There is a lot going on in the world, now more than ever. Did you know Expeditors Newsflash is a great place to stay up to date on what is going on? Here are five top recent Newsflash stories to get you up to speed.
USTR Releases Product Exclusion Process for Chinese
Products Subject to Section 301 Tariffs
On July 6, 2018, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the process to obtain product exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on certain goods of Chinese origin.
According to the announcement, the USTR will publish a Federal Register notice next week, outlining the criteria for the proposed exclusion process and will allow the public to request exclusions of a product from the 25% additional duties. During the product exclusion process, the USTR will consider in its determination, “…whether a product is available from a source outside of China, whether the additional duties would cause severe economic harm to the requestor or other U.S. interests, and whether the particular product is strategically important or related to Chinese industrial programs including ’Made in China 2025.’ ”
The exclusion process will have several dates:
- The public will have 90 days, ending on October 9, 2018, to file a request for a product exclusion;
- The public will have 14 days to file responses to the request for product exclusion following the public posting of the filed request on Regulations.gov;
- Interested persons will have 7 days to reply to any responses received in support of or opposition to the request after the 14 day response period;
- Exclusions will be effective for one year upon the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register, and will apply retroactively to July 6, 2018.
As stated in the USTR’s announcement, “a particular exclusion will apply to all imports of the product, regardless of whether the importer filed a request.”
CBP Releases Information on Identifying Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Third Country Case Numbers in ACE
On July 5, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published guidelines for identifying third country antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) case numbers in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system.
According to CBP, the AD/CVD orders “generally cover products from the country identified in the AD/CVD order,” and that some merchandise produced in the country of the AD/CVD order may undergo further processing in a third country and still remain subject to the AD/CVD order. CBP has created third country case numbers to allow importers to report such shipments.
The guidelines state that the third-country case name and short description in ACE are the same as the case name and short description of the AD/CVD order, and will have a reference to the country of the AD/CVD order at the end.
CBP directs any questions on third country AD/CVD case numbers in ACE to the U.S. Department of Commerce at 202-482-0984.
ITC and WCO Release Rules of Origin Facilitator Tool
On June 28, 2018, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) released the Rules of Origin Facilitator tool to enable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to research available free trade agreements and benefits from lower duty rates.
According to ITC, “The online tool is comprehensive in its coverage providing information on all tradable goods, ranging from raw agricultural commodities to sophisticated machinery and electronics.”
CBP Issues Guidance on the Craft Beverage Modernization
and Tax Reform Act of 2017
On June 27, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued guidance on the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017 (CBMA) in Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) #18-000403.
According to the CSMS, “importers will continue to pay the full excise tax rate at the time of entry summary filing” and CBP is working with the Department of Treasury (Treasury) to amend regulations to allow CBP to issue refunds owed on entries that are subject to the CBMA. In anticipation of these regulation changes, CBP suggests that importers “file protests on liquidated entries for which a CBMA reduced tax rate or credit rate may be due.” Additionally, CBP states that Post Summary Corrections may not be used to request the refunds until the regulations have been updated and any programming has been completed.
The CSMS also contains information on how an importer may substantiate its eligibility for a reduced tax rate or credits by including the following information in their internal records:
- “Foreign producer’s name;”
- “Foreign producer’s manufacturing facility address and FSMA registration number;”
- “Number of barrels of beer, number of gallons of wine, and number of proof gallons of distilled spirits eligible for each reduced rate/tax credit assigned to the importer for the calendar year by the representative of the foreign producer authorized to assign its allotment, and documentation showing that quantity as assigned to that specific importer;”
- “Contact information for such authorized representative;”
- “Statement from the authorized representative of the qualifying foreign producer that the number of barrels or wine/proof gallons assigned by the foreign producer (including any members of a controlled group) to all importers for the calendar year does not exceed the quantities allowed by law and does not exceed the foreign producers capacity.”
CBP will not process refund requests before January 15, 2019. CBP will publish further instructions via CSMS once CBP is capable of accepting refund requests.
WCO PSCG Discusses Emerging/Enabling Technologies
On June 27, 2018, the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) met with the World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission Members to discuss emerging and enabling technologies.
Some of the topics discussed included cross-border e-commerce and the prevention of maritime shipping of counterfeit goods. The PSCG decided to “implement a mechanism to broadly communicate among their members the results of the WCO work on E-Commerce on a timely basis.