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Environmental Goods Agreement

In 2011, APEC member countries decided to promote trade in and increase access to environmental goods and technologies by lowering costs through reducing tariffs on such products in an effort to take action on pressing environmental challenges. The 21 member countries* agreed to reduce their applied most-favored nation (MFN) tariff rates on a negotiated list of environmental products covering 54 lines of the Harmonized System to 5 percent or less by January 1, 2016. The impacted products span a range of uses and functions, including:

  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Air pollution control technologies
  • Water treatment technologies
  • Waste treatment and recycling machinery
  • Environmental monitoring and assessment equipment
  • Energy efficiency technologies

With the implementation of the agreement, 16 APEC countries reduced a total of 375 tariffs.** Most of the cuts came from larger APEC economies, like China, Korea, Mexico, and Chile, that previously imposed higher tariffs on many of the covered products. The agreement impacts some $15.6 billion in U.S. exports of the covered products to APEC countries with whom the U.S. does not have a Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. exporters stand to benefit from the reduced tariffs on environmental goods and are encouraged to investigate how to take advantage. Exporters should:

  • Find the HS number for the environmental product they are interested in exporting through Census Bureau’s Schedule B.
  • Check for the product’s 6-digit HS number among the 54 HS lines where tariff reductions on environmental goods have taken place.
  • If covered by the agreement, identify where the product is among the list of covered products in the target country’s APEC Implementation Schedule.
  • Contact the country customs offices to request advanced ruling on product classification.
  • Connect with your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for assistance on how to export.

*In addition to the United States, APEC includes Australia, Brunei Darussalem, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

**The remaining five APEC members already had MFN tariff rates of 5 percent or less on all of the covered products.

Last Updated: 2/28/18 11:59 AM

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