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Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Due to Expire on December 31, 2017 - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Due to Expire on December 31, 2017:  Barring Congressional action, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) special program indicator (SPI) “A,” “A+,” and “A*” will expire for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouses after midnight, December 31, 2017.

Special Procedures for GSP-Eligible Goods:  In the event of a lapse and until further notice, importers are strongly encouraged to continue to flag otherwise GSP-eligible importations with the SPI “A” pay Normal Trade Relations (column 1) duty rates. Importers may not file SPI “A” without duties.

Programming:  In the event that GSP is renewed with retroactivity, CBP is developing programing to provide for the batch processing of refunds on all importations made with SPI “A” and duties paid.

Up-to-Date Importer of Record (IOR) Information:  Ensure all importer of record information in ACE is up-to-date and valid, including the importer’s mailing address and banking information, if importer is a member of CBP’s ACH refund program. Accurate records will ensure any potential refunds may be processed expeditiously. Post-Importation GSP Claims Made via PSC and Protest Subsequent to the expiration of GSP, CBP will continue to allow post-importation GSP claims made via post summary correction (PSC) and protest (19 USC 1514, 19 CFR 174) on importations made while GSP was still in effect. Until further notice, CBP will not allow post-importation GSP claims on importations made subsequent to the expiration of GSP.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA):  The expiration of GSP has no effect on goods entered under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Effective January 1, 2017, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) was modified with the addition of the SPI “D” in the “Special” column of all non-textile, AGOA-eligible tariff items. AGOA preference remains in effect through September 30, 2025, irrespective of any lapse in GSP.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF):  The expiration of GSP has no effect on either the collection or waiver of the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF). Goods of least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs) listed in HTSUS General Note 4(b)(i) maintain their MPF exemption per 19 CFR 24.23(c)(1)(iv).

Time of Entry: CBP will be monitoring time of entry. Per 19 CFR 141.68(a)(2) & (3), time of entry can be as early as the time that the entry documents are filed, provided the merchandise is within the port limits and the entry documents have been requested. For additional information on the significance of time of entry and how to calculate it, please see page 11 of the Informed Compliance Publication, “What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Entry,” available at www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/icp073_3.pdf.

Extension of Liquidation: Requests for the suspension of liquidation under 19 CFR 159.12 will be denied on importations of otherwise GSP-eligible goods imported during the lapse period.


Port Truck Gate Schedule for Christmas Period 2017 - PierPass

Terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced their schedules for the Christmas period of Friday, Dec. 22, through Monday, Nov. 25. The schedule is posted below, and a PDF of the schedule can be downloaded at http://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/XMAS-Weekend-2017_2.pdf.


Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC - US International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Belarus, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Meredith M. Broadbent voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue antidumping duty orders on imports of this product from Belarus, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Commission also made a negative finding concerning critical circumstances with regard to imports of this product from Russia. As a result, imports of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Russia will not be subject to retroactive antidumping duties.

The Commission’s public report Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. (Investigation Nos. 731-TA-1349, 1352, and 1357 (Final), USITC Publication 4752, January 2018) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available by January 24, 2018; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.

=============================

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20436

FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates
Investigation Nos: 731-TA-1349, 1352, and 1357 (Final)

Product Description: Certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter.  Wire rod is an intermediate good that is primarily used for subsequent drawing and finishing for wire drawers.

Status of Proceedings:

1.     Type of investigation: Final phase antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations.

2.     Petitioners: Charter Steel, Saukville, WI; Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., Tampa, FL; Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., Peoria, IL; Nucor Corporation, Charlotte, NC.

3.     USITC Institution Date: March 28, 2017.

4.     USITC Hearing Date:  November 16, 2017.

5.     USITC Vote Date: December 19, 2017.

6.     USITC Notification to Commerce Date: January 11, 2018.

U.S. Industry in 2016:

1.     Number of U.S. producers: 8.

2.     Location of producers’ plants: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

3.     Production and related workers: 2,222.

4.     U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments: $1.8 billion.

5.     Apparent U.S. consumption: $2.8 billion.

6.     Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption: 10.5 percent*

U.S. Imports in 2016:

  1. Subject imports: $298.2 million.*
  2. From Belarus, Russia, and United Arab Emirates: $54.4 million.
  3. From Italy, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom: $243.8 million.
  4. Nonsubject imports: $703.2 million.
  5. Leading import sources: Canada, Ukraine, Korea, Turkey, and Spain.
    * Subject imports include Belarus, Russia, and the United Emirates as well as other subject countries (Italy, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine).
    Notification of Annual Quantitative Limit for Certain Apparel under Haiti HOPE (Value-Added Quota) for 2017/2018 Annual Period - OTEXA

Notification of Annual Quantitative Limit for Certain Apparel under Haiti HOPE (Value-Added Quota) for 2017/2018 Annual Period for the period December 20, 2017 through December 19, 2018, the annual quantitative limit of the Haiti HOPE Value-Added program is 361,603,399 square meter equivalents.


FTC Releases FY 2017 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book and DNC Mini Site - Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2017. The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry lets consumers choose not to receive most telemarketing calls.

Now in its ninth year of publication, the Data Book has been redesigned and contains a wealth of information about the Registry for FY 2017 (from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017). The Data Book now provides more information on robocall complaints, new information about the types of calls consumers reported to the FTC, and includes a complete state-by-state analysis.

In addition, this year the FTC has developed a mini site on its website to make the information in the FY 2017 Data Book more accessible for the public, such as providing a webpage for each state. For the first time, the data behind the report will be available in data files on the new website.

New in FY 2017

Highlights from this year’s Data Book include:

  • In reporting the total number of DNC complaints, the Data Book now breaks the number down to show how many were about robocalls versus live callers.
  • The Data Book now includes information about the topics of calls reported to the FTC that is gathered from the FTC’s online complaint form.
  • The Data Book now includes a state-by-state analysis of DNC complaints and uses a new, more accurate way of reporting consumers’ data. If consumers reported their state in their complaint, the Data Book includes their complaint in that state’s complaint data. If consumers did not report their state, the Data Book uses their area code to determine their state. The state-by-state analysis also includes the top 10 topics of consumer complaints.
  • The underlying data in the report is now publicly available at: www.ftc.gov/donotcall-databook2017.

FY 2017 Registration and Complaint Data

According to the Data Book, at the end of FY 2017, the Do Not Call Registry contained 229,816,164 actively registered phone numbers, up from 226,001,288 at the end of FY 2016. In addition, the number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls increased from 5,340,234 during FY 2016 to 7,157,370 during FY 2017.

During the past fiscal year, the FTC has continued to receive many consumer complaints about telemarketing robocalls. In FY 2017, the Commission received 4,501,967 complaints about robocalls, compared with 3,401,614 FY 2016. For every month in the fiscal year, robocalls made up the majority of consumer complaints about Do Not Call violations. The topic of the call consumers most frequently identified when reporting a robocall complaint was “Reducing Debt,” with 771,158 complaints received in FY 2017.


FDA Proposes New, Risk-Based Enforcement Priorities to Protect Consumers from Potentially Harmful, Unproven Homeopathic Drugs - Food & Drug Administration

FDA continues to find that some homeopathic drugs are manufactured with active ingredients that can create health risks while delivering no proven medical benefits

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a new, risk-based enforcement approach to drug products labeled as homeopathic. To protect consumers who choose to use homeopathic products, this proposed new approach would update the FDA’s existing policy to better address situations where homeopathic treatments are being marketed for serious diseases and/or conditions but where the products have not been shown to offer clinical benefits. It also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet current good manufacturing practices.

Under the law, homeopathic drug products are subject to the same requirements related to approval, adulteration and misbranding as any other drug product. However, prescription and nonprescription drug products labeled as homeopathic have been manufactured and distributed without FDA approval under the agency’s enforcement policies since 1988.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a large uptick in products labeled as homeopathic that are being marketed for a wide array of diseases and conditions, from the common cold to cancer. In many cases, people may be placing their trust and money in therapies that may bring little to no benefit in combating serious ailments, or worse – that may cause significant and even irreparable harm because the products are poorly manufactured, or contain active ingredients that aren’t adequately tested or disclosed to patients,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Our approach to regulating homeopathic drugs must evolve to reflect the current complexity of the market, by taking a more risk-based approach to enforcement. We respect that some individuals want to use alternative treatments, but the FDA has a responsibility to protect the public from products that may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm.”

The FDA’s proposed approach prioritizes enforcement and regulatory actions involving unapproved drug products labeled as homeopathic that have the greatest potential to cause risk to patients. Under this approach, many homeopathic products will likely fall outside the risk-based categories described in the new draft guidance and will remain available to consumers. The FDA intends to focus its enforcement authorities on the following kinds of products:

  • products with reported safety concerns;
  • products that contain or claim to contain ingredients associated with potentially significant safety concerns;
  • products for routes of administration other than oral and topical;
  • products intended to be used for the prevention or treatment of serious and/or life-threatening diseases and conditions;
  • products for vulnerable populations; and
  • products that do not meet standards of quality, strength or purity as required under the law.

Examples of products that may be subject to the enforcement priorities in the draft guidance are infant and children’s products labeled to contain ingredients associated with potentially significant safety concerns, such as belladonna and nux vomica; and products marketed for serious conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.

While the FDA considers comments to the draft guidance, the FDA intends to examine how the agency is implementing its current compliance policy. Given the concerns about the proliferation of potentially ineffective and harmful products labeled as homeopathic, the FDA will consider taking additional enforcement and/or regulatory actions, consistent with the current enforcement policies, which also align with the risk-based categories described in the draft guidance, in the interest of protecting the public.

 
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