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U.S. Government Agencies Announce Upcoming Regulatory Actions

A number of U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently announced a range of planned regulatory actions for this year of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters. A brief description of these actions is provided below, with the expected timeframes for issuance of the rules indicated in parentheses.

Upcoming Regulations – DOC

  • a final rule eliminating the regulation describing how the DOC will issue licences for the allocation of tariff-rate quotas on worsted wool fabric, as the underlying programme has been transferred to the USDA (May 2018; previously December 2017)
  • a final rule to eliminate the regulation describing how the DOC will determine whether applicants are bona fide motor vehicle manufacturers under the Automotive Products Trade Act of 1965, as the authority for this regulation is no longer part of the U.S. tariff schedule (May 2018; previously March)
  • a proposed rule on export controls for cybersecurity items (July 2018; first time published)
  • a proposed rule on the definition of a routed export transaction and the responsibilities of parties in such transactions (August 2018; previously April; advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued in October 2017)
  • a proposed rule to amend certain 600 series ECCNs to clarify the controls on items related to military vehicles, vessels of war, submersible vessels, oceanographic equipment, and auxiliary and miscellaneous military equipment (August 2018; previously June)
  • a final rule imposing export controls on read-out integrated circuits, seismic intrusion detection systems, radar for helicopter autonomous landing systems, and technology required for the development or production of specified nanotechnology (August 2018; unchanged)
  • a proposed rule to establish a voluntary Commerce Trusted Trader Program for seafood importers that aims to provide benefits such as reduced targeting and inspections and enhanced streamlined entry (September 2018; previously December 2017)
  • a proposed rule to improve the export clearance requirements under the EAR, including better harmonising them with similar requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (September 2018; previously March)
  • a final rule establishing requirements for requesting exclusions from steel and aluminium tariffs (November 2018; interim final rule published March 2018)
  • a proposed rule to clarify that for all entries subject to antidumping duties the importer must file its reimbursement certification in either proper electronic form or paper form in accordance with CBP requirements (December 2018; previously December 2017)
  • a proposed rule setting forth procedures to address covered merchandise referrals from CBP (December 2018; previously December 2017)
  • a final rule specifying that where the exporting country does not constitute a viable market the DOC will normally calculate normal value based on constructed value (December 2018, previously December 2017; proposed rule published in August 2016)
  • a proposed rule to eliminate references to (i) information provided by domestic interested parties regarding sales made below the cost of production in order to allege dumping and (ii) allow the DOC’s use of voluntarily submitted information to calculate constructed value (December 2018; previously April)
  • a proposed rule that would align DOC regulations with the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which provides that the DOC shall not be required to corroborate any dumping margin or CV duty applied in a separate segment of the same proceeding (December 2018; previously April)
  • a proposed rule updating and clarifying certain licence exception AVS provisions (December 2018; previously June)

Regulations in Process – DOC

  • a final rule establishing time limits for the submission of requests for sampling in administrative reviews of AD duty orders
  • a proposed rule to adopt an export licencing amendment process and make other licencing process efficiencies
  • a final rule that (i) clarifies the parties’ responsibilities under the EAR in a routed export transaction, including when the U.S. principal party in interest maintains its responsibility for licence requirement determination and licencing, and (ii) details when and how a U.S. PPI may delegate to the foreign PPI its responsibilities to determine licence requirements and apply for a licence

Upcoming Regulations – CBP

  • a CBP interim final rule to implement a mandatory Air Cargo Advance Screening programme for inbound aircraft with commercial cargo (May 2018; previously January)
  • a CBP proposed rule implementing changes to the drawback laws contained in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act by requiring claims to be filed electronically, extending and standardising timelines for filing claims, modifying recordkeeping requirements, and establishing a new standard for substituting merchandise based on its tariff classification (May 2018; previously January)
  • a CBP proposed rule amending the regulations pertaining to the importation of goods that violate or are suspected of violating the copyright laws in accordance with title III of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act and certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (June 2018; previously January)
  • a CBP proposed rule to create a procedure for the disclosure of information otherwise protected by the Trade Secrets Act to a trademark owner when goods bearing suspected counterfeit trademarks have been voluntarily abandoned (July 2018; first time published)
  • a CBP proposed rule to update, modernise and streamline the process for enforcing the prohibition against the importation of goods mined, produced or manufactured in any foreign country by convict or forced labour indentured labour under penal sanctions (August 2018; first time published)
  • a CBP proposed rule to modernise the customs broker regulations, including by allowing national permit holders to conduct customs business in all districts within the U.S. customs territory, removing the requirement to have a district permit in each district where the broker conducts customs business, removing the requirement that brokers maintain physical offices in the districts in which they conduct customs business, and updating the requirements on responsible supervision and control (September 2018; previously June)
  • a CBP proposed rule to establish procedures for determining the duration and scope of a vessel debarment(i.e., barring from entry into U.S. ports any vessel owned or chartered by an entity found to be in violation of certain immigration laws and regulations) and how entities may request mitigation of the debarment (September 2018; previously April)
  • an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau proposed rule to update procedures for exports of distilled spirits, wine, beer and tobacco products and implement the International Trade Data System (September 2018; unchanged)
  • a CBP final rule shifting authority to make certain decisions regarding customs transactions from port directors to directors of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (November 2018; previously May)
  • a CBP proposed rule seeking to promote the speed, accuracy and transparency of administrative rulings concerning the importation of articles that may be subject to exclusion orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission under section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act (December 2018; previously April)
  • a CBP proposed rule that would require customs brokers to verify the identity of importers and non-resident importers and would create a process for doing so that is contemporaneous with obtaining power of attorney (December 2018; previously June)
  • a CBP final rule reflecting that the Automated Commercial System is being phased out as a CBP-authorised electronic data interchange system for the processing of electronic entry and entry summary filings (December 2018, previously June; interim final rule issued October 2015)
  • a CBP final rule raising from US$200 to US$800 the de minimis value of articles that may be imported by one person on one day free of duty and tax (December 2018, previously June; interim final rule published in August 2016)
  • a CBP final rule on procedures for investigating evasion of antidumping and countervailing duty orders (December 2018, previously June; interim final rule published in August 2016)
  • a CBP final rule clarifying the circumstances under which a notice of arrival must be filed for imported pesticides and pesticidal devices, codifying existing required NOA data elements, requiring the submission of additional NOA data elements for unregistered pesticides that are currently optional, and permitting the NOA to be filed electronically in the Automated Commercial Environment (March 2019, previously June 2018; interim final rule published in September 2016)
  • a CBP proposed rule to update and modify the (a)(1)(A) list in the appendix to 19 CFR Part 163 (March 2019; previously March 2018)

Upcoming Regulations – USDA

  • a final rule to list mainland China as eligible to export to the United States poultry products from birds slaughtered in the mainland (September 2018, previously March; proposed rule published in June 2017)
  • an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on regulatory options that could address issues that have arisen with the implementation of the Lacey Act import declaration requirement for composite plant materials (May 2018; first time published)
  • a final rule amending the regulations regarding the importation of live sheep, goats and wild ruminants and their embryos, semen, products and by-products (July 2018; previously February)
  • a final rule establishing a performance standard for authorising the importation and interstate movement of fruits and vegetables (July 2018; previously December 2017)
  • a proposed rule that would remove all pine shoot beetle quarantined areas and all federal regulatory requirements related to the import and movement of PSB and associated host materials (August 2018; first time published)
  • a final rule that would ease restrictions on the importation of some plant pests, establish criteria for the movement and environmental release of biological control organisms, and revise the regulations regarding the movement of soil (September 2018, previously February; proposed rule issued in January 2017)
  • a proposed rule that would establish standards allowing APHIS to recognise compartments for animal disease status, similar to the recognition process for regions (November 2018; first time published)
  • a final rule changing import reporting requirements to implement the use of electronic form submissions (January 2019)
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