Understanding the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a trade act created by the United States as a way to help the countries of sub-Saharan Africa increase their access to U.S. markets in order to improve trade. The African Growth and Opportunity Act can help producers in Africa ship their products to the U.S. duty-free. There is no required size for a company in order to be eligible, and there is no minimum product requirement in order to receive The African Growth and Opportunity Act treatment on products.

Here are the ways you can figure out whether or not your product is eligible for The African Growth and Opportunity Act treatment:

Your country must be eligible

Only countries within sub-Saharan Africa are eligible for The African Growth and Opportunity Act. In order to be eligible, a country must be striving to improve human rights, labor standards and rule of law, among other things. The beneficiary countries and specific criteria used to determine the eligibility of countries for AGOA treatment can be found on AGOA’s website.

Your product must be eligible and meet the requirements of origin rules

Once you know whether your country is eligible, you must determine whether your product is eligible. In order for a product to be eligible it must be 100 percent locally produced by the AGOA country. If a product has inputs from other countries, 35 percent of the value and materials must be by the beneficiary countries.

Agricultural products

Agricultural products can be shipped duty-free without having to go through AGOA. However, they must comply with regulations set out by the FDA, USDA and the EPA.

Textiles or apparel

Apparel and apparel made of sub-Saharan African fabric that is assembled in a beneficiary country are both eligible for The African Growth and Opportunity Act treatment. Apparel assembled of fabric from anywhere in the world is eligible for The African Growth and Opportunity Act treatment as well, even for imported fabrics, as long as 35 percent of the fabric is from the beneficiary country.

Documentation must be filled out carefully

This is the final but most important detail for receiving AGOA treatment for products. The invoice used to apply for AGOA treatment must be stamped with a visa stamp. Various countries provide the stamp at customs services. This is important because without this stamp your product will not be eligible for duty-free treatment. For textiles, a specific AGOA textile certificate of origin for textiles and apparel must be filled out.

Find more details on AGOA eligibility or watch the full AGOA virtual program.

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