Country of Origin Marking of Products from the West Bank and Gaza, 83984-83985 [2020-28547]

Download as PDF 83984 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 247 / Wednesday, December 23, 2020 / Notices the estimated annual number of respondents. Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. Dated: December 17, 2020. Kathleen Claffie, Chief, Office of Privacy Management, U.S. Coast Guard. [FR Doc. 2020–28333 Filed 12–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP Dec. 20–19] Country of Origin Marking of Products from the West Bank and Gaza U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: General notice. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document notifies the public that, for country of origin marking purposes, imported goods produced in the West Bank, specifically in Area C under the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (the Oslo Accords), signed on September 28, 1995, and the area known as ‘‘H2’’ under the IsraeliPalestinian Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron and Related Documents (the Hebron Protocol), signed January 17, 1997, must be marked to indicate their origin as ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Product of Israel,’’ or ‘‘Made in Israel.’’ Goods produced in the West Bank, specifically in Areas A and B under the Oslo Accords and the area known as ‘‘H1’’ under the 1997 Hebron Protocol, must be marked to indicate their origin as ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Product of West Bank,’’ or ‘‘Made in West Bank.’’ Goods produced in Gaza must be marked to indicate their origin as ‘‘Gaza,’’ ‘‘Product of Gaza,’’ ‘‘Made in Gaza,’’ ‘‘Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘Product of Gaza Strip,’’ or ‘‘Made in Gaza Strip.’’ Imported goods from any of these territorial areas must not include ‘‘West Bank/Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza,’’ or words of similar meaning. DATES: The position set forth in this document is applicable as of December 23, 2020. A transition period will be granted for importers to implement marking consistent with this notice. Products from the West Bank or Gaza, when entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption into the United States after March 23, 2021, must be marked in accordance with the VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:21 Dec 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 position set forth in this notice, for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal matters, contact Yuliya A. Gulis, Chief, Food, Textiles and Marking Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, (202) 325–0042 or yuliya.a.gulis@cbp.dhs.gov. For policy matters, contact Margaret Gray, Chief, Trade Agreements Branch, Office of Trade, (202) 253–0927 or FTA@ cbp.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background on Guidance from the Department of State Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Failure to mark an article in accordance with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 shall result in the levy of a duty of ten percent ad valorem. Part 134 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. In Treasury Decision (T.D.) 95–25, published in the Federal Register on April 6, 1995 (60 FR 17607), the U.S. Customs Service (U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s predecessor agency) discussed the proper country of origin marking for imported goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Prior to the issuance of T.D. 95–25, the U.S. Customs Service had taken the position that, in order for the country of origin marking of a good which was produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip to be considered acceptable, the word ‘‘Israel’’ must appear in the marking designation. However, by letter dated October 24, 1994, the Department of State advised the Department of the Treasury that, in view of certain developments, principally the IsraeliPalestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed on September 13, 1993, the primary purpose of 19 U.S.C. 1304 would be best served if goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip were permitted to be marked ‘‘West Bank’’ or ‘‘Gaza Strip.’’ Accordingly, the U.S. Customs Service notified the public in T.D. 95–25 that, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in the West PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ or ‘‘Gaza Strip’’ in accordance with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR part 134, and shall not contain the words ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Made in Israel,’’ ‘‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’’ or words of similar meaning. Subsequently, by letter dated January 13, 1997, the Department of State advised the Department of the Treasury that the Palestinian Authority asked that the United States accept the country of origin marking ‘‘West Bank/Gaza’’ so as to reaffirm the territorial unity of the two areas. The Department of State further advised that it considers the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be one area for political, economic, legal and other purposes. Accordingly, the Department of State requested that the U.S. Customs Service accept the country of origin markings ‘‘West Bank/Gaza’’ and ‘‘West Bank and Gaza’’ for products from those areas, and that the U.S. Customs Service continue to accept the markings ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ and ‘‘Gaza Strip.’’ Based upon this advice, the U.S. Customs Service notified the public in T.D. 97– 16, published in the Federal Register on March 14, 1997 (62 FR 12269), that acceptable country of origin markings for imported goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip included the following: ‘‘West Bank/Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ and ‘‘Gaza Strip.’’ By letter dated December 1, 2020, the Department of State has now advised U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that there has been no further transfer of relevant authorities from Israel to the Palestinian Authority since issuance of the earlier guidance and Israel continues to exercise relevant authorities in areas of the West Bank. The Department of State further advised that it recognizes that Israel has disengaged from Gaza and that Gaza and the West Bank are politically and administratively separate and should be treated accordingly. In light of these developments, and consistent with the purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304 of providing important information to U.S. purchasers, the Department of State recommends that the country of origin marking requirements for goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza be updated as set forth below in Section C of this notice. B. Reliance upon Guidance From the Department of State In the past, CBP (formerly the U.S. Customs Service) has relied upon guidance received from the Department of State in making determinations E:\FR\FM\23DEN1.SGM 23DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 247 / Wednesday, December 23, 2020 / Notices regarding the ‘‘country of origin’’ of a good for marking purposes. As described in detail in Section A, the U.S. Customs Service relied on advice from the Department of State in issuing Treasury Decisions 95–25 and 97–16 pertaining to the country of origin marking of imported goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza. Accordingly, and consistent with prior decisions, CBP is relying upon advice from the Department of State for purposes of defining the term ‘‘country’’ within the meaning of 19 CFR 134.1(a). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES C. New Guidance from the Department of State and Transition Period Pursuant to the recent guidance from the Department of State, this document notifies the public that, for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304, the acceptable country of origin markings for imported goods produced in the territorial areas known as the West Bank or Gaza Strip consist of the following: • Goods produced in the territorial areas of the West Bank where Israel continues to exercise relevant authorities—specifically Area C under the Oslo Accords and the area known as ‘‘H2’’ which is under Israeli administrative control consistent with the 1997 Hebron protocol—must be marked as ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Product of Israel,’’ or ‘‘Made in Israel.’’ • Goods produced in Areas A and B under the Oslo Accords, which are under the civilian oversight of the Palestinian Authority for these purposes, along with the area known as ‘‘H1’’ from the 1997 Hebron Protocol, must be marked as ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Product of West Bank,’’ or ‘‘Made in West Bank.’’ • Goods produced in Gaza must be marked as ‘‘Gaza,’’ ‘‘Product of Gaza,’’ ‘‘Made in Gaza,’’ ‘‘Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘Product of Gaza Strip,’’ or ‘‘Made in Gaza Strip.’’ • Goods from any of these territorial areas must not be marked in conjunctive form, such as ‘‘West Bank/Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza,’’ or words of similar meaning. Given commercial realities, affected parties may need a transition period to implement marking consistent with the position announced in this notice. Therefore, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in the territorial areas known as the West Bank or Gaza Strip, which are entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption into the United States after March 23, 2021, must be marked in accordance with the position set forth above, for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304. VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:21 Dec 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 Dated: December 18, 2020. Brenda B. Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade. [FR Doc. 2020–28547 Filed 12–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2020–0016] Meeting To Implement Pandemic Response Voluntary Agreement Under Section 708 of the Defense Production Act Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. AGENCY: ACTION: Announcement of meeting. SUMMARY: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a series of meetings remotely via web conference to implement the Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond to a Pandemic. The first meeting took place on Monday, December 14, 2020, from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). The second meeting took place on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, from 2 to 4 p.m. ET. The third meeting took place on Friday, December 18, 2020, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Glenn, Office of Business, Industry, Infrastructure Integration, via email at OB3I@fema.dhs.gov or via phone at (202) 212–1666. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice of these meetings is provided as required by section 708(h)(8) of the Defense Production Act (DPA), 50 U.S.C. 4558(h)(8), and consistent with 44 CFR part 332. The DPA authorizes the making of ‘‘voluntary agreements and plans of action’’ with, among others, representatives of industry and business to help provide for the national defense.1 The President’s authority to facilitate voluntary agreements was delegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to responding to the spread of COVID–19 within the United States in Executive Order 13911.2 The Secretary of Homeland DATES: 1 50 2 85 PO 00000 U.S.C. 4558(c)(1). FR 18403 (Apr. 1, 2020). Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83985 Security has further delegated this authority to the FEMA Administrator.3 On August 17, 2020, after the appropriate consultations with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, FEMA completed and published in the Federal Register a ‘‘Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond to a Pandemic’’ (Voluntary Agreement).4 Unless terminated prior to that date, the Voluntary Agreement is effective until August 17, 2025, and may be extended subject to additional approval by the Attorney General after consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. The Agreement may be used to prepare for or respond to any pandemic, including COVID–19, during that time. On December 7, 2020, the first plan of action under the Voluntary Agreement—the Plan of Action to Establish a National Strategy for the Manufacture, Allocation, and Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Respond to COVID– 19 (Plan of Action)—was finalized.5 The Plan of Action established the Personal Protective Equipment Sub-Committee to Define COVID–19 PPE Requirements (Sub-Committee). The meetings covered by this notice were held by the Sub-Committee to implement the Voluntary Agreement. The meetings were chaired by the FEMA Administrator or his delegate, and attended by the Attorney General or his delegate and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission or his delegate. In implementing the Voluntary Agreement, FEMA adheres to all procedural requirements of 50 U.S.C. 4558 and 44 CFR part 332. Meeting Objectives: The objectives of the meetings were to: (1) Establish priorities for COVID–19 PPE under the Voluntary Agreement; (2) Identify the first tasks that should be completed under the Plan of Action; (3) Identify information gaps and areas that merit sharing (from both FEMA to private sector and vice versa); and 3 DHS Delegation 09052, Rev. 00.1 (Apr. 1, 2020); DHS Delegation Number 09052 Rev. 00 (Jan. 3, 2017). 4 85 FR 50035 (Aug. 17, 2020). The Attorney General, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, made the required finding that the purpose of the voluntary agreement may not reasonably be achieved through an agreement having less anticompetitive effects or without any voluntary agreement and published the finding in the Federal Register on the same day. 85 FR 50049 (Aug. 17, 2020). 5 See 85 FR 78869 (Dec. 7, 2020). See also 85 FR 79020 (Dec. 8, 2020). E:\FR\FM\23DEN1.SGM 23DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 23, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 83984-83985]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-28547]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

[CBP Dec. 20-19]


Country of Origin Marking of Products from the West Bank and Gaza

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: General notice.

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

SUMMARY: This document notifies the public that, for country of origin 
marking purposes, imported goods produced in the West Bank, 
specifically in Area C under the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement 
(the Oslo Accords), signed on September 28, 1995, and the area known as 
``H2'' under the Israeli-Palestinian Protocol Concerning Redeployment 
in Hebron and Related Documents (the Hebron Protocol), signed January 
17, 1997, must be marked to indicate their origin as ``Israel,'' 
``Product of Israel,'' or ``Made in Israel.'' Goods produced in the 
West Bank, specifically in Areas A and B under the Oslo Accords and the 
area known as ``H1'' under the 1997 Hebron Protocol, must be marked to 
indicate their origin as ``West Bank,'' ``Product of West Bank,'' or 
``Made in West Bank.'' Goods produced in Gaza must be marked to 
indicate their origin as ``Gaza,'' ``Product of Gaza,'' ``Made in 
Gaza,'' ``Gaza Strip,'' ``Product of Gaza Strip,'' or ``Made in Gaza 
Strip.'' Imported goods from any of these territorial areas must not 
include ``West Bank/Gaza,'' ``West Bank/Gaza Strip,'' ``West Bank and 
Gaza,'' or words of similar meaning.

DATES: The position set forth in this document is applicable as of 
December 23, 2020. A transition period will be granted for importers to 
implement marking consistent with this notice. Products from the West 
Bank or Gaza, when entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption 
into the United States after March 23, 2021, must be marked in 
accordance with the position set forth in this notice, for purposes of 
19 U.S.C. 1304.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal matters, contact Yuliya A. 
Gulis, Chief, Food, Textiles and Marking Branch, Regulations and 
Rulings, Office of Trade, (202) 325-0042 or [email protected]. 
For policy matters, contact Margaret Gray, Chief, Trade Agreements 
Branch, Office of Trade, (202) 253-0927 or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background on Guidance from the Department of State

    Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), 
provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its 
container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a 
conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature 
of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to 
indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English 
name of the country of origin of the article. Failure to mark an 
article in accordance with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 shall 
result in the levy of a duty of ten percent ad valorem. Part 134 of 
title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 134), 
implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 
19 U.S.C. 1304.
    In Treasury Decision (T.D.) 95-25, published in the Federal 
Register on April 6, 1995 (60 FR 17607), the U.S. Customs Service (U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection's predecessor agency) discussed the 
proper country of origin marking for imported goods produced in the 
West Bank or Gaza Strip. Prior to the issuance of T.D. 95-25, the U.S. 
Customs Service had taken the position that, in order for the country 
of origin marking of a good which was produced in the West Bank or Gaza 
Strip to be considered acceptable, the word ``Israel'' must appear in 
the marking designation. However, by letter dated October 24, 1994, the 
Department of State advised the Department of the Treasury that, in 
view of certain developments, principally the Israeli-Palestine 
Liberation Organization (PLO) Declaration of Principles on Interim 
Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed on September 13, 1993, 
the primary purpose of 19 U.S.C. 1304 would be best served if goods 
produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip were permitted to be marked 
``West Bank'' or ``Gaza Strip.'' Accordingly, the U.S. Customs Service 
notified the public in T.D. 95-25 that, unless excepted from marking, 
goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as ``West 
Bank,'' ``Gaza,'' or ``Gaza Strip'' in accordance with the requirements 
of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR part 134, and shall not contain the words 
``Israel,'' ``Made in Israel,'' ``Occupied Territories-Israel,'' or 
words of similar meaning.
    Subsequently, by letter dated January 13, 1997, the Department of 
State advised the Department of the Treasury that the Palestinian 
Authority asked that the United States accept the country of origin 
marking ``West Bank/Gaza'' so as to reaffirm the territorial unity of 
the two areas. The Department of State further advised that it 
considers the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be one area for political, 
economic, legal and other purposes. Accordingly, the Department of 
State requested that the U.S. Customs Service accept the country of 
origin markings ``West Bank/Gaza'' and ``West Bank and Gaza'' for 
products from those areas, and that the U.S. Customs Service continue 
to accept the markings ``West Bank,'' ``Gaza,'' and ``Gaza Strip.'' 
Based upon this advice, the U.S. Customs Service notified the public in 
T.D. 97-16, published in the Federal Register on March 14, 1997 (62 FR 
12269), that acceptable country of origin markings for imported goods 
produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip included the following: ``West 
Bank/Gaza,'' ``West Bank/Gaza Strip,'' ``West Bank and Gaza,'' ``West 
Bank and Gaza Strip,'' ``West Bank,'' ``Gaza,'' and ``Gaza Strip.''
    By letter dated December 1, 2020, the Department of State has now 
advised U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that there has been no 
further transfer of relevant authorities from Israel to the Palestinian 
Authority since issuance of the earlier guidance and Israel continues 
to exercise relevant authorities in areas of the West Bank. The 
Department of State further advised that it recognizes that Israel has 
disengaged from Gaza and that Gaza and the West Bank are politically 
and administratively separate and should be treated accordingly. In 
light of these developments, and consistent with the purposes of 19 
U.S.C. 1304 of providing important information to U.S. purchasers, the 
Department of State recommends that the country of origin marking 
requirements for goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza be updated as 
set forth below in Section C of this notice.

B. Reliance upon Guidance From the Department of State

    In the past, CBP (formerly the U.S. Customs Service) has relied 
upon guidance received from the Department of State in making 
determinations

[[Page 83985]]

regarding the ``country of origin'' of a good for marking purposes. As 
described in detail in Section A, the U.S. Customs Service relied on 
advice from the Department of State in issuing Treasury Decisions 95-25 
and 97-16 pertaining to the country of origin marking of imported goods 
produced in the West Bank or Gaza. Accordingly, and consistent with 
prior decisions, CBP is relying upon advice from the Department of 
State for purposes of defining the term ``country'' within the meaning 
of 19 CFR 134.1(a).

C. New Guidance from the Department of State and Transition Period

    Pursuant to the recent guidance from the Department of State, this 
document notifies the public that, for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304, the 
acceptable country of origin markings for imported goods produced in 
the territorial areas known as the West Bank or Gaza Strip consist of 
the following:
     Goods produced in the territorial areas of the West Bank 
where Israel continues to exercise relevant authorities--specifically 
Area C under the Oslo Accords and the area known as ``H2'' which is 
under Israeli administrative control consistent with the 1997 Hebron 
protocol--must be marked as ``Israel,'' ``Product of Israel,'' or 
``Made in Israel.''
     Goods produced in Areas A and B under the Oslo Accords, 
which are under the civilian oversight of the Palestinian Authority for 
these purposes, along with the area known as ``H1'' from the 1997 
Hebron Protocol, must be marked as ``West Bank,'' ``Product of West 
Bank,'' or ``Made in West Bank.''
     Goods produced in Gaza must be marked as ``Gaza,'' 
``Product of Gaza,'' ``Made in Gaza,'' ``Gaza Strip,'' ``Product of 
Gaza Strip,'' or ``Made in Gaza Strip.''
     Goods from any of these territorial areas must not be 
marked in conjunctive form, such as ``West Bank/Gaza,'' ``West Bank/
Gaza Strip,'' ``West Bank and Gaza,'' or words of similar meaning.
    Given commercial realities, affected parties may need a transition 
period to implement marking consistent with the position announced in 
this notice. Therefore, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in 
the territorial areas known as the West Bank or Gaza Strip, which are 
entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption into the United 
States after March 23, 2021, must be marked in accordance with the 
position set forth above, for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

    Dated: December 18, 2020.
Brenda B. Smith,
Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade.
[FR Doc. 2020-28547 Filed 12-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P