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December 5 2012 Issue

Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

CPSC to Require Testing of Samples to Ensure Continued Compliance of Children’s Products

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule that will require the testing of representative samples to ensure the continued compliance of children’s products with all applicable safety rules. The CPSC is also establishing a requirement to maintain records associated with this testing for five years. This final rule will be effective as of Feb. 8, 2013, and will apply to products manufactured after that date.

The Consumer Product Safety Act requires manufacturers, including importers, and private labelers of any children’s product that is subject to a children’s product safety rule to submit sufficient samples of the product, or samples that are identical in all material respects to the product, to a third-party conformity assessment body whose accreditation has been accepted by the CPSC to be tested for compliance with the applicable rule. Based on that testing the manufacturer or private labeler must issue a certificate of compliance, called a Children’s Product Certificate. A certifier must issue a separate certificate for each applicable children’s rule or a combined certificate that certifies compliance with all applicable safety rules and specifies each one. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, as amended in 2011, requires the CPSC to ensure the periodic testing of representative samples of a children’s product tested for compliance with a safety rule to ensure continued compliance.

This final rule requires manufacturers (including private labelers and importers of products manufactured by foreign manufacturers) to select representative samples of children’s products to be submitted to a third-party conformity assessment body for periodic testing. The procedure used to select such samples must provide a basis for inferring that if the selected samples comply with the applicable children’s product safety rules then the units not selected will also comply.

The CPSC states that if the importer is the party that issues the Children’s Product Certificate for a product, it is that importer’s responsibility to ensure that periodic testing is performed on the children’s products they import that are subject to an applicable safety rule. Under the component part testing rule, an importer can rely on test reports or certificates from another party as long as it exercises due care.

If an importer relies on certificates for component parts or finished products that are supplied by another party, such as a foreign manufacturer or a supplier, then it is the voluntary certifier of the component part or finished product who is responsible for periodic testing of representative samples for the component parts or finished products they certify, and not the importer. The importer must exercise due care to ensure that applicable testing is completed in an appropriate manner. However, if the importer arranges for periodic testing itself, the importer retains the responsibility for selecting and testing representative samples periodically to ensure continued compliance. Periodic testing, including representative sample selection, may be contracted to another party, and if this is done the other party (e.g., a foreign manufacturer or distributor) must provide the basis that the samples selected for testing are representative. 

Market Access, AGOA, IPR Among Issues in U.S.-Nigeria Talks

The U.S. and Nigeria held Dec. 12 the seventh meeting under their bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which was signed in 2000. According to a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, discussions focused on market access, cooperation in the World Trade Organization, issues affecting the commercial environment, local content restrictions, implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, intellectual property rights, and improving the bilateral investment climate. USTR gave no indication that these discussions resulted in any specific recommendations or decisions.

USTR notes that total U.S.-Nigerian trade was valued at $38.5 billion in 2011, up nearly 12% percent from 2010. U.S. imports from Nigeria were valued at $33.7 billion and consisted almost entirely of crude oil, with non-oil imports led by agricultural products such as cocoa, tobacco, rubber, feeds and grains, and nuts. U.S. exports to Nigeria were up 18.4% in 2011 to $4.8 billion. Nigeria is the world’s largest importer of U.S. wheat, with purchases valued at $1.2 billion, and other major U.S. exports to Nigeria include transportation vehicles and processed petroleum products such as gasoline and kerosene. 

AD/CV Notices: Shelving, Citric Acid, Chicken, Steel, Lemon Juice, Honey

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Kitchen appliance shelving and racks.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Correction to include assessment instructions pertaining to the rescission of the review of the countervailing duty order for six producers/exporters.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Citric acid and certain citrate salts.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of countervailing duty order for the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2010.
Details: Net subsidy rate of 5.27% for reviewed producer/exporter. CV duties based on this rate will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise made during the period of review and CV cash deposits at this rate will be required for shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Dec. 5.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Chicken leg quarters.
Country: United States.
Nature of Notice: First request for NAFTA panel review of final resolution of administrative review of countervailing duty order maintained by Mexico.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Stainless steel sheet and strip in coils.
Country: Mexico.
Nature of Notice: Completion of NAFTA panel review of final antidumping duty determination by the ITA.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Lemon juice.
Country: Argentina and Mexico.
Nature of Notice: Scheduling of full sunset reviews of antidumping duty orders.
Details: Pre-hearing staff report placed on non-public record on April 26, 2013, with public version to be issued thereafter; hearing to be held May 16; requests to appear at hearing due by May 10; pre-hearing briefs due by May 7; post-hearing briefs due by May 28; and final comments due by July 2.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Honey.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Sunset review determination that revocation of this antidumping duty order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the U.S. within a reasonably foreseeable time. As a result, this order will be continued for another five years. 

No IPR Import Restrictions on COQ10 Products

The International Trade Commission has terminated without the imposition of import restrictions patent infringement investigation 337-TA-790 of certain coenzyme Q10 products and methods of making same. The ITC upheld the presiding administrative law judge’s determination that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of these products did not infringe patents owned by complainant Kaneka Corp. of Japan because these products were not shown to be manufactured by processes covered by the asserted patent claims. 

Exports to India, Brazil Supported by Ex-Im Bank Financing

The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. voted Dec. 4 to extend a $1.06 billion direct loan and guarantee a $1.06 billion private sector loan that will support U.S. exports of goods and services that will be used to expand a refinery complex in India. The beneficiary company intends to increase this complex’s petrochemical output by constructing a petcoke gasification unit that will be the largest in the world and significantly enhance the efficiency of the company’s refinery business.

Ex-Im also announced Dec. 3 that it will guarantee financing to support the export of U.S.-made helicopters to Brazil, where they will be used for transportation to and from deep-water drilling rigs operated off the Brazilian coast. 

Ex-Im Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Committee to Meet Dec. 17

The Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States will hold an open special meeting Dec. 17 in Washington, D.C. This committee advises the Bank on the development and implementation of policies and programs designed to support the expansion of the Bank’s financial commitments in Sub-Saharan Africa under its loan, guarantee and insurance programs. It also makes recommendations on how the Bank can facilitate greater support by U.S. commercial banks for trade with Sub-Saharan Africa. The Dec. 17 meeting will include a presentation on recent developments in regional markets, an updated on the Bank’s ongoing business development initiatives in the region, and a discussion of current challenges and opportunities for U.S. exporters.

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 Dec. 17.

Gulf/South America Discussion Agreement – The amendment removes BBC Chartering & Logistic GMBH & Co. KG as a party to the agreement.

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