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

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP warns of an increase in impersonation scams. Bad actors are posing as CBP employees and demanding payment or sensitive information. 
    • The agency advises that if you receive one of these calls, hang up and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.  
  • CBP said that it was recently notified of a Linux security vulnerability that potentially affects the trade community. 
    • CBP recommends the immediate roll back to an earlier, unaffected version.  
  • Updated fact sheets issued at the 2024 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit: 
  • CBP announced in a federal register notice  that the export certification requirement for imports of steel products of the Republic of Korea that are subject to an absolute quota will be collected through the Electronic Certification System (eCERT).  
    • As a result, all imports of steel of the Republic of Korea that are subject to an absolute quota must have a valid export certificate with a corresponding eCERT transmission at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption. 
  • CBP issued guidance on unanticipated cargo diversions (due to the Port of Baltimore emergency):  
    • The port of entry cannot be changed if an entry has been accepted by CBP. The initial entry summary must be canceled by CBP, and the broker will need to file a new entry at the newly designated port where the diverted shipment will be delivered. 
    • Brokers and Importers will need to upload a letter to DIS that states the new entry is a duplicate due to unanticipated cargo diversion.  
  • CBP issued a Withhold Release Order on Shanghai select safety products and its subsidiaries. 
  • CBP issued an Entry Type 86 fact sheet providing guidance on who may make entries, requirements for brokers, and more. 
  • Reminder: CBP is migrating some functionality for periodic monthly statements (PMS) from the legacy ACE Portal to the modernized ACE Portal.  After April 13, users will no longer have access to PMS-related functionality or the VECS launch button in the legacy ACE Portal. 

Department of Commerce (DOC) 

  • Commerce released new AD/CVD regulations. The new rules: 
    • Authorize the agency to investigate subsidies provided by third-country governments to manufacturers in the country under investigation 
    • Clarify what constitutes a particular market situation (PMS) 
    • Changes how the agency will calculate surrogate and benchmark value in countries with weak enforcement of IP rights, labor laws, and environmental protection. 
  • AD/CVD preliminary determination: Commerce preliminarily determined that countervailable subsidies were provided to producers and/or exporters of certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (OTR tires) from India, during the period of review (POR) January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. 
  • The sixth ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (“TTC”) took place in Leuven, Belgium, on 4 and 5 April 2024. Attendees including It European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai. 

Bureau of Industry and Security 

  • Four Chinese companies added to the entity list for seeking to acquire AI chips for China’s military. 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 

  • DHS and CBP outlined an enhanced strategy to combat illicit trade and level the playing field for the American textile industry. The plan focuses on: 
    • Cracking down on small package shipments  
    • Conducting joint CBP-HSI trade special operations to ensure cargo compliance.  
    • Better assessing risk by expanding customs audits and increasing foreign verifications.  
    • Building stakeholder awareness 
    • Leveraging industry partnerships to improve facilitation for legitimate trade 
    • Expanding the UFLPA Entity List  

Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) 

  • Specially designated nationals update. 

United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

  • USTR released a fact sheet outlining the Administration’s success in securing access to foreign markets for U.S. agriculture. 

World Trade Organization (WTO) 

  • WTO released its Global Trade Outlook and Statistics publication.  
  • The report predicts that global trade is expected to pick up gradually in 2024. However, regional conflicts, geopolitical tensions and economic policy uncertainty pose substantial risks to the forecast.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

  • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) launched a new, redesigned website to keep pace with evolving technology and better meet the needs of stakeholders. New features include:  
    • Simplified navigation 
    • Mobile-friendly and enhanced accessibility 
    • Streamlined and relevant content 
    • Bolstered search ability  

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) 

  • The Office of Enforcement of the Federal Maritime Commission is calling for a $63.3 million civil penalty against MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company due to its alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984.  
    • The agency issued a report concluding that MSC knowingly and willfully employed unreasonable and unfair practices that did not promote economic ocean commerce. 
  • FMC issued an industry advisory reminding regulated entities that all statutes administered by the Federal Maritime Commission remain in effect following the Baltimore bridge collapse. 

Department of Justice (DoJ) 

  • Two Russian nationals plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) in connection with a scheme to acquire and unlawfully export controlled aviation technology to Russia. 
  • The DOJ announced the publication of Firearm Trafficking Investigations, a four-part, comprehensive examination of commerce in firearms and the diversion of firearms to illegal markets. 

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