March 28 2012 issue
Adding Omitted Tariff Line to Korea FTA Rules of Origin Subject of ITC Review
The International Trade Commission has launched an investigation of the effect of adding references to HS 6104.32, which covers women’s or girls’ knit cotton suit-type jackets and blazers, to the product-specific rules of origin in the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This tariff line was inadvertently omitted from both the English and Korean language versions of the FTA through a clerical error. The ITC will provide advice to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the probable effect on U.S. trade under the FTA and on total U.S. trade of making this correction.
The ITC is seeking input for this investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information submitted focus on the specific articles at issue. While the ITC will not hold a public hearing it is accepting written submissions for the record through April 18. The ITC expects to submit its advice to USTR by May 22.
Study on Brazilian Impact on U.S. Agricultural Exports to be Issued Next Month
At the request of the Senate Finance Committee, the International Trade Commission has extended from March 26 to April 26 the deadline for transmitting its report on competitive factors in Brazil affecting U.S. and Brazilian agricultural sales in selected third-country markets. It is anticipated that the ITC report will provide the following.
- an overview of agricultural markets in Brazil, including recent trends in production, consumption and trade
- an overview of U.S. and Brazilian participation in global export markets for meat, grain and oilseed products, particularly in the European Union, Russia, China and Japan, and markets with which Brazil has negotiated trade agreements
- a description of the competitive factors affecting the agricultural sector in Brazil in such areas as costs of production, transportation and marketing infrastructure, technology, exchange rates, domestic support, and government programs related to agricultural markets
- a description of the growth of Brazilian multinational agribusiness firms and their effects on global food supply chains
- a description of the principal trade measures affecting U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products in major third-country export markets, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade
- a quantitative analysis of the economic effects of preferential tariffs negotiated under Brazil's FTAs on U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products, as well as the economic effects of selected non-tariff measures on U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products in major third-country export markets
Click here for ITC notice
Advance Notice for Imports of Nine Chemicals Used in Apparel and Paper Proposed by EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a proposed rule that would require persons who intend to import, manufacture or process specified chemical substances for an activity designated as a significant new use to notify EPA at least 90 days prior. Entities potentially affected by this rule include those who plan to use the listed substances in conjunction with apparel and other finished products made from fabrics, leather and similar materials, those that plan to use the listed substances in conjunction with paper and allied products, and importers, manufacturers or processors of the listed substances in printing inks. Comments on this proposal are due no later than June 26.
This rule would add (a) nine benzidine-based chemical substances to the significant new use rule on benzidine-based chemical substances, (b) a SNUR for di-n-pentyl phthalate (DnPP) (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-dipentyl ester) and (c) a SNUR for alkanes, C12-13, chloro. In the case of the benzidine-based chemical substances, EPA is also proposing to make inapplicable the reporting exemption relating to persons that import or process substances as part of an article.
This rule may also affect certain entities through pre-existing import certification and export notification rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Persons who import any chemical substance governed by a final SNUR are subject to the TSCA section 13 (15 USC 2612) import certification requirements and the corresponding regulations at 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127. Those persons must certify that the shipment of the chemical substance complies with all applicable rules and orders under TSCA, including any SNUR requirements. In addition, any persons who export or intend to export a chemical substance that is the subject of a proposed or final SNUR are subject to the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 USC 2611(b)) and must comply with the export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.
Click here for EPA proposed rule
$22 Million in Penalties for Anti-Bribery Violations by Medical Device Company
An Indiana-based medical device company will pay a $17.28 million criminal fine and $5.4 million in disgorgement of profits and pre-judgment interest to resolve violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the bribery of health care providers and administrators employed by government institutions. The company has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice under which it is also required to implement rigorous internal controls, cooperate fully with the department and retain a compliance monitor for 18 months. A DOJ press release states that this agreement recognizes the company’s cooperation with the investigation, thorough and wide-reaching self-investigation of the underlying conduct, and remedial efforts and compliance improvements. The company also received a reduction in its criminal penalty as a result of its cooperation in DOJ’s ongoing investigation of other companies and individuals. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission noted that the company’s compliance and internal audit functions failed to stop the illicit payments even after they were discovered.
According to a DOJ press release, the company and its subsidiaries, employees and agents were charged with making more than $1.5 million in direct and indirect corrupt payments from approximately 2000 to 2008 to publicly-employed health care providers in Argentina, Brazil and China to secure lucrative business with hospitals. At the end of each fiscal year these payments were falsely recorded on books and records as commissions, royalties, consulting fees and scientific incentives to conceal their true nature.
Japanese Executive to Pay Fine, Serve Prison Time for Auto Parts Price Fixing
The Department of Justice announced March 26 that an executive of a Japan-based company will pay a $20,000 criminal fine and serve 366 days in prison for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids for and to fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of heater control panels installed in U.S. cars. The executive’s involvement in the conspiracy lasted from at least August 2006 until at least June 2009. DOJ notes that eight individuals and three companies have so far been charged in its ongoing investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry, with corporate fines in excess of $750 million and prison sentences for individuals of up to 18 months.
New International Group to Combat EU Efforts to Restrict Generic Food Names
According to a March 26 press release, a number of food producers and organizations from multiple countries have launched the Consortium for Common Food Names to stop efforts to restrict the use of generic food names. The new group opposes any attempt to monopolize generic names that have become part of the public domain, such as parmesan, feta, provolone, bologna, salami and many others, as well as terms used by winemakers such as “classic”, “vintage”, “fine” and “superior.” The consortium states that it will seek to foster the adoption of an appropriate model that protects legitimate geographical indications like “Parmigiano Reggiano” while preserving the right of all producers to use common names like “parmesan.”
The press release explains that the European Union began attempting to expand the system of geographic indications as part of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. But with the Doha Round stalled, the EU “has started inserting naming restrictions within free trade agreements, as seen in current negotiations with several Western Hemisphere and Asian countries.” In response, the coalition says it will “work to inform consumer groups, farmer associations, manufacturers, and agricultural, trade and intellectual property officials of the damage that will be caused in their own countries if efforts to restrict the use of common food names go unchecked” and will also “work with these groups to protect common food names in domestic regulations and international agreements.”
AD Notice: Stainless Steel Bar from Four Countries
Commodity: Stainless steel bar.
Country: Brazil, India, Japan and Spain.
Nature of Notice: Scheduling of expedited sunset reviews of AD duty orders.
Details: Staff report placed on non-public record May 8, written comments due May 11.
Potential IPR Probe of Consumer Electronics Evaluated for Public Interest Issues
The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than April 5 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint against certain consumer electronics, including mobile phones and tablets. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:
- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;
- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;
- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;
- indicate whether the complainant, the complainant’s licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and
- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.
Click here for ITC notice
Foreign Regulatory Changes on Dangerous Goods Transport, Enzymes Used in Food
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the World Trade Organization has been notified of regulatory changes that may affect exports of specific products to the following countries. More details, including regulatory texts, can be accessed here (https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/request/new_notifications.cfm). For information on how these restrictions may affect your business, contact ST&R.
Canada – proposed amendments to Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (comments due by May 24)
France – draft amended order on use of enzymes in manufacture of certain foods and beverages for human consumption (comments due by July 1)
Ocean Transportation Intermediary License Revocations, Reissuances, Applicants
OTI Licenses Revoked. The Federal Maritime Commission has given notice that the following ocean transportation intermediary licenses have been revoked. A revocation may occur after a license is surrendered voluntarily by the OTI or for failure to maintain a valid bond.
- license #019778N: FT Worldwide LLC, Jamison, Pa.
- license #021513N: Camden Shipping Corporation, Bordentown, N.J.
- license #022991N: Whale Logistics LLC, New York, N.Y.
Click here for FMC notice
OTI License Reissued. The Federal Maritime Commission has given notice that the following ocean transportation intermediary license has been reissued.
- license #019778F: FT Worldwide LLC, Jamison, Pa.
Click here for FMC notice
OTI License Applicants. The Federal Maritime Commission has provided notice that the following applicants have filed applications for licenses as non-vessel-operating common carrier and/or ocean freight forwarder ocean transportation intermediaries. Persons knowing of any reason why any of these applicants should not receive a license are requested to contact the FMC.
- 4 A’s Cargo Inc., Carson, Calif.
- AC Shipping LLC, Newark, N.J.
- Alliance Cargo System Inc., Staten Island, N.Y.
- American Patriot Lines Inc. d/b/a Tier One Logistics, Los Angeles, Calif.
- ASF Global LLC, Mobile, Ala.
- Bluesea Logistics Corporation, Monterey Park, Calif.
- Broom USA Inc. d/b/a Transcontinental Logistics Neutral 3PL, Miami, Fla.
- C.O. Logistic LLC d/b/a C.O. Logistic, Long Beach, Calif.
- Chronos International Cargo Corp. d/b/a AOC Log - Air Ocean Chronos Logistics, Doral, Fla.
- Contrans Cargo Inc., Westminster, Calif.
- Dsecargonet USA Inc., Torrance, Calif.
- East Coast Shipping Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
- ECV Shipping Line Inc., Miramar, Fla.
- Enterprise Forwarders Inc., Doral, Fla.
- EP America Inc. d/b/a Rubik (EP America) Inc., Houston, Texas
- Esko Inc., Rowland Heights, Calif.
- Forest City Ocean Freight LLC, Spokane, Wash.
- Global Pro Logistics LLC, Torrance, Calif.
- Global Tradewinds NVOCC Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif.
- GlobeEx Freight Systems Inc., Mississauga, Canada
- Gulf Premier Logistics LLC, Houston, Texas
- Harbour International Incorporated, Batavia, Ill.
- High Export Inc., Doral, Fla.
- IJS Global Inc., Sayreville, N.J.
- ILE Global LLC, Valley Stream, N.Y.
- J N B USA Logistics Inc., Lynbrook, N.Y.
- JK International Inc., Memphis, Tenn.
- Leeward USA Inc., New York, N.Y.
- Liberty Relocation International Inc., Tarzana, Calif.
- LLS Team USA Incorporated, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
- MH Transport LLC d/b/a MH Carriers, Houston, Texas
- Norton Lilly Logistics LLC, Mobile, Ala.
- NS Cargo Inc., Miami, Fla.
- NW Forwarding LLC, Des Moines, Wash.
- Oceanpar Logistix LLC, Edison, N.J.
- Oriental Logistics Group Inc., Flushing, N.Y.
- Overland Logistics LLC, Ephraim, Utah
- Overseas Shipping Inc., Falls Church, Va.
- Reliable Shipping Agency LLC, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
- Seaway International Inc., New York, N.Y.
- SecureGlobal Logistics Inc., Houston, Texas
- Sims, Waters & Associates Inc. d/b/a Sunshine Global Transport, Jacksonville, Fla.
- The Pasha Group d/b/a Pasha Distribution Services d/b/a Pasha Freight d/b/a CTC Transportation d/b/a Pasha International d/b/a Asiatic Trans-Pacific, Corte Madera, Calif.
- Three Oceans Transport Inc., Tampa, Fla.
- Trinity Shipping Company, Wilmington, N.C.
- Thunderbird Logistic Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
- UBA Express Cargo Corp., Miami, Fla.
- Worldwide Relocation Specialists Inc., Temecula, Calif.
- Zix Corporation d/b/a Zix Maritime, Coral Gables, Fla.
Click here for FMC notice
Certificate of Registration Under Review by CBP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is accepting comments through May 29 on the proposed extension of the Certificate of Registration, CBP forms 4455 and 4457. These forms are used to show proof of prior possession of foreign-made items taken on a trip abroad and later returned to the United States. This registration is restricted to articles with serial numbers or unique markings. CBP Form 4455 is used primarily for the registration, examination and supervised lading of commercial shipments of articles exported for repair, alteration or processing that will subsequently be returned to the U.S. either duty-free or at a reduced duty rate. CBP Form 4457 is for travelers who do not have proof of prior possession of foreign-made personal effects and who do not want to be assessed duty on these items upon their return.
Comments on these forms should address the following issues: (a) whether they are necessary for the proper performance of CBP’s functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of CBP’s estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual cost burden to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs).
Click here for CBP notice
Amended Maritime Agreement Filed
The Federal Maritime Commission has issued notice that the following amended agreement has been filed. Interested parties may submit comments by April 9.
Maersk Line/CMA CGM TA3 Space Charter Agreement – The amendment would add Panama and Belgium to the geographic scope of the agreement, provide for the chartering of slots on a vessel string not previously covered by the agreement, revise the termination provisions of the agreement and delete obsolete language.
Click here for FMC notice
Commercial Lab and Gauger Approved
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that effective Oct. 12, 2011, Intertek Caleb Brett of Benicia, Calif., has been approved to gauge and accredited to test petroleum and petroleum products, organic chemicals and vegetable oils for customs purposes.
Click here for CBP notice
BIS Reviewing Short Supply Activity Information Collections
The Bureau of Industry and Security is inviting comments and recommendations through April 27 on an information collection composed of two rarely used short supply activities: “Registration Of U.S. Agricultural Commodities For Exemption From Short Supply Limitations On Export” and “Petitions For The Imposition Of Monitoring Or Controls On Recyclable Metallic Materials; Public Hearings.” BIS notes that these activities are statutory in nature and must therefore remain a part of its information collection budget authorization.
Click here for BIS notice