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Initiation of AD/CVD Investigations: Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon from the PRC - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

On January 16, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated its less-than-fair-value and countervailing duty investigations on “certain plastic decorative ribbon from the People’s Republic of China” (China) (Initiation Notices). These investigations have been assigned the following case numbers: A-570-075 and C-570-076.

The Scope of Merchandise covered by these investigations reads as follows:

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. Unless the context otherwise clearly indicates, the word “ribbon” used in the singular includes the plural and the plural “ribbons” includes the singular.

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 without limitation, 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. The ribbons are covered by the scope of this investigation; the “other products” (i.e., the other, non-subject merchandise included in the ensemble) are not covered by the scope of this investigation.

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, based on actual measurement. 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.

Further, excluded from the scope of the antidumping duty order are any products covered by the existing antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET Film) from the People's Republic of China (China). See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Brazil, the People's Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates: Antidumping Duty Orders and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the United Arab Emirates, 73 FR 66595 (November 10, 2008).

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; 3920.20.0055; 3920.30.0000; 3920.43.5000; 3920.49.0000; 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; 3926.90.9996; 5404.90.0000; 9505.90.4000; 4601.99.9000; 4602.90.0000; 5609.00.3000; 5609.00.4000; and 6307.90.9889. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

Requirements for Submitting Comments on the Scope of the Investigations: Please be sure to comply with all three requirements established below.

Deadline for Submitting Comments:
As announced in the Initiation Notices, Commerce is setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide Commerce with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination, as appropriate. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. Commerce requests that all such comments be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Monday, February 5, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 15, 2018, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline. Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations identified above.

Required Entry of Appearance:
Parties wishing to participate in this segment and be included on the public service list must file a letter of appearance. Section 351.103(d)(1) of Commerce’s regulations states that “with the exception of a petitioner filing a petition in an investigation, to be included on the public service list for a particular segment, each interested party must file a letter of appearance.” The letter of appearance must be filed separately from any other document (with the exception of an application for APO access). Note, the letter of appearance must state how the party qualifies as an interested party (e.g., an exporter, producer, importer of the subject merchandise) and must include a point of contact, including address, telephone/fax number and email address.

All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time, typically 5 p.m., and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance’s APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

FTC, FDA Warn Companies about Marketing and Selling Opioid Cessation Products - Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today posted warning letters to the marketers and distributors of 11 opioid cessation products for illegally marketing products with unproven claims about their ability to help in the treatment of opioid addiction and withdrawal.

“Opioid addiction is a serious health epidemic that affects millions of Americans,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “Individuals and their loved ones who struggle with this disease need real help, not unproven treatments. We will continue to work together with the FDA to address this important issue.”

Health fraud scams like these can pose serious health risks. These products have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective and may keep some patients from seeking appropriate, FDA-approved therapies. Selling these unapproved products with claims that they can treat opioid addiction and withdrawal is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Making unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is also a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits deceptive advertising.

Also today, the FTC, in coordination with SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued a fact sheet to help consumers get real help for opioid addiction or withdrawal, while avoiding products that promise but do not deliver help. The fact sheet has tips that consumers and health practitioners alike can share with those considering help for opioid addiction or withdrawal. Patients receiving FDA-approved medication-assisted treatment cut their risk of death in half, according to SAMHSA.

The FDA and FTC issued joint warning letters to 11 companies for their products: Opiate Freedom Center (Opiate Freedom 5-Pack); U4Life, LLC (Mitadone); CalmSupport, LLC (CalmSupport); TaperAid (TaperAid & TaperAid Complete); Medicus Holistic Alternatives, LLC (Natracet); NutraCore Health Products, LLC (Opiate Detox Pro); Healthy Healing, LLC (Withdrawal Support); Soothedrawal, Inc. (Soothedrawal); Choice Detox Center, Inc. (Nofeel); GUNA, Inc. (GUNA-ADDICT 1); and King Bio, Inc. (AddictaPlex).

The FTC sent four additional warning letters to other marketers of opioid cessation products.

All of the companies use online platforms to make unproven claims about their products' ability to cure, treat, or prevent a disease. Examples of claims made include:

  • #1 Selling Opiate Withdrawal Brand”
  • Imagine a life without the irritability, cravings, restlessness, excitability, exhaustion and discomfort associated with the nightmare of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.”
  • Safe and effective natural supplements that work to ease many physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.”
  • Break the pain killer habit.”
  • Relieve Your Symptoms…addiction, withdrawal, cravings.”

The FTC and FDA have requested responses from each of the companies within 15 working days. The companies are directed to inform each agency of the specific actions taken to address each agency’s concerns. The warning letters also state that failure to correct violations may result in law enforcement action such as seizure or injunction.

Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report any adverse events related to these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. To file a report, use the MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form. The completed form can be submitted online or via fax to 800-FDA-0178.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook(link is external), follow us on Twitter(link is external), read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, promotes and protects the public health by, among other things, assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

In the News:

BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) teamed with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) in Baltimore recently to seize nearly 2,000 packages of children’s mini activity cubes because individual parts of the activity cubes posed potential choking hazards to children.

The toys, valued at more than $5,600, were shipped from Hong Kong and destined for an address in Harrisburg, Pa.  Baltimore CBP officers examined the shipment and submitted samples to CPSC.  CPSC tested the activity cubes and determined that the toys violated the small parts requirement of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act [15 USC §1263].

“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize imported merchandise that pose potential harm to American consumers, and especially for toys that pose a potential choking hazard to young children,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore.  “We hope that this seizure raises consumer awareness about the very real danger of unsafe products and urge consumers to remain vigilant when buying toys for young children.”

According to the CPSC, there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during 2016, and an estimated 85,200 (35 percent) of those cases happened to children younger than 5 years of age.  View more from CPSC’s Toy- Related Deaths and Injuries report.

Marketer That Deceptively Advertised Bed Bug Treatment Admits Violating FTC Order; Will Be Barred from Bed Bug Product Sales and Pay $224,356 for Consumer Refunds - Federal Trade Commission

Chemical Free Solutions LLC (CFS), the seller of Cedarcide Original, a line of cedar oil-based products deceptively marketed as effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations, has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated a 2013 order barring it from making scientifically unsupported product claims. Under the modified court order, CFS admits it violated the 2013 order, is banned from selling bed bug eradication products, and will pay $224,356 for consumer refunds.

According to the Commission’s September 2012 complaint, CFS falsely claimed that its natural, BEST Yet! bed bug and head lice products were invented for the U.S. Army, that BEST Yet! was acknowledged by the USDA as the #1 choice of bio-based pesticides, and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had warned consumers to avoid all synthetic and chemical pesticides for treating bed bug infestations.

CFS agreed to a consent order settling the FTC’s charges in July 2013, which prohibited the company from claiming that BEST Yet! or any of their pesticides by themselves can stop bed bug infestations, that they are effective at preventing bed bug infestations, that they are more effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations than other products, or about the performance or efficacy of their products, unless the representation is non-misleading, and the defendants already have and rely upon competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the claims.

The proposed modified final order against CFS contains both injunctive and monetary relief. First, it permanently bans the company from advertising, marketing, promoting, selling or helping anyone else market, promote, or sell any product claiming to kill bed bugs. It also prohibits CFS and anyone the company works with from making any deceptive claims about the performance or efficacy of any pesticide product, unless such statements are not misleading and are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence when they are made.

The order also requires CFS to pay $224,356 in compensatory contempt relief to the FTC. The remaining order provisions maintain the monetary and injunctive relief from the 2013 order and restart the timing of the compliance monitoring provisions.

The Commission has also filed a contempt motion against defendant David Glassel, who previously controlled CFS, and settled FTC charges in a consent order mirroring the company’s. The FTC is seeking similar injunctive relief against defendant Glassel as that obtained against CFS, including a ban on advertising, marketing, promoting, selling or helping anyone else market, promote, or sell any product claiming to kill bed bugs, as well as compensatory contempt relief.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to approve the filing of a stipulated modified order for permanent injunction, monetary judgment, and compensatory contempt relief as to defendant Chemical Free Solutions LLC was 2-0. The vote to file a contempt motion against defendant Glassel also was 2-0. The FTC filed the documents in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final injunctions/orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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