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CPSC Revises Phthalate Rule for Children’s Toys and Child Care Articles - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) has made various revisions to the prohibition of certain phthalates in children’s products. These changes affect children’s toys and child care articles that are imported on or after April 25, 2018.

Phthalates are chemicals that are added to plastics to soften and increase their flexibility. As a result of the new rule, the CPSC has found the following eight phthalates to be harmful to children. Affected products that contain these phthalates in concentrations above 0.1% cannot be imported on or after April 25, 2018:

• BBP - benzyl butyl phthalate
• DBP - dibutyl phthalate
• DEHP - di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
• DINP - diisononyl phthalate
• DIBP - diisobutyl phthalate
• DPENP - di-n-pentyl phthalate
• DHEXP - di-n-hexyl phthalate
• DCHP - dicyclohexly phthalate

In addition, the CPSC removed the prohibition for di-n-octyl (DNOP) and diisodecyl (DIDP) as they were found not to cause adverse effects.

In a separate notice, the CPSC has also determined that the following specified plastics and accompanying additives do not exceed the phthalates content limits. Therefore, third party testing of these plastics will no longer be required:

  1. Polypropylene (PP)
  2. Polyethylene (PE)
  3. General purpose polystyrene (GPPS), medium-impact polystyrene (MIPS), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), and super high-impact polystyrene (SHIPS)
  4. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

The new rule only impacts third party testing requirements (i.e., that these plastics materials no longer need to be tested by a CPSC-accredited third party lab). However, children’s toys and child care articles are still required to comply with the phthalate content limits regardless of any relief from 3rd party testing, and a certificate must be issued stating that the product complies with CPSC requirements.

This rule originally took effect on September 29, 2017 (prior to the recent changes to the list of banned phthalates) and currently applies to the six originally listed phthalates (BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnOP). Effective April 25, 2018, this rule will apply to the revised list of eight phthalates, noted above.

Please feel free to contact David J. Evan or Jamie L. Maguire with any questions regarding these new requirements or your compliance obligations.

Significant Changes Coming to California Proposition 65 for Consumer Products - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The California Proposition 65 “safe harbor” warning requirement will undergo significant changes later this year for products that are manufactured on or after August 30, 2018.

The law, commonly known as “Prop 65”, requires companies to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning to consumers for products sold in California that contain a chemical(s) on the Prop 65 list. The warning must be visible to the consumer before any exposure occurs.

With regard to warnings that are placed on signs, websites and labels, the new law will change the required warning language and formatting as well as require a company to name at least one Prop 65 listed chemical that is in the product. With regard to “on-product” warnings, an abbreviated warning will be permitted which does not require the identification of a specific chemical. In addition, there are specific requirements regarding purchases made over the internet and via catalogs, as well as for food and alcoholic beverages.

As an alternative to providing the required warning on the product, manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers and distributors have the option of satisfying the law by providing a written notice to the retailer that includes all of the necessary warning materials (e.g., labels, etc.) along with additional required information. Such notice must also be renewed as specified in the regulations.

Section 201 Safeguards Implemented on Large Residential Washers - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I. Effective Period: February 7, 2018 – February 7, 2021.

II. In-Scope Products:

A. washers provided for in subheadings 8450.11.00 and 8450.20.00;

B. all cabinets, or portions thereof, designed for use in washers, and all assembled baskets designed for use in washers that incorporate, at a minimum, a side wrapper, a base, and a drive hub, provided for in subheading 8450.90.60;

C. all assembled tubs designed for use in washers that incorporate, at a minimum, a tub and a seal, provided for in subheading 8450.90.20; and

D. any combination of the foregoing parts or subassemblies, provided for in subheadings 8450.90.20 or 8450.90.60.

III. Excluded Products:

A. all stacked washer-dryers and all commercial washers:

(1) where “stacked washer-dryers” signifies distinct washing and drying machines that are built on a unitary frame and share a common console that controls the washer and dryer;

(2)  where “commercial washer” signifies an automatic clothes washing machine designed for the “pay per use” segment, satisfying the definitions in paragraph 17(c)(2(A)(ii) of the attached Annex.

Please contact our office for a copy of the Annex.

B. automatic clothes washing machines that satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) have a vertical rotational axis;
(2) are top loading; and
(3) have a drive train consisting, inter alia, of a permanent split capacitor motor, a belt drive and a flat wrap spring clutch.

C. automatic clothes washing machines that satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) have a horizontal rotational axis;
(2) are front loading; and
(3) have a drive train consisting, inter alia, of a controlled induction motor and a belt drive.

D. automatic clothes washing machines that satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) have a horizontal rotational axis;
(2) are front loading; and(3) have a cabinet width (measured from its widest point) of more than 72.39 cm.

IV. Countries Affected:

A. Applies to imports from all countries except:

(1) Canada; and

(2) the following developing countries that are members of the World Trade Organization, provided such a country’s share of total imports of the product, based on imports during a recent representative period, does not exceed 3 percent, provided that imports from all such countries with less than 3 percent import share collectively account for not more than 9 percent of total imports of the product:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Island, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen (Republic of), Zambia and Zimbabwe.

V. Safeguard Tariff/Quota:  See

Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Rubber Bands from Thailand, People’s Republic of China, and Sri Lanka - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I. Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”): Thailand, People’s Republic of China and Sri Lanka; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): Thailand, People’s Republic of China and Sri Lanka;

II. Product: The products subject to these investigations are bands made of vulcanized rubber, with a flat length, as measured end-to-end by the band lying flat, no less than 1/2 inch and no greater than 10 inches; with a width, which measures the dimension perpendicular to the length, of at least 3/64 inch and no greater than 2 inches; and a wall thickness from .020 inch to .125 inch. Vulcanized rubber has been chemically processed into a more durable material by the addition of sulfur or other equivalent curatives or accelerators. Subject products are included regardless of color or inclusion of printed material. The scope includes vulcanized rubber bands which are contained or otherwise exist in various forms and packages, such as, without limitation, vulcanized rubber bands included within a desk accessory set or other type of set or package, and vulcanized rubber band balls, but excludes Bedford Elastitags®, and bands that are being used at the time of import to fasten an imported product.

III. HTS classifications: U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") currently classifies rubber bands under HTSUS subheading 4016.99.3510, a number which the Petitioner requested that the U.S. government assign to imports of rubber bands made of vulcanized rubber. For purposes of the volume data provided in this Petition (in terms of dollar revenue), Petitioner relies on data from HTSUS subheading 4016.99.3510; however, the tariff number is provided for the convenience of the U.S. government and does not define the scope of the products manufactured by the Petitioner.

IV. Date of Filing: January 30, 2018

V. Petitioners: Alliance Rubber Co.

VI. Foreign Producers/Exporters.  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VII. US Importers named.  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VIII. Alleged Dumping Margin (No CVD Rates listed):

Thailand: 28.88% - 78.18%;
People’s Republic of China: 28.38%;
Sri Lanka: 8.37% - 61.14%;

IX. Comments:

A. Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: February 20, 2018.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the AD investigation.

B. The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the antidumping duty is April 10, 2018; for countervailing duty is February 19, 2018.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the CVD Investigation.

C. Volume and Value of Imports:  Please contact our office for a summary of the data filed with the petition.

D. List of Alleged Subsidy Programs:  Please contact our office for a list of alleged subsidy programs.

If you have questions regarding how this investigation may impact future imports of scope merchandise, or whether a particular product is within the scope of the investigation, please contact one of our attorneys.

ITA: Press Releases

LAREDO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) CBP officers at World Trade Bridge this weekend seized a significant quantity of methamphetamine comingled with a commercial candle shipment.

“There is no limit to the lengths that transnational criminal organizations will go to try to smuggle narcotics into the U.S.,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “This large interception underscores the seriousness of the drug threat and the resolve of our frontline officers and their effective use of experience and technology to zero-in on and stop these narcotics loads.”

On Jan. 27, CBP officers at the World Trade Bridge referred a 1997 Ford F-150 hauling a commercial shipment of wax candles for a secondary inspection. During the secondary inspection, CBP officers utilized a non-intrusive imaging (NII) system along with the help of a canine team to locate the narcotics. CBP officers discovered alleged methamphetamine commingled within the candles. The combined meth and candles has a gross weight of nearly 736 pounds. An accurate estimated street value is simply not possible due to the manner in which the narcotics were hidden.

CBP OFO seized the narcotics. The case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations special agents.

Message to Alcohol Importers from CBP and TTB - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Under the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017 (as contained in Public Law 115-97), appropriate procedures must be established in order for an importer to receive a lower effective excise tax rate on qualifying imports of beer, wine, and distilled spirits. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be updating their websites with forthcoming guidance to importers.

Until such procedures are established and guidance is issued, importers of beer, wine, and distilled spirits seeking to qualify for excise tax relief, based on qualifying assignments made by a foreign producer, should continue to pay the full excise tax rates. Importers will be provided with the opportunity to seek the applicable excise tax relief, on entries made after the law went into effect, once forthcoming procedures and guidance have been issued.
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