Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum RECAP

On July 11, 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held the Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum, the agency’s first conference that covered CBP’s Green Trade Strategy and related sustainable trade issues. The CBP Green Trade Strategy was formulated by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels in June of 2022 and serves as the agency’s action plan for addressing climate change’s impact on global trade. The Green Trade Strategy seeks to create business incentives that promote green investment and innovation but also includes ramped-up environmental enforcement efforts. The conference participants included multiple senior officials from CBP, and its partner agencies, as well as top executives from leading industry organizations. 

Green Trade Incentives: 

AnnMarie Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Trade explained that the Green Strategy rests on four pillars: 

  1. Incentivizing Green Trade

  2. Strengthening environmental enforcement posture

  3. Accelerating green innovation

  4. Improving climate resilience and resource efficiency 

The first and third pillars refer to CBP’s efforts to work with its partner government agencies and industry leaders to remove barriers to sustainable trade and to promote green innovation. Multiple industry leaders at the conference proposed ways that CBP could create incentive structures that reduce the carbon footprint of global supply chains and promote green innovation.  

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U.S. Customs – Your Personal Policeman at the Border

Introduction 

Many companies mistakenly believe that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government provides sufficient protection and remedies. However, there is an additional step that can significantly enhance protection—recording trademarks or copyrights with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs).  

This blog explores the distinct goals of these processes and the advantages of recording intellectual property with the U.S. Customs. 

I. Registering with USPTO and Recording with U.S. Customs: Different Goals

  • Registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or U.S. Copyright Office gives public notice of ownership. 
  • Recording with U.S. Customs aims to prevent unauthorized importation of merchandise bearing the registered intellectual property. 
  • U.S. Customs serves as a critical partner in halting counterfeit and infringing products from entering or leaving the United States.

II. Benefits of Recording Trademarks or Copyrights with U.S. Customs

Seizure and Monitoring: 

  • U.S. Customs monitors and seizes infringing merchandise at ports of entry, alleviating the burden on trademark or copyright holders. 
  • This proactive approach eliminates the need to individually locate and prosecute every unauthorized importer, distributor, or retailer, safeguarding intellectual […]

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:

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UFLPA DHS Forced Labor Guidance – What Importers Need to Know

On June 17,  2022, DHS published its long-awaited strategy guidance document which shed light on how UFLPA will be implemented, and what evidence may be provided to rebut the presumption that the goods were made with forced labor. This article provides an overview of the type of evidence importers should have readily available when importing goods into the United States. For general guidance on preventing the importation of goods produced with forced labor and how importers should audit their supply chain to ensure non-use of forced labor, please refer to our Bloomberg Law article, “U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor”.

UFLPA

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) establishes a rebuttable presumption that goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Province of China or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List are prohibited from importation into the United States under 19 U.S.C. § 1307. However, if an Importer of Record can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the goods in question were not produced wholly or in part by forced labor, fully respond to all CBP requests for information about goods under CBP review and demonstrate that it has fully complied with the guidance outlined in this strategy, the Commissioner of CBP may grant an exception to the presumption.

Clear and convincing evidence is a higher standard of proof than a preponderance of the evidence, and generally means that a claim or […]

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA): What You Need to Know

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and What You Need to Know?

On June 16, 2022, CBP held a webinar on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The UFLPA goes into effect June 21, 2022 so it is critical that importers are proactive about forced labor compliance in preparation for this implementation. During the webinar CBP discussed their recently published operational guidance for importers. This blog article provides an overview of CBP’s current enforcement environment and how UFLPA will change CBP’s enforcement procedures for imports generally, and specifically from the Xinjiang region. For general guidance on preventing the importation of goods produced with forced labor and how importers should audit their supply chain to ensure non-use of forced labor, please refer to our Bloomberg Law article, “U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor”.

Background

Under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307), CBP derives the authority for preventing the entry into the U.S. market of products made with forced labor by investigating and acting upon allegations of forced labor in supply chains. CBP issues Withhold Release Orders (WROs) and findings to prevent merchandise produced in whole or in part in a foreign country using forced labor from being imported into the United States. CBP defines Forced labor as all work or service which is extracted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not […]

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