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Mark Neville

Articles Written By Mark Neville

How the Tariff Shift Rule Works In a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Mark Neville | March 4, 2016 | Free Trade Agreements

It bears repeating: the duty reduction benefits of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) programs are limited to those products that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in each of the FTAs. Unless the goods qualify, and unless the importer is able to prove to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) satisfaction that the goods qualify, they are not going to benefit.

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The Nasty Underside of Free Trade Agreements

Mark Neville | May 6, 2007 | Free Trade Agreements

Of course it makes great sense for an alert importer to maximize its savings through duty planning and to examine whether sourcing through one of those countries enjoying a free trade relationship with the United States will work for it.

But that same importer must remember that a strategic program that takes advantage of a free trade agreement (FTA) to lower duties is only as good as the importer’s ability to prove eligibility for the FTA. Stated otherwise, there is a direct proportionality between the efficacy of a savings regime and the ability to withstand an auditor’s demands for authentication.

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Shipped Directly Means…Shipped Directly

Mark Neville | February 18, 2007 | Free Trade Agreements
Goods qualifying under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are treated differently from other goods. One of the hallmarks of the FTAs in place is that the economic benefit of duty-free or reduced duty treatment is strictly limited—by treaty, statute and regulations. The benefit of an FTA is reserved for those goods which qualify under the applicable rules of origin.

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Free Trade Agreements: Good News and Bad News

Mark Neville | January 7, 2007 | Free Trade Agreements

In this first article in my new column devoted to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), I thought it wise to give a strategic overview of FTAs and their impact on trade and, in particular, the impact on the individual company or trade professional.

The important point to remember about FTAs is that they all have two things in common. The good news is that a FTA confers the benefit of duty-free or reduced-duty treatment to qualifying importations.

The bad news is that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) views FTAs as "give backs," and they take a very conservative view and are strict about the documentation needed to qualify an imported product. In a related bit of further bad news, safeguard legislation is in place to re-impose trade barriers if the FTA proves to be too much of a good thing.

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