DOC, Treasury, DOJ, State, and DHS Issue Joint Compliance Note: Know Your Cargo

On December 11, 2023, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security published a joint Quint-Seal Compliance Note, “Know Your Cargo: Reinforcing Best Practices to Ensure the Safe and Compliant Transport of Goods in Maritime and Other Forms of Transportation.”

The agencies highlight the increasingly complex nature of global supply chains and opportunities for nefarious actors to evade export control laws and U.S. sanctions. The note also highlights the responsibility of individuals and entities participating in the global transport of goods to assess their risk profile and implement compliance programs.

Potential Indicators of Efforts to Evade Sanctions and Export Controls

The note directs companies involved in funding and facilitating the transport of cargo to be aware of these practices that may suggest export control or sanctions evasion: 

  • Manipulating location or identification data
  • Falsifying cargo and vessel documents
  • Ship-to-ship transfers
  • Voyage irregularities and use of abnormal shipping routes
  • Frequent registration changes” that evade national provisions; and
  • Complex ownership or management

Recommended Compliance Practices

The note recommends that individuals and entities who participate in maritime and other transportation industries should implement and strengthen compliance controls as necessary, especially when operating in high-risk areas or when dealing with entities who demonstrate suspicious behavior. A non-exhaustive list of compliance practices includes:

  • Institutionalizing sanctions and export control programs
  • Establish location monitoring best practices and contractual requirements
  • Know your customer
  • Exercise supply chain due diligence
  • Industry information sharing

The note also encourages individuals and companies to report suspicious behavior to the relevant U.S. authorities.

Recent Activity to Combat the […]

By |2023-12-24T10:53:35-05:00December 24, 2023|Export, U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of State (DOS)|Comments Off on DOC, Treasury, DOJ, State, and DHS Issue Joint Compliance Note: Know Your Cargo

DHS Adds Ninestar Co. And Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. to the UFLPA Entity List

The interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), added the following two People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List: Ninestar Co. and Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. DHS found that the companies engaged in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities. Goods produced by the companies  will be restricted from entering the United States.

UFLPA Background

On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6256, as part of the United States’ commitment and deterrence efforts to secure U.S. supply chains from goods produced by forced labor. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act  (UFLPA) (H.R. 6256) requires CBP to apply a rebuttable presumption that all imports of goods, wares, articles, and merchandise manufactured wholly or in part from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, or by entities identified by the U.S. government on the UFLPA Entity List, are presumed to be produced with forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the United States.

This presumption applies to all goods made in, or shipped through, other countries that include parts made in Xinjiang. However, this presumption is rebuttable. To rebut this presumption, the importer of record will need to provide to CBP clear and convincing evidence that the goods were NOT produced using forced labor.

DHS Making Progress, Some Say Not Enough

While the announcement was applauded by some, other groups expressed concern that DHS is […]

By |2023-06-30T11:11:22-04:00June 30, 2023|China, Countries, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)|Comments Off on DHS Adds Ninestar Co. And Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. to the UFLPA Entity List

CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Background

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) went into effect on June 21, 2022. The law creates a rebuttable presumption that imports of all goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (“Xinjiang”), or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, were made using forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the U.S. under 19 U.S.C. § 1307. For more information about the UFLPA, please see our previous blog articles here and here. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has been vigorously enforcing this law, detaining hundreds of attempted import shipments every month under both the UFLPA and Withhold Release Orders for suspected forced labor violations.

Importers that have a shipment detained under the UFLPA can seek to have the shipment released under one of two paths. They can either:

  • show that in spite of the fact that the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List, they were not in fact made using forced labor; or
  • show that neither the goods nor the inputs used to make the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang and have no connection to entities on the UFLPA Entity List (i.e., that the goods fall outside the scope of the UFLPA).

Taking the second path means requesting an “admissibility review.”

Last year, pursuant to the UFLPA, the Department of Homeland Security published a Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, […]

By |2023-03-09T20:19:21-05:00March 9, 2023|China, Forced Labor, Import, International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Uncategorized|Comments Off on CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

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

 

 

 

 

[…]

Customs Undervaluation – It’s a Crime

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. As part of its agreement with the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), the U.S. is part of an internationally standardized system of valuing imports. This standardized system allows for CBP to protect revenue, ensure reasonable care from importers, and accurately calculate Census trade statistics. Accordingly, it is critical to declare the value of importations accurately and compliantly. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) valuation methodology (as well as a summary of relevant Customs rulings) are described in detail in the Valuation Encyclopedia (i.e., the best resource on valuation inquiries). CBP permits merchandise to be valued according to one of the six valuation methods listed below. The methods are applied sequentially from first to last until an applicable value is determined. If the first method does not apply, the importer must then evaluate the second, and so on, until an appropriate method applies. The only exception to this sequential evaluation requirement is when evaluating between deductive value and computed value – an importer may choose to use the computed value before the deductive value.

Methods of Valuation:

  1. The transaction value of imported merchandise (the majority of imports use transaction value – i.e., the price paid or payable plus assists (see below))
  2. The transaction value of identical merchandise
  3. The transaction value of similar merchandise
  4. Deductive value
  5. Computed […]

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

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

[…]

UFLPA DHS Guidance – What Importers Need to Know

On June 17,  2022, DHS published its long-awaited strategy guidance document which shed light on how UFLPA will be implemented, and what evidence may be provided to rebut the presumption that the goods were made with forced labor. This article provides an overview of the type of evidence importers should have readily available when importing goods into the United States. For general guidance on preventing the importation of goods produced with forced labor and how importers should audit their supply chain to ensure non-use of forced labor, please refer to our Bloomberg Law article, “U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor”.

UFLPA

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) establishes a rebuttable presumption that goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Province of China or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List are prohibited from importation into the United States under 19 U.S.C. § 1307. However, if an Importer of Record can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the goods in question were not produced wholly or in part by forced labor, fully respond to all CBP requests for information about goods under CBP review and demonstrate that it has fully complied with the guidance outlined in this strategy, the Commissioner of CBP may grant an exception to the presumption.

Clear and convincing evidence is a higher standard of proof than a preponderance of the evidence, and generally means that a claim or contention […]

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

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

[…]

Diaz Trade Law Invites the Trade Community to Two Free Webinars this Summer!

Celebrate the summer season with two light hearted webinars on International Trade. Diaz Trade Law invites the trade community to two FREE webinars; space is limited – register today! Laugh with us at the Humor in International Trade webinar and learn insightful facts about the impact of international trade on American history during The First Laws — History of Customs and Revenue Law. More information about each webinar is provided below:

Can We Find Humor in International Trade? – July 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET

This one-hour webinar describes humor in trade. International Trade is a serious subject, but within it, bits of humor can be found. Register today to hear from this experienced duo and discover many of the oddities and idiosyncrasies prevalent in our modern-day international trade system.

President and Founder of Diaz Trade Law, Jennifer (Jen) Diaz is a Chambers ranked, Board Certified International Attorney specializing in customs and international trade.

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