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

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)   

  • The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee’s Intelligent Enforcement Subcommittee Forced Labor Working Group released a government issue paper. The paper covers key CBP activities, statistics, current status, and next steps. 
  • The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) held its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, December 13.  
  • CBP shares top five tips to avoid online scams. 
  • Cincinnati CBP intercepts thousands of fraudulent and counterfeit documents during fiscal year 2023. 
  • Dulles CBP K9 alerts officers seize $56k in unreported currency from Iraq-bound man. 
  • Laredo CBP, HSI officials advise Christmas gift shoppers to avoid counterfeit, dubious origin goods that pose consumer safety, U.S. economic security risks. 
  • Dulles CBP officers seize $68k in unreported currency from Nigeria-bound family. 
  • Blanket declaration records for importers and organizational brokers moved Dec. 9 to the modernized ACE Portal. 
  • Reminder: the submission period for the 2024 Customs Broker Triennial Status Report (TSR) and associated $100 filing fee for all licensed customs brokers opens December 18, 2023. 

 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

  • The FDa seized approximately 1.4 million units of unauthorized e-cigarette products. The estimated retail value of the seized products totals more than $18 million. 
  • The FDA announced that eSTAR is now available for voluntary use for certain PMA Submissions. eSTAR is intended to enhance the incoming quality of submissions for a wide range of medical devices by helping to ensure submitters provide quality, comprehensive data for premarket review. 

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) 

  • BIS, the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a joint compliance note highlighting common tactics deployed by malign actors in the maritime and other transportation industries as well as recent enforcement actions taken in response to alleged violations.  
  • BIS released three rules as part of a broad effort to ease several categories of export licensing requirements and expand the availability of export license exceptions for key allied and partner countries, as well as for members of certain multilateral export control regimes. 

 Department of Justice 

  • ADCO Industries (a/k/a Dallco Marketing, Inc.), a Dallas-based importer of industrial products, along with two Chinese companies and two individuals, has agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by failing to pay customs duties on imports from China, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.  
  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the seizure of three domains used by Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), and their members associated with Lebanese Hizballah. 

 U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) 

  • USITC makes determinations in five-year sunset reviews concerning circular welded pipe and tube from Brazil, India, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. 
    • The agency determined that revoking the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.  
  • USITC votes to continue investigations on frozen warmwater shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. 

 United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

  • USTR announces Bryant Trick as Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East. 

 U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)  

  • OFAC announced a $1,207,830 settlement with CoinList Markets LLC.  CoinList agreed to settle its potential civil liability arising from processing 989 transactions on behalf of users ordinarily resident in Crimea in apparent violation of OFAC’s Russia/Ukraine sanctions.   
  • Russia-related designations and designations updates; Issuance of Russia-related general licenses. 

 Department of Commerce 

  • Commerce hosted a Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference to convene more than 300 U.S. and Ukrainian industry and government representatives to explore opportunities for co-production and other industrial cooperation with Ukraine.  
    • The conference is part of the U.S. government’s efforts to significantly increase weapons production to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom and security. 

 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 

  • The CPSC proposed a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to amend 16 CFR 1110 regarding certificates of compliance.  
    • The SNPR proposes to align 16 CFR 1110 with other CPSC rules on testing and certification, and to implement, for imported CPSC-regulated products and substances, electronic filing of certificates (eFiling) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

  Congress 

  • Senators Cassidy and Whitehouse re-introduced the Senate intro of the Customs Modernization Act of 2023.  
    • The bill resolve(s) data collection constraints, expand(s) the legal use of trade data, increase(s) supply chain accountability, improve(s) enforcement effectiveness, and bolster(s) information sharing among government agencies. 
  • Bipartisan legislation has been reintroduced to ban the import of certain commodities grown or produced on illegally deforested land.  
    • The Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade (FOREST) Act of 2023 identifies palm oil, cattle, cocoa, and rubber as high-risk commodities. 
  • Legislation introduced targeting certain seafood imports: 
    • C-Food Act: Senators Tom Cotton (R-ARK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced a bill to ban imported fish products from China.  
    • Saving Nemo Act: Representatives Ed Case (D-HI) and Jared Huffman (D-CA). Introduced the Saving Nemo Act which would ban the import or export of ornamental reef fish or other species that pose “a substantial risk of harm to the species or its coral reef ecosystem.” 

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