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27
China Section 301 Litigation Update - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
On October 20, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) granted the Government’s request for a second extension of time to file its response brief in the China Section 301 litigation appeal. The U.S. Department of Justice had argued that it needed additional time to consult with other government agencies and to conduct its internal review. The Government’s brief is now due on December 21, 2023. Appellants’ reply brief will be due 21 days after the Government files its brief. It is possible that appellants will obtain a short extension.
The revised schedule means that the CAFC will likely hear oral argument in late spring 2024 and the CAFC may issue its decision on the appeal in the summer. Should you have any questions, please contact one of our attorneys.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value: Mattresses From Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burma, India, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and Taiwan: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Quartz Surface Products From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Changed Circumstances Reviews; Global Stone
• Certain Quartz Surface Products From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Changed Circumstances Reviews; AM Stone
• Rescission of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Stainless Steel Flanges From China and India; Determinations
• Ripe Olives From Spain; Notice of Commission Determinations To Conduct Full Five-Year Reviews
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan Determinations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Gas Powered Pressure Washers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Order
• Aluminum Lithographic Printing Plates From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation
• Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Aluminum Lithographic Printing Plates From the People's Republic of China and Japan: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Foundry Coke From China; Determination
• Circular Welded Pipe and Tube From Brazil, India, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey; Cancellation of Hearing for Full Five-Year Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber From South Korea and Taiwan; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year Reviews
• Phosphate Fertilizers From Morocco and Russia
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Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 - FDA
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Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles - Consumer Product Safety Commission/Federal Register
AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) is amending the Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles. The revisions clarify existing provisions, expand permissible equipment and materials for testing, and update equipment requirements that are outdated. The Commission issues this amendment under the authority of the Flammable Fabrics Act.
DATES: This rule is effective on April 22, 2024. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 22, 2024.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
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Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Evade $42 Million in Duties for Illegally Importing and Selling Plywood - U.S. Department of Justice
A Florida husband and wife, Noel and Kelsy Hernandez Quintana, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to import plywood contrary to the Lacey Act and customs laws, and to selling plywood products that were illegally imported and sold. Noel Quintana also pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling and one count of violation the Lacey Act. Kelsy Quintana also pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Lacey Act. The total loss of duties owed on the illegally imported wood products was approximately $42 million. The plywood’s market value was between $25 million and $65 million.
According to court filings, the Quintanas incorporated seven companies in the United States – naming relatives or friends as corporate officers and agents – and these shell companies imported hundreds of shipments of plywood products into the United States between February 2016 and December 2020. The Quintanas also incorporated a financial shell company through which they accepted payments from purchasers for the plywood they imported in violation of laws, including the Lacey Act and customs laws.
Before April 2017, the Quintana’s importing shell companies imported containers of plywood into the United States and almost exclusively declared them to be hardwood plywood imported from China. But after April 2017, the companies evaded applicable duties by falsely declaring their hardwood plywood imports from China to be either the product of another country or to be made with a species of wood not subject to duties.
“Today we hold defendants accountable for their intentional circumvention of customs laws: to avoid paying duties, defendants repeatedly violated the law, refining their schemes each time one was exposed,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This is not simply a financial crime – accurate import declarations protect U.S. markets from dumping by foreign countries and deter illegal harvesting of plants.”
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to pursuing individuals or entities that attempt to defraud the government of millions of dollars, violate U.S. customs laws and keep a fair marketplace for businesses,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury of the HSI Miami Field Office. “These types of criminal activities only serve to negatively impact the U.S. economy and we will continue to work with our federal law enforcement partners to combat this illicit activity.”
When importing plant products, the Lacey Act requires filing a declaration which contains, among other things, the plant’s scientific name and its country of origin. Under the Lacey Act, it is unlawful to transport or sell a plant product knowing it or the plant it was made from was transported in violation of any plant-related law. Customs laws prohibit false statements in any import declaration without reasonable cause to believe the truth of such statement. It is also illegal to import merchandise contrary to law, including the Lacey Act.
According to the plea agreement, softwood plywood – regardless of country of export – carried a general duty of 8%, with a few duty-free exceptions, such as if the outer ply was made from Parana pine. Antidumping and countervailing duties of more than 200% applied to hardwood plywood manufactured in China after approximately April 2017.
To avoid paying duties, the Quintana’s shell companies falsified import declarations for hardwood and softwood plywood. For example, a declaration from July 2018 said plywood in three containers was manufactured in Russia. But the containers were manufactured and loaded in Qingdao, China, and transported to Port Everglades, Florida, through the Panama Canal, without ever stopping in Russia. After federal authorities stopped such a shipment through Panama, the Quintanas used a different tactic to evade duties by shipping Chinese-produced hardwood plywood to Malaysia, then transferring the wood to new containers to be shipped onward to the United States. This change of containers was intended to better conceal that the plywood originated from China.
The Quintanas also falsely declared some shipments of softwood plywood to be duty-free Parana pine, which allowed them to evade the 8% general duty on these imports.
Additional court filings reflect that, after being alerted to the possibility of prosecution for their illegal acts, the Quintanas fled the United States initially to Panama and then to Montenegro, where they were the subject of extradition proceedings.
The couple pleaded guilty to conspiring to import plywood in violation of the Lacey Act and customs laws and conspiring to sell the illegally imported plywood. Noel Quintana also pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling and one count of importing plant products without filing a declaration including the scientific name and name of the country from which the plants were taken. Kelsy Quintana also pleaded guilty to two counts of importing plant products without filing a declaration including the scientific name and name of the country where the plant was harvested.
Noel Quintana faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for count three as well as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of counts one and six. Kelsy Quintana faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of counts one, five and six. Both face forfeitures up to $42 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2024.
HSI investigated the case, with support from Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Animal and Plant Health Investigation Service.
Attorneys from the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the case.
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Where and How to Dispose of Unused Medicines - U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Is your medicine cabinet full of expired drugs or medications you no longer use? Your medicine is for you. What’s safe for you might be harmful for someone else. The best way to dispose of your expired, unwanted, or unused medicines is through a drug take back program — or you can do it at home.
Drug Take Back Programs

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in communities nationwide. Many communities also have their own drug take back programs. Check with your local law enforcement officials to find a location near you or with the DEA to find a DEA-authorized collector in your community.
You can also check with your pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer on-site medicine drop-off boxes, mail-back programs, and other ways to help you safely dispose your unused medicines.
How to Dispose of Medicines at Home

When a take back option is not easily available, there are two ways to dispose of medicines at home, depending on the drug.
Flushing medicines: Because some medicines could be especially harmful to others, they have specific directions to immediately flush them down the sink or toilet when they are no longer needed, and a take-back option is not readily available.
How will you know? Check the label or the patient information leaflet with your medicine. Or consult the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing when a take back option is not readily available. Remember, don’t flush your medicine unless it is on the flush list.
Disposing medicines in household trash: If a take back program is not available, almost all medicines, except those on the FDA flush list (see below), can be thrown into your household trash. These include prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in pills, liquids, drops, patches, and creams.
Follow these steps:
1. Remove the drugs from their original containers and mix them with something undesirable, such as used coffee grounds, dirt, or cat litter. This makes the medicine less appealing to children and pets and unrecognizable to someone who might intentionally go through the trash looking for drugs.
2. Put the mixture in something you can close (a re-sealable zipper storage bag, empty can, or other container) to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
3. Throw the container in the garbage.
4. Scratch out all your personal information on the empty medicine packaging to protect your identity and privacy. Throw the packaging away.
If you have a question about your medicine, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.
Disposing Fentanyl Patches

The fentanyl patch is an example of a product that contains a powerful opioid medicine that can be dangerous to people it’s not prescribed for. This adhesive patch delivers a strong pain medicine through the skin.
Even after a patch is used, a lot of the medicine remains. That’s why the drug comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches.
Disposing Inhaler Products

One environmental concern involves inhalers used by people who have asthma or other breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Read handling instructions on the labeling of inhalers and aerosol products.
These products could be dangerous if punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator. To properly dispose of these products and follow local regulations and laws, contact your trash and recycling facility.
Flushing Drugs and the Water Supply

Some people wonder if it’s okay to flush certain medicines when a take back option is not easily available. There are concerns about the small levels of drugs that may be found in surface water, such as rivers and lakes, and in drinking water supplies.
“The main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medicines and then naturally passing them through their bodies,” says Raanan Bloom, Ph.D., an environmental assessment expert at the FDA. “Many drugs are not completely absorbed or metabolized by the body and can enter the environment after passing through wastewater treatment plants.”
The FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency take the concerns of flushing certain medicines in the environment seriously. Still, there has been no sign of environmental effects caused by flushing recommended drugs. In fact, the FDA published a paper to assess this concern, finding negligible risk of environmental effects caused by flushing recommended drugs.
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FTC Reports Outline Efforts to Combat Cross-Border Fraud and Ransomware Attack - Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission has submitted two reports to Congress detailing the agency’s efforts to combat cross-border fraud through the U.S. SAFE WEB Act and work contributing to the fight against ransomware and other cyber attacks that originate outside the United States.
The first report provides an update on the FTC’s efforts to implement the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers Beyond Borders Act, or U.S. SAFE WEB Act (SAFE WEB). The second report, which was required by the Reporting Attacks from Nations Selected for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies Act (RANSOMWARE Act), addresses questions about FTC activities concerning China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran and the FTC’s efforts to combat ransomware—a type of cyber-related attack in which bad actors hold data or computer access hostage until they receive payment— and other types of cyber attacks.
SAFE WEB, passed by Congress in 2006, provides a framework to engage in cross-border assistance, including information sharing and investigative support. As the report notes, the law has been an indispensable tool in helping the FTC combat cross-border fraud and protect consumers in an increasingly global and digital economy. Thirty years ago, less than 1% of fraud reported to the FTC was cross border, while in 2022 more than 11% of complaints were cross border.
With the authority provided by SAFE WEB, the FTC has pursued and stopped harmful conduct in the United States and successfully defended against challenges to its jurisdictional authority over foreign companies targeting American consumers. The FTC has also worked with numerous foreign enforcers to stop cross-border injury and frauds.
SAFE WEB was reauthorized by Congress in 2020 for seven years. In the new report, the Commission urges Congress to permanently reauthorize SAFE WEB by removing the sunset provision currently set to expire on September 30, 2027, thus preserving the agency’s ability to effectively cooperate with foreign law enforcement to protect consumers. The report also reiterates the FTC’s call for Congress to restore the agency’s ability to get money back to consumers harmed by unlawful conduct and to prevent bad actors from profiting from their misconduct. The FTC’s authority to do so was severely hampered by the Supreme Court’s 2021 AMG decision.
Report on Ransomware and other Cyber Attacks
The second report details the FTC’s work to target ransomware and other cyber attacks. The report notes that one of the key ways the FTC has done this is by implementing a robust data security enforcement program aimed at ensuring companies take appropriate steps to protect personal data they hold from such attacks. The FTC has brought more than 80 enforcement actions involving data security. The agency also has pursued bad actors involved in ransomware-related tech support scams and worked to educate the public and businesses on how to secure and protect data from cyber attacks.
Only a small fraction of the millions of complaints the FTC receives each year involve ransomware and other cyber attacks, and these complaints rarely mention Iran, North Korea or Russia, according to the report. While China is the leading source of complaints about cross-border fraud, they rarely relate to ransomware and other cyber attacks, the report notes. The report details enforcement actions, mostly involving privacy and data security, the FTC has taken involving known or unverified connections to China and Russia.
The report reiterates the importance of SAFE WEB in helping to combat ransomware and other cyber attacks. The Commission also urges Congress to enact privacy and data security legislation, enforceable by the FTC, asserting that such legislation would advance the security of the United States and U.S. companies against ransomware and other cyber attacks.
The Commission votes to approve each report were 3-0.
The lead staffers on both reports are Stacy Procter and Angel Martinez in the FTC’s Office of International Affairs.
 
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