Background

Seafood Imports

The National Marine Fisheries Service has published its final 2020 list of foreign fisheries that export fish and fish products to the U.S. and have been classified as either “export” or “exempt” based on the frequency and likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals. To continue such exports, by Jan. 1, 2022, harvesting nations must apply for and receive for each of the listed fisheries a finding that its regulatory program addressing marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury is comparable in effectiveness to that of the U.S.

The final LOFF comprises 131 nations with 953 exempt and 1,852 export fisheries. Exempt fisheries have no known or a remote likelihood of marine mammal bycatch and must therefore meet only those conditions related to the prohibition of intentional killing or injury of marine mammals to receive a comparability finding. Export fisheries have more than a remote likelihood of marine mammal bycatch or insufficient information available on marine mammal interactions and as a result must also maintain regulatory programs comparable in effectiveness to that of the U.S. for reducing incidental marine mammal bycatch. Commercial fishing operations not specifically identified on the current LOFF as either exempt or export fisheries will be deemed to be export fisheries until a revised LOFF is posted unless the harvesting nation provides sufficient classification information.

Export Licensing for Crime Controlled Items

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 6, revises the licensing policy for items controlled for crime control reasons. BIS states that it will generally consider license applications for such goods favorably, on a case-by-case basis, unless there is civil disorder in the country or region of destination or BIS assesses that there is a risk that the items will be used in a violation or abuse of human rights, including censorship, surveillance, detention, or excessive use of force.

This rule also provides that, except for items controlled for short supply reasons, BIS will consider such human rights concerns when reviewing license applications for items controlled for reasons other than crime control, including reasons related to certain telecommunications and information security and sensors.

For more information, please contact Kristine Pirnia.

Export Controls on Water Cannons

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 6, created new ECCNs 0A977, 0D977, and 0E977 to establish a license requirement for exports and reexports of water cannon systems for riot or crowd control and parts and components specially designed therefor. This requirement applies to most countries worldwide other than NATO member countries and certain other military allies. BIS states that applications for such licenses will generally be considered favorably on a case-by-case basis unless there is civil disorder in the country or region of destination or there is evidence that the government of the importing country may have violated internationally recognized human rights.

For more information, please contact Kristine Pirnia.

Softwood Lumber Subsidies

The International Trade Administration is inviting comments by Nov. 9 on any subsidies provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the U.S. during the period Jan. 1 through June 30, 2020. Comments should include the name of the country that provided the subsidy, the name of the subsidy program, a brief (no more than three to four sentence) description of the subsidy program, and the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.

Given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the U.S., the ITA is only interested in subsidies provided by countries whose exports accounted for at least one percent of total U.S. imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under HTSUS 4407.10.01, 4407.11.00, 4407.12.00, 4407.19.05, 4407.19.06, and 4407.19.10, during this period. Official U.S. import data published by the International Trade Commission indicate that only Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Sweden met this criterion.

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