Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report
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The Pacific Alliance, a group formally established in 2012 in an effort to deepen regional trade and economic cooperation, was expected to sign May 23 an agreement to eliminate tariffs on 90% of the goods traded among member countries. Duties on the remaining 10% would be phased out over the next ten years.
This rule is effective as of May 23 and applies to covered muscle cut commodities produced or packaged on or after that date, although the AMS plans to focus on industry education and outreach for the first six months.
A U.S. district court judge has granted a request by the Food and Drug Administration for more time to develop a timeframe for promulgating a number of regulatory changes required by the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., will convene a hearing to evaluate a customs reauthorization bill he and committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced on March 22, while House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes will conduct the first of several closed-door trade roundtables to discuss trade in services.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued May 21 a message clarifying that an April 5 policy change concerning waivers of the prior notice requirement for unused merchandise drawback applies to both retroactive and prospective waivers.
The signing took place May 21 during a visit of President Thein Sein and other senior Burmese officials to Washington, D.C., and comes just three weeks after the prospect of a TIFA was first mentioned.
European Union members sent 2,278 notifications of potentially dangerous consumer products through the EU’s RAPEX rapid alert system in 2012, a 26% increase that the European Commission states “could be attributed to the improved enforcement work carried out by the authorities in EU countries.”
Press reports indicate that more than 300 apparel factories on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, were recently forced to shut their doors for an indefinite period of time due to continued worker unrest following the disastrous collapse of a nine-story building that killed a total of 1,127 workers, making it the deadliest industrial accident on record since the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India.
The U.S. and Turkey agreed May 16 to establish a high-level committee that will examine ways to deepen bilateral economic relations and liberalize trade, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to be negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union is expected to feature prominently in the new committee's discussions.
An ICC press release notes that while FTZs are designed to increase trade and attract investment by removing or reducing duties and tariffs, easing customs controls and reducing government oversight, these same incentives have simultaneously made it easier for criminals to set up illicit operations.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation released this week a paper calling for the suspension of India’s eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences due to inadequate protection of intellectual property rights.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released May 15 a fact sheet claiming that one year after it took effect the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement is “making good on its promise of supporting more American jobs, increasing U.S. exports for manufacturers, farmers and ranchers, and enhancing U.S. competitiveness.”
CBP officials speaking in various contexts have recently provided the following updated information on the specifics the agency is considering with respect to a continuing education requirement for customs brokers as it prepares a proposed rule.
The Food and Drug Administration has published two new documents to provide the import trade community with the most current affirmation of compliance codes available for use with FDA-regulated products.
A coalition of business groups is urging President Obama to conclude by the end of 2013 efforts under the Export Control Reform Initiative to update the U.S. Munitions List and the Commerce Control List.
In its second annual G-20 Business Scorecard, the International Chamber of Commerce rates as “poor” efforts by G-20 member nations over the past year to implement business community recommendations on trade and investment.
These machines rapidly manufacture complex, solid three-dimensional objects using as raw materials particles of metal or plastic.
The first-ever joint meetings of three agreements that regulate chemicals and hazardous waste at a global level yielded several measures that will affect international trade in these substances.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has proposed significant changes to its regulations on the certificates of compliance required to be submitted for imported and domestically-made consumer products. There are a number of issues left unresolved by this proposal and interested parties have until July 29 to submit questions and comments.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asked the ITC to identify any changes from its previous advice on the effect of providing duty-free treatment to goods imported from the other TPP participants (which remains classified).
The actions at issue include processing protection and indemnity insurance claims and issuing letters of undertaking/guarantee as well as letters of indemnity as security or countersecurity for an LOU.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is modifying its ongoing reconciliation prototype test to include the filing of post-importation preferential tariff claims under the U.S. free trade agreements with Oman, Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea. This change will be effective for claims filed on or after Aug. 12.
The European Commission adopted May 6 a proposed package of measures aimed at strengthening the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. The European Parliament and the European Council will consider this package and make recommendations, and the Commission estimates that the new rules could take effect in 2016.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has determined the approach it will mostly likely take over the next five to seven years to enhance its response to emergent border security threats along the U.S.-Canada border while advancing trade and travel facilitation.
The U.S. and South Korea recently marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of their bilateral free trade agreement, but views on the economic effects of the pact are mixed.
The Court of International Trade issued recently two decisions concluding that certain women’s outerwear garments with built-in shelf bras are classified as other knit garments instead of as tank tops or bras.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has provisionally accepted an agreement under which a California company will pay a civil penalty of $987,500 and take other actions to settle charges that it imported defective wooden hammock stands.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is again providing an opportunity for comments on the issues raised in a World Trade Organization dispute against Indonesia’s non-automatic import licensing regime for horticultural products, animals and animal products.