Trade and Customs Updates
US Court Upholds Tariffs on Chinese Imports
On March 17th, 2023, the US Court of International Trade upheld tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. The tariffs are part of Section 301 litigation involving thousands of litigants. The US Trade Representative (USTR) imposed the tariffs for lists 3 and 4A, covering virtually all trade from China, after receiving thousands of comments.
200% Tariff Imposed on Aluminum Articles and Derivative Aluminum Articles
The president announced that effective April 10th, 2023, a 200% tariff will be imposed on aluminum articles and derivative aluminum articles. If any amount of primary aluminum used in manufacturing these articles was smelted in Russia or the articles are cast in Russia, they will not be eligible to be entered under a General Approved Exclusion (GAE) or afforded in-quota or tariff rate quota treatment.
Importers will need to report an additional HTS depending on the imported products.
- Aluminum articles with the origin of Russia “entered or withdrawn” as of 10 Apr 2023 will require an additional HTS of 88.67.
- Aluminum derivative articles with the origin of Russia “entered or withdrawn” as of 10 Apr 2023 will require an additional HTS of 9903.88.68.
- Aluminum articles with an origin of Russia “entered as privileged foreign merchandise prior to 10 Apr 2023” will require an additional HTS of 9903.88.69.
- Aluminum derivative articles with the origin of Russia “entered as privileged foreign merchandise prior to 10 Apr 2023” will require an additional HTS of 9903.88.70.
Reduction in User Fees for Quarantine and Inspection
The Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a reduction in user fees for quarantine and inspection services. APHIS is reducing the fees charged to remove surcharges that were intended to fund a reserve.
FDA Updates Definition of “Tobacco Product”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the definition of “tobacco product” to reflect the amendments made by the Appropriations Act of 2022. The definition of “tobacco product” in FDA guidance (88 FR 16551 and 88 FR 16636) is being updated to include “or containing nicotine from any source” after the words “from tobacco.” The definition also excludes articles that are foods as defined in section 201(f) of the FD&C Act if such articles contain no nicotine or no more than trace amounts of naturally occurring nicotine.
FDA Releases Activities of Imported Seafood
The FDA recently published a report called “Activities for the Safety of Imported Seafood“, which outlines their comprehensive approach to ensuring that imported seafood meets the same food safety requirements and standards as domestically produced seafood. Seafood is a highly traded commodity, with imports accounting for the majority of seafood sold by volume in the U.S. The safety of imported seafood, particularly shrimp, has garnered attention from Congress and industry stakeholders.
The report is guided by the FDA’s Import Strategy, which lays out four goals for imported food safety:
- Imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements
- FDA border surveillance prevents entry of unsafe foods
- Rapid and effective response to unsafe imported food
- Effective and efficient food import program
The report explains how the FDA is implementing these goals for imported seafood safety, including partnerships with regulatory counterparts in exporting countries, use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for predictive analytics, and the development of tools like geographic information systems for identifying potential seafood hazards.
Many of the new import oversight tools described in the report align with the FDA’s broader New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative, which aims to create a safer and more traceable food system. In November 2022, the FDA also released a similar report on imported produce safety, which outlines their approach to enhancing safety for roughly one-third of fresh vegetables and over half of the fresh fruit that the U.S. imports.
Important Reminders and Events
Attention Importers: China Postal Code Reminder – Effective March 18, 2023
CBP has implemented the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Region Alert enhancement in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This enhancement offers an early alert to importers and their representatives regarding goods that may have been produced in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang or XUAR) and, thus, may not be allowed for import into the United States. If you have questions, visit the FAQ page here.