Latest updates

Importing and COVID-19: companies suffering financial hardship granted reprieve to pay duties
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 01 May 2020

Effective 20 April 2020, the government has introduced a temporary 90-day postponement of certain import payment deadlines for companies and individuals experiencing significant financial hardship due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement follows a previously abandoned US Customs and Border Protection action to provide relief, intense lobbying on both sides of the issue and mixed signals from the Trump administration.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (20-26 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 27 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

New export prohibition on face masks and respirators – video
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 24 April 2020

In this video, International Trade Partners Kay C Georgi and Marwa M Hassoun explain how the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new rule restricting the export of face masks, respirators and other medical personal protective equipment works, as well as how to get a licence and what the penalties are.

FEMA temporarily halts exports of certain PPE
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 24 April 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has exercised its delegated authority under the Defence Production Act to issue a temporary final rule (Prioritisation and Allocation of Certain Scarce or Threatened Health and Medical Resources for Domestic Use) to prohibit the export of five types of medical personal protective equipment that the government previously identified as scarce and threatened materials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (13-19 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 20 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Importing under COVID-19: some relief for medical supplies, but no universal duty deferral
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 17 April 2020

To facilitate the import of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government continues to waive some tariffs, but balks at broad relief. Among the recent developments in this respect are the launch of a new US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) COVID-19 website. In addition, CBP and the Food and Drug Administration have issued updated guidance for importing COVID-19 supplies and new Section 301 tariff exclusions have been published.

Import and distribution of face shields and respirators during COVID-19 pandemic
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 17 April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the US Food and Drug Administration has expanded its Enforcement Discretion Policy for the import, distribution and use of certain masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for medical use. In addition, US Customs and Border Protection has updated some previous guidance for importing PPE and other medical devices during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (6-12 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 14 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of expert international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

COVID-19 duty deferral option withdrawn by CBP amidst continued requests by Congress
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 10 April 2020

As individuals and businesses face the growing health and economic crisis stemming from the global COVID-19 outbreak, the government has searched for balanced ways to provide relief to those struggling, and trade measures are no exception. However, after initially accepting requests from importers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to defer payment of duties, US Customs and Border Protection recently issued guidance withdrawing this option.

DPA: four takeaways for companies that make or sell medical PPE and related commodities
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 10 April 2020

The Defence Production Act (DPA) allows the president to shape the domestic industrial base for national defence preparedness, which includes emergency preparedness activities. This article addresses a number of DPA-related questions that have arisen in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how the administration has used the DPA in response to the crisis, what the impact of the administration's DPA-related orders and memoranda will be and what this means for exporters.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (30 March-5 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 07 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of expert international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Importation of personal protective equipment for COVID-19 treatment
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 03 April 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical items such as masks, ventilators and gowns are difficult to find. With people looking overseas to source these items, this article provides some basic guidance for importing them in a way which satisfies US import requirements and facilitates quick processing through clearance. Many of these items are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as medical devices and are also subject to US Customs and Border Protection regulations.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (23-30 March 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 03 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of expert international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

COVID-19 and Section 301 tariffs: USTR excludes some products and solicits requests to exclude more
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 03 April 2020

The US Trade Representative recently requested comments on the removal of Section 301 tariffs from Chinese medical care, including those that have previously been denied an exclusion, which are needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. As manufacturers of medical care products increase production and unrelated supply chains shift to aid the global fight against COVID-19, parties should consider whether Section 301 tariffs are impeding their ability to contribute to the cause.

COVID-19 trade update: potential duty payment deferrals and border shutdowns
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 27 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting all elements of society, including the import, trade and transport sectors. The Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have recently announced that the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders have been closed to 'non-essential' traffic for 30 days and that duty payments may be deferred. CBP has also announced the impact of COVID-19 on operations. For now, cargo shipments remain unaffected.

OFAC sanctions reporting rules: a discussion
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 06 March 2020

The Office of Foreign Assets Control recently issued two new FAQs clarifying that it was serious when it expanded the scope of the Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations with regard to reporting blocked, unblocked or rejected transactions to include any US person (or person subject to US jurisdiction) instead of just financial institutions, as previously required. In this video, Marwa M Hassoun and Kay C Georgi discuss the ramifications of the change and suggest possible clarifications.

Trump administration cracks down on counterfeit and other goods imported contrary to law
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 28 February 2020

The Trump administration recently took the first step to implement its plan to crack down on counterfeit goods online when it issued an executive order allocating more federal resources to the inspection and oversight of imports that are at risk for counterfeits and other illicit goods. The executive order was issued one week after the US Department of Homeland Security issued a plan setting out steps to combat counterfeit goods.

New strategy to combat forced labour in US imports announced
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 28 February 2020

The US Department of Homeland Security recently released a department-wide strategy to combat human trafficking, child exploitation and forced labour in the supply chain. The strategy will build on current efforts to interdict imports of goods made with forced labour that US Customs and Border Protection has been enforcing since the passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act in 2016.

Court sides with importer in not paying duties on royalties
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 21 February 2020

An importer of Giorgio Armani apparel recently secured a victory in the Court of International Trade in its dispute with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The case considered whether the importer was required under US customs laws to pay duties on advertising fees and trademark royalty fees as part of the value of the goods declared to CBP.

Maximum pressure squared: Trump turns up Iran sanctions amplifier
Arent Fox LLP
  • USA
  • 21 February 2020

President Trump recently issued Executive Order 13902, which places additional large swaths of the Iranian economy – and those outside Iran which support it – in the crosshairs of US sanctions. Third-country companies doing business with Iran's construction, mining, manufacturing or textiles sectors are now at greater risk of being sanctioned.

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