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SFIA Products and Services

SFIA Member Products Under Consideration for GSP Tariff-Relief

Date: 1/22/16

January 22, 2016 – Washington, DC -- The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) moved forward on extending duty-free status to sports bags and backpacks produced in any of the 122 countries eligible for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. GSP is designed to promote investment in countries with developing economies. Favorable duty treatment on products from those countries incentivizes creation of factories and jobs to advance economic development.

In August of 2015, the USTR announced that GSP-eligible products would be expanded to include travel goods for the first time. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) recognized the opportunity and worked with members to file petitions for their product lines, primarily in the backpack and sports bag categories.  Petitions were filed in October and the USTR announced earlier this month that all SFIA petitions were accepted for consideration. 

“This is great news for the industry, and SFIA is optimistic of a positive outcome for our members as USTR/USITC move forward to complete the process,” said SFIA’s vice president of government and public affairs, Bill Sells. 

The GSP expansion process involves multiple steps. Products granted GSP status will enter the U.S. duty-free beginning July 1, 2016.  The proposed schedule for consideration is as follows:

February 1, 2016      Witness filing date to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)
February 3, 2016      Pre-hearing briefs due to USITC
February 19, 2016    Requests to testify and pre-hearing briefs due to USTR
February 24, 2016    USITC PUBLIC HEARING
February 29, 2016    Post-hearing briefs due to the USITC
March 3-4, 2016       USTR PUBLIC HEARINGS
March 25, 2016        USTR post-hearing comments due
July 1, 2016             Duty-free treatment goes into effect

SFIA and the trade firm retained to assist members with navigating the process, will work to ensure members’ products eligible under the travel goods category are in the best position to receive duty-free treatment under the GSP program. We will explore additional opportunities to expand GSP duty-free treatment on SFIA members’ products in the future.

For more information on matters related to the GSP program, please contact Bill Sells, Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs at bsells@sfia.org.

ABOUT SFIA:  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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