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Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Wood Mouldings and Millwork Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2021
• Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Determinations, Investigations, etc.: Certain Non-Refillable Steel Cylinders From India: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Metal Lockers and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Intent To Revoke the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, in Part
• Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations: Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale From India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Stainless Steel Flanges From China and India; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Pure Granular Magnesium From China
• Mattresses From Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burma, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and Taiwan
CBP Initiates Interoperability Standards Test to Improve Supply Chain Transparency - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the completion of its first interoperability test. The test seeks to establish global standards to foster transparency and a standard manner of communication between the private sector and government agencies while allowing both to maintain the ability to choose from various technologies.
CBP is committed to promoting global interoperability – the ability of different software systems to work with each other – as part of the agency’s modernization efforts.
“Global interoperability standards will help unify the approach to transparent supply chains within both the public and private sectors, streamlining communication and improving both security and facilitation,” said Vincent Annunziato, CBP’s Business Transformation and Innovation Division Director.
CBP is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program with cohort members, Neoflow, and Transmute to develop a global modernization strategy, which includes global interoperability standards.
CBP’s recent test focused on pipeline oil and steel supply chains and involved some of the largest companies in both industries. The system enhanced work environments by removing the need for paper and allowing for the real-time exchange of data, which provides greater security and more timely reactions from the agency. The system also included data exchanges from both traditional and non-traditional supply chain actors, allowing CBP to combine modernized data that includes information of shipments prior to arrival, with data that already exists in the Automated Commercial Environment, a first for the agency.
As part of CBP’s innovative work, the agency will continue to invest in global interoperability with upcoming international and domestic testing in 2024, focusing on e-commerce, natural gas, and food safety. These tests will include collaboration with several partner government agencies. CBP looks to further promote transparency and global interoperability standards with these tests.
“Our 2023 test created the possibility for more advancements. With bipartisan support, CBP will extend its commitment to global standards by testing its ability to verify the origin of transactions and issue credentials. The 2024 tests are a prelude to limited production for the five Silicon Valley Innovation Program projects (pipeline oil, steel, natural gas, e-commerce, and food safety) and the larger CBP modernization effort, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) 2.0,” Annunziato said.
In the first international test, participating countries with Mutual Recognition Agreements will exchange the newly authored Global Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism/Authorized Economic Operator credential. This will allow private industry to request benefits from countries without having to apply separately for each country. The second international test will explore how countries will exchange billing data to verify goods have been exported.
CBP Officers Seize Liquid Methamphetamine at Otay Mesa Cargo Lot - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
OTAY MESA, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Otay Mesa commercial facility discovered nearly to 200 pounds of liquid methamphetamine concealed in the fuel tank of a tractor.
On Aug. 7, at approximately 8:40 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 25-year-old male driver of a tractor trailer applying for entry at the Otay Mesa cargo facility. During the initial inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver, tractor, and trailer for further scrutiny.
In secondary, CBP officers conducted a thorough hands-on inspection. While inspecting the fuel tank of the tractor CBP officers noticed a liquid substance in the tank begin to crystalize. The substance was tested by CBP officers and identified as liquid methamphetamine.
CBP officers removed the liquid methamphetamine from the fuel tank of the tractor. The narcotics were placed in six five-gallon buckets with a total weight of 195.33 pounds. The estimated street value of the drug shipment is $221,500.
“This unusual concealment method shows that drug traffickers will try anything to get their product across our borders,” said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa port of entry. “I am proud of the remarkable job our Otay Mesa CBP officers do every day, because even in this extreme weather, they do not lower their guard when it comes to protecting our nation’s borders.”
The narcotics, tractor, and trailer were seized by CBP officers.
CBP offices turned the driver over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further disposition.
Southern California CBP officers stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics
Statement by Sec. Vilsack on India's Tariff Reductions on U.S. Products - USDA
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2023 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement today in response to the announcement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that India has agreed to reduce tariffs on key U.S. agricultural products:
“We welcome today’s news that India has agreed to reduce tariffs on its imports of U.S. turkey, duck, cranberries and blueberries, creating new market opportunities for U.S. producers and exporters in the world’s most populous nation.
“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and USTR have focused on rebuilding trust and strengthening relationships with our global trading partners, including India, and working through the World Trade Organization and other venues to ensure that those partners live up to their obligations so that U.S. agriculture has full and fair access to key export markets.
“Today’s announcement, leading into President Biden’s participation in the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi, follows the lifting of India’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts, a development that had been announced earlier this summer and took effect this week. While important progress has been made, significant tariff and nontariff barriers to American agricultural products accessing the Indian market remain. I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Tai to address these barriers and strengthen the trade relationship between the United States and India.”
Making Families Safer from Button Cell or Coin Battery Dangers; Reese’s Law Leads to New Federal Mandatory Safety Standard - US Consumer Product Safety Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to approve a mandatory standard to reduce button cell and coin battery ingestion hazards to children six years and younger. These batteries are used in many types of consumer products from keyless entry remotes and wireless game controllers to toys and musical greeting cards. Pursuant to Reese's Law, CPSC voted to adopt the voluntary standard, ANSI/UL 4200A-2023 Standard for Safety for Products Incorporating Button Batteries or Coin Cell Batteries, as the mandatory consumer product safety rule for consumer products containing button cell or coin batteries. The Commission also established labeling requirements for button cell or coin battery packaging, to warn of the ingestion hazard to children.
Protecting Children
The stakes are high and the consequences of a child swallowing a button cell or coin battery can be immediate and deadly. These tiny batteries can burn through a child’s throat or esophagus in as little as two hours if swallowed. From 2011 through 2021, CPSC is aware of 27 deaths and an estimated 54,300 injuries treated in emergency rooms associated with ingested or inserted button cell or coin batteries.
Reese's Law & ANSI/UL 4200A-2023
Reese's Law, enacted August 16, 2022, mandates that CPSC implement federal safety requirements for button cell or coin batteries and consumer products containing such batteries. These requirements do not apply to toy products for children under 14 if the products comply with the Toy Standard. Additionally, the law requires that any button cell or coin battery offered for sale, manufactured for sale, imported into the U.S., or included separately with a consumer product, meet the child-resistant packaging requirements in the Poison Prevention Packaging Standards after February 12, 2023. These packaging requirements do not apply to button cell or coin batteries manufactured or imported on or before February 12, 2023.
Consistent with Reese’s Law, ANSI/UL 4200A-2023 requires either the use of a tool such as a screwdriver or coin to open the battery compartment, or the application of at least two independent and simultaneous movements to open by hand; additionally, such consumer products must pass a series of performance tests simulating reasonably foreseeable use or misuse. The standard also includes labeling requirements for consumer products containing button cell or coin batteries, and labeling requirements for consumer product packaging.
Safeguard children by taking control of button cell or coin batteries.
• Keep products with accessible batteries away from children if the battery compartments do not have a screw closure to secure them.
• If the battery compartment is damaged, replace the product as soon as possible, repair or dispose of the product.
• Toys with button cell or coin batteries are required to have a secure closure requiring a screwdriver, coin, or tool to open.
• Check the toys in your home to make sure battery compartments are secured.
• Do not allow children to play with or be in contact with button cell or coin batteries.
• Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (800-498-8666) or the Poison Help Line (800-222-1222) immediately for treatment information if you suspect a child has swallowed or is exposed to button cell or coin batteries.
Immediately take children who are suspected of having swallowed button cell or coin batteries to the nearest emergency department. The National Capital Poison Center recommends giving honey to children 12+ months on the way to the emergency room to reduce injury in the critical time between ingestion and when the battery can be properly removed. Do not delay going to the emergency room to obtain or give them honey. Give 10mL of honey every 10 minutes only for children 12+ months who have ingested button batteries in the past 12 hours. Do not exceed six doses of honey.
FDA Issues Warning Letters to Firms Marketing Unapproved Eye Products - Food & Drug Administration
Agency Warns Eight Companies Regarding Their Unapproved Ophthalmic Drugs
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to eight companies for manufacturing or marketing unapproved ophthalmic drug products in violation of federal law. These warning letters are part of the agency’s ongoing effort to protect Americans from potentially harmful ophthalmic products.
Eye products addressed in the eight warning letters are illegally marketed to treat conditions such as conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), cataracts, glaucoma and others. Some of the FDA warning letters also cite the companies involved for quality issues related to product sterility.
The FDA is particularly concerned that these illegally marketed, unapproved ophthalmic drug products pose a heightened risk of harm to users because drugs applied to the eyes bypass some of the body’s natural defenses. Some of these eye products are labeled to contain silver, which may be characterized as silver sulfate, silver sulphate or argentum. Long-term use of drugs containing silver can cause some areas of the skin and other body tissues, including in the eye, to permanently turn gray or blue-gray, which is called “argyria.” Additionally, unapproved drugs that claim to cure, treat or prevent serious conditions may cause consumers to delay or stop medical treatments that have been found safe and effective through the FDA review process.
“The FDA is committed to ensuring the medicines Americans take are safe, effective and of high quality. When we identify illegally marketed, unapproved drugs and lapses in drug quality that pose potential risks, the FDA works to notify the companies involved of the violations,” said Jill Furman, director of the Office of Compliance for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We will continue to investigate potentially harmful eye products and work to ensure violative products stay off store shelves so that consumers can continue taking the medicines they need without concern.”
The agency issued warning letters to the following companies:
• Boiron Inc.
• CVS Health
• DR Vitamin Solutions
• Natural Ophthalmics, Inc.
• OcluMed LLC
• Similasan AG/Similasan USA
• TRP Company, Inc.
• Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Consumers currently using eye products included in these warning letters should speak to their health care professional. The FDA encourages consumers and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the agency’s MedWatch program.
The FDA has asked the companies to respond within 15 days of receipt of the letters, stating how they will correct the violations. Failure to correct the violations promptly may result in the FDA pursuing legal action, including product seizure and/or a court order requiring a company to stop manufacturing and distributing an unapproved product. Additionally, the agency has placed some of these companies on import alert to help stop their products from entering the U.S. and reaching consumers.
The FDA’s investigation of eye products is ongoing, and the agency may take additional regulatory or enforcement actions, as warranted.
Online Shoe Seller Hey Dude, Inc. to Pay $1.95 Million for Violating FTC’s Mail, Internet, and Telephone Order Rule and Suppressing Negative Consumer Reviews - Federal Trade Commission
Money may be used to provide refunds to defrauded consumers nationwide
Online shoe retailer Hey Dude, Inc. (Hey Dude) will pay $1.95 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that the company misled consumers by suppressing negative reviews, including more than 80 percent of reviews that failed to provide four or more stars out of a possible five. The FTC also contends the company violated the Commission’s Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule in several ways between 2020 and 2022.
“As this case makes clear, when retailers publish consumer reviews online, they cannot suppress negative reviews to paint a deceptive picture of the consumer experience. And when retailers don’t ship merchandise on time, they must give buyers the option to cancel their orders and promptly get their money back,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We will continue to hold online retailers accountable for violations of the FTC Act and other laws we enforce.”
Hey Dude, which was acquired by Crocs, Inc. in February 2022, advertises, markets, and sells shoes to consumers nationwide on the Internet, using its own website and by soliciting orders via social media advertisements. The FTC’s complaint charges that Hey Dude, formerly known as Happy One, LLC, violated the FTC’s Mail Order Rule in several ways, including: 1) failing to issue shipping delay notices when it could not timely fulfill consumers’ orders; 2) failing to cancel consumers’ orders and issue prompt refunds after failing to issue such notices; and 3) issuing consumers gift cards instead of sending prompt refunds of the original payment for merchandise ordered but not shipped, as required by the rule.
Hey Dude violated the FTC Act by suppressing negative consumer reviews of its merchandise, according to the complaint. From January 2020 to June 2022, the company, which uses a third-party online management review interface, chose to have all five-star reviews (the best rating) posted on its website with little scrutiny. In many instances, however, it rejected and did not publish less-favorable reviews.
Before June 2022, the complaint alleges Hey Dude’s written policies and procedures instructed staff to publish certain types of reviews only if they were positive. According to the FTC, Hey Dude started publishing all consumer reviews only after finding out it was under investigation by the Commission.
The proposed court order announced today, if approved by the court, will require Hey Dude to change its conduct going forward. First, the proposed court order will bar Hey Dude from future violations of the Mail Order Rule. Next, it will prohibit the company from making misrepresentations about consumer reviews by requiring it to publish all reviews it receives, including reviews previously withheld from publication, with limited exceptions related to moderation of inappropriate content.
Finally, the proposed order also will require Hey Dude to pay the FTC $1.95 million, which the FTC expects to use to provide refunds to consumers harmed by Hey Dude’s unlawful conduct.
The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the complaint and stipulated final order was 3-0. The FTC filed the complaint and proposed final order in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.
NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final injunctions/orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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