Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:
- On April 27, 2022, The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released its 2022 Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. This annual report details USTR’s findings of more than 100 trading partners after significant research and enhanced engagement with stakeholders. The 2022 Special 301 Report can be viewed here.
- On April 26, 2022, U.S. Customs officers in Champlain, New York, seized allegedly counterfeit National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Championship Rings. Earlier this month, a shipment was seized after a thorough examination determined the contents to be counterfeit Detroit Red Wings, NHL Stanley Cup Championship rings from 1936. A total of 10 rings were seized by CBP alleging and Intellectual Property Right (IPR) violation of the Detroit Red Wings trademark. CBP officers determined that the rings had a total Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) value of approximately $15,000.
- On April 24, 2022, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a blue Ford SUV taxi occupied by a 26-year-old U.S. citizen woman making its way out of the United States toward Mexico. The vehicle was selected for inspection and at the secondary inspection area, officers discovered numerous packages of tape wrapped U.S. currency on the woman’s person. A total of twelve packages with a total of $114,294 of undeclared currency was discovered on her person, which was then seized by CBP. The subject was arrested, and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
- On April 28, 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission or USITC) gave notice that it plans to submit a request for approval of a questionnaire to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and requests public comment on its draft proposed collection. To assure that the Commission will consider your comments, it must receive them no later than 60 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.
- On April 27, 2022, notice was given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain CPAP Pillows, DN 3615; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant’s filing pursuant to the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure.
- On April 22, 2022, the International Trade Commission gave notice of an initial determination (ID) of the then-presiding chief administrative law judge (“CALJ) granting summary determination that certain defaulting respondents have violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, by importing, selling for importation, or selling in the United States after importation certain apparatus and methods of opening containers that infringe claim of U.S. Patent No. 10,519,016 (the ‘016 patent). The Commission determined that the appropriate remedy is a general exclusion order excluding infringing container opening apparatuses. The Commission has also determined to set a bond in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value of the excluded products imported during the period of Presidential review. The investigation has been terminated.
- On April 27, 2022, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determined that Teh Fong Min International Co., Ltd. (TFM), the sole producer and/or exporter subject to this administrative review, made sales of stilbenic optical brightening agents (OBAs) at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) May 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021. They invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.
- On April 27, 2022, the International Trade Administration published a notice for the initiation of less-than-fair-value investigations on certain preserved mushrooms from France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. The notice states it was applicable starting April 20, 2022.
- On April 27, 2022, the Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce published a notice on the initiation of less-than-fair-value investigation for white grape juice concentrate from Argentina which became applicable April 20, 2022.
- On April 20, 2022, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated its less-than-fair-value and countervailing duty investigations on “White Grape Juice Concentrate from Argentina” (Initiation Notices). The scope of these investigations cover white grape juice concentrate with a Brix level of 65 to 68, whether in frozen or non-frozen forms and regardless of whether it has been certified as kosher, organic, or organic kosher. Commerce requests that all comments be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 10, 2022, and any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on May 20, 2022, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline.
- Beginning June 29, 2022, U.S. Commerce Department (Commerce) Aluminum Import licensing applications will require both fields of “country of largest smelt” and “country of second largest smelt.” Commerce defines the field for the country of smelt for the largest and second largest volume of primary aluminum as the country where the largest volume of new aluminum metal is produced from alumina (refined aluminum oxide) by the electrolytic Hall-Heroult process. Commerce extended the temporary period to allow for license applicants to state “unknown” in the fields for country(ies) of smelt for the largest and second largest volume of primary aluminum until June 28, 2022.
- On April 25, 2022, the Department of Commerce is initiating a country-wide circumvention inquiry to determine whether dual-piston engines exported from the People’s Republic of China will circumvent the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on certain vertical shaft engines between 99cc and up to 225cc, and parts thereof (small vertical engines) from China.
- On April 27, 2022, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC or the Committee) announced they will hold a virtual meeting via WebEx on Thursday May 12, 2022, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The meeting is open to the public with registration instructions provided here.
- On April 26, 2022, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce, through the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) has requested the issuance of an Order temporarily denying, for a period of 180 days, the export privileges under the Regulations of: Aviastar—TU. OEE’s request and related information indicates that Aviastar is an airline headquartered in Zhukovsky, Moscow Oblast, Russia, and that Aviastar provides a variety of cargo services, including delivery of military cargo, dangerous goods, and oversized goods. This order is pursuant to Section 766.24 of the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2021).
- On April 22, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the Department of the Treasury solicited comments concerning OFAC’s information collection requirements for persons providing authorized travel or carrier services related to Cuba, which are contained within the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. Written comments must be submitted on or before June 21, 2022 to be assured of consideration.
- On April 18, 2022, the Federal Maritime Commission’s amendment for regulations governing non-performance by Passenger Vessel Operators (PVO/ cruise lines) became effective, establishing new requirements for when cruise passengers should be provided refunds for cancelled or delayed voyages. The changes define non-performance as canceling a voyage or delaying a voyage by three or more calendar days if a passenger elects not to embark on delayed or substituted voyage offered by a PVO. The Commission will also allow passengers of delayed or cancelled voyages to make direct claims against financial responsibility instruments, such as bonds, maintained by PVOs, after the passenger’s unsuccessful attempt to receive a refund directly from the PVOs.
- On April 22, 2022, a US administrative law judge ordered Hapag-Lloyd to pay a California drayage provider $822,220 in civil damages stemming from a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) investigation into whether the carrier improperly assessed detention charges on 11 containers in mid-2021. The FMC’s Bureau of Enforcement (BOE) determined that Hapag-Lloyd acted “knowingly and willfully…[in]… imposing and refusing to waive detention charges where there were insufficient appointments to return the empty containers.” The detention charges that were assessed by Hapag-Lloyd’s North America agent to Golden State Logistics (GSL) amounted to $10,135.