Frequently asked questions about the U.S.-Morocco FTA.
Last Published: 10/25/2016
What Benefits Can U.S. Companies Expect?
Benefits include:
  • Tariff elimination. Tariffs on 95 percent of two-way trade in industrial and consumer goods were eliminated on January 1, 2006, when this FTA entered into force.
  • Services sector openings. Most U.S. service providers, including banks and insurance companies, are to be treated equally with Moroccan companies.
  • Agricultural access. U.S. farmers and ranchers, including poultry farmers, cattle producers and wheat farmers, have increased access to Moroccan markets.
  • Enhanced intellectual property rights protection. Morocco will provide U.S. copyright, patent, and trademark owners stronger protection and more effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.
  • Transparency measures. The Moroccan government will publish its trade related laws and regulations concerning matters covered by the Agreement, as well as allow public comment to the extent possible.
  • Customs cooperation. U.S. companies can expect faster customs processing for their goods.
What Documentation is Required?
Certificate of Origin:
No certificate of origin is required. The FTA provides that whenever an importer makes a claim for preferential tariff treatment for a good, that:
  • The importer has certified that the good qualifies for preferential tariff treatment
  • The customs authorities may request the importer to provide a signed declaration with additional supporting information
  • Moroccan customs should request a declaration only when:
1. It has reason to question the accuracy of a deemed certification; or
2. Its risk assessment procedures indicate that verification of an entry is appropriate; or
3. It conducts a random verification.
  • The importer must retain the information necessary to prepare the declaration for five years from the date of importation of the good
Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED):
As is the case with exports to other countries, the US government requires submission of a SED, if the value of the shipment is greater than $2,500. Exporters can use the free internet-based system to file (www.aesdirect.gov).

Commercial Invoice:
Exporters should be aware that commercial invoices for all shipments from the United States must bear a notarized affidavit:
I, (name, title, and name of company), hereby swear that the prices stated in this invoice are the current export market prices for the merchandise described, that the products being shipped are of US origin, and that they have been manufactured in the United States. I accept full responsibility for any inaccuracies therein. (Signature)
*Note: If the products being shipped contain any foreign components, the country of origin and percentage of foreign content in the goods must be indicated on the invoice.

Other Documentation:
For shipments to Morocco, exporters are required to provide, in original form, an airway bill and a packing list.

Are There Any Import Restrictions?
Import restrictions apply only to firearms, explosives, used clothing and used tires. For more information on export licenses, please refer to the Web site for the Bureau of Industry and Security.

What are the Best Prospects for U.S. Companies? (Non-Textile Industrial Goods)
The U.S.-Morocco FTA dramatically increased market access opportunities in Morocco for U.S. manufacturers and service providers and investors. An average tariff rate of 28.3 percent now hinders U.S. exports to Morocco. When the Agreement entered into force on January 1, 2006, Morocco immediately eliminated tariffs on 92 percent of U.S. non-textile industrial exports-a record for an FTA signed with a developing country partner. Morocco is the United States' ninth largest goods trading partner on the African continent, with $958 million in two-way trade in 2002. Civil aircraft, chemicals, information technology, and energy products make up the largest U.S. exports to Morocco. Small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") comprise more than 97 percent of U.S. exporters and will benefit just as much as-if not more than-their larger brethren under the Agreement. The Agreement provides particularly significant opportunities for trade in goods in the following non-textile industrial sectors:
  • Automobiles and Automotive Parts
  • Environmental Technologies (Goods and services)
  • Building Products
  • Chemicals
  • Civil Aircrafts
  • Consumer Goods
  • Construction Equipment
  • Forest and Paper Products
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Metals/Steel
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textiles and Apparel
  • Agriculture
How Does The FTA Affect Service Sectors?
Services represent 54 percent of Morocco's GDP. This is slightly less than the average for most developing countries. Morocco stated that one of its primary interests in concluding the Agreement was to improve the climate for investment from the United States. As such, the Agreement reinforces the on-going development of Morocco's legal and regulatory reforms and development plans for many sectors of interest to U.S. service providers: telecommunications, e-commerce, engineering and infrastructure services, environmental and energy services among them. Morocco, a developing country, has taken on the many fundamental commitments and obligations under the Agreement that will provide the basis for enhanced liberalization and opportunities for U.S. companies providing services as well as products. The Agreement provides a framework for transparency in Morocco's regulatory framework for services in three areas: standard setting; the regulatory application process; and judicial, arbitral, and administrative procedures. These reinforce services and investment reforms already underway in many services sectors by lowering, phasing out, or making more transparent barriers to services trade and inward investment. In effect, the Agreement institutionalizes international business law, accounting procedures and standards, opening Morocco up to increased U.S. business, direct investment, as well as agricultural and service sector exports. Hot Service Sectors Include:
  • Telecom Services
  • Financial Services (Banking, Insurance, and Securities)
  • Tourism Infrastructure
  • Housing and Construction
  • Engineering and Consulting
  • Legal Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Airport Ground Support and Security
  • Franchising
  • Energy Services
  • Education
How Does The FTA Protect Intellectual Property Rights?
U.S. industry has expressed a high level of satisfaction with the IPR provisions of the Agreement. U.S. industry calls the Agreement's IPR chapter, "the most advanced IP chapter in any FTA negotiated so far" and "a precedential agreement for future FTAs." Morocco has agreed to protect IPR to a degree unseen in many other developing countries. Some of the highlights for enhanced copyright, trademark, and patent protection and enforcement include:

Copyrights:
  • Ensures extended terms of protection (e.g., life of the author plus 70 years) for copyrighted works.
  • Establishes strong anti-circumvention provisions to prohibit tampering with technologies that are designed to prevent piracy and unauthorized distribution over the Internet.
  • Provides rules for the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for copyright infringement, reflecting the balance struck in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act between legitimate ISP activity and the infringement of copyrights.
Patents & Undisclosed Information
  • Provides for the adjustment of patent terms to compensate for unreasonable delays in granting the original patent.
  • Clarifies that test data and trade secrets submitted to a government for the purpose of product approval will be protected against unfair commercial use for a period of five years for pharmaceuticals and ten years for agricultural chemicals.
  • Requires measures to prevent the marketing approval of pharmaceutical products that infringe patents, and to provide notice when the infringement or validity of a pharmaceutical patent is to be challenged.
Trademarks
  • Requires a system to resolve disputes about trademarks used in connection with Internet domain names, which is important to address trademark cyber-piracy.
  • Applies the principle of "first-in-time, first-in-right" to trademarks and geographical indications, so that the first person who acquires a right to a trademark or geographical indication is the person who has the right to use it.

Enforcement
  • Criminalizes end-user software piracy, providing strong deterrence against piracy and counterfeiting.
  • Requires both Parties to authorize the seizure, forfeiture, and destruction of counterfeit and pirated goods and the equipment used to produce them. Ex officio action may be taken in border and criminal cases, thus providing more effective enforcement.

 

Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



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