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

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP releases May operational update. Highlights: 
    • Processed more than 2.9 million entry summaries valued at more than $284.8 billion  
    • Identified estimated duties of nearly $6.7 billion to be collected by the U.S. government 
    • Stopped 450 shipments for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor 
    • Seized 1,640 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $331 million. 
  • CBP adopted proposed amendments to regulations pertaining to importations of merchandise that violate or are suspected of violating the copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The amendments: 
    • Clarify the definition of “piratical articles”  
    • Simplify the detention process involving goods suspected of violating the copyright laws 
    • Prescribe new regulations enforcing the DMCA 
  • CBP officers in Chicago seized 53,700 electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) for violating FDA regulations.  
  • CBP is beginning to require trade community users to identify the subject company whenever a report is run or scheduled in ACE Reports. This change will allow CBP to eliminate a data security vulnerability for all users and improve functionality for users with access to more than one account. The change is being rolled out through August 2024.  
  • New LAX port director sworn in. 

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) 

  • BIS published its first quarterly update of the boycott Requester List. The updated public list of entities who have been identified as having made a boycott-related request in reports received by BIS includes 57 additions. BIS has also removed 127 entities. 
  • BIS’s Information and Communications Technology and Services Office has issued its first final determination banning U.S. persons from buying goods or services from Kaspersky Labs – the U.S. subsidiary of a Russia-based anti-virus software and cybersecurity company. 
  • BIS issued an order imposing an administrative penalty on Indiana University  related to fruit fly exports that went to numerous research institutions and universities worldwide without the required export licenses.  

Department of Justice 

  • Neil Ravi Mehta, owner of Federal Armament LLC, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $500,000.00 on one count of Unlawfully Importation and Receipt of Firearms and one count of Filing False or Misleading Electronic Export Information. 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 

  • A Florida man has been sentenced to federal prison for concealing firearms, parts, and ammunition in fake shipping manifests to smuggle internationally. 

U.S. Department of Treasury 

  • Treasury issued a proposed rule to implement an Executive Order addressing U.S. investments in certain national security technologies and products in countries of concern.  
  • Treasury delivered its semiannual Report to Congress on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. The agency found that no major trading partner met all three criteria for enhanced analysis under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 during the four quarters ending December 2023.   

Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) 

  • OFAC announced a $538,000 settlement with Mondo TV, S.p.a. (“Mondo”), an Italy-based animation company, to settle its potential civil liability for 18 apparent violations of the North Korea Sanctions Regulations. 
  • Sanctions list updates: 

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) 

  • USITC determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of paper shopping bags from Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, and Vietnam.  

World Trade Organization 

  • The WTO released a new publication -“Aid for Trade at a Glance 2024” which details the results of the Aid for Trade program in its effort to strengthen the export potential of developing economies. 
  • The WTO’s Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) issued their annual report “From global to local, safe trade in partnerships” detailing their work in helping developing countries comply with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

  • The USDA Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) announced they are rescinding the import requirements for tomato and pepper fruit for consumption from all countries, effective June 17, 2024. APHIS will, however, maintain restrictions for the import of tomatoes and pepper plant propagative material. 
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released a Federal Register notice proposing to revise certain fees related to the inspection and certification of fresh fruits. The change proposes changing the basis for calculating the inspection fees from a per-carlot basis to a per-pound basis. 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

  • The FDA published final guidance titled Circumstances that Constitute Delaying, Denying, Limiting, or Refusing a Drug or Device Inspection. This guidance defines the types of behaviors (actions, inactions, and circumstances) that FDA considers to constitute delaying, denying, or limiting inspection, or refusing to permit entry or inspection.  

Congress 

  • Six senators wrote a letter to senior Biden administration officials to express concern about increased imports of used cooking oil from China. 

 International News 

  • The Mexican Ministry of Economy will mandate the inspection of packages valued under 2500 pesos to ensure they meet commercial standards and ensure companies are not evading taxes. 

Want more customs and international trade news? Sign up for our weekly snapshot!