Customs & Trade Law News

August 16, 2019: USTR: Publication of LIST 4a and 4b split. LIST 4a effective September 1, LIST 4b to be effective December 15th.

August 14, 2019: CBP: Origin ruling re: compiled software under the TAA.

August 2, 2019: WSJ Article: Tariff Fight Costs China Spot as Top U.S. Trading Partner

August 1, 2019: Trump tweets that the LIST 4 will “start” on September 1 at 10%.

July 25, 2019: Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes office following a 66% : 34% victory. The Conservative platform advocates taking the UK out of the EU by October 31 (when the extension to the Article 50 Brexit process expires) on a “do or die” basis.

July 25, 2019: CBP: CBP Symposium: New Commissioner Mark Morgan describes CBP “dealing with an unprecedented crisis” on the southern border that is impacting CBP’s abilities. 545 officers have been diverted from trade process to assist Border Patrol to process migrants.

July 17, 2019: France to begin ratification of the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada.

July 10, 2019: DOC: Quartz ADCVD Order

July 8, 2019: USTR: Round 6 of LIST 1 exclusions announced.

July 3, 2019: DOC: Expedited Review exempts 5 companies from SWL Order.

July 1, 2019: AAEI Conf.: CBP admits to deluge of tariff classification requests.

July 1, 2019: In month 7 of the year, ITC published revision 8.

July 1, 2019: Trump-Xi meet at the G20 and agree to re-open trade talks. US companies will be allowed to continue trading with Huawei (overturning the Commerce Dept. ban from May based on national security concerns). Trump then visits Chairman Kim and crosses the demilitarized zone into N. Korea. Meanwhile, protesters in HK storm and occupy the Legislature building.

June 27, 2019: Customs: John P. Sanders, has served as acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection for 2.5 months, but has stated his last day will be July 5.  The President is expected to name Mr. Mark Morgan, as the new acting CBP commissioner.

(Sanders' predecessor, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been accused of leaking plans for ICE raids last week and expressing his opposition, thus prompting the President to step in to hold the ICE raids pending Democratic lawmakers reforming our immigration laws.)

June 26, 2019: WSJ: Article: American Tariffs on China Are Being Blunted by Trade Cheats

June 25, 2019: WSJ: Article: American Tech Companies Find Ways Around Huawei Ban

June 21, 2019: NRF testimony at the USTR re: LIST 4.

June 20, 2019: USTR: LIST 3 exclusions process announcement. Portal opens June 30. Submission deadline: September 30, 2019. Our newsletter.

June 19, 2019: USTR: FAQ states the USTR "will issue guidance -- in advance of the date of the expiration of exclusions -- on whether renewals are possible."

June 19, 2019: USTR & Treasury Secretary to meet China's team in Japan before Trump- Xi G-20 summit meeting.

June 12, 2019: NRF: National Retail Federation-commissions a Trade Partnership Worldwide Study on LIST 4 impact.

June 12, 2019: Members of Congress suggest USTR should allow extensions on 301 exclusions already granted in LIST 1.

June 11, 2019: ITC: Affirmative Injury Determination - but with a Negative Vote on Critical Circumstances.

June 10, 2019: CSMS# 19-000296 - UPDATE: Section 301 (Tranche 3) Duties:Extension to June 15, 2019

June 10, 2019: Guidance: premarket tobacco product applications for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

June 8, 2019: State Department: US-Mexico Joint Declaration (averting Trump tariffs).

June 8, 2019: DOC: Preliminary anti-circumvention decision on hardwood plywood from China (A-570-051/C-570-052). A certification requirement to be created for importers and exporters of plywood from China. Additional reading: Issues memo.

June 6, 2019: DOJ: Criminal/Civil charges announced against CEO of Apparel company for Customs Fraud

June 6, 2019: CBP: CSMS# 19-000289: Fifth Round of Products Excluded from Section 301 Duties (Tranche 1)

June 4, 2019: WTO Annual Report. Video Summary.

June 4, 2019: Canada’s appeal in the WTO Softwood Lumber dispute case.

May 31, 2019: POTUS clarifies that MX duties will escalate each month and reach 25% (if not averted).

May 31, 2019: USTR: Arrival deadline (List 3 10% Section 301 Tariffs) will be extended to June 15. would change the List 3 arrival date required for qualification at the 10% rate to June 15, 2019. ((Per CSMS #19-000274 brokers might wish to delay entry filing (under the 10-day filing rule) until CBP updates ACE to provide for this extended date.))

May 31, 2019: India terminated from June 5.

May 31, 2019: DOC: Antidumping  and  countervailing duty investigations on quartz surface products from India (A-533-889/C-533-890), and Turkey (A-489-837/C-489-838).

May 30, 2019: POTUS threatens 5% duties on Mexico on the 10th of June.

May 28, 2019: DOC: NPRM: Proposal for Countervailing Duties against Currency Devaluation

May 22, 2019: CSMS #19-000260: Section 301 Products Excluded from Duties - Liquidation Extension Request.

May 20, 2019: CSMS #19-000257: UPDATE: Decrease in Duty on Imports of Steel Under Section 232 (Republic of Turkey) .

May 20, 2019: Dist. Ct. NM: U.S. v. Sterling Islands, No. CR 18-4176 JB: Violation of a violation of any government regulation affecting imports – including Origin marking – constitutes a criminal violation of 18 U.S.C. § 545.

May 19, 2019: CSMS #19-000252: Termination of Section 232 Duty For Steel and Aluminum Products of Canada and MX

May 17, 2019: FDA: FSMA Technical Assistance Network (TAN) POPULAR TOPICS (including updates as to produce safety regulations).

May 13, 2019: USTR: LIST 4 tariffs announced. See our page on the 301 tariffs.

May 13, 2019: False Claims Act Settlement of $610,000 for evasion of customs duties that would have been paid by U.S. customers by breaking up single shipments into multiple shipments of lesser value in order to avoid duties. United States ex rel. Vale v. Selective Marketplace Ltd. et al., Civil No. 2:17-cv-380-LEW (D. Me.).

May 12, 2019: China’s retaliation announcement against the United States. Official lists in Mandarin: List 1: 2,500 products. List 2: 1,000+ products.

May 9 & 10, 2019: CBP: CSMS instructions for LIST 3 declarations given increase to 25%.

May 8, 2019: USTR: LIST 3 increase announcement.

May 6, 2019: POTUS: Failed trade negotiations. LIST 3 to increase to 25%. LIST 4 to be readied at 25%.

May 5, 2019: Canada Customs: Border search policy customs will attempt to crack devices containing privileged information. Non-citizen refusal to open devices may result in a refusal of admission at the border.

May 4, 2019: USTR: LIST 3 exclusions process to open.

May 2, 2019: OFAC: Guidance: A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments

May 1, 2019: CBP: Strategy plan 2020- 2025.

April 30, 2019: Mnuchin interview indicates in China trade deal should either wrap up or be abandoned.

April 29, 2019: USMCA crystallizing as an issue for the 2020 election. Senator Grassly’s WSJ editorial states that USMCA is dead in the Senate unless sec. 232 tariff are removed; meanwhile, House Speaker Pelosi will keep it from a vote until Mexico implements exiting labor reforms, and new provisions are added.

April 29, 2019: CAFC: Rubies Costume: Court of Appeal affirms CIT decision on Santa Suits.

April 27, 2019: April 27, 2019: California Court of Appeal Decision affirms Customs Brokers’ Terms and Conditions.

April 25, 2019: Sen. Grassly states 301 tariffs could be removed in stages by both countries. Trade negotiations continue: April 30 (Beijing) and May 8 (Washington DC).

April 22, 2019: CIT: US v. Titan Metals: Penalties against first time importer who evaded ADCVD.

April 19, 2019: Wooden Cabinets and Vanities from China: ITC’s Preliminary affirmative injury determination.

April 19, 2019: CBP: CSMS #19-000212: Submitting Imports of Third Group of Products Excluded from Section 301 Duties.

April 18, 2019: USTR: 3rd Tranche of Product Exclusions: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

April 18, 2019: Drawback: National Association of Manufactures lawsuit filed at the CIT against CBP regulations preventing drawback on goods subject to excise taxes.

April 18, 2019: USMCA: ITC Report on economic impact of the USMCA. USTR Report on Auto impact.

April 17, 2019: FTC: Made in USA Final Consent settlement announcement on “Made in USA” claims against imported hockey pucks.

April 17, 2019: CBP: Announces Entry Type 86 for low-value section 321 shipment at the NCBFFA conference. POA requirements under a type 86 entry are presently uncertain.

April 17, 2019: Statement by FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on Sandpiper/PiperGear and Patriot Puck consent orders for “Made in USA” claims: “…I am persuaded that, for brazenly deceptive representations that a wholly imported product is “Made in U.S.A.,” consent orders without disgorgement or admissions fail to exact a meaningful cost from the lawbreaking company and its executives sufficient for effective general deterrence.”

April 10, 2019: Canadian SWL: WTO: Publication of DS534: United States — Anti-Dumping Measures Applying Differential Pricing Methodology to Softwood Lumber from Canada.

April 9, 2019: DOJ: Settlement announced in the Univar evasion case for $62.5 million.

April 10, 2019: CNBC: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says US and China have agreed on the trade deal enforcement mechanism. “…if we can complete this deal it will be the most significant economic development… in 40 years… We’ve pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism. We’ve agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters. This is something both sides are taking very seriously… I’m not going to comment on the specifics of the tariff and what would stay and what would go away… ”

April 8, 2019: USTR: Proposal for retaliatory tariffs on EU products (due to EU aircraft subsidies held illegal WTO). USTR’s preliminary list of impacted products.

April 8, 2019: Apparel: CBP NPRM: 50/50 textile blends: classification based on the fiber that is last in numerical order per GRI 3(c).

April 5, 2019: USTR: Report due to President by Oct. 30 to evaluate current policies/practices and propose improvements that counter counterfeit imports.

April 4, 2019: POTUS: Mexico border crisis: “Mexico understands that we’re going to close the border or I’m going to tariff the cars. I’ll do one or the other. And probably start off with the tariffs. That will be a very powerful incentive. . . If the drugs don’t stop—Mexico can stop them if they want—we’re going to tariff the cars. The cars are very big. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the border. But I think that’ll work. So it’s massive numbers of dollars… You know I will do it. I don’t play games. I’ll do it. We’re going to give them a one-year warning. And if the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars. It’s the big ballgame. With many countries, it’s cars. And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.” ((Also see the comments of CBP Commissioner McAleenan from March 27)).

April 4, 2019: Solar: ITC: 337 Investigation of solar cell imports: Notice of investigation. <Factsheet>.

April 3, 2019: CBP: Border wait times

April 3, 2019: White House: Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods. Article summary.

April 3, 2019: Navarro: WSJ Op-Ed: Trump Has a Plan to Stop Fake Goods.

April 2, 2019: CBP: Instructions for CBMA (Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017) Duty Refund claims.

April 2, 2019: USDA: Translation of China’s Food Safety standard: GAIN Report Number:CH 19010: Fresh and Frozen Livestock and Poultry Products.

April 1, 2019: USTR: Report on foreign trade restrictions.

March 29, 2019: DOJ: Executives (Chu and Loh) indicted by DOJ for intentionally failing to report CPSC violations (humidifiers).

March 27, 2019: CBP Commissioner on Border Crisis

March 27, 2019 : Export Enforcement: OFAC announced in which a Chinese subsidiary caused “23 shipments of power tools and spare parts to Iran with a total value of more than $3.2 million” in a scheme that involved “using six trading companies (4 United Arab Emirates companies and 2 Chinese companies) and fake bills of lading with incorrect ports of discharge and places of delivery.” Settlement here.

March 26, 2019: Xinhua: Opening up "a distinctive symbol" of China today: vice premier

March 25, 2019: USTR: Petition Deadline: GSP Product/Country Review (April 18, 2019).

March 22, 2019: CBP: CSMS #19-000155: Submitting Imports of Second Group of Products Excluded from Section 301 Duties.

March 21, 2019: USTR: Second list of LIST 1 section 301 exclusions.

March 21, 2019: EPA: Initiation of Prioritization of 40 chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

March 20, 2019: POTUS: President Trump states that the agreement being negotiated with China would not end section 301 tariffs, those tariffs will stay in place for a “substantial period of time... because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal.”

March 19, 2019: CBP: EAPA investigation into Glycine ADCVD evasion.

March 18, 2019: What next?: Pork smuggling.

March 14, 2019: Brexit: NYT article: UK situation uncertain.

March 12, 2019: ACE: Center Unique Identifier (Center ID) announced to identify an accounts’ assigned Center of Excellence and Expertise (Center).

March 8, 2019: BIS: Comments period opens in 232 investigation of titanium sponge.

March 6, 2019: PRC: Movement to reform Chinese law by prohibiting PRC government agencies from making demands on U.S. companies to disclose underlying technologies.

March 5, 2019: Federal Register: USTR Suspends LIST 3 increase “until further notice.”

March 5, 2019: WSJ article: All tariffs could come off. ((but will they?)).

March 4, 2019: USTR: Indian and Turkey to be terminated from GSP after 60 days.

March 1, 2019: LIST 1 approval/denial ratio is now 3,300 approved to 4,500 denied. This translates to a 42% rate of approval.

February 27, 2019: Congress: Testimony of USTR, Robert Lighthizer.

February 26, 2019: CRS Report on NAFTA/USMCA issues, including withdrawal.

February 21, 2019: Senator Grassly quoted for the proposition that neither Mexico nor Canada will ratify USMCA if section 232 tariffs are in place.

February 20, 2019: Fortune: Brexit tearing UK political parties apart.

February 18, 2019: House: Explanatory Statement, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, page 38. (requiring USTR to open an exclusion process for LIST 3).

February 15, 2019: Congress passed appropriations for the remaining seven appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019, and President Trump has signed the omnibus prior to expiry of the CR.

February 12, 2019: Census: Concordance tables updated: 2019 Schedule B and HTS tables. HTS codes not valid for AES.

February 10, 2019: United Nations: UN Conference on Trade and Development Report.

February 9, 2019: BIS and Census raised civil penalty amounts for export control and trade statistics violations.

February 2019: COAC: IPR recommendations.

February 8, 2019: A new 5106 form (to possibly be released in March) might require enhanced information on the importing company, including banking information, related entities and personal identifying information for corporate officers.

February 8, 2019: Final AD Order on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China.

February 8, 2019: CBP: CSMS #19-000052: Submitting Imports of Products Excluded from Section 301 Duties.

February 7, 2019: Results of Expedited Reviews in Softwood Lumber from Canada.

February 6, 2019: Final CVD Order on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China.

February 6, 2019: After civil prosecution under the FCA in the Western District of Texas, the owners of Blue Furniture are now also facing criminal charges in the US District for South Carolina.

February 5, 2019: State of the Union: Trump holds Xi to deliver “structural change,” hints to NYTimes that tariffs will stay in place regardless.

February 1, 2019: DOJ: Announcement that Honda Aircraft alleged violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision (8 U.S.C. § 1324b) by publishing job announcements stating that only U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents would be considered for employment in roles involving technical data and technology subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) or the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). Case settlement.

January 31, 2019: DOJ: Enforcement against cosmetics importer regarding eyelash kits tied to North Korea. Due to a prompt voluntary self disclosure and remedial actions, the settlement penalty was reduced from a maximum $40 million, to approximately $1 million. This represents a first public enforcement fine for a violation of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), as it applies to North Korean labor under the North Korean Sanctions Regulations (NKSR). 

January 30, 2019: CBP: Budget dispute does not impact transition to mandatory ACE drawback as planned, as of Feb. 24 all drawback claims must be filed electronically in ACE.

January 30, 2019: CBP: CSMS CSMS# 19-000020: Sect. 201, 232, and 301 Reports Now Available in ACE to Importers and Brokers.

January 29, 2019: USTR: Legal changes needed to implement USMCA.

January 29, 2019: New Democrat Coalition: noncommittal on USMCA.

January 19, 2018: CBP: In-bond and ISF-5 penalty enforcement postponed until at least after March 6 (due to government shutdown).

January 14, 2019: CIT: Commerce ordered to provided additional analysis in the analysis related to the “finished goods” scope exclusion in Whirlpool, and Meridian.

January 14, 2019: CBP extends restrictions on importations of archeological items from Bulgaria and China.

January 11, 2019: USTR: EU FTA negotiating objectives.



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