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

 Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP announced a new series of quarterly training webinars and resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses report trade violations that threaten their bottom line and hurt the broader U.S. economy.  
    • The webinars will run from November 7, 2023, through September 10, 2024, and will guide participants through the process of reporting commercial trade violations using the Trade Violations Reporting Tool 
  • CBP’s Small Business Acquisition Program is hosting a webinar on Thursday, Oct 26, 2023, at 3 p.m. ET titled “How to do Business with DHS (9 Components): A Road Map for Small Businesses.”  
    • The webinar will provide participants an overview on showing small business vendors how to do business with CBP. It will include how to run a report on upcoming opportunities above $250,000, plus learn how to gather direct points of contact. Register here.   
  • CBP’s Laredo Field Office reminds public of prohibited agricultural items that can carry citrus greening disease. 
  • CBP makes second largest seizure in Arizona of protected Totoaba Swim Bladders  
    • CBP officers and agriculture specialists at the Port of San Luis seized 109 pounds of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Endangered Species Act (ESA)-protected totoaba swim bladders with an estimated value of $910,000 – $1,365,000.  
  • CBP provides updated ABI software vendors list. 
  • CBP said it will deploy Collections Release 7 enhancements to ACE on Nov. 4. 
    • The agency said the release will “improve port collections processing, and the remaining Automated Commercial System (ACS) functionalities will also be moved to ACE.” Included in this release are Point of Sale (POS), Debit Vouchers, and System Transfers. 
  • CBP announced the removal of the ability to access AESDirect from the legacy ACE portal on Oct. 21. Users filing Electronic Export Information (EEI) through AESDirect will need to access AESDirect through the modernized ACE portal.  

 Department of Justice 

  • A customs broker has been arrested on a superseding grand jury indictment that alleges he defrauded clients out of $2 million while he was free on bond after being charged with bilking another client out of $3.4 million.
    • The broker defrauded client companies by invoicing and receiving funds from them, and then simply pocketing the funds instead of paying the customs duties to CBP, according to the indictment.
  • The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida held the 2021-2023 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer (OLEO) Award Ceremony.  Approximately 200 award recipients, from various federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations (including CBP), were recognized for having distinguished themselves by virtue of the work they performed in a criminal prosecution. 

 Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)  

  • BIS released a package of rules designed to update export controls on advanced computing semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, as well as items that support supercomputing applications and end-uses, to arms embargoed countries, including the PRC, and to place additional related entities in the PRC on the Entity List. 

 U.S. Department of Treasury 

  • The Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that identifies international Convertible Virtual Currency Mixing (CVC mixing) as a class of transactions of primary money laundering concern.  

U.S. Department of Commerce 

  • Commerce announces 2023 Market Development Cooperator Award Recipients. The grants are awarded for projects aimed to boost U.S. exports and support jobs across the country. 

 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 

  • New CPSC product recalls: 
    • Countertop nugget ice makers recalled due to laceration hazard; Distributed by Far Success Trading 
    • YourHealthToolkit recalls children’s weighted blankets due to asphyxiation hazard 

 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

  • Starting Oct. 30, imported freeze-dried egg products and egg substitutes must be presented to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for inspection. 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

  • The EPA published a final rule to require manufacturers and importers to report on per- and polyfluouroalkyl substances (PFAs), or so-called “forever chemicals.” 
    • While it does not directly impact customs brokers or the import process, it will have a significant impact on many importers in a wide range of industries not typically accustomed to EPA regulation. 

 United States Trade Representative (USTR)  

  • Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United States held the ninth meeting of the Trade and Investment Council (TIC) under the CARICOM-United States Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

  • The FDA announced that it will retire the Subclass code Y “Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC)” for Industry Code 54-Vit/Min/Prot/Unconv Diet(Human/Animal) to improve data quality.  
    • Filers are encouraged to discontinue using Subclass code Y as soon as possible to facilitate a timely admissibility decision, the agency said. 

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