News

Iran Sanctions Update

January 16, 2016, marked “Implementation Day” for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached by the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, and Iran.

Prior to Implementation Day, the U.S. Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR) prohibited foreign entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. persons from supplying goods or services to Iran.  31 C.F.R. § 560.215.  A foreign entity is “owned or controlled” by a U.S. person if the U.S. person:

(i) Holds a 50 percent or greater equity interest by vote or value in the entity;

(ii) Holds a majority of seats on the board of directors of the entity; or

(iii) Otherwise controls the actions, policies, or personnel decisions of the entity.

As part of the United States’ implementation of the JCPOA, effective January 16, 2016, OFAC has issued General License H: Authorizing Certain Transactions Relating to Foreign Entities Owned or Controlled by a United States Person.  General License H significantly relaxes the prior restrictions on non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person.  Broadly stated, such entities may now conduct business with Iran or with any person/entity under the jurisdiction of Iran, subject to several qualifications.

Under General License H, the restrictions on non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person include the following:

  • No direct exportation or reexportation of goods from the U.S.;
  • No transactions with an individual or entity listed on the SDN List or the FSE List;
  • No transactions involving an item subject to DOC license requirements (without prior authorization from DOC);
  • No transactions with military, paramilitary, intelligence or law enforcement entities of the Government of Iran; and
  • Generally, no transactions related to weapons, weapons delivery systems or nuclear activity.

General License H also places limitations on the role that a U.S. person can play in transactions involving Iran.  A U.S. person may be involved in the initial determination to engage in business with Iran and may establish internal procedures to enable such transactions.  However, a U.S. person “may not be involved in the Iran-related day-to-day operations of a U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entity.”  Prohibited conduct includes approving, financing, facilitating or guaranteeing any specific Iran-related transaction.

Separately, the U.S. will be lifting import restrictions on carpets and foodstuffs (including caviar and pistachios) from Iran.  This change will go into effect upon publication in the Federal Register.

We are available to review any specific business activities for compliance.  For further information, please contact Joseph M. Spraragen ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

   

POWERBALL MANIA HAS U.S. CUSTOMS IMPLICATIONS FOR CANADIANS AND OTHER NON-RESIDENTS

Arthur W. Bodek was recently interviewed by the Canadian media on the potential applicability of an obscure U.S. legal provision prohibiting the importation of lottery tickets.  This provision is of great concern to the throngs of Canadian residents flocking south of the border for their chance at the $1.6 billion jackpot.  Read the article at: http://globalnews.ca/news/2449198/how-a-u-s-law-could-prevent-canadians-from-collecting-on-a-powerball-win/. Arthur was also contacted by CHCH TV for background information on the impact of the Customs laws on the Powerball drawing (watch the story at:http://www.chch.com/powerball-fever/)

   

Heather Litman will be moderating the Women in International Trade Orange County (“WITOC”) 2016 State of the Port Symposium & Luncheon

Join WITOC for the organization’s annual State of the Port Symposium and Luncheon on Thursday, January 14, 2016.  Come hear top government officials provide a recap of 2015 and a look ahead of what to expect in 2016.  The distinguished speakers are:   

  • US Customs & Border Protection – Elva Muneton, Director – Electronics CEE
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission - Hank Tapy – Director Western Region
  • FDA - Daniel Solis, Director of Import Operations (LA District)
  • HSI - Joseph Macias, Acting Special Agent in Charge

Read more

   

CPSC Update

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) and State of Vermont have enacted new requirements relating to the regulation of children’s toys and other children’s products.

I. CPSC Amendment to Testing Requirements for Unfinished and Untreated Wood Toys and Wood Component Parts of Toys

In a Federal Register notice dated December 17, 2015, the CPSC published a final rule amending the requirements of ASTM F963-11 to eliminate third party testing requirements for certain unfinished and untreated woods toys and wood component parts of toys.

ASTM F963-11 is a mandatory product safety standard that restricts the maximum solubility of eight elements (antimony; arsenic; barium; cadmium; chromium; lead; mercury; and selenium) in the coatings and substrates of certain toys. Third party testing is required to certify compliance with the limits on these elements, and testing is required when there are material changes to a previously-certified product. Moreover, toys subject to the ASTM F963-11 standard are required to undergo periodic testing to demonstrate continued compliance with the limits. For certain materials, compliance with ASTM F963-11 is guaranteed without third party testing due to the inherent characteristics of the material.

Beginning in 2013, in order to reduce the burden of third party testing, the CPSC began researching materials with inherent characteristics that guarantee compliance with ASTM F963-11. Ultimately, the CPSC hired a contractor to research whether unfinished and untreated woods, bamboo, beeswax, undyed and untreated fibers and textiles, and uncoated or coated paper contain any of the eight specified heavy elements in concentrations above the ASTM F963-11 maximum solubility limits. The results of the research were inconclusive for all of the materials except for unfinished and untreated woods.

With respect to unfinished and untreated woods, the research indicated that heavy elements were not present in tree trunks above the solubility limits, but heavy elements may be present in wood from other portions of the tree. Although heavy elements may be present in parts of the tree other than the trunk, the CPSC noted that commercial timber harvesting eliminates other portions of the tree through a process that creates logs from the trunks of trees.

Based on its findings, the CPSC amended testing requirements to eliminate third party testing for certain unfinished and untreated woods toys or wood component parts of toys. This rule will go into effect on January 16, 2016.

II. Vermont Law on the Regulation of Children’s Products Containing Chemicals of High Concern to Children

On November 19, 2015, the State of Vermont approved a final rule that requires the reporting of certain chemicals of high concern (“CHCC”) in children’s products.  The law was originally enacted in June 2014 and was modelled on a similar law enacted by the State of Washington.

Children’s products include any consumer product marketed for use by, marketed to, sold, offered for sale, or distributed to children under the age of 12 in the State of Vermont. Children’s products specifically include: toys; children’s cosmetics; children’s jewellery; teething products; products to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or feeding of a child; clothing items for children; and child car seats.

Under the Vermont law, manufacturers of children’s products are required to submit a notice to the State of Vermont for each CHCC in a children’s product if the CHCC is intentionally added above a certain level or is present as a contaminant at a concentration of 100 parts per million or greater.

For each notice, manufacturers are required to pay a fee of $200. Failure to comply with the law may result in civil investigation by the Attorney General, discontinuance of any products at issue, and civil action.

Manufactures must begin submitting notices on July 1, 2016, with notices to be resubmitted biennially thereafter.

Please feel free to contact David J. Evan or Jamie L. Maguire with any questions regarding these new requirements.

   

Page 8 of 32

News