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

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP announced a new process that will allow individuals to access business confidential information in Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) administrative proceedings. 
    • The process includes an Administrative Protective Order (APO) application where eligible parties may apply for access in cases where they are subject to the investigation.  
  • CBP hosted a Change of Command Ceremony to formally instate Africa R. Bell as Port Director for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport (LA/LB). Congratulations to Africa!  
  • Counterfeit championship rings worth over $1.3 million seized by Cincinnati CBP. 
  • On June 1, 2024, CBP will retire the link to the Manufacturer ID (MID) tool in the legacy ACE Portal’s References tab. 
  • REMINDER: ACE portal modernization – broker point of contact designation requirements. Brokers must designate brokers must designate a record-keeping point of contact and outside of business hours point of contact.  

Department of Commerce  

  • Commerce is conducting a new shipper review (NSR) of Sudarshan Chemical Industries Limited regarding a CVD order on carbazole violet pigment 23 (CVP-23) from India. Commerce preliminary determined that countervailable subsidies were provided to Sudarshan. 

United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

  • USTR announced the further extension of certain exclusions in the Section 301 Investigation. The exclusions were previously scheduled to expire on May 31, 2024. 
    • Certain exclusions have been extended through May 31, 2025.  To allow for a transition period, the U.S. Trade Representative is extending all of the currently expiring exclusions through June 14, 2024. 
  • USTR announced that the United States, Canada, and Mexico have signed an addendum to USMCA that will enable better coordination and consultation between the USMCA Parties in response to an emergency situation impacting North American trade flows.

Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) 

  • OFAC announced new measures easing restrictions on independent small businesses in Cuba. The measures include four main components: authorized internet-based services and software, re-defining “self-employment,” access to U.S. bank accounts, and U-Turn transactions. 
  • Cyber-related designations update. 

Department of Justice (DoJ) 

  • Ringleader and company insider plead guilty to defrauding biochemical company and diverting products to China using falsified export documents. 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 

  • DHS published a blogEnforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.” The blog reinforced that forced labor prevention is a priority for the agency and said that DHS plans to further scale up efforts to expand the UFLPA Entity List in the coming weeks and months.  
  • DHS and the French Minister Delegate for Public Accounts signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to improve customs cooperation between the U.S. and France. 
  • A citizen of Ukraine plead guilty to a money laundering charge stemming from his role in a scheme to violate U.S. export laws and regulations by attempting to smuggle a dual-use export-controlled item to Russia. 

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) 

  • The Federal Maritime Commission launched an investigation to determine if pending Canadian regulations governing ballast water management systems of ships in the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes trade have a disparate effect on U.S. flagged vessels and constitute a Foreign Shipping Practices violation. 
  • As a result of investigations by the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance (BEIC), FMC has entered into compromise agreements with three different companies resulting in the collection of more than $2.3 million in civil penalty payments, and commitments by each company to reform specific business practices. 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

  • The FDA made new user-friendly updates to the Searchable Tobacco Products Database including improved search capabilities and more accommodations for accessing the database on mobile devices.  
  • The FDA announced that a firm marketing and distributing plastic syringes made in China initiated a recall to stop using affected products.  

Government Accountability Office (GAO) 

  • Following the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, the GAO is expected to immediately commence with a large-scale assessment of airport cargo operations across the U.S. 

Administration 

  • United States Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen urges EU to join US in curbs on cheap Chinese exports. 

Congress 

  • The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled “Examining Trade Enforcement and Entry of Merchandise at U.S. Ports.” Witnesses included the Chamber of Commerce, the National Foreign Trade Council, and the International Longshoreman’s Association. 
  • Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Richard Neal sent a letter to USTR urging the agency to transition its current trade discussions with Kenya into negotiations on a comprehensive trade agreement. 

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