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11

CBP Announces Preliminary Assessment of FY11 Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act Distributions

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is providing its preliminary calculations of the impact of the Claims Resolution Act on the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act distributions for fiscal year 2011.

The agency anticipates that approximately $7.95 million of duties may be withheld from distribution for fiscal year 2011. This estimate is made on the basis of identifying entries that were not liquidated, were not in litigation, and for which no liquidation instructions had been issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce as of Dec. 8, 2010.

CBP is applying a plain meaning interpretation of the phrase “in litigation” as covering entries that are the subject of litigation in U.S. courts or litigation before a NAFTA bi-national panel.

Congress enacted the CDSOA to provide distributions of antidumping and countervailing duties to the domestic industry that supported the petition in that antidumping and countervailing duties investigation. Congress subsequently repealed the CDSOA in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 by directing that any antidumping and countervailing duties for entries that occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2007, would not be distributed to domestic parties under the CDSOA. However, the repeal provided that antidumping and countervailing duties for entries made prior to Oct. 1, 2007, would continue to be distributed.

On Dec.8, 2010, Congress enacted the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 which reduced the amount of distributions that could be made under the CDSOA. Under the CRA there will be no CDSOA distributions of duties collected from entries that, as of Dec. 8, 2010, were un-liquidated, not in litigation, and not under an order of liquidation from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Thus, all three criteria must be satisfied for the duties on an entry made prior to Oct. 1, 2007, to be withheld from distribution under the CDSOA.

Distributions will be processed by Nov. 29, 2011. Inquiries on this matter should be directed to the CDSOA Helpdesk at (317) 614-4462.


CPSC Launches Online Reporting Tool for Businesses
SaferProducts.gov Business Portal Changes Are Part of CPSC's Information Technology Modernization Effort

Consumer Product Safety Commission / www.cpsc.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched important new features to the SaferProducts.gov Business Portal that make it easier and more efficient for businesses to work with CPSC. These changes are a key part of the agency's overall information technology modernization effort.

A new, comprehensive online form allows manufacturers, private labelers and importers to quickly submit required reports of potentially hazardous or defective products to CPSC. The online form makes it easier for businesses to report product hazards and to communicate information on consumer product safety issues with CPSC.

Another improvement expands CPSC's ability to correspond with all of the businesses registered on SaferProducts.gov using the Business Portal, instead of postal mail. All registered manufacturers, importers and private labelers identified in incident reports will now receive notices electronically, regardless of whether the report is eligible to be published on SaferProducts.gov. Previously, businesses could only receive SaferProducts-eligible reports electronically. This new feature is an example of efficiencies and cost savings being achieved through our information technology overhaul.

With this release, the structure has been put in place to eventually allow businesses registered in the Business Portal to add brand names for products they sell or have sold. Along with brand names, the time periods during which the company sold each brand also can be identified. This information will help CPSC more easily contact the appropriate business when a report about a product is submitted to SaferProducts.gov.

These enhancements to the SaferProducts.gov Business Portal are largely a response to requests and feedback CPSC received from businesses and trade associations.

SaferProducts.gov was launched on March 11, 2011, allowing consumers to report and search for reports of harm or risks of harm. As of the October 31, the site contains more than 4,100 consumer product-related reports.


Threatening Beetles Caught at LAX, LA/LB Seaport

Insecticide-Resistant “Khapra” Beetle Among World’s Most Destructive Pests

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Los Angeles— U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport intercepted a total of five live larvae, two dead adults and three cast skins of Khapra beetle in shipments arriving from India and United Arab Emirates.

On Oct. 21, CBP agriculture specialists at LAX discovered five live larvae in a shipment of basmati rice from India. A day before, CBP agriculture specialists at the LA/LB Seaport found two dead adult beetles while inspecting a shipment of beans arriving from United Arab Emirates. U.S. Department of Agriculture Systematic Entomology Laboratory identified all the specimens as Trogoderma graniarum Everts, also know as Khapra beetle.

“By preventing the entry of harmful pests, CBP agriculture specialists protect United States agriculture and food supply resources,” said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Since Khapra beetle infestations are notoriously costly and difficult to eradicate, our agriculture mission is a top priority.”

The Khapra beetle can survive for long periods of time in hot, dry conditions. Infestations can lead to economic loss of valuable grain or other domestic or export products; lowered quality of products due to contamination; costs associated with prevention and treatment; and consumer health risks when exposed to products contaminated with insect parts.

Countries known to have Khrapa beetle are Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

As of Oct. 21, CBP agriculture specialists have made 190 Khapra beetle interceptions at U.S. ports of entry this year compared to 37 last year.


Two Companies Fined for Violating Iran Sanctions

Sandler Travis & Rosenberg PA / www.strtrade.com

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Nov. 8 the following penalties for alleged violations of the Iranian Transactions Regulations.

• A Minnesota company has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle allegations that it sold and exported punch press tooling equipment to an entity in Iran without an OFAC license. The base penalty amount for the alleged violation was $25,000, and the settlement amount reflects OFAC’s consideration of the following: the company did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violation, the incident constituted a non-egregious case, the company has not been the subject of prior OFAC penalties or other administrative actions, and the company cooperated by promptly responding to OFAC’s administrative subpoenas and entering into a statute of limitations tolling agreement.

• An Alabama company will pay $5,400 to settle allegations that it engaged in a transaction related to goods destined for Iran and facilitated the exportation of goods from a third country to Iran by a foreign person without an OFAC license. The base penalty amount for the alleged violation was $10,000, and the settlement amount reflects OFAC’s consideration of the following: the company did not voluntarily disclose the apparent violation, the incident constituted a non-egregious case, the company appears to have lacked an OFAC compliance program at the time of the alleged violation, the company had knowledge or reason to know that the goods were destined for Iran, the company was not the subject of an OFAC enforcement action in the five years preceding the transactions at issue, the goods may have been eligible for an OFAC license, and the company cooperated with OFAC’s investigation, including by agreeing to toll the statute of limitations.


CBP to Pilot Simplified Entry in Air Mode of Transportation

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced plans to conduct a Simplified Entry Pilot as part of the Simplified Processes trade initiative. The air cargo pilot, scheduled to begin at the end of December, will be open to the trade community.

“The Simplified Entry pilot expedites cargo release into the stream of commerce,” said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “The trade industry and CBP will both realize significant efficiencies while enhancing security with more accurate information provided earlier in the import process.”

The Simplified Entry Pilot was created in coordination with representatives from the National Retail Federation, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, American Association of Exporters and Importers, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, and Business Alliance for Customs Modernization to streamline the entry process. During the pilot, the filer will enter a Simplified Entry consisting of 13 data elements and 4 optional data elements, instead of the 27 currently required.

CBP encourages importers and brokers to participate in the pilot. Participants must have an ACE Portal Account and hold a Tier 2 status or higher in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. To be considered for the pilot, applicants can submit an email to cbpsimplifiedprocess@dhs.gov with the subject line “Simplified Entry Participant Request” within five days of the federal register notice publication.

CBP is planning similar pilots in the ocean and rail environments in early to mid-2012.


 

CBP Provides Helpful Traveling Tips for the Holiday Season

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Tucson, Ariz. — With the holiday season approaching, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona ports are gearing up for a busy season. To help travelers prepare for anticipated delays crossing the border – south and north – CBP offers the following helpful tips:

  • Anticipate delays. Increased outbound inspections at all ports, road and port construction, and increased traffic are likely to increase wait times at all crossing locations for travelers departing and returning to the United States. Consult the CBP website at www.cbp.gov to monitor border wait times. Information is updated hourly and can be useful in determining periods of light use/short waits.
  • Check all necessary documents prior to departing the country. Ensure all travelers have proper identification, citizenship and/or required immigration documents prior to departure. Individuals awaiting immigration benefits should contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services prior to departing the country. Foreign nationals with pending applications for adjustment of status must be approved for Advance Parole prior to leaving the U.S.
  • Be prepared to declare all monetary/negotiable instruments exceeding $10,000 when departing or entering the country. While not illegal to carry more than $10,000, it must be declared to a CBP officer. Failure to do so could result in seizure and/or arrest.
  • Travelers found to be in the United States illegally or in violation of their immigration status are subject to being detained and processed accordingly. This could result in additional delays waiting for documentation via official systems before being allowed to continue with travel, or possible criminal prosecution, depending on the violation and criminal history.
  • Prepare for inspection. Before arriving at the inspection booth, travelers should have their crossing documents readily at hand to present to CBP officers for inspection. Passports, passport cards, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant documents will be required for all U.S. and Canadian citizens.
  • Declare all items acquired abroad. Many agricultural products are permitted into the United States; however, some products can be very harmful to our nation’s agriculture production. If travelers are uncertain of an item that may be prohibited, it is best to ask an officer during the border-crossing process. It is also recommended that travelers consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Web site (www.usda.gov ) before traveling abroad to ensure they have the most up to date information. Travelers should familiarize themselves with this information to avoid penalties and delays with their travels.
  • Traveling with non-U.S. citizens will require I-94 travel permits, which can be obtained at the port of entry in advance of travel. This will allow travelers requiring I-94 documents (those planning to travel beyond the border zone or stay in the U.S. for more than 30 days) to bypass those lines when they formally enter the U.S. They will still be subject to the inspection process.
  • Drivers can help ease the screening and admission process by ensuring all vehicle occupants are awake prior to reaching the inspecting officer. All cell phone conversations should also be terminated prior to reaching the CBP officer.
  • Travelers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/leavingarrivinginUS/vacation/knowbeforeugo.xml. Being informed will help travelers be prepared and avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. “Know Before You Go” brochures are also available at border ports.

Customs and Border Protection is serious about its mission of protecting the American people and securing our nation’s borders. At the same time, however, CBP tries to facilitate the entry of legitimate travelers. To accomplish our mission, we ask for the assistance and cooperation of the traveling public. We ask travelers for their patience and understanding while we continue with our law enforcement efforts. While our officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism, they also must perform traditional border-related duties involving narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.


FDA Acts to Protect Children from Illegal Tobacco Sales
Warning Letters issued to more than 1,200 tobacco retailers

Food and Drug Administration / www.fda.gov

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent Warning Letters to more than 1,200 retailers, the majority of which respond to violations relating to selling tobacco to minors, as part of its ongoing effort to reduce tobacco use among children.

While most retail establishments inspected by the FDA have been found to be in compliance with the law, some retailers are still selling cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors. Warning Letters may be followed by civil money penalties if retailers continue to violate the law.

“It should worry every parent that 20 percent of U.S. high school students smoke cigarettes,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. “President Obama and the FDA are committed to preventing children from smoking. For many young people, that first cigarette or use of smokeless tobacco will lead to a lifetime of addiction, and for many, serious disease. More than 80 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age. Retailers are vital partners in the FDA’s efforts to prevent tobacco use among kids.”

President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gives the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products to prevent use by minors and reduce the impact on public health. One of the law’s provisions permits the FDA to contract with states and territories to conduct compliance check inspections of tobacco retailers. In 2011, the FDA awarded compliance contracts totaling more than $24 million to 38 states, including the District of Columbia, supporting the creation of at least 266 jobs.

As of today, FDA-commissioned officials have conducted more than 27,500 compliance checks. Retail inspections focus on sale and distribution restrictions, including:

  • age and ID verification
  • requirements for labeling and advertising of smokeless tobacco products
  • restrictions on the sale of single cigarettes
  • a ban on certain candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes
  • prohibited self service displays and vending machines

Full inspection results are posted on the FDA website. The site lists all retailer Warning Letters and a monthly list of inspected establishments where no violations were observed.

“Through this program, we are exercising the authority Congress and the President gave to FDA to enforce the youth access and advertising regulations that took effect in June 2010,” said Lawrence R. Deyton, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “While we applaud the efforts made by many retail establishments to protect our kids, the fact that our nation’s youth can walk into 1,200 retail locations and still obtain access to these deadly products is 1,200 too many.”

FDA also began inspecting U.S. tobacco product manufacturers in October 2011. This is the first time tobacco product manufacturing facilities have ever been inspected by a federal public health agency. Inspections of tobacco product manufacturing facilities are required to be conducted at least once every two years.

For more information:

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

 
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