US textile and apparel imports from Cote d'Ivoire are now eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after the country implemented the customs procedures required by the trade pact.

"Cote d'Ivoire has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent unlawful trans-shipment of textile and apparel articles and the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles," the Office of the US Trade Representative said.

The country has also taken steps to implement and follow certain customs procedures to help verify the origin of the products.

The move means imports of eligible products from Cote d'Ivoire qualify for the textile and apparel benefits provided to a lesser-developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under AGOA, the notice in today's Federal Register added.

AGOA was signed into law by President Clinton in May 2000, with the aim of expanding US trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa. More than 40 sub-Saharan African countries are currently eligible to receive AGOA benefits.