July 08, 2016
On June 30, 2016, President Obama issued a proclamation bringing import duties on many information technology goods to zero. By this act, the United States joins more than fifty other Members of the World Trade Organization in implementing an expansion of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which seeks to establish duty-free trade in IT products. The expansion adds 201 new products to the list of ITA-covered products. Newly added products include advanced semiconductors, certain medical equipment, and a wide range of audio and video equipment. World trade in the added products is estimated to be over $1.3 trillion per year.
Many products subject to the proclamation became duty-free on July 1. For others, duties will be eliminated gradually over a three-year period.
Companies across the U.S. economy stand to benefit from the savings resulting from implementation of the expanded ITA. It is important for importers to verify the customs classification and origin of their goods in order to determine whether they are covered by the new proclamation. Weil is available to assist.