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GSP Goods Subject to Section 201 Measure - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Reinstatement, Additional Information with respect to articles of Thailand or Philippines, which are covered by Section 201 safeguard remedies.

This additional guidance supplements CSMS message 18-000296 issued on April 20, 2018.

GSP Goods Subject to Section 201 Measures (certain solar cells, solar panels, washing machines, and washing machine parts)

  • Articles normally eligible for GSP duty preference that are subject to Section 201 duty and quota measures may not receive GSP duty preference, in accordance with 19 USC 2463(b)(2).
     
  • On imports subject to Section 201 measures, importers should pay the normal trade relations (column 1) duty rates and not submit the GSP Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A”.
     
  • Currently, imports of certain solar cells and panels from Philippines and certain solar cells, solar panels, washing machines, and washing machine parts from Thailand are the only GSP eligible goods that are subject to Section 201 measures. Accordingly, these articles may not receive GSP duty preferences.
     
  • If Section 201 duties and GSP are on the same entry lines, then no GSP refund will be issued for imports for the lapse period since 19 USC 2463(b)(2) precludes GSP program benefits accruing to Section 201 goods.
    Definition of Importer Security Filing Importer - USCBP

CBP Decision No. 18–04

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: This final rule adopts a proposed amendment to expand the definition of an Importer Security Filing (ISF) Importer, the party that is responsible for filing the ISF, for certain types of shipments. The changes are necessary to ensure that the definition of ISF Importer includes parties that have a commercial interest in the cargo and the best access to the required information.

DATES: This rule is effective May 14, 2018.

Read CBP Decision No. 18-04 here


Modification of Timeframes to Reject Entry Summaries - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

CBP has extended the time period for rejecting AD/CVD entry summaries from 90 days to 300 days with supervisory approval. In addition, the time period is extended to 300 days, with supervisory approval, for rejecting entry summaries subject to import measures under Sections 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The initial 90 days without supervisory approval (for non-AD/CVD entry summaries) and 60 days (for AD/CVD entry summaries) will remain effective. Rejecting the entry summaries will unset the liquidation date and transmit the entry summary back to the filer for action.


USITC Votes to Continue Investigations on Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam - U.S. International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, and Jason E. Kearns voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product from Vietnam, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about May 31, 2018, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about August 14, 2018.

The Commission’s public report Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-601 and 731-TA-1411 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4779, April 2018) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after May 21, 2018; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.


Commission To Examine Trucking & Delivery Arrangements  - Federal Maritime Commission

U.S. cargo owners have forwarded complaints to the Federal Maritime Commission claiming that some ocean carriers are unilaterally changing service contract terms by cancelling the port/container yard to final customer destination leg of the cargo shipment. These cancellations are allegedly due to lack of inland truck availability.

The Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement has initiated an expedited inquiry into these ocean carrier actions. Letters were sent last Friday, April 20th, to those shipping lines whose service contract actions have been called into question. In this inquiry, the Commission is seeking information that will assist in understanding the timing, fairness, and lawfulness of the alleged unilateral changes to ocean carriers’ obligations for inland trucking services.

Shipping lines receiving letters from the FMC are expected to provide their responses within 30 days.


ITA:  OTEXA Announcment

  • The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing  notice that on March 14, 2018, the United States requested consultations with India under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) concerning certain Indian export subsidy measures. That request is available at www.wto.org in a document designated as WT/DS541/1. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute. 
  • On April 3, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a proposed list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional 25% tariffs (see attachment). The official notice that set out the proposed action and schedule for written comments can be found  here The public comment deadline is May 11, 2018; the public hearing will take place on May 15, 2018.
    Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China; 2016-2017; Partial Rescission of the Ninth Antidumping Duty Administrative Review - Federal Register

Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China; 2016-2017; Partial Rescission of the Ninth Antidumping Duty
Administrative Review

AGENCY: Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY: On December 7, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steel wire garment hangers from the People's Republic of China (China). Based on M&B Metal Products Co., Ltd.'s (the petitioner) timely withdrawal of the requests for review of certain companies, we are now rescinding this administrative review for the period October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017, with respect to 17 companies.

DATES: Applicable April 26, 2018.


FTC Undercover Inspections of Funeral Homes in 11 States Test Prompt Compliance with Funeral Rule Disclosure Requirements - Federal Trade Commission

FTC’s Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide itemized price lists to consumers

Federal Trade Commission investigators, working undercover in 11 states, found failures to disclose pricing information required by the FTC’s Funeral Rule in 29 of the 134 funeral homes they visited during 2017.

The FTC conducts undercover inspections to monitor funeral homes’ compliance with the Funeral Rule. The Rule gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements. For example, funeral homes must provide consumers with an itemized general price list at the start of an in-person discussion of funeral arrangements, a casket price list before consumers view any caskets, and an outer burial container price list before they view grave liners or vaults. The Rule also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service. By requiring the provision of itemized prices, the Funeral Rule enables consumers to compare prices and buy only the goods and services they want.

Funeral homes that violate the price list disclosure requirements for the first time can enter the Funeral Rule Offender’s Program (FROP), a training program run by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) designed to increase compliance with the Rule. All the homes found in violation have chosen to enter the FROP rather than subject themselves to the possibility of an FTC enforcement action seeking civil penalties, which can be as high as $40,654 per violation. The FROP provides participants with a legal review of the price disclosures required by the Rule, and ongoing training, testing and monitoring for compliance. Funeral homes that participate in the program make a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury in place of a civil penalty, and pay annual administrative fees to the NFDA.

The results of the FTC 2017 undercover inspections for price list disclosures by region are as follows:

  • In Ft. Wayne, Indiana, none of the 19 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Southern Fairfield County in Connecticut, Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York, and Southern New Jersey, none of the 12 funeral homes inspected in 2016-17 failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Tucson, Arizona, one of the 11 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Boise, Idaho, two of the 14 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Hagerstown, Maryland and Winchester, West Virginia, three of 15 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Tulsa, Oklahoma, four of the 20 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Augusta, Georgia, five of the 13 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Lansing, Michigan, seven of the 15 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.
  • In Odessa and Midland, Texas, seven of the 15 funeral homes inspected failed to comply with a price list disclosure requirement.

In addition, the FTC identified a number of funeral homes, within the tested areas, with only minor compliance deficiencies. In such cases, the FTC requires the funeral home to provide evidence that it has corrected the problems.

Since the FROP began in 1996, the FTC has inspected nearly 3,200 funeral homes and found 559 homes with violations that required referral to FROP. This year, the FTC wishes to thank Indiana Attorney General Curtis T. Hill, Jr., for the valuable assistance provided by his office.

The FTC educates consumers in English and Spanish about their rights under the Funeral Rule, and provides guidance to businesses in how to comply. For more information, read Shopping for Funeral Services, Paying Final Respects, Your Rights When Buying Funeral Goods and Services, and Complying with the Funeral Rule.


USITC Updates Section 337 Rules - U.S. International Trade Commission

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is updating its Rules of Practice and Procedure governing its section 337 investigations.

Among the most notable changes, the revised rules:

  • require that the notice of investigation specify in plain language the scope of the accused products or category of accused products that will be the subject of the investigation in order to avoid disputes between the parties concerning the scope of the investigation;
  • formally establish a “100-day” proceeding to provide for expedited discovery, fact-finding, and determinations in an investigation if the Commission, at institution, identifies a potentially investigation-dispositive issue (this formalizes an approach developed during a pilot program initiated in 2013);
  • clarify that the Commission may institute multiple investigations based on a single complaint where necessary for efficient adjudication;
  • allow the administrative law judge to sever an investigation into two or more investigations at any time prior to or upon thirty (30) days from institution, based upon either a motion by any party or upon the administrative law judge’s own judgment that severance is necessary to allow efficient adjudication; and
  • bring the Commission’s subpoena practice into closer conformity with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The new revised rules go into effect for 337 investigations instituted 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The new revised rules can be viewed here
 
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