The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has released a direct final rule amending the Cotton Board rules and regulations by decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as the valuation of cotton subject to producer assessments.

“This valuation adjustment is designed to occur annually to ensure that assessments paid by producers and importers of cotton and cotton products are equivalent.  The valuation adjustment is based on average prices during a previous 12-month period and reflects price movements,” stated Cotton Board Chairman, Gary Ross, an importer from Yardley, Penn. “Because prices were weaker last year, this rule adjusts the valuation of cotton content downward.”

In making this adjustment, USDA also updated the applicable assessment table to reflect Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers removed or updated since the last revision to the importer assessment provisions.  The rule contains a revised Import Assessment Table detailing all applicable HTS codes.

“USDA’s AMS continues to provide excellent oversight and this assessment amendment, as well as the updates to the cotton conversion factors for the new HTS codes, is an example of that ongoing oversight,” says Ross

The rule goes into effect August 25, 2014 unless significant adverse comments are received. Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.