USTR Further Extends China 301 Exclusions on 81 "Covid Items" - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
In a November 29, 2022 Federal Register notice, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that it is extending the China 301 tariff exclusions on 81 “COVID items” which would have otherwise expired on November 30th. The extensions will run through February 28, 2023. The specific items in question can be accessed here.
By way of background, the USTR had previously announced the extension or modification of a total of 99 exclusions for specified medical-care and/or COVID response products. The exclusions on 18 such items were allowed to expire while those on 81 other items were extended through November 30, 2022. As part of the continuing efforts to combat COVID, the USTR has determined that a three-month extension of the latter 81 COVID-related product exclusions is warranted.
In a separate action earlier this year, the USTR reinstated 352 other product exclusions through December 31, 2022. No announcement has yet been made as to any further extensions of such exclusions.
Finally, as part of its review of the overall future of the China 301 tariffs, the USTR is continuing to solicit public comments (through January 17, 2023) as to the effectiveness of these tariffs and the corresponding effects on the U.S. economy.
Should you have questions on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Arthur Bodek or any of our other attorneys.
CSMS # 54152243 - Pocket Bag Fabric for Blue Denim Apparel under the United States-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), effective January 1, 2023 - US Customs & Border Protection
Effective January 1, 2023, the second phase of the pocket bag fabric rule for blue denim apparel under the United States-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) will be implemented.
This provision applies to woven apparel goods of HTS Chapter 62 that are made of blue denim fabric of HTS subheadings 5209.42, 5211.42, 5212.24 and/or 5514.30, which contain a pocket or pockets. If applicable, the pocket bag fabric must be formed and finished in the territory of one or more of the USMCA countries.
Pocket bag fabric is considered formed and finished in one or more USMCA countries, if the pocket bag fabric has been formed from yarn that was wholly formed and finished in the territory of one or more of the USMCA countries.
This provision is found in General Note 11(o), Chapter 62, Rule 5 of the HTS.
The first phase of the pocket bag fabric Chapter Rule was effective January 1, 2022, eighteen (18) months from the date of entry into force of the USMCA. This rule applies to apparel goods of Chapters 61 and 62 of the HTS that contain a pocket or pockets, the pocket bag fabric must be formed and finished in the territory of one or more of the USMCA countries from yarn wholly formed in one or more of the USMCA countries.
This provision is found in General Note 11(o), Chapter 61, Rule 4 and Chapter 62, Rule 6.
All apparel shipments claiming USMCA preference are subject to verification. Claims that are unable to be substantiated may be denied preferential tariff treatment and false claims may result in the issuance of penalties.
Federal Register Notices:
• Proposed Rules: Administrative Protective Order, Service, and Other Procedures in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Poland: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Ferrovanadium From the Republic of Korea: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Video Processing Devices and Components Thereof; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Certain Composite Baseball and Softball Bats and Components Thereof; Notice of Correction Concerning Commission Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and a Cease and Desist Order Against a Defaulting Respondent; Termination of Investigation
• Certain Video Processing Devices and Products Containing the Same; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Certain Bio-Layer Interferometers and Components Thereof; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Certain Semiconductor Devices Having Layered Dummy Fill, Electronic Devices, and Components Thereof; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Turkey; Denial of Request To Institute a Section 751(b) Review; Denial of Request To Institute a Section 751(b) Review or Reconsideration Proceeding Concerning the Commission's Affirmative Determination in Investigation No. 731-TA-1296 (Final), Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Turkey
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Intent to Rescind in Part; 2020
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review and Join Annual Inquiry Service List
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Review
• 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1,1-Diphosphonic Acid From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order and Countervailing Duty Order
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Softwood Lumber Products From Canada; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Multilayered Wood Flooring From China; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Tool Chests and Cabinets From China and Vietnam; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Belarus, Italy, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Hardwood Plywood From China; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Strontium Chromate From Austria: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Certain Freight Rail Couplers and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination
• Notice of Scope Ruling Applications Filed in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of Antidumping Duty Orders.
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Hot-Rolled Steel From Australia, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom
• Paper File Folders From China, India, and Vietnam
CBP Issues Withhold Release Order on Central Romana Corporation Limited - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Agency will detain imports of raw sugar and sugar-based products produced by Central Romana Corporation Limited
WASHINGTON — Effective November 23, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at all U.S. ports of entry will detain raw sugar and sugar-based products produced in the Dominican Republic by Central Romana Corporation Limited (Central Romana).
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Central Romana based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in its operations. CBP identified five of the International Labour Organization’s 11 indicators of forced labor during its investigation: abuse of vulnerability, isolation, withholding of wages, abusive working and living conditions, and excessive overtime.
“This Withhold Release Order demonstrates CBP’s commitment to protect human rights and international labor standards and to promote a fair and competitive global marketplace,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “The agency will continue to set a high global standard by aggressively investigating allegations of forced labor in U.S. supply chains and keeping tainted merchandise out of the United States.”
In its September 2022 report titled “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage,” the International Labour Organization estimates that nearly 28 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices. The scourge of human trafficking exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more.
“CBP continues to set the international standard for ensuring that goods made with forced labor do not enter U.S. commerce,” said AnnMarie R. Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, CBP Office of Trade. “Manufacturers like Central Romana, who fail to abide by our laws, will face consequences as we root out these inhumane practices from U.S. supply chains.”
This WRO on Central Romana is the latest action the United States has taken to address forced labor and other human rights abuses around the world. In September 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor identified sugarcane from the Dominican Republic in its List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, and the U.S. Department of State placed the Dominican Republic on its Tier 2 list in their July 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report. With this WRO, CBP now oversees the enforcement of 55 WROs and 9 Findings.
Federal statute (19 U.S.C. 1307) prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments can export their shipments or seek to demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or is likely to be, imported into the United States can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violations Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.
Memphis Steams Larval Infested Chestnuts for the Holidays - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
New Orleans - On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists in Memphis, TN intercepted nine immature insects in a shipment of chestnuts. The eight-kilogram shipment from Bolzano, Italy was en route to a residential address in Long Island, NY and lacked accompanying necessary documentation.
The interception was identified as Cydia, which is a large genus encompassing 11,000 species of moths. Moths in this genus are generally small and dull brown; their caterpillars are yellow or white and wormlike. The Cydia genus contains multiple species that are known agricultural pests while in their larval stage, particularly affecting fruit and nut trees. Another, previously encountered pest was also intercepted, weevils from the Curculionidae family.
“During this holiday season when consumers are ordering goods from around the world, it is important to use legitimate sellers who know our country’s import regulations,” said Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis.
The chestnuts and all contaminated material were destroyed by Steam Sterilization under authority of code of federal regulations (7 CFR 330) for general plant pests.
This seizure took place within the Area Port of Memphis, which covers ports of entry intercepted pests.throughout the state of Tennessee and falls under CBP’s New Orleans Field Office. The New Orleans Field Office includes all ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Measures for African Elephant Protection - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
WASHINGTON – In response to a rise in international trade in live African elephants, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing an amendment to the 4(d) rule of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to benefit African elephant conservation in the wild while improving the welfare of captive elephants under U.S. jurisdiction.
African elephant numbers in the wild have fallen from as many as 26 million individuals at the end of the 18th century to an estimated 415,000 today. Over the years, they have faced numerous threats from habitat loss and degradation, to poaching for ivory, to killings resulting from human-wildlife conflicts. Today, the trade in live African elephants is adding to the challenges they face.
“We are committed to responding to immediate threats and doing what’s best for African elephant conservation, while supporting the efforts of African elephant range countries to protect and manage their elephant populations,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. “This proposed rule will help ensure any imports of live African elephants into the United States contribute to enhancing the conservation of the species in the wild and that live African elephants in the United States are humanely and appropriately cared for throughout their lifetimes.”
African elephants were first listed as threatened under the ESA in 1978. Section 4(d) under the ESA provides the Secretary of the Interior with broad discretion to issue regulations tailored to the specific conservation needs of the threatened species. The fourth and most recent amendment to the 4(d) rule for African elephants, made in 2016, was in response to increased poaching of elephants for ivory. Now, the proposed changes are in response to an increase in exports of live African elephants from their range states.
The proposed changes include:
• Establishing permit and specific enhancement requirements for the import of wild-sourced African elephants, as well as requirements to ensure proposed recipients of live African elephants, including their offspring, are suitably equipped to house and care for the animals.
• Clarifying the existing enhancement requirement for permit applications to import African elephant sport-hunted trophies.
• Requiring any import of live African elephants, African elephant sport-hunted trophies, and African elephant parts and products other than ivory into the United States to be limited to countries included in Category 1 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) National Legislation Project, meaning the country has legislation and tools in place for effective implementation of CITES.
This rule, if finalized, would establish an annual certification requirement for range countries that allow for export of sport-hunted trophies destined for the United States to provide the Service with information about the management and status of African elephants and the hunting programs in their country.
The proposed changes will benefit African elephants in numerous ways: They will help ensure any imports of live African elephants into the United States contribute to enhancing conservation of the species in the wild and that live African elephants are well cared for throughout their lifetimes. They will help increase efficiency of permit application evaluations and ensure authorized imports contribute to enhancing the conservation of the species in the wild. Lastly, they are designed to encourage applicable foreign governments to ensure they have adequate national legislation and tools in place to effectively implement CITES and may also encourage implementation of effective management measures to enhance African elephant conservation.
The proposed rule will publish in the Federal Register Nov. 17, 2022, and be open for public comment for 60 days. Please go to www.regulations.gov for more information.
DHS Issues National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin - Department of Homeland Security
WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the continued heightened threat environment across the United States. This is the seventh NTAS Bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since January 2021 and it replaces the current Bulletin that was set to expire at 2:00 PM ET today.
“Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment —as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence— and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “To keep Americans safe, DHS is committed to working with partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and in local communities by sharing information, equipping communities with training and resources, and providing millions of dollars in grant funding for security enhancement and prevention.”
Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the homeland. In the coming months, DHS expects the threat environment to remain heightened and threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence. These targets could include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.
Several recent attacks, plots, and threats of violence demonstrate the continued dynamic and complex nature of the threat environment in the United States. Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations —who remain intent on attacking America— continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the homeland. Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies, and some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration.
While violence surrounding the November midterm elections was isolated, we remain vigilant that heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personalized grievances. Perceptions of government overreach continue to drive individuals to attempt to commit violence targeting government officials and law enforcement officers. Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances based on perceptions that the government is overstepping its Constitutional authorities or failing to perform its duties.
DHS works with partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and in local communities to keep Americans safe, providing resources and support, including the following:
• DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue to share timely and actionable information and intelligence with the broadest audience possible. This includes sharing information and intelligence with partners across every level of government and in the private sector. DHS conducts recurring threat briefings with private sector and state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus partners, including to inform security planning efforts. DHS remains committed to working with partners to identify and prevent all forms of terrorism and targeted violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep communities safe.
• In July 2022, DHS reconstituted the Faith-based Security Advisory Council (FBSAC). The FBSAC serves as an advisory body with the purpose of providing guidance and recommendations to the Secretary on the development and implementation of strategies, policies, programs, and information sharing practices that will further the Department’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of targeted violence or terrorism, major disasters, cyberattacks, or other threats or emergencies against places of worship, faith communities, and faith-based organizations.
• DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center released updated behavioral indicators of U.S. extremist mobilization to violence. Further, I&A’s National Threat Evaluation and Reporting Program continues to provide tools and resources for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners on preventing terrorism and targeted violence, including online suspicious activity reporting training.
• DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with government and private sector partners – including owners and operators of critical infrastructure, soft target facilities, and public gathering places – to enhance security and mitigate risks posed by acts of terrorism and targeted violence through its network of Protective Security Advisors and resources addressing Active Shooters, School Safety, Bombing Prevention, and Soft Targets-Crowded Places.
• DHS’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) educates and trains stakeholders on how to identify indicators of radicalization to violence, where to seek help, and the resources that are available to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. In 2021, CP3 awarded about $20 million in grants through its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program.
• In 2021 and 2022, DHS designated for the first time domestic violent extremism as a “National Priority Area” within its Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), enabling our partners to access critical funds that help prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to related threats.
• In 2022, DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provided over $250 million in funding to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements to non-profit organizations at high risk of terrorist attack.
• DHS remains focused on recognizing disinformation that threatens the security of the American people, including disinformation by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran, or other adversaries, including as transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations.
• SchoolSafety.gov consolidates school safety-related resources from across the government. Through this website, the K-12 academic community can also connect with school safety officials and develop school safety plans.
• The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships continues to engage a coalition of faith-based and community organizations, including members of the Faith-based Security Advisory Council, to help build the capacity of faith-based and community organizations seeking to protect their places of worship and community spaces.
This NTAS Bulletin will expire on May 24, 2023. This NTAS Bulletin provides the public with information about the threat landscape facing the United States, how to stay safe, and resources and tools to help prevent an individual’s radicalization to violence. The public should report any suspicious activity or threats of violence to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or a local Fusion Center.
Read the NTAS Bulletin HERE.