WCO Releases 2023 Illicit Trade Report

June 26, 2024 – The World Customs Organization (WCO) released its 2023 Illicit Trade Report today, providing an analysis of global illicit trade trends and challenges. The report emphasizes the significant impact of illicit activities on legitimate markets, public trust, and the financing of criminal enterprises. Key areas covered include drugs, environmental violations, cultural heritage theft, money laundering, terrorism financing, intellectual property infringement, and risks to public health and safety.

Technological innovations, such as the CEN Data Visualization Tool, are highlighted for their role in identifying emerging illicit trade patterns.

The full report can be accessed on the WCO website here.

Trade Groups and Importers Urge GSP Renewal

June 26, 2024 – A coalition of trade groups and importers led by the Renew GSP Coalition wrote the Senate Finance Committee last week urging the swift renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which expired in December 2020.  The letter highlights that importers have collectively paid over $160 million in tariffs since the House passed its version of GSP renewal in April.

The groups, comprising more than 30 trade associations and nearly 300 importer companies, expressed support for the House and Senate bills aimed at renewing GSP but called for broader reforms, particularly in Competitive Need Limitations (CNL). The letter advocates for the GSP Reform Act (H.R.7986) for a 10-year extension.

Read the letter.

CBP’s De Minimis Webinar Highlights Challenges and ACE Updates

June 26, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held a webinar last week titled, “De minimis: Back to Basics.”

The webinar focused on what trade professionals can do to remain compliant, whether doing clearance from the manifest under Section 321, or participating in the Type 86 pilot, to get electronic clearance of their low-value shipments. The webinar did not discuss details on the suspensions of customs brokers from the Type 86 pilot.

For more information, find the webinar and other previously recorded webinars for replay here.

19 U.S.C. § 1584 Penalties Begin July 1 at Port of Laredo

June 26, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of Laredo issued a trade notice this month announcing that starting July 1, 2024, saying, “CBP will apply the stipulations of 19 U.S.C. § 1584 for falsity, or lack of manifest.”

The notice advises the trade community that data transmitted to CBP as well as physical merchandise need to be verified for accuracy and completeness and reconciled to its appropriate manifest.

For more information and background, read the notice.

Indiana University Settles BIS Penalty on Fruit Fly Exports

June 26, 2024 – The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an order this week imposing an administrative penalty on Indiana University (IU) related to exports by the university’s Bloomington Drosophilia Stock Center (BDSC).

The settlement resolves allegations set forth in a Proposed Charging Letter (PLC) regarding 42 violations related to the export of genetically modified fruit flies containing controlled toxin subunits to global research institutions without proper licenses.

IU disclosed the violations voluntarily, cooperated with BIS’s investigation, and implemented corrective actions, leading to a non-monetary resolution.

For more information, read the full order, settlement agreement, and PCL here.