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Importer Information: ACE Transition Delayed; Updated Timeline

This alert brings you recent developments affecting importers at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The developments affect how importer information is filed with CBP.   You will be impacted if you electronically submit entry or entry summary data to CBP. Groups most likely to be impacted include importers, brokers, self-filers, or software providers.  

Estee Lauder (Finally?) Wins Dismissal of Retailer’s Contract Termination Antitrust Claims

Has Estee Lauder built such significant brand value that a retailer is doomed if it cannot stock Estee Lauder’s products on its shelves? This is the question Duty Free Americas asked a federal appeals court to once again consider after both the district court and the appeals court said “no.” The courts’ decisions confirm that manufacturers usually are free to choose with whom they will deal, and who may be cut off.  The Retailer’s Allegations  

Mitigating Risk and Protecting Your Company’s Brand in the US Marketplace

Recent Developments in US Import Requirements In September 2014, Arent Fox reported about a US court case with which every corporate officer of a company doing business in the United States should become familiar. The decision involves responsibility for compliance with US import regulations which, heretofore, has typically been relegated to a company’s customs and logistics divisions.

CBP Announces Changes to Audit Rules

Auditors Change Sample Transaction Review Process and Pre-Assessment Survey to Match Today’s Audit Standards and to Provide Auditors Flexibility to Target Priority Trade Issues   US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Office of Regulatory Audit will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, October 9, 2014 from 2:00 pm–3:30 pm Eastern Time to provide an overview of its Focused Assessment (FA) Program.

Compliance Officers Beware: Court Decision Expands Scope of Customs Penalty Provisions for Individuals Who ‘Introduce’ Goods into US Commerce

In a case that could have a profound impact on the trade community, compliance officers, business owners, and others can now be held personally liable under the customs penalty statute1 for fraudulently or negligently providing information on imports. Under this decision, import managers and compliance personnel can now be held personally liable in circumstances other than fraud for imports that violate US custom laws.

Uncle Sam Strikes Back: Apparel Importers Settle Civil Customs Fraud Suit for $10 Million

Two women’s apparel companies alleged to have systematically imported goods into the United States without declaring their full value recently settled a civil customs fraud lawsuit with the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The settlement required the companies — Dana Kay, Inc. and Siouni & Zar Corporation — to admit responsibility for fraudulent conduct and pay $10 million as damages and penalties under the False Claims Act.

OSHA Inspectors Set Course for Clothing and Retail Stores on Pacific Islands

On April 14, 2014, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it is launching a local emphasis program in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities in the retail sector in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The program will involve safety inspections of randomly selected clothing stores, department stores, general merchandise and warehouse clubs, and other miscellaneous retailers such as pet stores.

Brazil Threatens Trade Retaliation Against US Exports and IP Rights in Long-Standing Cotton Case

As part of a decade-long dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) involving US cotton subsidies, Brazil is again threatening significant trade retaliation against a wide variety of US goods and intellectual property rights. The proposed retaliation would substantially increase tariffs on US exports across various sectors and industries, and would suspend or restrict US intellectual property rights in Brazil. If enacted, the retaliatory measures could have a devastating impact on US businesses.

Get Ready: SEC’s Conflict Mineral Reporting Deadline is Looming

Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued final regulations on September 12, 2012 requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” in products they manufacture or have contract manufactured for them to proprietary specifications.

Fashion Companies Respond to Bangladeshi Factory Concerns

Selecting where to source manufacturing of fashion goods is not dependent on price alone. Companies looking to source need to be aware of consumer perceptions when selecting a sourcing territory. Perception worries might not carry the same importance to all companies, but it is undeniable that businesses make decisions based on their clientele’s views on sourcing locations.