U.S. Trade and Development Agency

1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600 * Arlington, Virginia 22209

Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax (703) 875-4009



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                           MEDIA INQUIRIES:

  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357




SANTIAGO, CHILE – (April 7, 2006) Supporting the expanded bilateral commercial relationship envisioned in the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the goal of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded to the National Customs Service of Chile.  The $283,150 grant will fund technical assistance and training to strengthen the National Customs Service’s capacity to issue advance customs valuation rulings.


The grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held April 3, 2006 at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago.  U.S. Ambassador to Chile Craig A. Kelly and Director General Sergio Mujica of the National Customs Service of Chile signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Chilean governments, respectively.


The U.S.-Chile FTA entered into force on January 1, 2004.  Under the chapter in the agreement on Customs Administration, Article 5.10(1)(b) requires both parties to issue written advance rulings, prior to the importation of goods, in response to requests from importers or exporters regarding the application of customs valuation criteria for a particular case.


The technical assistance supported by the grant awarded today will assist Chile in developing the National Customs Service’s capacity to comply with this obligation.  Specifically, the technical assistance will involve drafting a regulation on advance rulings; developing procedures for applying advance rulings; designing customs valuation and advance rulings databases; and developing and delivering a training program for Chilean Customs officials. 


The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded technical assistance will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  The National Customs Service of Chile will select the U.S. contractor that will perform the technical assistance. 


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.