Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bolt Threads Announces a Partnership with Sustainable Luxury Pioneer Stella McCartney

Agathon Associates' client Bolt Thread's recently announced a partnership with Stella McCartney, a world-renowned brand known for its dedication to eco-innovation. They'll be unveiling their first collaborative product, a one-of-a-kind custom dress made entirely of Bolt Microsilk™ at the New York Museum of Modern Art’s upcoming exhibit “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” opening October 1st.

USTR Announces First Round of NAFTA Negotiations

Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced arrangements for the first round of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The first round of the negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico will take place in Washington, D.C. from August 16 – 20, 2017.

The negotiations immediately follows the 90-day consultation period with Congress and the public initiated on May 18, 2017. On that day, Ambassador Lighthizer notified Congress of President Trump's intent to renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for America's workers, farmers, businesses and manufacturers.

Ambassador Lighthizer also announced that John Melle, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, will serve as Chief Negotiator for the NAFTA negotiations. In his role as Chief Negotiator, Melle will be responsible for the day-to-day negotiations at the staff level.

Since joining USTR in 1988, John Melle has held a number of positions covering Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. As Assistant USTR for the Western Hemisphere, he is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the United States’ trade policy for the region.

Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Termination of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation

On June 27th, we reported that the U.S. Department of Commerce Department had received countervailing duty ("CVD") Petitions concerning imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber from India and the People's Republic of China, filed in proper form on behalf of DAK Americas LLC, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America, and Auriga Polymers, Inc. The CVD Petitions were accompanied by antidumping duty ("AD") Petitions concerning imports of fine denier PSF from both of the countries listed above, in addition to the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The petitioners are domestic producers of fine denier PSF.

On July 20th, the Department of Commerce published notice that the petitioners have withdrawn their May 31, 2017, petition with respect to Vietnam, and requested that the Department terminate this investigation. The Department is terminating the less-than-fair-value investigation of fine denier PSF with respect to Vietnam.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Agathon Associates to Present on FTZs at Boston Trade Seminar

Massport invites you to attend an informational session to demonstrate how FTZ #27 can increase your firm’s profitability! Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs) allow companies to defer, reduce, or entirely eliminate Customs duties on foreign products imported into zones for storage, assembly, manufacturing, value-adding, and processing.

Seminar: Foreign-Trade Zone Advantages
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
8:00 – 10:00 AM
Flynn Cruiseport Boston at Black Falcon Terminal Mezzanine Hall, 2nd Floor
1 Black Falcon Avenue
Boston, Mass. 02210

Registration is FREE and will be submitted upon RSVP acceptance. A continental breakfast is included, followed by presentations featuring:

DAVID TRUMBULL - David Trumbull is Principal of Agathon Associates, a Boston-based consulting company engaged in helping companies understand and benefit from U.S. international trade regulations and other regulations. Prior to starting Agathon Associates in 2013, David was Vice President for International Trade at the National Textile Association. He has over 20 years’ experience representing U.S. manufacturers and is licensed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Customs Broker.

SCOTT TAYLOR - Scott S. Taylor is a partner with Miller & Company P.C., a law firm serving a diverse clientele exclusively in the area of international trade, Customs and foreign-trade zone law. Scott has developed and structured over 350 foreign-trade zone projects including alternative site framework applications, special-purpose subzones, subzone expansions, general-purpose zones, general-purpose zone expansions, boundary modifications and scope determinations.


Proposed Revocation Ruling Letter Relating to the Tariff Classification of An Unfinished Quilted Pillow Shell

In Binding Ruling Letter NY N236267, issued to Future Textiles Inc. of Jamesburg, New Jersey, Customs classified an unfinished quilted pillow shell in heading 9404, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United StatesS, specifically in subheading 9404.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for "[m]attress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered: Other: Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings: Of cotton." The rate of duty was 5.3%.

Customs has reviewed NY N236267 and has determined the ruling letter to be in error. It is now Customs's position that the unfinished quilted pillow shell is properly classified, by operation of General Rule of Interpretation 1, in heading 6307, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 6307.90.89, HTSUS, which provides for "[o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Surgical towels; cotton towels of pile or tufted construction; pillow shells, of cotton; shells for quilts, eiderdowns, comforters and similar articles of cotton." The Rate of duty will be 7%.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes ("ENs") constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTS and are thus useful in ascertaining the proper classification of the merchandise.

EN 94.04 states, in pertinent part, the following:

This heading covers:

. . .

(B) Articles of bedding and similar furnishing which are sprung or stuffed or internally fitted with any material (cotton, wool, horsehair, down, synthetic fibers, etc.), or are of cellular rubber or plastics (whether or not covered with woven fabric, plastics, etc.). For example:

(1) Mattresses, including mattresses with a metal frame.

(2) Quilts and bedspreads (including counterpanes, and also quilts for baby-carriages), eiderdowns and duvets (whether of down or any other filling), mattress-protectors (a kind of thin mattress placed between the mattress itself and the mattress support), bolsters, pillows, cushions, pouffes, etc.

(3) Sleeping bags.

. . . This heading also excludes :

(e) Pillow-cases, eiderdown or duvet covers (heading 63.02).

(f) Cushion covers (heading 63.04).

The quilted pillow shell in NY N236267 was not fitted with springs or internally stuffed or fitted with any material, and therefore cannot be considered an article of bedding or similar furnishing classifiable in heading 9404, HTSUS. Therefore, the quilted pillow shell is properly classified in heading 6307, HTSUS, specifically under 6307.90.8945, HTSUS, which provides for “[o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Pillow shells, of cotton (369)"

Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2017.

Corbeau USA Recalls Camlock Seat Harness Belts Due to Fall and Projectile Hazards

Recall Details

Description: This recall involves 5-Point Camlock harness belts intended for use on off-highway vehicles. The belts have part numbers 53001B, 53007B and 53009B. These 5-point camlock harness belts have five mounting points; two lap points, two points behind the seat and an additional strap between the legs. Only harness belts with a date code between May 2016 and May 2017 are included in the recall.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact Corbeau USA to receive a replacement or refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: CJ Pony Parts Inc., Latemodel Restoration, Transamerican Auto Parts and other aftermarket auto parts stores nationwide and online at from April 2016 through April 2017 for about $150.

Importer(s): Corbeau USA, LLC., of Bluffdale, Utah

Distributor(s): Corbeau USA, LLC., of Bluffdale, Utah

Manufactured In: China

Units: About 2,000

Andrew Lock and Other CPSC Staff Participating in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 277 Upholstered Furniture Primary Task Group Teleconference

On July 25, 2017, Andrew Lock and Other Consumer Product Safety Commission staff are participating in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 277 Upholstered Furniture Primary Task Group Teleconference to participate in a voluntary standards development for upholstered furniture. The call-in information is 1-855-747-8824; Passcode: 533726.