Blog/News

Department of Commerce Announced an Expansion of Sanctions Against Russian Industry Sectors Under the Export Administration Regulations.

Bureau of Industry and Security announced a final ruling in response to the Russian federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. The Department of Commerce is expanding the existing sanctions against Russian industry sectors by imposing a license requirement for exports, reexports, or transfers (in country) to and within Russia for additional items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) identified under specific Schedule B numbers or Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is taking these actions to further restrict Russia’s ability to withstand the economic impact of the multilateral sanctions, further limit sources of revenue that could support Russia’s military capabilities, and to better align with the European Union’s controls.

The article reads as follows:

I. Background

In response to Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, BIS imposed extensive sanctions on Russia under the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 – 774) (EAR) as part of the final rule Implementation of Sanctions Against Russia Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (the Russia Sanctions rule), effective on February 24, 2022, and published on March 3, 2022 (87 FR 12226). Since the publication of the Russia Sanctions rule, BIS has published a number of final rules imposing additional stringent export controls on Russia. These actions reflect the U.S. Government’s position that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine flagrantly violated international law, was contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and undermined global order, peace, and security, all of which necessitated the imposition of stringent and expansive sanctions. The export control measures in this final rule build upon the policy objectives set forth in one of the subsequent rules, a final rule effective on March 3, 2022, and published on March 8, 2022 (87 FR 12856), Expansion of Sanctions Against the Russian Industry Sector Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (Russian Industry Sector Sanctions rule). Among other things, the Russian Industry Sector Sanctions rule revised part 746 of the EAR (Embargoes and Other Special Controls) by adding a new paragraph (a)(1)(ii) which imposed an additional license requirement for exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to or within Russia of any items subject to the EAR if identified under certain Schedule B or Harmonized Tariff Schedule 6 (HTS) codes. The Russian Industry Sector Sanctions rule also added supplement no. 4 to part 746 – HTS Codes and Schedule B Numbers that Require a License for Export, Reexport, and Transfer (in-country) to or within Russia pursuant to § 746.5(a)(1)(ii) – which identifies HTS codes and Schedule B numbers that are subject to the license requirement set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(ii). The four columns added in supplement no. 4 to part 746 consisted of: the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS)-6 Code, HTS Description, Schedule B and Schedule B Description to assist exporters, reexporters, and transferors in identifying the items subject to this license requirement. This final rule builds upon the policy objectives set forth in the Russian Sanctions rule and the Russian Industry Sector Sanctions rule by expanding upon the latter to further restrict Russia’s access to items that it needs to support its military capabilities. The expansion of these export controls under the EAR, implemented in parallel with similarly stringent measures by partner and ally countries, further limits sources of revenue that could support Russia’s military capabilities, as well as Russia’s ability to withstand the economic impact of the multilateral sanctions.

II. Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

1. Expansion of Russian Industry Sector Sanctions

This final rule amends part 746 of the EAR (Embargoes and Other Special Controls) to further expand the scope of the Russian industry sector sanctions by adding additional HTS codes and Schedule B numbers to supplement no. 4 to part 746 of the EAR, thereby imposing a license requirement for all exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to or within Russia for such items. In this final rule, BIS is adding 205 HTS codes at the 6-digit level and 478 corresponding 10-digit Schedule B numbers to better align with the European Union’s controls.

2. Clarifications to Supplement No. 4 to Part 746 Controls

This final rule revises supplement no. 4 to part 746 by re-organizing the list of items subject to a license requirement under § 746.5(a)(1)(ii) in order to make it easier for exporters to determine whether a particular item is described in this supplement. Specifically, the columns in supplement no. 4 were previously listed in the following order: Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS)-6 Code, HTS Description, Schedule B, Schedule B Description. This final rule reorganizes the columns to list them in the following order: Schedule B, Schedule B Description, HTS Code, and HTS Description. In addition, this final rule is individually listing the existing Schedule B numbers so each number corresponds with a single HTS Code; previously, some of these Schedule B numbers were listed with multiple HTS Codes. It also reorganizes the list of items by ordering them numerically by Schedule B number; previously they had been organized alphabetically by HTS Description.

This final rule revises the existing language in the introductory text in supplement no. 4 to part 746 to reflect the reorganization of the list. In addition, this final rule adds Schedule B number 8705200000 to the introductory text to indicate it is also listed in both supplements no. 2 and 4 and adds a sentence to indicate that Schedule B number 8412294000 is listed in both supplements no. 4 and 5 to this part.

This final rule also adds a second paragraph to the introductory text in supplement no. 4 to part 746 to clarify the relationship between the four columns included in supplement no. 4 to part 746 by further explaining the scope of the items controlled under § 746.5(a)(1)(ii). The first sentence being added clarifies that under the Foreign Trade Regulations (15 CFR 30.6(a)(12)), exporters can use either the referenced HTS Code or Schedule B number from supplement no. 4 to part 746 when filing Electronic Export Information (EEI) in the Automated Export System (AES). The Russian Industry Sector Sanctions Rule included the applicable HTS-6 Code and Schedule B number and descriptions of items listed in supplement no. 4 to part 746 to assist exporters, reexporters, and transferors who may be more familiar with one or the other of the HTS Code or Schedule B number identification systems. The second sentence being added clarifies that only the items identified in the HTS Description column are subject to the license requirement under § 746.5(a)(1)(ii), which is consistent with how the European Union (EU) applies its comparable controls. Lastly, the third sentence being added clarifies that the other three columns –HTS Code, Schedule B, and Schedule B Description – are only intended to assist exporters with their AES filing responsibilities and does not indicate that all items classified under those HTS Codes or Schedule B numbers are subject to § 746.5(a)(1)(ii)’s restrictions.

3. Conforming changes

This final rule revises the last sentence of the introductory text of supplement no. 2 to part 746 – Russian Industry Sector Sanction List – to provide guidance on certain Schedule B numbers that are identified in both supplement no. 2 and supplement no. 4 to part 746. It now clarifies that in addition to Schedule B number 8479899850, Schedule B number 8705200000 is also listed in both supplements no. 2 and 4, and that exporters, reexporters, and transferors must comply with the license requirements under both § 746.5(a)(1)(i) and (ii), as applicable, for these Schedule B numbers.

In addition, this final rule adds one sentence at the end of the introductory text of supplement no. 5 to part 746 – ‘Luxury Goods’ That Require a License For Export, Reexport, and Transfer (In-Country) to or Within Russia or Belarus Pursuant to § 746.10(a)(1) and (2) – to provide guidance on one Schedule B number that is identified in both supplements no. 4 and no. 5 to part 746. This sentence clarifies that exporters, reexporters, and transferors must comply with the license requirements under both §§ 746.5(a)(ii) and 746.10 as applicable, for Schedule B number 8412294000.

In § 746.5 (Russian industry sector sanctions), this final rule revises the license review policy in paragraph (b)(2) to specify that applications involving items that meet humanitarian needs will be reviewed under a case-by case license review policy. This case-by-case license review policy will allow for discretion in approving licenses for items that meet humanitarian needs while also providing discretion to deny licenses for items that could generate revenue to support Russia’s military capabilities.

Savings Clause

For the changes being made in this final rule, shipments of items removed from eligibility for a License Exception or export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) without a license (NLR) as a result of this regulatory action that were en route aboard a carrier to a port of export, reexport, or transfer (in-country), on [INSERT DATE OF FILING FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION], pursuant to actual orders for export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) to or within a foreign destination, may proceed to that destination under the previous eligibility for a License Exception or export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) without a license (NLR).

To read the full article, click here.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us  HERE.

References: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-10099.pdf


HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

On this Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country and their families.

Happy Memorial Day to all from ETC!


Temporary Suspension of 232 Tariffs on Ukraine Steel

The United States Department of Commerce has announced that the United States of America will be temporarily suspending 232 tariffs on Ukrainian steel for one year. 

The full announcement reads as follows:

Ukraine’s steel industry is uniquely important to the country’s economic strength, employing 1 in 13 Ukrainians with good-paying jobs.

Some of Ukraine’s largest steel communities have been among those hardest hit by Putin’s barbarism, and the steel mill in Mariupol has become a lasting symbol of Ukraine’s determination to resist Russia’s aggression. Many of Ukraine’s steel mills have continued to pay, feed, and even shelter their employees over the course of fighting. Despite nearby fighting, some Ukrainian mills have even started producing again.   

Creating export opportunities for these mills is essential to their ability to continue employing their workers and maintaining one of Ukraine’s most important industries.

Statement from Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo:

“Steelworkers are among the world’s most resilient—whether they live in Youngstown or Mariupol.  We can’t just admire the fortitude and spirit of the Ukrainian people—we need to have their backs and support one of the most important industries to Ukraine’s economic well-being.  For steel mills to continue as an economic lifeline for the people of Ukraine, they must be able to export their steel.  Today’s announcement is a signal to the Ukrainian people that we are committed to helping them thrive in the face of Putin’s aggression, and that their work will create a stronger Ukraine, both today and in the future.   

“I want to thank President Biden for his leadership in directing us to do all we can to support Ukraine’s people and their economy, as well as the Ukrainian leaders I have had a chance to work with over the past two months.  Ukraine’s diplomatic leaders have been essential partners and advocates for their people, and we will continue to do all we can to support their work toward peace, freedom, and prosperity.”

About Commerce’s Support for Ukraine

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the Department of Commerce has launched a series of new export control restrictions on Russia in partnership with three dozen allies, including 27 EU member states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway.

The multilateral coordination on export controls and other areas has been impressive and led to swift development and implementation of powerful restrictions that are having a serious impact on Russia’s ability to sustain its aggression.

  • Commerce has added 260 parties in Russia, Belarus, and multiple other countries to the Entity List. These entities have been involved in, contributed to, or otherwise supported the Russian security services, military and defense sectors, and military and/or defense research and development efforts. (BIS)
  • U.S. exports to Russia in categories of items subject to new U.S. export licensing requirements have decreased 97% by value as compared to the same time period in 2021 (February 24-April 29). (BIS data)
  • Overall U.S. exports to Russia have decreased approximately 79% by value over the same time period in 2021. (BIS data)
  • Public reports indicate Russia’s two largest tank manufacturing facilities have been forced to shut down, due to an inability to access the necessary parts and equipment. (Wall Street Journal, 4/25)
  • Russia is facing a critical shortage of precision-guided missiles. (Financial Times, 4/30)

Additional information on Commerce’s actions is available on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s website at: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/country-guidance/russia-belarus

References:

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2022/05/raimondo-announces-temporary-suspension-232-tariffs-ukraine-steel


USTR Undertakes a Four-Year Review Process of Section 301 Tariffs on China’s Commodities.

The U.S. Trade Representative is commencing the statutory four-year review of the two actions taken under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, in the investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The two actions were effective, respectively, on July 6, 2018 and August 23, 2018, and subsequently were modified by imposing additional duties on supplemental lists of products, as well as by the temporary removal of duties on certain products through product exclusions.

The first step in the four-year review process is notifying representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the trade actions, as modified, of the possible termination of the actions, and of the opportunity for these representatives to request continuation of the actions. Requests for continuation must be received in the 60-day window prior to the four-year anniversary of the respective action: Between May 7, 2022, and July 5, 2022, for the July 6, 2018 action, and between June 24, 2022, and August 22, 2022, for the August 23, 2018, action. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is opening dockets in these two time windows for representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the trade actions to request continuation of the corresponding trade actions, as modified. If the actions continue as a result of one or more requests from representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the trade actions, USTR will proceed with the next phase of the review.

The second phase of the review will be announced in one or more subsequent notices, and will provide opportunities for public comments from all interested parties.

DATES: For the July 6, 2018 trade action, the web portal at https:// comments.ustr.gov/s/ will open for requests to continue the action on May 7, 2022, and close at 11:59 p.m. on July 5, 2022. For the August 23, 2018 trade action, the web portal at https:// comments.ustr.gov/s/ will open for requests to continue the action on June 24, 2022, and close at 11:59 p.m. on August 22, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, contact Assistant General Counsels Megan Grimball or Philip Butler at (202) 395– 5725.

Background: On August 24, 2017, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated an investigation into certain acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. 82 FR 40213. In a notice published on April 6, 2018 (83 FR 14906), the U.S. Trade Representative announced a determination that the acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China covered in the investigation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. The April 6 notice also invited public comment on a proposed action in the investigation, in the form of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China classified in a list of 1,333 tariff subheadings, with an annual trade value of approximately $50 billion.

  1. Actions Taken Under Section 301 of the Trade Act Following a period of public notice and comment, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to take action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2411) in the form of additional duties of 25 percent ad valorem on 818 of the proposed tariff subheadings, with an approximate annual trade value of $34 billion, effective July 6, 2018 (List 1). 83 FR 28710 (hereinafter referred to as the July 6, 2018, action). The U.S. Trade Representative also proposed further action in the form of additional ad valorem duties of 25 percent on a list of 284 tariff subheadings with an approximate annual trade value of $16 billion. Following a period of notice and comment, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to take action under Section 301 in the form of additional duties of 25 percent on 279 tariff subheadings with an approximate annual trade value of $16 billion, effective August 23, 2018 (List 2). 83 FR 40823 (hereinafter referred to as the August 23, 2018, action).

 2. Subsequent Modifications Under Section 307 The U.S. Trade Representative subsequently modified the July 6, 2018, and August 23, 2018, actions, pursuant to authority under Section 307(a) of the Trade Act. (19 U.S.C. 2417(a)). These modifications were in the form of (i) additional duties on supplemental lists of products, and (ii) the temporary removal of duties on certain products through product exclusions. The modifications to the July 6, 2018, and August 23, 2018, actions that are currently in effect are as follows: a. List 3—83 FR 47974 (September 21, 2018), as modified by 84 FR 20459 (May 9, 2019), and as amended by 84 FR 21892 (May 15, 2019); 84 FR 26930 (June 10, 2019); 86 FR 22092 (April 26, 2021); and 84 FR 9785 (February 22, 2022); b. List 4A—84 FR 43304 (August 20, 2019), as modified by 84 FR 45821 (August 30, 2019), 84 FR 69447 (December 18, 2019), and 85 FR 3741 (January 22, 2020); c. COVID Exclusions—86 FR 63438 (November 16, 2021), as amended: By 86 FR 69350 (December 7, 2021) and 87 FR 4704 (January 28, 2022): and d. Reinstated Exclusions—87 FR 17380 (March 28, 2022). In the four-year review, USTR will examine the July 6, 2018, action, as modified, and August 23, 2018, action, as modified. To ensure comprehensive coverage of the review, USTR will consider the List 3 and List 4A modifications as applicable to both the July 6, 2018, action and August 23, 2018, action.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us  HERE.

References:


U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Commodities as of March 2022.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced on April 25,2022 that preliminary March steel imports were $3.9 billion (2.8 million metric tons) compared to the preliminary February totals of $3.1 billion (2.1 million metric tons). The March change in steel imports based on metric tonnage reflected an increase in hot rolled sheets. Decreases occurred in used rails; electrical sheets and strips; and pipe and tubing. Increases occurred primarily with Canada. Decreases occurred primarily with Austria, Italy, and Germany. The year-to-date final statistics through February 2022 showed steel imports of 4.9 million metric tons compared with 3.9 million metric tons through February 2021. The largest commodity increases occurred with galvanized hot dipped sheets and strip and cold rolled sheets. Decreases occurred primarily in blooms, billets, and slabs; line pipe; and galvanized electrolyte sheets and strip. The largest country increases occurred with Mexico. Decreases occurred primarily with Brazil. The April report is scheduled for release on May 24, 2022. Yo may view the full report here: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/steel/steelp_2203.pdf

Weekly updates are available through quota Bulletins which can be discovered on U.S. Customs and Border Protection official website or by clicking here: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/quota/bulletins

CBP’s Modernization of ACE Portal as of April 2022:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is modernizing the Automated Commercial Environment Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal) over multiple phases in 2022. The modernization effort will entail the transition of existing functionality to an upgraded platform, offering easier use and better performance. The ACE Portal offers users real-time access to trade data through features such as ACE Reports, ACE account management, and electronic communication with CBP and Partner Government Agencies (PGA).

As of April 23, 2022, CBP has modernized the ACE portal by implementing the CBP forms application which delivers the capability to manage CBP’s form 28 (request for information), 29 (notice of action) and 4647 (notice to mark and/or notice to redeliver). Here’s the quick reference guide which provides detailed instructions on the new forms within the updated ACE portal: : https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2022-Apr/Modernized%20Forms%20-%20Trade.pdf

To view the full plan for ACE portal modernization, use the following link:  https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated/ace-portal-modernization

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

References:

https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated/ace-portal-modernization

https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2022-Apr/Modernized%20Forms%20-%20Trade.pdf

https://www.cbp.gov/trade/quota/bulletins

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/steel/steelp_2203.pdf

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/steel_index.html


The latest in TRADE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection – National Commodity Specialist Division May Webinars Schedule along with FDA’s Improvement Plan in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.

National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD) May 2022 Webinars have been announced by U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection in CSMS #51637091. You may register by accessing each individual link listed below (as the webinar date nears, you will receive additional correspondence from CBP).

The Cargo System Messaging Service looks as follows:

The Office of Trade’s National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD) and the Office of Trade Relations is excited to present a series of approximately 40 commodity-specific, educational webinars to support Customs and Border Protection’s internal and external customers. The webinars began in February and will run through September 2022. Each webinar will be approximately an hour. The date and time will vary, so please be sure to check the time for each webinar.

To provide a more seamless experience, the webinar platform has been changed to Microsoft Teams, and each webinar will have its own link to join. The schedule for the May webinars is below. Please click on the webinar title to register. The link to join will be sent via email on the day of the webinar. We look forward to your participation!

The May schedule is as follow:

Other Electronics of Heading 8517
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET

Breaking Down Bags of Heading 4202
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Classification of Gender Neutral Garments
Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET

Cryptocurrency Miners
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET

2022 Changes to HTSUS for Wood, Ch. 44
Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET

A Treasure of Headquarters Rulings on Jewelry
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Earthmovers: Where on Earth Do They Go?
Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety highlighted by The U.S. Federal Food & Drug Administration in their latest webinar, held on April 13th, 2022.

The webinar’s focus was on the Outbreak Response Improvement Plan , which was originally released in December 2021 that attracted over 1,600 registrants worldwide.

The webinar summary reads as follows:

Deputy FDA Commissioner Frank Yiannas and FDA experts across agency’s human foods program were available to explain and answer questions about the plan with the goal of raising awareness, enhancing understanding, and building support. Stakeholders were welcome to provide their insights as well as ask questions.

This response improvement plan focuses on tech-enabled product traceback, root cause investigations, analysis and dissemination of outbreak data, and operational improvements. It is intended to work in concert with FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, which outlines specific approaches the FDA will take over the next decade to address food safety in the rapidly changing food system.

The plan was also informed by an independent review of the FDA’s structural and functional capacity to support, participate in, or lead multistate foodborne illness outbreak investigation activities. You will hear more about that review in this webinar.

The speakers:

  • Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response
  • RADM David Goldman, Chief Medical Officer, Office of Food Policy and Response
  • Stic Harris, Director, FDA’s Coordinated Response and Evaluation Network (CORE)
  • CDR Kari Irvin, Deputy Director, CORE
  • Scott MacIntire, Program Director, Office of Human and Animal Food Operations – West
  • Craig Hedberg, University of Minnesota, author of “An Independent Review of FDA’s Foodborne Outbreak Response Processes”

To view the webinar recording, you may click here.

Furthermore, FDA has been releasing a series of the “New Era of Smarter Food Safety TechTalk Podcast” episodes. You may find them here.

References:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCBP/bulletins/313eb63

https://www.fda.gov/food/workshops-meetings-webinars-food-and-dietary-supplements/webinar-foodborne-outbreak-response-improvement-plan-04132022

https://www.fda.gov/food/new-era-smarter-food-safety/new-era-smarter-food-safety-techtalk-podcast


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Yours truly,

Express Trade Capital.


REMINDER – ETC THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY HOURS

Kindly note that our office will close at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 24th and be CLOSED on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th, 2021, in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Please contact your account officer to plan accordingly during this time frame.

We greatly appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


REMINDER – ETC VETERANS DAY HOLIDAY HOURS

Kindly note that our office will be closed on Thursday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day.

Please contact your account officer to plan accordingly during this time frame.

We greatly appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

Happy Veterans Day to all!


Express Trade Capital closes a hot deal with a Chili Spice Company

Express recently cooked up a $2mm A/R and a $500k P.O Funding Facility for a chili spice company. The company’s sales caught fire with significant increased orders from its large retailers and they couldn’t keep up with the demand. Express’s well-seasoned team spiced things up with working capital to pay their copacker and purchase raw materials, ingredients and packaging.

Like many food and beverage companies, the client was originally looking for VC or PE firms to provide capital for order fulfillment and basic working capital requirements. The client did a hot take when they realized that they could use factoring and PO funding facilities to finance their growth AND increase their enterprise value without giving up equity in the meantime. All in all, it was another tasty adventure.

What are everyone’s thoughts on when companies should seek equity investors?