The importer, not the exporter, makes a claim of preferential tariff treatment under the U.S.-Oman FTA on the basis that the good is originating under the FTA rules. The Omani Government will determine the exact manner that such a claim will be made. Although the U.S.-Oman FTA specifically provides for the importer to make a claim of origin and to provide supporting information, a U.S. exporter should work with the importer to insure that the U.S. good meets the FTA rules of origin prior to making a claim. It is also recommended that U.S. companies maintain their own records to support a claim of preferential treatment. These records could be provided to the importer if support for a claim of origin is requested by the Omani Customs Authority. Locate information on how to determine whether your good(s) meets the rule of origin requirements under the U.S.-Oman FTA.
The Omani importer is required to submit to the customs authorities, upon request, a declaration setting forth all pertinent information concerning the growth, production, or manufacture of the good to support a claim of preferential treatment. In general, a product's eligibility for preferential tariff treatment may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, for example, a statement on company letterhead, a statement on a commercial invoice, or a certification. While no official form is required to demonstrate eligibility for preferential tariff treatment under the U.S. Oman FTA, there is a required list of elements that need to be included.
A certification should include (at a minimum) the following information:
(i) a description of the good, quantity, invoice numbers and bills of lading;
(ii) a description of the operations performed in the growth, production, or manufacture of the good in the territory of the United States and/or Oman and, where applicable, identification of the direct costs of processing operations;
(iii) a description of any materials used in the growth, production, or manufacture of the good that are wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of the United States and/or Oman, and a statement as to the value of such materials;
(iv) a description of the operations performed on, and a statement as to the origin and value of, any foreign materials used in the good that are claimed to have been sufficiently processed in the United States and/or Oman so as to be materials produced in the United States and/or Oman, or are claimed to have undergone an applicable change in tariff classification specified in Annex 3-A (Rules of Origin for Textile or Apparel) or Annex 4-A; and
(v) a description of the origin and value of any foreign materials used in the good that are not claimed to have been substantially transformed in the United States and/or Oman, or are not claimed to have undergone an applicable change in tariff classification specified in Annex 3-A (Rules of Origin for Textile or Apparel) or Annex 4-A.
The U.S.-Oman FTA states that Oman’s customs authority should request a declaration only when it has reason to question the accuracy of a claim of origin, when that Party's risk assessment procedures indicate that verification of a claim is appropriate, or when the Party conducts a random verification.
Although the U.S.-Oman FTA does not specify, it is recommended that an exporter or producer maintain documentation to support a claim of preferential treatment for a minimum of five years from the date of importation.
The Agreement provides that an importer claiming preferential treatment for a good must maintain all records and documents necessary to demonstrate the good qualified for preferential treatment for five years from the date of importation.
In some cases, a considerable amount of research into the inputs required for the production of goods is necessary in order to determine whether goods qualify for preferential treatment under the U.S.-Oman FTA. Many exporters and importers believe that the only time that a claim for preferential treatment under the FTA can be made is at the time the shipment clears customs. However, the importer may pay the non-preferential duties at the time the goods clear customs and then has up to one year from the date on which the goods were imported to make a claim for preferential treatment and apply for a refund of excess duties paid. This may happen in cases where the information required to determine that the good is originating is not available at the time of shipment. At the time of the claim for preferential treatment and application for refund is made, the importer is required to supply a written declaration stating the good was originating at the time of importation. As with other claims for preferential treatment, additional supporting information may need to be provided upon request of the Customs authorities.
Prepared by the International Trade Administration
Trade Information Center