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Companies Face $350M in Penalties for Alleged Jones Act Violations Involving Alaskan Pollock

CBP has issued Notices of Penalty totaling $350M to multiple companies allegedly involved in transportation of Alaskan pollock in violation of the Jones Act (“the Act”). CBP alleges that shipments of U.S. origin Alaskan pollock, sailing on foreign-flagged vessels from Alaska to New Brunswick Canada and then trucked across the border, are in violation of the Act given that the rail line used by the forwarder is only 100 feet in length and not part of a permitted “through route” on an approved Canadian railway. Loaded trucks are placed on a rail car, moved 100 feet down and back along the rail, then driven off to proceed over-the-road the approximately 15 miles to the U.S. border., click here.

Ransomware Payments Could Run Afoul of U.S. Sanctions

Ransomware or cyber-attack payments could be in violation of U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Controls (“OFAC”) sanctions if the recipient of the funds is prohibited from being involved, directly or indirectly, in a financial transaction. OFAC has issued an updated export compliance advisory regarding dealing with ransomware and cyber-attack demands and what steps would be considered mitigating factors with any enforcement or penalty action., click here.

New Regulations Finalized to Improve Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws

The Department of Commerce has issued a final rule to update regulations covering the administration and enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duty (“ADD/CVD”) laws. The changes impact many aspects of current ADD/CVD processes by the Department of Commerce including investigations, preliminary and final determinations of injury, and scope inquiries and rulings. Updates to the regulations also impact information to be provided by importers, including reimbursement certifications., click here.

U.S. Company and Subsidiary Penalized for Illegal Exports to Iran

A U.S. company and one of its foreign subsidiaries reached separate settlement agreements with the Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding illegal exports to Iran. The U.S. company ignored several red-flags regarding the shipments and the subsidiary listed the end-user as being in Dubai despite knowing the goods would be reexported from Dubai to Iran in violation of U.S. law., click here.

CIT Injunction Temporarily Halts Liquidation of Certain Section 301 Entries

The Court of International Trade ("CIT") granted a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs on the Section 301 cases currently being argued before the Court. The decision grants the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend the liquidation of unliquidated import entries subject to the Section 301 litigation. The decision orders that “…the court will temporarily restrain liquidation of any unliquidated entries of merchandise imported from China by any plaintiffs in the Section 301 cases which are subject to List 3 or List 4A duties"., click here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Releases USMCA Regulatory Packages

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a Proposed Notice of Rulemaking to apply the NAFTA Marking Rules of Origin to non-originating products from a USMCA country., click here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Releases USMCA Regulatory Packages

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued an Interim Final Rule related to USMCA addressing a range of issues, including amending the NAFTA Marking Rules of Origin to be applicable to USMCA-originating products., click here.

Ford Could Face Over $1B in Federal Penalties After Years-Long Dispute Over Transit Connect Vans

On June 3, 2021, Ford filed regulatory documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) indicating the company could face from $652 million to $1.3 billion in penalties based upon a pre-penalty notice from Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”)., click here.

Kim Kardashian Named in Federal Forfeiture Compliant over Alleged “Smuggling”

The US Attorney’s Office and CBP are seeking the forfeiture of an ancient roman sculpture seized at a Los Angeles port in 2016. The import documentation filed with CBP in 2016 listed "'Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust" as the importer and consignee of the goods. The forfeiture complaint states the documentation presented to CBP contains contradictory information regarding the age and origin of the piece. , click here.

Settlement Agreement between the Office of Foreign Assets Control and SAP SE

The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") announced a settlement with SAP SE headquartered in Walldorf, Germany in the amount of $2,132,174. SAP SE's settlement arose from 190 apparent violations related to the export of software and related services (including cloud-based software subscription services) to companies in third countries with knowledge, or reasonable knowledge, that the services were intended specifically for Iran. , click here.

Settlement Agreement between the Office of Foreign Assets Control and MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc

On April 29, 2021, the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") announced that MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. agreed to remit $34,328.78 in settlement for 359 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. Among these violations were the processing of transactions from persons initiating commercial transactions involving Syria, and processing of unlicensed transactions from blocked individuals incarcerated in U.S. federal prisons. , click here.

New U.S. Sanctions Placed on Russia

The United States has blocked the property of, and placed sanctions on, individuals, entities, and parts of the Russian government that engaged in cyber-attacks and disruption of gas or energy supplies to Europe and Asia., click here.

U.S. Department of Commerce to Delay Aluminum Import Monitoring Program

The U.S. Department of Commerce will be delaying the implementation of the Aluminum Import Monitoring Program and the associated required information to be filed for importation of aluminum products., click here.

Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") and UniControl, Inc.

US company agrees to pay $216,464 to settle its potential civil liability for ignoring “red flags” related to exports of its products to Europe that were eventually re-exported to Iran., click here.

Official Notifications of the Suspension of Additional Duties on EU and UK Alcohol, Food, and Airplanes

The Office of the United States Trade Representative published its official notifications regarding the temporary suspension of additional duties on various EU and UK commodities for a period of four months effective March 11, 2021 and March 4, 2021, respectively. This suspension includes items such as alcohol, food, and large civilian aircraft currently involved in the ongoing Airbus and Boeing disputes., click here.

U.S. and Europe Will Suspend Tariffs on Alcohol, Food and Airplanes

The Office of the United States Trade Representative published a press release announcing that the United States and European Union have agreed to the temporary suspension of retaliatory tariffs currently levied on a number of commodities, including, but not limited to, wine, liquor, food, and large civilian aircraft currently involved in the Airbus and Boeing dispute., click here.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions List Search Upgrade

The Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that it has upgraded its sanctions list search tool with fuzzy logic to improve the search results and make it more responsive to the user. To review this notice in its entirety, click here.

U.S. Trade Representative Announces Tariff on French Merchandise

On July 10, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") announced a 25 percent tariff on $1.3 billion worth of French merchandise, including cosmetics and handbags, after a digital service tax was levied against U.S. Tech Companies. To review this notice in its entirety, click here.

Merchandise Processing Fee (“MPF”) Increase

U.S. Customs and Border Protection to increase various fees effective October 1, 2020, including raising the minimum Merchandise Processing Fee from $26.79 to $27.23 and increasing the maximum Merchandise Processing Fee from $519.76 to $528.33. To review this notice in its entirety, click here.

Country of Origin Marking of Products of Hong Kong

U.S. Customs to require that, unless excepted, goods produced in Hong Kong must be marked to indicate that the origin is “China.” To review this notice in its entirety., click here.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Charges Consumer Loan Company With Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that World Acceptance Corporation, a consumer loan company, has agreed to pay $21.7 million to resolve charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Contact us and ask how we can help you with any questions or concerns relating to the FCPA. To review this notice in its entirety, click here.

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