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The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Feb. 4 an enforcement action that it says highlights the need for U.S. companies, particularly large, sophisticated entities dealing primarily in international transactions, to ensure that their employees are properly trained on OFAC regulations, especially managers who oversee sales to regions that pose a particularly high risk for violations of the sanctions programs administered by OFAC.
This proposed rule represents the first phase of a risk-based traceability program that tracks fish and fish products identified as being at risk of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud, and it would implement a statutory prohibition against importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring or purchasing in interstate or foreign commerce any fish taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation or any treaty or binding conservation measure to which the U.S. is a party.
The U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries were set to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Feb. 4 and a senior U.S. official has laid out a strategy for seeking congressional approval of the agreement.
A verified container weight will be a condition for loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export, and the vessel operator and the terminal operator will be prohibited from loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export if it does not have a verified container weight.
The total includes $7.8 million in criminal fines, $969,175 in criminal forfeiture and more than $1.23 million in community service payments. The company has also agreed to a five-year term of organizational probation, mandatory implementation of a government-approved environmental compliance plan and independent audits, and a related civil forfeiture of more than $3.15 million.
U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman reiterated at a Jan. 28 hearing that the U.S. is interested in expanding its trade relations with Africa beyond unilateral preferences. A USTR report examining the options for doing so is expected this summer.
The HSC is slated to consider a number of issues at its upcoming meeting, including the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, the status of and challenges associated with the implementation of the 2017 edition of the HS, progress in member state implementation of the 2012 edition of the HS, and the idea of inserting subheadings in national statistical nomenclatures to facilitate the monitoring of trade in goods required for the production and use of improvised explosive devices.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership will increase U.S. annual real incomes by $131 billion, or 0.5 percent of GDP, and annual exports by $357 billion, or 9.1 percent of exports, over baseline projections by the time it is nearly fully implemented in 2030, according to estimates in a recent working paper issued by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Two federal agencies are taking action to further ease U.S. sanctions against Cuba related to non-agricultural export trade financing, travel and related services, and permitted exports and reexports.
Applications to take this exam must be submitted here by March 3 and must be accompanied by the required $200 fee.
A vision statement finalized by the group describes a North American Single Window through which importers, exporters and relevant supply chain parties would be able to provide all import and export information required by the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. customs services and associated departments or government agencies responsible for establishing border-related decisions and regulating goods crossing the borders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently provided an update on its three pilot tests evaluating the functionality of filing air, vessel and rail cargo export manifest data electronically to the Automated Commercial Environment. A similar test for truck export manifest data is under development. These pilots are expected to ultimately result in regulatory changes making the submission of export manifest data through ACE mandatory.
The trade community and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are actively discussing additional roles that CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise could assume.
The U.S. trade embargo against Iran remains in place and U.S. persons and entities are still prohibited from virtually all dealings with Iranian entities.