International Trade

Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 10 on the Foreign Agents Registration Act

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA, has been making headlines recently, as Washington seeks to crack down on foreign influence in the United States. But the law has a surprising history, and could be in for some major updates in the coming months. In the first of a two-part series, Host Olga Torres is joined by David Laufman, former Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Controls Section at the Department of Justice to discuss all things FARA. Be sure to tune in next week, for Part 2, where David will discuss high-profile sanctions and export enforcement cases, DOJ voluntary self-disclosures, and C-suite compliance certifications recently announced by DOJ.

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 9 on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Business Identifier program

In this week’s episode, Host Donna Wedgeworth speaks with Anthony Saranchak, former U.S. Customs Assistant Field Director in Regulatory Audit, to discuss identity theft in U.S. importing and global supply chains and how U.S. Customs and Border Protection is taking a step toward improving supply chain data reliability with the proposed Global Business Identifier program. Find out what this means for businesses and supply chains, and how you can prepare your enterprise as Customs expands the program to the wider industry.

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Key Takeaways from the CFIUS Annual Report for 2021

On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee) released its Annual Report to Congress for calendar year 2021.[1] The report, replete with charts, tables, and graphs visualizing the data and comparing it to prior years, broadly details the work the Committee has done in the past year concerning oversight of foreign investment transactions in areas deemed critical to U.S. national security. There are several key takeaways from the report that are particularly important to international businesses looking to invest in the United States. Read more…

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 8 on Worker-Centered Trade

The debate between free trade and protectionism is alive and well, and perhaps fiercer than ever, in the United States and abroad. In this week’s episode, host Olga Torres sits down with Steve Charnovitz, professor at the George Washington Law School, to discuss the importance of a worker-centered trade policy, the WTO, the Treasury’s call for “friendshoring” of supply chains, and how the U.S. can promote workers’ rights at home and around the world.

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Food Safety: Remote Inspections under COVID-19 and Other Key Provisions in the Foreign Supplier Verification Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly all aspects of everyday life, but sometimes it is easy to forget that the U.S. Government must also adjust its operations to be able to meet regulatory requirements during the pandemic.

One aspect of this adjustment includes the manner in which government agencies are confirming industry’s compliance with various regulatory burdens. For importers of human and animal food products, this adjusted practice includes remote inspections by Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) investigators to confirm compliance with the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (“FSVP”), one of several regulations designed to implement the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (“FSMA”). Read more…

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DDTC Provides Updated COVID-19 Measures

Yesterday the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls published an update to its operations as follows:

Compliance/Registration

  • Effective March 13, 2020, a temporary suspension of the requirement in ITAR Parts 122 and 129 to renew registration as a manufacturer, exporter, and/or broker and pay a fee on an annual basis by extending ITAR registrations expiring on February 29, March 31, April 30, May 31, and June 30, 2020 for two months from the original date of expiration.
  • DDTC Compliance is now granting an additional 30 days for responses to its request-for-information letters related to voluntary and directed disclosure matters.  DDTC Compliance is also considering extensions for the submission of full voluntary disclosures on a case-by-case basis.  Extension requests should be sent via email to DTCC-CaseStatus@state.gov on company letterhead in PDF format.
  • DDTC is also pursuing a one-time temporary reduction in registration fees for certain categories of DDTC registrants.  More information on any change will be provided on DDTC’s website.
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This trade bulletin summarizes important developments affecting international trade.

USMCA Interim Implementing Instructions
COVID-19 or not the United States Mexico Canada agreement’s (USMCA) implementation date is fast approaching. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued Interim Implementing Instructions to provide early guidance on the new requirements under the USMCA, including on claiming USMCA preferential treatment for goods. The Final Implementing Instructions will be released prior to the date the USMCA enters into force.

For the Interim Implementing Instructions click here. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

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Importers Facing “Significant Financial Hardship” May Defer Duty Payments for 90 Days

On April 18, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order providing authority to the Secretary of the Treasury, under 19 U.S.C. § 1318, to extend the deadline for payments of certain estimated duties, taxes, and fees for importers suffering significant financial hardship during the national emergency created by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. Pursuant to the Executive Order, the Department of the Treasury and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) jointly issued a Temporary Postponement of the Time to Deposit Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees During the National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID19) Outbreak (the “Temporary Final Rule”), which temporarily postpones for 90 days the deadline for importers with a significant financial hardship to deposit certain estimated duties, taxes, and fees that they would ordinarily be obligated to pay as of the date of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption.

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Extension of Realisation Period of Export Proceeds

To ease the impact of disruption caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has provided extension of the period for realisation of the export proceeds as prescribed under the Foreign Exchange Management (Export of Goods & Services) Regulations, 2015 (“FEM Export Regulations”) read with the RBI Master Direction on Export of Goods and Services (“RBI Master Directions on Exports”).

Regulatory Framework:

The export of goods and services in India and the payments to be received for such export of goods and services are regulated by the FEM Regulations, framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, read with the RBI Master Directions on Exports. We discuss hereinbelow certain key provisions of the FEM Export Regulations and the RBI Master Directions on Exports:

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Corporate Governance Reliefs announced in view of COVID-19

The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister, Government of India, Ms. Niramla Sitharaman, in her interactions with the press yesterday, i.e., on March 24, 2020, has announced multiple relaxations to statutory and regulatory compliances under various legislations viz., the Companies Act, 2013 (“CA2013”), Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 (“LLP Act”), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), Income Tax Act, 1961, the Goods and Services Tax legislations, Customs Act, 1962 etc. The complete press release vis-à-vis all measures announced can be accessed at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=200639.

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