Imports of Certain Apparel Articles: Interim Procedures for the Implementation of the Earned Import Allowance Program Established Under the Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008, 3563-3566 [E9-1215]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 21, 2009 / Notices published for the most recent period; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise, which have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash–deposit rate will be the PRC– wide rate of 70.71 percent; and (4) for all non–PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not received their own rate, the cash–deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non–PRC exporter. These deposit requirements shall remain in effect until further notice. Notification to Interested Parties Comment 3B: Whether to Revoke Order in Part While the Circumvention Inquiry is Pending [FR Doc. E9–1106 Filed 1–16–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–423–808] Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium: Notice of Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Administrative Review This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during the review period. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.402(f)(3), failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties. This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (‘‘APO’’) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO as explained in the administrative protective order itself. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation. This notice of the final results of this administrative review is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act. AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. EFFECTIVE DATE: January 21, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joy Zhang or George McMahon at (202) 482–1168 and (202) 482–1167, respectively; AD/CVD Operations, Office 3, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230. Dated: January 12, 2009. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretaryfor Import Administration. Extension of Time Limits for Preliminary Results Section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to make a preliminary determination within 245 days after the last day of the anniversary month of an order or finding for which a review is requested. Section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act further states that if it is not practicable to complete the review within the time period specified, the administering authority may extend the 245–day period to issue its preliminary results by up to 120 days. We determine that completion of the preliminary results of this review within the 245-day period is not practicable for the following reasons. This review requires the Department to gather and Appendix mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES List of Comments and Issues in the Issues and Decision Memorandum Comment 1: Use of the Appropriate Financial Statements for Calculation of Surrogate Financial Ratios Comment 2: Use of Market Economy Purchase Prices for Certain New–Tec Factors of Production Comment 3A: Likelihood of Future Dumping as a Result of Raw Material Price Increases if the Order is Revoked, in Part VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:54 Jan 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 Background On July 1, 2008, the Department of Commerce (the ‘‘Department’’) initiated an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel plate in coils from Belgium with respect to Ugine & ALZ Belgium (‘‘U&A Belgium’’). See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, Request for Revocation in Part and Deferral of Administrative Review, 73 FR 37409 (July 1, 2008). The period of review (POR) is May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2008. The preliminary results of this review are currently due no later than January 31, 2009. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3563 analyze a significant amount of information pertaining to the company’s sales practices, manufacturing costs and corporate relationships, which is complicated due to recent changes in its corporate structure. Furthermore, the company subject to this review recently converted its accounting system, which resulted in a request for additional time to submit its questionnaire response to the Department. Given the number and complexity of issues in this case, and in accordance with section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, we are extending the time period for issuing the preliminary results of review by 120 days. Therefore, the preliminary results are now due no later than June 1, 2009. The final results continue to be due 120 days after publication of the preliminary results. We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(3)(A) and 777(i)(1) of the Act. Dated: January 13, 2009. Stephen J. Claeys, Deputy Assistant Secretaryfor Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. [FR Doc. E9–1114 Filed 1–16–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Imports of Certain Apparel Articles: Interim Procedures for the Implementation of the Earned Import Allowance Program Established Under the Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008 AGENCY: Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. ACTION: Interim Procedures, Request for Comments SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce is issuing interim procedures implementing provisions under the Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008 (‘‘the Act’’), enacted in its entirety by Congress on October 3, 2008. Section 2 of the Act contains amendments to Title IV of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Public Law 109-53; 119 Stat. 495). Under Section 2 of the Act, Title IV of the Dominican Republic-Central AmericaUnited States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act is amended by adding Section 404 of the Act creating a benefit for eligible apparel articles wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic that meet the requirements for a ‘‘2 for 1’’ earned import allowance. The amendment requires the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to E:\FR\FM\21JAN1.SGM 21JAN1 3564 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 21, 2009 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES provide earned import allowance certificates to any producer or entity controlling production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican Republic, such that apparel wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic from fabric or yarns, regardless of their source, and imported directly from the Dominican Republic may enter the United States duty-free, pursuant to the satisfaction of the terms governing issuance of the earned import allowance certificate by the producer or entity controlling production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican Republic. DATES: These interim procedures are effective as of December 1, 2008. Although these procedures are not subject to the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) (‘‘Administrative Procedures Act’’), Commerce will consider written comments received by 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2009. ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to: Janet Heinzen, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel, Room 3001, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Carrigg, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-2573. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BACKGROUND: The Department of Commerce is issuing interim procedures implementing Section 2 of the Act, which was enacted in its entirety by Congress on October 3, 2008. Section 2 of the Act contains amendments creating a benefit for apparel from the Dominican Republic in Title IV of the Dominican Republic-Central AmericaUnited States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Public Law 109-53; 119 Stat. 495). These amendments are also cited as the Earned Import Allowance Program. Under Section 404 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Title IV is amended by creating an uncapped benefit for eligible apparel articles wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic that meet the requirements for a ‘‘2 for 1’’ earned import allowance. The Act requires that the Secretary of Commerce establish an Earned Import Allowance program under Section Title IV such that eligible apparel articles wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic from fabrics or yarns and imported directly from the VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:54 Jan 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 Dominican Republic shall enter the United States free of duty, without regard to the source of the fabrics (not including denim), fabric components, or yarns from which the articles are made, if such apparel articles are accompanied by an earned import allowance certificate (‘‘certificate’’) that reflects the amount of credits equal to the total square meter equivalent (‘‘SME‘‘) of such apparel articles, in accordance with the program outlined below. The Secretary of Commerce has delegated his authority under the Act to implement and administer the Earned Import Allowance Program to the International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (‘‘OTEXA’’). This notice sets forth the interim procedures OTEXA will follow in implementing the provisions of the Earned Import Allowance Program. In accordance with these procedures, OTEXA will issue certificates to qualifying apparel producers to accompany imports of eligible apparel articles wholly formed in the Dominican Republic and exported from the Dominican Republic. Such certificates will be issued as long as there is a sufficient balance of SMEs available as a result of the purchase of qualifying woven fabrics, as defined below, intended for production of apparel in the Dominican Republic. OTEXA, promptly upon promulgation of these interim procedures, intends to begin the process of opening and administering qualifying apparel producers’ accounts to issue certificates as appropriate. These procedures may be modified in the future to address concerns that may arise as OTEXA gains experience in implementing them. Pursuant to the Secretary’s delegation of authority, OTEXA may reconsider, and/or subsequently amend any determination to deposit credits or request to issue certificates that may have been procured by error, fraud, or similar faults. Interim Procedures: 1. Introduction: OTEXA will issue a certificate to any producer or entity controlling production in the Dominican Republic (‘‘qualifying apparel producer’’) based on the following elements: (1) One SME credit shall be issued to a qualifying apparel producer for every two SMEs of qualifying woven fabric that the qualifying apparel producer can demonstrate that it purchased for the manufacture in the Dominican Republic of eligible apparel articles wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic. SME quantities are to be calculated by the use of the appropriate conversion factor, defined below. OTEXA shall, as PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requested by a qualifying apparel producer, create and maintain an account for such qualifying apparel producer, into which such credits shall be deposited. (2) Such qualifying apparel producer may redeem credits for certificates reflecting such number of credits as the qualifying apparel producer may request and has available. Requests for deposits of credits for purchases of qualifying woven fabrics as well as redemption of said credits for earned import allowance certificates will be made through a dedicated online system, known as the Dominican Republic 2 for 1 Earned Import Allowance Online System (‘‘DR 2 for 1 online system’’). 2. Definitions: a. The Act: The Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008. b. Conversion Factor: Conversion factors listed in ‘‘Correlation: U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry Category System with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States of America, 2008,’’ or its successor publications, of the United States Department of Commerce. c. Imported Directly from the Dominican Republic: Articles are ‘‘imported directly from the Dominican Republic’’ if (1) the articles are shipped directly from the Dominican Republic into the United States without passing into the territory of any intermediate country; or (2) the articles are shipped from the Dominican Republic into the United States through the territory of an intermediate country, and (A) the articles in the shipment do not enter into the commerce of any intermediate country, and the invoices, bills of lading, and other shipping documents specify the United States as the final destination; or (B) the invoices and other documents do not specify the United States as the final destination, but the articles in the shipment (i) remain under the control of the customs authority in the intermediate country; (ii) do not enter into the commerce of the intermediate country except for the purpose of a sale other than at retail; and (iii) have not been subjected to operations in the intermediate country other than loading, unloading, or other activities necessary to preserve the articles in good condition. d. Qualifying Apparel Producer: An individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other entity or group that exercises direct, daily operational E:\FR\FM\21JAN1.SGM 21JAN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 21, 2009 / Notices control over the apparel production process in the Dominican Republic; or an individual, corporation, partnership, association or other entity that is not a producer and that controls the apparel production process in the Dominican Republic through a contractual relationship or other indirect means. e. Qualifying Woven Fabric: For the purposes of these procedures, the term ‘‘qualifying woven fabric’’ means woven fabric of cotton, wholly formed in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States and certified by the producer or entity controlling production as being suitable for use in the manufacture of apparel items such as trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, skirts and divided skirts or pants, all the foregoing of cotton, purchased on or after August 1, 2007, expressly for production of apparel in the Dominican Republic, except that: (1) fabric otherwise eligible as qualifying woven fabric shall not be ineligible asqualifying woven fabric because the fabric contains nylon filament yarn to which Section 213(b)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (‘‘CBERA’’) applies; (2) fabric that would otherwise be ineligible as qualifying woven fabric because thefabric contains yarns not wholly formed in the United States shall not be ineligible as qualifying woven fabric if the total weight of all such yarns is not more than 10 percent of the total weight of the fabric, except that any elastomeric yarn contained in an eligible article must be wholly formed in the United States; and (3) fabric otherwise eligible as qualifying fabric shall not be ineligible as qualifying fabric because the fabric contains yarns or fibers that have been designated as not commercially available pursuant to(a) article 3.25(4) or Annex 3.25 of the Agreement; (b) Annex 401 of the North American Free Trade Agreement; (c) section 112(b)(5) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act; (d) section 204(b)(3)(B)(i)(III) or (ii) of the Andean Trade Preference Act; (e) section 213(b)(2)(A)(v) or 213A(b)(5)(A) of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act; or (f). any other provision, relating to determining whether a textile or apparel article is an originating good eligible for preferential treatment, of a law that implements a free trade agreement entered into by the United States that is in effect VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:54 Jan 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 at the time the claim for preferential treatment is made. f. Qualifying Apparel Articles: the term ‘eligible apparel articles’ means the following articles classified in chapter 62 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (and meeting the requirements of the rules relating to chapter 62 of the HTS contained in general note 29(n) of the HTS) of cotton (but not of denim): trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, skirts and divided skirts, and pants. g. Wholly Assembled: A good is ‘‘wholly assembled’’ in the Dominican Republic if all its components, of which there must be at least two, pre-existed in essentially the same condition as found in the finished good and were combined to form the finished good in the Dominican Republic. Minor attachments and minor embellishments (for example, ´ appliques, beads, spangles, embroidery, and buttons) not appreciably affecting the identity of the good, and minor subassemblies (for example, cuffs, plackets, and pockets), shall not affect the determination of whether a good is ‘‘wholly assembled’’ in the Dominican Republic. 3. Submitting a Request to Open an Account: A qualifying apparel producer, as defined in section 2(d) of these procedures, may request that OTEXA open an account to which records of purchases of qualifying woven fabric, as defined in section 2(e) of these procedures may be deposited toward a balance from which to draw certificates. Such request should be made online, via the DR 2 for 1 online system, located on the OTEXA website. In making a request to open an account, the qualifying apparel producer must provide: a. The full name and address of the qualifying apparel producer; b. All designated contacts and contact information, and any designees authorized to have access to the account; and c. A statement affirming the accuracy and authenticity of the information submitted to OTEXA. Once the application has been received by the DR 2 for 1 online system and reviewed and approved by OTEXA, the qualifying apparel producer will be assigned a unique user identification number, and a password to enable future access to its online account. The qualifying apparel producer may request to update contact and designee information in its account at any time through the DR 2 for 1 online system. 4. Submitting a Request to Deposit Credits. A qualifying apparel producer with an existing account may submit a request to deposit credits for purchases PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3565 of qualifying woven fabric. The request must contain the following information: a. The name of the qualifying apparel producer; b. A complete description of the qualifying woven fabric; c. The quantity, in SMEs, of the qualifying woven fabric; d. A statement that the qualifying woven fabric is intended for the production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican Republic; and e. Supporting documentation: documentation, which, in their totality includes: (1) the U.S. manufacturer of the qualifying woven fabric; (2) the full description of the fabric in question, including any non-U.S. components or inputs and their manufacturer; (3) the name of the qualifying apparel producer as the ultimate consignee; and (4) that the fabric purchased is intended for production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican Republic. f. An affirmation from the qualifying apparel producer as to the accuracy and authenticity of the information provided. The request must be submitted via the DR 2 for 1 online system. All supporting documentation must be submitted either electronically via the DR 2 for 1 online system, or via fax to 202-482-0858 or 202-482-0667. OTEXA will review the request and supporting documentation and shall make a determination whether to approve or deny the request to deposit credits. Should there be insufficient information with which to make a determination, OTEXA may request additional information from the qualifying apparel producer, the manufacturer of the fabric at issue, or any other entity identified in supporting documentation, as provided by section 6. 5. Submitting a Request for an Earned Income Allowance Certificate. A qualifying apparel producer may request the issuance of a certificate via the DR 2 for 1 online system. The qualifying apparel producer must log on to the DR 2 for 1 online system to access its account, and submit a request to redeem credits and be issued a certificate. As long as there are sufficient credits available, a certificate will be automatically generated by the DR 2 for 1 online system, and the credits will be automatically withdrawn from the qualifying apparel producer’s account. If there are insufficient credits in the qualifying apparel producer’s account, the request for a certificate will automatically be denied by the DR 2 for 1 online system. E:\FR\FM\21JAN1.SGM 21JAN1 3566 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 21, 2009 / Notices 6. Verification of Submitted Information. OTEXA may, at any time, verify the information submitted by a qualifying apparel producer or its designee. OTEXA may require any textile mill or other entity located in the United States that exports to the Dominican Republic qualifying woven fabric, upon such export or upon request, documentation to OTEXA: (a) verifying that the qualifying woven fabric was exported to a producer in the Dominican Republic or to an entity controlling production; and (b) identifying such producer or entity controlling production, and the quantity and description of qualifying woven fabric exported to such producer or entity controlling production. OTEXA may also require that a producer or entity controlling production submit documentation to verify purchases of qualifying woven fabric. OTEXA may make available to each person or entity identified in documentation submitted under these provisions information contained in the documentation that relates to the purchase of qualifying woven fabric involving such person or entity. OTEXA may establish and impose penalties for the submission to OTEXA of fraudulent information under this program, other than a claim under the customs laws of the United States or under title 18, United States Code. 7. Contact Information: Questions regarding the Earned Import Allowance program or the DR 2 for 1 online system may contact OTEXA via email at OTEXAlDR2for1@mail.doc.gov, or by phone to the Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3400. Dated: January 15, 2009. R. Matthew Priest, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel. [FR Doc. E9–1215 Filed 1–15–09; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–DS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the recovery plan for the 18:54 Jan 16, 2009 Jkt 217001 The final plan is provided on NMFS’ Protected Resources Internet Web site at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/recovery/plans.htm. Requests for a copy of the recovery plan may be submitted to the Smalltooth Sawfish Plan Coordinator at: NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shelley Norton at (727) 824–5312, or by e-mail at shelley.norton@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Congress passed the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) to protect species of plants and animals in danger of extinction. NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) share responsibility for the administration of the ESA. NMFS is responsible for most endangered and threatened marine species, including the U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). Listed endangered or threatened species under NMFS jurisdiction are identified in 50 CFR 224.101(a) and 50 CFR 223.102, respectively. The List of Endangered and Threatened Species, which contains species under the jurisdiction of both agencies, is provided in 50 CFR 17.11(h). The U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish is listed as endangered. Section 4(f)(1) of the ESA requires that recovery plans be developed and implemented for the conservation and survival of endangered and threatened species, unless such plans would not promote the conservation of the species. A plan was prepared at the request of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries to promote the recovery of smalltooth sawfish. Summary of Comments Received RIN 0648–XM75 VerDate Nov<24>2008 U.S. Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Below we address the comments received pertaining to the Draft Smalltooth Sawfish Recovery Plan (Plan) published August 28, 2006. In response to our request for public comments, we received over 6,000 written responses to the Plan. The majority of the responses expressed general support for the Plan. Five commenting agencies and 3 scientific peer reviewers provided more specific comments. Responses to specific comments are provided below. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Peer Review Comments Comment 1: A commenter suggested the use of circle hooks for recreational fishers as a means to reduce bycatch. Additionally, another commenter stated that studies on post-release mortality should be a higher priority. Response: Action 1.1.5 recommends investigating fishing devices such as circle hooks that may reduce the capture, injury, and mortality of smalltooth sawfish in recreational fisheries. NMFS agrees with the commenter who stated we should make studies on post-release mortality a higher priority. NMFS changed the priority numbers of Action 1.1.3 from a priority 2 to a priority 1 because new data on related species indicates the use of circle hooks may decrease postrelease mortality. Comment 2: A commenter noted the need to develop systematic sampling programs. Additionally, a commenter stated NMFS should plan for long-term monitoring and tagging of animals. Response: Action Items 3.2 and 3.4 identify the need for surveys and NMFS is currently developing the specific sampling design programs to accomplish our recovery goals. The Plan also plans for long-term monitoring (Action 3.2.4) and tagging (Action 3.1.2) of animals to monitor the recovery process. Comment 3: A commenter suggested allowing additional permits for nondirected research to allow tagging of and release of captured animals. Response: Researchers working within the range of smalltooth sawfish and with gears that may incidentally capture the species can apply for an ESA permit to tag smalltooth sawfish. Researchers who are required to obtain an ESA permit for work on other federally endangered or threatened species may request authorization from NMFS to tag incidentally caught smalltooth sawfish. Comment 4: A commenter stated that NMFS needs to have a long-term commitment to surveying and tagging smalltooth sawfish. Response: The Plan looks forward 100 years and includes actions and budgeting requirements for the implementation of all Action Items, including surveying and tagging of smalltooth sawfish. Comment 5: A commenter questioned the ability to detect increases in catch per unit effort (CPUE) data for the abundance criterion for juveniles in Objective 3. Response: NMFS is currently developing randomized, stratified survey methodologies that will detect E:\FR\FM\21JAN1.SGM 21JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 12 (Wednesday, January 21, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3563-3566]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-1215]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration


Imports of Certain Apparel Articles: Interim Procedures for the 
Implementation of the Earned Import Allowance Program Established Under 
the Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008

AGENCY: Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

ACTION: Interim Procedures, Request for Comments

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce is issuing interim procedures 
implementing provisions under the Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008 
(``the Act''), enacted in its entirety by Congress on October 3, 2008. 
Section 2 of the Act contains amendments to Title IV of the Dominican 
Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement 
Implementation Act (Public Law 109-53; 119 Stat. 495). Under Section 2 
of the Act, Title IV of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United 
States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act is amended by adding 
Section 404 of the Act creating a benefit for eligible apparel articles 
wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic that meet the requirements 
for a ``2 for 1'' earned import allowance. The amendment requires the 
Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to

[[Page 3564]]

provide earned import allowance certificates to any producer or entity 
controlling production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican 
Republic, such that apparel wholly assembled in the Dominican Republic 
from fabric or yarns, regardless of their source, and imported directly 
from the Dominican Republic may enter the United States duty-free, 
pursuant to the satisfaction of the terms governing issuance of the 
earned import allowance certificate by the producer or entity 
controlling production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican 
Republic.

DATES: These interim procedures are effective as of December 1, 2008. 
Although these procedures are not subject to the requirement to provide 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(A) (``Administrative Procedures Act''), Commerce will consider 
written comments received by 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to: Janet Heinzen, Acting 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel, Room 3001, United 
States Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Carrigg, Office of Textiles and 
Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-2573.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

BACKGROUND:

    The Department of Commerce is issuing interim procedures 
implementing Section 2 of the Act, which was enacted in its entirety by 
Congress on October 3, 2008. Section 2 of the Act contains amendments 
creating a benefit for apparel from the Dominican Republic in Title IV 
of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade 
Agreement Implementation Act (Public Law 109-53; 119 Stat. 495). These 
amendments are also cited as the Earned Import Allowance Program.
    Under Section 404 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United 
States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Title IV is amended by 
creating an uncapped benefit for eligible apparel articles wholly 
assembled in the Dominican Republic that meet the requirements for a 
``2 for 1'' earned import allowance. The Act requires that the 
Secretary of Commerce establish an Earned Import Allowance program 
under Section Title IV such that eligible apparel articles wholly 
assembled in the Dominican Republic from fabrics or yarns and imported 
directly from the Dominican Republic shall enter the United States free 
of duty, without regard to the source of the fabrics (not including 
denim), fabric components, or yarns from which the articles are made, 
if such apparel articles are accompanied by an earned import allowance 
certificate (``certificate'') that reflects the amount of credits equal 
to the total square meter equivalent (``SME``) of such apparel 
articles, in accordance with the program outlined below. The Secretary 
of Commerce has delegated his authority under the Act to implement and 
administer the Earned Import Allowance Program to the International 
Trade Administration's Office of Textiles and Apparel (``OTEXA'').
    This notice sets forth the interim procedures OTEXA will follow in 
implementing the provisions of the Earned Import Allowance Program. In 
accordance with these procedures, OTEXA will issue certificates to 
qualifying apparel producers to accompany imports of eligible apparel 
articles wholly formed in the Dominican Republic and exported from the 
Dominican Republic. Such certificates will be issued as long as there 
is a sufficient balance of SMEs available as a result of the purchase 
of qualifying woven fabrics, as defined below, intended for production 
of apparel in the Dominican Republic. OTEXA, promptly upon promulgation 
of these interim procedures, intends to begin the process of opening 
and administering qualifying apparel producers' accounts to issue 
certificates as appropriate.
    These procedures may be modified in the future to address concerns 
that may arise as OTEXA gains experience in implementing them. Pursuant 
to the Secretary's delegation of authority, OTEXA may reconsider, and/
or subsequently amend any determination to deposit credits or request 
to issue certificates that may have been procured by error, fraud, or 
similar faults.
Interim Procedures:
1. Introduction: OTEXA will issue a certificate to any producer or 
entity controlling production in the Dominican Republic (``qualifying 
apparel producer'') based on the following elements: (1) One SME credit 
shall be issued to a qualifying apparel producer for every two SMEs of 
qualifying woven fabric that the qualifying apparel producer can 
demonstrate that it purchased for the manufacture in the Dominican 
Republic of eligible apparel articles wholly assembled in the Dominican 
Republic. SME quantities are to be calculated by the use of the 
appropriate conversion factor, defined below. OTEXA shall, as requested 
by a qualifying apparel producer, create and maintain an account for 
such qualifying apparel producer, into which such credits shall be 
deposited. (2) Such qualifying apparel producer may redeem credits for 
certificates reflecting such number of credits as the qualifying 
apparel producer may request and has available. Requests for deposits 
of credits for purchases of qualifying woven fabrics as well as 
redemption of said credits for earned import allowance certificates 
will be made through a dedicated on-line system, known as the Dominican 
Republic 2 for 1 Earned Import Allowance Online System (``DR 2 for 1 
online system'').
2. Definitions:
a. The Act: The Andean Trade Preference Act of 2008.
b. Conversion Factor: Conversion factors listed in ``Correlation: U.S. 
Textile and Apparel Industry Category System with the Harmonized Tariff 
Schedule of the United States of America, 2008,'' or its successor 
publications, of the United States Department of Commerce.
c. Imported Directly from the Dominican Republic: Articles are 
``imported directly from the Dominican Republic'' if -
(1) the articles are shipped directly from the Dominican Republic into 
the United States without passing into the territory of any 
intermediate country; or
(2) the articles are shipped from the Dominican Republic into the 
United States through the territory of an intermediate country, and -
(A) the articles in the shipment do not enter into the commerce of any 
intermediate country, and the invoices, bills of lading, and other 
shipping documents specify the United States as the final destination; 
or
(B) the invoices and other documents do not specify the United States 
as the final destination, but the articles in the shipment -
    (i) remain under the control of the customs authority in the 
intermediate country;
    (ii) do not enter into the commerce of the intermediate country 
except for the purpose of a sale other than at retail; and
    (iii) have not been subjected to operations in the intermediate 
country other than loading, unloading, or other activities necessary to 
preserve the articles in good condition.
d. Qualifying Apparel Producer: An individual, corporation, 
partnership, association, or other entity or group that exercises 
direct, daily operational

[[Page 3565]]

control over the apparel production process in the Dominican Republic; 
or an individual, corporation, partnership, association or other entity 
that is not a producer and that controls the apparel production process 
in the Dominican Republic through a contractual relationship or other 
indirect means.
e. Qualifying Woven Fabric: For the purposes of these procedures, the 
term ``qualifying woven fabric'' means woven fabric of cotton, wholly 
formed in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United 
States and certified by the producer or entity controlling production 
as being suitable for use in the manufacture of apparel items such as 
trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, skirts and 
divided skirts or pants, all the foregoing of cotton, purchased on or 
after August 1, 2007, expressly for production of apparel in the 
Dominican Republic, except that:
(1) fabric otherwise eligible as qualifying woven fabric shall not be 
ineligible asqualifying woven fabric because the fabric contains nylon 
filament yarn to which Section 213(b)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) of the Caribbean 
Basin Economic Recovery Act (``CBERA'') applies;
(2) fabric that would otherwise be ineligible as qualifying woven 
fabric because thefabric contains yarns not wholly formed in the United 
States shall not be ineligible as qualifying woven fabric if the total 
weight of all such yarns is not more than 10 percent of the total 
weight of the fabric, except that any elastomeric yarn contained in an 
eligible article must be wholly formed in the United States; and
(3) fabric otherwise eligible as qualifying fabric shall not be 
ineligible as qualifying fabric because the fabric contains yarns or 
fibers that have been designated as not commercially available pursuant 
to--
(a) article 3.25(4) or Annex 3.25 of the Agreement;
(b) Annex 401 of the North American Free Trade Agreement;
(c) section 112(b)(5) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act;
(d) section 204(b)(3)(B)(i)(III) or (ii) of the Andean Trade Preference 
Act;
(e) section 213(b)(2)(A)(v) or 213A(b)(5)(A) of the Caribbean Basin 
Economic Recovery Act; or
(f). any other provision, relating to determining whether a textile or 
apparel article is an originating good eligible for preferential 
treatment, of a law that implements a free trade agreement entered into 
by the United States that is in effect at the time the claim for 
preferential treatment is made.
f. Qualifying Apparel Articles: the term `eligible apparel articles' 
means the following articles classified in chapter 62 of the Harmonized 
Tariff System of the United States (and meeting the requirements of the 
rules relating to chapter 62 of the HTS contained in general note 29(n) 
of the HTS) of cotton (but not of denim): trousers, bib and brace 
overalls, breeches and shorts, skirts and divided skirts, and pants.
g. Wholly Assembled: A good is ``wholly assembled'' in the Dominican 
Republic if all its components, of which there must be at least two, 
pre-existed in essentially the same condition as found in the finished 
good and were combined to form the finished good in the Dominican 
Republic. Minor attachments and minor embellishments (for example, 
appliqu[eacute]s, beads, spangles, embroidery, and buttons) not 
appreciably affecting the identity of the good, and minor subassemblies 
(for example, cuffs, plackets, and pockets), shall not affect the 
determination of whether a good is ``wholly assembled'' in the 
Dominican Republic.
3. Submitting a Request to Open an Account: A qualifying apparel 
producer, as defined in section 2(d) of these procedures, may request 
that OTEXA open an account to which records of purchases of qualifying 
woven fabric, as defined in section 2(e) of these procedures may be 
deposited toward a balance from which to draw certificates. Such 
request should be made online, via the DR 2 for 1 online system, 
located on the OTEXA website. In making a request to open an account, 
the qualifying apparel producer must provide:
a. The full name and address of the qualifying apparel producer;
b. All designated contacts and contact information, and any designees 
authorized to have access to the account; and
c. A statement affirming the accuracy and authenticity of the 
information submitted to OTEXA.
    Once the application has been received by the DR 2 for 1 online 
system and reviewed and approved by OTEXA, the qualifying apparel 
producer will be assigned a unique user identification number, and a 
password to enable future access to its online account. The qualifying 
apparel producer may request to update contact and designee information 
in its account at any time through the DR 2 for 1 online system.
4. Submitting a Request to Deposit Credits. A qualifying apparel 
producer with an existing account may submit a request to deposit 
credits for purchases of qualifying woven fabric. The request must 
contain the following information:
a. The name of the qualifying apparel producer;
b. A complete description of the qualifying woven fabric;
c. The quantity, in SMEs, of the qualifying woven fabric;
d. A statement that the qualifying woven fabric is intended for the 
production of eligible apparel articles in the Dominican Republic; and
e. Supporting documentation: documentation, which, in their totality 
includes:
(1) the U.S. manufacturer of the qualifying woven fabric;
(2) the full description of the fabric in question, including any non-
U.S. components or inputs and their manufacturer;
(3) the name of the qualifying apparel producer as the ultimate 
consignee; and
(4) that the fabric purchased is intended for production of eligible 
apparel articles in the Dominican Republic.
f. An affirmation from the qualifying apparel producer as to the 
accuracy and authenticity of the information provided.
    The request must be submitted via the DR 2 for 1 online system. All 
supporting documentation must be submitted either electronically via 
the DR 2 for 1 online system, or via fax to 202-482-0858 or 202-482-
0667. OTEXA will review the request and supporting documentation and 
shall make a determination whether to approve or deny the request to 
deposit credits. Should there be insufficient information with which to 
make a determination, OTEXA may request additional information from the 
qualifying apparel producer, the manufacturer of the fabric at issue, 
or any other entity identified in supporting documentation, as provided 
by section 6.
5. Submitting a Request for an Earned Income Allowance Certificate. A 
qualifying apparel producer may request the issuance of a certificate 
via the DR 2 for 1 online system. The qualifying apparel producer must 
log on to the DR 2 for 1 online system to access its account, and 
submit a request to redeem credits and be issued a certificate. As long 
as there are sufficient credits available, a certificate will be 
automatically generated by the DR 2 for 1 online system, and the 
credits will be automatically withdrawn from the qualifying apparel 
producer's account. If there are insufficient credits in the qualifying 
apparel producer's account, the request for a certificate will 
automatically be denied by the DR 2 for 1 online system.

[[Page 3566]]

6. Verification of Submitted Information. OTEXA may, at any time, 
verify the information submitted by a qualifying apparel producer or 
its designee. OTEXA may require any textile mill or other entity 
located in the United States that exports to the Dominican Republic 
qualifying woven fabric, upon such export or upon request, 
documentation to OTEXA: (a) verifying that the qualifying woven fabric 
was exported to a producer in the Dominican Republic or to an entity 
controlling production; and (b) identifying such producer or entity 
controlling production, and the quantity and description of qualifying 
woven fabric exported to such producer or entity controlling 
production. OTEXA may also require that a producer or entity 
controlling production submit documentation to verify purchases of 
qualifying woven fabric. OTEXA may make available to each person or 
entity identified in documentation submitted under these provisions 
information contained in the documentation that relates to the purchase 
of qualifying woven fabric involving such person or entity. OTEXA may 
establish and impose penalties for the submission to OTEXA of 
fraudulent information under this program, other than a claim under the 
customs laws of the United States or under title 18, United States 
Code.
7. Contact Information: Questions regarding the Earned Import Allowance 
program or the DR 2 for 1 online system may contact OTEXA via email at 
OTEXA_DR2for1@mail.doc.gov, or by phone to the Office of Textiles and 
Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3400.

Dated: January 15, 2009.
R. Matthew Priest,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel.
[FR Doc. E9-1215 Filed 1-15-09; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS