US – FAS adjusts dairy tariff rate import quota licensing for 2016 TRQ year

On August 26, 2016, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published in the Federal Register a notice that announces the revised appendices for Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing for the 2016 quota year reflecting the cumulative annual transfers from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2 for certain dairy product import licenses permanently surrendered by licensees or revoked by the Licensing Authority. See the Federal Register notice for the countries and adjusted quantities.

US – EPA bans exports of certain mercury compounds

On August 26, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0411; FRL-9950-21] advising the public that, effective January 1, 2020, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (the Act), which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). prohibits the export of: mercury (I) chloride or calomel; mercury (II) oxide; mercury (II) sulfate; mercury (II) nitrate; and cinnabar or mercury sulphide, unless those mercury compounds are exported to member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for environmentally sound disposal, on the condition that no mercury or mercury compounds so exported are to be recovered, recycled, or reclaimed for use, or directly reused, after such export.  EPA was directed by Congress to publish in the Federal Register a list of mercury compounds that are prohibited from export, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act. EPA is not soliciting comments on this notice.

US – CBP issues regulations increasing administrative exemption to $800

On August 26, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule [CBP Dec. No. 16-13; USCBP-2016-0057] that amends the CBP regulations to implement section 901 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) (Public Law No. 114-125) by raising from $200 to $800 the value of certain articles that may be imported by one person on one day free of duty and tax. The document also makes clarifying and conforming amendments to the regulations. Read more…

Japan continues to suspend retaliatory duties against U.S. products

On 22 August 2016, Japan notified the WTO (see Doc. WT/DS217/70) that it will continue to suspend retaliatory duties against certain U.S. products. The retaliatory tariffs were authorized by the WTO after it found the U.S. Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (“CDSOA,” more commonly referred to as the “Byrd Amendment”) violated WTO rules. The Byrd Amendment was eventually repealed but disbursements to domestic producers under it continue for some pre-2007 cases (US$89 million in FY 2015). Japan charged the retaliatory duties until 2014. However, since 2014 Japan’s level of authorization established through arbitration under Article 22.6 of the WTO Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (“DSU”) would be marginal. Japan has reserved the right to reimpose the retaliatory tariffs should the level of Byrd disbursements increase in the future. Retaliatory duties were also authorized for the EU, Canada and Mexico. The EU continues to impose retaliatory duties on four U.S. products

US – Commerce proposes to modify basis of normal value regulations

On August 25, 2016, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration (ITA), Department of Commerce (Commerce) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule [Docket Number 160815742–6742–01] that would modify the (antidumping) regulations pertaining to the use of constructed value or third country sales for purposes of determining normal value, where the exporting country does not constitute a viable market, and is seeking comments from parties. This modification, if adopted, will specify that, where the exporting country does not constitute a viable market, Commerce normally will calculate normal value based upon constructed value. This modification would invert the preexisting order of preference that, where the exporting country does not constitute a viable market, Commerce normally calculates normal value based on sales in a viable third country. Commerce proposes this modification in light of certain advantages of constructed value over third country sales, such as availability of cost of production information and comparability to U.S. prices. To be assured of consideration, written comments must be received no later than September 26, 2016

US – FinCEN proposes customer I.D., anti-money laundering programs, and beneficial ownership requirements for certain banks

On August 25, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury, published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement section 326 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) and to remove the anti-money laundering program exemption for banks that lack a Federal functional regulator, including, but not limited to, private banks, non-federally insured credit unions, and certain trust companies. The proposed rule would prescribe minimum standards for anti-money laundering programs for banks without a Federal functional regulator to ensure that all banks, regardless of whether they are subject to Federal regulation and oversight, are required to establish and implement anti-money laundering programs, and would extend customer identification program requirements and beneficial ownership requirements to those banks not already subject to these requirements.Read more…

US – USTR seeks comments on review of Notorious Markets

On August 25, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a request for comments identifying Internet and physical markets based outside the United States that should be included in the 2016 Notorious Markets List (List). In 2010, USTR began publishing the Notorious Markets List separately from the annual Special 301 Report as an “Out-of-Cycle Review.” The List identifies online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.Read more…

US – USTR initiates 2016/2017 GSP review and seeks comments

On August 25, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice indicating that USTR is prepared to receive petitions to modify the list of articles that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices [Docket No. USTR-2016-0009]. USTR also is prepared to receive petitions requesting waivers of competitive need limitations (CNLs). In addition, USTR is seeking public comments and will convene a public hearing to receive additional information and stakeholder views regarding the potential addition of travel and luggage goods products for more economically advanced GSP beneficiary countries [Docket No. USTR-2015-0013].Read more…

US – CBP issues interim regulations on investigation of claims of AD/CVD evasion

On August 22, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register interim regulations and a solicitation of comments [USCBP-2016-0053; CBP Dec. 16-11] regarding investigation of claims of evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties, in accordance with section 421 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA; Pub. L. 114-125, 130 Stat. 122, 155, Feb. 24, 2016).  TFTEA contains Title IV-Prevention of Evasion of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders (short title “Enforce and Protect Act of 2015” or EAPA) which establishes a formal process for CBP to investigate allegations of the evasion of AD/CVD orders and requires that regulations be prescribed as necessary and within 180 days. The CBP regulations create a new Part 165 to implement the EAPA provisions, and a new Trade Remedy Law Enforcement Directorate (TRLED) to conduct the investigations.Read more…

UK – DIT issues survey to identify trade and investment barriers in 7 overseas markets

On 23 August 2016, the new UK Department for International Trade (DIT) released a “Survey to identify trade and investment barriers in 7 overseas markets”.

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam by the end of 2016. The aim of these dialogues is to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues and to strengthen the UK’s economic, industrial and commercial ties with these markets.Read more…