Colombia FTA Rules of Origin
Speaking of Free Trade Agreements, the International Trade Commission has published the modification to the HTSUS for the Colombia Agreement. Most relevant for many of you will be the rule of origin. See here.
Argentina May Lose GSP
It looks like Argentina will lose its status as a Beneficiary Developing Country for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences. This is the result of a March 26, 2012 Presidential Proclamation and a finding by the President that Argentina has failed to act in good faith with respect to the enforcement of two arbitral awards against it. These award are based on the bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and Argentina and are in excess of $300 million. The order becomes effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after May 28. Let's hope this is a game of chicken and that Argentina will blink soon.
New Sanctions on Yemen
On May 16, the President signed an Executive Order authorizing sanctions against entities that threaten the peaceful political transition in Yemen. The order blocks property and interests in property that is in the U.S. or the possession or control of a U.S. person where the property belongs to who has threatened the the stability of Yemen and the implementation of the November 23, 2011 agreement with the Yemeni opposition and of political and military leaders who have assisted in those efforts. As always, the sanctions are complicated and you should review the source document.
Bad News for Dolphins
The WTO has reversed an earlier ruling. The Appellate Body determined that U.S. labeling rules for dolphin-safe tuna are technical barriers to trade that are more restrictive than necessary to accomplish the legitimate objective. It's probably bad news for tuna as well.
Chile Drawback Claims
Customs has noted that 19 USC 1313(j)(4)(B) limits the availability of drawback for certain goods exported to Chile. As a result, Chile FTA claims must be labeled as such. This relates to the phased-in elimination of drawback on goods subject to Chile FTA drawback. The law states that:
For purposes of subsections (a), (b), (f), (h), (j)(2), (p), and (q) of this section, if an article that is exported to Chile is a good subject to Chile FTA drawback, no customs duties on the good may be refunded, waived, or reduced, except as provided in subparagraph (B).
(B)The customs duties referred to in subparagraph (A) may be refunded, waived, or reduced by—
(i)100 percent during the 8-year period beginning on January 1, 2004;
(ii)75 percent during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2012;
(iii)50 percent during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2013; and
(iv)25 percent during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2014.
FYI, goods subject to Chile FTA drawback are all goods imported into the U.S. unless exempted. Exemptions include goods exported in the same condition as imported and goods entered under bond for transportation and exportation to Chile.