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

U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control

  • On July 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified and designated an individual engaged in the trafficking of high-caliber firearms from the United States to one of Mexico’s most powerful drug organizations. Today’s action is the result of ongoing efforts by U.S. agencies and the Government of Mexico to disrupt Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ access to weapons, including those sourced in the United States. 
  • On July 7, 2022, the OFAC, issued Venezuela Related General License 40A, effective immediately, authorizing certain transactions involving the exportation or re-exportation of liquefied petroleum gas to Venezuela. The license does not authorize any payment-in-kind of petroleum or petroleum products; or any transactions or activities otherwise prohibited by the VSR, prohibited by any other part of 31 CFR chapter V, or involving any blocked persons other than PdVSA, any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, or any Government of Venezuela person that is blocked solely pursuant to E.O. 13884.  
  • On July 7, 2022, the Secretary of the Treasury along with heads of other U.S. agencies, delivered a framework for interagency engagement with foreign counterparts to President Biden. Principals under the framework include protecting U.S. global financial stability, reinforcing U.S. leadership in the global financial system, and promoting access to safe and affordable financial services.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection 

  • On July 11, 2022, a Federal Register announced that the HTSUS General Note 3(b) is being updated to include Russia and Belarus as countries subject to column 2 duties as a result of being removed from the most favored nations and column 2 duties were increased on HTSUS subheading 9903.90.08 to 35% for numerous products listed in Annex A of the Notice. 
  • As of July 16, 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the members of the 16th term of the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC). Congratulations to all new members.

The Food and Drug Administration 

  • On July 13, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first two warning letters to manufacturers for unlawfully marketing non-tobacco nicotine e-liquid products without the required authorization. FDA announced, it has issued 107 warning letters to retailers in the last two weeks for illegally selling non-tobacco nicotine products, including certain e-cigarette or e-liquid products, to underage purchasers. 
  • As of July 24, 2022, the FDA announced the UNK is no longer an acceptable UFI and importers of food(s) subject to the FSVP regulation are required to have a DUNS number. After July 24, 2022, customs brokers must transmit an importer’s DUNS number when electronically filing entry for each line of food subject to the FSVP regulation. Electronic entries containing UNK in the Entity Number field will be rejected by CBP’s electronic import system. 

The Department of Justice  

  • On July 8, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a federal grand jury in the District of New Jersey returned an indictment charging a resident of Florida with running a massive operation to traffic in fraudulent and counterfeit Cisco networking equipment with an estimated retail value of over $1 billion. Onur Aksoy, aka Dave Durden, 38, of Miami allegedly ran 19 companies formed in New Jersey and Florida, which imported tens of thousands fraudulent and counterfeit Cisco networking devices from China and Hong Kong.  

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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