US - State issues Presidential Permit for oil pipeline
On August 26, 2015, the State Department (State) published in the Federal Register a notice [Public Notice: 9233] advising the public that State issued a Presidential Permit to Plains Pipeline, L.P. on August 3, 2015 to connect, operate, and maintain existing pipeline facilities acquired by that company at the border of the United States and Canada for the transport of crude oil between the United States and Canada. State determined that issuance of the permit would serve the national interest. In making this determination and issuing the permit, State followed the procedures established under Executive Order 13337, and provided public notice and opportunity for comment.
US - State Dep’t proposes extension of import restrictions for Pre-Columbian and Colonial artifacts from Colombia

On August 26, 2015, the State Department published in the Federal Register a notice [Public Notice: 9232] proposing to extend the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Colombia Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Archaeological Materials from the Pre-Columbian Cultures and Certain Ecclesiastical Material from the Colonial Period of Colombia (MOU). Pursuant to the authority vested in the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 2602(f)(1), an extension of this MOU is hereby proposed. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 2602(f)(2), the views and recommendations of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee regarding this proposal will be requested.

A copy of the MOU, the Designated List of restricted categories of material, and related information can be found at the following web site:http://culturalheritage.state.gov.

US - DoD adopts rule requiring US flags and components to be manufactured in the U.S.
On August 26, 2015, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [[Docket No. DARS–2015–0014] amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement sections of the Department of Defense Appropriations Acts for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 that prohibit use of funds made available under these acts for the purchase or manufacture of a flag of the United States, unless such flag unless such flag, including the materials and components thereof, is manufactured in the United States, consistent with the requirements at 10 U.S.C. 2533a (commonly known as the “Berry Amendment”).
US - DoD adopts rule to require Arabian Gulf construction contract offerors to provide opportunity to US steel producers, fabricators and manufacturers
On August 26, 2015, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 2015–0010] that adopted, without change, an interim rule [80 Fed. Reg. 15909] amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015, to require offerors bidding on DoD military construction contracts to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers; and restrict use of military construction funds in certain foreign countries, including countries that border the Arabian Gulf. The rule extends the applicability of the requirement to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers, and revises the preference for award to U.S. firms of military construction contracts that have an estimated value greater than $1,000,000 and the restriction requiring award only to U.S. firms for architect-engineer contracts that have an estimated value greater than $500,000, to make it applicable to contracts to be performed in a country bordering the Arabian Gulf, rather than a country bordering the Arabian Sea (as required in earlier statutes).
US - BIS removes SCL provisions
On August 26, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 140613501-5698-02] that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by removing the Special Comprehensive License (SCL) authorization. Based on changes to the EAR as part of Export Control Reform, BIS concludes that the SCL has outlived its usefulness to the exporting public since recent changes to the EAR permit exporters to accomplish similar results using individual licenses and without undertaking the more onerous SCL application. This rule also makes conforming amendments. These changes are part of BIS’s efforts to further update export controls under the EAR consistent with the Retrospective Regulatory Review Initiative that directs BIS and other federal agencies to streamline regulations and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on the public.
UK revises Iran Sanctions order

On 26 August 2015, the Export Control (Iran Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2015 (the Order) was published on the United Kingdom’s legislative website. The Order makes provision for the enforcement of amended trade restrictions against Iran specified in Council Regulation (EU) No 2015/1327 which amends Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran (the “Iran Sanctions Regulation”).


The Order amends the Export Control (Iran Sanctions) Order 2012 (S.I. 2012/1243) (the “Iran Sanctions Order”) which makes provision for the enforcement of all current trade restrictions against Iran.


The measures against Iran that have been amended relate to the authorisation of the supply, sale or transfer of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology, and the provision of any related technical assistance, training, financial assistance, investment, brokering or other services for certain specified purposes as set out in Articles 43b and 43c of the Iran Sanctions Regulation, notwithstanding the other provisions of that Regulation.


Article 2 of the Order amends the Iran Sanctions Order to update the definitions of “EU authorisation” and “the Iran Sanctions Regulation” and to amend certain offences so that they are not committed where a person is concerned in an activity that is authorised by an EU authorisation.
For updates on trade sanctions and export controls involving Iran, Please check our Sanctions Blog.

Russia - Product Safety Authorities Prohibit Clearing Detergents Originating from the EU and Turkey

On August 25, 2015 the Russian Federal Service on Supervision in the Sphere of Consumer's Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) issued a letter informing that its recent laboratory tests unveiled that household clearing detergents supplied by foreign companies do not meet toxicological safety standards and, therefore, distribution of such products must be suspended (the “Letter”).

The Letter listed the following companies as suppliers of inconsistent products: Henkel Rus LLC, Nevskaya Kosmetika LLC, ESP Contract GMBH, Procter & Gamble, Werner & Mertz GmbH, Colgate-Palmolive and The Clorox Company.


According to press, Russian biggest retailers (Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry and Х5 Retail Group) already started removing the following goods from distribution: "Persil Expert Sensitive" and softener "Vernel Spring Freshness" (manufactured by Henkel), "Fairy Platinum" (supplied by "Procter & Gamble", Czech Republic), liquid soap "Palmolive Naturel, intensive miniaturization olive and moisturizing milk” (manufactured by "Colgate-Palmolive", Turkey) and some other products.

The Letter is available on the web-site of Rospotrebnadzor in the Russian language only. For additional information, please contact Alexander Bychkov of our Moscow office.

US - USTR sets seven day deadline for comments on USITC GSP report

On August 25, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing that public comments should be provided within seven calendar days of the release of the public version of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) statutorily-mandated report, providing advice on the probable economic effect of granting a waiver of the application of competitive need limitations (CNLs) to two products from Thailand.

On July 6, 2015, USTR announced in the Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 38501) the launch of a review of products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program that, based on full-year 2014 import data, are subject to certain actions related to competitive need limitations (CNLs). That notice indicated that two products from Thailand—HTS 2008.19.15 and HTS 7408.29.10—will be removed from eligibility for GSP for Thailand on October 1, 2015, unless the President grants a waiver for the product for Thailand in response to a petition filed by an interested party. The government of Thailand subsequently filed petitions seeking CNL waivers for both products. Pursuant to U.S. law and regulations pertaining to GSP, USTR requested the USITC provide advice regarding the probable economic effect of granting the subject waivers.

The USITC is expected to release the public version of its report on these two waiver requests in late August 2015. Comments on the USITC report should be submitted to USTR via www.regulations.gov in Docket Number USTR–2015–0007, per the guidelines in the Federal Register notice, within seven calendar days after the date of the release of the report.

US - USTR gives Curaçao CBTPA enhanced trade benefits

On August 25, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing that the USTR has determined that Curaçao meets certain customs criteria of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and, therefore, imports of eligible products from Curaçao qualify for the enhanced trade benefits provided under the Act. The effective date is August 18, 2015.

The CBTPA (Title II of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106–200) expands the trade benefits available to Caribbean and Central American beneficiary countries under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA). The enhanced trade benefits provided by the CBTPA are available to imports of eligible products from countries that (1) the President designates as CBTPA beneficiary countries, and (2) meet the requirements of the CBERA relating to implementation of customs procedures and requirements similar to those in Chapter 5 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that assist the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in verifying the origin of the products.

In Proclamation 9072 of December 23, 2013, the President designated Curaçao as a CBERA and a CBTPA beneficiary country. In that proclamation, the President also delegated to USTR the authority to determine whether Curaçao is meeting the customs criteria of the CBERA. The President directed the USTR to announce any such determinations in the Federal Register and to implement any such determinations through modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

Based on information and commitments provided by Curaçao to date, the USTR has determined that Curaçao satisfies the requirements of section 213(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the CBERA relating to the implementation of procedures and requirements similar in all material respects to those in Chapter 5 of the NAFTA. Accordingly, pursuant to the authority vested in the USTR by Proclamation 9072, the HTS is modified by (i) modifying general note 17(a) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States by adding in alphabetical sequence “Curaçao,” and (ii) modifying U.S. note 1 to subchapter XX of chapter 98 by inserting in alphabetical sequence “Curaçao,’’, effective with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on the date of this notice.

US - BIS updates list of countries where persons in U.S. may request DoD assistance in obtaining priority delivery contracts
On August 21, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 150720623-5623-01] updating the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) Regulations, which contain a list of countries with which the Department of Defense (DoD) has entered into security of supply arrangements. Persons in the United States may request the assistance of the DoD in seeking priority delivery from parties in those countries. This rule adds Spain to the list, reflecting DoD’s recent security of supply arrangement with that country. Listing these countries in the DPAS Regulations is purely informational and does not affect any right, duty or prohibition that applies to any person under those regulations. The rule was effective upon publication.
US - CPSC announces test of PGA Message Set in ACE, requests participants

On August 21, 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing that the CPSC in consultation with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) intends to conduct a test to assess the electronic filing of certain data via the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set to the CBP Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for regulated finished consumer products under CPSC jurisdiction and three specified finished products included on the Substantial Product Hazard List established under section 15(j) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The test is being conducted to advance the concept of a “single window” to facilitate electronic collection, processing, sharing, and reviewing of trade data and documents required by federal agencies during the cargo import and export processes, and in furtherance of more accurately targeting imports to facilitate the flow of legitimate trade and enhanced targeting of noncompliant trade. During the test, participants will collaborate with CBP and CPSC to examine the effectiveness of the “single window” capability. Based on stakeholder feedback, the test also will assess the concept of a data registry (the “Data Registry”), maintained by CPSC, which would allow stakeholders to file a reference to existing targeting/enforcement data through the PGA Message Set, rather than by entering all data for each entry.

The Federal Register notice provides the following key information:

  • International Trade Data System (ITDS) and CBP’s authority to conduct test programs;
  • the CPSC’s authority regarding data collection and import surveillance;
  • the purpose of the test;
  • an explanation of the test concept;
  • the availability of CPSC’s supplemental Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) guideline and request for technical comments;
  • participant eligibility, selection criteria, and responsibilities;
  • the advantages of test participation; and
  • a request that importers interested in test participation contact the CPSC.

Electronic requests to participate in the test program may be submitted on or before October 5, 2015 and throughout the duration of the test. CPSC will consider applications to participate until the test capacity of nine participants is filled. The test will continue until terminated by way of an announcement in the Federal Register.

Requests to participate in the test and technical comments on CPSC’s supplemental CATAIR guideline (which will be made available on CBP.gov) should be submitted through electronic mail to: efilingpilot cpsc.gov . Requests to participate in the test should contain the subject heading: “Application to participate in PGA Message Set Test.” Technical comments on CPSC’s supplemental CATAIR guideline should contain the subject heading “CATAIR Technical Comments.”

Ninety sessions to be held at WTO Public Forum

On 20 August 2015, the WTO announced that a total of 90 sessions will be held at the 2015 WTO Public Forum from 30 September to 2 October at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva. Entitled “Trade Works”, the Forum will focus on how and why trade works, and for whom. The sessions will be organized by a wide range of participants, including WTO members, businesses, non-governmental organizations, academia, law firms and international organizations. The provisional programme is available here.

Regular updates on the Public Forum will be published on the WTO website and via the WTO's social media channels. These will include a wide selection of photos, which will also be made available on Flickr.

All participants must complete an online application form available on the Public Forum website. Registration will remain open until 20 September 2015.

US - CBP announces test of ACE export manifest for vessel cargo

On August 20, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a general notice announcing that CBP plans to conduct the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test, a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning ACE export manifest capability. The ACE Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test is a voluntary test in which participants agree to submit export manifest data to CBP electronically, at least 24 hours prior to loading of the cargo onto the vessel in preparation for departure from the United States. In most cases, CBP regulations require carriers to submit a paper manifest for export vessel shipments within 4 days after departure or for approved carriers to submit the outbound vessel manifest information electronically within 10 days after departure. The notice provides a description of the test, sets forth eligibility requirements for participation, and invites public comment on any aspect of the test.

The test will begin no earlier than September 21, 2015, and will run for approximately 2 two years. CBP is accepting applications for participation in this planned test until CBP has received applications from nine parties that meet all test participant requirements. Comments concerning this notice and all aspects of the announced test may be submitted at any time during the test period. Applications to participate in the ACE Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test must be submitted via email to CBP Export Manifest at cbpvesselexportmanifest cbp.dhs.gov. In the subject line of the email, please use “ACE Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test Application”. Written comments concerning program, policy, and technical issues may also be submitted via email to the same address, but the subject line should read, “Comment on ACE Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test.”

US - New ACE capabilities available

On August 19, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS#15-000586 which announced that CBP is working to complete the development of core trade processing capabilities in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and decommission corresponding capabilities in legacy systems by the end of 2016. The CSMS provided confirmation of the successful release of new capabilities in ACE on August 8th.

At this time, the following capabilities are available and operational to Trade users:

  • Remote Location Filing (RLF) for ACE Entry Summaries certified for ACE Cargo Release
  • Single Pay Option for ACE Entry Summaries
  • Refactored Entry Summary Types 01, 03, and 11 in the new ACE Platform
  • ACE Acceptance of Entry Type 52, Entry Summary Types 51 and 52
  • Quota validations for ACE entry summaries
USTR initiates 2015 GSP product and country review
On August 19, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [USTR–2015–0013] announcing that the USTR is prepared to receive petitions to modify the list of products 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. USTR is also prepared to receive petitions requesting waivers of competitive need limitations (CNLs). The notice provides that, pursuant to 15 C.F.R. part 2007.3, the following deadlines apply with respect to the 2015 review: 5:00 p.m., October 16, 2015 for the submission of petitions to modify the list of articles eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP or to review the GSP status of any beneficiary developing country, and 5:00 p.m., November 23, 2015 for the submission of petitions requesting CNL waivers. The lists of petitions accepted for review will be announced in the Federal Register at a later date. Public comments should be electronically submitted to www.regulations.gov for docket № USTR-2015-0013
US - USTR seeks comments to compile National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers

On August 19, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [USTR 2015–0014] that invites written comments from the public on issues that USTR should examine in preparing the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). Section 181 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2241), requires USTR to publish annually the NTE . The notice advises interested persons that the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is requesting submissions of comments to assist it in identifying significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the NTE.


Section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. 3106) (“Section 1377”) requires USTR to review annually the operation and effectiveness of all U.S. trade agreements regarding telecommunications products and services that are in force with respect to the United States. In past years, USTR has solicited comments with regard to Section 1377 in a separate Federal Register Notice. For 2016, USTR is collecting information regarding the trade barriers pertinent to the conduct of the review called for in Section 1377 through this notice. Public comments are due not later than 11:59 p.m., October 28, 2015.

US - DHS publishes Privacy Act notice for consolidated CBP Import Information System

On August 17, 2015, the Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published in the Federal Register a notice of Privacy Act system of records [Docket No. DHS–2015–0047] proposing to consolidate, update, and rename two current DHS systems of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/ CBP–001 Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System System of Records” (7 Fed. Reg. 3109, January 19, 2006) and “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/CBP–015 Automated Commercial System System of Records” (73 Fed. Reg. 77759, December 19, 2008) as one new system of records. The consolidated system of records notice will be titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/CBP–001 Import Information System System of Records.” This system of records will continue to collect and maintain records on all commercial goods imported into the United States, as well as information pertaining to the carrier, broker, importer, and other persons associated with the manifest, import, or commercial entry transactions for the goods.

As a result of a review of these two systems, the DHS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is combining the system of records notices for these systems into one updated system of records notice that includes changes to the categories of individuals and to the categories of records regarding information maintained about persons who have account access to trade data in the system. The DHS/CBP is also including an additional routine use for disclosing vessel manifest information as required by statute, in addition to the new compilation of routine uses reconciled from the prior systems of records notices. Data from this system of records may be shared with law enforcement and/or intelligence agencies pursuant to the routine uses identified below. Additionally, the DHS is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking to exempt this system of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act elsewhere in the Federal Register. Lastly, this notice includes non-substantive changes to simplify the formatting and text of the previously published notices. This updated system will be included in the DHS’s inventory of record systems. Submit comments on or before September 16, 2015. This updated system will be effective September 16, 2015.

On the same date, DHS published in the Federal Register a concurrent notice of proposed rulemaking [Docket No. DHS–2015–0046] proposing to consolidate, update, and rename two current Department of Homeland Security systems of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/ CBP–001 Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System System of Records” and “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/ CBP–015 Automated Commercial System System of Records” as one new system of records. The consolidated system of records notice will be titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS/ CBP–001 Import Information System System of Records.” This system of records will continue to collect and maintain records on all commercial goods imported into the United States, as well as information pertaining to the carrier, broker, importer, and other persons associated with the manifest, import, or commercial entry transactions for the goods. In this proposed rulemaking, the Department proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements. Comments must be received on or before September 16, 2015.

EAEU - The EEC has developed new rules for medicines registration and examination

According to a news release issued by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on 11 August 2015, the Working Group of the EEC on forming unified approaches to regulation of medicines circulation within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has prepared The Draft Rules for registration and examination of human medicines. The release states:

The document is required to create a common medicines market in the EAEU that will start operating from January 1, 2016. From this date, all safe, effective and quality medicines will be freely circulated within the whole territory of the Union.

The Rules have been developed in view of the best international practices, recommendations of experts of the authorised authorities and representatives of business communities of the EAEU Member States.

In particular, the Rules include the detailed requirements for submission an application for medicines registration, format and content of the registration dossiers for various groups of medicines (including general medicines, biological and homeopathic products, herbal preparations, preparations with well-known use, blood preparations, etc.).

Application of these Rules will allow developing a transparent system of cooperation between the authorized authorities (expert organizations) of the Union Member States during the examination and consideration of registration applications and registration dossiers for medicines.


The Draft Rules are available for public discussion on the websites of the EAEU and of the Commission.

EAEU - Kyrgyzstan joins the EAEU
Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that on August 6, 2015, Kyrgyzstan (also known as the Kyrgyz Republic) became the fifth full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) after Kyrgyz President Nazabayev signed the notes of accession before the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Belarus. This action, which became effective on 12 August according to the official Eurasian Economic Union news release, completes the four year political process to join the Union. The border controls between the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan were removed. As a result of joining the Union, the country adopted the Single Customs Tariff and workers no longer need permission to work in the territory of the other member countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
Russia expands its food product import ban

On August 13, 2015 the Russian Government announced that the food embargo would be expanded to additionally cover the listed food products originating from Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Ukraine (on special conditions). The embargo would affect Ukraine if Ukraine implements the economic part of the EU- Ukraine Association Agreement. The information was published on the official website of the Russian Government at: http://government.ru/docs/19265/. The relevant decree is not yet officially published.


Initially, on August 7, 2014 Russia imposed a 1-year ban on importation of the listed food products from the US, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway as a retaliatory measure in response to the Ukraine-related sanctions introduced against Russia. The established list of banned agricultural and food products originating from the above listed countries currently includes the following goods (with certain specific exemptions):


• meat and meat products of HS codes 0201 - 0203, 0207;


• certain types of fish and sea products of HS codes 0302 – 0308;


• milk and dairy products of HS codes 0401 – 0406;


• certain types of vegetables of HS group 07, fruit and nuts of HS groups 0801 – 0813;


• sausages and similar products of HS code 160100; and

• certain food products of HS codes 1901 and 2106.


In June 2015 the ban was extended to be effective until August 5, 2016, and it may be subsequently extended for another 1-year period. Starting from August 6, 2015, the banned products that somehow find their way to the Russian market are subject to destruction when discovered by authorities (Presidential Decree No. 391 dated July 29, 2015).


For additional information, please contact Alexander Bychkov of our Moscow office. For updates, please check our Sanctions Blog.

US - USTR seeks comments for AGOA annual review of eligibility

On August 14, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice that announces the initiation the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (Subcommittee) is developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2016. The Subcommittee is requesting written public comments for this review and will conduct a public hearing on this matter. The Subcommittee will consider the written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in developing recommendations for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor in the preparation of the Department of Labor’s report on child labor as required under section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This notice identifies the eligibility criteria under AGOA that must be considered under AGOA, and lists those sub- Saharan African countries that are currently eligible for the benefits of AGOA and those that were ineligible for such benefits in 2015. Pursuant to the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA), this year’s review of the Republic of South Africa’s eligibility is being considered in a separate out of cycle review (see 80 Fed. Reg. 43156).

See Federal Register note for scheduling and due all dates

US - USTR seeks comments for AGOA annual review of eligibility

On August 14, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice that announces the initiation the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (Subcommittee) is developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2016. The Subcommittee is requesting written public comments for this review and will conduct a public hearing on this matter. The Subcommittee will consider the written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in developing recommendations for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor in the preparation of the Department of Labor’s report on child labor as required under section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This notice identifies the eligibility criteria under AGOA that must be considered under AGOA, and lists those sub- Saharan African countries that are currently eligible for the benefits of AGOA and those that were ineligible for such benefits in 2015. Pursuant to the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA), this year’s review of the Republic of South Africa’s eligibility is being considered in a separate out of cycle review (see 80 Fed. Reg. 43156).

See Federal Register note for scheduling and due all dates

Canada - General Export Permit No. 41 – Dual-use Goods and Technology to Certain Destinations

On August 12, 2015, the Canada Gazette published General Export Permit No. 41 — Dual-use Goods and Technology to Certain Destinations (SOR/2015-200, July 22, 2015) (GEP 41) issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act. The objective of GEP 41 is to provide a streamlined process for the export and transfer of certain controlled goods and technology to certain eligible destinations. The Regulatory Impact Analysis states in pertinent part:

GEPs are used to facilitate trade in defined circumstances, with such permits not requiring an individual application to be made to the Department prior to export/transfer. The relevant GEP must, however, be cited on the export declaration form that is provided to the Canada Border Services Agency at the time of export.
GEP 41 authorizes, subject to certain terms and conditions, the export or transfer of most goods and technology listed in Group 1 and item 5504 of the ECL to consignees when destined for use in an eligible destination. These destinations include like-minded countries that are members of multiple multilateral export control regimes of which Canada is a member and have implemented an effective system of export controls. The selection of eligible goods and technology and destinations, along with the terms and conditions imposed on the use of the GEP, ensure that this streamlined process does not represent a strategic risk to Canada’s security or that of our allies. Goods and technology controlled within Group 1 and ECL item 5504 requiring United States export authorization, under the United States International Traffic in Arms Regulations, as described in subparagraphs (3)(2)(c)(i) to (iii) of the Export Permit Regulations are not eligible for export or transfer under this Permit.

The full text of the regulation and its accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement is available in the August 12, 2015 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part II.

The Notice to Exporters for GEP No. 41 - Dual-use Goods and Technology to Certain Destinations can be found on the Export Controls Division website.

US - USTR seeks comments on CBERA and CBTPA

On August 12, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing that the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is seeking the views of interested parties on the operation of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Section 212(f) of the CBERA, as amended, requires the President to submit a report to Congress regarding the operation of the CBERA and CBTPA (together commonly referred to as the Caribbean Basin Initiative, or CBI) on or before December 31, 2001, and every two years thereafter. The TPSC invites written comments concerning the operation of the CBI, including comments on the performance of each CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary country under the criteria described in sections 212(b), 212(c), and 213(b)(5)(B) of CBERA, as amended. This information will be used in the preparation of the report to Congress on the operation of the program.

Public comments are due at USTR no later than 5 p.m., October 5, 2015.

US - USTR waives discriminatory purchasing requirements for New Zealand goods

On August 12, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a Determination regarding waiver of discriminatory purchasing requirements under the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. On October 29, 2014, the WTO Committee on Government Procurement approved the accession of New Zealand to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). New Zealand submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General of the WTO on July 13, 2015. The GPA will enter into force for New Zealand on August 12, 2015. The United States, which is also a party to the GPA, has agreed to waive discriminatory purchasing requirements for eligible products and suppliers of New Zealand beginning on August 12, 2015. Pursuant to delegated authority from the President, the USTR issued the following:

Determination: In conformity with sections 301 and 302 of the Trade Agreements Act, and in order to carry out U.S. obligations under the GPA, I hereby determine that:

1. New Zealand has become a party to the GPA and will provide appropriate reciprocal competitive government procurement opportunities to United States products and services and suppliers of such products and services. In accordance with section 301(b)(1) of the Trade Agreements Act, New Zealand is so designated for purposes of section 301(a) of the Trade Agreements Act

.
2. Accordingly, beginning on August 12, 2015, with respect to eligible products (namely, those goods and services covered under the GPA for procurement by the United States) of New Zealand and suppliers of such products, the application of any law, regulation, procedure, or practice regarding government procurement that would, if applied to such products and suppliers, result in treatment less favorable than that accorded—


(A) To United States products and suppliers of such products, or


+ (B) To eligible products of another foreign country or instrumentality which is a party to the GPA and suppliers of such products, shall be waived. This waiver shall be applied by all entities listed in United States Annexes 1 and 3 of GPA Appendix 1.


3. The Trade Representative may modify or withdraw the designation in paragraph 2

UK BIS/ECO posts Note on intrusion software tools and export control
On 10 August 2015, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) Export Control Organisation (ECO) posted a Note entitled Intrusion Software Tools and Export Control on its website. The 10 page document explains the controls on export of intrusion software tools that were agreed by the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2013 and implemented across the EU in December 2014. It does this by first describing in general terms the purpose and operation of export controls, and how they are agreed and implemented. It then describes the different types of export licence and how to apply. The note then looks in detail at the specific control text and gives some practical examples of what might or might not be controlled. Where relevant there are links to sources of more detailed information.
US - OFAC issues revised guidance on temporary Iran sanctions relief

On August 7, 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control posted the following:

On July 14, 2015, the P5 + 1 and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. The JCPOA will provide Iran with phased sanctions relief upon International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification that Iran has implemented key nuclear commitments. The P5+1 and Iran also decided on July 14, 2015 to further extend the sanctions relief provided for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) of November 24, 2013, as extended. This JPOA sanctions relief is the only Iran-related sanctions relief in effect until further notice. Today, the U.S. government is issuing the following revised Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Continuation of Certain Temporary Sanctions Relief Implementing the Joint Plan of Action, as Extended. The U.S. government is also issuing a Third Amended Statement of Licensing Policy on Activities Related to the Safety of Iran’s Civil Aviation Industry.

For updates, please see our Sanctions blog.

US - USTR seeks comments on WTO dispute with Indonesia
On August 11, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice seeking comments on the WTO dispute settlement proceeding regarding “United States—Anti- Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Certain Coated Paper From Indonesia” [Dispute No. WTO/DS491]. The Republic of Indonesia has requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU). That request may be found at the WTO website contained in a document designated as WT/DS491/2. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
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Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the dispute settlement proceedings, comments should be submitted on or before September 9, 2015, to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.
US - President continues national emergency with respect to Export Control Regulations
On August 11, 2015, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of August 7, 2015—Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Export Control Regulations which continues for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order (EO) 13222 of August 17, 2001. EO 13222 declared a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States in light of the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.). Because the Export Administration Act has not been renewed by the Congress, the national emergency declared on August 17, 2001, must be continued in effect beyond August 17, 2015.
US - NMFS proposes to implement fish and fish product import provision of MMPA

On August 11, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), published in the Federal Register a proposed rule [Docket No. 0907301201–4923–02] to revise its regulations to implement the import provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed regulations would establish conditions for evaluating a harvesting nation’s regulatory program for reducing marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury in fisheries that export fish and fish products to the United States. Under the proposed rule, harvesting nations must apply for and receive a comparability finding for each fishery identified by the Assistant Administrator in the List of Foreign Fisheries in order to import fish and fish products into the United States. The proposed rule establishes procedures that a harvesting nation must follow, and conditions to meet, to receive a comparability finding for a fishery. The proposed rule also establishes procedures for intermediary nations to certify that exports from those nations to the United States do not contain fish or fish products subject to an import prohibition. Agency actions and recommendations under this rule will be in accordance with U.S. obligations under applicable international trade law, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement.

Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on November 9, 2015. Information and comments concerning this proposed rule may be submitted by any one of several methods identified in the Federal Register notice. NMFS will consider all comments and information received during the comment period in preparing a final rule. NMFS will also seek input from other nations on the proposed rule at bilateral and multilateral meetings, as appropriate.

USTR seeks comments on China’s compliance with WTO commitments

On August 7, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a request for comments and notice of public hearing concerning China’s compliance with its WTO commitments. The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will convene a public hearing and seek public comment to assist the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the preparation of its annual report to the Congress on China’s compliance with the commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Persons wishing to testify at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention, as well as a summary of their testimony, by Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Written comments are also due by Wednesday, September 23, 2015. A hearing will be held in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Notifications of intent to testify and written comments should be submitted electronically via the Internet to the URL set forth in the notice unless alternative arrangements are made as indicated in the notice.

US - CBP modifies NCAP test to extend PGA message set and expand use for NHTSA data
On August 10, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a general notice announcing CBP’s plan to modify the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning the transmission of electronic filings through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), known as the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set test. These modifications extend the current PGA Message Set to cover entries arriving by ocean, truck, rail, and air modes of transportation at CBP-designated ports and expands the use of the ACE PGA Message Set for the transmission of U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) import data for entries of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment items. CBP invites public comment concerning the test program. The modified PGA Message Set test will commence no earlier than August 10, 2015 and will continue until concluded by way of announcement in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted through the duration of the test
US - DHS renews charter of the CBP User Fee Advisory Committee

On August 10, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. USCBP-2015-0027] announcing that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that the renewal of the charter of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC) is necessary and in the public interest in connection with the CBP’s performance of its duties. This determination follows consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration.

If you desire to submit comments on this action, they must be submitted by October 9, 2015. Comments must be identified by docket number and may be submitted by one of the methods set forth in the Federal Register notice.

US - Census updates HTS in the Automated Export System (AES)

On August 10, 2015, the Bureau of Census sent out an e-mail advising the trade that effective immediately, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) table has been updated in the Automated Export System (AES). AES will accept shipments with outdated codes during a grace period for 30 days beyond the expiration date. Reporting an outdated code after the 30 day grace period will result in a fatal error.

The AESDirect program has been updated and will accept shipments with outdated codes during the grace period as well. All AESPcLink users must update their AESDirect code tables to reflect the changes in the HTS. Web users of AESDirect who file via the website at http://aesdirect.census.gov will have their code tables updated via the program automatically.


The HTS table is available for download at: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/index.html#concordance. The current list of HTS codes that are not valid for AES are available at: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/concordance/hts-not-for-aes.html

US - CBP liberalizes certain documentary evidence for drawback claims
On August 7, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. 15-11] that amends CBP regulations by removing some of the requirements for documentation used to establish proof of exportation for drawback claims. Currently, claimants must provide originally signed documentary evidence or a certified copy of such documentary evidence to establish the date and fact of exportation of articles for drawback purposes. The final rule also amends various sections of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to reflect that there is no longer a legal requirement that the export invoice for mail shipments be certified. Additionally, the document amends Appendix B to part 191 of title 19 so that the Appendix reflects previous regulatory amendments closing four drawback offices. Finally, the document amends CBP regulations to reflect the change from the legacy agency name of U.S. Customs Service to the current agency name of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and to make other non-substantive editorial changes. This final rule is effective on August 7, 2015.
US - BIS amends Entity List to prevent violations of Russian Industry Sector Sanction
On August 7, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 150610514-5514-01] amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to further implement U.S. sanctions on certain Russian energy projects. Specifically, the EAR is amended by adding a Russian oil and gas field, the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye Field located in the Sea of Okhotsk, to the Entity List. This Russian field is reported to contain substantial reserves of oil in addition to reserves of gas. The U.S. Government has determined, therefore, that exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of all items subject to the EAR to this Russian field by any person without first obtaining a BIS license present an unacceptable risk of use in, or diversion to, the activities specified in the Russian industry sector sanctions. Thus, as part of the BIS “is informed” process, this final rule adds this Russian field to the Entity List to further implement the Russian industry sector sanctions. This Russian field will be listed on the Entity List under the destination of Russia. This final rule clarifies the introductory text of the Entity List to specify that the embargoes and other special controls part of the EAR is also used to add entities to the Entity List. Lastly, this final rule makes a change to the Russian industry sector sanctions by clarifying the additional prohibition on those informed by BIS also includes end-uses that are within the scope of the Russian Industry sector sanctions.
US - AMS and APHIS to conduct ITDS/ACE pilots

On August 6, 2015, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) published in the Federal Register a general notice and request for comments [Doc. No. AMS–FV– 15–0019; FV15–944/980/999–2] regarding a pilot test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) involving the electronic submission of data related to importations of fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops regulated by AMS, using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set component of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The submission of this information is required under § 608e (section 8e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The pilot program will test the electronic transmission of AMS data through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) program known as the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set. This data will be transmitted for review by AMS’ Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS). CBP’s PGA Message Set enables importers and brokers to electronically transmit data required by AMS directly to ACE. This electronic process will replace the paper-based process currently used. This notice also invites importers and brokers who are importing commodities subject to section 8e regulations to request participation in this AMS pilot and invites public comment on any aspects of the pilot.

The test will commence no earlier than July 13, 2015, and will continue until concluded by publication of a notice in the Federal Register ending the test. Any party seeking to participate in the AMS PGA Message Set test should contact their CBP client representative. Interested parties without an assigned CBP client representative should submit an email to Richard Lower at Richard.Lower ams.usda.gov with the subject heading “AMS PGA Message Set Test FRN-Request to Participate.” Interested parties may submit comments about the pilot at any time as explained in the ADDRESSES section of the notice.

On the same date, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. APHIS–2015–0056] announcing that CBP and APHIS have developed a pilot plan to test and assess the ITDS for the electronic submission of Lacey Act import declaration data. The pilot test will use the APHIS PGA Message Set and the Automated Broker Interface to transmit, and ACE to process, trade data required by the Lacey Act for the importation of plant and paper products. Under this test, PGA Message Set data may be submitted only for Lacey Act import declarations filed at certain ports.

Comments will be accepted through the duration of the test. The test will commence no earlier than August 6, 2015, and will continue until concluded by publication of a notice ending the test. Participants should consult http://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/list-aceitds-pga-message-set-pilot-ports to determine which ports are operational and the date they become operational.

US - TTB announces pilot ITDS/ACE program to collect import data
On August 7, 2015, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published in the Federal Register a notice (and request for comments) [Docket No. TTB–2015–0012; Notice No. 156] announcing a pilot program in which importers, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and TTB will test, as part of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) project, the electronic collection of import data required by TTB and the transfer of that data through CBP to TTB. TTB is also announcing the availability of and requesting comment on a draft set of instructions that describes how importers of distilled spirits, wine, beer, tobacco products, processed tobacco, or cigarette papers and tubes may file information electronically to meet TTB requirements at the importation of those commodities. The information gathered through the comments on the draft instructions and pilot program and through an evaluation of the pilot program will allow TTB and CBP to refine their implementation of ITDS. Comments on the draft Filing Instructions must be received by October 6, 2015.
London & Amsterdam: Annual Anti-Bribery and International Trade Conference

29, 30 September & 1 October 2015 - London
5 & 6 November 2015 - Amsterdam


For in-house legal counsel and compliance professionals

These conferences in Amsterdam and London will provide a practical overview of significant developments in the Anti-Bribery and International Trade arena, and the implications for your company's compliance programme and procedures. As usual, you will hear from our experts from across the globe.
Further details for each conference are provided below.

Annual Anti-Bribery and International Trade Conference
29, 30 September & 1 October 2015 - London

Customs Seminar
Tuesday 29 September, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
This year's session will have a special emphasis on the expected changes to the EU customs rules through the impending implementation of the Union Customs Code (UCC). We are delighted that we will be joined by a panel of speakers from the UK's HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for a half day panel on the key changes that will be implemented through the UCC and the expected timeframe for the roll-out of these changes. The second half of the day will focus on EU and UK updates to the core areas of tariff classification, valuation and origin. An update on customs developments in the US, Russia/CIS countries and Asia Pacific will also be provided. Please click here for the full agenda.

Export Controls and Trade Sanctions Seminar
Wednesday 30 September, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
This session will update delegates on key recent developments in EU, UK, US and international export controls and trade sanctions, including an extensive assessment of the JCPOA agreement with Iran and the latest developments relating to Russian sanctions. In addition, through a series of more interactive breakout sessions, we will take an in-depth look into hot topics such as mitigating risks associated with sanctions measures, implementing an effective compliance programme, and managing investigations and voluntary disclosures. Please click here for the full agenda.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption Seminar
Thursday 1 October, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

This session will update delegates on recent US and UK enforcement and other trends in relation to anti-bribery and corruption. In addition, we will also focus on rising enforcement in the key high growth markets of Brazil and China. The seminar will also provide delegates with an opportunity to participate in a number of interactive workshops. Please click here for the full agenda.

We hope that you will be able to join us for what will be an interesting and fruitful three days.

For further information relating to the London event please contact Kate.Bullard bakermckenzie.com.

Please register as soon as possible as places are limited.

A formal confirmation confirming your place, including final details, will be sent to you two weeks before the conference.

Please do not make any travel arrangements until your place has been confirmed as the event is commonly oversubscribed.

Click here to register for the London event

Location of the London event
Baker & McKenzie
100 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6JA

Annual International Trade & Compliance Conference
5 & 6 November 2015 – Amsterdam

This conference will provide you with an overview of significant developments in the areas of anti-bribery, compliance, customs, export controls, international trade and sanctions.

We will bring together presenters from a number of our offices, including Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Moscow, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Zurich. In addition we have invited corporate speakers who will be able to explain to you first hand how they deal with international compliance matters within their own companies.

We hope that you will be able to join us for what will be an interesting and fruitful two days.

For further information relating to the Amsterdam event please contact Claudia.Wehmeijer bakermckenzie.com

Location of the Amsterdam event
Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Boulevard 101
1181 BG Amsterdam

August 10 in Washington, DC: The US, EU, and UN sanctions implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

On Monday, August 10, 2015, Baker & McKenzie is hosting an event in our offices in Washington, DC about the Iran nuclear deal (the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”) and related sanctions relief. Speakers will include representatives from the State Department, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the private sector. There will be a teleconference option for those who are unable to attend in person. The event is sponsored by the Association of Women in International Trade (“WIIT”), the ABA Section of International Law (“ABA”), and the Washington Foreign Law Society. Two members of our U.S.-based outbound trade compliance group, Kerry Contini (on behalf of WIIT) and Alex Lamy (on behalf of the ABA), will moderate this event.

For more information and to register, please click here. Whether you would like to join us in person or by teleconference, it is necessary to register through the WIIT website.

US - Continuation of national emergency with respect to Lebanon
On July 31, 2015, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of July 29, 2015—Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Lebanon which continues for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Lebanon declared in Executive Order 13441 (August 1, 2007) because certain ongoing activities, such as continuing arms transfers to Hizballah that include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in Lebanon, and continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
US - OFAC issues Crimea advisory

On July 30, 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) posted an Advisory entitled Obfuscation of Critical Information in Financial and Trade Transactions Involving the Crimea Region of Ukraine to highlight some of the practices that have been used to circumvent or evade U.S. sanctions involving Crimea. OFAC states that U.S. persons and persons conducting business in or through the United States should be aware of these practices in order to implement appropriate controls, commensurate with their OFAC sanctions risk profile, to ensure compliance with their OFAC obligations. The evasive practices identified by OFAC include the omission or obfuscation of references to Crimea and locations within Crimea in documentation underlying transactions involving U.S. persons or the United States. These practices apply to a range of activities involving both the financial services and international trade sectors. Two of the points mentioned are:

  • In the context of financial transactions, OFAC has become aware that certain individuals or entities have engaged in a pattern or practice of repeatedly omitting all or part of the originator or beneficiary address information from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messages involving individuals ordinarily resident in, or entities located in, Crimea (collectively, “Crimean individuals or entities”).

  • In the international trade context, references to Crimea have been obscured in trade transactions and associated agreements and documentation. In particular, while the United States does not recognize the legitimacy of Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea, certain individuals and entities list Crimean counterparties on financial and trade documents as being located in Russia rather than in Ukraine.

The Advisory gives specific examples of each of these and states the risk of processing transactions in apparent violation of OFAC sanctions on Crimea can be mitigated by implementing the following types of measures:

  • Ensuring that transaction monitoring systems include appropriate search terms corresponding to major geographic locations in Crimea and not simply references to “Crimea.” For example, payment instructions or trade documents may reference major cities or ports located in Crimea, and interdiction filters may not flag such transactions for review if the filters do not include an appropriately expansive list of search terms.

  • Requesting additional information from parties (including financial institutions, corporate entities, and individuals) that previously have violated or attempted to violate U.S. sanctions on Crimea. Such prior conduct could include, for example, routing transactions to or through U.S. financial institutions with inaccurate or incomplete address information for Crimean individuals or entities.

  • Clearly communicating U.S. sanctions obligations to international partners (in both the financial and trade sectors) and discussing OFAC sanctions compliance expectations with correspondent banking and trade partners. Such communications should include, for example, a description of the prohibition on the direct and indirect exportation or reexportation of goods, technology, and services (including financial services) from the United States to Crimea.

Please check our Sanctions blog for any updates on this subject.

Client Alert: CBP issues instructions for obtaining retroactive GSP treatment

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a renewable preferential trade program that allows the eligible products of designated beneficiary developing countries to directly enter the United States free of duty. The GSP program expired on July 31, 2013, but has been renewed through December 31, 2017, effective July 29, 2015, with retroactive effect between August 1, 2013 to July 28, 2015, by a provision in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-27; the Act).

The Act provides that for entries made on or after August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015, to which duty-free treatment would have applied if GSP had been in effect during that time period, any duty paid with respect to such entry will be refunded (without interest) provided that a request for liquidation or reliquidation of that entry, containing sufficient information to enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to locate the entry or to reconstruct the entry if it cannot be located, is filed with CBP by December 28, 2015 (180 days after enactment of Pub. L. 114–27).

Click here to view the full client alert.

US - FWS proposes additional measures to protect African elephants

On July 29, 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule [Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA–2013–0091; 96300–1671–0000–R4] to revise the rule for the African elephant promulgated under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), to increase protection for African elephants in response to the alarming rise in poaching of the species to fuel the growing illegal trade in ivory. The African elephant was listed as threatened under the ESA effective June 11, 1978, and at the same time a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA (a “4(d) rule”) was promulgated to regulate import and use of specimens of the species in the United States.


The proposed rule would update the current 4(d) rule with measures that are appropriate for the current conservation needs of the species. The FWS is proposing measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the African elephant as well as appropriate prohibitions from section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. Among other things, FWS proposes to incorporate into the 4(d) rule certain restrictions on the import and export of African elephant ivory contained in the African Elephant Conservation Act (AfECA) as measures necessary and advisable for the conservation of the African elephant. The FWS is not, however, revising or reconsidering actions taken under the AfECA, including its determinations in 1988 and 1989 to impose moratoria on the import of ivory other than sport-hunted trophies from both range and intermediary countries. FWS is proposing to take these actions under section 4(d) of the ESA to increase protection and benefit the conservation of African elephants, without unnecessarily restricting activities that have no conservation effect or are strictly regulated under other law.


In preparing the final decision on this proposed rule, the FWS will consider comments received or postmarked on or before September 28, 2015.

US - ATF to test voluntary ITDS pilot project for imports

On July 30, 2015, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice, published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. ATF 2015R–15] announcing that along with more than a dozen other agencies, ATF will participate in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pilot test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) for processing import-related forms and data using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Industry participation in the pilot program is entirely voluntary.

The pilot test will allow participating importers to submit forms and information to CBP through ACE for the purpose of obtaining CBP release and receipt. CBP will validate that information, and electronically transmit entry and release information to agencies (including ATF) for purposes of satisfying CBP’s certification requirements. The pilot program seeks to streamline this part of the import process. Interested parties should regularly check the List of ACE/ITDS PGA Message Set Pilot Ports Web site to confirm the list of participating ports. Information on ATF’s rules and regulations, and answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on the ATF’s Web site.

Interested parties may submit electronic or written requests to participate in the pilot program throughout the duration of the pilot. This pilot will begin no earlier than August 19, 2015, and will continue until concluded by publication of a notice ending it. Requests to participate in the pilot program should be submitted to William E. Majors, whose contact information can be found in the Federal Register notice.

US - OFAC publishes Ukraine General Licenses 5,6,7,8 and 9

On July 29, 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published in the Federal Register a notice publishing General License No. 5, General License No. 6, General License No. 7, General License No. 8, and General License No. 9 issued under the Ukraine-related sanctions program. On December 30, 2014, OFAC issued General License No. 5, which authorizes transactions and activities necessary to wind down operations involving the Crimea region of Ukraine, subject to certain limitations. On January 30, 2015, OFAC issued three Ukraine-related general licenses. General License No. 6 authorizes noncommercial, personal remittances to or from the Crimea region of Ukraine or for or on behalf of an individual ordinarily resident in the Crimea region of Ukraine, subject to certain limitations. General License No. 7 authorizes the operation of accounts in U.S. financial institutions for individuals ordinarily resident in the Crimea region of Ukraine, subject to certain limitations. General License No. 8 authorizes transactions related to the receipt and transmission of telecommunications and mail, subject to certain limitations. On May 22, 2015, OFAC issued General License No. 9, which authorizes the exportation of certain services and software incident to the exchange of Internet-based communications, subject to certain limitations.

The effective dates of the general licenses are: December 30, 2014, for General License No. 5; January 30, 2015 for General License No. 6, General License No. 7, and General License No. 8; and May 22, 2015 for General License No. 9.

US - FinCEN imposes special measures on FBME Bank Ltd.

On July 29, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury, published in the Federal Register a final rule imposing a special measure against FBME Bank Ltd. (FBME), formerly known as the Federal Bank of the Middle East, Ltd. In a Notice of Finding (NOF) published in the Federal Register on July 22, 2014, the Director of FinCEN found that reasonable grounds exist for concluding that FBME is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern pursuant to the United States Code (U.S.C.). On the same date, FinCEN also published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to propose the imposition of a special measure authorized by the U.S.C. against FBME. FinCEN is issuing the final rule imposing the fifth special measure against FBME. The fifth special measure allows the Director to prohibit or impose conditions on the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts for the identified institution by U.S. financial institutions.

This final rule is effective August 28, 2015.

US - DHS proposes amendments to FOIA regulations that affect all components

On July 29, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking [Docket No. DHS–2009–0036] to amend the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which apply to all components of DHS. The Department (DHS) is proposing to update and streamline the language of several procedural provisions, and to incorporate changes brought about by the amendments to the FOIA under the OPEN Government Act of 2007, among other changes.


DHS proposes to include an exception to proposed § 5.7 for commercial information provided to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by a business submitter. Although CBP’s FOIA regulations (located at 19 C.F.R. part 103, subpart A) are displaced by the DHS FOIA regulations, because of the unique nature of CBP’s mission, this rule proposes to allow CBP to continue treating commercial information in the same manner as it has since the promulgation of current 19 C.F.R. 103.35. CBP’s FOIA regulations, located at 19 C.F.R. part 103, subpart A, will be removed no later than the effective date of the final rule for this rulemaking. CBP may, however, retain current 19 C.F.R. 103.35 as an interim measure. Proposed § 5.12 contains CBP procedures for responding to requests for confidential commercial information.

DHS invites comment on all aspects of this proposal. Comments are due September 28, 2015.

US - CBP will test the collection of biometric information at up to ten U.S. airports

On July 28, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a general notice advising the public that it intends to conduct a test to collect biometric and biographic information from certain aliens who are departing the United States on selected flights from up to ten identified U.S. airports. The notice describes the test, to be known as Biometric Exit Mobile (“BE-Mobile”) Air Test, its purpose, how it will be implemented, the individuals covered, the duration of the test, where the test will take place, and the privacy considerations. This test will not apply to U.S. citizens.

The test will begin no earlier than July 6, 2015, and will run for approximately one year. The test will be rolled out over this one-year period at up to ten of the following airports: Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California; San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California; Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois; Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey; John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York; Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, Texas; George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas; and Washington Dulles International Airport, Sterling, Virginia.

US - CBP publishes instructions for obtaining retroactive GSP treatment

On July 28, 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a document providing notice to importers that CBP will again accept claims for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) duty-free treatment for merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption and that CBP will process refunds on duties paid, without interest, on GSP-eligible merchandise that was entered during the period that the GSP program was lapsed.

The GSP is a renewable preferential trade program that allows the eligible products of designated beneficiary developing countries to directly enter the United States free of duty. The GSP program expired on July 31, 2013, but has been renewed through December 31, 2017, effective July 29, 2015, with retroactive effect between August 1, 2013 to July 28, 2015, by a provision in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.

Formal and informal entries that were filed electronically via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) using Special Program Indicator (SPI) Code “A” as a prefix to the tariff number will be automatically processed by CBP and no further action by the filer is required to initiate the refund process. Non-ABI filers, and ABI filers that did not include SPI Code “A” on the entry, must timely submit a duty refund request to CBP. CBP will continue conducting verifications to ensure that GSP benefits are available to eligible entries only.

Effective July 29, 2015, the filing of GSP-eligible entry summaries may be resumed without the payment of estimated duties, and CBP will initiate the automatic liquidation or reliquidation of formal and informal entries of GSP-eligible merchandise that was entered on or after August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015 and filed via ABI with SPI Code “A” notated on the entry. Requests for refunds of GSP duties paid on eligible non-ABI entries, or eligible ABI entries filed without SPI Code “A,” must be filed with CBP no later than December 28, 2015.

Instructions for submitting a request to CBP to liquidate or reliquidate entries of GSP-eligible merchandise that was entered on or after August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015 are located at the CBP page on GSP. Additional information is available at CBP's page on GSP renewal. CBP has also posted FAQs on the 2015 GSP reauthorization, as well as information on the GSP refund process.

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Chair, NA International
Commercial Practice Group

Miguel Noyola
Partner, Chicago
Email: Miguel Noyola
T + 1 312 861 7589


Members, US International
Trade Compliance Steering Committee


Janet K. Kim
Partner, Washington DC
Email: Janet Kim
T + 1 202 835 1653

John F. McKenzie
Partner, San Francisco
Email: John McKenzie
T + 1 415 576 3033

Ted Murphy
Partner, Washington DC
Email: Ted Murphy
T + 1 202 452 7069


Editor, International Trade
Compliance Update


Stuart P. Seidel
Partner, Washington DC
Email: Stuart Seidel
T + 1 202 452 7088