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C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) has deployed phase II of portal 2.0. This deployment includes enhancements to the account management tool, as well as a new format for the security profile which will allow C-TPAT partners with multiple accounts to potentially manage these accounts jointly by merging C-TPAT security models.
From the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website:
"As the C-TPAT Portal 2.0 project transitions into Phase II, the security profile has been rebuilt into a comprehensive criteria-by-criteria format, complete with the ability to add evidence of implementation at each criteria statement for review. Help text is available to clarify the criteria statements. The reformatted security profile eases the Annual Review process by allowing C-TPAT Partners to change existing answers to criteria statements, as opposed to the old appending style, as it creates new copies of the security profile per criteria upon approval by the SCSS. Transition to the updated Security Profile format requires ALL C-TPAT Partners to complete a new security profile at the next annual review subsequent to Phase II deployment. C-TPAT displays the old version to all Partners in the C-TPAT Partner Document Library for reference as a .PDF document to facilitate completion of the reformatted version."
"A main tenet of Portal 2.0 is to facilitate more effective account management through combining multiple Trade Accounts into a single Trade Organization. In addition, it will also be possible in the future to merge multiple C-TPAT accounts into a single Security Model, if accounts are managed under the same trade account and follow the same security policies and procedures."
An announcement was published on July 29, 2020 that user fees within the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will take place effective October 1, 2020. The minimum merchandise processing fee will change from $26.79 to $27.23 and the maximum will change from $519.76 to $528.33. The ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will not change. Additional user fees are also increasing.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 14 products from the Section 301 exclusion list scheduled to expire July 31st will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020. Additionally, there are other products on the list that expired on July 31st. Comments are currently being accepted for three sets of exclusions that are scheduled to expire October 2, 2020. Comments can be submitted by clicking HERE
On July 14, 2020, the President signed an Executive Order that requires Hong Kong to be treated as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Hong Kong is now considered to be included in the entry for China under section 126.1(d)(1) of the ITAR and therefore subject to a policy of denial for all transfers subject to the ITAR. The U.S. government is taking this action because the Chinese Communist Party has fundamentally undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and thereby increased the risk that sensitive U.S. items will be illegally diverted to the PRC.