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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) changed the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to require shippers to verify the weight of their containers. The IMO decided to make this change because of road and sea accidents caused by overweight containers.
"Since the new SOLAS container weight rules were released, and as the deadline for implementation rapidly approaches, there have been an increasing amount of questions, few answers and genuine concern among shippers and the industry as to the potentially serious impact of the rule on U.S. trade and competitiveness," stated an article by the NCBFAA.
Please see the full article from the NCBFAA that includes details of the new rule and answers to some questions that have been raised.
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.