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SFIA Moves Forward on Tariff Relief for Sports Bags and Backpacks - OGIO and Under Armour Testify on Behalf of GSP Expansion

Date: 3/8/16

Washington, DC - March 8, 2016 -- In a span of 10 days, two SFIA members testified in favor of expanding the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to include sports bags and backpacks.  If enacted products made in 122 GSP countries would be eligible to enter the U.S. duty-free.  

On October 16, 2015, SFIA members making backpacks and sports bags filed petitions requesting eligibility for the preferential duty treatment offered by the GSP. On February 24 of this year, David Wunderli, President of OGIO International Inc. testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission, followed by Peter Gilmore, Vice President of Global Sourcing for Under Armour testifying in a U.S Trade Representative hearing on March 4. The hearings are part of the U.S. government review process for petitions filed by SFIA members and others requesting GSP expansion to cover travel goods.  

The GSP is designed to encourage investment in developing countries and assist those countries as they transition to a manufacturing-based economy.  Under the GSP, backpacks and sports bags would avoid tariffs of up to 17.6 percent.  GSP eligible countries include Burundi, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Venezuela.  China and Vietnam are not GSP-eligible.  

The U.S Trade Representative will announce a decision on petitions in May or June and imports of products granted GSP eligibility would receive duty relief effective July 1, 2016 provided they are manufactured in a GSP country.  Click here for list of GSP eligible countries.  

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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