Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade news:      

 Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • Commercial Customs Advisory Committee held its final public meeting of 2023.
    • The Committee unanimously passed 12 recommendations on items like export modernization, rapid response and North American trade. 
  • Cincinnati CBP seized $6.9 million in counterfeit high-end jewelry 
    • A total of 11 shipments were discovered and determined to be counterfeit and were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks.  
  • CBP officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge seized over $100,000 in unreported currency hidden within passengers of a vehicle during an inbound examination. 
  • Reminder: the submission period for the 2024 Customs Broker Triennial Status Report (TSR) and associated $100 filing fee for all licensed customs brokers opened December 18, 2023. The TSR and $100 fee is due by February 29, 2024. 
  • On January 16, 2024, CBP will nationally implement cargo messaging to communicate with the filer on entry summaries that are potentially noncompliant for antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) while the entry summaries are in trade control.  
  • CBP announced that it has changed the date for its next semi-annual examination for individual customs broker licenses to May 1. 
  • On Jan. 27, CBP will deploy the automation of Form 6051D for detentions of cargo filed in ACE, including Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) detentions in ACE. 

 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

  • The FDA announced the launch of its Cosmetics Direct electronic submission portal for registration and listing of cosmetic product facilities and products, mandated by the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA). 
  • The FDA issued final guidance for industry on cosmetic product facility registrations and product listings, as mandated by MoCRA. 
    • The guidance assists stakeholders with cosmetic product facility registration and product listing submissions by describing who is responsible for making the registration and listing submissions, what information to include, how to submit, when to submit, and certain exemptions to the registration and listing requirements. 
  • The FDA issued draft guidance to clarify how the agency evaluates real-world data (RWD) to determine whether they are of sufficient quality for generating real-world evidence (RWE) that can be used in FDA regulatory decision-making for medical devices.  
    • This draft guidance also proposes expanded recommendations to the 2017 guidance. The 2017 final guidance remains in effect until this draft guidance is finalized. 

 U.S. Department of Agriculture 

  • New tariffs for organic produce – the National Organics Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided this Searchable HTS Code update that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. It includes many new organic codes with numerous changes to cucumbers and tomatoes, in particular. 

 Department of Justice 

  • The Justice Department unsealed an indictment charging an Iranian national with unlawfully procuring microelectronics used in unmanned aerial vehicles on behalf of the Iranian government. 
    • Concurrent with this unsealing, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the defendant, as well as multiple other individuals and entities involved in the procurement network. 

 Department of Commerce 

  • Final results of the sunset review of the antidumping duty order on citric acid and certain citrate salts from Belgium: Commerce found that revocation of the AD order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. 
  • Final results of antidumping duty administrative review: oil country tubular goods from Ukraine. Commerce determines that the goods were sold at prices below normal value during the period of review (POR) July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. 

 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 

  • FTC extends public comment period on proposed rule prohibiting junk fees for 30 days, until February 7, 2024. 

 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 

  • The CPSC’s Office of Import Surveillance released an update on its implementation of electronic filing of certificates of compliance via their December newsletter.  
    • The agency is continuing to collect data from the 30 importers participating in the eFiling beta pilot. They expect an eFiling rulemaking to be finalized by the end of 2024 with full implementation in 2025. 

 U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) 

  • The USITC voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic eyewear products and components thereof.  The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Ingeniospec of San Jose, CA, alleging violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic eyewear products and components thereof that infringe patents. 

 United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

  • USTR today released its 2023 Report on the Implementation and Enforcement of Russia’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Commitments. 
    • As noted in past reports, Russia continues to move away from the guiding principles of the WTO – national treatment, freer trade, predictability, transparency and fair competition. 
  • USTR released the Fifteenth Biennial Report on the Operation of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA). The report is statutorily mandated by Congress and describes the main features of the program, analyzes trade trends, and outlines each country’s performance with respect to the CBERA program’s eligibility criteria. Report highlights:  
    • U.S. imports under the CBI tariff preferences increased to $1.9 billion in 2022, from $1.4 billion in 2021 and $1.2 billion in 2020.  
    • The value of total U.S. exports to CBI countries amounted to $18.4 billion, a 43.6 percent increase from the previous year.  

 U.S. Department of Treasury 

  • Reminder: Starting January 1, 2024, many companies will be required to report information to the U.S. government about who ultimately owns and controls them. 
    • The new reporting is required under the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) and requires companies” to file certain beneficial ownership-related information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a division of the US. Treasury. 

 Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)  

  • OFAC continues to tighten enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil with new sanctions and updated guidance.  
    • OFAC is designating a Government of Russia-owned ship manager as well as several obscure oil traders who have emerged as frequent participants in the seaborne transportation of Russian-origin oil following the imposition of the price cap.  
    • OFAC has also, in coordination with the Price Cap Coalition, updated the Guidance on Implementation of the Price Cap Policy for Crude Oil and Petroleum Products of Russian Federation Origin. 
  • OFAC imposed sanctions on 10 entities and four individuals based in Iran, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia supporting Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) production.  
    • This network has facilitated the procurement of U.S.- and foreign-origin components worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (IRGC ASF SSJO) and its UAV program. 

 Congress 

  • Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for additional investigation into the violence targeting groups protesting the human rights abuses by the People’s Republic of China during the APEC Leaders’ Summit in San Francisco.  

 Industry News 

  • Global ocean carriers continue to announce they will stop all vessels bound for the Suez Canal via the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait due to heightened security concerns and for the safety of crew members.  
    • CMA CGA, Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and Zim have announced the pause. Collectively, these carriers account for 70% of Suez Canal-bound capacity. 
  • Mickey Mouse enters the public domain in January – the 1928 short “Steamboat Willie,” featuring both Mickey and Minnie Mouse, becomes available for public use on January 1, 2024. 

 Local News 

  • CMA CGM to launch CEIBA EXPRESS, a weekly direct service connecting Florida with Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras & Guatemala. Main features: 
    • Rotation: Port Everglades – Kingston – La Guaira – Puerto Cabello – Cartagena – Puerto Cortes – Santo Tomas – Port Everglades
    • First voyage with m/v “HANSA SALZBURG” from Port Everglades on January 14th, 2024 and January 30th, 2024 from Puerto Cortes 

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