USTR Exempts Roasted Chicory from WTO Dispute-Related Tariff

Roasted chicory will be exempt from the ad valorem tariffs instituted as conditions of a 1998 World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement as of March 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announces in today’s Federal Register. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) most recently filed comments requesting USTR exempt the ingredient from the tariffs in December 2008.

“AHPA has maintained an active communication with the USTR ever since roasted chicory imported from Europe became subjected to the tariff,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “We are pleased companies seeking to import this commodity from countries in the European community will no longer need to bear this additional cost.”

In addition to exempting roasted chicory, some onions and shallots, fresh or chilled, the trade office also decided not to add to the list nearly all substances AHPA identified in its comments as commodities that may be imported by AHPA member companies. Namely, dried tomatoes (in powder); paprika (dried or crushed or ground); oats; sugar confectionary cough drops, and tomatoes (in powder) were not added to the list of subject commodities.

The establishment of the tariffs is a result of a 1998 WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) finding that a European Commission (EC) import ban on beef products produced from animals to which certain growth hormones had been added was inconsistent with EC obligations under the WTO agreement since the effect of the EC ban was to prohibit the import of substantially all U.S.-produced beef and beef products. The ban resulted in an annual $116.8 million nullification or impairment of U.S. benefits under the WTO agreement. To resolve this matter, the DSB allowed the U.S. to recuperate the loss through tariffs. The USTR developed a list of EC commodities subject to a 100 percent rate of duty in which roasted chicory and other substances were included.

The Jan. 23, 2009 Federal Register notice provides a new list of the European commodities that will be subject to the ad valorem tariffs. The notice is available here:

For more information, see also the Dec. 11, 2008 AHPA Press Release:

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website:

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