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What are the AGOA rules of origin criteria for products exported by SSA countries to the United States?


With respect to non-apparel products, the product must be the growth, product or manufacture of a beneficiary country, and an AGOA country must provide at least 35 percent value added in the course of the production process. Up to 15 percent of that 35 percent may be derived from U.S. parts or materials used to produce the product.

The rules of origin regarding apparel products vary with the product. As noted above, beneficiary countries must establish effective visa systems and institute required enforcement and verification procedures before any of their apparel exports to the United States can receive AGOA benefits. 

Specifically, AGOA extends duty-free and quota-free treatment to SSA apparel made from U.S. yarn and fabric and knit-to-shape sweaters made in the region from cashmere and some merino wools. AGOA also accords such benefits to SSA apparel made from yarns and fabrics not produced in commercial quantities in the United States, and to SSA products that are either hand loomed fabric, handmade goods of hand loomed fabric or folkloric items (as determined through consultations between the United States and the exporting SSA country). 

AGOA benefits are also extended to SSA apparel made from regional fabric and yarn. However, such products are subject to an annual cap by the United States. With the extension implemented by the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, the ceiling goes up every year to a cap of 7 percent of the U.S. apparel market by 2015. AGOA also provides a special provision in the cap that allows beneficiary countries with an annual Gross National Product of under $1,500, referred to as "lesser developed beneficiary countries" to use fabric inputs from any country until September 30, 2007.