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November 6 2012 Issue

Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Import Statistics Highlight 12 Goods that May Become Ineligible for GSP

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has made available import statistics for the first eight months of 2012 that identify goods that could become ineligible for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences. Specifically, these interim statistics identify articles for which 2012 trade levels may exceed statutory competitive need limitations. USTR states that this information may be useful in deciding whether to submit a petition to waive the CNLs, and thus retain preferential treatment, for GSP-eligible articles from individual beneficiary developing countries. Such petitions are due by 5:00 p.m. Nov. 21.

GSP provides for the duty-free importation of designated articles when imported from designated BDCs. When the president determines that a BDC has exported to the U.S. during a calendar year either (1) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($155 million for 2012) or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value equal to or greater than 50% of the value of total U.S. imports of the article from all countries, GSP duty-free treatment for that article from that BDC must be terminated by no later than July 1 of the next calendar year. However, the 50% CNL may be waived with respect to an eligible article imported from a BDC if the value of total imports of that article from all countries during the calendar year did not exceed the applicable de minimis amount for that year ($21 million for 2012).

The interim statistics show that the following products from the indicated BDCs may exceed the CNLs for 2012.

- coniferous wood continuously shaped along any of its ends from Brazil (4409.10.05)
- calcium silicon ferroalloys from Brazil (7202.99.20)
- ferrosilicon manganese from Georgia (7202.30.00)
- other nonaromatic cyclic amides and their derivatives from India (2924.29.95)
- nonaromatic drugs of other heterocyclic compounds from India (2934.99.47)
- stainless steel, not cast, flanges for tubes/pipes from India (7307.21.50)
- iron or steel (other than stainless), not cast, flanges for tubes/pipes from India (7307.91.50)
- porcelain or non-bone china, household table and kitchenware sets from Indonesia (6911.10.37)
- 1,1'-Azobisformamide from Indonesia (2927.00.15)
- ferrosilicon containing between 55% and 80% of silicon from Russia (7202.21.50)
- miscellaneous food preparations not canned or frozen from Thailand (2106.90.99)
- ice skates with footwear permanently attached from Thailand (9506.70.40)

USTR notes that this list may not include all articles that could be affected by the CNLs. All determinations and decisions regarding application of the CNLs will be based on full calendar year 2012 import data for each GSP-eligible article, which will be available in February 2013. 

Interim Customs Procedures for New York/Newark Cargo

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued Nov. 2 a notice setting forth the following interim measures that have been implemented due to the continued interruption of cargo and release services at the ports of New York and Newark as a result of Hurricane Sandy. CBP noted in a separate message that officials are beginning to lift waterway restrictions and open marine terminals to cargo vessels in this region.

Cargo Release. Vessels that have current manifests and entries filed for the ports of New York and Newark will leave their data as is and not re-file at the diversion port of entry. Vessels that have manifests re-filed for the diversion ports of entry with all entries still filed at New York and Newark will again re-file their manifests back to the ports of New York and Newark. All future vessels without entry and manifest data filed will be required to file at the actual port of arrival.

Carriers may not see a release message electronically releasing the cargo and may accept stamped “delivery authorized” paperwork from CBP at the port of arrival if they would like a paper copy of the documentation. Carriers and importers will not incur penalties for diverting cargo without changing the manifest and entry data electronically. Also, carriers and importers will not incur penalties for removing containers from the yard for delivery without having an electronic release message.

All vessels that have already diverted to another port of entry from the New York and Newark region and have manifests arrived by CBP should not alter their manifest at this time. These vessels will not receive electronic release notification and will be required to utilize the stamped “delivery authorized” paperwork to remove the container from the yard.

Because electronic systems will show the port of arrival as New York or Newark, respectively, each vessel will be required to report the intended arrival telephonically to the diversion port.

Entry Summary. Filers that are able to submit their entry summary and payment via ABI/ACH should resume normal processing.

Filers that are unable to submit their entry summary and payment via check or ABI/ACH have the following options.

- Importers and filers may use FedWire to transmit monies owed directly to the Office of Administration, Revenue Division, for processing. Entry summaries should not be sent to OA/RD but should be submitted to the appropriate port. Fedwire payments should include the purpose of the payment on the Originator to Beneficiary Information – line 2 on the attached form. Supporting documentation should be sent via email to cashier@cbp.dhs.gov.

- For shipments released in the ports of Newark, New York and JFK, the importer or filer may submit the payment directly to the Port of Newark or JFK or to the OA/RD for processing. Entry summaries should be submitted to the appropriate port.

For payments submitted directly to the OA/RD, checks along with supporting documentation (such as entry number, bill number, case number, etc.) for the payment can be sent to CBP Revenue Division, PO Box 68907, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0907. For overnight delivery payments can be sent to CBP Revenue Division, 6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46278.

Broker Permits. Filers that will be temporarily conducting business in Norfolk, Baltimore or Philadelphia and that are not currently permitted in that port may obtain a temporary local permit by contacting the broker management officer at the port. The required fee will be waived. 

Panama FTA Claims May Now be Filed in ACS and ACE

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Nov. 5 that the system changes associated with the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement have been automated in the Automated Commercial System and the Automated Commercial Environment. As a result, claims for duty-free or reduced duty treatment under the Panama FTA may now be filed in ACS and ACE. Click here for information on the requirements associated with such claims. CBP notes that the tariff changes associated with the Panama FTA are scheduled to be posted on Nov. 6 or 7.

Interim Procedures for Considering Short Supply Requests Under Colombia FTA

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements has issued interim procedures for considering requests under the commercial availability (short supply) provision of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Comments on these procedures may be submitted through Dec. 6.

The Colombia FTA provides in Annex 3-B a specific list of fibers, yarns and fabrics determined to not be available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from suppliers in Colombia or the U.S. A textile or apparel good imported into the U.S. containing fibers, yarns or fabrics that are included on this list will be treated as if it is an originating good for purposes of the FTA, regardless of the actual origin of those inputs.

CITA has now issued interim procedures that govern the submission of requests that a specific fabric, yarn or fiber be added to or removed from this list and provide the opportunity for interested entities to submit comments and supporting evidence. These procedures are intended to facilitate the transmission of requests, allow the market to indicate the availability of the products that are the subject of requests, make available promptly information regarding the requests for products and offers received for those products, ensure wide participation by interested entities and parties, allow for careful review and consideration of information provided to substantiate requests and responses, and provide timely public dissemination of information used in making commercial availability determinations. 

AD/CV Notices: Mushrooms, Solar Cells, Hardwood Plywood

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Preserved mushrooms.
Country: India.
Nature of Notice: Preliminary results of administrative review of antidumping duty order for the period Feb. 1, 2011, through Jan. 31, 2012.
Details: Weighted average dumping margin of 114.76% for Agro Dutch Industries Limited.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Nov. 7 open meeting for final vote in antidumping and countervailing injury investigations.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Hardwood plywood.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Nov. 9 open meeting for preliminary vote in antidumping and countervailing injury investigations. 

New Import Restrictions on Protective Cases for Consumer Electronics

The International Trade Commission has imposed new import restrictions on certain protective cases for consumer electronic devices and components thereof after determining that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of these goods are infringing patents owned by Otter Products LLC. Specifically, the ITC is issuing a general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of infringing goods and cease and desist orders prohibiting nine domestic respondents from conducting any of the following activities in the U.S., including via Internet activity: importing, selling, marketing, advertising, distributing, offering for sale, transferring (except for exportation) and soliciting U.S. agents or distributors for the infringing goods. The ITC has also determined to allow imports of infringing goods during the 60-day period the president has to review these remedial measures under bonds in amounts ranging from zero to 331.80%.

Ex-Im Bank Asked to Support Export of Commercial Planes to South Africa

The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is accepting comments through Dec. 3 on an application for final commitment for a long-term loan or financial guarantee in excess of $100 million. This transaction would support the export of Boeing 737 commercial aircraft to South Africa to provide short-haul passenger air service within South Africa and between South Africa and nearby African countries.

Foreign Regulatory Changes Could Affect Exports of Paper Packaging, Drugs

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.

Brazil – draft resolution on paper packaging and equipment intended for cooking or heating (comments due by Dec. 17) 

Brazil – draft technical regulation on pharmaceutical products and processes (comments due by Dec. 24) 

Softwood Lumber Subsidy Programs Subject of Comment Request

The International Trade Administration is inviting public comments by Dec. 6 on any subsidies provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the U.S. during the period Jan. 1 through June 30, 2012. Comments should include the name of the country that provided the subsidy, the name of the subsidy program, a brief (3-4 sentence) description of the subsidy program and the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.

The ITA states that given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the U.S. it is only interested in subsidies provided by countries whose exports accounted for at least 1% of total U.S. imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under HTSUS 4407.10.01. Official U.S. import data published by the International Trade Commission indicates that only exports of softwood lumber from Canada met this criterion during the period at issue.

Application to Register as Importer of U.S. Munitions Import List Articles Under Review

The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is accepting comments through Jan. 7, 2013, on the proposed extension of the form ATF F 4587, Application to Register as an Importer of U.S. Munitions Import List Articles. The purpose of this information collection is to allow ATF to determine if the registrant qualifies to engage in the business of importing a firearm or firearms, ammunition and implements of war and to facilitate the collection of registration fees. 

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