U.S Code last checked for updates: Nov 28, 2021
§ 3721.
Treatment of certain textiles and apparel
(a)
Preferential treatment

Textile and apparel articles described in subsection (b) that are imported directly into the customs territory of the United States from a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country described in section 2466a(c) 1

1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title, shall enter the United States free of duty and free of any quantitative limitations in accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (b), if the country has satisfied the requirements set forth in section 3722 of this title.

(b)
Products covered
Subject to subsection (c), the preferential treatment described in subsection (a) shall apply only to the following textile and apparel products:
(1)
Apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries
Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabrics wholly formed and cut, or from components knit-to-shape, in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed and cut in the United States) that are—
(A)
entered under subheading 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States; or
(B)
entered under chapter 61 or 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, if, after such assembly, the articles would have qualified for entry under subheading 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States but for the fact that the articles were embroidered or subjected to stone-washing, enzyme-washing, acid washing, perma-pressing, oven-baking, bleaching, garment-dyeing, screen printing, or other similar processes.
(2)
Other apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries

Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries with thread formed in the United States from fabrics wholly formed in the United States and cut in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or from components knit-to-shape in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed in the United States).

(3)
Apparel articles from regional fabric or yarns
Apparel articles wholly assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabric wholly formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classified under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries), or from components knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both, or apparel articles wholly formed on seamless knitting machines in a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both, whether or not the apparel articles are also made from any of the fabrics, fabric components formed, or components knit-to-shape described in paragraph (1) or (2) (unless the apparel articles are made exclusively from any of the fabrics, fabric components formed, or components knit-to-shape described in paragraph (1) or (2)), subject to the following:
(A)
Limitations on benefits
(i)
In general

Preferential treatment under this paragraph shall be extended in the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2003, and in each of the 21 succeeding 1-year periods, to imports of apparel articles in an amount not to exceed the applicable percentage of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period for which data are available.

(ii)
Applicable percentage
For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “applicable percentage” means—
(I)
4.747 percent for the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2003, increased in each of the 5 succeeding 1-year periods by equal increments, so that for the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2007, the applicable percentage does not exceed 7 percent; and
(II)
for each succeeding 1-year period until September 30, 2025, not to exceed 7 percent.
(B)
Surge mechanism
(i)
Import monitoring

The Secretary of Commerce shall monitor imports of articles described in this paragraph on a monthly basis to determine if there has been a surge in imports of such articles. In order to permit public access to preliminary international trade data and to facilitate the early identification of potentially disruptive import surges, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget may grant an exception to the publication dates established for the release of data on United States international trade in covered articles, if the Director notifies Congress of the early release of the data.

(ii)
Determination of damage or threat thereof

(iii)
Factors to consider

In determining whether a domestic industry has been seriously damaged, or is threatened with serious damage, the Secretary shall examine the effect of the imports on relevant economic indicators such as domestic production, sales, market share, capacity utilization, inventories, employment, profits, exports, prices, and investment.

(iv)
Procedure
(I)
Initiation

The Secretary of Commerce shall initiate an inquiry within 10 days after receiving a written request and supporting information for an inquiry from an interested party. Notice of initiation of an inquiry shall be published in the Federal Register.

(II)
Participation by interested parties

The Secretary of Commerce shall establish procedures to ensure participation in the inquiry by interested parties.

(III)
Notice of determination

The Secretary shall publish the determination described in clause (ii) in the Federal Register.

(IV)
Information available

If relevant information is not available on the record or any party withholds information that has been requested by the Secretary, the Secretary shall make the determination on the basis of the facts available. When the Secretary relies on information submitted in the inquiry as facts available, the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, corroborate the information from independent sources that are reasonably available to the Secretary.

(v)
Interested party

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “interested party” means any producer of a like or directly competitive article, a certified union or recognized union or group of workers which is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale in the United States of a like or directly competitive article, a trade or business association representing producers or sellers of like or directly competitive articles, producers engaged in the production of essential inputs for like or directly competitive articles, a certified union or group of workers which is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale of essential inputs for the like or directly competitive article, or a trade or business association representing companies engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale of such essential inputs.

(4)
Sweaters knit-to-shape from cashmere or merino wool
(A)
Cashmere

Sweaters, in chief weight of cashmere, knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries and classifiable under subheading 6110.10 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

(B)
Merino wool

Sweaters, 50 percent or more by weight of wool measuring 21.5 microns in diameter or finer, knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.

(5)
Apparel articles wholly assembled from fabric or yarn not available in commercial quantities in the United States
(A)
In general

Apparel articles that are both cut (or knit-to-shape) and sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, to the extent that apparel articles of such fabrics or yarns would be eligible for preferential treatment, without regard to the source of the fabrics or yarns, under Annex 4–B of the USMCA.

(B)
Additional apparel articles
At the request of any interested party and subject to the following requirements, the President is authorized to proclaim the treatment provided under subparagraph (A) for yarns or fabrics not described in subparagraph (A) if—
(i)
the President determines that such yarns or fabrics cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner;
(ii)
the President has obtained advice regarding the proposed action from the appropriate advisory committee established under section 2155 of this title and the United States International Trade Commission;
(iii)
within 60 calendar days after the request, the President has submitted a report to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate that sets forth—
(I)
the action proposed to be proclaimed and the reasons for such action; and
(II)
the advice obtained under clause (ii);
(iv)
a period of 60 calendar days, beginning with the first day on which the President has met the requirements of subclauses (I) and (II) of clause (iii), has expired; and
(v)
the President has consulted with such committees regarding the proposed action during the period referred to in clause (iii).
(C)
Removal of designation of fabrics or yarns not available in commercial quantities

If the President determines that any fabric or yarn was determined to be eligible for preferential treatment under subparagraph (A) on the basis of fraud, the President is authorized to remove that designation from that fabric or yarn with respect to articles entered after such removal.

(6)
Handloomed, handmade, folklore articles and ethnic printed fabrics
(A)
In general

A handloomed, handmade, folklore article or an ethnic printed fabric of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or countries that is certified as such by the competent authority of such beneficiary country or countries. For purposes of this section, the President, after consultation with the beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or countries concerned, shall determine which, if any, particular textile and apparel goods of the country (or countries) shall be treated as being handloomed, handmade, or folklore articles or an ethnic printed fabric.

(B)
Requirements for ethnic printed fabric
Ethnic printed fabrics qualified under this paragraph are—
(i)
fabrics containing a selvedge on both edges, having a width of less than 50 inches, classifiable under subheading 5208.52.30 or 5208.52.40 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States;
(ii)
of the type that contains designs, symbols, and other characteristics of African prints—
(I)
normally produced for and sold on the indigenous African market; and
(II)
normally sold in Africa by the piece as opposed to being tailored into garments before being sold in indigenous African markets;
(iii)
printed, including waxed, in one or more eligible beneficiary sub-Saharan countries; and
(iv)
fabrics formed in the United States, from yarns formed in the United States, or from fabric formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African country from yarn originating in either the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.
(7)
Apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from United States and beneficiary sub-Saharan African country components

Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries with thread formed in the United States from components cut in the United States and one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabric wholly formed in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or from components knit-to-shape in the United States and one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States).

(8)
Textile articles originating entirely in one or more lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries

Textile and textile articles classifiable under chapters 50 through 60 or chapter 63 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States that are products of a lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country and are wholly formed in one or more such countries from fibers, yarns, fabrics, fabric components, or components knit-to-shape that are the product of one or more such countries.

(c)
Lesser developed countries
(1)
Preferential treatment of products through September 30, 2025
(A)
Products covered

In addition to the products described in subsection (b) 2

2
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.
the preferential treatment described in subsection (a) shall apply through September 30, 2025, to apparel articles wholly assembled, or knit-to-shape and wholly assembled, or both, in one or more lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, regardless of the country of origin of the fabric or the yarn used to make such articles, in an amount not to exceed the applicable percentage of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period for which data are available.

(B)
Applicable percentage
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “applicable percentage” means—
(i)
2.9285 percent for the 1-year period beginning on October 1, 2005; and
(ii)
3.5 percent for the 1-year period beginning on October 1, 2006, and each 1-year period thereafter through September 30, 2025.
(2)
Applicability of other provisions

Subsection (b)(3)(B) applies to apparel articles eligible for preferential treatment under this subsection to the same extent as that subsection applies to apparel articles eligible for preferential treatment under subsection (b)(3).

(3)
Definition
In this subsection, the term “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country” means—
(A)
a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country that had a per capita gross national product of less than $1,500 in 1998, as measured by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
(B)
Botswana;
(C)
Namibia; and
(D)
Mauritius.
(d)
Treatment of quotas on textile and apparel imports from Kenya and Mauritius
The President shall eliminate the existing quotas on textile and apparel articles imported into the United States—
(1)
from Kenya within 30 days after that country adopts an effective visa system to prevent unlawful transshipment of textile and apparel articles and the use of counterfeit documents relating to the importation of the articles into the United States; and
(2)
from Mauritius within 30 days after that country adopts such a visa system.
The Customs Service shall provide the necessary technical assistance to Kenya and Mauritius in the development and implementation of the visa systems.
(e)
Special rules
(1)
Findings and trimmings
(A)
General rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains findings or trimmings of foreign origin, if the value of such findings and trimmings do not exceed 25 percent of the cost of the components of the assembled article. Examples of findings and trimmings are sewing thread, hooks and eyes, snaps, buttons, “bow buds”, decorative lace trim, elastic strips, and zippers, including zipper tapes and labels. Elastic strips are considered findings or trimmings only if they are each less than 1 inch in width and used in the production of brassieres.

(B)
Certain interlinings
(i)
General rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains certain interlinings of foreign origin, if the value of such interlinings (and any findings and trimmings) does not exceed 25 percent of the cost of the components of the assembled article.

(ii)
Interlinings described

Interlinings eligible for the treatment described in clause (i) include only a chest type plate, a “hymo” piece, or “sleeve header”, of woven or weft-inserted warp knit construction and of coarse animal hair or man-made filaments.

(iii)
Termination of treatment

The treatment described in this subparagraph shall terminate if the President makes a determination that United States manufacturers are producing such interlinings in the United States in commercial quantities.

(C)
Exception

In the case of an article described in subsection (b)(2), sewing thread shall not be treated as findings or trimmings under subparagraph (A).

(2)
De minimis rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains fibers or yarns not wholly formed in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries if the total weight of all such fibers and yarns is not more than 10 percent of the total weight of the article.

(3)
Certain components
An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section will not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains—
(A)
any collars or cuffs (cut or knit-to-shape),
(B)
drawstrings,
(C)
shoulder pads or other padding,
(D)
waistbands,
(E)
belt attached to the article,
(F)
straps containing elastic, or
(G)
elbow patches,
that do not meet the requirements set forth in subsections (b) and (c), regardless of the country of origin of the item referred to in the applicable subparagraph of this paragraph.
(f)
Definitions
In this section and section 3722 of this title:
(1)
Agreement on textiles and clothing

The term “Agreement on Textiles and Clothing” means the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing referred to in section 3511(d)(4) of this title.

(2)
Beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, etc.

The terms “beneficiary sub-Saharan African country” and “beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries” have the same meaning as such terms have under section 2466a(c) of this title.

(3)
USMCA

The term “USMCA” has the meaning given that term in section 4502 of this title.

(4)
Former sub-Saharan African country

The term “former 3

3
 So in original. Probably should be followed by “beneficiary”.
sub-Saharan African country” means a country that, after being designated as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under this chapter 4
4
 See References in Text note below.
, ceased to be designated as such a beneficiary sub-Saharan country by reason of its entering into a free trade agreement with the United States.

(5)
Enter; entered

The terms “enter” and “entered” refer to the entry, or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption, in the customs territory of the United States.

(g)
Effective date

This section takes effect on October 1, 2000, and shall remain in effect through September 30, 2025.

(Pub. L. 106–200, title I, § 112, May 18, 2000, 114 Stat. 258; Pub. L. 107–210, div. C, title XXXI, § 3108(a), Aug. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 1038; Pub. L. 108–274, § 7(b)–(f), July 13, 2004, 118 Stat. 824–826; Pub. L. 108–429, title II, § 2004(k)(1), Dec. 3, 2004, 118 Stat. 2595; Pub. L. 109–432, div. D, title VI, §§ 6002–6004, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3190–3194; Pub. L. 110–436, § 3(a), (d), Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4980, 4981; Pub. L. 112–163, § 1(a), Aug. 10, 2012, 126 Stat. 1274; Pub. L. 114–27, title I, § 103(b), June 29, 2015, 129 Stat. 364; Pub. L. 116–260, div. O, title VI, § 602(a)(1), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2152.)
cite as: 19 USC 3721