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Customs/Imports

Category

On January 15, 2020, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier Liu He signed “Phase One” of the “Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.” The Agreement provides for the purchase by China of $200 billion worth of agricultural (including beef and poultry), energy and manufactured goods over the next two years as well as provide market access for US financial services (like banks, insurance companies and…

The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the “E3 Foreign Ministers“) have today released a statement that they are triggering the dispute resolution mechanism in relation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“), following Iran’s decision to no longer abide by the uranium enrichment limits of the JCPOA (see our earlier blog post on this here). In their statement, the E3 Foreign Ministers highlighted that they have triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in…

On 15 January 2020, the Federal Council opened a public consultation on the introduction of a simplified procedure for the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) to destroy fake products in small consignments. A new procedure aims to reduce the administrative effort by giving the authorities more leeway for their checks. These checks are essential – the importation of small consignments from Asia into Switzerland increased six-fold between 2014 and 2018. Swiss companies are particularly affected by…

On January 16, 2020, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] Implementation Act (HR 5430) was approved in the US Senate by a vote of 89-10, sending it to the President. The House of Representatives had approved the bill on December 19, 2019 by a 385-41 vote. The USMCA is an revised and updated agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The administration had worked with Democratic members of Congress to resolve labor and environment…

On January 15, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted an advance copy of a Federal Register notice of modification of action reducing the rate of additional duty on certain products of China (List 4A) from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. The reduction will be applicable as of 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on February 14, 2020, for products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice (84 Fed. Reg. 43304). On August…

On 1 January 2020, an approximate total of 23 legislative instruments (primarily consisting of amending legislations) affecting various aspects of trade and customs entered into force. An overview of the key changes is set out below: Amendments to primary legislations – Amendments spanning across approximately 172 pages in aggregate were effected to four primary legislations. This includes the Customs Act 1967 (Customs Act), the Free Zones Act 1990 (Free Zones Act), the Excise Act 1976 (Excise Act) and the Sales Tax Act…

On January 3, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published in the Federal Register a document [WC Docket No. 18–89; FCC 19–121; FRS 16316] seeking comment on actions to address national security threats to networks funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF). The FCC concurrently adopted a Report and Order addressing the use of USF support to purchase or obtain any equipment or services produced or provided by a covered company posing a national security…

On January 3, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published in the Federal Register a final rule [WC Docket No. 18–89, PS Docket Nos. 19– 351, 19–352; FCC 19–121; FRS 16315], effective on publication, that prospectively prohibits the use of Universal Service Fund (USF) funds to purchase or obtain any equipment or services produced or provided by a covered company posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply…

The 2020 Basic Edition of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is now available for downloading at: https://hts.usitc.gov/current. The full Basic Edition is https://hts.usitc.gov/view/finalCopy?release=2020HTSABasic or you can do Chapter by Chapter. It includes all changes made through Proclamation 9974 of December 26. 2019 (published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2019).

On December 31, 2019, the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted on its website an advance copy of a Federal Register notice that announces USTR’s determination to grant certain exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to this notice, and corrects a ministerial error in a previously announced exclusion. The product exclusions announced in the notice will apply as of the September 24, 2018, effective date of the $200 billion action, to August 7, 2020. The…