USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released a final rule amending the Cotton Board’s rules and regulations by increasing the value assigned to imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as the valuation of cotton subject to producer assessments.

Cotton Board Chairman Kevin Rogers, an Arizona producer, said, "This valuation adjustment is designed to occur annually to ensure that assessments paid by producers and importers of cotton and cotton products are equivalent. The valuation adjustment is based on average prices during a previous 12-month period and reflects price movements. Because prices were strong last year, this rule adjusts the valuation of cotton content upward. Prices of cotton fiber have weakened lately and that change will be reflected in next year's adjustment."

In making this adjustment, USDA also updated the applicable assessment table to reflect Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers that were removed or updated since the last revision to the importer assessment provisions. The rule contains a revised Import Assessment Table detailing all applicable HTS codes.

"USDA's AMS continues to provide excellent oversight and this assessment amendment, as well as the updates to the cotton conversion factors for the new HTS codes, is an example of that ongoing oversight," Rogers stated.

The rule goes into effect on Sept. 27, 2012. More information on the rule is at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/08/28/2012-20951/cotton-board-rules-and-regulations-adjusting-supplemental-assessment-on-imports.