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CBP to Refuse Entry to Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment on Energy Issues

Friday, July 05, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule providing that, effective Aug. 5, admission into the U.S. customs territory will be refused to imports of consumer products and industrial equipment found to be noncompliant with energy conservation and labeling standards pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and its implementing regulations.

Upon written or electronic notice from the Department of Energy or the Federal Trade Commission, CBP may conditionally release such noncompliant products or equipment under bond to the importer for purposes of reconditioning, relabeling or other action to bring the product or equipment into compliance. This 30-day conditional release period may be extended if CBP receives a written or electronic recommendation from the DOE or the FTC stating the reason and anticipated length of the extension.

However, if the DOE or the FTC notifies CBP in writing or electronically that noncompliant covered imports have not timely been brought into compliance, CBP will issue a refusal of admission notice to the importer and demand the redelivery of the specified imports to CBP custody. This demand may be made concurrently with the notice of refusal of admission. A failure to comply with a demand for redelivery will result in the assessment of liquidated damages equal to three times the value of the covered product.

This final rule clarifies that CBP may make a finding on its own that a covered product or equipment is noncompliant without having received a prior written noncompliance notice from the DOE or the FTC. In these situations, CBP will confer with the DOE or the FTC, as applicable, as to the disposition of the product or equipment.

CBP is also clarifying that this rule only applies to products and equipment for which an entry for consumption has been filed, including products and equipment withdrawn from warehouse for consumption or foreign merchandise entered for consumption from a foreign-trade zone.

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