Advance rulings: limiting your USMCA import liability.

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Every importer of record needs to make declarations to Customs regarding tariff classification, valuation, origin of imported goods and more. Incorrect declarations can potentially lead to long term and expensive problems for the importer.

The NAFTA rules provided a method in which importers could seek guidance from Customs through an advance ruling to predetermine tariff classification, valuation, regional value issues, questions on qualifications of originating good, country of origin marking requirements, and more. NAFTA limited requests for guidance to only importers in the US and exporters and producers in Canada and Mexico who exported their goods to the US.

Fortunately, the new USMCA implemented several key changes. First, the USMCA not only allows an importer, but also allows an exporter, producer or anyone related to the trade transaction to request an advance ruling. Advance ruling requests are no longer limited to domestic residents.

Secondly, the USMCA agreement requires Customs to make a decision within 120 days – increasing transparency and predictability to the advance ruling process. Additionally, the USMCA also identifies the subjects that can be decided through ruling requests – tariff classification, customs valuation, origin of goods, quotas or “other issues agreed upon”.

Lastly, the USMCA offers increased protection in the event of customs modifying or revoking an advance ruling. Under the USMCA, an advance ruling cannot be revoked or modified if doing so will hurt the original ruling requester – unless the requester did not follow the advance ruling or the ruling was based on false information provided by the requester.

The best way to limit your USMCA import liability is to request an advance ruling – taking out the guesswork before the goods are shipped or entered into the US. Please do not hesitate to contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Canadian government silent on Huawei 5G.

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Canada’s three major telecommunications companies have previously rejected use of Huawei Technologies equipment for Canada’s 5G-network. However, after two years, Canada’s government is still reviewing the potential for Huawei involvement in Canadian 5G.

Currently, Telus Corp, Bell Canada and Rogers Communications have all agreed to not choose Huawei and instead look at Ericcson and Nokia for 5G equipment. It is unknown why the shift away from Huawei, as Telus Corp and Bell Canada previously chose Huawei as the more affordable option.

As you are aware, Canada is facing pressure from the US and the UK to seek alternatives to Huawei. If you or your company does any export business with Huawei, contact our office for a no cost obligation. Contact David Hsu by phone/tezt at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

USMCA regulations published.

As the USMCA is set to take effect in less than a month, the USTR has published the USMCA regulations on their website. The regulations can be viewed at the following: https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement/uniform-regulations

This is a long read and I haven’t read through a quarter of it. Will likely take me the entire weekend to go through the agreement.

In the meantime, if you have any questions how the new USMCA rules will impact your business, give me a call anytime or text, 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP Launches United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Center to Coordinate Implementation of USMCA.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media releaes, CBP will open the USMCA Center prior to the start of the USMCA on July 1st. The USMCA Center will be the main communication hub for CBP and will include experts in operations, legal, audit and also virtual representatives from Canadian and Mexican customs authorities. The Center is there to ensure an efficient transition from NAFTA to USMCA.

Part of the center will also help the trade community with a focus on outreach, training and developing new regulations and procedures.

As you are aware, the USMCA replaces NAFTA and has been modernized to reflect technological changes in the past 25 years. The changes cover rules of origin, market to agricultural goods, digital trade, changes to labor rights of workers, and the protection of intellectual property rights.

The media release does want to remind members in the trade community the NAFTA rules will apply until July 1st. If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact you, please contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Mexico and US agree to close border except for trade and workers.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement on closing border traffic between the two nations except to allow for trade and workers and essential traffic. The

Essential traffic includes for medical purposes, attend educational institutions and emergency response workers.

President Trump cited the CDC’s order on need to slow the spread of the Corona virus and to ensure there are enough health-care resources for US citizens. This closure comes a day after Canada and the US agreed to also close their border.

Besides traveling to Mexico or Canada, the State Department on Thursday issued a new travel alert asking Americans to go travel abroad and to return home unless planning to live abroad.

ITC publishes final determination of no material injury by imports of Fabricated Structural Steel from China, Canada and Mexico.

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About 30 minutes ago, the Federal Register published the final determination decision by the International Trade Commission finding no material injury by imports of fabricated structural steel from Canada, China and Mexico. The Final Determination can be viewed here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-20/pdf/2020-05845.pdf

The petitioners have 30 days to file an appeal in court. If no appeal is filed, importers who paid duties may be eligible for a refund after the deadline to appeal expires.

If you want to learn more about getting a refund for your imports of fabricated structural steel from China, Canada or Mexico, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

USMCA Signing Day for the US.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Later today, President Trump will sign the house and senate approved USMCA bill. The replacement for the 25-year old trade agreement NAFTA won’t immediately take effect as Canada remains the only country that has not yet approved the USMCA (expected to do so in a few weeks). Give me a call/text if you have questions how the USMCA will impact you or your business – 832-896-6288 or send me an email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

USMCA to be signed on Wednesday 1/29.

Donald_Trump_official_portrait

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

As you are aware, the Senate passed the USMCA legislation last week. According to Reuters, President Trump will sign the USMCA trade agreement next Wednesday at the White House. The Reuters article cites unnamed sources regarding invitations for the upcoming ceremony.

This new US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) wills replace NAFTA and still requires formal approval from Canada.

Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com if you have questions how the new USMCA may impact your business.

U.S. House passes USMCA, next stop the Senate.

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As you are aware, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an updated version of the USMCA earlier this week. The passage by the House includes revisions to an agreement initially agreed to by the US, Mexico and Canada in September 2018.

The next step for the USMCA is the Senate, where it is not expected to be put to a vote until 2020.

What are some of the changes in the USMCA versus NAFTA?

  • If autos are to qualify for no tariffs, then 75% of the components must be manufactured in Canada, Mexico or the United States (currently at 62.5%).
  • 30% of the work on the vehicle must be performed by individuals making $16 or more per hour, with a 40% requirement in 2023.
  • The new agreement allows works in Mexico to unionize.
  • The definition of steel and aluminum for Mexico in regards to the automotive rules of origin includes “melted and poured” in North America.
  • USMCA will be subject to mandatory review every 6 years, if all parties agree, then there is a 16 year period for review, with subsequent reviews every 16 years.

If you have any further questions how your business may be impacted by the USMCA if and when it is passed next year, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Canada’s Global Affairs consults whether South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK should join CPTPP.

The Global Affairs Canada organization includes individuals, businesses (including SMBs), industry associations, experts, consultants, academics, civil society organization, labour unions, governments, indigenous groups, students and youth and other interested Canadian stakeholders.

In late July, Global Affairs Canada started discussions whether South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”).

An announcement was published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1. Global Affairs Canada has has begun soliciting comments for whether these countries (and China) should join the CPTPP. The deadline for submissions is midnight, August 25, 2019.

The announcement asks for the following information:

1. Contributor’s name and address and, if applicable, the name of the contributor’s organization, institution or business;
2. The specific issues being addressed; and
3. Where possible, precise information on the rationale for the positions taken, including any significant impact it may have on Canada’s domestic or international interests.

Additionally, they would like feedback on specific markets that Canadians and businesses would support entry to the CPTPP.

The full text of the announcement and additional topics Global Affairs Canada would like feedback on can be found here:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2019/2019-07-27/html/notice-avis-eng.html#nL5