Thursday, August 27, 2020

Air Force Undershirts and Moisture Wicking T-Shirt Contract Awarded

Campbellsville Apparel Co., Campbellsville, Kentucky, has been awarded a maximum $7,709,600 modification (P00012) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-16-D-1083) with four one-year option periods for undershirts and moisture wicking t-shirts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Kentucky, with a Sept. 7, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Army and Air Force Coat Contract Awarded

Aurora Industries LLC, Orocovis, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $25,608,088 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for coats. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. This was a competitive acquisition with 10 responses received. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with an Aug. 23, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1283).

Friday, August 21, 2020

CPSC Seeks Comments Regarding Review of the Testing and Labeling Regulations Pertaining to Product Certification of Children’s Products, Including Reliance on Component Part Testing

In a Federal Register Notice scheduled for publication August 24, 3030, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) announces it is conducting a review of the regulations for third party testing and certification to demonstrate compliance with safety standards for children’s products, under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

ITC Investigation COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a new investigation on COVID-19 related industry sectors and particular products. The investigation, COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges, was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received on August 13, 2020.

As requested, the USITC, an independent nonpartisan factfinding federal agency, will provide the following:

  • a brief overview of key U.S. industry sectors producing COVID-related goods, including, but not limited to, medical devices; personal protective equipment; and medicines (pharmaceuticals). The overviews will include, to the extent practicable, information on U.S. production, employment, and trade.
  • case studies on key products within each relevant industry sector, including N95 respirators, ventilators, vaccines, and COVID-19 test kits. The case studies will focus on products for which there were reported shortages in the first half of 2020, including those affected by supply chain fragility, blockages, or barriers, and will include information on:
    • the U.S. industry, market, and trade, including, to the extent available:
      • the product, including key components and the production process;
      • the size and characteristics of the U.S. market;
      • the U.S. manufacturing industry, including key producers of finished goods and intermediate inputs, the extent of U.S. production, and employment; and
      • U.S. imports of finished goods and inputs, including leading source countries and supplying firms; and
    • supply chain challenges and constraints, including, but not limited to:
      • factors affecting domestic production, including, to the extent practicable, regulatory requirements that may impact entry into the market;
      • and foreign trade barriers and restrictions and other factors that may affect U.S. imports of finished goods or inputs needed for domestic production.

The USITC expects to deliver its report to the Committees by December 15, 2020.

The USITC is seeking input for the investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the issues for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on September 23, 2020. See below for important information regarding the format and location of the hearing.

Additional 45-day Compliance Period for Executive Order 13936 – Hong Kong Normalization

On August 21, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the 45-day transition period for compliance with the President’s Executive Order (EO) on Hong Kong Normalization has been extended for an additional 45 days through November 9, 2020.

On July 14, 2020, the President issued Executive Order 13936 dealing with Hong Kong Normalization, and suspended, among other things, the application of section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to certain statutes, including 19 U.S.C. 1304. On August 11, 2020, CBP issued a notice in the Federal Register (85 FR 48551) notifying the public that, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in Hong Kong must be marked to indicate that their origin is “China” for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304. The position set forth in the notice became applicable as of July 29, 2020; however, CBP granted a transition period until September 25, 2020 for importers to implement marking consistent with the notice.

In an effort to allow importers ample time to comply with EO requirements for goods produced in Hong Kong to be appropriately marked with the origin of “China”, CBP is extending the transition period for an additional 45 days, through November 9, 2020. During this period, CBP personnel from the Ports of Entry and Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers) should not take any enforcement actions (i.e., marking notices, marking penalties, etc.) on goods produced in Hong Kong for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Centers and Ports of Entry should take measures to inform accounts and importers of these new marking rules for Hong Kong set forth in the EO.

This change in marking requirements does not affect country of origin determinations for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under Chapters 1-97 of the HTSUS or temporary or additional duties under Chapter 99 of the HTSUS. Entry summary procedures also have not changed. Given that this new rule only applies to marking requirements under 19 U.S.C. 1304, filers should continue to file their entry summaries and submit payments for applicable duties, taxes and fees in accordance with current regulations and policies.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded

Bremen-Bowdon Investment Co., Bowdon, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $8,125,822 modification (P00012) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-17-D-1085) with four one-year option periods for men’s trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Georgia, with an Aug. 23, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Navy Uniform Contract Awarded

Silver Oak Leaf Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $10,716,250 modification (P00010) exercising the first one-year option period of an 18-month base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1135) with three one-year option periods for working uniform blouses and trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Puerto Rico and Georgia, with an Aug. 24, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Army Rucksack Contract Awarded

Point Blank Protective Apparel & Uniform, Guanica, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a $20,953,625 firm-fixed price, fixed-quantity contract for MOLLE 4000 rucksack sets. This was a competitive acquisition with five responses received. This is a one-year contract with no options periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Sept. 30, 2021, performance completion date.Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-C-0016).

Navy Flame Resisant Coverall Contract Awarded

Excel Garment Manufacturing, Ltd., El Paso, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $25,009,200 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for improved flame resistant version utility coveralls. This was a competitive acquisition with three offers received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with an Aug. 20, 2021, ordering period end date. Using customer is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1248).

Flag makers use technology, social distance to continue mission during pandemic

Nearly eight years ago at a print shop in Philadelphia, a graphic designer taught himself machine embroidery and went from designing custom shoes for Lebron James to helping create the first U.S. Space Force flag. Adam Walstrum is an embroidery digitizer in the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support flag room, where he helps make military and government flags as part of the clothing and textiles supply chain. He is one of three flag room employees who’ve proven essential to the flag room’s mission since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. Walstrum physically works in the flag room with Linda Farrell, flag room supervisor, and Nancy Chhim, sewing machine operator, while wearing personal protective equipment and practicing social distancing. In June, Farrell gradually brought in additional staff, including hand embroiderers who make the presidential and vice presidential flags, to work on staggered schedules. To read more CLICK HERE.

$115K of Counterfeit Items Seized by CBP Officers in Louisville

On Aug 18, CBP Officers in Louisville seized the shipment that contained counterfeit Louis Vuitton hats, purses and bags. Also inside were other designer items from Gucci, Chanel, Tory Burch, Tiffany, and Michael Kors, as well as counterfeit make-up, shoes and electronics. The parcel contained 55 counterfeit items. It was arriving from Hong Kong and was destined for residence in Saginaw, Texas. If the items were real, the appraised total MSRP of the shipment was $115,862.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Army and Air Force Cold/Wet Jacket Contract Awarded

Tennier Industries Inc., Delray Beach, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $17,148,584 modification (P00005) exercising the one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1136) with one one-year option period for extreme cold/wet weather jackets. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Florida and Tennessee, with an Aug. 20, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Senators Portman and Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Require the Defense Logistics Agency to Issue Long-Term Contracts for American-Made PPE

On August 18, 2020, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation that will strengthen efforts to onshore production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States by requiring the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE. Reshoring production will ensure American workers, students, health care professionals, and more have the PPE they need as the economy continues to reopen. Domestic production of PPE supplies will also create manufacturing American jobs.

“The American people should not have to rely so heavily on foreign countries for personal protective equipment, and that’s why we must bring PPE production back to our shores,” said Senator Portman. “When I talk to PPE manufacturers about re-shoring this production to America, the number one thing I hear about is the need for long-term contracts. Multi-year contracts give producers the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it, because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce. By re-shoring production of PPE, we can continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces and the economy and I urge my colleagues to support this important bipartisan legislation.”

“Our nation’s dependence on foreign manufacturers for PPE, such as masks, gloves, and respirators, is a serious national security risk,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I raised concerns about this problem in a report last year, and the shortages caused by the Coronavirus pandemic only underscore the need to incentivize American manufacturers to produce these critical supplies in the United States. Workers and companies in Michigan and across the country know how to manufacture great products, and this bipartisan bill will help provide certainty for American companies to create jobs, make PPE and strengthen our ability to respond to this and future pandemics.”

“We want to thank Senators Portman and Peters for introducing the ‘Make PPE in America Act’ to help onshore critical PPE production,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “By using the purchasing power of the federal government to issue long-term contracts to American companies and its workforce, this legislation will ensure vital investment in the United States for years to come, while helping our nation become self-sufficient in lifesaving PPE materials.”

“We fully support the courageous and forward-thinking ‘Make PPE in America Act’ proposed by our own Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Senator Rob Portman from Ohio,” says Lance Keziah, CEO of Crypton. “As a Michigan-based textile manufacturer, we have seen decline across the entire domestic industry…an industry critical to PPE. This bill will provide long-term contracts to American companies of varying scale necessary to its production while supporting our essential workforce. This legislation will provide investment in the United States for years to come, insuring that our nation remains self-sufficient in supplying lifesaving PPE materials. Supporting American textile manufacturing means a more stable economy; affordable, sustainable PPE, and a healthy workforce.”

USTR Seeks Comments on China's WTO Compliance

On August 18, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 50864) Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning China's Compliance With WTO Commitments.

China became a Member of the WTO on December 11, 2001. In accordance with section 421 of the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-286), USTR is required to submit by December 11 of each year, a report to Congress on China's compliance with commitments made in connection with its accession to the WTO, including multilateral commitments and any bilateral commitments made to the United States. In accordance with section 421, and to assist it in preparing this year's report, the TPSC is soliciting public comments. You can find last year's report on USTR's website at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2019_Report_on_China%E2%80%99s_WTO_Compliance.pdf.

September 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT is the deadline for submission of comments.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Duvaltex launches full range of innovative medical textiles to protect american healthcare personnel and patients

Duvaltex is ramping up production to offer its full range of high-quality Level 1 and Level 2 gowns and antimicrobial scrub textiles to front-line healthcare workers and their patients in the United States. Made from durable, breathable and soft touch engineered fabrics, Duvaltex's textiles meet the most stringent quality specifications to provide optimal protection against the transfer of microorganisms, body fluids, and particulate matter.

“Our U.S. teams, based in Maine and Michigan, have been developing and manufacturing medical textiles and products for the healthcare industry for more than 20 years and are ready to meet increasing demand for personal protective equipment,” said Alain Duval, Chief Executive Officer of Duvaltex. “We are especially proud of the durability of our textiles, which can be washed and reused over 100 times. Each lot is tested to meet the highest quality and traceability standards and ensure they are defect free.”

Duvaltex's engineered Level 1 and 2 reusable fabrics are woven to make medical and hospital gowns as well as laboratory and protective clothing, with and without antistatic performance capabilities. The antistatic technology incorporated in the medical fabric construction reduces the build-up of static charges, ensuring a cleaner and safer work environment.

As a recognized leader in specialty textile innovation, Duvaltex has developed advanced technical fabrics designed to meet the needs of front-line healthcare workers. Its antimicrobial scrub fabric is used to make scrub shirts, tops, tunics, jackets, pants and uniforms, and can be washed and reused multiple times. The company also offers cubicle curtain fabric for healthcare environments that can be seen from both sides. All Duvaltex fabrics meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Society of Testing Materials International (ASTM), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) quality standards.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duvaltex has mobilized its North American manufacturing facilities to produce millions of yards of medical textiles in record time to meet major government contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) and support healthcare institutions. Employees at the company's facilities and offices in Guilford, ME, Grand Rapids, MI, New York, NY, and Elkin, NC, as well as companies in its U.S. supply chain, have played a key role in this major effort alongside Duvaltex teams located in Canada.


As part of its ongoing efforts to protect people and limit the spread of viruses, such as COVID-19, Duvaltex recently launched a highly innovative, non-medical protective face mask. The company made substantial investments in new 3D knitting equipment at its Grand Rapids facility to provide it with the capacity to produce millions of the X7 mask. It is available in bulk quantities for large businesses as well as the retail, hospitality, and service sectors, or individually, through a dedicated e-commerce platform at knit.duvaltex.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

USTR Modifies $7.5 Billion WTO Award Implementation Relating to Illegal Airbus Subsidies

On August 12, 2020, the United States Trade Representative issued a modification to the list of products subject to WTO-authorized additional duties in the United States' successful WTO challenge to subsidies for large civil aircraft provided by the European Union, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. USTR is removing from the tariff list certain products from Greece and the United Kingdom and adding an equivalent amount of trade from France and Germany. The changes are modest; the amount of products subject to countermeasures will remain unchanged at $7.5 billion and the tariff rates will remain unchanged at 15% for aircraft and 25% for all other products.

"The EU and member states have not taken the actions necessary to come into compliance with WTO decisions," Ambassador Robert Lighthizer stated. "The United States, however, is committed to obtaining a long-term resolution to this dispute. Accordingly, the United States will begin a new process with the EU in an effort to reach an agreement that will remedy the conduct that harmed the U.S. aviation industry and workers and will ensure a level playing field for U.S. companies."

The modifications announced today will take effect on Sept. 1, 2020.

Currently textile products of the United Kingdom described below are subject to additional import duties of 25 percent ad valorem, there is no change to this list:

HTSSubheading Product Description
6110.11.00Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool
6110.12.10Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of Kashmir goats, wholly of cashmere
6110.20.20Sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, nesoi*
6110.30.30Sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers, nesoi
6202.99.15Recreational performance outwear, women's/girls' anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not knitted or crocheted, of other textile materials (not wool, cotton or MMF), containing <70 percent by weight of silk
6202.99.80Women's/girls' anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not knitted or crocheted, of other texile materials (not wool, cotton or MMF), containing <70% by weight of silk,
6203.11.60Men's or boys' suits of wool, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi, of wool yarn with average fiber diameter of 18.5 micron or less
6203.11.90Men's or boys' suits of wool or fine animal hair, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi
6203.19.30Men's or boys' suits, of artificial fibers, nesoi, not knitted or crocheted
6203.19.90Men's or boys' suits, of textile mats(except wool, cotton or MMF), containing under 70 percent by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6208.21.00Women's or girls' nightdresses and pajamas, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton
6211.12.40Women's or girls' swimwear, of textile materials(except MMF), containing 70% or more by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6211.12.80Women's or girls' swimwear, of textile materials(except MMF), containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6301.30.00Blankets (other than electric blankets) and traveling rugs, of cotton
6301.90.00Blankets and traveling rugs, nesoi
6302.21.50Bed linen, not knit or crocheted, printed, of cotton, cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, n/napped
6302.21.90Bed linen, not knit or croc, printed, of cotton, not cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, not napped

* NESOI means Not Elsewhere Specified or Included.

BACKGROUND
In October 2019, the WTO authorized the United States to take $7.5 billion in countermeasures following the largest victory in WTO history in the long-running dispute against the EU, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom regarding their illegal subsidies for the Airbus consortium. Following a notice and comment process, on October 9, 2019, the United States imposed additional tariffs of up to 25 percent on products of current and former EU member states with a trade value of approximately $7.5 billion. The section 301 statute provides for periodic review and modification of the tariff action. A prior revision was made in February 2020.

The details of the modification are set out in a Notice that will be published in the Federal Register.

Carbon Fiber FTZ Application Filed

On August 13, 2020, the Foreign-Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register (85 FR 54837) Foreign-Trade Zone 38-Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Application for Production Authority; Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc. (Polyacrylonitrile-Based Carbon Fiber); Greenwood, South Carolina. Teijin filed for FTZ benefits in 2019 and was opposed, as is typical for carbon fiber applications, was opposed by Hexcel Corporation. The FTZ Board granted FTZ benefits for export production only. Teijin now seeks to have that restriction lifted.

U.S. Government Seeks Comments Regarding Improvement of Administration and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws

On August 13, 2020, the U.S. International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (85 FR 49472) Regulations To Improve Administration and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws.

According to the notice the purpose of the regulatory changes proposed in this rulemaking is to strengthen the administration and enforcement of AD/CVD laws, make such administration and enforcement more efficient, and create new enforcement tools for Commerce to address circumvention and evasion of trade remedies. If adopted, these changes would equip Commerce to better fulfill the Congressional intent behind the AD/CVD laws—namely, to protect U.S. companies, workers, farmers, and ranchers from the injurious effects of unfairly traded imports. In addition, if adopted, these changes would promote the Administration's objective to enforce the AD/CVD laws rigorously, and to aggressively pursue parties that seek to skirt them. Moreover, the proposed regulations facilitate a stronger and more efficient administration of the AD and CVD laws in the context of Commerce's proceedings. To be assured of consideration, written comments must be received no later than September 14, 2020.

USTR Accepting Comments on Russia's WTO Compliance

On August 13, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 49412) Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning Russia's Implementation of Its WTO Commitments.

DATES:

September 21, 2020 (Monday) at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of written comments on 2020 Russia WTO implementation report.

September 30, 2020 (Wednesday) at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for the Trade Policy Staff Committee ("TPSC") to pose questions on written comments.

October 9, 2020 (Friday) at 11:59 p.m. EDT: Deadline for submission of responses to questions from the TPSC.

Frequently Asked Questions - Guidance on Marking of Goods of Hong Kong – Executive Order 13936

Q. How does the Hong Kong marking executive order (EO) impact imported goods that are products of Hong Kong after the transition period?

Every article of foreign origin or its container imported into the Customs territory of the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place and in such manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article (19 U.S.C. §1304 and 19 CFR 134.11).

Imported goods that are produced in Hong Kong that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption into the United States after the transition period must be marked to indicate that their origin is “China” for purposes of 19 U.S.C. § 1304.

Goods that are not marked properly after the transition period may be brought into a Foreign Trade Zone to be properly marked under a permit to manipulate issued by the Port Director.

Similarly, goods which are improperly or falsely marked may be brought into an FTZ under a permit to manipulate to correct or remove such marking so as to comply with the laws and regulations (19 CFR 134.13(b)).

See Foreign Trade Zone Manual, Publication #: 0000-0559A (2011), Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.5, available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FTZmanual2011.pdf

Q. How does the marking rule affect the country of origin for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under Chap 1-97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) or temporary or additional duties under Chapter 99 of the HTSUS?

The change in marking requirements does not affect country of origin determinations for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under Chapters 1-97 of the HTSUS or temporary or additional duties under Chapter 99 of the HTSUS. Therefore, goods that are products of Hong Kong should continue to report International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country code “HK” as the country of origin when required.

Q. How does the EO marking rule affect entry summary requirements, such as country of origin reporting, duty payments, etc.?

This rule only applies to marking requirements under 19 U.S.C. 1304. Entry summary procedures have not changed. Filers should continue to file their entry summaries and duty payments according to current regulation and policy.

Q. What if goods are marked as “Made in China” but qualify for outward processing treatment (OPA) as Hong Kong origin goods?

CBP’s FRN affects marking requirements not country of origin. There is no change with regard to the Outward Processing Arrangements (OPA).

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

CBP New Orleans Seizes $83K in Counterfeit Designer Goods

Officers found 75 Gucci and Hermes belts, as well as Louis Vuitton duffle bags, backpacks, wallets, and purses, and 10 Mac brush kits. All of the items were seized pursuant to 19 USC 1526e for bearing the counterfeit trademarks.

Counterfeit Apparel & Electronics Worth Over $1M Seized in Chicago

Fake "Nike," "Air Jordan," "Louis Vuitton," and "Gucci" articles seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

CBP Issues Detention Order on Garments Manufactured with Prison Labor in China

Effective August 11 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain imported merchandise containing garments produced by the Hero Vast Group (including Shanghai Hero Vast International Trading Co., Ltd.; Henan Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Yuexi Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Ying Han International Co., Ltd.; and Hero Vast Canada Inc.). CBP’s Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade directed the issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against the Hero Vast Group and its garments based on information that reasonably indicated the use of prison labor in the production of those garments.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. This WRO will require the detention at all U.S. ports of entry of garments and any such merchandise manufactured by the Hero Vast Group. Importers of detained shipments are provided an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof to CBP that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, CBP is dedicated to vigilantly monitoring U.S.-bound supply chains for links to forced labor, including prison labor, and will act to deter and disrupt the importation of merchandise made with forced labor practices,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “The use of forced labor is not just a serious human rights issue, but it also brings about unfair competition in our global supply chains. CBP’s goal is to ensure that goods made by forced labor never reach U.S. consumers.”

Since September 2019, CBP has issued eleven WROs, including four WROs against products from China. All WROs are publically available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings webpage. The Forced Labor Division, established in 2017 within CBP’s Office of Trade, leads enforcement of the prohibition against importing goods made with forced labor.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

U.S. Customs Law Declares Hong Kong is China, No Long Separate Customs Territory

On August 11, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection published in the Federal Register (85 FR 48551) notice that in light of the President's Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization, issued on July 14, 2020, suspending the application of section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to the marking statute, section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to imported goods produced in Hong Kong, such goods may no longer be marked to indicate "Hong Kong" as their origin, but must be marked to indicate "China." Given the commercial realities, CBP is allowing a transition period to implement new marking. The transition period extends through September 25, 2020.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Celusuede Products Announces Acquisition of Engineered Fibers Technology

Flock producer Cellusuede Products, Inc, Rockford, Illinois, has announced it has acquired Engineered Fibers Technology, (EFT) Shelton, Connecticut. On June 30, 2020, Cellusuede completed the purchase and now has 100% interest in EFT ownership, greatly expanding Cellusuede’s capabilities as a precision short-cut fiber supplier.

EFT, founded in 1998, is an industry leader in precision short-cut technical fibers (including Ni-coated carbon, Vectran, BioMid, lyocell, S-2 glass, aramid, and PEEK, among several others) into technical markets, including specialty papers, construction and composites, as well as into thermoplastic /thermoset molding compounds, with coated (controlled strand integrity) fibers. EFT also has a well-established and unique line of wet processed fibers that includes EFTec™ Nanofibrillated fibers for filtration, wipes, and specialty papers. In addition, EFT’s offerings include its DensePakTM proprietary short fiber and packaging expertise used to manufacture obscurant devices employed by the U.S. Government as a defense against sophisticated electro-optical sensors and advanced weapon systems.

EFT is well recognized for its materials science expertise and proprietary technology for high performance technical applications. EFT’s solutions-based technical focus combined with Cellusuede’s long standing history of highest quality short-cut fibers and larger scale capacity will catapult the Company into new technical markets while entrenching the Company even further into existing markets as a first quality partner to our customer base.

Cellusuede, an ESOP company founded in 1938, will look to leverage EFT’s capabilities to grow its business in energy storage markets, automotive applications, and additive manufacturing. Andy Honkamp, President and CEO of Cellusuede, is the new President of EFT. Bob Evans, founder, and former Managing Director of EFT will stay on in a technical consulting role, and Dave Merrill, former Sales and Marketing Director for EFT, will remain in a sales and customer service support role. EFT will continue operations in Shelton, CT.

Spectro Coating Aquires Dorrie International, will be the Only Vertically Integrated Provider of Flock Tape

New England flock company Spectro Coating Corp. announces the acquisition of the assets of Dorrie International / Hicks & Otis Prints Inc. of Norwalk Connecticut. Dorrie International was a major supplier of automotive flock tape for automotive window sealing systems.

The new division will be called American Flock Tape (AFT), and will be the only vertically integrated provider of flock tape in the world. The acquisition will allow them to slit and spool to the demanding requirements of the automotive, medical, and other markets.

Spectro Coating Corp. has been in business for over 30 years under the current ownership, with roots going back more than 80 years. Claremont Flock, a division of Spectro Coating Corp. has been one of the largest flock manufacturers since 1914. We are certified ISO 9001:2015 and a Minority Owned Business.

All products are proudly Manufactured in the U S A.

Section 301 Exclusions Relating to Several Textile Articles on List 3 Extended through December 31, 2020

On August 6, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that several articles on the China Section 301 List 3 which have been granted exclusions which are scheduled to expire on August 7, 2020, will continue to enjoy exclusion status through December 31, 2020. Publication in th eFederal Register will follow in a few days.

(11) 5603.12.0090

(12) 5603.14.9090

(13) 5603.92.0090

(14) 5603.93.0090

(83) Silk fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of silk or of silk waste other than noil silk, the foregoing not printed, not jacquard woven, measuring over 127 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5007.20.0065)

(84) Silk fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of silk or of silk waste other than noil silk, the foregoing not printed, not jacquard woven, measuring 107 cm or more but not over 127 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5007.20.0085)

(85) Yarn of cashmere or camel hair, carded but not combed, not put up for retail sale (described in statistical reporting number 5108.10.8000)

(86) Woven dyed fabrics of 100 percent textured polyester filament yarn, measuring 332.7 cm in width, weighing more than 170 g/m² (described in statistical reporting number 5407.52.2060)

(87) Woven fabric of 100 percent textured polyester filaments, dyed, weighing more than 170 g/m², measuring not more than 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5407.52.2060)

(88) Woven fabric of synthetic filament yarn containing 85 percent or more by weight of textured polyester filaments, dyed, measuring 249 cm in width, weighing more than 170 g/m² (described in statistical reporting number 5407.52.2060)

(89) Woven dupioni fabric wholly of non-textured dyed polyester filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring not more than 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5407.61.9930)

(90) Woven fabric wholly of polyester, dyed, not flat, containing non-textured polyester filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring not over 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5407.61.9930)

(91) Woven fabric wholly of polyester, dyed, containing non-textured polyester filaments, weighing more than 170 g/m², measuring not over 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5407.61.9935)

(92) Woven fabric containing by weight 47 percent of nylon and 53 percent of polyester, dyed, containing textured filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring greater than 274 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5407.72.0015)

(93) Polyester filament tow, measuring more than 50 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.20.0000)

(94) Polypropylene fiber tow, measuring more than 50 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.40.0000)

(95) Woven dyed fabrics wholly of spun polyester, weighing more than 240 g/m² and measuring not more than 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5512.19.0090)

(96) Woven dyed 3-thread twill fabrics containing by weight 65 percent of polyester and 35 percent of cotton staple fibers, not napped, weighing more than 200 g/m² and exceeding 310 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5514.22.0020)

(97) Nonwoven fabrics of man-made fibers, weighing more than 25 g/m² but not more than 70 g/m², with a smooth or embossed texture (not impregnated, coated or covered with material other than or in addition to rubber, plastics, wood pulp or glass fibers), in rolls that are pre-slitted in lengths of not less than 15 cm to not more than 107 cm, for use in the manufacture of personal care wipes (described in statistical reporting number 5603.12.0090)

(98) Non-woven fabrics of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), in sheets measuring not more than 160 cm by 250 cm, weighing more than 1,800 g/m² but not more than 3,000 g/m² (described in statistical reporting number 5603.94.9090)

(99) Rugs of hand-knotted pile, of nylon and polypropylene, measuring at least 1.2 m2 (described in statistical reporting number 5701.90.1010)

(100) Rugs of 100 percent polyester or polypropylene, with brass grommets and stainless steel springs, each measuring at least 44 cm by 45 cm but not exceeding 56 cm by 59 cm (described in statistical reporting number 5705.00.2030)

(101) Woven dyed embroidery fabrics containing by weight 55 percent of polyester and 45 percent of nylon, weighing less than 115 g/m² and measuring 289 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5810.92.9080)

(102) Long pile knit fabrics, of acrylic pile on polyester ground, valued not over $16 per m2 (described in statistical reporting number 6001.10.2000)

(103) Knitted or crocheted fabrics of artificial staple fibers derived from bamboo (described in statistical reporting number 6003.40.6000)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

U.S. Businesses Must Take a Stand Against China’s Human Rights Abuses

Many American brands have become household names around the globe, renowned for their exceptional quality and value. But with that visibility and consumer trust come great responsibility. American companies increasingly realize that corporate responsibility isn't just social responsibility, it is also national security. As part of this, companies must perform human rights due diligence and ask themselves tough questions to make sure their foreign deals do not, in the words of Secretary of State Pompeo, "tighten a regime's grip of repression."

To help our companies navigate this difficult landscape, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security have joined with the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce to issue a business advisory on the risks and considerations for businesses with potential supply chain exposure to entities engaged in forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang. By following this guidance, businesses can be more confident that they are not contributing to human rights abuses in China.

Read more from the U.S. Department of State.

The Brickle Group and Darlington Fabrics Among Rhode Island Textile Manufacturers Who Have Switch to Making PPE

Rhode Island’s textile companies, all members of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN), immediately responded to the challenge of lack of a domestic manufacturing base for personal protection equipment, pivoting to create products and processes that were entirely new, while keeping our customers and employees safe. Read more in the Providence Journal.

Monday, August 3, 2020

CBP Issues Administrative Ruling Clarifying Use of Section 321 $800 Exemption

Section 321(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, authorizes CBP to provide an administrative exemption to admit free from duty and tax shipments of merchandise (other than bona fide gifts and certain personal and household goods) imported by one person on one day having an aggregate fair retail value in the country of shipment of not more than $800. This exemption is known as a de minimis entry.

With the rise, in 2019, of the de minimis from $200 to $800 we have seen more online retailers taking advantage of it. For example, Sears has a warehouse in Canada for de minimis shipments of apparel direct to consumers in the U.S. Customs has advised online retailers that they must be careful to follow the rules for Section 321, including the "single customer on a single day" provision.

Recently CBP issued an administrative ruling that clarifies whether importations made by a nonresident importer in one day and sent to a U.S. fulfillment facility or warehouse may qualify for informal duty-free entry under 19 U.S.C. § 1321(a)(2)(c) [hereafter “Section 321”]. The administrative ruling went into effect on July 28, 2020 and was published in the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) on July 31, 2020.

Moving forward, in situations where merchandise has not been sold to a consumer at the time of importation, CBP will consider the consignee (likely the U.S. fulfillment facility or warehouse taking custody of the merchandise) to be the “person” for Section 321 eligibility purposes. The owner or the purchaser of the merchandise (likely the foreign seller) may also qualify as the “person” provided the owner or purchaser’s identity is presented to CBP. Accordingly, when the identity of the owner or purchaser of the merchandise is not presented to CBP, any affiliated shipment(s) may be subject to informal or formal entry procedures when the aggregate value exceeds the $800 limit or CBP determines it is necessary to protect the revenue or national interest.

This ruling better positions CBP to identify duty evasions and other abuses consistent with current authorities and helps create a more predictable enforcement environment for trade. This ruling also provides CBP with important foreign seller information with which to target and interdict counterfeit products, consumer safety violations, and other threats before they enter the United States.

In order for the owner or purchaser to qualify as the “person” under Section 321, importers will be required to provide the first and last name of the owner or purchaser, or the name of the business. Specifically, AMS filers must provide in the “consignee” field, the name of the owner or purchaser “in care of” the address of the domestic warehouse or fulfillment center to which the shipment is destined. Similarly, ABI filers may provide in the “ship to” and/or “buyer” fields, the name of the owner or purchaser “in care of” the address of the domestic warehouse or fulfillment center to which the shipment is destined. CBP will publish CATAIR and CAMIR updates next week.

This ruling took effect and is thereby enforceable beginning July 28, 2020. CBP intends to take near-term enforcement action against egregious violators who the agency believes are structuring their shipments to evade duty and entry requirements. Longer-term, egregious and/or repeat violators may lose their Section 321 privileges and may be required to file formal entry on subsequent shipments.