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

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP releases December 2023 monthly update. Highlights: 
    • Stopped 450 shipments valued at more than $187 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor. 
    • Seized 1,291 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $86 million if the items had been genuine.  
    • Identified estimated duties of nearly $6.3 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. 
  • CBP seizes $700K worth of counterfeit luxury jewelry in one consignment sent to Puerto Rico. 
  • CBP officers at the Port of Louisville seized two shipments containing a total of 3,301 pieces of counterfeit designer rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. If genuine, would have had a combined MSRP of over $9.58 million. 
  • CBP is increasing its recruitment incentives to as much as $30,000 for newly appointed U.S. Border Patrol agent applicants who enter duty on or after Jan. 8, and meet the requirements for the incentives. 
  • CBP on Saturday, Jan. 27, deployed updates to ACE Protest to automate Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA)-related reviews. 
    • The agency said that filers protesting a Notice of Exclusion for UFLPA will now be able to contest the decision via the ACE Protest tool. 
  • More information about the process overview for protests requesting UFLPA reviews is available in this CSMS. 
  • New date for post-deployment support call for automation of CBP form 6051D for detentions of cargo filed in ACE. The call will now take place on Tuesday, February 28 at 1:00 PM ET.

Department of Commerce 

  • Commerce proposes rule to advance U.S. national security interests and implement Biden-Harris Administration’s AI Executive Order and National Cybersecurity Strategy 
    • The proposed rule introduces potential regulations that require U.S. cloud infrastructure providers and their foreign resellers to implement and maintain Customer Identification Programs (CIPs), which would include the collection of “Know Your Customer” (KYC) information.   
  • Mattresses from Thailand: preliminary results of the antidumping duty administrative review. 

 United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

  • USTR released the findings of its 2023 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List) which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. 

 Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) 

  • BIS imposed a civil penalty of $153,175 against Wabtec Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of rail technology headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to resolve 43 violations of the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). 

 Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) 

  • Reminder: the FMC will hold a hearing on February 7 & 8 on the impact of current conditions in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Regions 

Federal Trade Commission 

  • Tractor maker Kubota North America Corporation will pay a $2 million civil penalty as a result of a Federal Trade Commission action against the company for falsely labeling some of its replacement parts as being “Made in USA.” 

Department of Justice 

  • Chinese nationals charged with illegally exporting U.S.-origin electronic components to Iran and Iranian military affiliates. 

U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) 

  • A recent case (Fraserview Remanufacturing Inc. v. United States) challenged CBP’s designation of softwood lumber as ‘deemed liquidated’  while the entries were subject to suspension of liquidation instructions” from the Commerce Department. The full opinion provides a technical analysis of how liquidation works. Read here 

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) confirmed that the mandatory electronic Organics Import Certificate filing requirement will take place on March 19, as planned. There will not be a delay, even though some software vendors reportedly may not complete the necessary programming for the OR2 Message Set in time. 

Congress 

  • U.S. Senators Romney and Hassan request GAO report on effectiveness of export controls on semiconductors. 
  • A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), sent a letter to NOAA urging the agency to strengthen and expand the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) “to provide consumers with confidence that the imported seafood they purchase….is legally harvested and truthfully represented.”  

Administration 

  • Biden-⁠Harris Administration announces temporary pause on pending approvals of liquefied natural gas exports 
    • The pause applies to non-FTA countries until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.  
    • The release stated that the current economic and environmental analyses DOE uses to underpin its LNG export authorizations no longer adequately account for considerations like potential energy cost increases for American consumers and manufacturers beyond current authorizations or the latest assessment of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. 

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