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July 24 2012 Issue

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade Enforcement Center Focused on Barriers in Six Countries, USTR Official Says

According to press reports, U.S. Trade Representative general counsel Tim Reif said July 23 that the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center established by President Obama in January is focused on obstacles to U.S. exports in six countries. China is among the targeted countries but Reif declined to name the others, although he does expect the ITEC to expand its activities to other countries as well. He also offered no further insight into specific policies or practices being reviewed. However, Reif emphasized that the ITEC is designed to improve the executive branch’s decision making concerning which foreign trade barriers to take action against. He added that this process could result in additional complaints at the World Trade Organization this year and that any such decisions will factor in the economic cost of the problems at issue and the precedent a WTO ruling would set. 

The ITEC has three objectives according to the February 28 executive order establishing it. One is to coordinate among USTR, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the departments of State, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security and the Treasury on the enforcement of U.S. trade rights under international trade agreements and the enforcement of domestic trade laws (e.g., safeguards, antidumping/countervailing duties, intellectual property rights). The second is to coordinate among USTR, other agencies with trade-related responsibilities and the U.S. intelligence community the exchange of information related to potential violations of international trade agreements by foreign trade partners. The third is to conduct outreach to U.S. workers, businesses and other interested persons to foster greater participation in the identification and reduction or elimination of foreign trade barriers and unfair foreign trade practices. 

CBP Gives Non-Automated Facilities Flexibility to Handle Simplified Entry Shipments

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced an interim policy that will allow non-automated facilities such as warehouses, freight stations and terminals to support its simplified entry pilot program. Simplified entry is the first phase of Cargo Release in the Automated Commercial Environment and a pilot test of this functionality was launched May 29 with nine customs brokers at the ports of Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta. Under this pilot the carrier submits the manifest/Air Cargo Advance Screening security filing and the importer submits the simplified entry data set, which consists of 12 required and three optional data elements and replaces the 27 data elements required on the CBP Form 3461. Click here for more details

CBP states that since simplified entry is considered a paperless program, pilot participants are not required to submit the CBP Form 3461 and CBP will not be creating courtesy copies or otherwise stamping forms. CBP does, however, recognize that a paperless environment will pose challenges to non-automated entities that do not receive electronic releases from CBP. 

Consequently, CBP will allow non-automated facilities, on an interim basis, to release cargo based on screen printouts presented to them by filers (importers, brokers, etc.). The printout should have at a minimum the shipment ID and quantity being released, the type of release, and clear identification of who presented the release information. CBP states that for audit purposes this will satisfy due diligence on behalf of the non-automated facility. In the event that cargo that is unreleased or on hold is released from a non-automated facility that received a release from the filer, CBP will seek remedy from the party who provided such information to the non-automated facility. Record retention guidelines will also apply. 

CBP emphasizes that this is an interim process and strongly encourages non-automated facilities to automate as ACE functionality is delivered. 

Over $350,000 in Penalties for Failure to Submit Chemical Import Data

The Environmental Protection Agency has assessed more than $350,000 in penalties against three companies for alleged violations of the reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The alleged violations involved the companies’ failure to comply with the requirement to submit accurate data about the production and use of chemical substances manufactured or imported during a calendar year. The three companies paid individual fines of $55,901, $103,433, and $202,799. 

Under TSCA, penalties can be assessed up to $37,500 per day per violation. An agency press release notes that the EPA’s enforcement efforts have led to 43 civil enforcement actions and approximately $2.3 million dollars in civil penalties. The reporting deadline for the 2012 submission period is Aug. 15. 

U.S.-Turkey Business Council Accepting Applicants

The International Trade Administration is accepting through Aug. 24 applications for appointment as representatives to the U.S. section of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council. The Council is intended to facilitate the exchange of information and encourage bilateral discussions of business and economic issues, including promoting bilateral trade and investment and improving the business climate in each country. It consists of the U.S. and Turkish co-chairs and a committee composed of two sections of private-sector members. 

Each applicant must be a senior-level executive of a U.S.-owned or controlled company that is incorporated in and has its main headquarters located in the U.S. and is currently doing business in Turkey. Applicants may not be a registered foreign agent or a federally-registered lobbyist. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: a demonstrated commitment by the applicant’s company to the Turkish market, either through exports or investment; a demonstrated strong interest by the applicant’s company in Turkey and its economic development; the ability by the applicant to offer a broad perspective on the business environment in Turkey, including cross-cutting issues that affect the entire business community; and the ability by the applicant to initiate and be responsible for activities in which the Council will be active. 

Ocean Transportation Intermediary License Revocation, Reissuance, Applicants

OTI License Revoked. The Federal Maritime Commission has given notice that the following ocean transportation intermediary license has been revoked. A revocation may occur after a license is surrendered voluntarily by the OTI or for failure to maintain a valid bond. 

- license #016914N: Air Sea Cargo Network Inc., Oakland, Calif. 

OTI Licenses Reissued. The Federal Maritime Commission has given notice that the following ocean transportation intermediary licenses have been reissued. 

- license #016201N: Delta Line International Inc., Miami, Fla. 
- license #017267NF: Just In Time Services Inc., Doral, Fla. 

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. 

- AGS Cargo USA Inc., Doral, Fla. 
- Albarq Shipping Services Inc., Stanton, Calif. 
- Always Affordable Shipping LLC, Hazlet, N.J. 
- Ameripack Services Inc., Miami, Fla. 
- Brian Hsu d/b/a The Filipino Cargo International, Hayward, Calif. 
- Brookfield Relocation Inc., Shelton, Conn. 
- Brox Logistics USA LLC, New York, N.Y. 
- C&F Worldwide Agency Corporation, Carolina, P.R. 
- Cargois Inc. d/b/a Star Vision Logis, Elk Grove Village, Ill. 
- Chemlogix Global LLC d/b/a Vistalogix Global, Blue Bell, Pa. 
- CMA CGM Logistics USA LLC, East Rutherford, N.J. 
- Frank Obeng d/b/a First Class Exporters, East Point, Ga. 
- Logistics International Parcel Shipping Transport LLC, South Elgin, Ill. 
- Movage Inc., Bronx, N.Y. 
- Platinum Cargo Logistics Inc., Elgin, Ill. 
- Sincere Shipping LLC, Savannah, Ga. 
- The Relocation Freight Corporation of America, Shelton, Conn. 
- Trans Atlantic Logistics Inc., Jamaica, N.Y. 
- Transportation Management Inc., Jacksonville, Fla. 
- Warehouse Division of World Terminal and Distributing Corporation d/b/a WTDC, Miami, Fla.

ITC Overturns One Patent Infringement Finding on Lighting Control Devices

The International Trade Commission has determined to vacate a finding by the presiding administrative law judge that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of certain lighting control devices, including dimmer switches, and parts thereof violates one of the patents claimed by complainant Lutron Electronics Co. Ltd. The ITC has taken this step because the patent at issue expired on March 31, 2012. 

With respect to the other patent that Lutron claims is being infringed, the ALJ has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order with respect to all defaulting respondents as well as cease and desist orders directed against three specific respondents. The ITC is therefore accepting through Aug. 2 comments on whether a limited exclusion order and/or cease and desist order should be issued; the effect of any such orders on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, U.S. production of articles that are like or directly competitive with those that are subject to investigation, and U.S. consumers; and the amount of the bond under which infringing articles could enter the U.S. during the 60-day period the president has to review any orders issued by the ITC. 

U.S.-China Commission Announces Meetings to Prepare 2012 Report

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will meet in Washington, D.C., Aug. 1-2, Sept. 12-13, Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 23-24 to review and edit its 2012 report to Congress, which is slated to be made public Nov. 14. At these meetings commissioners will consider draft report sections addressing the following topics. 

- the U.S.-China trade and economic relationship, including bilateral investment and the role of state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights protection, technology transfers and outsourcing 

- China’s activities directly affecting U.S. national security interests, including its area control military strategy, space developments, and intelligence activities and capabilities 

- China’s foreign and regional activities and relationships, including those pertaining to Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

Ex-Im Bank Approves Financing for Exports of U.S. Satellites to Mexico and Australia


The Export-Import Bank of the United States approved July 23 two transactions totaling more than $1.2 billion to finance the export of U.S.-made telecommunications satellites to Mexico and Australia. The first involves a $922 million loan guarantee to support the export of three satellites and related equipment to the Mexican government for a regional mobile satellite system. The second is a $281 million direct loan to Jabiru Satellite Ltd. in Australia for the purchase of satellite and ground equipment. An agency press release asserts that these transactions will support approximately 750 U.S. aerospace jobs directly and more than 1,000 indirectly. 

- China’s foreign and national security policies 

Foreign Regulatory Changes Could Affect Exports of Cotton, Food, Leather, Polymers, Etc.

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. For information on how these restrictions may affect your business, contact ST&R. 

China – national standards on low-voltage switchgear, seed potatoes, upland cotton, electrical accessories, and polyurethane synthetic leather used for vehicles (comments due by Sept. 18) 

Dominican Republic – standards on coffee and coffee products, green coffee, milk and milk products, and polymers (comments due by Aug. 20) 

Korea – amended safety certification standard on children’s playground equipment (comments due by Sept. 18) 

Kuwait – draft technical regulation on processed tomato concentrates (comments due by Sept. 18) 

Switzerland – partial revision of decree on telecommunications equipment under which jammers will be considered radio equipment (comments due by Oct. 5) 

Ex-Im Bank Approves Financing for Exports of U.S. Satellites to Mexico and Australia

The Export-Import Bank of the United States approved July 23 two transactions totaling more than $1.2 billion to finance the export of U.S.-made telecommunications satellites to Mexico and Australia. The first involves a $922 million loan guarantee to support the export of three satellites and related equipment to the Mexican government for a regional mobile satellite system. The second is a $281 million direct loan to Jabiru Satellite Ltd. in Australia for the purchase of satellite and ground equipment. An agency press release asserts that these transactions will support approximately 750 U.S. aerospace jobs directly and more than 1,000 indirectly. 

USDA Expands Export Credit Guarantee Program to Macau

Effective July 23 the Department of Agriculture has amended the geographic area of the China/Hong Kong region to include Macau for sales of U.S. agricultural commodities under the Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) program for fiscal year 2012. This step allows agricultural exports under this program to Macau for the first time, although USDA sources note that there are no banks in Macau that have yet been approved to participate. 

The GSM-102 program provides credit guarantees to encourage the financing of commercial exports of U.S. food and agricultural products while providing competitive credit terms to buyers. It guarantees credit extended by the private banking sector in the United States (or, less commonly, by the U.S. exporter) to approved foreign banks using dollar-denominated, irrevocable letters of credit. Agricultural commodities and products are selected for this program according to market potential and eligibility based on applicable legislative and regulatory requirements. 

CBP Suspends License for Los Angeles Broker

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has suspended customs broker license 14043 issued to Kathleen Ann Cataldi at the port of Los Angeles as well as all associated permits. This suspension was effective July 23 and will remain in effect for 30 months.  

FTZ Application for Aircraft Turbine Components Gets More Time for Comments

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board is accepting through Aug. 24 comments on new evidence concerning an application submitted by Monroe County, N.Y., grantee of FTZ 141, requesting authority on behalf of Firth Rixson Inc. d/b/a Firth Rixson Monroe to manufacture aircraft turbine components.  

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 Aug. 6. 

Cruise Lines International Association Agreement – The amendment reorganizes the terms of the agreement governing membership, organization and funding. 

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