Foreign Aid Package Intensifies Sanctions Enforcement, Fentanyl Investigations

May 1, 2024 – President Biden signed a foreign aid package last Wednesday, aimed at increasing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The legislation also included noteworthy changes to U.S. sanctions and export control laws, including measures to help thwart fentanyl trafficking. The law changed the statute of limitations under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading With the Enemies Act (TWEA) from 5 years to 10 years, doubling the amount of time regulators and prosecutors have to investigate sanctions violations.

For more details, read the text of H.R. 815

Labor Dept. Official: China Makes Human Rights Audits in XUAR "Essentially Illegal"

May 1, 2024 – A Labor Department official and Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force member said this week that China has made it “essentially illegal” to conduct independent human rights audits in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Thea Lee testified in Congress this week, saying that as a result of China’s response, the only responsible thing for companies to do is not to operate in that atmosphere.

Lee added that the volume of labortransfers involving Uyghurs has been increasing, but the U.S. government is having a difficult time verifying them. Data on Chinese websites is removed on a regular basis and investigators are unable to assess workers’ origins. In June 2022, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) went into effect in the U.S., banning imports from XUAR.
Read more from Reuters.

More than 20 Tech Execs Join New AI Safety and Security Board

May 1, 2024 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced this week that it is launching an Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security Board that will advise stakeholders and the Secretary of Homeland Security on the safe and secure development and deployment of AI technology in our nation’s critical infrastructure.

The group already has inaugural members, including more than 20 executives from U.S. technology companies. The inaugural Board will include AAEI members Amazon Web Services and Northrop Grumman.

DHS established the Board at the direction of President Biden. In this week’s announcement, DHS said, “The Board’s advice and recommendations are to be specific, actionable, timely, and strategic, and targeted to mitigate emerging risks to critical infrastructure from its use.” 

Read the DHS advisory that was published following the announcement.

AAEI Board Member: FMC Guidelines Are "Big Win"

May 1, 2024 – AAEI Board of Governors member and AAEI Transpacific Committee co-chair Vince Iacoppela appears in a national publication this week on the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC’s) new guidelines to prevent unfair demurrage and detention (D&D) practices. Iacopella, who is Executive Vice President of Strategic Growth for Alba Wheels Up International, called the new guidelines a big win.

He told the American Journal of Transportation, “In the past, the carriers have tried to make the connection that intermediaries were commercial parties. Many time, ocean carriers would bill parties on the Bill of Lading. such as customs brokers, that were not part of the contractual agreement.” Read the AJOT story.

CBP: ACAS Data Must Be Submitted at Initial Loading of U.S.-bound Cargo

May 1, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said that Air Cargo Advanced Screening data must be submitted at the initial loading of cargo destined for the U.S. regardless of whether the aircraft stops at another foreign airport before entering the U.S. in a Customs ruling last month.

The company that requested the ruling stated that one of its routings would have the cargo loaded in Hong Kong and stop in Singapore for more cargo before arriving in the U.S. CBP said that the timing of the filing is “linked specifically to the loading of cargo onto ‘the aircraft’ which will arrive in the United States, regardless of whether the aircraft makes subsequent foreign stops en route to the United States.”

For more information, read the Customs ruling here.

APHIS Amends AQI Fee Structure

May 1, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amended its Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection (AQI) program user fees last week. The AQI program is intended to protect U.S. farms and forests from invasive pests and diseases.

APHIS says that the new fee structure will go into effect on October 1, 2024, and the small aircraft exemption will be removed on April 1, 2024. See the rule here and the current fee structure here.