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International Egg and Poultry Review

by 5m Editor
16 October 2003, at 12:00am

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week covering the classification by Mexico of chicken saddles as chicken leg quarters.

International Egg and Poultry Review - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week covering the classification by Mexico of chicken saddles as chicken leg quarters.

On January 1, 2003, under NAFTA, Mexican tariffs on U.S. poultry exports fell to zero. Mexico was concerned about the volume of poultry products that would enter the country once tariffs were lifted. Under NAFTA, Mexico could have imposed an emergency import tariff up to 240 percent on U.S. poultry exports.

Instead, the United States and Mexico agreed that Mexico would allow 50,000 metric tons of U.S. chicken leg quarters into Mexico duty-free for a six month period. Mexico would apply a temporary safeguard tariff of 98.8 percent to leg quarter imports above that level. All other imports of U.S. poultry would enter the country duty free.

On July 25, 2003, the Secretariat of Economy (SE) published a degree imposing bilateral safeguard measures on imported U.S. chicken leg quarters, classified under tariffs 0207.13.03 and 0207.14.04. For the period July 25, 2003 to December 31, 2003 Mexico would issue import licenses providing duty free access for 46,950 MT of chicken leg quarters to the northern border line and the border region. The safeguard will be in effect for 5 years, with the tariff phased down to zero in 2008.

Some poultry importers tried to avoid the safeguard provision by importing chicken leg quarters joined by other parts of the chicken, like rumps or the tailbone (chicken saddles) and classifying them in other generic tariff numbers with a zero duty.

In response to domestic concerns, on September 9, 2003, the Central Administrator of Mexican Customs sent notice requiring this type of chicken be imported under the tariff lines for chicken leg quarters even if they enter with other joined parts. If this requirement is not met, Customs will proceed according to law and make a ‘preventive seizure’ of the merchandise.

To view the full report, including tables please click here

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 15th October 2003.

5m Editor