Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

November 30, 2022  |  Anahi Czeszewski  Product Development Manager

port official inspecting containers 
The Latest Developments on the Customs and Trade Front

As the month comes to a close, numerous customs and trade developments warrant a closer review. Read on to explore the possible impacts these latest updates can have on your global supply chain.

Public comments sought regarding the effectiveness of Section 301 China tariffs

As outlined in May 2022 in a Federal Register notice, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) began its statutory four-year review of the first two Section 301 China tariff actions. For reference, USTR can suspend trade agreement concessions or impose import restrictions if it determines a U.S. trading partner is violating trade agreement commitments or engaging in discriminatory or unreasonable practices that burden or restrict U.S. commerce. The United States imposed several Section 301 actions on China in 2018.

In September 2022, the USTR announced it will keep the actions in place due to requests for continuation received during the comment period and conduct a review of the actions. The USTR is seeking public comments from the trade community “to consider the effectiveness of the actions in achieving the objectives of the investigation, other actions that could be taken, and the effects of the actions on the United States economy, including consumers.”

If your organization is interested in commenting, the electronic portal opened November 15, 2022. The deadline for comments is January 17, 2023. The USTR also released the docket questions for submitters to review.

Capabilities coming soon for early notification to Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act restrictions

Five months have passed since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) took effect. UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, or produced by certain entities on the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) Entity List, is prohibited for import into the United States.

In efforts to provide an early notification to importers of goods that may have been produced in the XUAR, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to deploy a UFLPA Region Alert notification enhancement in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which will require a postal code for cargo entry release when:

  • The country of origin is declared as China 
  • A Manufacturer Identification Code (MID) is created or updated

The enhancement will include the following validations:

  • A postal code will be required as a data element on the shipment’s cargo release
  • If a postal code provided is not a valid Chinese postal code, users will receive an error message
  • When a Uyghur region postal code has been provided, users will receive a warning message, to which importers should investigate and action immediately

Originally scheduled to deploy on December 15, 2022, the date of deployment for the Region Alert is not to be determined until the CBP provides additional information. 

New Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism benefits announced

CBP recently announced three new benefits for Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Trade Compliance program members, which include:

  • Front of the line admissibility review
  • Redelivery hold
  • Detained withhold release order shipments move to bonded facility

These benefits are “provided in exchange for compliance with the [six] recently updated Trade Compliance program forced labor requirements” added August 1, 2022. If your company is CTPAT-certified, review the CTPAT Trade Compliance Handbook for the updates made November 1, 2022. You can also learn more about the six new CTPAT forced labor requirements in our recently published Trade and Tariff Insights article.

Section 301 COVID-19-related exclusions further extended

Last week, the USTR announced a Section 301 exclusion extension for 81 specialized COVID-19-related medical products, including face shields and medical screening devices. Originally set to expire November 30, 2022, the exclusion for this group of products will continue through February 2023. This decision was made following a public comment period and review process, including interagency advisory committees and the White House COVID-19 response team.

Stay informed on developments

C.H. Robinson continues to closely monitor all the latest developments. Subscribe to our Client Advisories and Trade and Tariff Insights to be notified when changes take place. Connect with one of our Trusted Advisor® experts to learn more.

Additional resources

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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