Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:
- In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP at the LA/Long Beach Seaport seized More Than $760 Million in Counterfeit and Prohibited Products, a 652% increase over the previous year.
- CBP issues guidance regarding the extension of product exclusions from additional Section 301 China duties on certain medical-care products to address COVID-19.
- With changes to the HTSUS classification systems possibly coming as early as January 1, 2021, U.S. importers should review their classifications and ensure compliance with U.S. regulations
- The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) requests public comment regarding areas and priorities for U.S. and EU export control cooperation under the Trade and Technology Council.
- Comments are due by January 14, 2022
- On November 26, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule adding 27 foreign entities and individuals to the Entity List for engaging in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
- In their most substantial talk since President Biden took office, Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire”.
- On November 12, 2020, the President declared a national emergency to deal with the extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by certain companies of the People’s Republic of China.
- Airbnb subject to regulatory risk under U.S. law with more than a dozen homes available for rent in China’s Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor.
- On December 6, 2021, President Biden announced a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games over concerns about China’s human rights record.
- The Department of Commerce invites the general public to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections to allow for submission of exclusions requests from the remedies adjusting imports of steel and aluminum into the United States.
- Comments are due by January 24, 2022.
- On December 1, 2021, the Department of Commerce announced the opportunity to request an annual administrative review for products that are currently subject to antidumping and countervailing duties.
- The FDA is sharing a grant opportunity to cover COVID-19-related expenses for eligible FDA-regulated food producers, processors and growers.
- On November 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned senior Houthi military officer Saleh Mesfer Alshaer, for the seizure of property in Yemen valued at greater than 100 million dollars, using a variety of unlawful tactics, including extortion.
- On November 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity for attempting to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- On November 24, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Syrian Sanctions Regulations to expand the authorizations for nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to engage in certain transactions and activities that ensure the continued provision of humanitarian assistance, including certain early-recovery activities, that benefit the Syrian people.
- On November 24, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Venezuela-related General License 8I, authorizing limited transactions with Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. or the wind down of operations in Venezuela for certain entities.
- On December 2, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the expansion of sanctions against Belarus to include 35 new designations to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Entities List and the issuance of a related wind-down license, General License 5.
- On November 8, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 57 cryptocurrency addresses and one exchange for facilitating ransomware and money laundering
DST and Section 301 Investigations
- As part of the to address tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the world economy, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to terminate the Section 301 Digital Services Tax Investigations of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
- U.S. and India reach agreement regarding the treatment of Digital Services Taxes prior to full implementation of Pillar 1 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreement. As part of the agreement the United States will terminate the currently suspended additional duties on goods of India that had been adopted in the DST Section 301 investigation.
- On November 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued a joint statement with Turkey regarding a transitional approach to Turkey’s Digital Service Tax (DST) prior to entry into force of Pillar 1. The joint statement reflects a political agreement in which the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to terminate the section 301 action taken in the investigation of Turkey’s DST.
- On November 17, 2021, the United States and Japan announced the formation of the “U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade” to deepen cooperation between the two countries and reaffirm their alliance through regular engagement on trade-related matters.
- United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo published an op-ed touting the agreement reached with the European Union that preserves the long-term viability of our steel and aluminum industries by tackling global excess capacity and creates a framework for reducing the carbon intensity of those sectors.
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