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GDLSK Prevents AD/CVD on PTFE from China and India - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier this month published notice of its unanimous determination that imports of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Resin from China and India were not injuring the domestic PTFE industry:

PTFE is a polymer used in myriad applications for its low friction properties. PTFE is commonly known as Teflon, a trademark of the domestic producer Chemours – who in 2017 petitioned for antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) on imports from China and India. GDLSK represented the Chinese PTFE industry and a coalition of domestic PTFE processors to oppose Chemours’ petition.

GDLSK worked alongside Economic Consulting Services, LLC to defeat Chemours’ petition. Through testimony and briefing, we developed arguments that – despite a relatively high volume of subject imports underselling domestic products – the domestic PTFE industry did not lose market share to Chinese and Indian PTFE. The ITC accepted this rationale in unanimously finding that the domestic industry was neither materially injured nor threated with material injury by reason of subject imports:

As a result of this negative ITC determination, AD/CVD will not be assessed on PTFE from China and India. Although the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) had assigned AD/CVD rates on such imports in excess of 100%, those duties will no longer apply and those collected will be refunded by Customs.

In this era where DOC is assigning very large AD/CVD rates, it is imperative to have skilled ITC counsel and economists in order to best avoid such trade remedy liability. If your industry is subject to AD/CVD investigations, please contact one of the attorneys at our Firm for more information.

Requirements for Importing Regulated Composite Wood Products U.S. Customs & Border Protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products final rule on December 12, 2016, available here: This final rule established national formaldehyde emission standards and a third-party certification system for regulated composite wood products (i.e., panels) including hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard to ensure those panels are compliant in panel form before being sold to end users or fabricated into component parts or finished goods (e.g., furniture, cabinets, picture frames, toys, and many other goods). These requirements apply to regulated products imported into the United States. 

General Requirements: Beginning June 1, 2018, regulated composite wood products and component parts or finished goods containing such panels that are manufactured (in the United States) or imported (into the United States) must be certified as compliant with either the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II emission standards, by a Third-Party Certifier (TPC) approved by CARB and recognized by EPA. This TSCA Title VI third-party certification is different than the import certification under Section 13 of TSCA (see below). Additionally, beginning June 1, 2018 and until March 22, 2019, regulated products certified as compliant with the emission standards must be labeled as compliant with either the TSCA Title VI or the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards. 

After March 22, 2019, regulated composite products and finished goods manufactured in or imported into the United States must be certified as TSCA Title VI compliant by an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC and labeled as such; in other words, after March 22, 2019, a CARB ATCM Phase II-only label is not sufficient. 

Importer Specific Requirements:  Upon request from EPA, importers must make available to EPA within 30 calendar days certain records that document compliance, as outlined in 40 CFR section 770.30(b). Note that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires a five-year record retention cycle for importers (see 19 C.F.R. § 163.4(a)), while the TSCA Title VI regulation requires a three-year retention cycle. 

Also, beginning March 22, 2019, importers are responsible for providing a TSCA Section 13 import certification for articles containing regulated composite wood products, component parts, or finished goods imported into the U.S. customs territory in accordance with 40 CFR section 770.30(d). Although June 1, 2018 is the emission standard compliance date, as noted above, importers are not required to complete import certification under TSCA Section 13 until March 22, 2019. 

The TSCA Section 13 Import certification will be in the form of a positive certification for applicable shipments through the U.S. CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) electronic reporting system. The TSCA Title VI import certification requirement is to certify compliance with TSCA Title VI for regulated composite wood products that are imported articles or contained in imported articles; the TSCA Title VI import certification requirement does not apply to chemicals otherwise regulated under TSCA which may be present in those imported composite wood product articles. Additional guidance on the requirements for importing regulated composite wood products will be made available via CSMS prior to March 22, 2019. 

Additionally, the EPA recently published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to address several technical and implementation issues in the TSCA Title VI regulation. For one of the issues, EPA is proposing to clarify in 40 CFR section 770.45 that regulated composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood products must be labeled at the point of manufacture or fabrication, and if imported into the United States, the label must be affixed to the product by the date of importation. You can read more about the proposed rule to address certain technical issues here:

OTEXA:  Announcements - Office of Textile and Apparel

12/07/2018 – Expiration of the Dominican Republic Earned Import Allowance Program (DR 2-for-1): The Dominican Republic Earned Import Allowance Program (DR 2-for-1) was established as an amendment to the CAFTA-DR, under the Andean Trade Preference Extension Act of 2008 and became effective on December 1, 2008, for a 10-year period. The 10-year period expired on December 1, 2018. Entries of qualifying apparel under the DR 2-for-1 program may only qualify for duty-free treatment under the CAFTA-DR prior to the date of expiration. Entries on or after December 1, 2018, may no longer use allowances to qualify for duty free treatment under the DR 2-for-1 program. If you have any questions regarding the DR 2-for-1 program, please contact Maria Goodman at (202) 482-3651 or
 CBP at JFK Intercepts Finches in Hair Rollers - US Customs & Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection Officers Find Birds during Passenger Inspection

JAMAICA, N.Y. — On December 8, 2018, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport stopped an arriving passenger on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana.  During the course of the inspection, CBP discovered 70 live finches concealed within hair rollers in a black duffel bag.

“CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the Nation’s agricultural economy,” said Troy Miller, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.

A 2015 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the U.S., commonly known as bird flu, resulted in the culling of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens and $850 million in damages.

The finches were detained under quarantine and turned over to United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.

Import Restrictions on Certain Mexican Fish and Fish Products - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Update: Import Restrictions on Fish and Fish Products from Mexico Caught with Gillnets Will Continue Until Further Notice

Please see CSMS for additional information:  18-000482, 18-000483, 18-000484, 18-000502, 18-000595 

This is an update in response to the notification published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Federal Register on December 6, 2018, entitled “Implementation of Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act--Notification of Comparability Findings” ([FR Doc. 2018-26418). As previously noted, in response to a United States Court of International Trade order and in cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) imposed import restrictions on fish and fish products from Mexico caught with gillnets deployed in the range of the vaquita, a species of porpoise endemic to northern Gulf of California waters in Mexico and listed as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Despite the results of the comparability findings, discussed more fully below, the current import restrictions will remain in effect until further court action removes or revises the preliminary injunction.  CBP and NMFS will provide notice of any such action by the court. 

The import prohibitions apply to all shrimp, curvina, sierra, and chano fish and fish products harvested by gillnets in the upper Gulf of California (UGC) within the vaquita’s geographic range.  To effectuate the court order, CBP and NMFS required that all admissible imports of shrimp, curvina, sierra, and chano fish and fish products from Mexico as country of origin be accompanied by the “U.S. Import Certification of Admissibility” set forth below.  These requirements remain in place. 

In the intervening period, ongoing consultations between the United States and the Government of Mexico have resulted in Mexico’s decision to revise its regulatory program to govern the incidental mortality and serious injury of vaquita in commercial fisheries operating in the Upper Gulf of California.  Mexico’s revised regulatory regime bans all gillnets (with the exception of the curvina rodeo-style gillnet), authorizes new “vaquita-safe” fishing gear, bans the possession of gillnets, strengthens enforcement, improves transparency of enforcement actions, and establishes mechanisms for further cooperation between our governments. 

As a result, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has issued comparability findings under the Marine Mammal Protection Act Import Provisions for the following Mexican fisheries: Upper Gulf of California shrimp trawl fishery for both small and large vessels; Upper Gulf of California shrimp suripera fishery; Upper Gulf of California sierra purse seine fishery; Upper Gulf of California sierra hook and line fishery; Upper Gulf of California chano trawl fishery, for small vessels; Upper Gulf of California curvina purse seine fishery; and Upper Gulf of California sardine/curvina purse seine fishery for both small and large vessels.  The Assistant Administrator is denying a comparability finding for the El Golfo de Santa Clara curvina rodeo-style gillnet fishery.  Imports from this fishery will hereafter be subject to import restrictions in accordance with 50 CFR 216.24(h)(9) until such time as a comparability finding has been issued. 

However, there is no immediate impact on the trade as a result of these actions.  The current import restrictions, implemented under a preliminary injunction from the Court of International Trade, for shrimp, curvina, sierra, and chano fish and fish products imported to the United States from Mexico, as described in prior CSMS messages referenced above, will remain in effect until further court action removes or revises the preliminary injunction.  CBP and NMFS will provide notice following any such action by the court. 


U.S. Department of Commerce Will Issue Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders  - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today (12/10/18), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made the following statement on the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) recent unanimous decision for its final affirmative injury determinations in the antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations involving Chinese imports of common alloy aluminum sheet:

“The Department of Commerce will not stand idly by while products are illicitly forced upon U.S. markets,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I applaud the International Trade Commission for this determination in holding bad actors accountable for their actions on the international stage.”

This follows the November 7, 2018, announcement by Secretary Ross of the affirmative final determinations in the first antidumping duty and countervailing duty trade cases the Federal government has initiated since 1985. These investigations, concerning Chinese imports of common alloy aluminum sheet, were initiated by the Enforcement and Compliance division of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under the authority granted to the Secretary in the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from China have sold common alloy aluminum sheet in the United States ranging from 49.85 to 59.72 percent less than fair value, while also finding that China is providing countervailable subsidies to its producers of common alloy aluminum sheet at final rates ranging from 46.48 to 116.49 percent.

As a result of the ITC’s affirmative decision, the Department of Commerce will issue antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders.

CBP, CDC, USDA Eye Puppy Imports - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Agencies ensure animals meet vaccination, age requirements

HOUSTON – As the holidays approach, gift-givers may feel the pressure to wrap the perfect four-legged gift.

​That demand has some importers looking to duck federal regulations in order to bring in the perfect pup this holiday season.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Department of Agriculture are working to ensure that animals imported to the U.S. meet federal regulations designed to protect consumers and animal health.

“On average, we see 80 dogs imported as cargo weekly,” said Houston Area Port Director Raymond S. Polley.  “In the months ahead of the holidays, the number increases about 30 percent.”

When animals are imported to the United States, they may be met by representatives of several government agencies, including CDC representatives who ensure that requirements for dogs and other CDC-regulated animals are met to prevent the importation of disease.

“CBP is CDC’s key partner to protect America’s public health from disease importation,” said Dr. Kendra Stauffer, Veterinary Medical Officer with the CDC’s Quarantine and Border Health Services Branch; “We work with CBP to protect public health at ports of entry by ensuring all dogs are healthy and have proper documentation showing vaccination against rabies when entering the United States.”

According to USDA, puppies can be imported for resale or adoption if they are in good health, have been vaccinated for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza virus, and are at least 6 months of age.

“Sometimes, we see these puppies arriving from terribly long flights,” Polley said.  “They are tired and in such a state. Our experienced officers work closely with CDC and USDA to ensure the imported puppies are in good health.  This partnership yielded a turnkey operation that is replicated across the country.”

In Houston in 2017, 108 dogs were denied entry and in 2018, 57 dogs were not allowed entry into the country. The work started in Houston has led some importers to try to circumvent authorities by sending their imported puppies through other international airports.

“CBP, USDA and CDC across the country are enforcing federal regulations,” Polley said. “This time of year, we dub our work: Operation Santa Paws. We recognize that importers may try to meet the holiday demand by manipulating the animal’s records.  It puts the consumer at risk and it definitely puts the animal at risk.”

A puppy that has not been properly vaccinated could carry diseases that not only affect the animal but other animals as well as people who may encounter that puppy. For more information about importing animals, visit USDA.]
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