TRADE

PGA Highlights: May 2017

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In the United States the following events have taken place under the several PGA during the month of May 2017.

Agencies Summary
Federal Register Distribution of continued dumping and subsidy offset for fiscal year 2017:
According to  the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, this document is U.S. CBP’s notice of intent to distribute assessed anti-dumping or countervailing duties (known as the continued dumping and subsidy offset) for Fiscal Year 2017. This provides the guidance for affected domestic producers, or anyone alleging eligibility to receive a distribution, to file certifications to claim a distribution in relation to the listed orders or findings. Certifications  to obtain a continued dumping and subsidy offset under a particular order or finding must be received by July 31, 2017. See Details
Tuna-Tariff rate quota for calendar year 2017:
An announcement of the quota quantity of tuna in airtight containers for Calendar Year 2017 was given by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. Every year, the tariff-rate quota for tuna described in subheading 1604.14.22, is calculated as a percentage of the tuna in airtight containers entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the preceding Calendar Year. The 2017 tariff-rate quota is applicable to tuna for consumption during the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. See Details
Guidance of certain tobacco product compliance deadlines:
The guidance was announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is intended to assist persons who manufacture, package, sell, offer to sell, distribute, or import for sale and distribution within the U.S. newly regulated tobacco products, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, and cigarette tobacco in complying with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and FDA regulations. See Details
Importing fresh baby kiwi from Chile:
This notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection related to the regulations for the importation of fresh baby kiwi from Chile into the continental United States. All the comments have to be submitted on or before July 10, 2017. See Details
Application for exportation of articles under special bond:
The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting some information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments will be accepted no later than July 3, 2017 under consideration. See Details
Declaration of unaccompanied articles:
The U.S. CBP and Department of Homeland Security will be submitting some information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval according to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments will be accepted no later than July 3, 2017 to be assured of consideration. See Details
Reopen comment periods for Trichloroethylene, Methylene Chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone:
EPA issued two proposed rules under section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The first action proposed to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of trichloroethylene (TCE) for use in vapor degreasing. It proposed to require manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of TCE for any use to provide downstream notification of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain; and to require limited recordkeeping. The second action proposed to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) for consumer and most types of commercial paint and coating removal. This document reopens and extends the comment periods for each proposed rule for an additional 30 days. See Details

PGA Highlights: April 2017

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In the United States the following events have taken place under the several PGA during the month of April 2017.

Agencies Summary
Federal Register 2017 West Coast Trade Symposium on further trade updates:
This document declares that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will organize the 2017 West Coast Trade Symposium on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, and Thursday, May 25, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This will feature panel discussions involving agency personnel, members of the trade community, and other government agencies, on the agency’s role in international trade initiatives and programs. See Details
Request for a license to export radioactive waste:
The NRC is reopening the opportunity for public comment and reopening the opportunity to request a hearing or a petition to intervene for an application to export radioactive waste filed by UniTech Service Group, Inc. (UniTech). The comment has been reopened. Comments should be filed by 5th of May 2017. See Details
CBP regulations appropriate for customs brokers:
The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting some necessary information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until 5 June 2017 under some considerations. See Details
DOC President signs Presidential Memo for prioritizing national security investigation into aluminum:
The President of U.S., Donald Trump, signed a presidential memorandum to prioritize a Department of Commerce (DOC) investigation to the effects of aluminum imports on US national security. The inquiry will consider overcapacity, dumping, illegal subsidies, and other factors, to determine whether aluminum imports threaten American economic security and military awareness. See Details
CBP CBP seizes prohibited yak meat, dung pods, and seeds at JFK:
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) declare the recent seizure and destruction of a shipment of over 132 kilograms of prohibited yak meat, dung pods, and seeds for propagation imported from Nepal at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. The prohibited items were manifested as sweaters, shawls, pants, and other items of clothing. See Details

US: Government confirms duty-free access for some goods from Nepal

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The US government has confirmed that 66 Nepali goods now eligible for duty-free entry into United Nations through Trade Preferences Act (TPA).  The confirmation was made during the third joint council meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) on 20 April 2017.

A total of 66 Nepal-made items, including carpets, headgear, shawls, scarves and travel goods, can now enter the US market without being subject to any form of duty. The US government has authorized this Nepal-specific program until 2025.

US: President launches investigation into steel dumping

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Donald Trump has initiated a wide-ranging antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigation into countries that export steel to the US.

The investigation is aimed at stopping countries from flooding the U.S. with artificially cheap steel that is undercutting local suppliers. Under the investigation ten countries are subject to AD investigations including Belarus, Italy, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the UK. Only Italy and Turkey are subject to CVD investigations over unfair subsidies.

The alleged dumping margins for Belarus are 161.75 percent to 280.02 percent, Italy 18.89 percent, Korea 33.96 percent to 43.25 percent, Russia 214.06 percent to 756.93 percent, South Africa 128.66 percent to 142.26 percent, Spain 32.70 percent, Turkey 37.67 percent, Ukraine 21.23 percent to 44.03 percent, UAE 84.10 percent, and the UK 147.63 percent.

Vietnam: Imposes anti-dumping tax on steel imported from China

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On March 30 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade officially decided to levy anti-dumping duties on imported coated steel from mainland China including Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea.

Therefore, Bazhou Sanqiang Metal Products will be taxed 26.36%, BX Steel POSCO Cold Rolled Sheet 38.34 %, Bengang Steel Plates-27.36%, Tianjin Haigang Steel Coil – 26.32%, Hebei Iron & Steel Co Ltd, Tangshan Branch – 38.34%, Wuhan Iron and Steel – 33.49%.

However, Chinese Yeih Phui Technomaterial was taxed at the lowest rate of 3.17%. South Korean POSCO of the RoK will be charged 7.02% anti-dumping tax while other RoK exporters will be taxed 19%.

The decision takes effect after 15 days after the signing and will be in place for five years.

PGA Highlights: March 2017

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In the United States the following events have taken place under the several PGA during the month of March 2017.

Agencies Summary
Federal Register Importing lemons from Northwest Argentina:
The  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a final rule on December 23, 2016 for amending the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental U.S. under certain circumstances. In a document published on January 25, 2017, they stayed the regulations until March 27, 2017 and also continue to be stayed until May 26, 2017. See Details
Pesticide tolerances for Cloquintocet-mexyl:
This regulation establishes tolerances level for residues of Cloquintocet-mexyl (acetic acid [5-chloro-8-quinolinyl) oxy]-1-methylhexyl ester) in or on teff when cloquintocet-mexyl is used as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations containing pyroxsulam. Dow AgroSciences LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) in order to cover residues of cloquintocet-mexyl in imported teff commodities. This regulation is effective on March 22, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before May 22, 2017. See Details
CBER Act- Impact on U.S. industries and on beneficiary countries:
Under section 215 of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery (CBER) Act, the International Trade Commission is inviting the public to appear at the public hearing and or to submit information in writing in connection with the preparation of its 23rd report. The report will cover trade during calendar years 2015 and 2016. The deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing is on April 13, 2017, deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements is on April 20, 2017, deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements and for filing all other written submissions is on May 18, 2017 and deadline for transmittal of Commission report to Congress and the President is on September 29, 2017. See Details
Requesting an import license for radioactive waste:
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is correcting a notice regarding a license to import radioactive waste, which was published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2017. This action is necessary in order to adequately describe the type of licensing action being requested. The correction is effective from March 6, 2017. See Details
Tariff of tolls:
Under international agreement, The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada jointly publish and presently administer the St. Lawrence Seaway Tariff of Tolls in their respective jurisdictions. The Tariff sets forth the level of tolls assessed on all commodities and vessels transiting the facilities operated by the SLSDC and the SLSMC. The Tariff of Tolls will become effective in Canada on March 20, 2017. See Details
FSIS FSIS notice 19-17 regarding inspection program on raw poultry products:
This notice reissues FSIS Notice 32-15 with instructions for inspection program personnel (IPP) to follow when collecting samples of imported raw intact and non-intact poultry products that FSIS will analyze for Salmonella and Campylobacter.  This notice provides instructions on handling of the new sample collection and transport both, drill sampling method, and clarification of packing instructions. See Details
FSIS notice 17-17 regarding inspection program on raw beef products:
This notice provides instructions to inspection program personnel (IPP) at official import inspection establishments on sampling of raw beef product when an E. coli O157:H7 MT51 type of inspection (TOI) is assigned at an increased level of reinspection (LOR). This notice applies to beef product from the following foreign countries:  France, Ireland, and the Netherlands. See Details
DOC Initiation of AD/CVD duty investigations of aluminum foil from China:
The Department of Commerce announced the initiation of anti-dumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China on March 28, 2017. AD and CVD laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the injurious effects of dumping and unfairly subsidized imports into the U.S. This action launches AD and CVD investigations that will determine if Chinese exporters of aluminum foil have received government subsidies and sold these products at below the cost of production in the United States. The Trump Administration is unequivocally committed to the vigorous enforcement of America’s trade laws and will ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly. See Details

India: Payments to Belgian entities not taxable as fees for technical services

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Recently, the Ahmedabad Bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal in the case of: ITO v. Cadila Health Care Ltd [2017] 78, decided that the payments made to Belgian entities are not taxable as “Fees for Technical Services (FTS)” in view of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause under the India-Belgium tax treaty.

According to the case fact, the services provided to the taxpayer by the non-resident parties did not fall within the services/technical services and therefore here was no liability on the taxpayer to deduct tax at source under Section 195 of the Act.

Most of the Indian tax treaties include MFN clause to grant a benefit of a restricted scope or a reduced tax rate available in a subsequent beneficial tax treaty. The Ahmedabad Tribunal in the instant case has provided the benefit of ‘make available’ clause under the India-Canada and India U.S.A. tax treaty to the taxpayer in view of MFN clause under the India-Belgium tax treaty.