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CBP News: Customs Framework, HTSUS Changes, Import Restrictions

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Customs Framework. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reopened through April 11 the period for public comments on the six key themes identified in its 21st century customs framework initiative: emerging roles in the global supply chain, intelligent enforcement, cutting-edge technology, data access and sharing, 21st century processes, and self-funded customs infrastructure. Click here for more details on these themes.

Among the issues on which CBP is seeking comments are the following.

- how CBP can work with e-commerce platforms and carriers to identify and deter illicit shipments

- how new actors in the global supply chain can work with CBP to improve trade security

- tools or sources of information on CBP’s compliance requirements that are the most useful

- technologies useful in predicting violative activities and an entity’s potential for violations

- emerging technologies most important for CBP to monitor or adopt

- technologies being adopted by the private sector that are incompatible with CBP’s current legal or policy frameworks

- data CBP should share with importers, and vice versa, to improve trade facilitation and enforcement

- specific import procedures or requirements that can be improved or refined

- mechanisms outside congressional appropriations that CBP should explore for consistent and timely funding for Automated Commercial Environment enhancements

HTSUS Changes. The drawback requirements in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act require CBP to be able to identify a standard per unit quantity for imported goods at the HTSUS level. As a result, CBP has been working with the International Trade Commission and the Census Bureau to change units of quantity in the HTSUS that were previously listed as “X” to specific quantities such as kilograms, number, etc.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, all 659 dutiable ten-digit statistical suffixes that previously had a UOQ of “X” had a specific UOQ assigned to them (see attached for full list). On June 3 CBP plans to post to its website a list of the new UOQs for all 862 non-dutiable statistical suffixes with a UOQ of “X,” which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Restrictions on Imports from Honduras. CBP has issued a final rule extending through March 12, 2024, the import restrictions on archaeological and ecclesiastical ethnological material from Honduras. The list of restricted materials includes Pre-Columbian archaeological material dating from approximately 1200 B.C. to approximately 1500 A.D., including objects of ceramic, stone/stucco, metal, shell, bone, sculpture, and painting representing the Maya, Chorti Maya, Lenca, Jicaque,  and Pipil cultures. The list also includes certain categories of ethnological materials used in ecclesiastical contexts in Honduras dating to the Colonial Period (approximately A.D. 1502 to 1821), including sculptures in wood and other materials, objects of metal, and paintings on canvas, wood, or metal supports relating to ecclesiastical themes.

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