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U.S. Trade Representative Cancels Anticipated Modifications To 100% Tariff List Covering Certain Eu-Origin Goods

In 1999, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body authorized the United States to impose increased tariffs on EU products up to a total annual trade value of $116.8 million. Pursuant to this authorization, the US created a "retaliation" list subjecting certain EU goods to a 100% ad valorem tariff rate. In January 2009, the US Trade Representative announced modifications to the 100% tariff list--these amendments included adding additional goods to the list, while removing others. The effective date of the modifications was initially scheduled for March 23, 2009. To permit additional time for resolution of the trade dispute through negotiations, the effective date was delayed until May 9, 2009, although the scheduled removal of certain items was effected. Prior to the final changes being implemented, however, the US and EU have reached a provisional agreement under which the US will not modify the current list of EU products subject to the 100% tariffs.

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President Signs Legislation Impacting AGOA, DR-CAFTA and Burma

On August 10, 2012, the President signed H.R. 5986 into law. Highlights of the new law include the following:

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Toxics in Packaging

Recently, major retailers have begun requesting certifications from vendors confirming that their products comply with the “Toxics in Packaging Laws.” These laws, enacted in nineteen states,[1] prohibit the intentional use of any amount of lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium in packaging or individual packaging components, such as inks and labels. In addition, total concentration levels of unintended or incidental regulated metals in a package or packaging component are limited to less than 100 parts per million (0.01%) by weight. Generally, these materials appear in plastic packaging but may appear in other materials particularly through coatings and pigments. The restrictions imposed by these state laws are distinct from other federal lead limits such as those established by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

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Duty Free Programs Explained

Arthur W. Bodek will be presenting at a webcast, organized by A.N. Deringer, Inc., on the ins and out of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and other duty-free programs.  

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Country of Origin Transshipment Probes Can be Expected by Importers of Goods Covered by Antidumping Orders

Importers of products that are subject to antidumping duties (“ADD”), but who do not pay ADD because their goods are purchased from vendors in countries not covered by a dumping order, can expect increased country of origin inquiries/investigations from Customs. (See excerpt from news article below). For example, steel hangers made in Vietnam are not subject to ADD, but steel hangers from China are subject to ADD. Customs has received, and is continuing to receive, information about products like hangers that were imported with false origin claims to avoid ADD.

It is the importer of record that will bear the burden of increased duties and penalty assessments if the country of origin claimed on the entry is false. Country of origin compliance reviews can be performed to confirm the origin of products before such inquiries/investigations are launched. These due diligence reviews provide an opportunity to ensure that the manufacturer’s documentation is complete and fully supports country of origin claims. They are best conducted without the time pressures that exist after an inquiry/investigation has been commenced. If you have any questions about these issues, or if we can be of service with respect to this matter, then please feel free to contact our firm.

US MANUFACTURERS REPORT COMPELLING EVIDENCE OF EVASION OF ANTIDUMPING DUTIES ON IMPORTED STEEL WIRE PRODUCTS

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of US manufacturers has compiled compelling evidence that certain companies subject to antidumping orders are costing the US Treasury at least $84 million annually due to their deliberate evasion of the antidumping duties. In addition, more than 275 jobs have been lost in the innerspring and hanger industries alone, and additional jobs are threatened by these ongoing schemes to avoid antidumping duties. The information is being presented to Members of Congress, the US Department of Commerce, and US Customs and Border Protection to seek stronger enforcement of existing antidumping orders that are designed to maintain a level playing field for US manufacturers and their workers.

These US industries have developed compelling evidence detailing how certain foreign manufacturers are evading duties. In some cases, they are shipping these products to the US via third countries and then falsely designating it as the country of origin to evade the duties, a practice termed “transshipment.” In other cases, an inconsequential modification is made to the product in third countries to avoid the duties. In yet other situations, false labels displaying a different country of origin are placed on shipments of products actually made in China. There is growing evidence that these evasion schemes are being used in other industries, further threatening jobs and the US economy.

The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders provided the examples of the antidumping duty evasion schemes, documented through extensive records research, interviews and, in some cases, on-site location inspections with respect to steel hangers, uncovered innersprings, and steel nails, but these are just examples of the products that will be under continuing scrutiny once this project is launched.

Press Release Source: The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders On Monday February 1, 2010, 11:45 am EST

   

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