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CBP Issues First New Guidance on Setting Bond Amounts Since 1991 - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) recently released guidance that updates CBP’s process for setting bond amounts. This new document, which we have linked below, replaces a 1991 directive on the same topic.
https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/guide-public-how-cbp-sets-bond-amounts
Bond amounts are generally set using a formula which is equal to 10 percent of the duties, taxes and fees paid in the previous 12 months (this formula can change if an importer has unpaid invoices from CBP within that same period). CBP reviews this formula for each importer on a regular basis and, if necessary, issues notices for increased bond amounts whenever the formula yields a number higher than an importer’s current bond amount. These types of “bond insufficiency” notices can lead to demands for collateral by sureties and cause “bond stacking” issues where CBP increases bond amounts multiple times in a calendar year necessitating the need for multiple bonds. To this point, CBP’s new guidance specifies that it will apply this formula to an importer’s “total estimated” duties in the previous 12-month period whereas the 1991 guidance applied the formula against the duty “paid.” This change may result in more frequent demands from CBP for increased bond amounts especially where there are unexpected duty increases (even if the additional duty bills are subject to protest) or the potential for additional duty assessments as the result of a change in the deposit rate in an antidumping or countervailing duty proceeding.
Although many of the remaining changes were clerical in nature, (e.g., updating references to “Customs” with references to “CBP”), there are several other important amendments in the new Guidance including the following:
• A new a section addressing eBond transmissions.

• A new Appendix identifying special classes of merchandise subject to regulation by Partner Government Agencies that provides minimum bond amounts in those cases (e.g., flammable fabrics regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission).

• Previously only Activity Code 1 (Importer or Broker) bonds were set in increments of $10K up to $100K and then increments of $100K for larger bonds. The new guidance applies this standard to ALL continuous bonds.

• Updated guidance regarding bonds for Foreign Trade Zones (“FTZ”) including a minimum $50K bond for each activated FTZ and a list of circumstances when FTZ bond amount increases are required (e.g. substantial alterations to the zone area, change in character to the merchandise admitted into the zone).
We encourage importers and brokers to review this document carefully to determine whether it will impact current bonds or bonds that are scheduled to renew in the near future. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our attorneys.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders
• Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2021
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Paper Plates from the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Belarus, China, Indonesia, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine; Notice of Commission Determination to Conduct Full Five-Year Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Melamine from Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Utility Scale Wind Towers from Indonesia: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: 2022-2023
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Silicomanganese from China and Ukraine; Notice of Commission Determination to Conduct Full Five-Year Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Germany, India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Propane Cylinders from Thailand
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Utility Scale Wind Towers from Spain
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House Passes Congressman Moran’s No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act- House.gov
Washington, D.C – Congressman Nathaniel Moran (TX-01), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, celebrated the passage of his legislation, H.R. 4039, No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act, which prohibits funds to the Department of State or the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to finance international projects in partnership with entities that import products mined, produced, or manufactured in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, commonly known for the genocide and forced labor of the Uyghur people.
On June 21, 2023, H.R. 4039 was marked up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was reported favorably out of the committee. This week, the No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote.
“The passage of No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act is an important step in showing the U.S. government’s commitment to confronting the abuses of the Chinese Communist Party. As a Chinese dissidents and human rights activist, I’ve experienced first-hand the extent that the Chinese government is willing to go to maintain power. After years of evidence and brave survivors speaking out, the world can no longer ignore the Uyghur genocide. It is imperative for our consciences to remove all U.S. funding from the Uyghur region. I am grateful for Representative Moran’s leadership on this resolution and the cosponsors who endorsed it,” said Dr. Rev. Bob Fu, Founder and President of China Aid.
“Uyghurs worldwide are thankful to Representative Moran and the U.S. Congress for passing a bill which ensures that our tax dollars do not fund ongoing atrocity crimes and modern-day slavery. This bill also sends a powerful message globally that the United States will continue to exercise all options to ensure that we end complicity in forced labor,” said Omer Kanat, Executive Director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.
Background:
The Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, repressing ethnic minorities for practicing their faith, detaining people in “reeducation centers” and ultimately using them for forced labor in the XUAR. This region of China is essential to their global supply chain, where many basic goods such as yarn, textiles, bricks, cotton, polysilicon, are produced using forced labor.
While the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibited goods made wholly or partly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from entering U.S. supply chains, we must ensure that the United States is not developing international contracts for strategic projects with partners overseas that source goods or raw materials from the Xinjiang region.
H.R. 4039 will prohibit funds to the Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to finance global projects in partnership with companies or organizations that import products mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or partly from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.
A video of Congressman’s remarks can be found HERE.
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FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Initiative to Bolster Cybersecurity of U.S. Ports - The White House
Today (2/21/24), the Biden-Harris Administration will issue an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity, fortify our supply chains and strengthen the United States industrial base. The Administration will also announce its intent to bring domestic onshore manufacturing capacity back to America to provide safe, secure cranes to U.S. ports – thanks to an over $20 billion investment in U.S. port infrastructure under President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. Today’s actions are clear examples of the President’s work to invest in America, secure the country’s supply chains, and strengthen the cybersecurity of our nation’s critical infrastructure against 21st century threats – priorities his Administration has focused on relentlessly since taking office.
America’s prosperity is directly linked to maritime trade and the integrated network of ports, terminals, vessels, waterways, and land-side connections that constitute the Nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS). This complex system supports $5.4 trillion worth of economic activity each year, contributes to the employment of more than 31 million Americans, and supports nearly 95% of cargo entering the U.S.
The security of our critical infrastructure remains a national imperative in an increasingly complex threat environment. MTS owners and operators rely on digital systems to enable their operations, to include ship navigation, the movement of cargo, engineering, safety, and security monitoring. These systems have revolutionized the maritime shipping industry and American supply chains by enhancing the speed and efficiency of moving goods to market, but the increasing digital interconnectedness of our economy and supply chains have also introduced vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could have cascading impacts on America’s ports, the economy, and everyday hard-working Americans.
Today’s actions include:
President Biden will sign an Executive Order to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to directly address maritime cyber threats, including through cybersecurity standards to ensure that American ports’ networks and systems are secure. Now, the U.S. Coast Guard will have the express authority to respond to malicious cyber activity in the nation’s MTS by requiring vessels and waterfront facilities to mitigate cyber conditions that may endanger the safety of a vessel, facility, or harbor. The Executive Order will also institute mandatory reporting of cyber incidents – or active cyber threats – endangering any vessel, harbor, port, or waterfront facility. Additionally, the Coast Guard will now have the authority to control the movement of vessels that present a known or suspected cyber threat to U.S. maritime infrastructure, and be able to inspect those vessels and facilities that pose a threat to our cybersecurity.
The U.S. Coast Guard will issue a Maritime Security Directive on cyber risk management actions for ship-to-shore cranes manufactured by the People’s Republic of China located at U.S. Commercial Strategic Seaports. Owners and operators of these cranes must acknowledge the directive and take a series of actions on these cranes and associated Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems. This action is a vital step to securing our maritime infrastructure’s digital ecosystem and addresses several vulnerabilities that have been identified in the updated U.S. Maritime Advisory, 2024-00X – Worldwide Foreign Adversarial Technological, Physical, and Cyber Influence, that was released today.
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Cybersecurity in the Marine Transportation System. Every day malicious cyber actors attempt to gain unauthorized access to MTS control systems and networks throughout the nation. The Proposed Rule will strengthen these digital systems by establishing minimum cybersecurity requirements that meet international and industry-recognized standards to best manage cyber threats. These actions build on prior actions by DHS including those taken by the Transportation Security Administration, and reflect the Administration’s commitment to leverage regulatory requirements in pursuit of safeguarding critical infrastructure.
The Administration continues to deliver for the American people by rebuilding the U.S.’s industrial capacity to produce port cranes with trusted partners. The Administration will invest over $20 billion, including through grants, into U.S. port infrastructure over the next 5 years through the President’s Investing in America Agenda, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. As a result, PACECO Corp., a U.S.-based subsidiary of Mitsui E&S Co., Ltd (Japan), is planning to onshore U.S. manufacturing capacity for its crane production. PACECO has a deep history in the container shipping industry, manufacturing the first dedicated ship-to-shore container crane in 1958 as PACECO Inc., and it continued U.S.-based crane manufacturing until the late 1980s. PACECO intends to partner with other trusted manufacturing companies to bring port crane manufacturing capabilities back to the U.S. for the first time in 30 years, pending final site and partner selection.
The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s fourth Investing in America tour, where White House and Administration officials are traveling across the country to highlight the impacts of the President’s Investing in America agenda on communities, families, small businesses and the United States’ economic and national security. It also follows-up on the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience’s efforts to strengthen America’s supply chains, particularly by addressing supply chain risks resulting from threats and vulnerabilities inside U.S. ports.
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CBP Advises Traveling Public of Yucca Flower Regulations - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — With the Lenten season right around the corner, travelers are advised that the importation of fresh yucca flowers from Mexico - more commonly known as chochas or flor de palma - is prohibited.
“We are asking the traveling public not to bring fresh yucca flowers as they will not be allowed to enter,” said Acting Port Director Michael B. Reyes, Brownsville Port of Entry.
Importations of fresh yucca flowers are prohibited. However, cooked yucca flowers are allowed since the cooking process kills pests within the flower and effectively mitigates the pest risk.
Travelers must declare all animal and plant agriculture products to the inspecting CBP officer. Prohibited items that are not declared by passengers are confiscated and disposed of by CBP agriculture specialists. Attempting to bring undeclared prohibited agricultural items can lead to traveler delays and may result in a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.
CBP’s highly trained agriculture specialists are the front line in safeguarding America’s agricultural resources. Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, CBP agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States.
For more information regarding CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link. For updated traveler information regarding prohibited agricultural items coming into the United States, learn more about declaring agricultural items.
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Facial Recognition Technology - Department of Homeland Security
Identity verification is an essential element of its risk-based approach to transportation security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) strives to enhance security effectiveness and improve operational efficiency, while creating an enhanced traveler experience and strengthening privacy.
TSA introduced facial recognition technology into the screening process at select airports. The facial recognition technology represents a significant security enhancement and improves traveler convenience. A traveler may voluntarily agree to use their face to verify their identity during the screening process by presenting their physical identification or passport. The facial recognition technology TSA uses helps ensure the person standing at the checkpoint is the same person pictured on the identification document (ID) credential. Photos are not stored or saved after a positive ID match has been made, except in a limited testing environment for evaluation of the effectiveness of the technology.
The agency is using second-generation Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) scanners as travelers enter the screening process. This technology assists Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) in verifying the authenticity of a traveler’s ID credential, as well as their flight status and vetting status. TSOs must direct all passengers to the proper lane, either TSA PreCheck® screening, standard screening, or enhanced screening. The CAT-2 units are currently deployed at nearly 30 airports nationwide and will expand to the more than 400 federalized airports over the coming years.
TSA is also using CAT-2 units to conduct an operational assessment of digital IDs, including mobile driver’s licenses. All digital IDs eligible for use at select TSA checkpoints follow the current, international open standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization and provide enhanced security and privacy by design.
TSA policy requires that TSOs show each traveler respect and ensure their privacy is protected. Travelers who do not wish to participate in the facial recognition technology process may decline the optional photo in favor of an alternative identity verification process, which does not use facial recognition technology to verify their identity. This action will not take longer, and passengers will not lose their place in line for security screening. TSA is committed to protecting passenger privacy, civil rights, civil liberties and ensuring the public’s trust as it seeks to improve the passenger experience through its exploration of identity verification technologies.
TSA is currently updating CAT-2 screens with clear language that notifies travelers they may decline having their photo taken. TSA also has signage posted at the checkpoint indicating that the technology is optional and travelers decline having their photo taken. Travelers under 18 are not photographed.
TSA is grounding its exploration of facial recognition solutions in rigorous scientific study and analysis to include alignment with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards and applies stringent safeguards for traveler privacy and convenience:
• Standard ID verification is in place – Travelers who decide not to participate in the use of facial recognition technology will receive an alternative ID check by the TSO at the podium. The traveler will not experience any negative consequences for choosing not to participate. There is no issue and no delay with a passenger exercising their rights to not participate in the automated biometrics matching technology.

• Biometrics are not used for surveillance – Facial recognition technology is solely used to automate the current manual ID checking process and will not be used for surveillance or any law enforcement purpose. TSA uses facial recognition CAT-2 technology only to verify the identity of the traveler at the podium and make a determination for access into physical security screening.

• Accuracy is key to security effectiveness – TSA is committed to using the highest performing matching algorithms and designing solutions to mitigate the impact of environmental and technical variability such as lighting, background and focal length. TSA uses facial recognition algorithms developed by top-performing vendors, as noted in NIST’s ongoing evaluation. TSA is further committed to ensuring continued accuracy of these systems across all demographic groups.
Traveler safety is paramount. Fraudulent IDs and imposters represent an emerging threat to security. Following the 9/11 attacks on our nation, Congress established TSA as an agile and innovative security agency and gave it the task of protecting the free movement of people and goods through the nation’s transportation system. TSA’s employees are mission-focused and committed to closing security gaps and mitigating emerging threats.
For more information on TSA’s use of facial recognition technology and other emerging checkpoint technologies, please go to https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/factsheets/technology.
 
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