A new bill, H.R. 6483, entitled the Recreational Performance Outerwear Apparel Act of 2008, introduced into the House on July 14, 2008, would provide duty free entry for certain eligible recreational performance outerwear garments. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has determined that

  • Imports of certain recreational performance outerwear apparel do not contribute to domestic market disruption or adversely affect U.S. textile and apparel producers. 
  • There is no commercially viable production in the U.S. of recreational performance apparel 
  • The elimination of duties on certain recreational performance apparel would provide an economic benefit to consumers of outdoor products

Preliminary definition of recreational performance outerwear

Recreational performance outerwear has been defined by the bill to mean pants, (including but not limited to paddling pants, ski or snowboard pants, and ski and snowboard pants intended for sale as parts of ski suits), coveralls and bib overalls, and jackets (including but not limited to full zip jackets, paddling jackets, ski jackets, and ski jackets intended for sale as parts of ski suits), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets) the outer surface of which is predominantly of knit or woven fabrics of cotton, wool, hemp, bamboo, silk, or manmade fibre, or a combination of such fibres that are water-resistant, visibly coated, or any combination thereof, with critically sealed seams, with 5 or more of the following options:

1. Insulation for cold weather protection 
2. Pockets, at least one of which has a zippered, hook and loop, or other type of closure 
3. Elastic, draw cord, or other means of tightening around the waist or leg hems, including hidden leg sleeves with a means of tightening at the ankle for pants and tightening around the waist of bottom hem for jackets 
4. Venting 
5. Articulated elbows or knees 
6. Reinforcement in one of the following areas: elbows, shoulders, seat, knees, ankles or cuffs 
7. Weatherproof closure at the waist or front 
8. Multi-adjustable hood/collar 
9. Adjustable powder, inner protective skirt or adjustable inner protective cuff at sleeve hem 
10. Construction at the arm gusset that utilizes fabric, design, or patterning to ensure radial arm movement 
11. Odour control technology

The term recreational performance outerwear does not include occupational outerwear used by such workers as military, law enforcement, fire, rescue, emergency, industrial, residential, safety, healthcare, and government workers for protection against cold or workplace hazards such as fire, abrasion, chemical, etc. Entry of goods claiming this duty free provision must identify, on the invoice, whether the outer surface is water-resistant, visibly coated, or combination thereof, plus the specific features that make the good eligible for entry as recreational performance outerwear.

The effective date would apply on the 15th day after the date of the enactment of this bill.

To view the complete text of this bill click on the following link: 
Recreational Performance Outerwear Apparel Act of 2008