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To many people, BIS sounds like many other government acronyms. BIS stands for Bureau of Industry and Security. The mandate of BIS is extremely important and worth taking a closer look at.
The BIS mission statement is to “Advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.” That is quite a mission! Think of each of the key words in this mission statement and realize the impact this mandate has.
Exporting certain items from the U.S. to certain places in the world may present a national security risk. Items used for weapon production can be turned around and used against the U.S. both domestically and abroad. These concerns drive the creation and updating of the Entity Lists. It is worth re-iterating that the entity list exists because the BIS and other U.S. Government agencies have found cause to believe that somehow, those on the list may be a risk or related to something that poses a threat to our national security.
It is also important to note that just because a person/group/organization is on the entity list, it doesn’t necessarily prohibit trade with them. However, it does raise the flag and compel the trade professional to ensure that due diligence is exercised in vetting the person/group/organization and determining what regulatory steps should be taken and appropriate authorization obtained in order to legally proceed to trade with those on the entity list.
While things are constantly changing these days it is imperative that we remain vigilant and attuned to all the changes going on around the world. BIS is a key U.S. Government Agency charged with being an integral instrument of protecting the United States. The JAS USA Inc. Compliance Team understands the BIS mandate and are always willing to assist. Contact us and we will help!
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.