An Act to promote economic revitalization and facilitate expansion of economic opportunities in the Caribbean Basin region, to provide for backup withholding of tax from interest and dividends, and for other purposes.
Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983 (CBERA) — P.L. 98-67 (August 5, 1983), Title II, authorized unilateral preferential trade and tax benefits for eligible Caribbean countries, including duty-free treatment of eligible products. Often referred to as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). Amended several times, the last substantive revisions were made in the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Expansion Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-382, Title II, August 20, 1990). This made trade benefits permanent (repealing the September 30, 1995 termination date). The law gives preferential trade and tax benefits for eligible Caribbean countries, including duty-free entry of eligible products. To be eligible, an article must be a product of a beneficiary country and imported directly from it, and at least 35% of its import value must have originated in one or more CBERA beneficiaries. Slightly different import value rules apply to articles entering from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The duty-free import of sugar and beef products is subject to a special eligibility requirement intended to ensure that increased production of sugar and beef will not adversely affect overall food production. Preferential tariff treatment does not extend to imports of: textiles and apparel subject to textile agreements, specified footwear, canned tuna, petroleum and its products, and watches or watch parts containing any material originating in countries denied normal trade relations (most-favored-nation) trade status. Special criteria applied to the duty-free import of ethanol through FY2000. Import-sensitive products, not accorded duty-free tariff treatment, are eligible to enter at lower than normal trade relations tariff rates. These products include handbags, luggage, flat goods (such as wallets, change purses, and key and eyeglass cases), work gloves, and certain leather wearing apparel.