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Best PracticesCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportImportImport AlertInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeU.S.Customs

Due to Pandemic, BIS Providing Six-Month Export License Extensions

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 24, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

BIS’ Announcement

Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security (“BIS”) announced that it is providing six-month extensions for export license applications due to economic difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this announcement, BIS is permitting exporters to request six-month validity period extensions for licenses due to expire on or before December 31, 2020. BIS accepts all submission requests in one central electronic mailbox: LicenseExtensionRequest@bis.doc.gov. When a party submits a license extension request, BIS will review the original license and (in most cases), extend the validity of the license by six months. BIS estimates that the majority of extension validity requests will be processed and approved within two to three business days. Acting Under Secretary for Industry and Security Corden Hull said, “The streamlined process will help ensure that exporters with licenses due to expire on or before the end of 2020, who may not have been able to ship orders due to resource constraints during the pandemic, have the opportunity to benefit fully from the authorizations granted on their licenses.”

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Best PracticesBureau of Household Goods and ServicesCustoms ExpertEnforcementImportInternational BusinessInternational TradeReasonable CareSeizuresSupply ChainU.S.Customs

HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND SERVICES PROVIDERS – WHAT YOU MUST KNOW.

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 10, 2020 0 comments

 

In the household goods and services industry? Did you know you have to import your goods and services in compliance with the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) regulations? Manufacturers or wholesalers of any article of upholstered furniture bedding, or filling material manufactured outside of the United States for the purpose of sale or resale in California, whether it be through employees or agents, fall within this category.

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Best PracticesCustoms ExpertDHSEnforcementExportImportImport AlertInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeOECDTrade WarU.S.Customs

President Calls for Greater Enforcement Against Counterfeit Imports

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 5, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

What Happened

On October 13, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum on stopping counterfeit trafficking on e-commerce platforms. The memorandum called for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to “impose the maximum fines and civil penalties permitted by law on any e-commerce platform that directs, assists with, or is in any way concerned in the importation into the United States of counterfeit goods.” Furthermore, the memorandum also called for:

  • CBP to continue seizing counterfeit goods imported into the United States in connection with e-commerce transactions
  • Congress to pass laws that clarify and strengthen the president’s authority and increase its resources to address e-commerce-linked counterfeit trafficking
  • The U.S. Attorney General to develop a legislative proposal to promote the policy objectives of the memorandum within 120 of its publication

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Best PracticesCaribbean Basin InitiativeCBICBPCustoms ExpertFreight ForwardingInternational BusinessInternational TradeReasonable CareSupply Chain

INVESTING IN THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY? – WHY HAITI.

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 2, 2020 0 comments

Despite Haiti’s challenging socio-economic, as well as political climate, Haiti remains one of the most open economies of the Caribbean seeking foreign direct investment (FDI). Haiti’s legislation encourages such FDI with the assurance that the same rights, privileges, and equal protection are provided to local and foreign companies. The current president of Haiti established and announced “Seven Priority Axes” for the development of Haiti. One of which is in the electricity (e.g., Hydro, Solar, Natural Gas and, of course, Petroleum) sector.

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Best PracticesBISChinaChina Trade WarCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportImportImport AlertInternational LawInternational TradeInternational TravelTrade WarU.S.Customs

BIS Expands Export Restrictions Targeting China’s Largest Chipmaker

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 27, 2020 1 Comment

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (“BIS”) informed some U.S. semiconductor manufacturers via a confidential letter that they would require export licenses before exporting certain products to China’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (“SMIC”). Although the letter is not available for public view, a September 28, 2020 Wall Street Journal article that broke the story said that the Commerce Department was concerned about high risks of diversion to a military end use. This additional export license requirement is part of a broader pattern of increased export restrictions, particularly to China.

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Best PracticesCMA GCMCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportIMOImportImport AlertInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeTrade WarU.S.Customs

Maritime Industry Rocked by Cyber Attacks

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 20, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

The maritime industry has been rocked by a string of cyber-attacks in recent weeks. Two of the most severe incidents involved the United Nation’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”), and the French shipping company CMA GCM S.A. (“CMA GCM”). These attacks remind the shipping industry about the dangers of such attacks and the importance of cybersecurity compliance. From a trade and customs perspective, such incidents trigger post incident analysis and other measures as part of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s (“CBP”) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Minimum Security Criteria. We will discuss two of the most severe cyber-attack incidents in recent weeks below and then discuss the trade and customs implications of such attacks.

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Best PracticesBrazilCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportGDPImport AlertInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeTrade WarU.S.CustomsUSTR

The U.S.-Brazil Trade Agreement is Imminent

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 15, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

On October 5, 2020, Brazil’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and International Affairs, Yana Dumaresq, stated during an Atlantic Council online panel discussion that a U.S.-Brazil trade agreement that covers trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and anti-corruption is in legal scrub and the text should be finalized by mid-October. “We hope to have them signed this month,” Dumaresq said. The U.S. Commerce Department’s lead negotiator on this agreement, Joseph Semsar, said that “this is a unique opportunity to get things done that seemed unattainable.” These latest developments are a result of months of negotiations between the two major economies. Trade facilitation Back in April 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) released a statement describing meetings between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump and ambitious plans to strengthen trade and economies ties.

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Best PracticesCBPChinaDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of StateEnforcementExportForced LaborICEImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeInvestigationLabor RightsNAFTAReasonable CareSeizuresSupply ChainU.S.CustomsUSMCAUSTR

Using WROs to Fight Forced Labor

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 13, 2020 0 comments

Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 Billion. Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, etc.

Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working to curb this inhumane practice.

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Best PracticesCBICBTPACustoms ExpertEnforcementFTAInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeU.S.Customs

The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act Expired October 1 – What You Need to Know

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 8, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (“CBTPA”) is an Act of U.S. legislation which expired on October 1, 2020. The CBTPA sought to strengthen Caribbean basin economies by extending preferential trade and tariff treatment and increase U.S. export opportunities in those countries. Upon the expiration of the CBTPA at midnight on October 1, 2020, importers may not file otherwise CBTPA-eligible without the payment of duties and other fees set at normal trade relation duty rates.

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Best PracticesCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportGATSHTSImportInternational BusinessInternational LawTrade WarU.S.Customs

An Introduction to U.S. Trade Databases

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 25, 2020 1 Comment

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Introduction

There are many factors that U.S. exporters and importers should be conscious of in their operations – including trade and customs laws, foreign market opportunities, changes in commodity prices, and currency fluctuations – just to name a few. However, one vital consideration that exporters and importers alike often overlook is trade flows. A firm’s ability to analyze and keep a pulse on trade data pertaining to that company’s product category can provide that exporter or importer with a clear vision of what’s actually happening. This perspective can empower a firm to optimize its operations and gain an edge against competitors. For example, U.S. importers who regularly track and analyze trade data can gain an understanding of how tariff and non-tariff barriers affect imports. Similarly, U.S. exporters can track and analyze trade data to glean vital intelligence about opportunities in foreign markets. In doing so, U.S. exporters can gain an understanding of which markets their U.S. competitors are selling to and which countries demand is quickly increasing. Analyzing trade data is the first step to developing a sound import or export market strategy. However, doing so once is not enough. Importers and exporters should have a regular practice of tracking trade flow developments and restructuring operations based on what the data reveals. Such a nimble posture can truly empower businesses trading internationally.

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