Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

September 28, 2022 | Ivana Gavroski Product Development Manager

aerial view of container ship being guided out to sea 
Customs and Trade: A Month in Review

Another month of customs and trade developments are behind us, and new changes to prepare for are ahead of us. These are the updates we’re following this month so you can better prepare for the months ahead.

Listen to this week's Trade & Tariff Perspective (recorded in English):

Customs and trade: A month in review, September 28, 2022
Section 301 China Tariffs continued

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced that the Section 301 China Tariffs will not expire on their four-year anniversary dates and will remain in effect, subject to further review.

This announcement follows the completion of the first phase of the USTR’s statutory four-year review process in the Section 301 investigation that commenced in May of 2022. The first phase of the process resulted in 434 requests from domestic industries, domestic producers, and trade associations to continue the tariffs.

The USTR will now conduct a review of the tariffs and solicit comments from all interested persons on issues, such as the effectiveness of the tariffs in achieving the objectives of Section 301, other actions that could be taken, and the effects of the tariffs on the U.S. economy—including consumers. The next steps in the four-year review process will be set out in subsequent notices.

A timeframe for when the subsequent notices will be issued has not yet been announced by the USTR, but C.H. Robinson continues to closely monitor developments on the Section 301 China Tariffs. Subscribe to our Client Advisories and Trade and Tariff Insights to be notified when changes do take place.

U.S. Customs increases quarterly interest rates

On September 20, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments).

For the quarter beginning Oct. 1, 2022, the interest rate for overpayments will be 5 percent for corporations and 6 percent for non-corporations. The interest rate for underpayments is 6 percent for both corporations and non-corporations. The rates for both underpayments and overpayments have increased by 1 percent from the previous quarter.

Consider the impact these rate changes may have on your bottom line if you expect to owe duties to CBP or receive refunds from CBP in next quarter.

FDA biennial food facility registration begins

On October 1, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open the biennial food facility registration renewal period. This year’s renewal period begins October 1, 2022, and ends December 31, 2022.

Unique to the 2022 renewal is the requirement of a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number for the food facility location to be provided as part of the renewal. Previously, the FDA allowed registrants to enter “pending” in the Unique Facility Identifier (UFI) field of their registration if a DUNS number could not be obtained. However, the FDA will no longer allow this for the 2022 renewal. The FDA has also advised it is imperative that a facility DUNS number information and section two of the registration information match exactly with each other.

Failure of a food facility to submit a timely renewal can result in products being denied entry into the United States. Consider the following questions to see if this applies to your supply chain and what you need to know to register:

  1. What food facilities must register with the FDA?
    • If you are the owner, operator, or agent in charge of either a domestic or foreign facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for human or animal consumption in the United States, you are required to register with the FDA, unless an exemption applies.
  2. Why are food facilities required to register with the FDA?
    • Food facility registration helps the FDA determine the location and source of potential bioterrorism or foodborne illness outbreak incidents, and helps the agency quickly notify facilities that may be affected.
  3. Is there a fee that must be paid?
    • No, there is no fee for registration or renewal.

Prevent costly delays and renew your registration through an FDA Industry Systems account once the renewal period opens.

Upcoming changes to customs user fees

Effective October 1, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will adjust certain customs user fees and corresponding limitations. The 18.629 percent increase comes as a result of CBP’s annual determination as to whether the fees and limitations must be adjusted to reflect inflation.

As outlined in the General Notice, some of the fees that will be changing include:

  • Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF): For formal entries, the minimum will change from $27.75 to $29.66, the maximum will change from $538.40 to $575.35. The ad valorem rate of 0.3464 percent will not change.
  • Informal Entry/Release Fee: Automated and not prepared by CBP personnel (class code 311a) will change from $2.18 to $2.37.
  • Customs Broker Permit User Fee: Will change to $163.71.

Ensure you analyze your historical import data to understand the impact these changes will have on your customs landed cost and overall bottom line.

Stay informed on developments

Developments in customs and trade can seemingly occur in a moment’s notice and catch your supply chain off guard. Proactively prepare for changes by staying informed—subscribe to our Client Advisories and connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn more.

Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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