New definitions of and tariff codes for woven “recreational performance outerwear” in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) took effect August 24 that could hasten lower duty rates on such imports if Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) gets its way.

These new lines are a key provision of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act, Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) signature piece of trade legislation that will eliminate tariffs on recreational performance outerwear, noted OIA Manager of International Trade Rich Harper.

Performance outerwear are among the most highly taxed outdoor products. Despite the lack of competitive U.S. commercial manufacturing, these popular jackets and pants still face tariffs averaging 14 percent, with some as high as 28 percent.

Although the U.S. OUTDOOR Act is still pending, Congress included the new codes in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 and today they come into effect.

Recreational performance outerwear is specialized apparel designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor recreation. For the first time, the HTS recognizes that these products should no longer be classified under the same codes as ready made, mass-market apparel. You can learn more about which products may qualify as recreational performance outerwear and the new tariff lines here.

The new lines will help the industry track imports of recreational performance outerwear and set the stage for securing the remaining provisions of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act:

  • The elimination of import tariffs on the new recreational performance outerwear lines and
  • The creation of the Sustainable Textile and Apparel Research Fund (STAR Fund) to support the research and development of sustainable textile and apparel supply chains.

Getting unique and specific tariff lines for recreational performance outerwear was a great first step; now OIA is focused on getting the rest of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act across the finish line.