-month limit on the number of apparel imports from Haiti eligible for duty free privileges in 2014 under the Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership for Encouragement Act (HOPE).

HOPE provides for duty-free treatment on certain apparel products imported directly from Haiti and requires that the quantitative limitation be recalculated every year. Under the “value added” program of the act, apparel articles have to be wholly assembled or knit to shape in Haiti with some additional provisions regarding the declared customs value.

The new limit set by the International Trade Administration will take effect from tomorrow and extend to December 19, 2014. Haiti will be allowed to import 322,629,971 square meter equivalents (SME) of apparel and anything surpassing that cap will be subject to otherwise applicable tariffs.

The U.S. imported 259.8 million SME of apparel and textile goods from Haiti year-to-date as of October 2013, up 17.6% from 220.8 million at the same time in 2012, according to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).