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Favorable Tax and Trade Treaties

The Netherlands Antilles benefits from a number of preferential trade arrangements within the Council Decision of the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) with the European Community. The Directorate of Economic Affairs plans to promote services under this arrangement, which offers preferential treatment to the Netherlands Antilles with respect to originating product, accumulation of value added, derogation and transshipment (under negotiation).
The Netherlands Antilles also benefits from the unilateral preferential tariff treatment granted by the United States to 24 "beneficiary countries" qualifying under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and under the 1990 Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Expansion Act (CBI II), which was given new impetus with the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), effective since October 2000.

.An important provision of the CBI II is the permanent extension of the duty free treatment of most goods produced in a CBI country upon entering the US market if the product fulfills the following criteria:

It is imported directly from Curaçao into US customs territory
It meets the 35 percent local value added requirement - only direct processing costs in one or more CBI countries are considered to be value added. US origin materials may be counted towards 15 percent of the 35 percent.
It conforms to the substantial transformation requirement, i.e. the final product should be new and different from the foreign materials used in its manufacture.
If components used in the processing in Curaçao are of 100 percent US origin, then requirement 2 and 3 will be omitted (for items other than textiles, oil and oil products).

Under the new Trade and Development Act passed in January 2000, apparel articles now can enter the US market free of duty without quantitative restrictions. Duty/quota-free treatment is also available for certain knit apparel made in CBTPA beneficiary countries from fabrics formed in the Caribbean Basin region, provided that U.S. yarns are used in forming the fabric. New duty/quota free treatment will also be available for apparel made in the CBI from fabrics determined to be in "short supply" in the United States, and for designated "hand-loomed, handmade, or folklore" articles.