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US cotton imports from areas certified free from boll-weevil
06
Aug '08
In recent years, the Government of Egypt (GOE) has made great strides in reducing the time required for customs clearance, has reduced bureaucratic hurdles, has made greater efforts to notify and allow for comment on trade policy changes, and has taken a more scientific approach to establishing SPS requirements.

With the support of USAID, GOE has improved the testing capabilities of the laboratories of the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC), whose mission is to expedite trade. In addition, the capacity of specialists and their laboratories has improved, reducing unnecessary delays while imported products are held for testing. Furthermore, in February 2007, GOE made reductions in import duties, in compliance with their WTO commitments.

Among the reductions important to U.S. interests were those for fresh fruit, which dropped from 40 to 20 percent. Most of the U.S.'s important exports to Egypt are now eligible to enter at duties of 5 percent or lower. Of the $1.8 billion in agriculture products shipped to Egypt in 2007, up to 80 percent were eligible for duty free entry as a result of the tariff changes.

Also, Egypt has agreed to once again allow the import of poultry byproduct meal, which had been banned for several years due to concerns about Avian Influenza in the U.S. and also possible contamination of the product by rendered beef products at risk of harboring BSE, according to Egyptian veterinary authorities.

Finally, the trade in live cattle has been restored, after a new protocol for testing for bovine leucosis has been agreed upon, which will allow the first shipment of live dairy cattle to come to Egypt in some time.

Cotton:
Despite evidence that the ginning process destroys the pest, GOE will only allow U.S. cotton imports from areas certified free from boll-weevil.

Other Bilateral Agreements and Agreements with the United States:
• Products Covered: Industrial Goods
• Date of Agreement: December 2004
• Status: In force

The above agreement refers to the the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) Agreement between the United States, Egypt and Israel. This agreement allows duty free access for manufactured goods, including textiles, produced in certain qualified industrial zones and meeting the rules of origin requirements of the agreement.

The agreement states that 35 percent of any product must be produced in one of the QIZs, and at least 11.7 percent of the 35 percent requirement will come from Israel and Egypt.

United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service

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