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General System of Preference (GSP) Expiring December 31, 2017 -  C-Air/Eric Jones

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) will expire on December 31st. Duty deposits to customs will be required for all merchandise that qualifies for these duty free benefits on entries filed in 2018.

GSP benefits have expired several times since its inception but have always been renewed retroactively. C-Air will continue to transmit entries to customs flagging the SPI “A” prefix for all qualifying HTS numbers. Customs is developing programming to automatically refund importers their duty deposits should GSP benefits be renewed retroactively for all entries that contain the “A” GSP flag.

C-Air can provide excel reporting to our import clients of all duty deposits made on GSP qualifying merchandise in the new year. All importers are encouraged to contact their customer service representative if this reporting would be beneficial. Importers should also verify that their address stated on customs CF-7501 entries is correct. The address reported to customs is required to be correct and it is also the address duty refunds will be sent should the GSP program be reinstated retroactively. C-Air can transmit to customs the required form to update an address electronically if needed for our import clients.


PNCT:  Weekend Holiday Schedule - PNCT

Friday 12/29 Gate Hours : 6 AM to 5PM....PNCT will be CLOSED for New Year's Day (Monday). Tuesday, 1/02, PNCT will be OPEN with normal gate hours, 6am-6pm


Port Truck Gate Schedule for 2018 New Year Weekend - PierPass

Terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced their schedules for the New Year period of Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, through Monday, Jan 1, 2018. The schedule is posted below, and a PDF of the schedule can be downloaded at
http://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NewYears_Weekend-2017_1.pdf

Please continue to monitor the websites of individual terminals for updates.


Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon from the People's Republic of China - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I. Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”): The People’s Republic of China; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): The People’s Republic of China

II. Product: The merchandise covered by this investigation is certain plastic decorative ribbon having a width (measured at the narrowest span of the ribbon) of less than or equal to four (4) inches in actual measurement, including but not limited to ribbon wound onto itself; a spool, a core or a tube (with or without flanges); attached to a card or strip; wound into a keg-or egg-shaped configuration; made into bows, bow-like items, or other shapes or configurations; and whether or not packaged or labeled for retail sale. The subject merchandise is typically made of substrates of polypropylene, but may be made in whole or in part of any type of plastic, including without limitation, plastic derived from petroleum products and plastic derived from cellulose products.

The subject merchandise includes ribbons comprised of one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of plastics adhered to each other, regardless of the method used to adhere the layers together, including without limitation, ribbons comprised of layers of substrates adhered to each other through a lamination process. Subject merchandise also includes ribbons comprised of (a) one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of plastics adhered to (b) one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of non-plastic materials, including, without limitation, substrates made, in whole or in part, of fabric. The ribbons subject to this investigation may be of any color or combination of colors (including without limitation, ribbons that are transparent, translucent or opaque), and may or may not bear words or images, including those of a holiday motif. The subject merchandise includes ribbons with embellishments and/or treatments, including, without limitation, ribbons that are printed, hot-stamped, coated, laminated, flocked, crimped, die-cut, embossed (or that otherwise have impressed designs, images, words or patterns), and ribbons with holographic, metallic, glitter or iridescent finishes.

Subject merchandise includes "pull-bows" an assemblage of ribbons connected to one another, folded flat, and equipped with a means to form such ribbons into the shape of a bow by pulling on a length of material affixed to such assemblage, and "pre-notched" bows, an assemblage of notched ribbon loops arranged one inside the other with the notches in alignment and affixed to each other where notched, and which the end user forms into a bow by separating and spreading the loops circularly around the notches, which form the center of the bow. Subject merchandise includes ribbons that are packaged with non-subject merchandise, including ensembles that include ribbons and other products, such as gift wrap, gift bags, gift tags and/or other gift packaging products. Unless the context otherwise clearly indicates, the word "ribbon" used in the singular includes the plural and the plural "ribbons" includes the singular.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following: (1) ribbons formed exclusively by weaving plastic threads together; (2) ribbons that have metal wire in, on, or along the entirety of each of the longitudinal edges of the ribbon; (3) ribbons with an adhesive coating covering the entire span between the longitudinal edges of the ribbon for the entire length of the ribbon; (4) ribbon formed into a bow without a tab or other means for attaching the bow to an object using adhesives, where the bow has: (a) an outer layer that is either flocked or made of fabric, and (b) a flexible metal wire at the base that is suitable for attaching the bow to a Christmas tree or other object by twist-tying; (5) elastic ribbons, meaning ribbons that elongate when stretched and return to their original dimension when the stretching load is removed; (6) ribbons affixed as a decorative detail to non-subject merchandise, such as a gift bag, gift box, gift tin, greeting card or plush toy, or affixed (including by tying) as a decorative detail to packaging containing non-subject merchandise; (7) ribbons that are (a) affixed to non-subject merchandise as a working component of such non-subject merchandise, such as where the ribbon comprises a book marker, bag cinch, or part of an identity card holder, or (b) affixed (including by tying) to non-subject merchandise as a working component that holds or packages such non-subject merchandise or attaches packaging or labeling to such non-subject merchandise, such as a "belly band" around a pair of pajamas, a pair of socks or a blanket; (8) imitation raffia made of plastics having a thickness not more than one (1) mil when measured in an unfolded/untwisted state; and (9) ribbons in the form of bows having a diameter of less than seven-eighths (7/8) of an inch, or having a diameter of more than 16 inches. For purposes of this exclusion, the diameter of a bow is equal to the diameter of the smallest circular ring through which the bow will pass without compressing the bow.

III. HTS classifications: Merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") under subheadings 3920.20.0015 and 3926.40.0010. Merchandise covered by this investigation also may enter under subheadings 3920.10.0000; 3920.30.0000; 3920.43.5000; 3920.49.0000; 3920.62.0020; 3920.62.0050; 3920.62.0090; 3920.69.0000; 3921.90.1100; 3921.90.1500; 3921.90.1910; 3921.90.1950; 3921.90.4010; 3921.90.4090; 3926.90.9905; 3926.90.9910; 3926.90.9925; 3926.90.9930; 3926.90.9996; 5404.90.0000; 9505.90.4000; 4601.99.9000; 4602.90.0000; 5609.00.3000; 5609.00.4000; and 9505.10.2500. These HTSUS statistical categories and subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

IV. Date of Filing: December 27, 2017

V. Petitioners: Berwick Offray LLC

VI. Foreign Producers/Exporters.  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VII. US Importers named. Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VIII. Alleged Dumping Margins:

Ribbon: 74.34%
Bow Bags: 162.86%
Bow: 370.04%

IX. Comments:

A. Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: January 17, 2018.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the AD investigation.

B. The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the antidumping duty is March 7, 2018; for countervailing duty is January 16, 2018.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the CVD Investigation.

C. Volume and Value of Imports:  Please contact our office for a summary of the data filed with the petition.

If you have questions regarding how this investigation may impact future scope merchandise, or whether a particular product is within the scope of the investigation, please contact one of our attorneys.


Trump Administration Enforces Trade Preference Program Eligibility - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer applauded President Trump’s decision today to suspend some of Ukraine’s benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences Program (GSP), restore GSP eligibility for Argentina, and restore eligibility for The Gambia and Swaziland to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

"President Trump has sent a clear message that the United States will vigorously enforce eligibility criteria for preferential access to the U.S. market,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Beneficiary countries choose to either work with USTR to meet trade preference eligibility criteria or face enforcement actions. The Administration is committed to ensuring that other countries keep their end of the bargain in our trade relationships.”

Ukraine’s partial suspension from GSP stems from its failure to provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) despite years of encouragement and assistance from the U.S. Government. The President has decided to provide 120 days’ notice in this case because the Government of Ukraine has a viable path to remedy the situation, including improving the current legal regime governing royalty reimbursement to right holders’ organizations.

Argentina is being reinstated to the GSP program effective January 1, 2018 following resolution of certain arbitral disputes with U.S. companies, new commitments by the Argentine government to improve market access for U.S. agricultural products, and improved protection and enforcement of IPR. Due to certain remaining IPR issues, the restoration of GSP benefits for Argentina will not apply to all eligible products.

The Gambia lost its AGOA eligibility in 2015 due to human rights abuses and the deterioration of the rule of law. Following democratic elections in December 2016, The Gambia has made progress in strengthening the rule of law, improving human rights, and supporting political pluralism.

Swaziland lost AGOA eligibility in 2015 due to concerns over restrictions on the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression. The United States set a series of benchmarks related to lifting restrictions on freedoms of assembly, association, and expression Swaziland would need to meet to regain AGOA eligibility. Swaziland met the last of these benchmarks in November 2017.

USTR is conducting a separate AGOA out-of-cycle review for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda in response to a petition asserting that their phased ban on imports of used clothing is negatively impacting U.S. jobs. This review is ongoing.

Background

Under U.S. trade preferences programs, including GSP and AGOA, certain products can enter the United States duty-free if beneficiary countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress. GSP criteria include, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favor of U.S. citizens or corporations, combating child labor, respecting internationally recognized worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the United States with equitable and reasonable market access. AGOA eligibility criteria include making progress toward establishing political pluralism, the rule of law, and a market-based economy; elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment; protection of internationally recognized worker rights; a system to combat corruption and bribery; and economic policies to reduce poverty.

For more information on U.S. trade preference programs, visit the USTR website here.


FTC Cases Resulted in More Than $6.4 Billion in Refunds for Consumers Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 - Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission reports that its law enforcement actions in a recent one-year period returned $6.4 billion in refunds to consumers, including $391 million the FTC sent directly to 6.28 million consumers.

As noted in the FTC’s Office of Claims and Refunds Annual Report, the agency’s first report on money returned to consumers and businesses, its Bureau of Consumer Protection obtained 168 court orders for more than $12.72 billion between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. This amount doesn’t include judgments that were suspended by the court due to defendants’ inability to pay.

Some of these court orders required the defendants to send refunds directly to consumers, including more than $6 billion returned under the FTC’s settlement with Volkswagen during the time period covered by the report. In many cases, the FTC itself returned the money to consumers after defendants paid their judgments.

The FTC reports that 72 percent of people who received FTC checks cashed them, and the FTC paid on average 4.85 percent in administrative costs. The annual report outlines the process for identifying eligible recipients, mailing checks, finding current contact information for consumers, and deciding whether additional check mailings are feasible. For each FTC check mailing that occurred during this timeframe, the report details the total amount mailed, the average check amount, and the total number of recipients.

Consumers who receive FTC checks provide their feedback, as well:

“When I saw the check for $492.54 … with a note indicating, ‘…The enclosed check is your share of the money that the FTC was able to collect...’ I was both surprised and delighted. The money could not have come at a more opportune time. I recently got laid off, so it really means a lot right now. Thanks again for everything.”

The Commission vote to approve the report was 2-0. (FTC File No. P184300; the staff contact is Nicole Fleming, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2372).
 
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