AGOA Festival
African Apparel, Textiles & Footwear Exhibition
AFRICAN APPAREL, TEXTILES & FOOTWEAR IN THE US MARKET

 

For a couple of years, the World Fashion Industry is unanimous on the fact that Africa is the number one source for Apparel and Textile products. It is great to have the opportunity to make the people living in the United States discover African Textile products, handmade bags, interior design with unique and original patterns, etc through AGOA. Like Music, Fashion has the easy way to promote culture and its universal values. The articles that AGOA countries with Apparel benefits can export to the US are divided in 10 groups. These countries are required to establish the ”AGOA Visa” in order to prevent transshipment.

As We are aware Apparel industry is an important source of employment and its makes sense to contribute to job creation, poverty eradication and development by giving the opportunity to the citizens of Eligible countries to promote their ”Made in…” and not encourage people / companies looking for the AGOA benefits by shipping their production in Eligible countries for duty free, quota free exports under AGOA. 

 WHAT ARE THE AGOA ELIGIBLE ARTICLES (APPAREL AND TEXTILE PRODUCTS)?

 

In the eyes of the law, Apparel and Textile products that can be exported to the United States of America under AGOA IV are divided in 10 groups:

  • (1) Apparel assembled in one or more eligible Sub – Saharan African (SSA) country with U.S. yarn and fabric, cut in the U.S.
  • (2) Apparel assembled in one or more eligible SSA country with U.S. yarn and fabric, cut and further processed in the U.S
  • (3) Apparel assembled in one or more eligible SSA country with U.S. yarn, fabric and thread, cut in Africa, or U.S. yarn knit-to-shape in Africa or U.S.
  • (4) Apparel assembled from fabric formed in Africa from yarn originating in the U.S. or Africa (subject to limits).
  • (5) Apparel assembled in lesser developed SSA countries (all SSA countries but Mauritius and South Africa) from any fabric and yarn, subject to limits, expires September 30, 2012
  • (6) Sweaters in chief weight Cashmere knit-to-shape in one or more eligible SSA country.
  • (7) Merino Wool Sweaters containing 50% or more by weight of wool (21.5 microns in diameter or finer) knit-to-shape in one or more eligible SSA country.
  • (8) Apparel manufactured from yarn or fabric in short supply in the U.S.
  • (9) Folklore articles, including hand knit fabrics, hand loomed articles (rugs, scarves, placemats, tablecloths), handmade goods of hand loomed fabrics, traditional folklore articles and ethnic printed articles as determined by the President.
  • (10) Articles in HS Chapters 50-60 and 63, produced in an eligible lesser developed country, wholly formed in one or more LDC from fibers, yarns, fabrics or component (fabric of knit to shape) that are the product of one or more LDC.

In addition to these categories, AGOA provides preferential treatment for articles like Footwear, Luggage, Handbags, Watches and Flatware. Click Here for the AGOA Products List.

WHAT ABOUT CATEGORY 9?

 

Category 9 is about apparels that are:

  • (a) handloomed,
  • (b) handmade
  • (c) folkloric textiles or
  • (d) ethnic printed fabrics.

So they are divided into four main sub-categories. To benefit from this specific AGOA Category, the AGOA Country must have in place or must be working on the AGOA Export Visa. Then they can start the negociations with the United States Committee of Textile Agreements in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection which have the power to determine the apparel and textile products qualified for Category 9 Certification.

After this step, the AGOA Country will have to create a Product Catalogue with historical or contemporary references for each article / product and specify its name, a sample and a picture, how it was manufactured, the type of fiber used, the dimensions, the fabric used as well as the patterns and colors.

 

Picture on the Top: Seko by Alpha Doumbia (Samarra – Cote d’Ivoire)

Information Desk: E-mail: designers@agoafestival.com