The latest on Russia sanctions from the International Trade and Supply Chain Team
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Bob focuses his practice on customs and international trade law. He brings 30 years of experience to a wide range of issues that affect inbound and outbound goods, including tariff classification, valuation, country of origin marking matters, free trade agreements, and special trade programs. He also has extensive customs compliance experience and regularly assists importers facing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) audits, penalties, seizures, redelivery notices and other agency enforcement activities. Bob works with importers and exporters proactively to achieve cost savings and structure programs that meet CBP "reasonable care" requirements. He also handles supply chain security issues, including Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) enrollment, verification and annual reviews.

On June 13th, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) released its Operational Guidance For Importers to prepare companies for the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”). UFLPA enforcement is set to take effect June 21st and will apply a rebuttable presumption standard to imports tied in whole or in part to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or entities identified by the U.S. government on the soon to be published UFLPA Entity List.

Continue Reading CBP Releases Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Guidance for Importers

On March 23, 2022 the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) reinstated 352 Section 301 China tariff exclusions that had expired December 31, 2020.  The list of reinstated exclusions can be found here: Reinstatement of Certain Exclusions Previously Extended | United States Trade Representative (ustr.gov) The 352 reinstated tariff exclusions are retroactive to October 12, 2021 and extend forward through December 31, 2022.
Continue Reading USTR Reinstates 352 Section 301 China Tariff Exclusions. Importers May Have Opportunities For Refunds

On March 22, 2022, the United States and the United Kingdom announced in a joint statement that the U.S. will halt Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the U.K, effective June 1, 2022, and that the U.K. will also lift retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. exports to the U.K.  The Section 232 tariffs were instituted in March 2018 on all imports of steel and aluminum from multiple countries. 
Continue Reading The United States and the United Kingdom Agree to Cessation of Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

On March 11, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order (“EO”) that prohibited the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce.  Because the Executive Order lists no effective date, implementation will be immediate.  No exceptions are listed for such products that are in transit and the EO specifically states that the prohibitions apply “notwithstanding any contract entered into or license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.”

Continue Reading Biden Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Certain Imports and Calls for Congressional Action to Revoke Permanent Normal Trade Relations With Russia

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a request for comments to assist the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”) with implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”).  The UFLPA, signed by President Biden on December 23, 2021, creates a rebuttable presumption that goods manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Xinjiang”) or produced by an entity on a number of lists to be produced, will be denied entry into the U.S. under section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307).  The UFLPA was passed in response to the alleged use of forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, and other persecuted groups in China.  Readers can learn more about the UFLPA and the rebuttable presumption, which goes into effect on June 21, 2022, in our previous post following the UFLPA’s enactment.
Continue Reading DHS Requests Comments to Inform Implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

On December 23, 2021 President Biden signed H.R. 6256, wide-reaching legislation aimed at preventing the importation of goods “mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor” from China, in particular the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (the “XUAR”).  See Text – H.R.6256 – 117th Congress (2021-2022): To ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China do not enter the United States market, and for other purposes. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.  The bill specifically references cotton, tomatoes and polysilicon, but in fact covers all types of products as well as manufacturers and even companies involved in the recruitment and transport of workers.
Continue Reading President Biden Signs Wide-Reaching Legislation Targeting Goods Allegedly Involving Forced Labor from China

On August 20, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued Cargo Systems Messaging Service (“CSMS”) message # 49132200 addressing documentation requirements for import shipments valued over $2,500 to qualify for the duty-free “U.S. and Foreign Origin Goods Returned” preferential tariff provision under HTSUS Subheading 9801.00.10. 
Continue Reading CBP Issues Updated Guidance for “U.S. and Foreign Goods Returned” Entered Under HTSUS Subheading 9801.00.10: Brokers, Especially, Should Take Notice

The Biden Administration has taken new actions related to forced labor in the Xinjiang region that may affect the supply for material critical for solar panels: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO), the Department of Commerce (Commerce) updated its Entity List, and the Department of Labor (Labor) updated its “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.”  These updates are part of an increased emphasis on both forced labor issues and a crackdown on goods from China’s Xinjiang province, and come on the heels of the G7 Summit that was held in mid-June.  The White House indicated that the Administration’s actions are a “translation” of the commitments made at the G7 denouncing forced labor in the Xinjiang region.
Continue Reading Biden Administration’s Recent Actions Related to Products from China’s Xinjiang Region

On March 29th, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced the suspension of all U.S. engagements with Burma (Myanmar) under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (“TIFA”), effective immediately.  Pursuant to this announcement, the United States will be suspending all government-to-government meetings following the military coup that occurred in February and the related escalation in violence by Burma’s military against its people.
Continue Reading USTR Suspends Trade Engagement with Burma