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Presidential Proclamation on GSP

Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP/ www.gdlsk.com

Presidential Proclamation # 8788

TO MODIFY DUTY-FREE TREATMENT UNDER THE GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

"Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued the following statement on today’s presidential proclamation that designates the Republic of South Sudan as a new beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and suspends the GSP eligibility of Argentina:"

“The GSP program is an important tool for helping developing countries to grow their economies through increased trade,” said Ambassador Kirk. “The President’s designation of the Republic of South Sudan as a GSP beneficiary country provides an opportunity for this newly independent nation to use trade to boost its economic development and, we hope, will encourage it to continue needed economic reforms. The President’s action is also an important step toward consideration of South Sudan’s eligibility for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). We look forward to working with Congress on near-term passage of legislation extending AGOA’s third-country fabric provision, which is crucial for continued success of the program.”

The complete proclamation (with the annexes) is scheduled to be published in Thursday's Federal Register.

 

To view the complete proclamation -

To view the complete statement by the USTR -

 


 

USITC to Investigate the Effect of Correcting the U.S.-Korea Product-Specific Rules of Origin

U.S. International Trade Commission / www.usitc.gov

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation on the effect of correcting the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement product-specific rules of origin.

The investigation, Effect of Adding References to HS 6104.32 to Correct the U.S.-Korea Product-Specific Rules of Origin, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on March 22, 2012.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable effect on U.S. trade under the FTA and total U.S. trade of correcting the U.S.-Korea product-specific rules of origin by adding references to HS 6104.32. HS 6104.32 covers women's or girls' knit cotton suit-type jackets and blazers. The USTR explained in his request letter that HS 6104.32 had been inadvertently omitted from both the English and Korean language versions of the FTA through a clerical error. The USTR's request letter can be viewed at:

http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/ongoing/documents/Request_Letter_103-026_KORUS_HTS_Correction.pdf

The USITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by May 22, 2012.

The USITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the USITC welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 18, 2012.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated March 26, 2012, which can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

 


 

Philly CBP Claims Two Insect Pest Discovery Firsts

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Philadelphia –The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday that Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recorded two first discoveries of insect pests recently with the interception of first-in-nation Steriastoma albiceps Bales (Cerambycidae), a member of the long-horned beetle family, and a first-in-port Oxyelophila, species of (Crambidae), a member of the grass moth family.

Cerambycidae are serious threats to trees and timber. They are related to the Asian Long-Horned Beetle, an invasive species believed to have been introduced into the United States in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1996 in wood pallets and wood packing material from Asia. The ALB is a serious threat to hardwood tress and has no known predator.

Crambidae larvae are typically known as stem borers, having the capability to cause extensive damage to crops of high economic value such as corn, sugarcane, rice and grain crops. The USDA national entomologist identified this moth as a “new pest” and annotated that this “genus occurs in Texas, but this species does not occur in the U.S. Nothing is known about its biology.

CBP agriculture specialists discovered the Steriastoma albiceps beetle while inspecting nearly 6,000 cases of Costa Rican pineapples March 12, and discovered the Oxyelophila moth while inspecting 960 cases of Colombian bananas March 14. They submitted both pests urgent to the local USDA entomologist, who then submitted it urgent to a national entomologist.

“Protecting America’s agriculture industry is an enormous responsibility, and Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists take their job very seriously,” said Allan Martocci, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “Each CBP insect pest interception emphasizes the importance of their efforts. First-in-Nation and First-in-Port insect pest discoveries are worth noting as both a significant milestone and as a warning to a new potential agriculture threat.”

CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification that required the containers to be thoroughly fumigated.

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,291 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 454 insect pests.

To learn more about CBP agriculture specialists, please visit the CBP website. (Agriculture Specialist )

 


 

Ethyl Alcohol HTS Expiration of 9901.00

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Reference: QBT-11-598: 2012 Tariff Rate Quota on Ethyl Alcohol

Commodity:
Ethyl Alcohol

Quota Period:
January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012

Opening Day:
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Restraint Level:
Aggregate 906,900,000 gallons

Restraint applies to importations of qualifying goods from the Caribbean and Insular Possessions (see Special Instructions).

Of the quantitative limitations provided for in this note, the countries listed below shall have access to a quantity of not less than:

Costa Rica 31,000,000 gallons

El Salvador 14,529,508 gallons

If Costa Rica or El Salvador fills their allocation, any further imports will charge to the global restraint limit while a balance is available.

HTS Numbers:
The Chapter 99 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) for Ethyl Alcohol, 9901.00.50, expired on December 31, 2011. On March 15, 2012, a footnote was to certain HTS numbers in Chapters 22, 27, and 38 stating: “For ethyl alcohol or a mixture thereof from CBERA beneficiaries, see section 423 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703, note); for ethyl alcohol or a mixture thereof from DR-CAFTA beneficiaries, see section 201(a)(3)(B)(ii) of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

(19 U.S.C.4031(a)(3)(B)(ii)).”

Use only the HTS number related to the specific product in accordance with the footnote to each chapter to report ethyl alcohol quota.

Reporting Instructions:
Use entry type code 02, 06, 07, 12, 23, 32, 38, or 52.

Merchandise shall be reported and released via the quota module of ACS until a “hold” status is indicated. It is the responsibility of the import specialist to ensure that a final quantity, reflecting a guager’s report, is reported in the ACS quota module.

Report the quantity in appropriate unit of measure as shown in the HTS.

Special Instructions:
Caribbean countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the British Virgin Islands.

Insular Possessions include American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Outlying Islands (includes Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll and Wake Island).

Distribution:
Please ensure that this notice is passed to all port directors, assistant port directors (trade), import specialists, entry specialists, CBP officers, and other interested parties such as brokers and importers.

Questions from the importing community regarding this electronic message should be referred to the local CBP port.

The port may refer questions to Quota Branch Point of Contact. (Quota Branch Point of Contact )

Source Document: QBT-12-507: Ethyl Alcohol HTS Expiration of 9901.00

 


 

FDA and Pet Food (video)

U.S. Food & Drug Adminstration / www.fda.gov

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IQ293BzxNvg

 


 

CBP Aircraft Crew Finds Sailboat Carrying Kidnapped Children

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Miami - Months of searching for three Montana children believed kidnapped by their father ended happily Tuesday when a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) air crew spotted the father’s sailboat off the coast of southern Florida.

Just before noon Tuesday, the crew of a CBP DHC-8 (commonly called a “dash 8”) aircraft was conducting a border security mission over the ocean about 30 miles east of Pompano Beach, Fla., when they observed a sailboat marked as the “Lunacy.” They matched the boat to the description of a 40-foot vessel named “Night Dragon” detailed in an FBI alert issued several months ago in relation to a case involving a suspected parental kidnapping case from Montana.

While keeping the vessel in constant surveillance, the crew was able to observe at least one child on the deck and positively identify the vessel as the apparently renamed sailboat of the suspected kidnapper. After confirming the sighting with FBI agents, the CBP air crew guided U.S. Coast Guard vessels to intercept the sailboat.

The interception led to the apprehension of James Ray Bryant, 44, who was the subject of active warrants from Montana for allegedly kidnapping his three children, ages 12, 13 and 15, in August 2011. The children were also found aboard the vessel and taken into protective custody until they were later reunited with their mother.

Bryant was turned over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

“The coordinated effort of CBP Office of Air and Marine personnel working in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI and local law enforcement partners brought this case to a positive conclusion. Had it not been for the keen observation of the DHC-8 crew members and the efficient reaction of the other agencies involved, this suspect could have easily evaded apprehension,” said CBP OAM Miami Air & Marine Director Randy Donnelson.

 


 

Port Welcomes Largest Container Ship
MSC Fabiola measures length of four football fields

Port of Long Beach / www.polb.com

The Port of Long Beach on Friday welcomed the largest container ship ever to call to North America, the MSC Fabiola. The vessel, measuring 1,200 feet in length and capable of carrying more than 12,000 container units, docked at Pier T on Terminal Island.

“This is the largest container vessel now serving the U.S.-Asia trade, and the fact that it is calling to the Port of Long Beach is significant,” said Port Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle. “Few ports can handle these giant ships. Long Beach is big ship ready, and we continue to invest so we’ll be ready for the next generation of larger, environmentally friendlier and more efficient cargo ships.”

The MSC Fabiola is capable of carrying 12,500 TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, a measurement of cargo containers. The ship, which previously served Asia-to-Europe trade routes, is making its maiden voyage in the trans-Pacific trade. It came from the Port of Yantian in China. After unloading and then loading cargo, the ship is scheduled to depart Long Beach on Monday evening, March 19.

It is the first of what is expected to be a string of larger container ships to be deployed by ocean carriers in Pacific Rim routes. Currently, the larger container ships typically serving Asia and North America have capacities of about 8,000 TEUs.

The MSC Fabiola was built in 2010 and is operated by Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. The ship measures 1,200 feet long by 157 feet wide and can reach speeds of up to 24 knots. It’s scheduled to return monthly to the Total Terminals International facility on Pier T.

Larger ships are more cost effective for ocean carriers and reduce impact on the environment by decreasing diesel consumption. However, few ports in the world have navigation channels deep enough to handle these massive ships. The Port of Long Beach’s main channel is 76 feet deep, the deepest in North America.

The Port of Long Beach is investing $4.5 billion over the next decade to modernize its facilities. Projects include the construction of the Middle Harbor terminal, the world’s greenest and most technologically advanced container terminal, and the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge with a higher span that will allow larger ships to reach the back channels.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a primary gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. With 140 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports worldwide, the Port handles trade valued at $155 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Southern California.

 
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