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U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam - Department of Commerce

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam, finding that exporters have been dumping this product in the United States at margins ranging from 161.16 to 292.61 percent.

As a result of today’s decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam based on these preliminary rates.

In 2017, U.S. imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam were valued at an estimated $21.1 million.

The petitioners are the Laminated Woven Sacks Fair Trade Coalition and its individual members, Polytex Fibers Corporation (Houston, TX) and ProAmpac Holdings Inc. (Cincinnati, OH). 

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 124 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – this is 226 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

Antidumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of the unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 458 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Commerce is scheduled to announce the final determination on or about December 18, 2018

If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determination on January 31, 2019. If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination of dumping and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an AD order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on today’s decision.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, or production inputs, are subject to countervailing duties aimed at directly countering those subsidies.


 OTEXA - August 2018 Textile and Apparel - Office of Textile and Apparel

10/05/2018 - August 2018 Textile and Apparel Import Report


Modification of Three Ruling Letters and Revocation of Treatment Relating  to the Country of Origin of Decorative Pillows, Heatable Saks, and  Stuffed Mattress Covers   - U.S. Customs Bulletins   

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice of modification of three ruling letters and of revocation of treatment relating to the country of origin of decorative pillows, heatable saks, and stuffed mattress covers for marking purposes.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103–182, 107 Stat. 2057), this notice advises interested parties that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is modifying three ruling letters concerning the country of origin of decorative pillows, heatable saks, and stuffed mattress covers for marking purposes. Similarly, CBP is revoking any treatment previously accorded by CBP to substantially identical transactions. Notice of the proposed action was published in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 19, on May 9, 2018. No comments were received in response to that notice.

DATE: This action is effective for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after November 26, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elif Eroglu, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, at (202) 325–0277.


Withdrawal of Proposed Modification of One Ruling Letter and Proposed  Revocation of Treatment Relating to the Tariff Classification of  Guayabera Style Shirt-Blouse - U.S. Customs Bulletins

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Withdrawal of notice of proposed modification of one ruling letter and revocation of treatment relating to tariff classification of guayabera style shirt-blouses. SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)), as amended by Section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub.L. 103–182, 107 Stat. 2057), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed to modify one ruling letter relating to the tariff classification of guayabera style shirt-blouses under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Notice of the proposed action was published in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 33, on August 16, 2017. One comment was received in opposition to the proposed modification. After further review, we have determined that a modification of the subject ruling is not appropriate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This action is effective immediately.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Grace A. Kim, Food, Textile and Marking Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, at (202) 325–7941.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

BACKGROUND Current customs law includes two key concepts: informed compliance and shared responsibility. Accordingly, the law imposes an obligation on CBP to provide the public with information concerning the trade community’s responsibilities and rights under the customs and related laws. In addition, both the public and CBP share responsibility in carrying out import requirements. For example, under section 484 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1484), the importer of record is responsible for using reasonable  care to enter, classify and value imported merchandise, and to provide any other information necessary to enable CBP to properly assess duties, collect accurate statistics, and determine whether any other applicable legal requirement is met. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, a notice was published in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 33, on August 16, 2017, proposing to modify New York Ruling Letter (NY) N252750, dated May 23, 2014, which classified guayabera style shirt-blouses in subheading 6211.49.90, HTSUS, which provides for “Track suits, skisuits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women’s or girls’: Of cotton: Other” and denied tariff preference treatment under the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. In the notice of August 16, 2017, we proposed to modify the tariff classification of the guayabera style shirt-blouses and classify them under heading 6206, HTSUS by reading the EN 62.06 to mirror the EN to 62.05 with respect to the pockets below the waist. One comment was received in opposition to the proposed modification. The comment stated that reading the ENs 62.05 and 62.06 to mirror one another is erroneous because men’s and boys’ shirts are an entirely different article of commerce than women’s and girls’ shirts and blouses, and entire industries are based on the difference. We recognize the distinction and find that the guayabera style shirt-blouses are properly classified in subheading 6211.49.90, HTSUS. As such, the classification of the guayabera style shirt-blouses set forth in N252750 is correct. An affirmation was issued in Headquarters Ruling Letter H293112 on April 26, 2018. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), and 19 C.F.R. §177.7(a), which states, in pertinent part, that “[n]o ruling letter will be issued... in any instance in which it appears contrary to the sound administration of the Customs and related laws to do so”, CBP is withdrawing its proposed modification of NY N252750. Dated: July 19, 2018


Disclaim Procedures for Certain HTS Concerning Mexican Fish Restrictions - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

This CSMS updates all previous related CSMS messages: 18-000482, 18-000483, 18-000484, 18-000502, and 18-000555. 

Background:  This CSMS is an update in response to the notification published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Federal Register on August 28, 2018, entitled “Implementation of Import Restrictions; Certification of Admissibility for Certain Fish Products from Mexico” (83 FR 43796). A United States Court of International Trade (CIT) order (Slip-Op 18-92) imposed immediate import restrictions on fish and fish products of Mexican origin caught with gillnets deployed in the native geographic range of the critically endangered Vaquita porpoise, which are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Under the August 14, 2018 court order, an import ban was placed on certain fish and fish products from Mexico (chano, sierra, curvina, and shrimp) that were caught with gillnets deployed in the Northern Gulf of California. To implement the court order, NOAA mandates that imports of shrimp, fish and fish products of Mexican origin that are entered under designated HTS codes must be accompanied by the “Certification of Admissibility.” 

CBP Process Effective Immediately and Ending October 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm:  All entries of shrimp, fish and fish products originating from Mexico must be accompanied by a signed “Importer Statement of Admissibility” or the “Certificate of Admissibility” signed by one of the 14 duly authorized official of the Mexican government (official list below).  Documents must be submitted via the ACE Document Image System (DIS) using “NM23” code within the NMFS Message set, sent by email or fax, or submitted in paper form to the CBP port of entry or the entire shipment is to be refused entry.  

CBP Processes Beginning on October 15, 2018 at 12:00 am:  All entries of shrimp, fish and fish products originating from Mexico must be accompanied by the “Certificate of Admissibility” (OMB 0648-0651) signed by one of the 14 duly authorized official of the Mexican government.  The signed “Importer Statement of Admissibility” will no longer be a sufficient form of certification.  The Certificate of Admissibility must be uploaded into DIS using “NM23” code, sent by email or fax, or submitted in paper to the CBP port of entry or the entire shipment is to be refused entry. 

Allowed Importer Disclaim:  Certain processed commodities (dog and cat food) under designated tariff codes may be disclaimed and not have to submit the “Importer Statement of Admissibility” or the “Certificate of Admissibility”. Instead, if applicable, shipments using the 6 digit HTS codes 2309.90 or 2309.10; or the 10 digit HTS code 0511.99.3060 may be disclaimed with the statement “the commodity under HTS (list the code) does not contain shrimp or fish products”.  The disclaiming statement must be uploaded into DIS using code “NM23”, sent by email or fax, or submitted in paper to the CBP port of entry. 


Arizona Seafood Company, Men Ordered to Pay $1.25 Million for Wildlife Trafficking - Fish & Wildlife Service

Blessings, Inc., owner David Mayorquin and former executive Ramon Mayorquin were sentenced to probation and $1.25 million in fines, restitution and forfeitures for their roles in trafficking $17 million worth of sea cucumbers. The funds will be distributed to the U.S. and Mexican governments. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Homeland Security Investigations, assisted by Mexican government officials, investigated the case. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

DOJ News Release »


USITC Releases Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2017 - U.S. International Trade Commission

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2017 (2017 Trade Shifts) is now available on the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) Internet site.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, produces its web-based comprehensive review of U.S. trade performance annually.

2017 Trade Shifts includes interactive features, such as graphics that allow users to view and refine, as they choose, the official government data presented.  The report:
identifies changes in U.S. exports and imports of agricultural and manufactured goods, as well as key natural resources, providing industry and market profiles and trade data for 10 sectors;

analyzes changes in U.S. bilateral trade with Canada, China, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom; and

concludes with a special topic section, "Intermediate Goods Imports in Key U.S. Manufacturing Sectors," which examines the impact that intermediate goods have had on U.S. sectoral trade flows.

Highlights from the report include:

  • U.S. total exports increased by $95.7 billion (6.6 percent) from 2016 levels to $1,546.7 billion in 2017. The primary reasons for the increase were rising crude petroleum prices and depreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to all of its trading partners. Exports increased in all 10 industry sectors discussed in this report.
     
  • U.S. general imports increased by $155 billion (7.1 percent) from 2016 levels to $2,342.9 billion in 2017.  As with U.S. exports, energy-related products experienced the largest increase by value, with imports of these products rising by $40.3 billion (25.5 percent) to $198 billion. Imports from all remaining sectors rose, with the greatest increases by value occurring in electronic products (by $34.3 billion, 7.6 percent); minerals and metals (by $17.2 billion, 9.4 percent), machinery (by $16.9 billion, 9.4 percent); and transportation equipment (by $16.6 billion, 4 percent).
     
  • One of the major factors affecting U.S. trade in 2017 was the increase in the price of crude petroleum.  Higher international prices for crude petroleum (Brent spot price) increased the value of U.S. trade in crude petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemicals. U.S. crude petroleum also traded at a larger average discount compared to the international price per barrel in 2017, spurring greater U.S. export volumes for crude petroleum and downstream products.

Another factor contributing to the increase of exports of U.S. crude was the removal of the U.S. government ban on most exports of U.S. crude to countries other than Canada in December 2015.  Growth in the energy-related products sector affected downstream sectors, such as petrochemicals; exports of products in that sector also increased.

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2017 can be accessed at: here


FTC Warns Consumers About Charity Scams In the Wake of Hurricane Florence - Federal Trade Commission

As Hurricane Michael barrels toward Florida's Gulf Coast, scammers continue to con people who want to help those affected by past hurricanes. Case in point: The Federal Trade Commission and its state and local partners are getting reports about sham charities following Hurricane Florence’s devastating impact on North and South Carolina. To make sure your donation counts, and to avoid fraud, follow these tips:

Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.

Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials. If they should be registered, but they're not, consider donating through another charity.

Don’t assume that charity messages posted on social media are legitimate. Research the organization yourself.

When texting to donate, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but donations are not immediate.

If you know the charity is legitimate and you are ready to donate, designate the disaster so you can ensure your funds are going to disaster relief, rather than a general fund that the charity could use for any of its work.

If you think you’ve donated to a sham charity, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists and scammers.

To learn more, go to ftc.gov/charity. And help us spread the word. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your own blog, or add it to your website.

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/10/ftc-warns-consumers-about-charity-scams-wake-hurricane-florence
 
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