US - Commerce revises name of e-filing system
On November 20, 2014, the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No.: 141104924–4924–01] to announce a change in the name of Enforcement and Compliance’s electronic filing system from “IA ACCESS” to “ACCESS.” Consistent with this action, this rule makes appropriate conforming changes in part 351 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This action is being taken to ensure that the regulations reflect the change in nomenclature from Import Administration to Enforcement and Compliance. The rule is effective November 24, 2014.
US - BIS seeks comments on impact of CWC on legitimate activities
On November 19, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a notice of inquiry [Docket No. 141029907-4907-01] seeking public comments on the impact that implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), through the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act (CWCIA) and the Chemical Weapons Convention Regulations (CWCR), has had on commercial activities involving “Schedule 1” chemicals during calendar year 2014. The purpose of this notice of inquiry is to collect information to assist BIS in its preparation of the annual certification to the Congress on whether the legitimate commercial activities and interests of chemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical firms are being harmed by such implementation. This certification is required under Condition 9 of Senate Resolution 75, April 24, 1997, in which the Senate gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the CWC. Comments must be received by December 19, 2014.
US - CBP reminds importers that AGOA claims may be made

On November 18, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS# 000601 Making AGOA Claims During the GSP Lapse which states in pertinent part:

The purpose of this CSMS is to clarify that GSP-eligible imports from AGOA-eligible countries continue to benefit from GSP, even during the present lapse in the program (see also CSMS 13-000348, July 12, 2013). We note that as currently legislated, the AGOA remains in effect through September 30, 2015.

1. In the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), the overwhelming majority of AGOA-eligible tariff items indicate one of three GSP special program indicators (SPIs), “A,” “A*” or “A+,” and not the AGOA’s SPI “D.”

2. CBP’s programming requires that the AGOA claim be made on these GSP-eligible tariff items by prefacing the HTSUS number with the SPI “A”.

3. For further clarification please refer to the AGOA regulations, 19 CFR 10.178a, and the GSP regulations, 19 CFR 10.171-178.

Filing procedures:

To receive AGOA preference for eligible goods on a tariff item with the SPI “A,” “A*” or “A+” in the “Special” column of the HTSUS (and no “D”), importers will transmit the entry summary with the SPI “A” and without duty.
To receive AGOA preference for eligible goods on a tariff item with SPI “D” in the “Special” column of the HTSUS, importers will continue to transmit the entry summary with SPI “D” and without duty.

US - OFAC adds a new FAQ on Ukraine sanctions

On November 18, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) issued a new FAQ regarding Ukraine-related sanctions. The FAQ, #418, is shown below in its entirety:

418. How does OFAC interpret the term "shale projects" with respect to the prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662?

The prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662 apply to deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects with the potential to produce oil in the Russian Federation, or in maritime area claimed by the Russian Federation and extending from its territory. The term "shale projects" applies to projects that have the potential to produce oil from resources located in shale formations. Therefore, as long as the projects in question are neither deepwater nor Arctic offshore projects, the prohibitions in Directive 4 do not apply to exploration or production through shale to locate or extract crude oil (or gas) in reservoirs.

EFTA Ministerial meeting, Geneva, 17 November 2014

On 17 November 2014, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that EFTA held its biannual Ministerial Meeting in Geneva. The announcement stated:

The EFTA Ministers welcomed the announcement of a breakthrough between India and the United States which paves the way for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the rest of the Bali package. This development represents a significant step in efforts to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system.

The EFTA Ministers met with Ms Maria Luisa Flores, Vice Minister of Economy of Guatemala, to discuss the development of closer trade relations between the two sides in view of Guatemala’s forthcoming accession to the EFTA-Central America Free Trade Agreement. Together with Ambassador Ronald Saborío Soto (Costa Rica) and Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama) they welcomed the conclusion, in substance, of free trade negotiations with Guatemala in October 2014. The EFTA Ministers also met with Ambassador Michael Punke, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative to pursue a trade policy dialogue with the U.S. and exchange information on the status of negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Ministers took stock of the state of play in EFTA’s free trade negotiations with India and confirmed their readiness to conclude talks as soon as possible. With regard to the negotiations with Indonesia, they expressed their willingness to move forward in this process as soon as possible. They reviewed progress to date in the negotiations with Malaysia and Vietnam and reaffirmed EFTA’s commitment to advancing these talks. They also noted that the negotiating process with the countries of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan remains on hold for the time being and agreed to continue evaluating the situation for a possible resumption of the processes with Algeria and Thailand.

Ministers expressed satisfaction with the imminent start of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Philippines and expressed their intention to start negotiations with Georgia within a timeframe to be agreed upon. They agreed to explore the possibility of further developing trade relations with MERCOSUR. They also expressed support for formalising cooperation with Ecuador through the signing of a joint declaration. Furthermore, they reiterated their interest in developing a closer relationship between EFTA and ASEAN. Ministers expressed interest in exploring formalised ties with the EAC – the East African Community – as well as with individual countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Nigeria.

Ministers stressed the importance of updating and further developing existing trade agreements. In this context, they welcomed the work undertaken so far on the expansion of the free trade agreement with Turkey. They also agreed to continue exploring options for expanding the existing FTAs with other partners, such as Canada and Mexico.

The EFTA Parliamentary Committee met with Ministers to discuss recent developments and priorities in EFTA’s trade relations with the world. The Parliamentary Committee also met with Ambassador Michael Punke.
EFTA’s network of preferential trade relations outside the European Union currently comprises 25 free trade agreements with 35 countries and territories. This network is complemented by 7 joint declarations on cooperation.

UK imposes additional measures on Russia

On 7 November 2014, the legislation.gov.uk website posted SI 2014/2932 - The Export Control (Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2014 (the Order).

The Order makes provision for the enforcement of certain new trade restrictions against Russia specified in Council Regulation (EU) No 960/2014 (OJ No L 271, 12.9.2014, p3) (the Amending Regulation) which amends Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine. It does so by amending the Export Control (Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol Sanctions) Order 2014 (S.I. 2014/2357) (the Russia Sanctions Order) which makes provision for the enforcement of all current trade restrictions against Russia.

The new measures include prohibitions on the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology to certain listed persons or entities in Russia, and on the provision of technical assistance, brokering, financing or financial assistance related to those goods to those listed persons or entities.

They also include a prohibition on the provision of certain associated services necessary for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration and production, or shale oil projects in Russia, covering drilling, well testing, logging and completion services and the supply of specialised floating vessels.

Article 3 of the Order amends the Russia Sanctions Order to create offences and provide the penalties for contravention of the prohibitions set out in Articles 2a and 3a of the Amending Regulation.

On 12 November 2014, legislation.gov.uk posted SI 2014/2919 - The Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2014.

This Order makes further provision in specified Overseas Territories to implement sanctions imposed on Russia by EU Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP of 31st July 2014 (as amended by EU Council Decision 2014/659/CFSP of 8th September 2014).

The Order imposes a ban on the supply of assistance related to the transfer of oil exploration technologies to Russia and makes provision for the Governor to license these activities in line with exemptions under the sanctions regime.

US - USTR invites applications for NAFTA Chapter 19 roster
On November 17, 2014, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a document inviting applications for a roster of individuals to serve on binational panels convened under Chapter 19 of NAFTA to review final determinations in antidumping or countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) proceedings and amendments to AD/CVD statutes of a NAFTA Party. The United States annually renews its selections for the Chapter 19 roster. Applications are invited from eligible individuals wishing to be included on the roster for the period April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. Applications should be received no later than December 10, 2014.
Export Control List amended

On November 5, 2014, the Canada Gazette published the Order Amending the Export Control List (SOR/2014-239, October 24, 2014) (the Order) pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act. The Order amends the Export Control List (ECL) to reflect the Government of Canada’s arrangements, commitments and policies resulting from Canada’s participation in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Australia Group up until December 31, 2013. The Order also makes minor editorial corrections identified by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

The changes to the ECL are as follows:

(i) A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls – December 2013: The definition of the term “guide” in section 1 of the ECL is replaced by A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls – December 2013 so that it refers to the latest version of the document.

The December 2013 edition of the Guide to Canada’s Export Controls incorporates Canada’s obligations and commitments with respect to the four multilateral export control regimes of which Canada is a member. Some of the changes resulting from the Order include the addition of controls over specific accelerometer-based hydro-acoustic sensors, specific intrusion software, specific net¬work surveillance equipment, specific external thermal shields for use in nuclear reactors, specific forms of rhenium and rhenium alloys, specific high explosive containment vessels as well as the removal of controls on certain magnetic tape recorders. Clarifica¬tions have also been made to controls relating to microwave mono¬lithic integrated circuits, energetic materials, streak and framing cameras, rocket propulsion systems, gravity meters, fermenters and flow-filtration equipment.

(ii) Various references to international commitments

References to export control texts issued by various multilateral export control regimes to which Canada is a member, including the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (Dual-Use and Muni¬tions Lists), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (Non-Proliferation and Nuclear-related Dual-Use Lists), the Missile Technology Control Regime (Missile Technology Control Regime List) and the Aus¬tralia Group (Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List), have been updated to incorporate these commitments into Canada’s export control regime.

(iii) Required minor editorial modifications identified by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

Regulations easing origin proof under NAFTA issued

On November 5, 2014, the Canada Gazette published Regulations Amending the Proof of Origin of Imported Goods Regulations (SOR/2014-238, October 24, 2014) pursuant to the Customs Act. The regulatory amendments will finalize the process that begun with the public announcements and description of the regulatory modifications contained in the Customs Notices listed below, formalizing proof of origin processes that are already being administered. These amendments will officially incorporate the modified proof of ori¬gin requirements into Canada’s existing regulatory regime.

CN12-021
CN12-022
CN13-001
CN13-002

The amendments to the Regulations will harmonize NAFTA Certificate of Origin requirements between Canada and the United States: (1) by waiving the NAFTA Certificate of Origin requirement on specified locomotives and railway freight cars; and (2) by increasing the value threshold for exemption from NAFTA Certificate of Origin requirements for commercial goods from $1,600 to $2,500.

South Sudan sanctions

On November 5, 2014, the Canada Gazette published the Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations (SOR/2014-235, October 24, 2014) and the Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Permit Authorization Order (SOR/2014-236, October 24, 2014) pursuant to the Special Economic Measures Act. The Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations impose targeted sanctions against persons engaged in activities that directly or indirectly facilitate, support, provide funding for or con¬tribute to a violation or attempted violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The Regulations establish a list of two individuals. The category for listing is established in section 2 of the Regulations.

The Regulations prohibit any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada from

• dealing in any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a designated person;
• entering into or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any trans¬action related to such a dealing;
• providing any financial or related service in respect of such a dealing;
• making goods, wherever situated, available to a designated per¬son; and
• providing any financial or related service to or for the benefit of a designated person.

Exceptions to the above-noted prohibitions are available for the following:

• Payments made by or on behalf of designated persons pursuant to contracts entered into prior to the coming into force of the Regulations, provided that the payments are not made to or for the benefit of a designated person;
• Pension payments to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada;
• Transactions in respect of accounts at financial institutions held by diplomatic missions, provided that the transaction is required in order for the mission to fulfill its diplomatic functions under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, or, transactions required in order to maintain the mission premises if the diplomatic mission has been temporarily or permanently recalled;
• Transactions by international organizations with diplomatic status, agencies of the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or Canadian non-governmental organizations that have entered into a grant or contribution agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development;
• Transactions necessary for a Canadian to transfer to a non-designated person any accounts funds or investments of a Canadian held by a designated person on the day on which that person became designated;
• Financial services required in order for a designated person to obtain legal services in Canada with respect to the application of any of the prohibitions in the Regulations; and
• Loan repayments made to any person in Canada or any Canadian abroad in respect of loans entered into before the coming into force of the Regulations, enforcement of security in respect of those loans, or payments by guarantors guaranteeing those loans.

The Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Permit Authorization Order, made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, with a designated person that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.

Canada - Proposed preferences for Burma

On November 8, 2014, the Canada Gazette published a Proposed Order Amending the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Extension of General Preferential Tariff to Burma) and a Proposed Order Amending the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Extension of Least Developed Country Tariff to Burma) pursuant to the Customs Tariff. The proposed orders would extend entitlement to Burma for:

• the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) offers tariff rates that are lower than Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) Tariff rates to goods imported from developing countries identified in the Schedule to the Customs Tariff; and
• the Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT) offers duty-free access on the importation into Canada of all products (with the exception of supply-managed agricultural goods) from least developed countries, as identified by the United Nations and listed in the Schedule to the Customs Tariff.

Burma’s eligibility for the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) and the Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT) was removed in 1997 as part of a global concerted response to the human rights situation in that country (see SOR/97-398). In recent years, there have been positive developments in Burma, notably elections in 2010 that led to a transition to civilian rule, the release of polit¬ical prisoners, economic reforms, and the introduction of new laws to protect freedom of association and assembly.

Additional EU programmes extended to the EEA EFTA States

On 14 November 2014, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that on 13 November 2014, nine legal EU acts were incorporated into the EEA Agreement. Among these were two regulations establishing the EU Health Programme and the EU Consumer Programme and a decision on enhanced cooperation between European public employment services.

The EEA Joint Committee Decisions were adopted by written procedure, mainly to secure EEA EFTA participation in the two programmes, as well as in the Copernicus and Galileo Programmes, from 2014.

The Health Programme has four overarching objectives. It seeks to:

• Promote health, prevent diseases and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles, taking into account the “health in all policies” principle
• Protect EU citizens from serious cross-border health threats
• Contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems
• Facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for EU citizens

The Consumer Programme will support EU consumer policy in future years. It aims to help citizens fully enjoy their consumer rights and actively participate in the Single Market, thus supporting growth and innovation and meeting the objectives of Europe 2020. The programme will focus the following areas:

• A single market of safe products for the benefit of citizens and as a component of competitive businesses and traders
• A single market where citizens are well represented by professional consumer organisations, whose capacity is built to meet the challenges of today's economic environment
• Concrete and effective collaboration between national bodies to support the enforcement of consumer rights and provide consumers with advice

The Copernicus and Galileo Programmes were also incorporated into the EEA Agreement by written procedure. Formerly known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), Copernicus is the European programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth observation. It aims to achieve the uninterrupted provision of accurate and reliable data and information in six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security.

The aim of Galileo is to establish and operate a European global positioning system (GPS) designed for civilian purposes.

Overview of the EEA Joint Committee Decisions adopted on 13 November 2014.

Texts of EEA Joint Committee Decisions adopted in 2014.

EFTA and Guatemala conclude free trade negotiations

On 27 October 2014, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that in a final round of negotiations held in Guatemala City on 14 and 15 October 2014, delegations from the EFTA States and Guatemala substantially concluded free trade negotiations within the framework of the EFTA-Central America Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In intensive discussions, held over two days, the two sides managed to reach an agreement on the remaining outstanding issues, mainly in relation to market access in the areas of trade in goods and trade in services. The process of Guatemala’s accession to the EFTA-Central America FTA according to its Article 13.4 will be initiated shortly.

At its meeting on 6 November 2014, the EFTA Council welcomed the outcome of the concluding round of negotiations between EFTA and Guatemala, paving the way for Guatemala’s accession to the EFTA-Central America Free Trade Agreement. An event to mark the conclusion of these negotiations will take place during the EFTA Ministerial meeting in Geneva on 17 November.

Switzerland - Anti-circumvention measures extended to EU September sanctions

To prevent the circumvention of international sanctions relating to the situation in Ukraine, Switzerland will, with effect from 18H CET 12 November 2014, extend its anti-circumvention measures to apply to the sanctions that the EU introduced against Russia in September (pursuant to Council Regulation (EU) No 960/2014, amending Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014). This has been effected by way of an amendment to the ordinance of 27 August 2014, as reported on Baker & McKenzie’s Sanctions Update. In its press release, the Swiss Federal Council warned that it “continues to monitor the situation in Ukraine closely and reserves the right to take further measures depending on how the situation develops.”

In the financial sector, the following are subject to prior authorisation from SECO, the competent Swiss authority:

• trade in new financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 30 days (previously, more than 90 days) issued by:

o five Russian banks (Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and Rosselkhozbank);
o (new) six entities (Rosneft, Transneft, Gazprom Neft, OPK Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation and Uralvagonzavod);
o banks and other entities outside Switzerland or the EU controlled by more than 50% by the aforementioned banks and entities; and
o entities acting in the name or at the direction of the aforementioned banks and entities; and

• the granting of loans with a maturity exceeding 30 days to these five banks and six entities.

Licences will be granted if, with the issue, the average nominal value of the financial instruments issued in the past 3 years is not exceeded, whereas temporary excesses in connection with refinancings are permitted.

Secondary trading in newly issued financial instruments from outside Switzerland and the EU with a maturity exceeding 30 days (previously, more than 90 days) is subject to a monthly notification requirement to SECO.

The list of persons and companies with whom financial intermediaries may not take up new business relations and for which existing business relations are subject to an immediate notification requirement to SECO has been extended with 24 new entries. The updated list can be accessed here.

With regard to special military goods and dual-use goods subject to licence, the provision of services or technical assistance to (new) nine Russian mixed defence companies is subject to notification. These are: JSC Sirius, OJSC Stankoinstrument, OAO JSC Chemcomposite, JSC Kalashnikov, JSC Tula Arms Plant, NPK Technologii Maschinostrojenija, OAO Wysokototschnye Kompleksi, OAO Almaz Antey and OAO NPO Bazalt.

Transactions for the aviation and aerospace sectors are exempt from this requirement. Certain drilling and platform services necessary for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration and production and shale oil projects in Russia are subject to an immediate notification requirement to SECO.

For additional information, please contact Philippe Reich in our Zurich office.

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission to release 2014 Annual Report

On November 13, 2014, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the of official public release of the Commission’s 2014 Annual Report to Congress on November 20, 2014, at a public hearing in Washington, DC. The Commission is mandated by Congress to investigate, assess, and report to Congress annually on “the national security implications of the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”

The Commission’s 2014 Annual Report contains the following chapters and sections:

Chapter 1: U.S.-China Economic and Trade Relations
• Section 1: Year in Review: Economics and Trade
• Section 2: U.S.-China Bilateral Trade and Economic Challenges
• Section 3: China’s Health Care Industry, Drug Safety, and Market Access for U.S. Medical Goods and Services
• Section 4: U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation
Chapter 2: Military and Security Issues Involving China
• Section 1: Year in Review: Security and Foreign Affairs
• Section 2: China’s Military Modernization
• Section 3: China’s Domestic Stability
Chapter 3: China and the World
• Section 1: China and Asia’s Evolving Security Architecture
• Section 2: Recent Developments in China’s Relationship with North Korea
• Section 3: Taiwan
• Section 4: Hong Kong

US - President extends national emergency with respect to Iran
On November 13, 2014, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of November 12, 2014—Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran which extends the national emergency originally declared on November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170 to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the situation in Iran. Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, is being extended for 1 year.
China and U.S. reach understanding on information technology

On 10 November 2014, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that at the APEC leaders meeting, President Obama announced that the United States and the People’s Republic of China had reached an understanding on a bilateral agreement on expanding the scope of goods covered by the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). This agreement paves the way for the resumption and swift conclusion of the first major tariff-cutting deal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 17 years, and promises a major boost to U.S. technology exports and the jobs that support them.

A sample of some of the impacted products and the size of the tariff reduction they would benefit from, include:

• Next generation semiconductors – Tariffs up to 25 percent reduced to zero.
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines -- Tariffs up to 8 percent reduced to zero.
• Computed Tomography (CT) scanners – Tariffs up to 8 percent reduced to zero.
• Global Positioning System (GPS) devices - Tariffs up to 8 percent reduced to zero.
• Printed matter/cards to download software and games – Tariffs up to 10 percent reduced to zero.
• Printer ink cartridges – Tariffs up to 25 percent reduced to zero.
• Static converters and inductors – Tariffs up to 10 percent reduced to zero.
• Loudspeakers – Tariffs up to 30 percent reduced to zero.
• Software media, such as solid state drives - Tariffs up to 30 percent reduced to zero.
• Video game consoles – Tariffs up to 30 percent reduced to zero.

An expanded ITA would also eliminate import duties on a range of additional technology products including high-tech medical devices, video cameras, and an array of high-tech ICT testing instruments.

India and US announce agreement on WTO Bali issues of trade facilitation and food security

On 13 November 2014, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States and India reached agreement on a set of measures intended to break the impasse in the work of the WTO to implement the agreements reached last December at the WTO Ministerial in Bali.

According to the announcement, the agreement, which will be presented for consideration by the full WTO membership in the near future, consists of two key elements:

• U.S. and India move WTO’s landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) forward– The first multilateral agreement to be concluded since the WTO’s inception 20 years ago – should be implemented without conditions, on the basis of a standard legal instrument for implementing new WTO agreements. If accepted by the full WTO Membership, this approach will enable fully multilateral implementation of the TFA, unlocking immense commercial opportunities for all WTO Members, including especially developing country Members, by reducing costs and administrative burdens associated with moving goods across borders.

• U.S. and India understanding on specific food security programs – Both countries have reached an understanding on implementation of a December 2013 WTO decision regarding specific food security programs maintained by some developing countries. The bilateral agreement makes clear that a mechanism under which WTO Members will not challenge such food security programs under WTO dispute settlement procedures will remain in place until a permanent solution regarding this issue has been agreed and adopted. It also sets out elements for an intensified program of work and negotiations to arrive at such a permanent solution.

The announcement also said that:

The TFA and the decision regarding food security programs were among a package of important trade agreements and other measures agreed at the WTO’s 9th Ministerial Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013. Conclusion of the “Bali Package” injected important confidence and momentum into the work of the WTO. That momentum was disrupted in July 2014, as a key deadline related to implementation of the TFA was missed due to linkages being drawn to other elements of the Bali Package. This bilateral agreement represents an important step towards restoring the momentum of Bali and enabling a restoration of confidence in the WTO’s negotiating function.

As decision-making in the WTO is based on consensus among all Members, the elements agreed between the United States and India will now be discussed with the full WTO membership in the interest at arriving at final and simultaneously-agreed decisions in the very near future.

The WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the news that the US and India have agreed on the way forward for implementing key elements of the package of agreements reached last December at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali.

While stressing that the India-US understanding would represent a major step forward, the Director-General stressed that Members would need to redouble their efforts in order to minimize the delays provoked by the impasse on the conclusion of the post-Bali work program.

The Director-General will be discussing these recent developments and the broader agenda to strengthen the multilateral trading system with G20 Leaders in Brisbane in mid-November

US - BIS imposes controls on certain exports to Venezuela for use by its military
On November 7, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 141029906–4906–01] amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), in response to the Venezuelan military’s violent repression of the Venezuelan people, to impose license requirements on the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of certain items to or within Venezuela when intended for a military end use or end user. This change complements an existing U.S. arms embargo against Venezuela for its failure to cooperate in areas of counterterrorism. The rule is effective November 7, 2014.
US - State amends ITAR with respect to Vietnam
On November 10, 2014, the Department of State (State) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Public Notice 8943] revising the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to reflect a change in its policy on exports to Vietnam. State has determined that is in the best interests of U.S. foreign policy, national security, and human rights concerns that exports of lethal defense articles and defense services to Vietnam may be authorized on a case-by-case basis when in support of maritime security and domain awareness. The rule is effective on November 10, 2014.
President extends national emergency with respect to WMDs
On November 12, 2014, the Federal Register published the Presidential Notice of November 7, 2014 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction which extends the national emergency originally declared on November 14, 1994 by Executive Order (E.O.) 12938 and amended on July 28, 1998 by E.O. 13094 and June 28, 2005 by E.O. 13382.
US - BIS and State publish final rules correcting and clarifying interim rules on spacecraft and related items

On November 12, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 130110030–4928–03] that makes clarifications and corrections to an interim final rule that was published on May 13, 2014. The May 13 rule added controls to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for spacecraft and related items that the President has determined no longer warrant control under United States Munitions List (USML) Category XV—spacecraft and related items. New Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) 9A515, 9B515, 9D515, and 9E515 created by the May 13 rule and existing ECCNs on the Commerce Control List (CCL) will control such items. The May 13 rule also revised various sections of the EAR to provide the proper level of control for the new ECCNs. The vast majority of the changes included in the May 13 rule have been implemented as published in the interim final rule, so those change are not republished in the final rule. A full description of those changes can be found in the Background section and the regulatory text of the May 13 rule. The changes included in the final rule are limited to corrections and clarifications to what was included in the interim final rule. These corrections and clarifications were also informed by comments received in response to the May 13 rule that included a request for comments.

On November 10, 2014, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a final rule and correction [Public Notice: 8942] to the interim final rule revising Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML). On May 24, 2013, the Department of State published a rule (78 Fed. Reg. 31444) proposing to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) by revising Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) as part of the President’s Export Control Reform (ECR) effort. After review of comments to the proposed rule, on May 13, 2014, the Department published an interim final rule that allowed a final comment period until June 27, 2014. The Department is now making final the interim final rule and correcting the interim final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of May 13, 2014.

Both rules are effective November 10, 2014.



Event in Dusseldorf (Nov 24) and Munich (Nov 25): Spiral of Sanctions EU-USA/Russia - Legal and Practical Impact on Business

We cordially invite you to our seminar "Spiral of Sanctions EU-USA/Russia - Legal and Practical Impact on Business". The seminar will take place on November 24, 2014 in Dusseldorf und on November 25, 2014 in Munich.

At present, the political impact of the EU-USA sanctions against Russia is difficult to assess. However, it is clear that the sanctions will significantly harm certain sectors of business – and the spiral of sanctions continues to spin with increasing speed. How will the EU-USA/Russia sanctions impact your company? What are the legal implications? How can you ensure compliance? Will your supply chain be affected?

Please click on the link below to register for either event.

Monday 24, November 2014 in Dusseldorf | Tuesday 25, November 2014 in Munich

The seminar will be held in English and German.

Montenegro and New Zealand to join the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement
On 29 October 2014, the WTO announced that Montenegro and New Zealand will become the newest members of the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) after their accession bids received the green light on 29 October 2014. The WTO Committee on Government Procurement adopted back-to-back decisions inviting both Montenegro and New Zealand to accede to the GPA on the basis of final market access offers negotiated over the past two years. The accessions will be the first since a revised and expanded version of the GPA entered into force on 6 April 2014.
Presidents extends national emergency with respect to Sudan
On October 28, 2014, the Federal Register published Notice of October 24, 2014 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Sudan which extends the national emergency originally declared on November 3, 1997, by Executive Order (E.O.) 13067 and expanded on April 26, 2006, and with respect to which additional steps were taken on October 13, 2006,. The national emergency was extended because the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
UK and 13 other Member States write Trade Commissioner-designate seeking broad TTIP agreement

On 21 October 2014, the UK, together with 13 other EU Member States wrote to the EU Commissioner-Designate for Trade, setting out the need for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to be comprehensive and ambitious. The letter said, in pertinent part:

If we are to unlock the full potential of a TTIP deal, it must be comprehensive and ambitious. That is why EU Member States agreed a far-reaching mandate as the basis for the Commission to negotiate with the US Trade Representative.

TTIP negotiations have made good progress since then. Given the scope of the potential deal, it is not surprising that TTIP has attracted considerable public debate, which we welcome. We recognise that there are legitimate concerns about the negotiations. That is why we collectively agreed, in the interests of transparency, to publish the TTIP mandate last week.

However, many of the concerns about TTIP are based on misconceptions. For example, that TTIP could undermine public services, undermine the right of national governments to regulate, or undermine EU standards on food or health and safety. The response to those criticisms - as some are calling for and tempting as it may be - should not be to jettison the difficult issues. That will lead to a lowest common denominator deal at best or no deal at all.

Europe needs to think big and demonstrate clear leadership if we are to generate the growth that we badly need and if we are to keep our place on the world stage. That means the Commission and governments across the EU working with businesses and consumer associations to tackle those myths head on.

One of the issues that has attracted criticism is investment protection. The Commission is currently analysing the results of a public consultation on this issue and we look forward to the Commission’s response. The consultation was an important step in ensuring that we strike the correct balance to ensure that governments retain their full freedom to regulate, but not in a way that discriminates unfairly against foreign firms. It is important that the outcome of this consultation runs its course and we carefully consider the views expressed by our stakeholders before reaching firm decisions on the way forward. The Council mandate is clear in its inclusion of investor protection mechanisms in the TTIP negotiations; we need to work together on how best to do so.

We are confident that you can achieve that goal and also secure our objectives across the whole of the mandate that the Council has provided. We will work closely with the Commission to achieve those aims.

UK - BIS/ECO issues report on strategic export controls licences

On 24 October 2014, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and its Export Control Organisation (ECO) released Strategic Export Controls: Country Pivot Report: 1 January 2014 - 31 March 2014 (BIS/14/1170). The 360 page report covers export licensing decisions made by Her Majesty’s Government between 1 January 2014 and 31 March 2014. All the information relating to a destination is shown together, and the reader will find all (if any) information on SIELs, OIELs, SITLs, SITCLs and OITCLs all in one place. This enhances the readability of the report.

The information within the report covers those licences Issued, Refused or Revoked within the period for the following categories:

  • Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) (including information on incorporation and Standard Individual Transhipment Licences)
  • Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs)
  • Open Individual Trade Control Licences (OITCLs)
  • Standard Individual Trade Control Licences (SITCLs)
  • Council Regulation 1236/2005 (concerning trade in certain equipment and products which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).

There have been some major changes made to the content and layout of the report, and these take into account the commitment the Government made to the Committee on Arms Export Controls. The changes that have been implemented in this report are as follows:

  • A breakdown of the overall value of SIELs issued, into military and non-military totals
  • A split in the list of items between military and non-military items
  • The inclusion of the control entry list with a breakdown as to how many items were licensed under that
  • category and the value
  • The addition of the ultimate destination for items that are being incorporated
  • The addition of the case summary for SIELs that have been refused
US - OFAC issues licensing report
On October 23, 2014, OFAC announced the issuance of its First Quarter FY2014 Report for Licensing Activities Pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) covering October-December 2013.
US - CBP imposes restrictions on flights carrying passengers who have recently traveled to, from, or through Ebola-stricken countries
On October 23, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice of arrival restrictions announcing the decision of the Commissioner of CBP to direct all flights to the U.S. carrying persons who have recently traveled to, from, or through Ebola-stricken countries to arrive at one of the U.S. airports where CBP is implementing enhanced screening procedures. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1433(c) and 19 C.F.R. 122.32, CBP has the authority to limit the location where all aircraft entering the U.S. from abroad may land.

In order to assist in preventing the further introduction and spread of this communicable disease in the United States, CBP, in coordination with other DHS components and offices, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other agencies charged with protecting the homeland and the American public, is currently implementing enhanced screening protocols at five U.S. airports that receive the largest number of travelers from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. To ensure that all travelers with recent travel to, from, or through the affected countries are screened, CBP directs all flights to the U.S. carrying such persons to arrive at the five airports where the enhanced screening procedures are being implemented. While CBP anticipates working with the air carriers in an endeavor to identify potential travelers from the affected countries prior to boarding, air carriers will remain obligated to comply with the requirement of this notice, particularly in the event that travelers who have recently traveled to, from, or through the affected countries are boarded on flights bound for the U.S.

The action was effective October 21, 2014.
US - President continues national emergency with respect to the DRC
On October 23, 2014, the Federal Register published President Obama’s Notice of October 21, 2014 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Situation in or in Relation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The notice continues for an additional year the national emergency first declared on October 27, 2006, by Executive Order (E.O.) 13413 pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701–1706), and subsequently expanded by E.O 13671 of July 8, 2014.
November 19-20, 2014: A Year-End Review of Import/Export Developments in Santa Clara, CA and Via Webinar

In keeping with tradition, Baker & McKenzie is pleased to invite you to our annual Year-End Review of Import/Export Developments. This year's two-day conference will be held Wednesday, November 19 through Thursday, November 20 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California and via live webcast. Our international trade compliance lawyers from around the world will review the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements.

Click here to view the agenda and registration details.

Ireland - Mandatory electronic filing of Customs documentation
On 21 October 2014, the Iris Oifigiúil (Irish Official Gazette), published S.I. No. 474/2014 - Customs (Electronic Filing of Returns) Order 2014 and S.I. No. 475/2014 - Customs (Mandatory Electronic Filing) (Specified Persons) Regulations 2014. The Order is made by the Revenue Commissioners under the provisions of section 917E of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, which was inserted by section 209 of the Finance Act, 1999. The Regulations are made by the Revenue Commissioners under the provisions of section 917EA of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, which was inserted by section 164 of the Finance Act 2003. The Order and Regulations are to be read in conjunction with each other.

The Regulations and the Order underpin Revenue’s programme to establish the use of electronic channels as the normal way of conducting business by providing for the mandatory electronic filing of certain returns by certain categories of persons.

With effect from 18 October, 2014 all cargo manifests will be required to be filed by electronic means.

The Revenue Commissioners may, on application, exclude a person from the obligation to file electronically if they are satisfied that the person does not have the capacity to do so, and in this context “capacity” is taken to mean sufficient access to the Internet and in the case of an individual is not prevented by reason of age, physical or mental infirmity from filing electronically. A person aggrieved at a failure by the Revenue Commissioners to exclude them from the requirements may appeal that failure to the Appeal Commissioners. An excluded taxpayer may, if circumstances change, have that exclusion revoked and that decision may also be appealed to the Appeal Commissioners.
Argentina - Central Bank reduces term to evidence the entry of imported goods
On 16 October 2014, the Argentine Central Bank (the "ACB") issued Communication “A” 5647 (the “Communication”) reducing the term that importers had to evidence the actual entry into the country of imported goods that were paid for in advance.

The Communication was issued in order to avoid the devaluation expectation which accelerate payments of import goods in advance increasing the demand for foreign currency in the foreign exchange market. Accordingly, the ACB has reduced the term to evidence the entry of imported goods into the country from 365 days to 120 days, counted as from the day in which the importer accessed the foreign exchange market to pay such goods in advance. Nevertheless, the ACB admits the possibility of requesting an extension of such term based on causes not attributable to the importer.

In addition, the Communication excluded capitals goods from the term reduced. The term to prove the entry of such goods is still 365 days. In all cases, importers must file an affidavit committing them to prove the entry of the goods within the corresponding term according to the type of the imported good.

For additional information, please contact Alejandro Olivera, Gabriel Gomez Giglio or Francisco José Fernández Rostello of our Buenos Aires office.
US - OFAC issues of guidance on humanitarian assistance by not-for-profit NGOs

On October 17, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control issued “Guidance Related to the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance by Not-For-Profit Non-Governmental Organizations” to further clarify the scope of transactions in which not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may engage to the extent such transactions may implicate designated individuals or take place in areas under the control of designated individuals or groups. The Guidance is for information and does not have the force of law.

Where such transactions are not otherwise exempt or authorized pursuant to OFAC general licenses, OFAC says that it has long had a favorable specific licensing policy supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance notwithstanding economic sanctions, especially in countries subject to comprehensive economic sanctions. OFAC prioritizes requests for licenses to provide humanitarian assistance and endeavors to review such applications expeditiously.

The following OFAC guidance applies to transactions by NGOs that may implicate sanctioned persons or countries.

1. OFAC is fully supportive of the broader U.S. Government approach to facilitating humanitarian assistance. The President’s imposition of economic sanctions against regimes or groups carrying out violence against innocent civilians is a complement to – and not in opposition to – the objectives of humanitarian assistance.
2. Consistent with U.S. foreign policy, OFAC issues general licenses where appropriate and prioritizes license applications, compliance questions, and other requests from non-governmental organizations seeking to provide humanitarian assistance.
3. Non-governmental organizations may provide humanitarian assistance in countries that are not subject to comprehensive sanctions (such as Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, or Côte d’Ivoire) without the need for a license from OFAC, so long as they are not dealing with persons blocked by sanctions, such as those listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDNs) or any entity owned 50% or more by blocked persons.
4. Some areas may be dominated by armed groups under circumstances where the group’s leaders have been designated by OFAC but the group as a whole has not been designated. An entity that is commanded or controlled by an individual designated by OFAC is not considered blocked by operation of law. Thus, payments – including “taxes” or “access payments” – made to non-designated individuals or entities under the command or control of an SDN do not, in and of themselves, constitute prohibited activity. U.S. persons should employ due diligence, however, to ensure that an SDN is not, for example, profiting from such transactions.
5. In areas dominated by designated armed entities, for example those listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, U.S. persons should exercise caution not to provide financial, material, technological, or other services to or in support of the designated entity. In circumstances involving a dangerous and highly unstable environment combined with urgent humanitarian need, OFAC recognizes that some humanitarian assistance may unwittingly end up in the hands of members of a designated group. Such incidental benefits are not a focus for OFAC sanctions enforcement.
6. Finally, if a non-governmental organization is confronted with a situation in which, in order to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance, the non-governmental organization learns that it must provide funds or material support directly or indirectly to an SDN group that is necessary and incidental to the provision of such humanitarian assistance, the nongovernmental organization should reach out to OFAC directly. OFAC and its interagency partners will work with the non-governmental organization to address any such issues on a case-by-case basis in an expeditious manner.

US – ITDS requests participants for Lacey Act Working Group

On October 16, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) distributed CSMS# 14-000552 (Updated in CSMS# 14-000553) on behalf of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) Committee of the Trade Support Network (TSN) seeking participants in an APHIS Lacey Act Working Group. The purpose of the Lacey Act Import Working Group will be to ensure that all stakeholder groups are invited to participate in a discussion of the technical requirements that will be necessary for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to participate in the ITDS/ACE system. The working group will consist of members of the trade whose businesses are regulated by the APHIS Lacey Act Program, trade software developers who support the business processes, as well as representatives from the Lacey Act Program and from the CBP team developing the ITDS software system – the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The transition to ACE will result in changes to the way Lacey Act, CBP, and the members of the trade who import these items, do business. Trade involvement is needed to ensure that the proposed changes continue to support efficient trade movement while at the same time the Lacey Act Program complies with the ITDS requirements of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act).

The ACE system will replace the ACS system, and it will require that Lacey Act specific data be submitted electronically via the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set. APHIS has worked with CBP to identify the specific data elements that will need to be submitted by import filers, as well as the format and content of those data elements, in order to successfully transact business in ACE to comply with the ITDS “single window.” Through a series of conference calls, the Lacey Act Working Group will review the PGA Message Set guidance, as well as the impacts that the transition to ACE will have on Lacey Act’s importation business processes.

The Lacey Act Program is responsible for the regulation and monitoring of the import and export of various plant products to assure compliance with international measures established through U.S. law and international treaties and conventions that govern the harvest and sustainability of plant resources globally. The primary import monitoring program of Lacey Act is the Lacey Act Declaration. This program monitors and regulates the products listed on the APHIS Lacey Act website and includes mandatory reporting requirements for imports.

Persons interested in participating should send an e-mail to: Frank Korpusik at frank.j.korpusik cbp.dhs.gov and fjktrade verizon.net, Sandra Scott at Sandra.scott sekologistics.com
and Debbie Benish at Debbie_benish ftn.fedex.com by October 24, 2014.

UK - Sudan and South Sudan sanctions extended to certain overseas territories
On 15 October 2014, the official Legislation.gov.uk website posted SI 2014/2707 - The Sudan (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2014, which gives effect in specified Overseas Territories to sanctions imposed on Sudan by United Nations Security Council resolutions 1556 (2004) of 30th July 2004, 1591 (2005) of 29th March 2005 and 1945 (2010) of 14th October 2010. This Order also reflects the implementation of these sanctions by the European Union in Council Decision 2014/450/CFSP adopted on 10th July 2014.

Council Decision 2014/450/CFSP repeals Council Decision 2011/423/CFSP which previously extended some restrictive measures in place against Sudan to South Sudan, which became a separate State on 9th July 2011. For the sake of clarity, the restrictive measures implemented by the European Union concerning Sudan have now been separated from measures concerning South Sudan. This Order revokes and replaces the Sudan and South Sudan (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2012, Sudan (United Nations Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2005 and Sudan (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2004.

The sanctions imposed include an arms embargo and a prohibition on the provision of related assistance to Sudan and an asset freeze and travel ban against persons designated by the United Nations Security Council as those who impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian law or human rights law or other atrocities, or violate the arms embargo.

On the same date, the official Legislation.gov.uk website posted SI 2014/2703 - The South Sudan (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2014, gives effect in specified Overseas Territories to sanctions against South Sudan adopted by the European Union in Council Decision 2014/449/CFSP adopted on 10th July 2014.

For the sake of clarity, measures implemented by the European Union concerning South Sudan have been separated from measures concerning Sudan. The sanctions imposed include an arms embargo and a prohibition on the provision of related assistance to South Sudan and an asset freeze and travel ban against persons designated by the Council of the European Union as obstructing the political process in South Sudan, including by acts of violence or violations of ceasefire agreements, as well as persons responsible for serious violations of human rights in South Sudan and persons associated with them.

Both Orders make provision for the Governor to license certain activities in line with exemptions under the sanctions regime.
UK - Russian sanctions extended to certain overseas territories

On 15 October 2014, the official Legislation.gov.uk website posted SI 2014/2710 - The Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2014, which gives effect in specified Overseas Territories (Anguilla, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands) to sanctions imposed on Crimea, Sevastopol and Russia by EU Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP of 23 June 2014 (as amended by EU Council Decision 2014/507/CFSP of 30 July 2014) and EU Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP of 31 July 2014 (as amended by EU Council Decision 2014/659/CFSP of 8 September 2014).

The sanctions imposed include—

• a ban on the import of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol;
• a ban on financing such imports;
• a prohibition on certain investment activities in Crimea and Sevastopol and Russia;
• a ban on the supply to Crimea and Sevastopol of equipment and technology related to infrastructure development;
• the imposition of an arms embargo on Russia;
• a ban on the supply of dual-use equipment and technology to Russia;
• a ban on the supply of assistance related to military and dual-use goods;
• a ban on the transfer of oil exploration technologies to Russia; and
• a ban on the provision of services for oil exploration to Russia

The Order makes provision for the Governor to license certain activities in line with exemptions under the sanctions regime.

UK revokes various sanctions orders

On 15 October 2014, the official Legislation.gov.uk website posted SI 2014/2711 - The United Nations Sanctions (Revocations) Order 2014, which revoked the following sanctions orders:

• The Serbia and Montenegro (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1992(1)
• The Serbia and Montenegro (United Nations Prohibition of Flights) Order 1992(2)
• The Serbia and Montenegro (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1993(3)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Liberia, Somalia and the Former Yugoslavia) Order 1993(4)
• The Haiti (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1994(5)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Amendment) (Rwanda) Order 1994(6)
• The Former Yugoslavia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1994(7)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Former Yugoslavia) (Amendment) Order 1996(8)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Dependent Territories) (Amendment) Order 1997(9)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Rwanda) (Amendment) Order 1997(10)
• The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1998(11)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Amendment) (Sierra Leone) Order 1998(12)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Dependent Territories) (Amendment) (Sierra Leone) Order 1998(13)
• The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (United Nations Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 1999(14)
• The United Nations (Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2000(15)
• The Eritrea and Ethiopia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 2000(16)
• The Eritrea and Ethiopia (United Nations Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2000(17)
• The Al-Qa’ida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2002(18)
• The United Nations Arms Embargoes (Rwanda) (Amendment) Order 2008

US - CPSC proposes to add certain seasonal/decorative lighting to hazardous product list
On October 16, 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking [CPSC Docket No. CPSC–2014–0024] that would amend the substantial product hazard list in 16 C.F.R. part 1120 to specify that seasonal and decorative lighting products that do not contain one or more of three readily observable characteristics (minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief, or overcurrent protection) constitute a substantial product hazard under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Written comments must be received by December 30, 2014.
Tunisia launches safeguard investigations on wood fibreboard and glass bottles
On 15 October 2014, Tunisia notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 30 September 2014 two safeguard investigations: one on fibreboard of wood (MDF) and the other on glass bottles. Further information is available in G/SG/N/6/TUN/3 and G/SG/N/6/TUN/4.

A safeguard investigation seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or is threatening to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry. All interested parties are invited to present their views in writing and submit all useful information for the enquiry within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Journal official de la République Tunisienne.

A WTO member may take a safeguard action (i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily) only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury.
US - CBP announces quarterly interest rates
On October 15, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice advising the public of the quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties. For the calendar quarter beginning October 1, 2014, the interest rates for overpayments will be 2 percent for corporations and 3 percent for noncorporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 3 percent for both corporations and non-corporations. These interest rates are subject to change for the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 2015, and ending March 31, 2015.
US - USTR announces effective date for GPA amendments for the Netherlands with respect to Aruba
On October 15, 2014, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing that for the purpose of U.S. Government procurement that is covered by Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, the effective date of the WTO Protocol Amending the Agreement on Government Procurement, done at Geneva on 30 March 2012 (Protocol), for the Netherlands with respect to Aruba (Aruba) is October 31, 2014.

The Protocol entered into force on April 6, 2014 for the United States and the following Parties: Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, European Union, Iceland, and Singapore. The Protocol entered into force on April 16, 2014 for Japan.

The Protocol provides that following its entry into force, the Protocol will enter into force for each additional Party to the 1994 Agreement 30 days following the date on which the Party deposits its instrument of acceptance. On June 4, 2014, Aruba deposited its instrument of acceptance to the Protocol. Effective October 31, 2014 for Aruba, all references in Title III of the Trade Agreement Act of 1979 and in Executive Order 12260 to the Agreement on Government Procurement shall refer to the 1994 Agreement as amended by the Protocol.

With respect to those Parties which have not deposited their instruments of acceptance, all references in Title III of the Trade Agreement Act of 1979 and in Executive Order 12260 to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) shall continue to refer to the 1994 Agreement until 30 days following the deposit by such Party of its instrument of acceptance of the Protocol.
US - BIS imposes controls on read-out ICs and related software and technology, and radar, and other designated technology

On October 14, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule with a request for comments [Docket No. 140131087–4087–01] amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to impose foreign policy controls on read-out integrated circuits and related “software” and “technology,” radar for helicopter autonomous landing systems, seismic intrusion detection “technology”, and “technology” “required” for the “development” or “production” of specified infrared up-conversion devices.

The read-out integrated circuits and related “technology” are controlled under new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) on the Commerce Control List. An existing ECCN has been amended to control the related “software” for those items. New paragraphs have been added to certain existing ECCNs to control radar for helicopter autonomous landing systems, seismic intrusion detection systems, and the “technology,” as mentioned, for specified infrared up-conversion devices. Specified existing “software” and “technology” ECCNs have been amended to apply to helicopter autonomous landing systems and seismic intrusion detection systems. The items are controlled for regional stability reasons Column 1 (RS Column 1) and Column 2 (RS Column 2), and antiterrorism reasons Column 1 (AT Column 1). The Departments of Commerce, State and Defense have determined that imposition of these license requirements protects U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. Specifically, those agencies have determined that the items described in this rule have civilian applications but also warrant immediate controls under the EAR because of their potential military applications.

This rule is effective October 14, 2014. Comments must be received by December 15, 2014.

US - USTR seeks comments on Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of India
On October 14, 2014, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a request for written comments [Docket No. USTR–2014–0020] regarding the 2014 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of India In the 2014 Special 301 Report, USTR announced that, in order to assess progress on engagement with the Government of India on intellectual property rights (IPR) issues, an OCR would be conducted for India. USTR requests written submissions from the public concerning information, views, acts, policies, or practices relevant to evaluating the Government of India’s engagement on IPR issues of concern, in particular those identified in the 2014 Special 301 Report. The 2014 Special 301 Report is available at the USTR website. The deadline for the public, except foreign governments, to submit written comments is October 31, 2014, Deadline for foreign governments to submit written comments is November 7, 2014.
US - OFAC releases consolidated non-SDN data files and upgrade to the Sanctions List Search

On 10 October 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released Consolidated Sanctions List Data Files in order to make it easier to comply with OFAC’s sanctions regulations. OFAC is now offering all of its non-SDN sanctions lists in a consolidated set of data files “the Consolidated Sanctions List.” These consolidated files comply with all OFAC’s existing data standards. In the future, if OFAC creates a new non-SDN style list, the office will add the new data associated with that list to these consolidated data files if appropriate. While the consolidated sanctions list data files are not part of OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons “the SDN List,” the records in these consolidated files may also appear on the SDN List.

Included in the Consolidated Sanctions List Data Files:

· Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) List

· Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List

· Palestinian Legislative Council (NS-PLC) list

· The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the Part 561 List)

· Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act (NS-ISA) List

The goal of this consolidation effort is to reduce the number of list-related files that must be downloaded in order to maintain an automated sanctions screening program. In the future, if OFAC creates a new sanctions list where the action required of a U.S. person does not necessarily entail blocking, the office will add the new data associated with that list to these consolidated data files if appropriate. Another goal of this effort is to ensure that all sanctions list records are included in OFAC’s Sanctions List Search tool. As of this announcement all of OFAC’s lists are now available in Sanctions List Search.

In approximately 6 months, OFAC will cease issuing independent data files for the FSE List, the SSI List and the NS-PLC List. During the transition period, OFAC will produce these data on both the Consolidated Sanctions List and on the appropriate individual lists. The new Consolidated Sanctions List data files can be accessed on this page. In addition, the Consolidated Sanctions List data files are available on OFAC’s File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site in a folder called, “consolidated_list.” Please visit the Consolidated Sanctions List Specification file for the information about data file nomenclature, column headers and field widths. The XSD specification file for the XML version of the Consolidated Sanctions List may be found here.

OFAC will continue to provide and update independent human readable (.pdf and .txt) versions of the FSE, SSI, NS-ISA, NS-PLC and Part 561 lists and their respective archive of changes files. These file formats will not be affected by the creation of the consolidated data files and will continue to be available even after the transition period.

Some of OFAC’s non-SDN list products have never been offered in a data format before. Other non-SDN lists have not been updated recently and were produced by older information systems. As such, OFAC’s list consolidation effort has resulted in some minor administrative changes to the non-SDN list data. Below is a list of unique ID numbers (UIDs) that correspond to records that were modified during the consolidation.

OFAC has also upgraded its Sanctions List Search tool to provide the users the ability to search for a name on the SDN List, on the Consolidated List, or on both lists simultaneously. By incorporating the Consolidated List, users will be able to look for potential name matches on the SSI, FSE, NS-PLC, NS-ISA and Part 561 lists. Sanctions List Search previously only included the SDN and FSE lists. Please see the related FAQs for additional information on algorithms, scoring, and other technical details regarding Sanctions List Search.

Norway - Licensing requirements to apply to all exports of old military equipment

On 12 September 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it is introducing the principle ‘once military, always military’ into its regulations for the export of defence-related products. This means that products manufactured for military purposes may not be exported without authorisation from the Ministry. The announcement said that:

Until now, discarded military equipment could, under certain conditions be exempted from the licensing requirement and exported as civilian products, provided that weapons, mountings and other military features were removed. This will no longer be permitted. The amendments to the regulations enter into force today, and mean that all defence-related products are subject to stringent licensing and export control requirements, regardless of their condition.

‘The Norwegian regulations for the export of defence-related products are among the strictest in the world. Introducing the “once military, always military” principle will further reinforce this. It will create a clear framework for disposing of used military equipment and will strengthen our national controls over where and how old military equipment from Norway is used,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

More detailed information about the regulations and about procedures for applying for export licences can be found on the Ministry’s export control webpages.

Norway - Ukraine sanctions revised
On 10 October 2014, the Norwegian Government law site Lovdata published FOR 2014-10-10-1278: Regulation amending the Regulation on restrictive measures concerning actions that undermine or threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and stability a Royal Decree put forward by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Decree amends Regulation № 1076 of 15 august 2014 on restrictive measures concerning actions that undermine or threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and stability.

In Regulation of 15 August 2014 No. 1076 on restrictive measures concerning actions that undermine or threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and stability certain sections/subsections were revised and new sections/subsections were added freezing money and assets belonging to, owned or controlled by natural or legal persons listed in Annex I. The restricted measures were also extended to natural or legal persons who carry out transactions with the separatist group in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Exemption from liability has been given to persons who freeze or withhold assets believing them to be covered by the Regulation, unless the act resulted from negligence.

The law prohibits providing financial loans or credits that are specifically linked to the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral resources in the Crimea or Sevastopol, acquiring or extending a participation, including the complete acquisition or acquisition of shares and securities in the nature of capital interest in enterprises established in the Crimea or Sevastopol concerned with the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral resources in the Crimea or Sevastopol, or creating joint ventures relating to the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral resources in the Crimea or Sevastopol.

A new subsection bans the export of multi-purpose (dual-use) products and multi-purpose technology to persons listed in Annex VI. However, the prohibitions in these subsections shall not affect the fulfillment of contracts or agreements concluded before 11 October 2014 nor will they apply to the sale, supply, transfer or export of multi-purpose products and multi-purpose technology designed for the aerospace industry or the provision of associated technical and financial assistance to non-military use and for non-military end-users.

A new section prohibits providing services, directly or indirectly, that are necessary for the purpose of oil exploration and production in deep water, Arctic oil exploration and production or shale oil projects in Russia: drilling, well testing, logging and completion and delivery of specialized floating structures.

The prohibition in the above subsection does not apply if those services are required promptly to prevent or mitigate an incident that could have serious and significant consequences for human health and safety or the environment.

The decree revises the prohibition on directly or indirectly to provide financing or financial assistance related to the goods and technology listed in the "List I - defense related goods' in Annex I to the Regulations of 19 June 2013 No. 718 on the export of defense, multi-purpose products, technologies and services, including in particular grants, loans and export credit insurance or guaranty well as insurance and reinsurance, in connection with the sale, supply, transfer or export of such products or provision of associated professional assistance to individuals or legal entities in Russia or for use in Russia,

There is a prohibition from directly or indirectly buying, selling or providing certain investment services or assistance in the issuance of, or otherwise deal with, transferable securities and money market instruments with certain maturities as well as a prohibition on establishing or participating in schemes designed to provide new loans or credits with a maturity of over 30 days to legal persons referred to in the first or second paragraph after October 10, 2014, with certain exceptions.

In addition, Annex I has been amended to add 24 persons to the list.

A new Annex VI has been added to cover nine legal persons referred to in § 16a .

A new Annex VII includes a list of three legal persons referred to in § 19, second paragraph.

A new Annex VIII includes a list of legal persons referred to in § 19 subsection b.
Duty-free tobacco concessions for travellers are being reduced

The New Zealand Customs Service announced that from 1 November 2014 all tobacco imported into New Zealand will attract duty and GST, except for a limited amount carried by travellers arriving in New Zealand. The duty free limit for travellers will drop from 200 to 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products.

The gift concession will be eliminated. There will not be a duty-free (or GST) allowance for tobacco sent or imported into New Zealand. If a person exceeds the duty-free limit and declared the excess cigarettes or tobacco, they will only pay duty on the excess. If a person fails to declare it on their Passenger Arrival Card, the cigarettes or tobacco will be seized and the traveller may be prosecuted.

The drop in the duty-free limit aligns New Zealand with Australia’s duty-free tobacco allowance, and is another step towards reducing the harm caused by smoking.

New Zealand - Customs Import and Export Prohibition Orders come into effect

On 1 October 2014 the new Customs Import Prohibition Order 2014 and Customs Export Prohibition Order 2014 came into effect.

The Customs Import Prohibition Order continues the import controls on motor vehicles with inaccurate odometers and offensive weapons detailed in the schedule. This also includes changes to the offensive weapons schedule including the inclusion of identifiable components of swordsticks, and an amendment to provide general description of the types of knives requiring a permit to import.

The Customs Export Prohibition Order continues the export controls on live green-lipped mussel with a shell size of less than 50mm in length, Pounamu, and strategic goods.

US - State amends ITAR

On October 10, 2014, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a final rule [Public Notice: 8898] amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as part of the Department of State’s retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. The amendment is being published in an effort to streamline, simplify and clarify the recent revisions to the ITAR made pursuant to the President’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative.

The following changes are made to the ITAR in the final rule:

• Definitions previously provided in §§ 121.3, 121.4, 121.14, and 121.15 are removed from these sections and incorporated into U.S. Munitions List Categories VIII, VII, XX, and VI, respectively;
• USML Category II is amended to clarify that grenade launchers are controlled in paragraph (a) as a result of the revisions previously made to USML Category IV pursuant to Export Control Reform;
• USML Category IX is amended to enumerate military training not directly related to a defense article, which is a controlled activity pursuant to ITAR § 120.9(a)(3). This change is required in order to provide exporters a USML category to cite for military training when not related to a defense article;
• The note to paragraph (b) in the specially designed definition is revised to clarify that catch-all controls are only those that generically control parts, components, accessories, and attachments for a specified article and do not identify a specific specially designed part, component, accessory, or attachment. This revision is intended to help ensure that exporters properly apply ITAR § 120.41 when classifying their article and clarify that when a specific article is described on the USML, it is enumerated and is not part of a catch-all;
• The definitions previously provided in ITAR § 121.8 are removed to new ITAR § 120.45;
• The policy with regard to when forgings, castings, and machined bodies are controlled as defense articles is removed from ITAR § 121.10 and placed in ITAR § 120.6;
• The threshold for lithium ion batteries controlled in Category VIII(h)(13) is increased from greater than 28 volts of direct current (VDC) nominal to greater than 38 VDC nominal, so as not to control on the USML such batteries in normal commercial aviation use;
• A control for specially designed parts, components, accessories, and attachments is added to the helmets controlled in Category VIII(h)(15); (9) The phrase “electric-generating” is added to the control describing fuel cells in Category VIII(h)(23) to clarify that fuel bladders and fuel tanks are not within this control;
• The word “enumerated” is replaced with the word “described” in the paragraphs of the USML for technical data and defense services directly related to the defense articles in that Category to clarify that the controls on technical data and defense services apply even if the defense article is described in a catchall;
• Conforming changes are made to citations throughout these sections; and
• Minor reference corrections are made to Supplement No. 1 to Part 126, including moving the footnote to the entire Supplement from the end to the opening to better clarify if an item is excluded from eligibility in any row, it is excluded from that exemption, even if also described in another row that contains a description that may also include that item.

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Chair, NA International
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Miguel Noyola
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