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CBP Updates Regulations to Reflect Current Ban on Imports of Gems and Jewelry from Burma

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 23, amends its regulations to update the provisions relating to the prohibition on imports of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing such gems. CBP states that this rule merely removes expired statutory requirements and inserts the new legal authority for the continuing import prohibition.

A law that prohibited imports of both (1) jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing such gems and (2) jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma and articles of jewelry containing such gems expired in July 2013. Executive Order 13651 of August 2013 subsequently reimposed the first prohibition but not the second. EO 13651 also retained the exception to the first prohibition for goods previously exported from the U.S., including those that accompanied an individual outside the U.S. for personal use, provided that they are reimported into the U.S. by the same person who exported them without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by a process or means while outside the U.S. CBP is now amending its regulations to reflect these changes.

CBP advises parties who plan to temporarily export any jadeite or rubies or any article of jewelry containing such gems, whether of Burmese origin or not, to register those articles prior to export through CBP Form 4455 (certificate of registration), CBP Form 4457 (certificate of registration for personal effects taken abroad), or a carnet issued by the U.S. Council for International Business. CBP states that if one of these three documents is not presented at the time of reimportation the importer must present documentary evidence that supports the claim that the subject articles meet the required criteria. Without such documentation, the articles are subject to seizure by CBP.

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