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Enforcement of Energy or Water Conservation Standards Eased for Late Arriving Imports

Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy announced Feb. 27 an enforcement policy designed to ease imports of certain goods that have been delayed by the congestion at West Coast ports.  

According to the DOE, covered products and equipment subject to energy or water conservation standards must meet the standards that are effective on the date such products and equipment enter the U.S. New standards for several types of covered products and equipment will become effective in March. DOE has heard from multiple importers who state that they shipped goods affected by the new standards with a reasonable expectation of arrival in the U.S. before the compliance date but that they are now concerned that these goods will not clear customs prior to the compliance date due to the delays caused by West Coast port closures, resulting in the importation of products that do not meet the applicable standard at the time of importation.

In response, the DOE states that it will not seek civil penalties for units of covered products or equipment that do not comply with the March 2015 standards but were imported after the compliance date for those standards provided that the importer provides documentation establishing the following no later than July 1.

- the type of product and number of affected units imported

- the estimated date of arrival in the U.S. at the time of shipping was prior to the compliance date for the new standards

- the date(s) the units were shipped and the planned port of entry

- the date(s) the units entered the U.S.

- the certified basic model number(s) and individual model number(s) of the affected units

- the Compliance Certification Management System number(s) for the most recent certification of compliance for each basic model

Submitted documentation must include a copy of the importer security filing or other filing (e.g., manifest filings through AMS) made with U.S. Customs and Border Protection documenting that the product was expected in the U.S. prior to the compliance date for the new standards. The documentation also must include the CBP entry record(s). The DOE may accept alternative forms of documentation to establish the required information, but the information must be independently verifiable and provide comparable indicia of reliability. The department retains the right to reject claims that cannot be verified.

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