Export Controls & Cybersecurity

Introduction

In order to protect U.S. national security interests and promote foreign policy objectives, various U.S. agencies collectively administer and enforce U.S. export control laws and participate in various multilateral export control regimes to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and prevent destabilizing accumulations of conventional weapons and related materials. To that end, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) governs the export and reexport of commodities, software, and technology falling under the jurisdiction of Export Administration Regulations. BIS promotes continued U.S. strategic technology leadership and is responsible for enforcing the regulation of export, reexport, and transfer of items with commercial uses that can also have a dual use, and be used in conventional arms, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist activities, or human rights abuses, and less sensitive military items, which bleeds into cybersecurity as well.

Cybersecurity has recently become an essential aspect in export controls and on October 21, 2021, BIS published its Interim Final Rule (this rule is effective January 19, 2022), which summary states:

SUMMARY: This interim final rule outlines the progress the United States has made in export controls pertaining to cybersecurity items, revised Commerce Control List (CCL) implementation, and requests from the public information about the impact of these revised controls on U.S. industry and the cybersecurity community. Specifically, this rule establishes a new control on these items for National Security (NS) and Anti-terrorism (AT) reasons, along with a new License Exception Authorized Cybersecurity Exports (ACE) that authorizes exports of […]

By |2022-02-15T13:12:15-05:00February 15, 2022|ACE, EAR, Enforcement, Export, International Trade, U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)|Comments Off on Export Controls & Cybersecurity

Importing into Puerto Rico? Don’t Forget about Paying Use Tax

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, although uniquely situated as a part of the customs territory of the United States it simultaneously operates its own internal tax system for importations into Puerto Rico. This means importations of goods into Puerto Rico must meet all import requirements that any importation into the United States must meet. For example, importations are subject to duties, taxes, and fees imposed by CBP, and importations must meet the health, safety, and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of a wide range of federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, etc.

Meanwhile, importations into Puerto Rico are additionally subject to the territory’s own entry tax administered by the Departmento de Hacienda (“Hacienda”), a Puerto Rican governmental agency that serves the function of a territory treasury department. Puerto Rico’s unique entry tax is a component of a two-pronged tax system for goods, known as the Impuesto sobre Ventas y Uso (“IVU”) (in English, “Sales and Use Tax”). As the name suggests, the IVU is comprised of (1) sales tax, and (2) a use tax.

The sales tax functions similar to sales taxes elsewhere in the United States. In Puerto Rico, the Hacienda requires that sales taxes on goods and services be collected by goods and services providers and paid to the Hacienda on a monthly basis. On the other hand, the use tax is the amount that a party must pay when introducing an item to […]

By |2022-01-28T15:32:48-05:00February 1, 2022|AD/CVD, Best Practices, Enforcement, Import, International Trade, Pre-compliance, Reasonable Care, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on Importing into Puerto Rico? Don’t Forget about Paying Use Tax

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

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

CBP 

  • In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP at the LA/Long Beach Seaport seized More Than $760 Million in Counterfeit and Prohibited Products, a 652% increase over the previous year.
  • CBP issues guidance regarding the extension of product exclusions from additional Section 301 China duties on certain medical-care products to address COVID-19.
  • With changes to the HTSUS classification systems possibly coming as early as January 1, 2021, U.S. importers should review their classifications and ensure compliance with U.S. regulations

BIS

China

9801.00.10: Updated Requirements for Returned Goods

Background on HTSUS Subheading 9801.00.10

Ever hear of U.S. goods returned and wondered what it really meant? The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheading 9801.00.10 is used for re-importing U.S. made products back into the United States, duty-free. Previously, this classification only covered merchandise originally made in the United States and now reentering the country (hence “US Goods Returned”). In order to qualify for classification under subheading 9801.00.10 and duty-free treatment, these products entering the United States had to be unimproved in condition or value. In other words, the products had to not be subject to further processing abroad. For example, subheading 9801.00.10 may be used when goods are being re-imported as returned product to the seller or for repair. Under subheading 9801.00.10, the importer has the burden to prove their claim for duty-free treatment.

CBP Issues Updated Guidance

On August 20, 2021, subheading 9801.00.10 was expanded to include products which originated from foreign countries. HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 now states: “Products of the United States when returned after having been exported, or any other products when returned within 3 years after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad.” In other words, non-U.S. origin products that are returned to the United States will ALSO qualify for duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10. However, the timing requirements for U.S.-origin and foreign-origin products are different. U.S.-origin products currently have no time limit to file […]

By |2021-11-09T12:23:27-05:00November 23, 2021|ACE, Best Practices, Customs Broker, Customs Expert, Enforcement, Import, International Trade, Pre-compliance, Reasonable Care, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on 9801.00.10: Updated Requirements for Returned Goods

Customs Classification – A Key Component of an Import Compliance Manual

We are often asked by importers to assist in classifying their products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (“HTS” or “HTSUS”). While seeking assistance from expert counsel is a best practice, under the CBP Modernization Act, an importer of record (“IOR”) is the sole party responsible for determining the correct classification of imported goods (and thereby paying the correct amount of customs duties). An IOR must use reasonable care in classifying its product at the time of entry. Should an importer misclassify their products and not pay the appropriate duties to CBP at the time of importation; the importer is exposing itself to potential CBP penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1592.  The process of classifying goods can be a tedious process and may require time and research to arrive at the correct HTSUS number for any one product.

This blog expands our prior blog, Crash Course in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and provides additional detail on the classification process and tips for importers to use when deciding on a classification its customs broker will declare to CBP.  Importers are encouraged to attend the webinar How to Build and Maintain an Effective Import Compliance Plan on October 6, 2021 (and on-demand) for best practices on how to build and maintain an import compliance plan by addressing common risks associated with the import process – including product classification.

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By |2021-10-01T09:48:07-04:00October 4, 2021|Best Practices, Enforcement, HTS, Import, Pre-compliance, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on Customs Classification – A Key Component of an Import Compliance Manual

How to Build and Maintain an Effective Import Compliance Plan

CBP enforcement is on the rise.  If your business is importing into the U.S., or wants to start, our one-hour, NEI accredited, webinar on “Building & Maintaining an Effective Import Compliance Plan”  will provide best practices and TOP tips to build an import compliance plan.

Register today to to hear directly from Senior Trade Advisor, Don Woods, DTL’s president, Jennifer Diaz, and Associate Attorney, Denise Calle as they discuss real life stories, current trends/risks associated with the import process, proactive ways to stay compliant, and the importance of training to avoid costly encounters with CBP. […]

Keysight Technologies Pays $6.6M to State Department for Export Violations

The U.S. Department of State and the California-based company Keysight Technologies Inc. have reached a settlement of $6.6 million for violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C. § 2751 et seq., and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130.  This settlement comes after a compliance review by the Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (DDTC) in the Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for exporting unauthorized software used for testing radar equipment (on fixed or mobile platforms) to countries including Russia and China.

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By |2021-10-07T14:34:25-04:00September 17, 2021|Customs Expert, Enforcement, Export, International Trade, ITAR|Comments Off on Keysight Technologies Pays $6.6M to State Department for Export Violations

Customs Valuation 101

What is Valuation and Why Does it Matter? Customs Valuation is a procedure to determine the customs value of imported goods. The customs value is essential to calculate the total duty to be paid on an imported good. Because there was a need for the international community to have a standardized system for valuing imports, many nations became signatories to a World Trade Organization (“WTO”) agreement that established valuation norms known as the Tokyo Round Valuation Code (later amended into the WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994).

The United States was a signatory to these treaties and currently maintains and enforces a rigorous valuation system. The U.S. Customs valuation methodology (as well as a summary of relevant Customs rulings) are described in detail in the Valuation Encyclopedia. A common customs valuation standard is important because it ensures that:

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Insight on Last 6 Months of Biden/Congress on Trade

A lot has happened in the first 6 months of the Biden administration. Notable developments include (at least temporary) resolutions in the large civil aircraft and digital service tax disputes, consensus around a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, lawsuits pertaining to Section 232, increased export controls enforcement, shifting U.S. policy stances on Cuba, and more. However, the most important developments pertain to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The U.S. and China are engaged in ongoing negotiations while tensions have risen, a lawsuit challenging Trump’s imposition of 301 tariffs are underway, and a massive U.S. competitiveness bill is being considered in Congress that could bring back broad China tariff exclusions. Join us for a jam-packed hour where we discuss everything that has happened in the world of U.S. trade policy over the past 6 months, and provide insight into how Biden’s trade policies affect industry.

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