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Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)

  



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FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
Panama TPA Commercial Availability (Short Supply)

Short Supply List U.S.-Panama TPA Annex 3.25


Procedures for Panama Commercial Availability Proceedings
  • Interim Procedures (published May 14, 2013)
      There is no official Spanish version of these interim procedures. However, because the Panama TPA Commercial Availability procedures are essentially identical to those under the DR-CAFTA, it may be useful to review an unofficial Spanish version of the DR-CAFTA procedures. The document may be found here.

      NOTE: This document was provided by VESTEX, the Guatemalan Commission of the Apparel and Textile Industry, and is not an official translation authorized by the U.S. government in the context of either DR-CAFTA or the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. Under both agreements, the official procedures, as published in English, are the dispositive authority governing commercial availability proceedings.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    1. Where can I find the full text of the Panama TPA? 2. Where can I find the commercial availability section in the text of the Panama TPA? 3. Where can I find the U.S. implementing legislation language of the Panama TPA? 4. Where can I find the Panama TPA commercial availability procedures? 5. Where can I sign up to receive updates and mass e-mailings regarding the -Panama TPA commercial availability? 6. What are the important things to remember when submitting a Request?
      1. Follow the directions closely.
      2. Call OTEXA if you have a specific question: 202-482-3400 or email to OTEXA_Panama@trade.gov
      3. Provide information as requested under each heading of the procedures.
      4. If a request lacks any of the required information as outlined in the procedures, the request will be rejected.
      5. Be sure to include a due diligence certification with both the electronic and mailed copies of the request.
    7. Is there a particular format for submitting a Request?
      There is no particular format for a request submission. A request must include information as identified in each section of the procedures. A commercial availability request must include:
      • Both an electronic version and a signed original document, in English
      • Business Confidential Information clearly identified, as described in the procedures
      • Document headings indicating “Confidential Version” or “Public Version”
      • A signed Due Diligence Certification
      • Product specifications (clearly identified):
        1. Detailed description of the subject product, such as
          Fiber content
          Construction
          Relevant size(s)
          Finishing
        2. HTSUS classification
        3. All measurements in metric units.
        4. Quantity in metric units
          Fibers, Yarns: in Kilograms
          Woven Fabrics: in Square Meters (SMEs)
          Knit Fabrics: in Square Meters (SMEs) or Kilograms
        5. If the requester wants variances allowed for certain specifications, the variance range for each specification must be clearly stated in the product description provided in the request.
          Names and addresses of suppliers contacted, and a description of the email, phone and other type of correspondence, documented clearly and chronologically
          Copies of the relevant correspondence
          Discussion of Substitutable Products: Be sure to clearly describe the unique characteristics of the subject product that distinguishes it from other similar or substitutable products. Describe why such characteristics are required for the purposes of the end-use of the product and cannot be substituted by another product available from a supplier in either the United States or Panama.
    8. What are the important things to remember when submitting a Response with an Offer to Supply?
      • Due dates must be met or the response will not be considered
      • Only suppliers of the actual product, located in either the United States or Panama may submit a Response with an Offer to Supply.
      • The response must provide detailed information regarding the supplier’s ability to supply the subject product of the request. Suppliers should address their ability to provide a product that has all the unique characteristics that are identified in the request such as construction, finishing, sizes, weights, performance, dying, and any other characteristics that define the product.
      • General comments from interested parties will not be considered as an offer to supply
      • An electronic and original signed copy of the response must be submitted by the due date
      • Both versions must contain a signed due diligence certification
      • If a similar or substitutable product can be supplied, provide a detailed description of why the product is substitutable for the intended use, addressing each point made by the requester.
      • Discuss the commercial quantity and time frames for delivering the product.
    10. What are the important things to remember when submitting a Rebuttal to a Response?
      • Due dates must be met or the response will not be considered
      • An electronic and signed original copy of the rebuttal response must be submitted by the due date
      • Both versions must contain a signed due diligence certification
      • The rebuttal response must only address the points raised in the offer to supply and cannot introduce new information.
    11. What is meant by due diligence?
      • Every effort should be made to contact potential suppliers. For example, CITA cannot accept that a potential supplier “did not respond” to an e-mail or phone call after only one attempt to contact the supplier.
      • Contact should be attempted with an appropriate official of a potential supplier. As an example, the CEO of a company may or may not be the most appropriate contact for determining whether the company can supply the requested product.
      • When requesting a fiber, yarn, or fabric from a supplier, the requester must describe the product with the same specifications submitted in the ’Request‘.
      • A requester should be able to clearly substantiate its belief that the subject product is not available from a supplier in either Panama or the United States.
      • Whether a substitutable product is available from a potential supplier should be addressed in the submissions.
      • In addition to contacting individual suppliers, requesters should consider contacting textile trade associations. A listing of some U.S. textile trade associations can be found on the OTEXA website.
      • The main Panamanian trade associations are:
    12. What is Business Confidential Information?
      Information that the requester believes is proprietary, the release of which could harm the financial interests or business relationships of the company, will be treated as Business Confidential Information (BCI). If the requester believes specific details, such as quantities and lead times are BCI, then brackets must be placed around such information and the Public Version of the submission must indicate that such information has been redacted. Actual correspondence with a potential supplier can be labeled as BCI, however the names of potential suppliers who were contacted, what was asked generally about the capability to supply the subject product, and the responses thereto must be summarized in the Public Version of the submission. If you have questions regarding what may be considered BCI, please contact OTEXA.
    13. What is the best practice for marking Business Confidential Information in the submission?
      Place brackets around anything that is Business Confidential Information in the Confidential Version and place asterisks in place of the bracketed information in the Public (electronic) Version. For example, in the confidential version: ABC Fabrics produces [30 million] square meters of fabric per year. In the public version: ABC Fabrics produces [***] square meters of fabric per year.
    14. How does ‘Restricted Quantity’ work?
      The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) may approve a request in a restricted quantity if CITA determines that a supplier(s) can partially fulfill the request for the subject product. The restricted quantity determined by CITA will be the amount of the subject product that must be obtained from a supplier(s).
        For example, if an interested entity submits a request for that requires 10 million square meters of a fabric, and CITA determines that 6 million square meters of the fabric is commercially available from a supplier(s) in either the United States or Panama, then 6 million square meters will be the restricted quantity. No later than six months after the product is added to the Annex 3.25 list in a restricted quantity, CITA will review to determine whether the restricted quantity of the subject product should be eliminated.
    15. Can a product be removed from the Annex 3.25 List?
      • Yes, for products added to the List in unrestricted quantities since the signing of the Panama TPA. Items # 1 - # ?? are not eligible to be removed.
      • A request to remove a product must wait for 6 months after a product has been added to the list in an unrestricted quantity. For example, if a product is added to the list on January 1, a request to remove the product may not be submitted prior to July 1.
      • If CITA determines that the product is available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from a supplier in the United States or Panama, a Federal Registernotice will be published, stating that the product will be removed from the Annex 3.25 List six months from publication of the notice.
    16. What does a general timeline of the Panama TPA commercial availability request process look like?
      Business day 0 – Request received by CITA
      Business day 2 – Request accepted or rejected Business day 2 – If accepted, mass e-mail sent to all interested parties
      Business day 10 – Responses with an offer to supply the product are due
      Business day 14 – Rebuttals Comments are due
      Business day 30 – CITA announces determination (unless the time is extended)
      Business day 44 - CITA announces determination (if the time is extended due insufficient information)
    17. Where can I view a product sample (fiber, yarn, fabric) if one was submitted?
      At the US Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel. Please call 202-482-3400 to arrange to view a sample.
    18. Contact information:
    Submit a Request or Offer

    Sign up for E-mail Notification

    For further information, contact Maria Goodman or Laurie Mease at 202-482-3400 or by e-mail.