JAS USA COMPLIANCE

News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

6165 Barfield Road
Atlanta GA, 30328
United States
Tel: +1 (770)688-1206
Fax: +1 (770)688-1229

The Colors of Autumn
September 7, 2022
colorful leaves

It’s that time of year again. Fall is almost upon us! Fall officially starts September 22nd on the Autumnal Equinox. After months of record-breaking heat, we can finally start to wear long sleeves again, sip some warm coffee, relax, and watch the leaves change. Have you ever wondered why the leaves change? Many think it has to do with the cooling weather, but this is not the case. The beautiful red, yellow, and orange coloring we see in leaves are the result of the tree receiving less sunlight! Every leaf has a chemical inside called chlorophyll, which allows the leaf to absorb sunlight and gives them their signature green color. As the days get shorter, chemical changes take place that causes the base of the leaf to form a corklike wall where it meets the tree branch. This wall seals off the leaf from the rest of the tree, cutting off the supply of nutrients going to the leaves from the tree. The lack of nutrients and less daylight cause the chlorophyll to break down. The green color from the chlorophyll fades, and the other pigments within the leaf begin to make an appearance. Whether the leaf turns red, yellow, orange, or tan all depends on the other chemicals and pigments within the leaf.

Be sure to share these facts with your friends and family, and have a wonderful Autumn!

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JAS ON THE MOVE – GTEC Conference
September 7, 2022
L-R Laurie Arnold, Amy Magnus Sr. Counsel, JD Gonzales, President NCBFAA and Victoria Lane, VP NCBFAA

Recently, Laurie Arnold, JAS VP Compliance and the Treasurer for NCBFAA, attended the 8th annual NEI Global Trade Educational Conference (GTEC). The event took place at the historic InterContinential Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel, hosted by the NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI). Laurie attended presentations on many different subjects, including forced labor, 301 tariffs, CBP updates, binding rulings, and trade remedies. The event had many networking opportunities to connect with other members in the industry. The NEI offers multiple learning and educational opportunities. If you would like to learn more about these types of events, you can subscribe to NEI news and updates from the NCBFAA site.

NCBFAA Site
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Forced Labor Requirements Could Drive Up CTPAT Costs
September 7, 2022
forced labor ctpat update

CBP has announced new requirements related to forced labor for the CTPAT program that will affect all current and future participants in the program. Six requirements have been changed from “should” to “must” within the minimum security criteria requirements to be a CTPAT partner: Risk-based mapping, due diligence and training, evidence of implementation, code of conduct, remediation, and shared best practices. CTPAT members must meet these new requirements to be accepted as a partner, and current CTPAT partners will have until August 1st 2023 to implement the new rules. Trade and Compliance experts have raised concerns that implementation of these new rules may result in higher costs for participating members.

CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria Resources
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CBP Trade Statistics Update
September 7, 2022
customs border protection

Trade highlights from CBP’s recent updates for Fiscal Year 2022 going through June 30th:

  • Processed 29.4 million entry summaries valued at $2.5 trillion
  • Collected $82.4 billion in duties, taxes, and fees
  • Issued 5 withhold release orders (WROs)
  • Detained 2,010 shipments worth $357.8 million related to WROs
  • Seized 15,834 shipments related to intellectual property rights violations

CBP Trade Statistics
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Adjustment of COBRA Customs User Fees
September 7, 2022
cobra customs user fees update

On August 25th, some Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) customs user fees and limitations were adjusted. The following changes will be applied to imports starting October 1st, 2022:

  • Formal MPF (499) limits changed. Minimum: $29.66 / Maximum: $575.35;
  • Informal MPF (311) changed to $2.37;
  • Dutiable Mail Fee (496) changed to $6.52;
  • Surcharge for Manual Entry or Release (500) changed to $3.56.

ACE CATAIR Entry Summary Create/Update
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CSMS Forms Courtesy Notice
September 7, 2022
update

CBP recently updated the ACE portal system on how CBP Forms 28, 29, and 4647 are provided to importers. ACE Forms Modernization Application, which is designed to send these forms to the importer via the ACE portal. CBP is working to ensure that importers without ACE portal accounts will still receive these forms via email to the customs broker.

If you would like to receive these via your ACE portal: 

• Both the importer account and the broker account have enabled the “Portal” setting in the “Mode of Communication” portlet.

• The importer has added all Importer of Record numbers to their top account record in the ACE Portal.

Apply for ACE Portal Account
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Back to School!
August 1, 2022
Back to School tidbits

This August, students will begin returning to classes for the 2022-2023 school year. Let's look at some interesting facts about schooling in the US to get those brains back in action!

  • Over 50 million students will be attending public schools in 2022.
  • There are nearly 98,000 public schools in the US. 
  • About 10% of students will attend private schools.
  • Back-to-school costs for 2022 are expected to average about $864 per family.
  • On average, schools spend over $13,000 per student annually. 
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Section 301 - 4 Year Review
August 1, 2022
Section 301 actions must undergo a review every 4 years

According to the Trade Act, Section 301 actions must undergo a review every 4 years to ensure that those tariffs are still necessary and effective. During the review process, USTR will take comments and requests for continuance from members of the industry via the online portal on the USTR website.

List 1 was originally set to expire on July 6th but is still currently in effect, though no announcement has been made about its continuation yet. The 60-day period to request continuation for List 2 is open until August 22, 2022.  List 3 is scheduled to expire this September, and List 4A is set for September 2023, and both will have their own respective opportunities to submit requests for continuance. 

For further details on the review & to submit a comment
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US – Kenya Trade Partnership In Development
August 1, 2022
US – Kenya Trade Partnership In Development

The United States and Kenya recently began talks to develop a stronger trade partnership and to help drive economic growth. Kenya is already a part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows them duty-free access to certain goods in the US market. The US Trade Representative and the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary plan to continue meeting and develop a roadmap for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. The main points they are looking to collaborate upon include anti-corruption practices, environmental protection, digital trading, and the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises that help sustain economic growth. They are set to begin work on these projects within the next few months. 

See the Press Release
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Department Of Commerce Initiates Circumvention Inquiry on Chinese Aluminum Foil
August 1, 2022
Department Of Commerce Initiates Circumvention Inquiry on Chinese Aluminum Foil

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has initiated an inquiry to establish whether imports of completed aluminum foil products from Korea and Thailand that use Chinese-manufactured aluminum inputs are circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties on those goods. These duties apply specifically to aluminum foil “having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width,” that was manufactured in China. The DOC will be contacting certain companies in Korea and Thailand to analyze their production and supply chain and make a decision based on their review. 

Federal Register
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CBP Releases Guidance for Importers on UFLPA
July 5, 2022
CBP Releases Guidance for Importers on UFLPA

CBP has released the UFLPA Operation Guidance for Importers. This document details the enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and has operational guidance and best practices for importers to comply with the act, which went into effect on June 21, 2022. The guidance has step-by-step instructions on how to submit a request for exception to the rebuttable presumption, which prohibits importation of any “goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions.” The guidance also includes an extensive list of resources for importers to use when doing their due diligence and maintaining the security of their supply chain, which CBP recommends all importers do as this act takes effect.

See the CBP Website for more information
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Firework Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
July 5, 2022
Did you know, fireworks image

Independence Day is July 4th and many Americans spent this long weekend celebrating with a BANG! Fireworks have become an integral part of celebrating major holidays in America. Here are some fun facts about fireworks:

  • Chinese alchemists first discovered how to make explosive black powder over 1000 years ago. This black powder consisted of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate. This powder would eventually be refined and developed into gunpowder – the perfect substance for launching and exploding colorful chemicals in the sky.
  • Fireworks did not have color or design until the 1830s when Italian pyrotechnicians added arial shells and metal salts to the mixture. These additions would cause brilliant colorful effects and allow for multiple timed explosions with a single firework shell.
  • Fireworks have been used to celebrate Independence Day since the very first anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1777, in Philadelphia.
  • Americans spent $1.5 billion on fireworks last year. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) projects that spending will likely exceed $2 billion this year!
  • Fireworks are getting more expensive, and there will likely be shortages. Due to rising inflation and rising shipping costs, fireworks are going up in price.
  • Display fireworks are hard to ship! Since fireworks are considered explosives, importing them comes with certain restrictions. An importer will need a Federal Explosives Importer License or an ATF license specific to the activity planned for the imported fireworks. All fireworks must be properly labeled with warnings and pass inspection upon entry to the US.

Happy 4th of July!  Please make sure to be safe when using fireworks!

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Global Trade Educational Conference 2022
July 5, 2022
G-TEC

On August 1st and 2nd, 2022, the NCBFAA National Educational Institute will host the annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G-TEC) in Chicago. The conference is open to all importers and exporters, and will have sessions on many different topics featuring subject matter experts and prominent leaders in the industry. Topics include CTPAT, Binding rulings, export sanctions, trade remedies, forced labor prevention, tips on managing remote work, and many more. This event is a great opportunity for importers and exporters to learn more about compliance and improve the effectiveness of their due diligence. and provide due diligence. NCBFAA members that register will have access to member pricing and earn 14 CCS/CES credits. This event is also a great opportunity to network with others in the global trade industry.

Registration and Further Information
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EPA Form 3540-1 Update
July 5, 2022
EPA Form 3540-1 Update

The EPA has updated the 3540-1 Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (NOA) form. This type of form is generally only used for entries that cannot be done through ACE. The new form clarifies some of the requested data elements and has improved instructions for filling out the form. CBP will continue to accept the old form until July 30th, 2022. After the grace period, all importers should be using the new form when filing entries.

Link to new form with instructions
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Ocean Shipping Reform Act Signed into Law
July 5, 2022
Ocean Shipping Reform Act Signed into Law

On June 16th, the current administration signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) into law. This act will provide additional powers to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) which will help combat rising freight costs, enhance oversight on international ocean carriers, and prohibit carriers from unreasonably denying US exports. The Act will allow the FMC to conduct investigations into ocean carriers and apply enforcement measures based on their findings. The Act also changes some rules on demurrage and detention charges, passing the burden of proof from the invoiced party to ocean carriers to verify the demurrage and detention charges, and ensuring that these charges meet federal regulations.

White House Press Release
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Temporary Suspension of Tariffs on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia Authorized
July 5, 2022
Temporary Suspension of Tariffs on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia Authorized

Recently, the US has been experiencing a shortage of solar energy modules, and energy producers have not been able to keep up with demand for clean energy alternatives. On June 6th, the current administration declared “an emergency to exist with respect to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected customer demand.” This emergency declaration allows for solar panels originating from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to be imported to the US duty-free for the next 24 months, at the discretion of the Secretaries of Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security.

See the statement from the white house
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CBP Launches AD/CVD and Trade Remedies Site
June 1, 2022
CBP recently expanded their Antidumping/Countervailing Duties & Trade remedies web page.

CBP recently expanded their Antidumping/Countervailing Duties & Trade remedies web page. This site has links with the latest information on trade remedies for Sections 201, 232 and 301, AD/CVD information, FAQ’s, Informed Compliance Publications, guides on different trade policies, and a searchable public message system. This site will be an incredibly helpful tool for importers looking to get their products through customs efficiently and avoid delays.

Trade Remedies Site
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US to Temporarily Suspend Section 232 Tariffs on Ukraine Steel Imports
June 1, 2022
On May 9th, the Department of Commerce announced that the Section 232 Tariffs on Ukrainian steel will be lifted for one year.

On May 9th, the Department of Commerce announced that the Section 232 Tariffs on Ukrainian steel will be lifted for one year. This follows similar tariff suspensions on Ukraine-originating goods by other allied countries around the world. Ukraine’s steel industry is one of the most important parts of their economy and employs a significant portion of the country. This suspension will provide relief to this industry, allowing for additional export opportunities as their steel mills begin production again.

Press Release Here
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AIM Reporting Requirement Update
June 1, 2022
The US Commerce Department will require aluminum licensing applications to note “country of largest smelt” and “country of second largest smelt” starting June 29, 2022.

The US Commerce Department will require aluminum licensing applications to note “country of largest smelt” and “country of second largest smelt” starting June 29, 2022. This means that importers bringing in aluminum products will need to identify on their applications the country in which the largest and second largest volumes of new aluminum are being produced. There was a one year grace period allowed for importers to use “Unknown” in these fields as they collected the information they would need to meet the requirement. This grace period will expire June 28th, and moving forward, all aluminum import license applications will require these fields to be filled for the aluminum licensing application to be considered.

CSMS Update
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Foreign Supplier Verification Program Requirements Update
June 1, 2022
The FDA recently released updated guidance on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Food Importers (FSVP)

The FDA recently released updated guidance on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Food Importers (FSVP), requiring that every entry line of food being imported to the US has a unique facility identifier (UFI). Earlier guidance allowed for using “UNK” (unknown) in place of the DUNS number in the UFI field, as this was a new requirement and importers would need time to gather the necessary information. As of July 24th, 2022, the FDA will no longer allow the use of “UNK” in the UFI field. All foods subject to FSVP must have the corresponding DUNS number in the UFI field of each entry. Moving forward, CBP will reject any entry line for foods subject to FSVP if there is no DUNS provided.

CSMS Update
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CBP Known Importer Letter Update
June 1, 2022
CBP 2 Letters

Last month, CBP announced that they would be sending Known Importer Letters to importers that imported goods that may be subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Since then, approximately 400 letters have been sent to importers across the US. There are two versions of this letter, one for importers that are part of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), and one for those who are not. The CTPAT letters have additional language noting that the importer may be removed from the CTPAT program if they are in violation of UFLPA. CBP is urging all importers to thoroughly review their supply chains before implementation of UFLPA on June 21st.

For more information on the letters and the UFLPA
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Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
June 1, 2022
Summer Tidbits

Summer starts on June 21st, and experts say we are in for a hot one this year! Meteorologists are predicting above-average temperatures across the US, particularly in the North and Midwest. Here are some tips to keep you and your family cool as we enter the sunniest season of the year:

  • MAKE SURE YOU ARE HYDRATED! – This cannot be emphasized enough. Hydration is key to keeping your body temperature regulated. Drink plenty of cool water or sports drinks with electrolytes and stay away from coffee or other drinks that can dehydrate you.
  • Eat a popsicle – Frozen treats are a fantastic way to keep you cool when it’s hot out. As a bonus, a tasty frozen popsicle can double as a mini ice pack if you’re really burning up!
  • Dress appropriately – When dressing for the heat, make sure to wear lightly colored loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Strap on some sandals or flip-flops to reduce feet sweat. Don a hat and put on some sunglasses to keep your head cool and block UV rays from the summer sun.
  • Eat something spicy – Yes, you read that correctly. Eating spicy food might not be comfortable for everyone, especially in the heat. However, spicy foods can improve your circulation, which causes you to sweat more, and sweat cools the body. Who knew that a dash of hot sauce could keep you cool as cucumber?
  • Freeze your sheets – Getting to sleep when it’s hot is just the worst. Combat warm nights with cold sheets! Strange as it sounds, putting your sheets in the freezer shortly before bedtime will help you cool down when you go to bed. You can also try keeping freezing gel packs between your sheets to keep you cool throughout the night.

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JAS VP Compliance Elected Treasurer for NCBFAA
May 3, 2022
Laurie Arnold Vice President Compliance for JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc. was elected as the Treasurer to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)

Laurie Arnold Vice President Compliance for JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc. was elected as the Treasurer to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) at the 49th Annual NCBFAA conference in Tucson AZ on May 2nd.  The NCBFAA is a national membership headquartered in Washington DC that represents more than 1,000 member companies with over 110,000 employees in international trade-the nation’s leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries, NVOCC’s and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. The NCBFAA established in 1897, is the effective national voice of the industry. The association keeps a close eye over legislative and regulatory issues affecting the international trade community.

 Laurie has served the last 3 years as the Legislative Committee Chair for the NCBFAA, working with the congressional offices on a variety of issues, including the America Competes Act currently in congress. The America Competes Act (HR4521) covers multiple areas including the Illegal Fishing & Forced Labor Prevention Act (SIMP) and Import Security & Fairness Act. Working on The Customs Business Fairness Act (CBFA) HR4816 by far is where her passion shows. She was instrumental in having the language from this bill included in the Cares Act of 2020. The provision provided customs brokers a year reprieve of being required to return any customs duty received from the importer and provided to US Customs as a pass through if the importer filed bankruptcy. While the provision did expire at the end of 2021, she has remained committed to making the CBFA permanent. Laurie is looking forward to serving in her new role as the Treasurer for the NCBFAA.

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CBP To Send Known Importer Letters
May 3, 2022
CBP To Send Known Importer Letters

CBP has announced that they will be sending “Known Importer Letters” to all importers known to have imported goods that may be subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). These letters are being sent to encourage importers to review their supply chain and identify any potential forced labor issues within. The UFLPA “establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China” will not be allowed into the United States. CBP will be sending the Known Importer Letters before the rebuttable presumption goes into effect on June 21st. CBP is also encouraging importers to review their supply chain even if they do not receive a Known Importer Letter.  

For Further information please click here
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CIT Gavel

On April 1st, the Court of International Trade issued an opinion stating that the USTR acted within its rights when implementing lists 3 and 4A of the Section 301 Tariffs. The plaintiffs in the case suggested that lists 3 and 4A violated the Trade Act and should be removed because these tariff lists were in retaliation to new Chinese tariffs on US goods, and not based in the original USTR Section 301 report.

They also suggested that the lists were unlawful because USTR did not start a new Section 301 investigation before implementation. The CIT found that the new lists were not in violation of the 1974 Trade act as alleged, but they found that the USTR did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act because they did not properly respond to the public comments on lists 3 and 4A. The case has been remanded to the Office of the USTR, allowing an opportunity for them to explain the reasoning behind the implementation of these lists. The USTR has been given until June 30th to provide this information.

US CBP Office

CBP has released their monthly statistics for March. See the trade highlights below:

  • Processed over 3.1 million entry summaries valued at over $337 billion.
  • Collected $9 billion in duties.
  • Seized 10,583 shipments that contained over $1.5 billion of counterfeit goods.

The report includes statistics on international travel, border enforcement, drug seizures, agricultural seizures, and CBP’s response to COVID 19. The report also includes links to previous reports and year-over-year comparisons. 

Helpful Tips May 2022

Ahead of the upcoming guidance on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), it is strongly recommended that all importers review their supply chain to ensure that their goods are not being made with forced labor. CBP has a FAQ section for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that covers Withhold Release Orders, proof of admissibility, and best practices. The Due Diligence/Best Practices section has extensive resources that you can apply when reviewing your supply chain. The UFLPA will be going into effect on June 21st, so be sure to do your due diligence as soon as possible.

The US and UK have reached a new agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imported form the UK

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

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.

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

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.

Arbor Day 2022

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!

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued additional sanctions and export controls against Russia in response to their invasion of Ukraine. These new rules are intended to severely impact Russian financial systems, disrupt their economy, and reduce their access to high-tech imports. The largest Russian banks targeted by these sanctions have been cut off from US financial systems. The ruling also places restrictions on the Russian military, preventing access to exports from the US and certain exports that utilize US-originating goods. Several Russian elites and their families have also had severe sanctions placed upon them and their US assets have been frozen. Canada, Japan, Australia, the EU, and other US allies are also placing their own sanctions against Russia in a unified effort to further damage Russia’s ability to carry out their invasion.

Please note the situation in Ukraine is changing rapidly, and this report is based on the most up to date data available at time of publishing.

New data shows that Chicago CBP officers seized around $2.88 million worth of counterfeit goods during the month of January alone. One of the biggest busts in January was a shipment from Israel with over $713,000 in counterfeit jewelry. Officers say they see counterfeit goods passing through on a near daily basis, with reports showing 29 counterfeit seizures in Chicago throughout January. The fake items seized cover all manner of accessories including jewelry, watches, shoes, and handbags. Estimates show the United States spends over $100 billion every year on counterfeit goods that infringe on intellectual property laws.

The U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on Japanese steel imports. This new agreement sets a quota for Japanese steel, allowing for up to 1.25 million tons to be imported without any Section 232 duties imposed. This plan is similar to a resolution passed last year easing EU steel and aluminum tariffs, though this agreement only affects Japanese steel imports.  These multinational agreements are part of a larger strategy to fight China’s anti-competitive trade practices, as well as creating a greener steel trade industry.

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is issuing a final rule to adjust certain civil monetary penalties (CMP) for inflation pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. OFAC imposes CMPs pursuant to the penalty authority in five statutes: The Trading With the Enemy Act; the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act; and the Clean Diamond Trade Act . The new rule went into effect February 9th.

AD/CVD (Anti-dumping and countervailing duty) is a hot topic in the trade world these days.  Determining whether AD/CVD applies to products is imperative to understand the costs of imported goods.  Applicability of AD/CVD is typically based on the description of the item as it relates to the scope of the AD/CVD order.  HTS codes are part of AD/CVD scopes but are not the deciding factor.  

Using case numbers, The US Customs & Border Protection system for AD/CVD search AD/CVD search can provide information on specific cases including scope and other background related to individual cases.  Simply enter a case number in the search field and the results will appear.  Users can sort by date, status, type and much more.  

  • While it is often attributed to him, Ben Franklin actually did not come up with daylight saving time as we know it today, but he did pen the idea of adjusting schedules to the available sunlight in an unpublished satirical letter from 1784. In the letter he calculated the money that Parisians could save on candles if they woke with the sun instead of lazily waking at noon.
  • The actual name is Daylight Saving, not Daylight Savings, as it is often called.
  • Daylight Savings was not enacted officially in the US until March 1918. This was later repealed, then enacted again during WWII. After the war, states were allowed to choose whether they wanted to utilize DST or not. This resulted in massive travel issues for citizens crossing multiple state lines.
  • Modern use of DST was established in 1966, when the government passed the Uniform Time Act, creating a standard for daylight savings across the country (minus a few holdout states).
  • Hawaii, Arizona, and most US Territories do not observe DST.
  • There is much debate over whether DST has positive or negative effects on regions that use it, and whether it is necessary at all. Polls indicate that over 60% of Americans generally support the idea of eliminating DST permanently.
  • Studies show that the second Monday in March (the day we “lose an hour” every year) there are noticeable spikes in workplace accidents, traffic accidents, losses of productivity and slight increases in health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.

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.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Sweep your partner off their feet with these fun Valentine’s facts.

  • In 1875, a Swiss inventor Daniel Peter combined cocoa and condensed milk to create the first Milk Chocolate, which is now the most widely consumed chocolate across the globe. The milk condensation process had been created by Henri Nestlé, who's last name may sound very familiar! These men would go on to create Nestlé, one of the largest food and confectionary companies in existence today.
  • The United States is the biggest importer of chocolate in the world! In 2020, the United States imported $2.9 billion worth of chocolate.
  • Projections for 2022 show that Americans will likely spend over $27 billion on their Valentines. This is an increase of over $5 billion compared to last year!
  • Nothing says “I Love You” like a new diamond bracelet! Lovers all across the United States spent a whopping $5.8 billion on jewelry for their significant others in 2021.  
  • Conversation Hearts (also called Sweethearts), while not exactly considered the best-tasting Valentine’s candy, have become a holiday staple since their creation in 1901 by the famous confectionary company Necco. Approximately 8 billion conversation hearts are made every year!

First Sale Valuation and Reducing Section 301 Tariffs

February 10, 2022

2:00 PM ET- 3:00 PM ET

Sandler Travis & Rosenberg

The Census Bureau is proposing to amend its regulations to reflect new export reporting requirements related to the country of origin.  Specially, the Census Bureau is proposing to add a conditional data element, country of origin, when foreign origin is selected in the Foreign/Domestic Origin Indicator field in the Automated Export System (AES).  In addition to the new export reporting requirement, the proposed rule would make remedial changes to the FTR to improve clarity and to correct errors.

 Written comments are requested and must be received on or before February 14, 2022.

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