June 2021

CBP intensifies crackdown on imports using forced labor

As reported last month, forced labor withhold release orders were up 116.7 percent, and WRO-related detentions were up 2600 percent!  Customs announced earlier this month they are requesting from the trade their best practices in how to identify the complex routes materials take in the supply chain, and what measures importers are using to insure their suppliers are not using forced labor. We strongly recommend you initiate a review of your suppliers and have them certify that they nor their suppliers use forced labor of any kind at any point in your supply chain. If possible, we recommend you perform site visits to confirm this. Please contact us with any questions.

Update on Section 301 Litigation (From our friends at Meeks & Sheppard)

Earlier this month, the Government filed its Motion to Dismiss/Motion for Judgement on the Agency Record.  The plaintiffs’ response is due August 2, 2021.  Meanwhile, motions relating to an injunction against liquidation are also pending before the three-judge panel.  It is not too late for importers who have NOT filed a lawsuit in the Court of International Trade challenging the Section 301 tariffs on List 3 and 4A goods from China to do so.

While most cases have been filed within two years from the date of publication of List 3 in the Federal Register, we believe that cases may be filed within two years from the date of entry upon which the duties were collected.  For example, if an entry was filed and duties were deposited on July 4, 2019, the deadline to file a case to recover a refund for this specific entry is July 4, 2021.

List 4A claims will not be questioned for timeliness if filed on or before August 19, 2021 according to the most conservative deadline. Notwithstanding this later deadline, we are encouraging those importers subject to List 4A tariffs to file as soon as possible. 

Considering the expense of joining the Section 301 litigation is relatively low, importers should consider filing a case to preserve their rights related to potential List 3 and 4A refunds.  If you have further questions, please contact Ralph Sheppard at (203) 257-6614 or ralph.sheppard@mscustoms.com; Robert Leo at (212) 949-7120 or robert.leo@mscustoms.com; or Taylor Pillsbury at (949) 719-2712 or taylor.pillsbury@mscustoms.com.

Freight capacity will remain tight and rates may go higher  (From Kiplinger)

The most intractable shortage of all: Freight transportation. There simply aren’t enough ships, trains, planes and trucks carrying cargo fast enough to where it’s needed. Expect ocean shipping delays for the rest of the year. Both trucking and rail are currently overburdened and likely to stay that way until autumn. The current shortfall in air freight capacity won’t improve until international travel recovers, adding more space on commercial flights for cargo. That’s not likely to happen until 2022, at the earliest. All modes of freight transport are currently expensive, and some may get even more so before the year is over.