Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade news:
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- CBP releases October 2023 monthly update. Highlights:
- CBP identified nearly $6.8 billion of duties to be collected by the U.S. government.
- Stopped 504 shipments valued at more than $199 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor.
- Seized 1,499 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $160 million if the items had been genuine.
- EAPA Actions:
- CBP’s Office of Trade’s Broker Management Branch is hosting a webinar on Friday, Dec 15, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. ET titled 2024 Permit Annual User Fee and Triennial Status Report Filing.
- The webinar will cover the new procedure for the electronic payment of permit annual user fees and the changes to TSR filing information, and enhancements in the CBP electronic portal (eCBP) TSR screens to reflect the regulatory changes. Register here.
- CBP announced the selection of 50 stakeholders to participate in the Reimbursable Services Program (RSP), as provided for under Section 481 of the Homeland Security Act, 2002.
- RSP is a key component of CBP’s public-private partnerships and is an opportunity for the agency to work with stakeholders to identify business solutions for a variety of border management needs. Reimbursable services under Section 481 include customs, immigration, and agricultural processing.
- CSMS Update – Update to the automated export system trade interface requirements
- At the request of the U.S. Census Bureau, AESTIR Export Information Code MS was added for License Code C60.
- Harmonized System Update – HSU 2314 (Nov 15) includes modifications to the HTS record for Pecans, class code 124, that was recently implemented in Production following Collections Release 7 deployment. The following HTS records were updated to reflect the correct assessment rate:
- HTS Code: 0802991000 – INSHELL PECANS
- HTS Code: 0802991500 – SHELLED PECANS
United States International Trade Commission (USITC)
- USITC votes to continue aluminum extrusion investigation
- The USITC determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of aluminum extrusions from China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
- The Commission also determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of aluminum extrusions from Turkey that are allegedly subsidized by the Government of Turkey.
- Congress passes funding bill to avoid government shutdown
- The bill extends funding until January 19 for priorities including military construction, veterans affairs, transportation, housing and the Energy Department. The rest of the government — anything not covered by the first step — would be funded until February 2.
- The proposal does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.
- House Ways and Means Committee advances CBP consolidation bill
- The committee unanimously voted to advance H.R. 5862 which would get rid of these job descriptions—Import Specialist, Entry Specialist, National Account Manager, International Trade Specialist, Drawback Specialist and National Import Specialist—and combine those duties all under the job of Global Trade Specialist.
- CBP has been asking for the change for about five years.
U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
- Secretary Gina Raimondo participated in the second ministerial meeting of the U.S.-Japan Economic Policy Consultative Committee
- During the meeting, the participants affirmed the United States’ and Japan’s mutual commitment to strengthen the rules-based economic order, enhance economic resilience, and promote and protect critical and emerging technologies.
Bureau of Industry and Security
- BIS has rescheduled its Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy in Washington, D.C., to March 27-29. The conference had originally been planned for Nov. 28-30.
Federal Maritime Commission
- Commissioner Louis Sola released a letter to President Biden about his views on the lack of policies incentivizing the maritime industry to decarbonize.
- The letter stressed the need for “leadership and financial assistance” to push the maritime industry to eliminate ship carbon emissions. The letter also provided policy recommendations such as an alternate marine fuel coalition and a comprehensive emissions strategy.
U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
- OFAC imposed its third round of sanctions targeting Hamas-affiliated individuals and entities since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel.
- This action designates key Hamas officials and the mechanisms by which Iran provides support to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The designations are coordinated with action by the U.K. and are aimed at protecting the international financial system from abuse by Hamas and their enablers.
- OFAC issued an OFAC Compliance Communiqué: Guidance for the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to the Palestinian People in response to questions from the NGO community and the general public on how to provide humanitarian assistance while complying with OFAC sanctions.
- Designation updates:
- Treasury releases report on macroeconomic and foreign exchange policies of major trading partners of the United States
- The report analyzed the practices of the United States’ major trading partners and concludes that no major U.S. trading partner manipulated the rate of exchange between its currency and the U.S. dollar for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade during the four quarters through June 2023.
United States Trade Representative (USTR)
- USTR and the Administration highlight progress made to secure access to foreign markets for American agriculture
- Achievements include funding to improve agricultural trade with Africa, reduction of import restrictions, and removal of import bans in some countries. Full list of accomplishments here.
- USTR names Sam Michel as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Media and Public Affairs
- Report: Implications of revoking China’s PNTR status
- In collaboration with the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC), Oxford Economics on unveiled a report exploring the repercussions of Congress withdrawing China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relation (PNTR) status and implementing heightened tariffs on all Chinese imports. Read the report here.
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