Print PDF

August 30 2012 Issue

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

School Supplies Contain Phthalates Above Federal Limit for Toys, Report Finds  

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., released Aug. 27 a report showing that many children’s school supplies currently on store shelves contain high levels of phthalates, which are primarily used to soften vinyl plastic but are banned for use in toys in the U.S. because of adverse health effects. A press release from Schumer’s office notes that while there are currently no restrictions on the use of phthalates in the products reviewed, such as backpacks, lunchboxes, binders and rain gear, 75% of those tested for this report were found to contain phthalates at levels higher than those deemed safe and allowable in children’s toys under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. 

Schumer used the occasion to call on the Office of Management and Budget to approve a list of chemicals of concern, including phthalates, that was submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency in May 2010. This list was part of the EPA’s chemical action plan, which could provide the agency with the authority to more aggressively regulate phthalates and other toxic chemicals for use in consumer goods. Schumer also urged passage of the Safe Chemicals Act, which would overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act so that manufacturers would have to prove the chemicals they use are safe. This bill would also enable the EPA to take action on chemicals of very high concern, toxic chemicals that persist and build up in the environment and in humans, or chemicals that are highly toxic and to which there is widespread exposure.

CBP Rulings on Spices, Bearings, Tobacco Wrappers, Electronic Devices  

In the Aug. 29, 2012, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposed to revoke or modify classification rulings on the following products. Comments are due by Sept. 28. 

Product: Chili powder blends. 
Proposed action: Partial revocation of NY N024368. 
Current classification: HTSUS 2103.90.8000, other mixed seasonings (6.4% duty). 
Proposed classification: HTSUS 0904.22.76, other fruits of the genusCapsicum, crushed or ground (5 cents/kg duty), and 0910.91.00, mixtures of ginger, saffron, etc. and other spices (1.9% duty). 

Product: Ball bearings and housings for aircraft instruments. 
Proposed action: Modification of NY N070076. 
Current classification: Pivot bearing and pivot bearing and housing in one piece – HTSUS 7116.20.4000, other articles or precious or semiprecious stones (10.5% duty). 
Proposed classification: Pivot bearing - HTSUS 8482.10.5068, other ball bearings (9% duty); pivot bearing and housing in one piece – HTSUS 8483.30.8020, ball or roller bearing type housings (4.5% duty). 
Explanation: The bearings are precluded from classification as parts of aeronautical instruments in HTSUS 9014 because parts and accessories of Chapter 84 are to be classified in their respective headings. 

Product: Tobacco wrappers. 
Proposed action: Revocation of NY C82943. 
Current classification: HTSUS 4813.90.0000, other cigarette paper(duty-free). 
Proposed classification: HTSUS 2403.91.2000, homogenized or reconstituted tobacco suitable for use as wrapper tobacco (62 cents/kg duty). 
Explanation: The wrappers do not meet the definition of paper because they are composed of homogenized tobacco, which is not a pulp of Chapter 47. 

Also in the Aug. 29, 2012, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, CBP revoked or modified classification rulings on the following products, effective Oct. 29. 

Product: Handheld device designed to program the powertrain control module of a Ford automobile. 
Action: Revocation of HQ H097095. 
New ruling: HQ H126020. 
New classification: HTSUS 8517.62.00, machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus (duty-free). 

Product: Over current detectors, which protect power electronic circuits by signaling when current in the circuit has exceeded a designated trip point. 
Action: Revocation of NY H80199. 
New ruling: HQ H122802. 
New classification: HTSUS 8543.70.40 (electric synchros and transducers (2.6% duty). 
Explanation: The devices at issue measure changes in the magnetic field and change them to electric signals and are thus characterized as transducers, which convert variations in one energy form into corresponding variations in another, usually electrical, form. 

$1 Million Fine for Auto Parts Price Fixing  

A Japanese company has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of instrument panel clusters installed in cars sold in the U.S. and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced Aug. 28. As part of the plea agreement, which will be subject to court approval, the company has agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into price fixing, big rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry. A department press release notes that to date eight companies and 11 executives have been charged in this investigation, with more than $785 million in criminal fines to be paid. 

Of Note: Possible East Coast Port Strike, Gulf Coast CBP Port Status  

Retailing executive says supply chains have small window to react to possible dock strike 
Hurricane Isaac: CBP Port Operations Status

AD/CV Notices: Transformers, New Admin Reviews, Tires, Pipe, Sacks, Bearings  

Agency: International Trade Commission. 
Commodity: Large power transformers. 
Country: Korea. 
Nature of Notice: Final affirmative antidumping injury determination. 
Details: An AD duty order on this merchandise is expected to be issued shortly. 

Agency: International Trade Administration. 
Nature of Notice: Initiation of administrative reviews of the antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders on the following products for the period July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012 (AD) or Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2011 (CV). 
- purified carboxymethylcellulose from Finland and The Netherlands (AD) 
- polyethylene terephthalate film from India (AD/CV) and Taiwan (AD) 
- pasta from Italy (AD/CV) and Turkey (CV) 
- solid urea from Russia (AD) 
- circular welded carbon quality steel pipe from China (AD/CV) 

Agency: International Trade Administration. 
Nature of Notice: Implementation of determinations under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act with respect to the antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders on the following products from China. 
- new pneumatic off-the-road tires 
- circular welded carbon quality steel pipe 
- laminated woven sacks 
- light-walled rectangular pipe and tube 
Details: AD and CV duty margins have been recalculated. 

Agency: International Trade Administration. 
Commodity: Tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished. 
Country: China. 
Nature of Notice: Continuation of antidumping duty order for five years, effective Aug. 30. 
Details: The products covered by this order are tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished; flange, take up cartridge, and hanger units incorporating tapered roller bearings; and tapered roller housings (except pillow blocks) incorporating tapered rollers, with or without spindles, whether or not for automotive use. These products are currently classifiable under HTSUS 8482.20.00, 8482.91.0050, 8482.99.15, 8482.99.45, 8483.20.40, 8483.20.80, 8483.30.80, 8483.90.20, 8483.90.30, 8483.90.80, 8708.99.8015 and 8708.99.8080.

Ocean Transportation Intermediary License Revocations and 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 #017028NF: Protrans International Inc., Indianapolis, Ind. 
- license #17921N: Global Brilliant Logistics Corp., Willowbrook, Ill. 
- license #019522N: Echo Trans World Inc., New York, N.Y. 
- license #020268F: Express Northwest International Freight Services Inc., Seattle, Wash. 
- license #022181NF: Savannah Marine Terminal Inc. d/b/a SMT Logistics, Savannah, Ga. 
- license #022710N: Route 809 Freight Forward LLC, Miami, Fla. 
- license #023345NF: Mike Mohsen Darabi d/b/a Donya Trading Group, Santa Clara, Calif. 

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. 

- AAW Global Logistics PTY Ltd., Australia 
- AOG International Inc., Houston, Texas 
- Boacon Synergy Inc., West Chester, Ohio 
- Canei Group Corporation, Miami, Fla. 
- Cars USA Inc. d/b/a Cars USA Logistics Inc., San Francisco, Calif. 
- Ceva Freight LLC d/b/a EGL Ocean Line d/b/a Ceva Ocean Line, Houston, Texas 
- Ellen Newman Logistics LLC, Metairie, La. 
- Equipsa Inc., Miami, Fla. 
- Howard Thomas Exports Inc. d/b/a HTX International, Paramount, Calif. 
- Merengue Cargo Shipping Inc., Yonkers, N.Y. 
- National Air Cargo Inc., Orchard Park, N.Y. 
- New Hope Vehicle Exports LLC, Wilmington, Del. 
- New Star Freight Inc. d/b/a American Freight Solutions, Chino, Calif. 
- PMJ International Inc., North Plainfield, N.J. 
- Seair Cargo Logistics Inc., Medley, Fla. 
- Tropic Import & Export Inc., Miami, Fla. 
- Venezolana De Fletamentos Cavefle LLC, Hialeah, Fla. 
- Worldwide Cargo Express Inc., Draper, Utah

ITC Narrows Scope of IPR Enforcement Probe of Wireless Devices  

In investigation 337-TA-745, the International Trade Commission has found that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of certain wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, computers and components thereof are not violating three patents owned by complainant Motorola Mobility Inc. However, the ITC has remanded this case back to the administrative law judge for further proceedings with respect to one patent. 

Two FTZs Expanded, New Production Authority Sought at Idaho Zone  

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has recently announced the following actions. 

- received a notification of proposed production activity seeking FTZ authority for the storage, manipulation, assembly and installation of gas centrifuge production equipment at the AREVA Enrichment Services LLC facility in Bonneville County, Idaho (comments due no later than Oct. 9) 

- approved the reorganization and expansion under the alternative site framework of FTZ 219, which will have a service area of Yuma County, Ariz., in and adjacent to the San Luis U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry 

- approved the reorganization and expansion under the ASF of FTZ 87 in Lake Charles, La., within the Lake Charles CBP port of entry


To get news like this in your inbox daily, subscribe to the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.

Customs & International Headlines