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The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced its determination to reinstate certain previously granted product exclusions in the China section 301 Investigation. The determination reinstates 352 of the 549 eligible exclusions. The reinstated product exclusions will apply as of October 12, 2021 and extend through December 31, 2022.
Clients with products that qualify for reinstated exclusions should contact their local JAS Forwarding USA Inc. branch representative to discuss how to assess impact and define next steps to work towards any duty refunds.
The US and UK have reached a new agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imported form the UK. These changes allow the US to import a certain amount of UK steel and aluminum products without facing Section 232 tariffs. The deal also lifts tariffs placed on certain US goods exported to the UK. This agreement mandates an annual third-party audit of financial records for UK steel businesses controlled by Chinese companies to identify whether the company is being unduly influenced by the Chinese government. The tariffs will be lifted on June 1st, 2022.
On March 14th, CBP announced they are detaining all imported merchandise produced by Li-Ning Sporting Goods, a major Chinese sporting goods company. A recent CBP investigation concluded that Li-Ning Sporting Goods is using North Korean labor in their supply chain, which violates The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). CAATSA prohibits the entry of goods, wares, and articles mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by North Korean nationals or North Korean citizens anywhere in the world, unless clear and convincing evidence is provided that such goods were not made with forced labor. All Li-Ning merchandise arriving at US ports will be detained until the importer is able to provide evidence that the goods were not made using forced labor, or else the goods may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
The quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties will increase from the previous quarter. For the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2022, the interest rates for overpayments will be 3 percent for corporations and 4 percent for non-corporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 4 percent for both corporations and non-corporations.
On March 11th, President Biden signed an executive order banning the importation of Russian seafood* and alcohol. The order also bans exports of luxury goods to Russia and restricts any new investments in Russia’s economy by US citizens. This order is one of several orders aimed at reducing Russia’s ability to fund their invasion of Ukraine, and part of a greater global effort to prevent further escalation in this conflict.
* The OFAC General License 17a authorizes the import of Russian seafood and fish until June 23, 2022, provided the requirements in the license are met.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) is scheduled to go into effect on June 21, 2022. In preparation for the implementation of this act, CBP has created a webpage as well as a new email for questions and information on the implementation of UFLPA. The website will be regularly updated with the most up to date information, and their inbox is open for inquiries and compliance advisement. The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) will also be holding a public hearing on the methods used to prevent goods produced with forced labor from entering the US. The hearing is on April 8th, and members of the public can register on the CBP site if they wish to provide public testimony.
On April 29th, people all around the world will be celebrating Arbor Day, a special day where we get together to celebrate trees and plant new ones. The very first Arbor Day in the US took place in Nebraska on April 10th, 1872, which means this year we will be celebrating 150 years of planting trees! This is also the 50th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees around the world. The Arbor Day Foundation has planted and distributed 500 million trees (and counting) over the last 50 years. If you would like to contribute to making the world a little greener or get some trees to plant yourself for future generations to enjoy, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation site. All donations are tax deductible and go towards making the world better for all!