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

U.S. Treasury Department – Office of Foreign Assets Control

  • On July 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an international network of individuals and entities that has used a web of Gulf-based front companies to facilitate the delivery and sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products from Iranian companies to East Asia. As a result, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the U.S. must be blocked and reported to OFAC. 
  • On July 1, 2022, OFAC  published an update to the identifying information of one person, LOPEZ DELGADO, of Nicaragua, currently included on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). All U.S. property of this person remains blocked, and Americans are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him. 
  • On July 1, 2022, OFAC adopted a final rule amending the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations to implement a September 9, 2019 Executive Order which strengthened U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, including include against acts of terrorism that threaten the Middle East peace process. This rule is effective July 1, 2022.  
  • On July 1, 2022, OFAC sent out a reminder to file the 2022 Report of Blocked Property, requiring holders of blocked property to provide OFAC with a comprehensive list of all blocked property held as of June 30 of the current year by September 30, 2022. 
  • On June 30, 2022, OFAC announced it has blocked property belonging to Heritage Trust, a Delaware-based trust owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Abusaidovich Kerimov. Heritage Trust holds assets valued at over $1 billion. 
  • The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce have taken action prohibiting the importation of Russian gold. 

U.S. Trade Representative

  • On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, released the first Report on the Operation of the United States-Canada Mexico Agreement (USMCA) with Respect to Trade in Automotive Goods. 
  • On July 6, 2022, the USTR issued a notice seeking public comments to assist in the development of a forced labor trade strategy. The deadline for submitting comments is August 5, 2022. USTR requests that comments be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov, using Docket Number USTR–2022–0006.

U.S. Department of Commerce

  • On July 1, 2022, the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission automatically initiated and conducted reviews of orders pertaining to pencil and rubber products
  • On July 1, 2022, the DOC determined that Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd. has made sales of multilayered wood flooring from China at prices below normal value during the period of review (POR) December 1, 2019, through November 30, 2020. 
  • On July 1, 2022, the DOC published a summary of duty orders, findings, and suspended investigations, and provided an opportunity to request administrative review for a range of investigations. 
  • On July 1, 2022,  the DOC automatically initiated the five-year reviews (Sunset Reviews) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders and suspended investigations for a wide range of cases. 
  • On June 28, 2022, the Bureau of Industry and Security added 36 entities to the Entity List from China, Lithuania, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

U.S. International Trade Commission

  • On July 1, 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) gave notice, setting forth the schedule and proposed topics for a meeting of the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC). Written comments concerning ETTAC affairs are welcome any time before or after the meeting. 
  • On July 1, 2022, the USITC gave notice that it has instituted a review to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on dioctyl terephthalate from South Korea would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. 
  • On July 1, 2022, the USITC gave notice that it has instituted a review to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on furfuryl alcohol from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. 
  • On July 1, 2022, the USITC gave notice that it has instituted a review to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on light-walled rectangular pipe and tube from Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. 
  • On July 1, 2022, the USITC instituted the subject five-year reviews on April 1, 2022 (87 FR 19131) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty orders on sulfanilic acid from China and India, and the countervailing duty order on imports of sulfanilic acid from India would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  • On July 2, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) delivered a notice advising the public that the quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties will increase from the previous quarter. Effective on July 1, 2022, the interest rates for overpayments will be 4% for corporations and 5% for non-corporations. The interest rates for underpayments will be 5% for both corporations and non-corporations.
  • On July 1, 2022, CBP announced that it will refer to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval an application for withdrawal of bonded stores for fishing vessels.
  • On June 30, 2022, CBP announced the launch of its Green Trade Strategy, a framework to incentivize green trade, strengthen CBP’s environmental enforcement posture, accelerate green innovation, and improve climate resilience and resource efficiency.

U.S. Department of Transportation

  • On June 30, 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) (Standard) No. 213, “child restraint systems”, which furthers efforts to protect children seated in child restraint systems during side impacts. 

U.S. Trade Policy

  • President Biden is anticipated to lift tariffs on $10 billion worth of Chinese goods under a plan being discussed within the administration, while opening a new exclusion process for firms to win additional relief. The plan is expected to involve three parts. First, a narrow set of tariffs would be lifted, likely duties on consumer goods like bicycles. Second, the administration is expected to announce that the U.S. Trade Representative will open a new exclusion process for companies to win exemptions from the tariffs on China. Third, the administration will initiate a new tariff investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act that will target sectors of the Chinese economy that are heavily subsidized by the Chinese Communist Party. 
    • President Biden is anticipated to announce a rollback of some US tariffs on Chinese consumer goods — as well as a new probe into industrial subsidies that could lead to more duties in strategic areas like technology. It would mark Biden’s first major policy step on trade ties between the world’s two biggest economic powers. A White House spokeswoman said no decision on the tariffs has been made but the administration wants to ensure they are aligned with “economic and strategic” priorities and don’t unnecessarily raise costs for Americans. 
  • On June 28, 2022,  President Biden met with G7 leaders to strengthen cooperation on economic issues, cyberspace and quantum, and other 21st century challenges, including those posed by China to U.S. workers, companies, and national security. The G7, representing over 50% of the world economy, is demonstrating that it is among the most potent institutions in the world today, with like-minded democracies solving problems.   
  • On June 27, 2022, the White House released a proclamation announcing increased duties on all products produced by Russia and Belarus, including oil, fuel, and certain food products. 

If you have questions about these updates, contact our Customs and International trade law attorneys at [email protected] or call us at 305-456-3830.

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