Articles Posted in Imports

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On May 14, 2024, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) published the Four-Year Review of Actions Taken in the Section 301 Investigation (“Report”), which addresses the four-year review of China-related tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (“Trade Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2411). Our previous alert on the 2018 Section 301 Investigation findings is available here.

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During 2023 both Congress and the Biden Administration repeatedly expressed the need to secure critical supply chains, particularly batteries that rely heavily on lithium and critical minerals sourced from China. Concerns have been framed in terms of national security focusing on the danger of relying too heavily on products integral to our defense or economy or human rights relating to enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Continue reading →

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The United Kingdom introduced new sanctions against Russia on December 14, 2023, with the European Union also adopting its twelfth package of sanctions against Russia on December 18, 2023.

The latest UK restrictions include:

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The European Union has adopted the new EU Deforestation Regulation, whereby applicable companies must implement a rigorous due diligence process to ensure that certain products and commodities sold in or out of the EU are not the result of, or have led to, deforestation or forest degradation. The commodities subject to the Regulation are cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm-oil, soya and wood, as well as any products that contain, have been fed with or made using these commodities (e.g., leather, chocolate and beef). Once it enters into force, large companies will have 18 months to comply, while small and medium-sized companies will have 24 months. Failure to do so may result in a fine of at least 4% of total annual EU-wide turnover or the seizing revenue made from the sale of the commodities or products.

Companies should review whether (and how) they are caught by the new law and review existing processes, governance frameworks and supply chain risks to ensure that new obligations (e.g., with respect to due diligence) are adhered to.

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On February 24, 2022, the U.S. Government issued a number of sanctions measures in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. These measures include sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls, which will have broad impacts on companies and individuals doing business in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Today’s announcement came alongside additional measures coordinated with U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada and Japan.

A brief overview of today’s U.S. measures is provided below. In following blogs, we will provide more focused looks at (a) U.S. sanctions; and (b) sanctions and export controls issued by a number of other key economies around the world.

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On January 24, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) issued a Notice Seeking Public Comments on Methods to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured with Forced Labor in the People’s Republic of China, especially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, into the United States (RFC). The notice is available here. Comments are due by March 10, 2022.

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On January 13, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a withhold-release order (WRO) on all cotton and tomato products from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) based on information that reasonably indicated that such products used forced labor. This action comes after CBP’s December 2020 WRO on cotton and cotton products produced by Xinjiang Production and Construction Corporation (XPCC). Continue reading →

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On December 14, 2020 the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an interim final rule (Interim Rule) making changes to the process for seeking exclusions from tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum imports under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (section 232). The current rule is the fourth in a series of interim final rules that have, over the course of two years, periodically revised the section 232 exclusion process since it was first implemented in March 2018.

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On December 2, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued an import detention or Withhold Release Order (WRO) against cotton produced by Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) based on information that reasonably indicated XPCC used forced labor within its cotton supply chains. This action comes after CBP issued five WROs in September 2020 on products found to be reliant on state-sponsored forced labor in Xinjiang. The U.S. government has expressed ongoing concern about human rights abuses of the Uyghur minority in this part of China.

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On September 14, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued five Withhold Release Orders (WROs) for a range of goods produced in the Xinjiang region of China. Under 19 U.S.C. § 1307, CBP can initiate enforcement actions for products made wholly or “in part” by forced or indentured labor—defined as “work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily,” as well as forced or indentured child labor. CBP issues WROs following an investigation if it finds that information “reasonably but not conclusively” indicates that the goods have been made in whole or in part by such forced labor. A WRO prevents the products from being released by CBP into the United States.

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