ZTE pays $400 million into escrow, BIS removes ZTE from denied persons list.

2000px-ZTE_logo.svg

ZTE Company Logo from Wikipedia/ZTE.com

This just in, ZTE has complied with the terms of their agreement and placed $400 million into escrow. As a result, the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry Security has terminated the April 15, 2018 denial order and removed ZTE from the denied persons list. The full release from the US DOC, BIS website can be found here.

Here’s a listing of all previous ZTE posts on this blog:

ZTE and Commerce sign escrow agreement – denial ban is one step closer to being lifted.

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

ZTE pays $1 billion fine, $400k into escrow soon.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

ZTE may need to change management and board in order to access US suppliers.

ZTE report to the HKEX on the impact of the US denial order: “major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE and Huawei banned for sale to US military personnel.

ZTE banned from purchasing US technology for 7 years.

 

 

 

What should my company do regarding the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs?

ship with container vans

Photo by Khunkorn Laowisit on Pexels.com

We are fielding a lot of calls from importers, vendors, manufacturers, brokers and freight forwarders about what to do now that the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs are in place.

We suggest:

  1. Review the list of products to determine your company’s exposure to Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs. The First Section 301 list can be found here.
  2. If there is a product on the second list of the Section 301 tariffs, you should participate in the comment process. The second list can be found here.
  3. If you are importing a product covered under Section 301 or Section 232, look into other alternatives for sourcing.
  4. This may be a good time to review your imported and exported goods and the classification used.
  5. Notify your customers, suppliers, vendors, buyers of potential price impacts of these new tariffs.
  6. Review pending purchase orders and pending shipments with companies in China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

If you have any questions about Section 232 or Section 301, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com. We also assist in filing exclusion requests and submission of comments, call or email now for immediate assistance.

Emergency Action Notice for Wood Packaging Materials – Increased CBP Enforcement!

view of city at airport

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Since late 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased their enforcement of regulations surrounding the use of Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) in shipments entering the US.

In a September 25, 2017 message, CBP began imposing penalties for a 1st violation of the WPM regulations (7 C.F.R. 319.40 – 3). This news is significant as penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1595a or 1592 can be enormous. In addition to these penalties, monetary loss also results from from having to export entire shiploads of cargo, even when just a small portion of it is in violation. Frequent violations in the WPM regulations are regarding improper markings or pests. CBP will always inspect shipments containing WPM for a proper mark and the presence of any invasive pests.

There is a lot of plant construction underway along the Gulf coast. Shiploads of wood packaged steel structures have been halted by Customs at the port and directed to immediately export.

The first indication of a problem is if you receive an “Emergency Action Notice” (EAN) from Customs. The EAN will typically require the immediate exportation of the cargo at great expensive to the importer, the manufacturer and at a great hassle to all parties involved (broker, shipper, forwarder, manufacturer, vendor, seller, buyer, etc!).

If you have received an Emergency Action Notice, contact experienced trade and WPM attorney David Hsu by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com. Time is of the essence for these WPM cases and call us for immediate options.

 

ZTE and Commerce sign escrow agreement – denial ban is one step closer to being lifted.

architectural design architecture buildings business

Photo by Luke Hui on Pexels.com

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they had reached an escrow agreement with ZTE. As you are aware, in order to lift the denial ban put in place in April 2018 (and be authorized to purchase goods and services from US companies), ZTE must pay $1 billion dollar fine and place $400 million into an escrow account.

Commerce announced today an agreement was reached with ZTE. The next step is for ZTE to deposit the $400 million into the escrow account. Upon deposit, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security will lift the denial ban. According to the June 8, 2018 superseding order, ZTE has until September 8, 2018 to deposit the funds – based on today’s news it appears ZTE is on its way to lifting the denial ban.

If you are a supplier or ZTE vendor and have any questions about the denial ban, feel free to contact export compliance attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Check out my other ZTE posts:

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

ZTE pays $1 billion fine, $400k into escrow soon.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

 

Breaking news – Section 301 Statement by US Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and list of Chinese goods impacted by $200 billion in tariffs.

800px-Robert_E._Lighthizer_official_portrait

Robert Lighthizer, official portrait, work of the U.S. Federal Government

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer released a statement today regarding Section 301 of the Trade Act.

The full statement can be read here.

Here’s a summary of the statement:
1. Last Friday, US started imposing tariffs of 25% on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.
2. Will eventually cover $50 billion in Chinese imports.
3. Tariffs are against products that benefit from China’s industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices.
4. China retaliated with $34 billion in tariffs and threats on $16 billion more.
5. In resopnse to China’s retaliation, President Trump ordered tariffs of 10% on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Brief history of the 301 tariffs:
1. Last August (2017), President Trump asked USTR to begin the Section 301 process. The basis of the 301 was due to China’s”abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation.”
2. USTR conducted investigation, published 200 page report showing: “China has been engaging in industrial policy which has resulted in the transfer and theft of intellectual property and technology to the detriment of our economy and the future of our workers and businesses. ”
3. The USTR also found these “practices are an existential threat to America’s most critical comparative advantage and the future of our economy: our intellectual property and technology.”

To view the Federal Register notice and list of proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, click here.

If you have any questions how these 301 tariffs may impact your business, or if you would like to submit comments to the US Government, please contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Tesla raises car prices in China amid potential US/China trade war.

close up of illuminated text against black background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reuters is reporting the price of Model S and Model X Tesla vehicles have increased by over $20,000 in China. Reuters cites the website Electrek’s report on Monday.

China already raised tariffs on U.S. car imports in response to President Trump’s move on imposing tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The raise in prices in China come after a decrease in prices as recently as this past May – when Model X vehicles were discounted $14,000. Electrek reports that 17% of Tesla’s 2017 revenue was from China sales and that Tesla estimates shipping 15,000 cars a year to China.

 

CBP seizes a combined $92K in unreported currency from 5 different foreign-bound travelers.

dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-47344.jpeg

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $91,819 from 5 different sets of travelers for violating federal reporting laws of currency in excess of $10,000 or more.

The most recently reported CBP currency seizures included:

  1. $18,171 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a family heading to Germany. The family reported $9,500. CBP released 700 Euros ($819 USD conversion) and 3,170 Shekels ($871 USD conversion) to the family for humanitarian purposes.
  2. CBP officers seized $22,449 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a man traveling to Austria. The man reported 15,000 Euros but Officers found an additional $4,957 in U.S. dollars on the man’s body and in a carry-on bag.
  3. CBP officers seized $15,650 in U.S. dollars from a woman boarding a flight to Austria Tuesday. The woman reported $9,000. Officers discovered additional currency within a purse and a carry-on bag. Officers released $650 to the woman for humanitarian purposes and released her.
  4. CBP officers seized $13,164 in U.S. dollars from two women boarding a flight to the UAE. The women reported $9,500 but officers discovered additional currency. Officers released $964 to the women for humanitarian purposes and released the women.
  5. CBP officers seized $22,385 in U.S. dollars from a family boarding a flight to Ghana. The family – husband, wife and wife’s sister – reported $5,000 and $7,000. Officers discovered additional currency in envelopes on all three persons that the man claimed to be his. Officers released $385 to the family for humanitarian purposes and released the family.

CBP reports the travelers were either citizens of the U.S., Jordan, Pakistan, or Ghana. None was arrested.

While not mentioned in the CBP release, here’s more information about currency seizures:

  1. You have to report US and foreign currency.
  2. You have to report anything you have while entering or leaving the US.
  3. If you are with your family, they will count the family as 1 person. Each individual family members do not have a $10,000. Like above, I suspect the family going to Ghana in #5 above thought the $10,000 limit was per person.
  4. Humanitarian purposes means CBP will give you some of your money if they believe you will need the money to travel to your ultimate destination.

If you or someone you know has had currency seized, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu immediately, the time is running on getting your money back. Call 832-896-6288 today or email dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

 

Automakers rush to ship vehicles to US ahead of threat of higher tariffs.

black mercedes blue sky design

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

According to Reuters, port data, port officials and logistics companies (freight forwarders) are reporting an uptick in vehicle imports to the US, with the three leading US ports reporting 23,000 more cars importer than they did the same time last year.

The Trump administration indicated last Friday they were investigating whether to increase tariffs on cars from the EU with a decision to be made in three to four weeks.

The tariffs of 25% per vehicle would likely make even entry level luxury import cars less attractive. For example, 25% duties could raise the price of the BMW 3 series anywhere from $8-$10k dollars.

More news will be posted as they become available.

 

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

According to the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website, ZTE has authorization by BIS for “Limited Service” from July 3rd – August 1st, 2018.

On July 3rd, BIS granted a limited authorization for all persons to engage in business with ZTE under the 4 following circumstances:

  1. Engagement with ZTE for all contracts entered into with ZTE before April 15, 2018.
  2. Engaging in the support, service, software updates and patches to ZTE phones.
  3. Disclosure to ZTE of information regarding security vulnerabilities in items owned, possessed or controlled by ZTE.
  4. Limited transfer of funds – can make or receive payments to and from ZTE if transactions are pursuant to this authorization.

The full text can be found here.

Any other transactions with ZTE are still subject to the denial order of April 15, 2018. The denial order is only lifted once ZTE pays the $400,000 into an escrow account. According to the superseding order that outlines the ZTE deal, ZTE has 90 days to pay the escrow funds (until September 6, 2018).

Check out my other ZTE-related blog posts:

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

ZTE may need to change management and board in order to access US suppliers.

ZTE report to the HKEX on the impact of the US denial order: “major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE and Huawei banned for sale to US military personnel.

ZTE banned from purchasing US technology for 7 years.

If you have any questions whether your company can start engaging with ZTE, call trade specialist David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP Stops Invasive Insect at Detroit Airport.

Khapra Beetle

Screenshot of CBP website photo of the Khapra Beetle. Credit: CBP

According to a CBP news release on July 5th, CBP Agricultural Specialists officers in Detroit inspected a traveler from Iraq. The traveler was bringing in seeds to grow in her garden, however the Agricultural Specialists found the seeds were infested with Khapra Beetles.

According to the CBP site, the Khapra Beetle is “considered to be one of the world’s most destructive pests of stored grain products and seeds. This small but persistent insect has a wide-ranging appetite and can spoil anything from stored corn to pasta. It also very difficult to control because it can survive without food for long periods and can resist many insecticides.”

CBP Agriculture Specialists are the unsung heroes who work around the clock at the hundreds of ports of entry by sea, land and air to stop pests from causing harm to our country.