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In early January, US Customs and Border Protection released their annual statistics for Fiscal Year 2021. Among the data provided was information on the ongoing efforts to protect consumers from products made using forced labor. In the last fiscal year, CBP has prevented almost $500 million worth of goods manufactured using forced labor from entering the US. Trade seizures were also up from last year, with over 83,000 shipments siezed over alleged trade violations. CBP also noted a record year in imports, collecting almost $94 billion in duties and taxes.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) has opened an AD/CVD investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of steel nails, provided for in subheadings 7317.00.55, 7317.00.65, and 7317.00.75 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey and alleged to be subsidized by the Governments of India, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey. Unless the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) extends the time for initiation, the Commission must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in 45 days, or in this case by February 14, 2022. The Commission's views must be transmitted to Commerce within five business days thereafter, or by February 22, 2022.
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-673-677 and 731-TA-1580-1583 (Preliminary)
On January 24th, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they are seeking public comment on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. These comments are intended to help shape the way the act will be implemented and enforced. Included in the notice are instructions on how to submit a comment, and a series of questions to help ensure DHS gets the information they need. The commenting period is open now and will close March 10th at midnight. For further information on the bill or details on how to submit a comment, please see the below links.
New legislation has been introduced to the House that aims to reduce exploitation of the Section 321 de minimis threshold. Section 321 de minimis currently allows goods from foreign countries to be imported duty-free and tax-free as long as the value of the goods is under $800. Over the past several years, the amount of packages arriving in the US under Section 321 has expanded exponentially, currently averaging over 2 million packages per day. There are major concerns that this is reducing the competitiveness of US businesses, and allows bad actors in the industry to exploit the lack of oversight on these lower-value shipments. The Import Security and Fairness Act is intended to close this loophole and provide additional oversight to the de minimis import process. The Act also will require CBP to collect information on all de minimis shipments in order to prevent further abuse of the rule, as well as ensuring de minimis is not being used to bring in goods made with forced labor.
Starting January 22nd, DHS will begin enforcing a requirement for all non-US citizens traveling to the United States via land port of entry or ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This new requirement is part of a series of changes to Non-Citizen entry into the US that was created in October of last year in order to fight the ongoing spread of COVID-19. As of January 22nd, any non-US individuals entering the US - regardless of their reasoning for entry – will need to verbally state their vaccination status and provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, along with the usual documents required to cross into the United States.
US importers are responsible for keeping all records related to imporations into the United States for the legal retention period. In general records must be kept for 5 years from the date of entry, or 5 years from the date of the activity which required the creation of the record. Failure to produce entry records upon lawful demand can result in significant consequences. Check out CBP’s informed compliance publication on “Recordkeeping” in the link below to learn more.
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February 10, 2022
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