Trump to Increase Current Section 301 Tariffs to 30 Percent on Oct. 1; Upcoming Tariffs Upped to 15 Percent
According to reports, the US will raise its existing Section 301 tariffs on the first three lists of $250 billion in imports from China from 25 percent to 30 percent on October 1st. This comes from President Donald Trump in a series of tweets August 23rd. The next set of tariffs set to take effect beginning September 1st on over $300 billion in imports from China will also be increased from 10% to 15%, Trump said.
The increases come from response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs announced August 23rd on $75 billion in US exports. President Trump’s announcement did not distinguish between the list four tariffs that take effect September 1st, and the second set that will take effect December 15th.
“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer,” Trump said. “As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair trading relationship. China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!).”
CBP Proposes to Expand Info Sharing on Suspected Trademark Infringement with IPR Holders
According to reports, CBP is proposing to amend its regulations to allow for the disclosure of information to trademark holders on shipments that have been voluntarily abandoned. The proposed rule would align information sharing procedures and allow CBP to better address trademark infringement of e-commerce shipments.
According to CBP, the value of e-commerce shipments is often so low that such shipments are voluntarily abandoned if CBP detains them on suspicion of an intellectual property rights violation. “The cost of demonstrating to CBP that a shipment is legitimate may outweigh the importation’s value, and importers frequently fail to respond to CBP inquiries,” CBP said. Currently, while information sharing with rights holders is allowed for seized merchandise under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, that law is silent on voluntarily abandoned merchandise.
A March 2017 Executive Order directed CBP to “ensure that it can share information regarding voluntarily abandoned merchandise with right owners ‘to ensure the timely and efficient enforcement of laws protecting [IPR] holders from the importation of counterfeit goods,’” CBP said (see 1704030033).
As a result, “CBP is proposing to disclose the same comprehensive importation information provided to trademark owners when merchandise has been seized in cases where merchandise has been voluntarily abandoned, if CBP suspects the successful importation of the merchandise would have violated United States trade laws prohibiting importation of merchandise bearing counterfeit marks, and that disclosure would assist CBP in its IPR enforcement mission” the agency said.
Under the proposal, CBP would be able to disclose the following information to the trademark owner: the date of importation, the port of entry, the description of the merchandise, the quantity of the merchandise, the country of origin of the merchandise, the name and address of the manufacturer, the name and address of the exporter, and the name and address of the importer, the agency said. “As in the seizure context, trademark owners may use this importation information to help CBP prevent IPR violations by identifying sources or channels of violative shipments.”
IMO 2020 Preparing for Low Sulfur Fuel
IMO (International Maritime Organization) is planning to move forward with a marked reduction in the global maximum sulfur content of marine fuel. (AKA Bunker Fuel Oil)
The IMO is mandating that carriers reduce sulfur emissions to 0.5% starting January 1st, 2020. Currently, the limit is 3.5% in international waters and 0.1% fuel sulfur content when in coastal waters at virtually all the major seaports in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
Carriers can meet this requirement by using low-sulfur compliant fuel oil, or by using the approved equivalent methods such as, exhaust cleaning systems (or scrubbers to remove particulate) or operating vessels that can use LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).
With the new policies in effect starting early 2020, shippers should expect the impact of carriers installing scrubbers or testing their vessels to see how they cope with compliant fuel moving into the 4th quarter. This means delays in vessel schedules and new surcharges to supplement the cost of complying with this new regulation can and will occur. Carriers have already begun to re-implement BUC surcharges and FSANA rates which previously included fuel charges.
We will keep pushing carriers for information as they move forward in their preparations and will keep FSANA members apprised accordingly.