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US to remove 101 agricultural products from GSP

Agricultural commodities affected by HTS modifications last year reached a total import value of USD195.37 millions

This article is powered by Foodnews

The latest modification to the list of agricultural products eligible for duty-free treatment under the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) removed 101 agricultural commodities, mainly from India, Thailand, Turkey, Argentina Ukraine and Brazil.

“I have determined that in 2017 certain beneficiary developing countries exported eligible articles in quantities exceeding the applicable competitive-need limitations. I hereby terminate the duty-free treatment for such articles from such beneficiary developing countries,” US president Donald Trump stated in October 31.

From November 1, main agricultural commodities covered by IEG Vu no longer eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP anymore are:

Fresh

Durian from Thailand is the only fresh product affected by this modification. Last year, 919 tonnes of the product – around the average of the last decade – were imported, of which 98.8% came from Thailand with a value of USD5.0 mln.

Frozen and provisionally preserved

Imports of frozen uncooked or cooked tomatoes from Turkey – key traditional supplier to the US – under the tariff code HS 0710805000: 88.36% of total US imports (1,959 tonnes) came from Turkey. Average import volume from Turkey in the last decade is 1,131 tonnes.

Provisionally preserved cucumbers, including gherkins, but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption under the HS code 0711400000 from India: last year the US imported 10,670 tonnes of this product, of which 97.25% came from India – close to the average of the last decade. Import value last year totalled USD8.3 mln.

Canned sweetcorn from Thailand HS 200580: around 6,000 tonnes were imported last year with value of USD5.5 mln. The US is not a big importer of this product as it itself is one of the key global producing countries of sweetcorn.

Indian mangoes, prepared by vinegar under the code HS 200190450: the US imported 209 tonnes (66%) from India, worth USD0.3 mln, followed by El Salvador and Guatemala.

Prepared papaya, except pulp (HS 20089950) from Thailand, of which imports last year reached 2,721 tonnes (68% of the total), valued at USD6.6 mln.

Dried fruit and nuts

Dried papaya imports to the US from Thailand (HS 0813401000), that last year reached 935 tonnes (84.7% of total imported volume) with value USD2.4 mln. China and Sri Lanka followed with 107 tonnes and 60 tonnes respectively.

Dried tamarind imports from Thailand (HS 0813408000), that last year totalled 883 tonnes (USD3.1 mln), followed by Mexico with 746 tonnes and India with 377 tonnes.

Blanched peanuts imports from Argentina (HS 20081125), that last year reached 12,121 tonnes (USD9.3 mln), followed by China with 3,800 tonnes. "Argentina is one of the main global peanut origins and has suffered a deep drop in production to under 600,000 kernel tonnes in 2018, pushing up international prices. It has previously enjoyed the inclusion of its honey crop under US GSP, but it has not had a clear effect in prices," IEG Vu analyst Jose Gutierrez added.

Fresh or dried areca nuts in shell (HS 0802801000) from India, from where the US imported 344 tonnes (100% of total imports and USD1.4 mln worth).

Dried shelled pigeon peas “cajanus cajan” (HS 071360) from India: the US last year imported 7,083 tonnes of which 77.26% came from India (USD8.3 mln).

Juices

Ukrainian cherry juice imports under the HS code 20098960 have been removed from the GSP and the heading related to fruit juices HS 2009 has been modified with two new additions — 2009 89 65 and 2009 89 70 — with imports from Turkey and Ukraine not eligible for the duty-free treatment anymore.

The US last year imported 320.73 million litres of fruit juice (HS 200989), of which 19.4 (6%) was from Turkey and 297,698 (0.09%) from Ukraine, valued at USD27.8 mln and USD0.23 mln, respectively.

Essential oils

Argentinian citrus essential oils (HS 33011300), which last year had a 57.86% share (3,233 tonnes) of total US imports, was also included in the list of country products withdrawn from the GSP beneficiary system from November 1. Its value totalled USD111.6 million last year.

Argentina is the top citrus oil supplier in the world – last year exports totalled 5,550 tonnes –and the US is the top citrus oil importer with last year’s volumes totaling 4,000 tonnes. Supplier countries to the US that follow Argentina – reinstated to the GSP program in January 1, 2018 – are Canada (7.7%), Brazil (4.2%), South Africa (3.6%) and China (2.0%).

 

The whole list of modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the US can be found here.

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