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This Month in International Trade - May 2013

Jun.07.2013

THIS MONTH'S TOP FIVE DEVELOPMENTS

1) CPSC Proposed Significant Changes and New Obligations for Importers Relating to Certificates of Compliance

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently voted to approve a proposed rule amending 16 C.F.R. Part 1110 et. al., more commonly known as the '1110 rule.' Released in the Federal Register at 78 FR 28,080, the proposed amendment proffers numerous changes to the rule, including who is required to certify, what information is listed on the certificate, and when and how long the certificates must be issued and maintained. Importantly, if finalized, the rule would require electronic filing of certificates with each shipment as a requirement for imported products to make entry into the United States. In one of the most significant changes discussed below, the CPSC proposes to impose a certification requirement on common carriers, freight forwarders, and third party logistics providers that assume the role of "importer of record" for direct to consumer shipments from foreign manufacturers. 

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For more information, contact: Cheryl Falvey, John Brew, Jini Koh, Natalia Medley

2) U.S.-EU Free Trade Negotiations Poised for Launch

Barring unforeseen developments, President Obama and his key European counterparts are expected to formally launch negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiation on the margins of a G8 summit meeting to be held June 17-18 in Northern Ireland. The weeks leading up to the expected launch have been consumed with internal consultations on both sides of the Atlantic. The European Commission has been working with EU Member States to finalize a formal mandate to guide the EU's approach to the negotiations, while the European Parliament passed a resolution detailing the views of the bloc's legislators. Meanwhile, U.S. trade negotiators have been consulting intensively with the U.S. Congress and stakeholders in the business and non-government organization communities. 

An initial, organizational round of direct negotiations is expected for early July, with more substantive sessions likely in September and again in December. The Crowell and C&M International teams are continuing to closely follow all aspects of the TTIP process, in both Washington and Brussels, and are available to assist companies and associations seeking to engage with what promises to be a uniquely complex negotiation.

For more information, contact: Josh Kallmer, Christopher Wilson

3) EU Investigation Concerning Mobile Telecom Network Imports From China

On May 15, 2013, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht published a press release, stating that the European Commission decided to open an ex officio anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of mobile telecommunications networks and their key elements from China. The investigation will move forward unless the EU is able to negotiate an amicable solution with the Chinese authorities.

China has been exporting increasing quantities of allegedly subsidized telecommunication network equipment to the EU for several years causing injury to their EU competitors. To protect the EU producers from retaliation, the EU Commission is considering for the first time the ex officio initiation of trade defense investigations. The cases would in particular target the Chinese producers Huawei and ZTE, which account for the majority of the annual exports of approximately €1 billion ($1.3 billion).

For more information, contact: Laurent Ruessmann, Jochen Beck, Francesca Condello

4) CBP to Consolidate C-TPAT and ISA Programs?

On May 22, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) participated in the 13th term of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC) meeting held at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Topics included trade automation technology, government agency and trade industry collaboration, and interagency coordination via a new International Trade Data System (ITDS).

Among various subcommittee topics, such as trade enforcement and revenue collection, was a new report by the Subcommittee on Trusted Trader Programs. The Subcommittee report established working groups to indentify industry standards and trusted trader metrics. The Subcommittee, established on March 6, 2013, is focused on developing a new trusted trader test concept, involving the consolidation of C-TPAT and ISA programs, and a pilot program involving up to nine participating companies.

For more information, contact: John Brew, Michael Larmoyeux

5) EU Anti-dumping Duties for Ceramic Tableware and Kitchenware, Threaded Tube or Pipe Cast Fittings

On May 13, 2013, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 412/2013 imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of ceramic tableware and kitchenware originating in the People's Republic of China (PRC). In particular, the measures affect ceramic tableware and kitchenware, excluding ceramic knives, ceramic condiment or spice mills and their ceramic grinding parts, ceramic peelers, ceramic knife sharpeners and cordierite ceramic pizza-stones of a kind used for baking pizza or bread, originating in the PRC, currently falling within CN codes ex 6911 10 00, ex 6912 00 10, ex 6912 00 30, ex 6912 00 50 and ex 6912 00 90. The definitive AD duty rates range from 13.1 percent to 36.1 percent.

On the same date, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 430/2013 imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of threaded tube or pipe cast fittings, of malleable cast iron, originating in the PRC and Thailand. The product concerned is defined as threaded tube or pipe cast fittings, of malleable cast iron, currently falling within CN code ex 7307 19 10, excluding bodies of compression fittings using ISO DIN 13 metric thread and malleable iron threaded circular junction boxes without a lid. The rates of the definitive anti-dumping duties range from 24.6 percent to 57.8 percent for China and 14.9 percent to 15.5 percent for Thailand.

For more information, contact: Laurent Ruessmann, Jochen Beck, Francesca Condello

THIS MONTH IN TRADE – OTHER NEWS

Agency Enforcement Actions

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

State Department

  • Raytheon Pays $8 Million For Violations of Export Controls. Raytheon Company agreed to pay $8 million to settle allegations that it had committed hundreds of violations of the ITAR. The State Department found that the violations "demonstrated a recurring, corporate-wide weakness in maintaining effective ITAR controls." In addition to the civil penalty, the settlement included remedial measures in to bolster Raytheon's compliance going forward.

For more information, contact: Richard Massony

New Certificate of Analysis Regulation for Foodstuffs Imports Into Chile

The Chilean Ministry of Health recently issued a circular (Ordenamiento No. 815 of March 8, 2013) addressed to Chilean regional health authorities, stipulating that a full certificate of analysis would not be required for imports of foodstuffs, particularly special regime products. In 2012 an importer of hypoallergenic baby food formulas originating in the EU complained about the strict requirements to import those products into Chile, where the local customs authority required a certificate of analysis covering all ingredients for every import.

The above-mentioned import certificate was in principle necessary for all food imports, special regime products, dietary supplements and sports foods, thus entailing significant costs and delays for local sales of products that have a relatively short shelf life. To address this issue, the EU Delegation in Chile raised its concerns with the Chilean Ministry of Health, and the latter ultimately relaxed the import requirements, especially for dietary supplements and sports foods.

For more information, contact: Laurent Ruessmann, Jochen Beck, Francesca Condello

EU Anti-dumping Duties on Certain Stainless Steel Wire Imports From India

Commission Regulation (EU) No 418/2013 of May 3, 2013 imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of certain stainless steel wire originating in India. The product concerned is wire of stainless steel containing by weight:

  • 2.5 percent or more of nickel, other than wire containing by weight 28 percent to 31 percent of nickel and 20 to 22 percent of chromium,
  • Less than 2.5 percent of nickel, other than wire containing by weight 13 percent to 25 percent of chromium and 3.5 percent to 6 percent of aluminum, currently falling within CN codes 7223 00 19 and 7223 00 99 and originating in India.

The Commission found that the information provided by the sampled Indian exporting producers was not reliable and, in some cases, could not be reconciled with the information reported in the producers' internal accounting systems. Therefore, the Commission determined the dumping margin by replacing some of the data with "best facts available." The provisional anti-dumping duty rates range from 12.9 percent to 27.8 percent.

For more information, contact: Laurent Ruessmann, Jochen Beck, Francesca Condello

Termination of EU Anti-dumping Duties and Imposition of Countervailing Duties for Pet

On May 21, 2013, the Council decided to reject the proposal to impose a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate (PET) originating in India, Taiwan and Thailand following an expiry review pursuant to Article 11(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009. Conversely, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 461/2013 imposed a definitive countervailing duty on imports of PET originating in India following an expiry review.

The product concerned by the expiry review is the same as the one in the original investigation, namely PET with a viscosity number of 78 ml/g or higher, according to ISO Standard 1628-5, originating in India. It is currently falling within CN code 3907 60 20.

For more information, contact: Laurent Ruessmann, Jochen Beck, Francesca Condello

CROWELL AND MORING SPEAKS

John B. Brew contributed to the article "CBP Move Towards Electronic Bulletin Notice of Liquidation 'Long Overdue,' Say Industry Lawyers" published by International Trade Today by Power Broker, Vol. 29 No. 91, May 10, 2013. The topic previously appeared in the January 2013 edition of This Month In Trade.

John B. Brew and Laurent Ruessmann spoke on "Import-Export Global Management" at the All Hands Meeting International (AHMI) event in Santa Clara, CA on May 16, 2013.

Jini Koh will be moderating a panel on "Regional Insight: Russia" at the Annual American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) Conference in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 2013.

Laurent Ruessmann and Jonathan S. ("Josh") Kallmer will present "A Comparison of Free Trade Agreements and a Window on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" at the International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) EU Conference 2013 in Dublin, Ireland, on June 25, 2013.

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For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

John B. Brew
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2720
Email: jbrew@crowell.com
Cheryl A. Falvey
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2675
Email: cfalvey@crowell.com
Jini Koh
Counsel – New York
Phone: +1 212.803.4065
Email: jkoh@crowell.com