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

2024 Regulatory Agenda 

  • New regulation alert: the semiannual regulatory agendas of the departments of Homeland Security and Treasury list several regulations impacting international trade that are expected to be finalized this year. The new regulations include: 
    • A proposed rule to create a new process for entering low-value shipments 
    • A final rule to require customs brokers to verify the identity of importers and non-resident importers and create a process for doing so 
    • A proposed rule to require the submission of export manifest data through ACE for cargo transported by rail 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP modifies certain aspects of the ACE Entry Type 86 test to counter “enforcement challenges” involving low-value shipments involved in the test. 
    • These challenges include illicit substances, counterfeit goods, and goods made with forced labor found among some of the imports involved in the Type 86 test. 
    • To address these problems in the test, CBP will modify the deadline to file Entry Type 86 from “within 15 days” of the arrival of the cargo to “upon or prior to arrival.”  
  • CBP announced a forthcoming supplemental environmental assessment for a new border patrol station in Orleans, New York. 
    • The proposed project includes the construction of a new 49,000-square-foot facility to accommodate current and near-future staff and the associated relocation of current operations on Wellesley Island. 
  • CBP launches new careers website. 
  • CBP will now require red snapper imports to include the name and flag of all contributing harvest vessels—regardless of the vessel size.  
    • Until now, NOAA Fisheries’ SIMP has had a blanket exemption for reporting identifying information for small vessels and farms. 
    • That exemption was removed by a provision in the National Defense Authorization bill for FY 2023 with a one-year deadline for implementation.  
  • EAPA case updates: 
    • CBP affirmed their EAPA determination of evasion against certain steel wheels from the People’s Republic of China. 
    • CBP affirmed their EAPA determination of evasion against wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic of China. 

Department of Commerce 

  • Commerce issued final antidumping duty determinations for tin mill products from multiple trading partners and the final countervailing duty determination for tin mill products from the People’s Republic of China. 
    • The agency found that findings that imports of tin mill products from Canada, China, Germany, and the Republic of Korea are being dumped into the U.S. market, and imports of tin mill products from China are also being subsidized. 
  • Secretary Gina Raimondo announced a nationwide schedule of key export promotion events—ranging from in-person local events to trade missions around the world—to advance export opportunities for diverse businesses. 
  • Commerce published its new inflation-adjusted civil penalty maximums: 
    • Export Controls Act increased from $353,534 to $364,992 
    • International Emergency Economic Powers Act increased from $356,579 to $368,136    
    • Census Bureau collection of foreign trade statistics from $16,438 to $16,971 

Department of Labor 

  • The DOL has selected Sayari Graph to uncover forced labor risk in supply chains and corporate networks. 
  • The DOL published a Federal Register notice on that modifies its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) regulations to replace the analysis for determining an employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  

Food and Drug Administration 

  • FDA announces the availability of additional submission tools for cosmetic product facility registration and cosmetic product listing. The announcement included: 
    • The availability of SPL Xforms, a Structured Product Labeling (SPL) authoring tool for cosmetic product facility registration and cosmetic product listing 
    • The availability of Form FDA 5066 and Form FDA 5067 as an additional submission tool for providing cosmetic product facility registration and cosmetic product listing information to FDA 
  • Florida became the first state to gain FDA approval of a State Importation Plan (SIP) under Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, allowing the state to import certain low-cost prescription drugs from Canada. 

Federal Trade Commission 

  • The FTC has adjusted the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for 16 violations as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act.  
    • Maximum civil penalty increased from $50,120 to $51,744 for violations of the FTC Act, the Clayton Act, and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.  
  • FTC to host virtual summit on artificial intelligence – the January 25 event will focus on ways to protect consumers and competition 

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) 

  • The FMC announced it will hold an informal public hearing on February 7, 2024, to examine how conditions in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden regions are impacting commercial shipping and global supply chains. 
  • The FMC opened a proceeding against attorney Marcus Nussbaum pertaining to alleged professional misconduct. Nussbaum allegedly demonstrated his misconduct in at least three proceedings before the FMC, in which he supposedly falsified evidence, misrepresented facts, and misused confidential information.  
  • The Commission issued an advisory regarding red sea surcharges. The advisory reminds common carriers of the requirements of the Shipping Act including the requirement that they provide at least 30 days between the publication and effective date of a change to a tariff that results in an increased cost to shippers. 
  • The FMC published a Final Rule requiring Common Carriers and Conferences to provide public access to their tariff publication systems free of charge effective February 1, 2024. 
  • The Federal Maritime Commission will increase the maximum penalties assessed for statutory violations effective January 15, 2024, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. 
    • Maximum penalties for knowing and willful violations of the Shipping Act will increase to $73,045 from $70,752 
    • Maximum penalties for violations that are not knowing and willful will increase to $14,608 from $14,149. 

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

  • OFAC issued its final rule to adjust certain civil monetary penalties for inflation pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. Amounts for relevant statutes: 
    • Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) from $105,083 to $108,489 
    • International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) $356,579 to $368,136 
    • The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (FNKDA) $1,771,754 to $1,829,177 
  • Counter terrorism designations; Russia-related designation removal 

 Congress 

  • House Ways & Means trade subcommittee ranking member Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) continues to push his de minimis reform bill that would prevent shipments from China (& other non-market economies) from entering under de minimis. In an interview with Inside Trade, he said passage of the bill could be a signature achievement. 
  • The House Homeland Security committee held a hearing entitled, “Exploitation and Enforcement Part II: Improving Enforcement in Countering Uyghur Forced Labor.” 
    • DHS, CBP and DOL answer questions about UFLPA enforcement, investment in isotopic testing, targeting de minimis shipments, and making seafood an enforcement priority. 

International News 

  • In an effort to suppress the negative press and adverse impact to the Chinese economy by forced labor reports and studies, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the banning of Kharon, a global risk analytics firm. 

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