Consolidated TPP Text – Chapter 4 – Textile and Apparel Goods

Article 4.1: Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter:

customs offence means any act committed for the purpose of, or having the effect of, avoiding a Party’s laws or regulations pertaining to the terms of this Agreement governing importations or exportations of textile or apparel goods between the Parties, specifically those that violate a customs law or regulation for restrictions or prohibitions on imports or exports, duty evasion, falsification of documents relating to the importation or exportation of goods, fraud or smuggling; and

transition period means the period beginning on the date of entry into force of this Agreement between the Parties concerned until five years after the date on which the importing Party eliminates duties on a good for the exporting Party pursuant to this Agreement.

Article 4.2: Rules of Origin and Related Matters

Application of Chapter 3

1. Except as provided in this Chapter, Chapter 3 (Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures) shall apply to textile and apparel goods.

De Minimis

2. A textile or apparel good classified outside of Chapters 61 through 63 of the Harmonized System that contains non-originating materials that do not satisfy the applicable change in tariff classification requirement specified in Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin), shall nonetheless be considered to be an originating good if the total weight of all those materials is not more than 10 per cent of the total weight of the good and the good meets all the other applicable requirements of this Chapter and Chapter 3 (Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures).

3. A textile or apparel good classified in Chapters 61 through 63 of the Harmonized System that contains non-originating fibres or yarns in the component of the good that determines the tariff classification of the good that do not satisfy the applicable change in tariff classification set out in Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin), shall nonetheless be considered to be an originating good if the total weight of all those fibres or yarns is not more than 10 per cent of the total weight of that component and the good meets all the other applicable requirements of this Chapter and Chapter 3 (Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures).

4. Notwithstanding paragraphs 2 and 3, a good described in paragraph 2 containing elastomeric yarn or a good described in paragraph 3 containing elastomeric yarn in the component of the good that determines the tariff classification of the good shall be considered to be an originating good only if such yarns are wholly formed in the territory of one or more of the Parties.Footnote 1, Footnote 2

Treatment of Sets

5. Notwithstanding the textile and apparel product-specific rules of origin set out in Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin), textile and apparel goods put up in sets for retail sale , classified as a result of the application of Rule 3 of the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System, shall not be regarded as originating goods unless each of the goods in the set is an originating good or the total value of the non-originating goods in the set does not exceed 10 per cent of the value of the set.

6. For the purposes of paragraph 5:

Treatment of Short Supply List Materials

7. Each Party shall provide that, for the purposes of determining whether a textile or apparel good is originating under Article 3.2(c) (Originating Goods), a material listed in Appendix 1 (Short Supply List of Products) to Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin) is originating provided that the material meets any requirement, including any end use requirement, specified in the Appendix 1 (Short Supply List of Products) to Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin).

8. If a claim that a textile or apparel good is originating relies on the incorporation of a material listed in Appendix 1 (Short Supply List of Products) to Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin), the importing Party may require in the importation documentation, such as a certification of origin, the number or description of the material on Appendix 1 (Short Supply List of Products) to Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin).

9. Non-originating materials marked as temporary in Appendix 1 (Short Supply List of Products) to Annex 4-A (Textiles and Apparel Product -Specific Rules of Origin) may be considered as originating under paragraph 7 for five years from the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

Treatment for Certain Handmade or Folkloric Goods

10. An importing Party may identify particular textile or apparel goods of an exporting Party to be eligible for duty-free or preferential tariff treatment that the importing and exporting Parties mutually agree fall within:

provided that any requirements agreed by the importing and exporting Parties for such treatment are met.

Article 4.3: Emergency Actions

1. Subject to this Article if, as a result of the reduction or elimination of a customs duty under this Agreement, a textile or apparel good benefiting from preferential tariff treatment under this Agreement is being imported into the territory of a Party in such increased quantities, in absolute terms or relative to the domestic market for that good, and under such conditions as to cause serious damage, or actual threat thereof, to a domestic industry producing a like or directly competitive good, the importing Party may, to the extent and for such time as may be necessary to prevent or remedy such damage and to facilitate adjustment, take emergency action in accordance with paragraph 6, consisting of an increase in the rate of duty on the good of the exporting Party or Parties to a level not to exceed the lesser of:

2. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit the rights and obligations of a Party under Article XIX of GATT 1994 and the Safeguards Agreement , or Chapter 6 (Trade Remedies).

3. In determining serious damage, or actual threat thereof, the importing Party:

4. The importing Party may take an emergency action under this Article only following its publication of procedures ‎that identify the criteria for a finding of serious damage, or actual threat thereof, and an investigation by its competent authorities. Such an investigation must use data based on the factors described in paragraph 3(a) that serious damage or actual threat thereof is demonstrably caused by increased imports of the product concerned as a result of this Agreement.

5. The importing Party shall submit to the exporting Party or Parties, without delay, written notice of the initiation of the investigation provided for in paragraph 4, as well as of its intent to take emergency action and, on the request of the exporting Party or Parties, shall enter into consultations with that Party or Parties regarding the matter. The importing Party shall provide the exporting Party or Parties with the full details of the emergency action to be taken. The Parties concerned shall begin consultations without delay and, unless otherwise decided, shall complete them within 60 days of receipt of the request. After completion of the consultations, the importing Party shall notify the exporting Party or Parties of any decision. If it decides to take an emergency action, the notification shall include the details of the emergency action, including when it will take effect.

6. The following conditions and limitations shall apply to any emergency action taken under this Article:

7. The Party taking an emergency action under this Article shall provide to the exporting Party or Parties against whose goods the emergency action is taken mutually agreed trade liberalising compensation in the form of concessions either having substantially equivalent trade effects or equivalent to the value of the additional duties expected to result from the emergency action. Such concessions shall be limited to textile and apparel goods, unless the Parties concerned otherwise agree. If the Parties concerned are unable to agree on compensation within 60 days or a longer period agreed by the Parties concerned, the Party or Parties against whose good the emergency action is taken may take tariff action that has trade effects substantially equivalent to the trade effects of the emergency action taken under this Article. The tariff action may be taken against any goods of the Party taking the emergency action. The Party taking the tariff action shall apply it only for the minimum period necessary to achieve the substantially equivalent trade effects. The importing Party’s obligation to provide trade compensation and the exporting Party’s right to take tariff action shall terminate when the emergency action terminates.

8. No Party shall take or maintain an emergency action under this Article against a textile or apparel good that is subject, or becomes subject, to a transitional safeguard measure under Chapter 6 (Trade Remedies), or to a safeguard measure that a Party takes pursuant to Article XIX of GATT 1994 and the Safeguards Agreement.

9. The investigations referred to in this Article shall be carried out according to procedures established by each Party. Each Party shall, on the date of entry into force of this Agreement for that Party or before it initiates an investigation, notify the other Parties of these procedures.

10. Each Party shall, in any year where it takes or maintains an emergency action under this Article, provide a report on such actions to the other Parties. 

Article 4.4: Cooperation

1. Each Party shall, in accordance with its laws and regulations, cooperate with other Parties for the purposes of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of their respective measures concerning customs offences for trade in textile or apparel goods between the Parties, including ensuring the accuracy of claims for preferential tariff treatment under this Agreement.

2. Each Party shall take appropriate measures, which may include legislative, administrative, judicial or other action for:

3. For the purposes of paragraph 2, “appropriate measures” means measures a Party takes, in accordance with its laws, regulations, and procedures, such as:

4. A Party may request information from another Party if it has relevant facts, such as historical evidence, indicating that a customs offence is occurring or is likely to occur .

5. Any request under paragraph 4 shall be made in writing, by electronic means or any other method that acknowledges receipt, and shall include a brief statement of the matter at issue, the cooperation requested, the relevant facts indicating a customs offence, and sufficient information for the requested Party to respond in accordance with its laws and regulations.

6. To enhance cooperative efforts under this Article between Parties to prevent and address customs offences, a Party that receives a request under paragraph 4 shall, subject to its laws, regulations and procedures, including those related to confidentiality referred to in Article 4.9.4 (Confidentiality) provide to the requesting Party, upon receipt of a request in accordance with paragraph 5, available information on the existence of an importer, exporter or producer, goods of an importer, exporter or producer, or other matters related to this Chapter. The information may include any available correspondence, reports, bills of lading, invoices, order contracts or other information regarding enforcement of laws or regulations related to the request.

7. A Party may provide information requested in this Article on paper or in electronic form.

8. Each Party shall designate and notify a contact point for cooperation under this Chapter in accordance with Article 27.5 (Contact Points) and shall notify the other Parties promptly of any subsequent changes.

Article 4.5: Monitoring

1. Each Party shall establish or maintain programmes or practices to identify and address textiles and apparel customs offences. This may include programmes or practices to ensure the accuracy of claims for preferential tariff treatment for textile and apparel goods under this Agreement.

2. Through those programmes or practices, a Party may collect or share information related to textiles or apparel goods for use for risk management purposes.

3. In addition to paragraphs 1 and 2, some Parties have bilateral agreements that apply between those Parties.

Article 4.6: Verification

1. An importing Party may conduct a verification with respect to a textile or apparel good pursuant to Article 3.27.1(a), Article 3.27.1(b) or Article 3.27.1(e) (Verification of Origin) and their associated procedures to verify whether a good qualifies for preferential tariff treatment or through a request for a site visit as described in this Article.Footnote 3  

2. An importing Party may request a site visit under this Article from an exporter or producer of textile or apparel goods to verify whether:

3. During a site visit under this Article, an importing Party may request access to:

4. If an importing Party seeks to conduct a site visit under paragraph 2, it shall notify the host Party, no later than 20 days before the visit, regarding:

5. On receipt of information on a proposed visit under paragraph 2, the host Party may request information from the importing Party to facilitate planning of the visit, such as logistical arrangements or provision of requested assistance.

6. If an importing Party seeks to conduct a site visit under paragraph 2, it shall provide the host Party, as soon as practicable and prior to the date of the first visit to an exporter or producer under this Article, with a list of the names and addresses of the exporters or producers it proposes to visit.

7. If an importing Party seeks to conduct a site visit under paragraph 2:

8. On completion of a site visit under paragraph 2, the importing Party shall:

9. If an importing Party conducts a site visit under paragraph 2 and, as a result, intends to deny preferential tariff treatment to a textile or apparel good, it shall, before it may deny preferential tariff treatment, provide to the importer and any exporter or producer that provided information directly to the importing Party 30 days to submit additional information to support the claim for preferential tariff treatment. If advance notice was not given under paragraph 7(d), that importer, exporter or producer may request an additional 30 days.

10. The importing Party shall not reject a claim for preferential tariff treatment on the sole grounds that the host Party does not provide the requested assistance or information under this Article.

11. While a verification is being conducted under this Article , the importing Party may take appropriate measures under procedures established in its laws and regulations, including suspending or denying the application of preferential tariff treatment to textile or apparel goods of the exporter or producer subject to a verification.

12. If verifications of identical textile or apparel goods by an importing Party indicate a pattern of conduct by an exporter or producer of false or unsupported representations that a textile or apparel good imported into its territory qualifies for preferential tariff treatment, the importing Party may withhold preferential tariff treatment for identical textile or apparel goods imported, exported or produced by that person until it is demonstrated to the importing Party that those identical textile or apparel goods qualify for preferential tariff treatment. For the purposes of this paragraph, “identical textile or apparel goods” means textile or apparel goods that are the same in all respects relevant to the particular rule of origin that qualifies the goods as originating.

Article 4.7: Determinations

The importing Party may deny a claim for preferential tariff treatment for a textile or apparel good: 

Article 4.8: Committee on Textile and Apparel Trade Matters

1. The Parties hereby establish a Committee on Textile and Apparel Trade Matters, (Committee), composed of government representatives of each Party.

2. The Committee shall meet at least once within one year of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, and thereafter at such times as the Parties decide and on request of the Commission. The Committee shall meet at such venues and times as the Parties decide.

3. The Committee may consider any matter arising under this Chapter, and its functions shall include review of the implementation of this Chapter, consultation on technical or interpretive difficulties that may arise under this Chapter, and discussion of ways to improve the effectiveness of cooperation under this Chapter.

4. In addition to discussions under the Committee, a Party may request in writing discussions with any other Party or Parties regarding matters under this Chapter concerning those Parties, with a view to resolution of the issue, if it believes difficulties are occurring with respect to implementation of this Chapter.

5. Unless the Parties amongst whom a discussion is requested agree otherwise, they shall hold the discussions pursuant to paragraph 4 within 30 days of receipt of a written request by a Party and endeavour to conclude within 90 days of receipt of the written request.

6. Discussions under this Article shall be confidential and without prejudice to the rights of any Party in any other proceeding.

7. Prior to the entry into force of an amended version of the Harmonized System, the Committee shall consult to prepare updates to this Chapter that are necessary to reflect changes to the Harmonized System.

Article 4.9: Confidentiality

1. Each Party shall maintain the confidentiality of the information collected in accordance with this Chapter and shall protect that information from disclosure that could prejudice the competitive position of the person providing the information.

2. If a Party provides information to another Party in accordance with this Chapter and designates the information as confidential, the other Party shall keep the information confidential. The Party that provides the information may require the other Party to furnish written assurance that the information will be held in confidence, used only for the purposes specified in the other Party’s request for information, and not disclosed without the specific permission of the Party that provided the information or the person that provided the information to that Party.

3. A Party may decline to provide information requested by another Party if that Party has failed to act in conformity with paragraph 1 or 2.

4. Each Party shall adopt or maintain procedures for protecting from unauthorised disclosure confidential information submitted in accordance with the administration of the Party’s customs or other laws related to this Chapter, or collected in accordance with this Chapter, including information the disclosure of which could prejudice the competitive position of the person providing the information.

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