The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (“CITES”) is an international agreement that strives to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of those species. CITES was adopted by 80 countries in 1973. The text of the agreement provides for various measures to prevent the illicit trade in goods made of endangered species. Specifically, CITES imposes controls on all import, export, re-export, and introduction from the sea, of species covered by the agreement, to be authorized through a licensing system. The species that fall within the scope of CITES are listed and maintained in three appendices based on the degree of protection required.
In May 2021, China announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and trading. In recent months, China has doubled down on its new policy by targeting businesses involved in the mining and trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. China’s is prohibiting cryptocurrency mining and trading for many reasons, including:
CBP’s Proposed Rule
On September 10, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding broker continuing education. In the proposed rule, CBP is proposing mandatory continuing education requirements for individual licensed brokers. CBP underscores the benefits of mandatory continuing education for customs brokers in its proposed rule:
USTR Proposes Reinstating Exclusions
On October 6, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced in the Federal Register that the agency is considering a possible reinstatement of 549 exclusions for Section 301 duties on products imported from China that had expired on December 31, 2020.
We are often asked by importers to assist in classifying their products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (“HTS” or “HTSUS”). While seeking assistance from expert counsel is a best practice, under the CBP Modernization Act, an importer of record (“IOR”) is the sole party responsible for determining the correct classification of imported goods (and thereby paying the correct amount of customs duties). An IOR must use reasonable care in classifying its product at the time of entry. Should an importer misclassify their products and not pay the appropriate duties to CBP at the time of importation; the importer is exposing itself to potential CBP penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1592. The process of classifying goods can be a tedious process and may require time and research to arrive at the correct HTSUS number for any one product.
This blog expands our prior blog, Crash Course in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and provides additional detail on the classification process and tips for importers to use when deciding on a classification its customs broker will declare to CBP. Importers are encouraged to attend the webinar How to Build and Maintain an Effective Import Compliance Plan on October 6, 2021 (and on-demand) for best practices on how to build and maintain an import compliance plan by addressing common risks associated with the import process – including product classification.