Port Closures - Holiday Schedule:
PNCT - Monday, 9/04, PNCT will be CLOSED for Labor Day
Maher - Maher Terminal will be closed Monday, 9/04
PierPass - Terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced schedules for the Labor Day holiday period of Friday Sept. 1 through Monday Sept. 4, 2023. The schedule is posted below, and a PDF of the schedule can be downloaded by clicking here
The PierPASS/PortCheck Customer Service Center will be closed on Monday, Sept 4th for Labor Day and reopen at 6am on Tuesday, Sept. 5th. Customers planning to move containers over the holiday weekend or early on Tuesday morning should claim containers prior to 3pm on Friday, Sept. 1st to avoid any delays due to issues with claiming.
Please continue to monitor the websites of individual terminals for updates.
BIS Proposes Revisions to the Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariff Exclusions Process - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
In a notice published in the Federal Register on August 28, 2023, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) of the Department of Commerce proposed modifications to the Section 232 exclusion process. The BIS proposal raises significant concerns and, if adopted, could adversely impact the ability of some companies to obtain exclusions from the 232 tariffs. Importers and other companies currently utilizing the 232 exclusion process can file comments requesting changes to the current proposal. Comments are due by October 12, 2023.
There are four areas that are significantly impacted by the rule change:
1) Changes to the criteria considered when BIS issues “General Approved Exclusions” (GAEs).
2) Creation of a General Denied Exclusions process under which “GDE’s” would be designated with respect to items that have historically had high rates of substantiated objections. If implemented, requests for exclusions of identified products would presumably be summarily rejected.
3) New certification requirements establishing that a company requesting a 232 exclusion has made documented efforts to source the steel or aluminum not only from U.S. sources, but also from all other countries that the U.S. has exempted from the tariffs or has instituted quotas.
4) New certification requirements for U.S. producers that are objecting to a specific exclusion request. The objectors will be required to certify and document that they can make the products “immediately available.”
Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys for further information or if we can assist in drafting of comments.
FTC Finalizes Order Against Clothing Accessories Company for False Made in USA Claims - Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission has finalized its order against a group of Massachusetts- and New Hampshire-based clothing accessories companies, along with their owner, Thomas Bates, for falsely claiming that certain company products were manufactured in the United States. The FTC’s order, first announced in June 2023, stops the company from making deceptive claims about products being “Made in USA” and requires it to pay a monetary judgment.
The FTC’s order against Bates and his companies Chaucer Accessories, Bates Accessories, and Bates Retail Group, which they have agreed to, includes a number of requirements about the claims they make:
• Restriction on unqualified claims: The companies and Bates will be prohibited from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for any product, unless they can show that the product’s final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place in the U.S., and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S.
• Requirement for qualified claims: The companies and Bates are required to include in any qualified Made in USA claims a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients or components, or processing.
• Requirement for assembly claims: The companies and Bates must also ensure, when claiming a product is assembled in the U.S., that it is last substantially transformed in the U.S., its principal assembly takes place in the U.S., and U.S. assembly operations are substantial.
• Monetary judgment: The order includes a monetary judgment of $191,481, which the companies and Bates will be required to turn over to the FTC.
The Commission vote to finalize the order was 3-0. The lead staff attorney on this matter was Julia Solomon Ensor in the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Follow the FTC on social media, read consumer alerts and the business blog, and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts.
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Uncoated Paper From Portugal: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Foundry Coke From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year Review
• Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and South Korea Determinations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Uncoated Paper From Brazil: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results
• Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Gas Powered Pressure Washers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From China
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From India: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review
• Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF) From China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan; Scheduling of Full Five-Year Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stainless Steel Flanges From India: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Steel Nails From the United Arab Emirates
Bureau of Industry and Security Continues to Update Section 232 Exclusions Process - BIS
The proposed rule makes additional improvements and requests further public input
CBP Moves Closer to Full Global Entry Partnership with Costa Rica - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation today to formally initiate negotiations to include Costa Rica among the Global Entry foreign partner countries, an initiative that expedites entry procedures into U.S. ports of entry.
The signing took place today at the Costa Rican Embassy. Attendees included Senior Official Performing the Duties of the CBP Commissioner Troy A. Miller, Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves, and Costa Rican Minister of Security Mario Zamora Cordero. President Chaves visited the White House following the signing.
“This cooperative arrangement marks an important step toward our countries’ commitment to fostering a relationship that strengthens security, facilitates commerce and legitimate travel, and provides benefits to Costa Rican citizens,” Miller said. “We look forward to Costa Rica becoming a full Global Entry partner so its citizens can take full advantage of the program.”
Once the United States and Costa Rica finalize consultations, Costa Rican citizens who apply and are approved for the Global Entry program will be able to enter the U.S. using the Global Entry portals in the Federal Inspection Service areas of 85 airports in the U.S. and other countries, expediting their arrival process into the U.S. while enhancing security.
“The adoption of the U.S. Global Entry program in Costa Rica signifies a profound commitment to enhancing cross-border relationships between Costa Rica and the US,” said Catalina Crespo-Sancho, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States. “This partnership not only expedites entry, but also symbolizes the strength between nations, fostering a shared journey towards prosperity and shared values.”
CBP has welcomed 16 Global Entry countries to date, including Croatia, Bahrain, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil, the United Kingdom and, most recently, the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Israel, Japan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are participating in a Global Entry pilot program.
Global Entry is one of Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler programs and successful applicants also receive the benefit of the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck® program, allowing for an expedited screening process at security control for domestic and international flights departing the U.S. Travelers must be pre-approved for all Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry. All applicants undergo rigorous and recurring background checks and an in-person interview before initial enrollment.
Global Entry has more than 12 million members and is used at land, air and sea ports of entry into the United States at all major airports and all Preclearance airports. While a key goal of the program is to expedite travelers through the entry process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States. To maintain Global Entry members as low-risk travelers, any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and termination of the traveler’s membership privileges.
Whirlpool Agrees to Pay $11.5 Million Civil Penalty for Failure to Immediately Report Glass Cooktops Posing Burn and Fire Hazards - Consumer Product Safety Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing that Whirlpool Corp., of Benton Harbor, Michigan, has agreed to pay an $11,500,000 civil penalty. The settlement resolves CPSC’s charges that Whirlpool knowingly failed to immediately report to CPSC, as required by law, that 17 models of its JennAir, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool brand electric radiant heat cooktops contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers.
Beginning in November 2017 and continuing into 2019, Whirlpool received numerous reports from consumers that cooktop surface elements turned on by themselves. Despite possessing information that reasonably supported the conclusion that the cooktops contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or created an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, Whirlpool did not immediately report to the Commission. By the time Whirlpool filed an initial report with the Commission, Whirlpool had received at least 157 reports of the cooktops turning on by themselves, including 14 reports of property damage, four reports of objects igniting, and two reports of minor burns. Whirlpool and the Commission jointly announced a recall of the cooktops on August 28, 2019.
The settlement agreement requires Whirlpool to maintain internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), including enhancements to its compliance program. Whirlpool has also agreed to submit, for a period of three years, annual reports regarding its compliance program, internal controls, and internal audits of the effectiveness of compliance policies, procedures, systems, and training.
By a 4 to 0 vote, the Commission provisionally accepted the settlement agreement, subject to public comment. Joseph Kessler, a Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement and Litigation, represented the Commission in this enforcement action.
CPSC Warns Consumers to Immediately Stop Using Classic Brands Holdings 10-inch Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattresses Due to Fire Hazard - Consumer Product Safety Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using certain Classic Brands Holdings LLC Cool Gel Ventilated Memory Foam mattresses. The mattresses pose a fire hazard and fail to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard for mattresses.
The importer, Classic Brands Holdings LLC, of Columbia, Maryland, is going out of business and is unable to conduct a recall.
This announcement involves about 21,655 “Classic Brands” 10-inch “Cool Gel Memory Foam” mattresses which were manufactured in Spain between January 2021 and August 2022, and sold on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Wayfair.com, as well as online at HomeDepot.com, Macys.com, and Target.com, from March 2021 through October 2022. “Cool Gel Memory Foam” is printed on the side of the mattress. The mattresses were sold in the following sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, King and California King.
Consumers who purchased a 10-inch “Cool Gel Memory Foam” mattress should check the mattress to see if the mattress was manufactured in Spain between January 2021 and August 2022 by checking the “Date of Manufacture” on the label. If the mattress label states the mattress was manufactured in Spain and the “Date of Manufacture” is not present, or if the label was previously removed by the consumer, the mattress is within the scope of this safety notice and consumers should stop using and dispose of the mattress immediately. Mattresses with labels indicating they were manufactured in other locations or manufactured in Spain on other dates are not included in this announcement.
CPSC urges consumers to stop using these mattresses and dispose of these products immediately in accordance with municipal or state recycling programs (information can be searched via https://search.earth911.com/). To explore recycling options for consumers located in California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Oregon, visit https://mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/ for more information.
CPSC urges consumers not to purchase, sell, or donate these mattresses, including selling or donating to secondhand stores. Report any incidents involving product injuries to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.
Individual Commissioners may have statements related to this topic. Please visit www.cpsc.gov/commissioners to search for statements related to this or other topics.