Monday, August 10, 2009

Week in Review August 9th

International Trade News for the week ending August 9th.

Breaking News:

NAFTA Summit: Trucking Deal on the Agenda.

US Court of International Trade Rulings:

Polly U.S.A., Inc. v. United States
Facts: Polly USA imported medical uniforms under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Customs request information about production processes, time lines and worker documentation.
Polly USA provided the information but customs claims they did not provide all documentation requested and that the documents failed to establish the required "traceable production timeline."

Two Issues: Whether customs had the authority to request the additional documentation or whether all that is required is a country of origin declaration and whether the country of origin was proven despite the discrepancies which may be unavoidable when doing business in Swaziland.

Ruling: An importers country of origin declaration is insufficient alone, in cases of unilateral trade preferences, to establish the country of origin. Because the AGOA is a unilateral trade preference and not a free trade agreement customs may request "whatever verification a port directer deems necessary" to establish claims of preferential treatment. Rather than the trade agreement standard that the port directer may request more information if he cannot determine the country of origin on the face of the declaration.

Ruling: Despite the difficulties in keeping good records in developing countries customs regulations requires that such records be kept and the customs may impose duties when such records are not kept. The court cites 19 CFR 10.178a (e).

Will this in effect kill the AGOA? Seems like it or it will create jobs for auditors and accountants to go over there and create record keeping systems

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. v. United States

Federal Register Notices:

Bureau of Industry and Security
Census Bureau
  • Eliminate the Social Security Number (SSN) as an identification number in the Automated Export System (AES): Customs will no longer accept personal Social Security Number for an export. Sole proprietors are asked to obtain a Federal ID number or a DUNS from the IRS to prior to exporting.
Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements

International Trade Administration
International Trade Commission
  • Sunset Review for Barbwire from Argentina
State Department

U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission

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