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.

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.

What’s significant about July 1, 2020.

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With all the news coverage focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration quietly notified Congress yesterday (Friday, April 24, 2020) that the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) will take effect on July 1st.

If you have any questions how the new policy may impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Canada approves USMCA trade deal.

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While the US is focused on the Corona Virus (COVID-19), on Friday, Canada formally approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the last nation needed to implement the deal to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The trade deal was ratified by the Mexican legislature last June, the US legislature this past January and formally ratified by Canada on Friday. The Canadian parliament is now shut down for five weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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 any questions about how the new USMCA will impact you and your business!

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.

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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.

Senate passes USMCA, heads to Trump’s desk.

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

After passing through the House, the Senate just passed the USMCA trade deal by 89-10 vote. The new trade deal will now head to Trump’s desk for his signature.

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

Trump impeachment inquiry delays USMCA ratification.

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This past Wednesday, the Trump administration warned the impeachment inquiry would likely result in no congressional action on the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal (USMCA).

While the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer believed the deal would pass the House, Trump was less confident and doesn’t believe the Houston majority leader will set a vote to pass the trade agreement.

Last year, Canada, the US and Mexico reached an agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with the final step being ratification among the three members. Canada and Mexico have already urged the US to ratify the agreement sooner rather than later.

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

US and Mexico reach deal to end tomato dispute.

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According to Reuters, Mexican tomato growers and the Trump administration reached a deal to end a potential anti-dumping investigation and end a tariff dispute. The agreement means many Mexican tomato exports will be subject to U.S. border inspections, and specialty tomatoes face higher reference prices on the American marketplace.

The negotiations began back in May when the Trump administration imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes after the parties did not reach an agreement.

The Commerce Department said the new deal will ensure sales do not fall below certain prices for Mexican tomatoes and allows a mechanism to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers per quarter, or more.

If you have any questions how the tomato deal may impact your business – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.