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COVID-19: Update on Trade Agency Operations in Response to Pandemic

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Federal trade regulatory agencies have recently announced the following with regard to their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please contact trade attorney Lenny Feldman at (305) 894-1011.

CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has notified Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism members that processing of the paper annual notification letters via the trade compliance mailbox will be delayed. CBP is encouraging members to begin using the trade compliance portal to complete their profile information and submit their ANLs.

FDA

The Food and Drug Administration provided instructions on entry information for personal protective equipment and other medical devices.

ITA

The International Trade Administration has modified through at least May 19 certain requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information in antidumping and countervailing duty cases to facilitate the effectuation of service through electronic means. However, the ITA will continue to require the normal means of service for requests for administrative review, new shipper review, changed circumstances review, expedited review, scope ruling, and anti-circumvention inquiry.

USDA

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service states that it is continuing to provide all its regular plant and plant product import and export services, including (1) accepting and processing permit applications, (2) inspecting imported plants and plant products, (3) monitoring phytosanitary treatment activities, and (4) inspecting and certifying plants and plant products for export.

In addition, to help facilitate the clearance of imported plants and plant products during the COVID-19 emergency, APHIS and CBP are accepting electronically-produced versions of phytosanitary certificates. Importers and brokers may upload the electronic documents to the Automated Commercial Environment using the Document Imaging System or provide them by other means, such as email attachments. Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include scanned copies of original certificates, electronic certificates created through a participating country’s ePhyto system, or signed paper forms. Certificates should be legible and include APHIS-required statements.

In addition, APHIS will allow precleared consignments to be accompanied by an email from APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine with an electronic copy of PPQ Form 203 attached if the original form is not available.

USTR

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative granted Section 301 tariff exclusions for additional medical and other products from China.

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