Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.
Implementation of CARM Release 2 Delayed Until 2023
On March 10, 2022 the Canada Border Services Agency announced that Release 2 of the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management project will be delayed. CARM was originally scheduled for implementation in spring 2022, but has now been postponed until at least January 2023. This delay is the result challenges on the business community resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the required time to implement the needed changes for CARM. In the meantime, the agency says it is exploring opportunities to de-risk and facilitate the adoption of CARM at Release 2, which may include a CARM Experience Simulation pilot with volunteers from its trade chain partner community in a non-production environment. Additional information will be provided in this regard as it becomes available.
FDA Launches New 24/7 Drug Entry Review Pilot
With the volume of imported FDA-regulated commodities continuing to increase, the Food and Drug Administration is looking at several new ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness in our operational work. As part of this effort the agency has developed a 90-day pilot project to maximize its entry review staff at periods of highest volume drug entries. The Nationalized Drug Entry Review Pilot will run from March 13, 2022 through June 13, 2022. During this period, FDA also wants to see if efficiencies can be gained by receiving associated documentation at the time the entry is made rather than waiting for regular Documents Requested communications.
Updated ACE Development and Deployment Schedule
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted an updated Development and Deployment Schedule for planned enhancements to the Automated Commercial Environment on its website. It should be noted that this is a “notional” schedule and subject to modifications. CBP indicates that addition to the enhancements found on the Dev/Dep schedule, the agency continues to work through emerging requirements, which will be added as new ACE enhancements once funding is secured and work is underway.
House Passes Bill Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia
On March 17, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelming passed the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act, which now heads to the U.S. Senate. Once enacted, the legislation would strip Russia of its permanent normal trade relationship, a key benefit of World Trade Organization membership, in response to Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In the Senate—which also strongly supports the revocation of PNTR for Russia—Republicans are asking for changes to the bill, such as the inclusion of a separate House-passed ban on imports of Russian petroleum products.
U.S., EU and G7 Countries Impose Additional Sanctions on Russia
In coordination with G7 countries and the European Union, the U.S. imposed additional sanctions on Russia on Thursday, targeting Russian defense and aerospace companies, the Russian Duma, and the CEO of Sberbank, among others. The White House also announced that the U.S., G7, and EU are launching an anti-evasion initiative to coordinate responses to measures intended to undercut Western sanctions on Russia, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control published new guidance warning that gold transactions involving Russia could trigger U.S. sanctions and legal penalties.
Belarus Blocked from Joining WTO by U.S. Canada, EU, and Others
The U.S., Canada, European Union and a dozen other countries have blocked Belarus’ bid to join the World Trade Organization. The country has been condemned and hit with significant economic sanctions for its involvement with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Having already pledged to revoke the Belarus’ most-favored nation treatment, in a joint communication to the General Council, the WTO members stated that they had “concluded that Belarus is unfit for WTO membership.” The group added that they “will not further consider its application for accession.” The accession process requires consensus agreement from WTO members for the country seeking to join to become a full member.
CBP Launches New Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Webpage
CBP has published a new webpage on its site to provide resources and guidance on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was signed into law last December by President Joe Biden. The UFLPA establishes a “rebuttable presumption” that the importation of anything mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, or by certain entities, is prohibited entry into the United States. This prohibition under enters into force on June 21, 2022. Meanwhile, an interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force will be holding a remote public hearing next month to explore potential measures to prevent the importation of goods from XUAR connected in any way to forced labor practices in the region.
Canada Launches Negotiations Toward a Bilateral FTA with the United Kingdom
International Trade Minister Mary Ng, and her UK counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan, announced on Thursday they will proceed with negotiations toward a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement. The first round of negotiations will begin on March 28, 2022. The two ministers agreed “to pursue an ambitious agreement, one that is inclusive and sustainable, and that will advance our climate goals, strengthen supply chains and help our businesses thrive by benefitting from digital trade.” Global Affairs noted tyhat during public consultations in the spring of 2021, Canadians expressed strong support for an FTA with the United Kingdom. The UK was Canada’s third-largest individual country trading partner in 2021 for both goods and services, which were valued together at $42.2 billion.
CBSA Initiates Dumping Investigation of Drill Pipe from China
The Canada Border Services Agency initiated investigations on Friday, under the Special Import Measures Act respecting the alleged injurious dumping and subsidizing of certain drill pipe from China. The investigations follows a complaint filed by Command Drilling Products Ltd. The Alberta-based company alleges that as a result of an increase of the volume of the dumped and subsidized imports from China, they have suffered material injury. The subject goods are usually classified under 7304.23.00.10 or 7304.23.00.20, but in some instances may also be classified under 8431.43.00.20 or 8431.43.00.90 as parts boring or sinking machinery. The CBSA will investigate whether the imports are being dumped and/or subsidized and will make preliminary decisions within 90 days, at which time provisional duties may apply.