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On December 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced $94,700 in fines to five importers and that more than 1394 items that included engines, scooters and ATV’s had been seized, exported or destroyed. "This was the latest result of their continued joint operations at the ports of LA, Long Beach and Oakland, targeting foreign-made vehicles and equipment without proper emission controls, as well as illegal pesticides, imported into the United States in vocation of federal law," stated an article from the U.S. EPA, "EPA estimates that the non-compliance vehicles and engines in its enforcement cases announced today would have emitted at least 215,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC) per year."
“EPA has been working diligently with CBP officers at the ports to ensure all items entering our nation comply with federal environmental standards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue our efforts to reduce pollution and protect consumers from illegal imports," the article stated.
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Effective January 13 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against cotton products and tomato products produced in Xinjiang based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor. The agency identified the following forced labor indicators through the course of its investigation: debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.
The deployment of the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system scheduled for January 25, 2021 has been delayed until March 29, 2021. The AIM system website consists of an online aluminum import license application platform and public monitoring. This delay means that licenses will not be required for covered aluminum products until the new implementation date.
The U.S. Trade Representative has determined to suspend the tariff action in the Section 301 investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax (DST). The additional tariffs on certain products of France were announced in July 2020 and were scheduled to go into effect on January 6, 2021. The U.S. Trade Representative has decided to suspend the tariffs of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in ten other jurisdictions. Those investigations have significantly progressed; however, have not yet reached a determination on possible trade actions. A suspension of the tariff action in the France DST investigation will promote a coordinated response in the ongoing DST investigations.