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CAFTA Textile Rule Changes to Take Effect October 13, 2012

Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP /

In a notice to be published in the Federal Register this week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the changes in the Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement (“CAFTA”) eligibility rules for certain textile articles (provided for in H.R. 5986, signed into law by the President on August 10, 2012) will take effect on October 13, 2012.

The specific changes are restated below:

1. Currently, the collars and cuffs of garments made from “short supply” fabrics may be of third country origin. Under the new law, this exception is extended to ribbed waistbands present in combination with cuffs (but only if identical in fabric construction).

2. The requirement that elastomeric yarns (e.g., spandex) in short supply materials originate in the CAFTA region is eliminated. However, when an article is made in part from a short supply material (e.g.., fabric, knit to shape components) and in part from originating materials, any elastomeric yarns used in the originating material must be CAFTA originating.

3. For purposes of determining CAFTA-eligibility, the definition of sewing thread is expanded to include yarns of Heading 5402 (Synthetic filament yarn not put up for retail sale) that are used as sewing thread.

4. For purposes of determining CAFTA-eligibility, visible lining fabrics, narrow elastic fabrics, sewing thread and pocket bag fabric (where relevant to the CAFTA rule for a particular garment) may be of third-country origin if it appears on the CAFTA “short supply” list.



CITES Species-Specific Trade Restrictions

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service /

Background: The Endangered Species Act prohibits trade in specimens contrary to the CITES Convention. Articles II and VIII of CITES require that we take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of the treaty and to prohibit trade in specimens that are in violation of the treaty. Article III of CITES requires that we consider permits and certificates to be valid only when the exporting country has made the required determination that trade in the specimens will not be detrimental to the wild population.

When the CITES Parties, through the CITES Standing Committee or the CITES Conference of the Parties, determine that a country is not making the required non-detriment findings for a species, the United States cannot establish that trade in the species is sustainable and not detrimental to the wild population. An export permit or re-export certificate issued for the species by the country under suspension is considered invalid (see 50 CFR § 23.26 (c)(12)).

CITES Notification No. 2012/059 announced that the recommendation to suspend trade in Swietenia macrophylla from Belize was made in error. This Public Bulletin provides a corrected list of species.

The following trade suspension was lifted:

  • Swietenia macrophylla from Belize.

Action: The United States will continue to prohibit the import of any species subject to a CITES species trade suspension. This prohibition applies to all imports except specimens that meet the personal or household effects (50 CFR §23.15), artificial propagation (§23.40), bred-in-captivity (§23.41), pre-Convention (§23.45), registered scientific institution (§23.48) or traveling exhibition (§23.49) exemption. All such prohibited shipments or specimens are subject to seizure and forfeiture. Attached to this bulletin is the list of CITES species-specific trade restrictions. Additional information about other CITES trade restrictions can be found at:



CBP Issues Guidance on 2012 Sukkot Holiday Travel

Travel Period is Sept. 24 to Oct. 12

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

.Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued guidance for travelers related to the annual Jewish holiday known as Sukkot.

The travel period for Sukkot is Sept. 24 to Oct. 12, and the holiday itself begins at sundown, Sept. 30, and lasts through Oct. 7. CBP understands observant Jewish travelers entering the U.S. during the Sukkot holiday may carry religious items (ethrogs, palm fronds, twigs of willow and myrtle) in their vehicles if arriving at land border ports of entry, or in their personal baggage if they are arriving by aircraft.

These items are regulated to prevent the introduction of invasive pests and diseases; however, these items may be allowed into the U.S. after inspection by CBP agriculture specialists. Thus, the following guidance is provided for travelers:

Personal shipments of ethrogs are allowed entry through North Atlantic and Northern Pacific ports of entry after inspection by agriculture specialists. North Atlantic ports are defined as Atlantic ports north of and including Baltimore; ports on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway; Canadian Border ports east of and including North Dakota; and Washington, D.C. (including Dulles International Airport) for air shipments. Northern Pacific ports are defined as Pacific ports north of California including Alaska, Canadian Border ports west of and including Montana, excluding Hawaii.

Travelers will be asked to open the container with the ethrog and unwrap it. The agriculture specialist will inspect the ethrog. If either insect stings or pests are found, the ethrog will be prohibited from entering the U.S. If neither is found, the traveler will be allowed to rewrap and re-box the ethrog for entry into the U.S.

Palm Fronds
Single palm fronds will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.

Twigs of Willow
If the twigs of willow are from Europe, they will be prohibited from entering the U.S. If they are from other than Europe, they will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.

Also, if the twigs of willow are green in color, have soft tissue present, or have buds that sprouted, then they are capable of being grown and are prohibited from entering the U.S.

Twigs of Myrtle
Twigs of myrtle will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.

If travelers have any concerns resulting from the inspection of their religious items at a port of entry, a CBP supervisor is always available to answer questions and address their concerns. As always, CBP is committed to treating all travelers, including travelers who may be observing Sukkot, with respect and dignity at all U.S. ports of entry.



Video: Inside CBP: Import Safety

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.

'To Catch a Smuggler' Featuring CBP at JFK Premieres Oct. 8, 9pm ET on NatGeo



Dulles, Baltimore CBP Fine Passengers for Concealing Prohibited Agriculture Products

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Baltimore – They’re not terrorists, but they could introduce something economically devastating.

Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Washington Dulles and Baltimore Washington international airports fined two travelers $300 each this week for deliberately, but unsuccessfully smuggling prohibited agriculture products in their luggage.

The BWI passenger, who arrived from Jamaica Wednesday, concealed four guavas inside the lining of a purse inside her baggage and two peppers inside the liner of her suitcase. The Dulles passenger, who arrived from Mongolia Tuesday, was even more creative, concealing about 12 pounds of raw beef and pork sausage inside juice boxes and other food containers.

A third passenger, who arrived to Dulles Tuesday from Cameroon, failed to honestly declare 4 pounds, 6 ounces of beef that CBP agri culture specialists discovered inside her luggage and was assessed a $300 penalty.

Fruit are potential vectors for invasive insect pests and fruit diseases that could cripple America’s crop industries. CBP enforces USDA’s regulations governing the import of animal products to reduce the risk of introducing exotic animal diseases into the United States.

“It is very alarming that passengers are taking extreme efforts to conceal agriculture products that should be declared during the Customs and Border Protection arrivals inspection,” said Michael Lovejoy, Director, CBP Baltimore Field Office. “These are very serious threats because of the potentially severe agriculture and economic consequences that plant and animal diseases pose. Cu stoms and Border Protection agriculture specialists take their job of protecting America’s agriculture very seriously.”

CBP employs several tactics to ensure passenger compliance with U.S. agriculture laws.

First is the CBP Declaration Form which asks travelers to truthfully declare what they are bringing to the U.S. A CBP officer will ask those questions again during the primary arrivals inspection.

A CBP agriculture detector dog, a beagle, patrols the primary and baggage return floors searching for agriculture products.

Some passengers, and in some cases entire flights, may be referred to a secondary examination where CBP x-rays baggage, and if necessary, opens and searches baggage.

“Generally, most passengers are honest law-abiding travelers who truthfully declare all agriculture and other products they are bringing to the U.S.,” said Lovejoy. “But there is a small percentage of travelers who deliberately attempt to circumvent our compliance inspections. All it takes is one diseased fruit or meat product introduced into our crop or livestock industries and we h ave the potential for an economic crisis. It is our job to stop those potential threats at our nation’s borders.”

CBP offers passengers several opportunities to truthfully declare all agriculture products that they possess, and only assesses civil penalties to those passengers who remain defiant. A small percentage of travelers remain evasive and are assessed civil penalties.

During fiscal year 2011, which spans Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011, CBP agriculture specialists at Washington Dulles seized more than 30,000 prohibited agriculture products and assessed 234 civil penalties, and at BWI, more than 4,000 prohibited agriculture products and assessed 17 civil penalties.

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 470 insect pests.

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

For more on CBP’s border security mission at our nation’s Ports of Entry, please visit Port Security. ( Field Operations/Port Security )< /span>

To learn more about what you can and can’t bring into the U.S., please visit CBP’s Travel information page. ( Travel )



CBP Agriculture Specialists In Southern Arizona Intercept Plants, Insects

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Nogales, Ariz. - A large number of live and dead insect specimens, as well as more than two dozen live plants, were seized last week in a pair of incidents by Customs and Border Prote ction agriculture specialists working at the Nogales Ports of Entry.

Agriculture specialists discovered assorted plants and at least 65 live and dead insects this month, concealed in a personal vehicle attempting to enter the United States from Mexico. The driver initially denied having items of agricultural interest, but when officers referred the vehicle for secondary inspection, an agriculture specialist found more than two dozen live plants with soil for propagation. Officers also found a variety of live and dead insect specimens inside a suitcase, as well as an undetermined number of insects when officers asked the driver to turn out his pockets.

The driver told officers he was a PhD student at the University of Arizona.

The agricultural products were seized and destroyed, as per port policy the insects and soil were submitted to the local U.S. Department of Agriculture for final identification.

On the following day, Agriculture specialists referred an incoming vehicle for additional inspection. When officers inspected the vehicle, they found an assortment of insect collectio n equipment and a plastic bag with 86 insect specimens. While quarantine procedures were not necessary due to the insects being dead, the specimens were detained by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for inspection and entry determination.

In both instances, the drivers paid a civil penalty for failure to declare the prohibited cargo.

Travelers are required to abide by a number of laws, such as obtaining permits to properly import certain items from Mexico. Violators face a spot-settlement under the Plant Protectio n Act. If objecting to the fine, the violation is forwarded to the USDA Investigative and Enforcement Services for collection. Fines can be as much as $1,000 for a first-time offense.

Travelers should know the difference between restricted and prohibited merchandise before attempting to bring items into the United States. For more information, visit the Restricted/ Prohibited section of the CBP website. ( CBP ) The USDA also offers a Supplemental Import Guide, available at the Mexican land border, which identifies allowed agriculture items for personal use.

Travelers may also obtain information regarding fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood under the “Bringing Agricultural Products into the United States” section of the CBP website.

CBP officers are permitted to inspect personal belongings without a search warrant. This includes luggage, vehicles and personal searches.

CBP’s agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in agricultural and biological inspection to prevent the introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases into the United States. CBP inspectors have the expertise to recognize and prevent the entry of organisms that could potentially devastate entire segments of the U.S. agriculture-related economy.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, ve hicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

All CBP assets in Arizona were realigned under a unified command structure in February 2011. Joint Field Command – Arizona unifies the Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors and Air Branches, as well as the Tucson Field Office, to enhance border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation missions to meet Arizona’s unique challenges. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona or visit CBP Arizona for more information.

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