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Embassy Opposes New US Customs Rule

Fiji Embassy Washington is opposing a new US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) proposal which, if implemented could increase the prices for some Fiji exports to the USA.

On January 24, 2008, CBP issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing to eliminate the “first sale rule” that when an import transaction involves a series of sales, the customs import value upon which CBP assesses import duties, fees and taxes may be based on the sale price of the first arm’s length transaction for goods clearly destined for export to the United States.

Potential impact of the CBP’s proposal are increased import duties, fees, and taxes paid by U.S. importing companies and prices paid by U.S. consumers. For Fiji, this could mean increase tariffs charged by the US Customs & Border Protection Agency for those items exported from Fiji to the USA and caught by this rule. This cost would make Fiji products more expensive in the US market and depress demand for our products. Alternatively, if the increase in tariffs is absorbed by the Fiji producers, it would mean a decrease in profits and foreign exchange revenue. In an already economically strained environment, Fiji products cannot afford to be subject to increased tariffs.