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News / Regulatory Updates

DIGITAL SERVICE TAX TARIFFS SUSPENDED FOR FRANCE AND DECLINED FOR THREE OTHER NATIONS

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) office issued multiple Federal Register notices on January 12, 2021, addressing the Digital Service Tax (DST) decisions for France, India, Italy, and Turkey.

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UNPRECEDENTED VOLUMES, BOOKING DELAYS, PORT AND RAIL CONGESTION

The double-digit percentage year over year volume growth on the Asia to U.S. trade-lane is expected to continue well past the Lunar New Year holiday (Feb 12) and potentially accelerate as Spring volumes match or exceed prior year. It is expected that imports moving from Asia to the West Coast ports in the U.S. from November thought January will show a 30% increase year over year. This increase is spilling over to all U.S. ports with Gulf and East Coast ports also posting double-digit growth.

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CHINA TARIFFS: USTR TO EXTEND SECTION 301 EXCLUSIONS FOR COVID-19 MEDICAL-CARE PRODUCTS

On December 29, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office announced in Federal Register Notice 85 No 249 FR 85831 the extension of section 301 exclusions to twenty-four (24) medical-care products needed to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE ESTABLISHES ALUMINUM IMPORT LICENSE PROGRAM

On December 23, 2020, the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce (DOC) announced in Federal Register 85 No 247 FR 83804 the adoption of the new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system which will act as the aluminum import license application platform.

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UNPRECEDENTED VOLUMES, VESSEL DELAYS, PORT AND RAIL CONGESTION

The Port of Long Beach announced this week that it marked its best November on record. The port moved 783,523 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), which represents a 30.6% increase year-over-year. The story in Long Beach is all about imports, which were up 30.5% to 382,677 TEUs. Exports were down 5.2% to 117,283 TEUs. But the most significant figure is the number of empty containers shipped back to Asia for refilling. This number jumped 55% to 283,563 TEUs.

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FDA RENEWAL DUE BY DECEMBER 31, 2020

This is a reminder that the FDA renewals for both food facilities and medical devices are due by December 31, 2020. All domestic and foreign food and medical device facilities, along with the companies that source from them, are required to renew their registration this year.

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VIETNAM: SECTION 301 INVESTIGATION HEARINGS ANNOUNCED

On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released the hearing schedule for the investigation of Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to the import and use of illegal timber and the valuation of its currency first announced in a press release on October 2.

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ACCELERATED LIQUIDATION IS PRIORITY FOR POST SUMMARY CORRECTIONS

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released in Cargo System Messaging Service (CSMS) Message 44890398 updated information regarding the processing of Post Summary Corrections (PSCs).  In the notice, CBP notes that they aim to prioritize processing of PSCs filed with accelerated liquidation requests over PSCs submitted without accelerated liquidation requests.

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GSP CHANGES ANNOUNCED

Numerous changes to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) were made in an October 30 presidential proclamation following the beneficiary developing country assessments, product reviews and eligibility review.

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REMINDER: CUSTOMS USER FEES AND LIMITATIONS INCREASED

Effective October 1, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) adjusted certain customs user fees pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for fiscal year 2021 in accordance with the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) as implemented by CBP regulations.

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