Free Trade deal: 58,306 tons of agro products can enter tariff free
Santo Domingo.- The Agricultural Imports Commission authorized the import of 61,194 tons of agro products for 2018, of which 58,306 can enter the country tariff free, as the DR-Cafta trade deal tariff quota allocation stipulates, published last Friday.
The products that can be imported without tariffs, mostly from the United States are prime boneless beef cuts, pork, chicken drumsticks, powdered milk, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. , yogurt, husked, semi-milled or bleached rice, even polished or glazed and beans.
Only chicken breasts from Nicaragua and Costa Rica will have a 10% and a 12.5% ad valorem tax (based on the product value). Onions and shallots from Nicaragua will also be levied 7.5%.
The Agriculture Ministry’s Agricultural Trade Agreements Office -OTCA- affirms that the DR-Cafta import tariff quotas open a window to competition. Its study found that the gradual reduction of tariffs and expanded tariff quotas should produce direct benefits for consumers, particularly the poorer, since they should be able to access the benefited products at a lower price.
The ACTO says that since the DR-Cafta took effect on March 1, 2007, eleven (12 with 2018) exercises have been carried out in the country to allocate tariff quotas under the legal provisions contained in the regulations that establishes the process for its allocation and administration.
Executive Order 705-10 established the procedure to allocate tariff quotas which indicates that it will be based on the historical record of the total imports of the agro commodities originating from the DR-Cafta countries by the interested party during the last three consecutive years prior to the calendar year in which the quota is available; to the quantities requested by the interested parties, provided they are commercially viable; and the quantities available for traditional importers and new importers in the corresponding calendar year.
For this year the Agricultural Imports Commission authorized the import of 2,300 metric tons of beef; 1,150 chicken thighs; 9,000 pork cuts; 6,210 powdered milk; 288 mozzarella cheese and the same amount of cheddar; 3,820 husked rice and 15,280 semi-milled rice; among other products.
Although some companies have expressed dissatisfaction with the amount assigned to them, unless it is an exceptional situation the assignments cannot be varied.