October 8, 2003
Mexico Imposed Proper Classification of Imported Chicken Leg Quarters
As reported in MX3099, Mexico imposed on July 25, 2003, bilateral safeguard measures on imported U.S. chicken leg quarters (CLQs), classified under the harmonized tariff schedule codes 0207.13.03 and 0207.14.04 providing duty free access for 46,950 MT of CLQs to the northern border line, and the border region, and establishing a 98.8 percent duty for all other U.S. CLQs exports to the rest of Mexico. Some poultry importers tried to avoid the safeguard provisions by importing CLQs joined by other parts of the chicken like the rump or the tailbone (chicken saddles) and classifying them in other generic tariff numbers with a zero duty.
In response to domestic industry concerns, on September 9, 2003, the Central Administrator of Mexican Customs, Lic. Jose Alfredo Torres Cabello, sent a notification to all the Customs Administrators nationwide and to the Confederation of Custom Broker Associations of the Mexican Republic (CAAAREM), requiring them to classify this type of chicken imports under the tariff lines mentioned above with the corresponding duty, even if they enter with other joined parts. If this requirement is not met, Customs will proceed according to the law and make a 'preventive seizure' of the merchandise.