The situation in the Suez Canal has now been resolved, with the backlog having cleared and all vessels proceeding to their destinations. The impact on Noatum North America and its customers was thankfully minimal.
News / Regulatory Updates
On April 5, 2021, the U.S. Court of International Trade issued an opinion against the Section 232 derivative product tariffs implemented on Proclamation 9980 which applied a 25% tariff on steel derivative products and a 10% tariff on aluminum derivative products.
On Friday, March 26, 2021, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office announced in a press release the Next Steps of Section 301 Digital Service Tax (DST) Investigations for Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
On Monday, March 29, 2021, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai announced that the USTR would Suspend Trade Engagement with Burma following Military Coup and Violence against Civilians. In the message, the USTR said the suspension of all U.S. engagement with Burma under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) will remain in effect until a return of a democratically elected government.
On Monday, March 29, 2021, upon request from the Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued CSMS Message #46800973 delaying the effective date of the Aluminum Import (AIM) license requirement until June 28, 2021.
As is widely reported in the Global media, the very large container ship “Ever Given“ was grounded during transit in the Suez Canal on Tuesday, March 23, completely blocking the canal for the passage of other vessels.
Please be advised that several carriers have announced significant increases to their FAK levels from North Europe to the USA. These changes will affect current tariff rates. Impact on contract rates is not clear, and would likely not be as severe, but the market will definitely support some increases.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, the United States Trade Representative Office (USTR) announced in Federal Register Notice 86 No 45 FR 13785 that the Section 301 exclusions for Covid-19 related medical supplies, originally scheduled to expire on March 31, 2021, would be extended through September 30, 2021.
In joint statements on March 4 and March 5, 2021, the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union all agreed to a four-month mutual suspension of tariffs related to the World Trade Organization (WTO) aircraft dispute. The suspension will cover all tariffs both on aircraft as well as non-aircraft products.