Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:
- As the first two weeks of February are one of the busiest periods of the year for agriculture specialists, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at El Paso area ports of entry are busy tapping and shaking cut flower shipments to make sure that personal and commercial importations of Valentine’s Day flowers are free from insects, pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industries of the United States.
- On February 4, 2022, the Census Bureau announced it would continue the current EEI filing requirement for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and continue to publish the U.S. Trade with Puerto Rico and U.S. Possessions (FT-895) Publication Series.
- On January 31, 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Core Health & Fitness LLC agreed to pay the civil penalty of $6.5 million, resolving CPSC’s charges that Core failed to immediately report to CPSC that its Cable Cross Over Machines and Dual Adjustable Pulley Machines contained a defect or created unreasonable risk of injury.
- On February 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice seized a record of more than $4 billion worth of stolen bitcoin. Officials also charged two people on Tuesday with attempting to launder the money which was stolen by a hacker who breached a cryptocurrency platform in 2016 and allegedly made off with nearly 120,000 Bitcoin, then valued at about $71m, but now exceeding $5bn.
- On February 8, 2022, The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued the Ethiopia Sanctions Regulations to implement Executive Order 14046 of September 17, 2021, “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.” OFAC intends to supplement these regulations with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive guidance and definitions, general licenses, and other regulatory provisions.
- On February 8, 2022, OFAC is amended its regulations to implement for 2022 the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. This regulatory amendment adjusts for inflation the maximum amount of the civil monetary penalties that may be assessed under relevant OFAC regulations.
- On February 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan and Miguel Angel Valdez Ruiz pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059 for materially contributing to the illicit activities of major Mexican cartels to traffic cocaine into the United States.
- On February 10, 2022 the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced it was seeking public comments regarding the Section 232 exclusions process and the responsiveness of the exclusions process to market demand and enhanced consultation with U.S. firms and labor organizations.
- Comments are due March 28, 2022.
- On February 7, 2022, United States Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai and United States Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced a new 232 tariff agreement with Japan to allow historically-based sustainable volumes of Japanese steel products to enter the U.S. market without the application of Section 232 tariffs. This deal will help ensure the long-term viability of U.S. steel industry and protect American jobs.
- Since February 7, 2022, Senator Tom Carper and Rob Portman have been leading a group of 41 senators in their call for U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to make more companies eligible for exclusions from tariffs from the Trump era on goods imported from China.
If you have questions about these updates, contact our Customs and International trade law attorneys at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 305-456-3830.
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