The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced final rules effective November 9, 2017, implementing the National Security Presidential Memorandum (“NSPM“) “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” signed by President Trump on June 16, 2017. Read more…
In a Federal Register notice published April 7, 2017, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it will convene the 2017 West Coast Trade Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, and Thursday, May 25, 2017. Read more…
On July 8, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register¬ a notice of proposed rulemaking [Docket No. USCBP-2016-0041] to amend its regulations to allow the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) preference override to apply to certain spice products and other food products in which a lesser degree of processing in a NAFTA party is required to constitute “production” which will confer originating status to certain non-NAFTA materials. The United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to liberalize provisions of the NAFTA preference rules of origin that relate to certain goods, including certain spices. However, such liberalization cannot take effect in the U.S. unless CBP amends its regulations as proposed in the Federal Register notice.
General Note 12(a), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), provides that an imported good is eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA only if it is an originating good of a NAFTA party and it qualifies to be marked as a good of Canada or Mexico under the rules for determining the country of origin of a good for purposes of Annex 311 of the NAFTA. The rules for determining the country of origin for marking in such cases are included in part 102, CBP regulations (19 C.F.R. part 102). In situations in which an imported good is determined under Article 401 of the NAFTA to be originating but fails to qualify as a good of Canada or Mexico under the other applicable provisions set forth in 19 C.F.R. part 102, the NAFTA preference override in § 102.19 may provide a basis for enabling the good to qualify as a good of Canada or Mexico. However, the preference override does not currently apply to “minor processing” operations.
CBP understands that, as a result of actions taken or interpretations adopted by the Governments of Canada and Mexico, the above-referenced spices and other food products subject to the NAFTA liberalizations are receiving NAFTA preferential tariff treatment when imported from the United States into Canada and Mexico (assuming compliance with all applicable requirements). To rectify the problem discussed above with respect to imports from Canada and Mexico, CBP is proposing to amend § 102.19 by adding a new paragraph (c) to allow the NAFTA preference override to apply to these specific goods. This proposed change, if finalized, will give effect to the intentions of the NAFTA parties by extending NAFTA preferential tariff treatment to certain goods imported from Canada and Mexico that, under the liberalized rules of origin in General Note 12(t), are considered NAFTA originating as a result of minor processing operations (e.g., packaging) performed in a NAFTA party.
Comments must be received on or before September 6, 2016.
On July 11, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register¬ a notice announcing that the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) will meet in Boston, Massachusetts (MA) on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. The meeting may close early if the committee has completed its business.
Pre-Registration: Meeting participants may attend either in person or via webinar after pre-registering using a method indicated in the Federal Register notice: To facilitate public participation, CBP is inviting public comment on the issues the committee will consider prior to the formulation of recommendations as listed in the “Agenda” section below.
The COAC will hear from the following subcommittees on the topics listed below and then will review, deliberate, provide observations, and formulate recommendations on how to proceed:
On July 12, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register¬ a general notice [CBP Dec. No. 16-09] that announces that CBP is concluding the limited pilot that commenced in 2013 and expanding eligibility in the Global Entry program to include all British citizens with a valid United Kingdom passport documenting their British citizenship. Additionally, the document announces that certain U.S. citizens may apply for membership in Registered Traveller, the United Kingdom’s registered traveler program. Global Entry eligibility will be expanded to British citizens on July 12, 2016. Applications will be accepted beginning July 12, 2016. Global Entry is a voluntary program that allows pre-approved participants dedicated CBP processing into the United States using Global Entry kiosks located at designated airports.
|On July 12, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register¬ a general notice [CBP Dec. No. 16-09] that announces that CBP is concluding the limited pilot that commenced in 2013 and expanding eligibility in the Global Entry program to include all British citizens with a valid United Kingdom passport documenting their British citizenship. Additionally, the document announces that certain U.S. citizens may apply for membership in Registered Traveller, the United Kingdom’s registered traveler program. Global Entry eligibility will be expanded to British citizens on July 12, 2016. Applications will be accepted beginning July 12, 2016. Global Entry is a voluntary program that allows pre-approved participants dedicated CBP processing into the United States using Global Entry kiosks located at designated airports.|
On June 20, 2016, Global Affairs Canada posted an invitation for comments on the administration of the new Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) and Origin Quotas that will be established under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canada and the European Union have undertaken to provide new or expanded market access in specific sectors, by way of TRQs for European Union cheese exports into Canada, and Origin Quotas for Canadian exports of high-sugar containing products, sugar confectionary and chocolate preparations, processed foods, dog and cat food, fish and seafood, textiles and apparel, and vehicles into the European Union.
Global Affairs Canada is seeking comments from all sectors of Canadian society and international stakeholders interested in TRQs and Origin Quotas:
The establishment of two new TRQs for cheese will provide new access to imports of cheese from countries within the European Union, while the introduction of new export Origin Quotas across seven sectors will provide Canadian exporters with preferential access to markets within the European Union. Global Affairs Canada seeks comments on Tariff Rate Quotas and Origin Quotas for the following commodities:
Tariff Rate Quotas
For products made using non-originating, or imported, materials or ingredients, the “main” rules of origin may apply. If this main rule of origin is satisfied, there is no need to refer to the Origin Quota, and the product can exported to the European Union at the preferential duty rate.
Products that do not satisfy the main rules of origin may qualify as originating under the “alternative” rules of origin for Origin Quotas. Under these “alternative” rules of origin, producers can use more non-originating materials or ingredients than otherwise permitted under the main rules of origin. Relying on the Origin Quotas to export preferentially to the European Union is only necessary for products that: 1) do not satisfy the main CETA rules of origin; or 2) are not subject to duty-free entry to the European Union under the Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates.
Global Affairs Canada has prepared a Toolkit for information about the administration of TRQs and Origin Quotas. Commenters should complete the feedback form by July 21, 2016 and submit additional information or materials to Trade Controls Policy Division (TIC) by email or by postal mail to: CETA.Quotas@international.gc.ca or Trade Controls Policy Division (TIC), Global Affairs Canada, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2.
Global Affairs Canada reported that on July 4, 2016, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade announced the implementation of the expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA).
Canada’s implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) expanded ITA eliminates tariffs on 201 tech and information-related products. On July 1, 2016, Canada permanently locked in its duty-free status on the majority of products covered under the expanded ITA. The remaining tariffs will be eliminated over three years.
Global Affairs Canada said the ITA will benefit Canadian exporters of many products, including audiovisual products and parts, flight simulators, telecommunication products, software, media-storage devices, medical devices, touch-screen devices and medical equipment.
The additional products are estimated by the WTO to account for approximately $1.3 trillion in global annual trade. Canada is one of 53 WTO members, including China, the European Union, South Korea, Japan, and the United States, participating in the expanded ITA.
Each year Baker & McKenzie trade compliance lawyers from around the world come together to present a year-end review of import and export developments. Mark your calendars for this year’s two-day conference, which will be held Tuesday, November 15 through Wednesday, November 16 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California.
If you are unable to attend the conference, but still wish to participate, we will offer a live webcast option as well.
A formal email invitation with additional details will be distributed in the coming months.