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


August 3, 2023

The latest chapter in the ongoing efforts to save the endangered vaquita porpoise and the resulting impact on trade with Mexico unfolded on July 17 when the current administration published a letter to Congress outlining what trade sanctions, if any, would be imposed upon the government of Mexico. The letter was mandated by a settlement between the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) and three conservation groups that had filed suit in the Court of International Trade. The conservation groups had been petitioning Interior since 2014 to take action under the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen’s Protective Act of 1967 to certify that Mexico was in violation of the act and international agreements by not taking adequate measures to protect the vaquita. Interior agreed to certify that Mexico was not meeting its obligations and that the executive branch must then determine what action to take. The vaquita is a miniature porpoise indigenous only to the Northern Gulf of California. It is protected under several U.S. laws. There are believed to be only 15 or less left in the wild.

The main threat to the vaquita is the use of gillnets to catch the totoaba fish that shares the same habitat with the vaquita. The vaquita can become entangled in these nets and drown. The totoaba are also endangered, however, the swim bladder of the totoaba is highly valued in China for its supposed medicinal properties. Customs and Border Protection in June seized 242 pounds of totoaba bladders attempting to be smuggled through the Port of Nogales. The estimated value was almost 3 million dollars. In the letter, it was stated that no sanctions would be imposed on Mexico at this time, as progress is being made in the ongoing dialogue between the two countries. There certainly will be more to come concerning the fate of the vaquita and how this will impact trade.

Link to the Letter

Latest News

The last 30 days have brought many updates to Section 301 duties, exclusions and more

The last 30 days have brought many updates to Section 301 duties, exclusions and more.  The action all started on May 14, 2024, when the USTR announced that further action would be taken against China’s unfair technology transfer policies and practices.  It was announced that key products would be subject to new rates over the next two years.  

May 22, 2024, there was a follow up to the May 14 announcement which further defined that 382 HTSUS subheadings and 5 statistical reporting numbers of the HTSUS are the specific products that will have the increases in 2024, 2025 and 2026.  This notice also noted that an exclusion process is being established for machinery used in domestic manufacturing and under certain subheadings under chapters 84 and 85 of the HTSUS.  Finally, this notice proposes 19 temporary exclusions for solar manufacturing equipment.

Finally, on May 24, 2024, the USTR published details about the disposition of the existing Section 301 exclusions 9903.88.67 and 9903.88.68 which have been scheduled to expire on May 31, 2024.  In summary, all exclusions under 9903.88.67 and 9903.88.68 have been extended to July 14, 2024.  On July 15, 2024, a new exclusion will be effective.  The new exclusion, under 9903.88.69 will cover 87 of the original 352 exclusions under 9903.88.67.  

For more details, check out our 3 Client advisories released during May linked below.

CBP publishes numerous Informed Compliance Publications

CBP publishes numerous Informed Compliance Publications. These documents can be extremely useful in answering detailed questions about the application of CBP rules/laws on a wide range of topics. Some of the topics covered include Valuation, classification of sets, classification of specific product types, drawback, reasonable care, recordkeeping, rules of origin and the list goes on. These documents are publicly available and can be viewed online or downloaded. To check them out, follow the link below!

U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has updated the process for excluding certain steel and aluminum imports from tariffs, effective July 1, 2024. This revision removes twelve General Approved Exclusions (GAEs), aiming to strengthen domestic steel and aluminum production and reduce reliance on foreign manufacturing.  The changes follow public feedback and are intended to ensure fairness and transparency in the exclusions process while upholding national security interests.  BIS has been overseeing this process since tariffs were imposed in 2018, and these adjustments reflect ongoing efforts to refine controls and support U.S. industrial base.

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