Final Rule

UPDATE: Non-Commercial Airplanes and Cruise Ships on Temporary Sojourn are Now Prohibited To Travel To Cuba.

cuba - prohibtFollowing President Obama’s historical break in precedent, easing restrictions on Cuba in 2016, President Trump now seeks to deprive the Communist regime of revenue from American citizens.

President Trump, not wanting the US to be complicit in the oppression and subjugation of Cubans, has decided to roll back the newly established relationship and directed the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to draft a final rule limiting the types of aircraft that are authorized to fly to Cuba and the types of vessels that are authorized to sail to Cuba on temporary sojourn. This change is likely to be a result of the exponential growth of the island’s economy, coupled with the lack of improvement in overall quality of life for its citizens.

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Using a Middleman? Learn How to Lower Your Customs Value Using First Sale!

Pursuant to the Customs Modernization Act, the importer of record (IOR) must use “reasonable care” when providing the value of the goods to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). All merchandise imported into the United States is subject to valuation or appraisement. The Trade Agreements Act of 1979, codified at 19 U.S.C. § 1401a, sets forth a hierarchy of methods for the appraisement of imported merchandise. Under the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, the transaction value of imported merchandise is the primary or preferred method for determining the value of imported merchandise. Generally, transaction value is the price actually paid or payable for merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States, plus certain statutorily enumerated additions.

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Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program 

Since June 2017, we have been anxiously awaiting changes to the Cuba sanctions program since President Trump signed an executive order and emphatically stated that his administration would tighten loose regulations established under the Obama Administration.

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated,

  • “We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) has implemented the Treasury-specific changes via amendments to its Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), codified at 31 C.F.R. 515. Similarly, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has implement necessary changes via amendments to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR), codified at 15 C.F.R. 730-746.

Additionally, the State Department has established corresponding initiatives to implement the policy changes promulgated by OFAC and BIS that target impeding economic activities from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services. OFAC, BIS, and the State Department have taken steps to ensure policy implementations maintain opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector in Cuba.

The policy changes are effective TODAY, November 9, 2017, pursuant to Federal Register Notice.

The OFAC has already provided a three page FACT SHEET on its website discussing the main questions and answers you are likely pondering yourself. Here is a summary of the main changes:

Financial Transactions

  • The Embargo […]

UPDATE: FDA Delays Compliance Dates for the New Nutrition Facts Label Rule

In an earlier article, we detailed some of the new changes that would be implemented with the new Nutrition Facts Label rule. That article also provided the compliance dates for the rule. On September 29,2017, however, the FDA proposed yet another deadline extension for food companies to bring their products’ labeling into compliance with the new Nutrition Facts Label rule. Amid concerns of requiring more time to implement the final rules, raised by trade groups and companies, the FDA decided to further delay the compliance dates. The proposed extension dates are January 1, 2020, for companies with food sales of $10 million or more a year and January 1, 2021, for companies with less than $10 million a year in food sales.

 In a news release issued September 29, 2017, The FDA reiterated its commitment “to making sure that consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their diet and the foods they feed their families.” Furthermore, because this extension is a proposal, the FDA will exercise discretion with respect to the current compliance dates of July 26, 2018, and July 26, 2019. […]

FDA Delays Compliance Dates for the New Nutrition Facts Label Rule

Nutrition FactsTake a look at any food label. Check out the back panel entitled, “Nutrition Facts”. It should look similar to the image on the left. Take a look at the total carbohydrate. In this sample, the total carbs is 37g, with 4g of dietary fiber, and 1g of sugar. That leaves 32g of carbohydrates unaccounted for! What are those carbs you might wonder? Well, a majority of them are added sugars.

On May 20, 2016 the FDA finalized the new Nutrition Facts label final rule for packaged foods. It was the first major update, and regulation, to the nutrition facts label in 20 years. The FDA’s regulation targeted sugars, in particular “added sugars”, and provided a major update to the amount of nutrients people customarily consume. Additionally, the nutrition facts label received a face lift.

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