Bridge Collapse Cleanup Work Affecting Supply Chain

Photo credit: Reuters

April, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is requiring automobiles that were cleared for export at the Port of Baltimore be transported to another port under bond.

The port remains closed after last week’s bridge collapse. Baltimore Port Director Adam Rottman says it’s too early to estimate a timeline for the cleanup work.

Meanwhile, the port established two alternate channels for commercially essential vessels. Read more on the port response to the disaster here.

CBP’s Eric Choy Anticipates WRO before October

April 3, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Executive Director of Trade Remedy Law Enforcement reportedly said in an interview during the CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit last week that he expects a withhold release order (WRO) to be announced before October.

CBP has not issued WROs for goods unrelated to Uyghur forced labor since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) passed in 2021. Read more from International Trade Today (paywall).

CBP Implements Cargo Messaging for Vague Cargo Descriptions

April 3, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced this Monday that it will implement cargo messaging to address vague cargo descriptions such as “gift,” “daily necessities,” and “accessories.”

Messages will be sent via ACE Cargo Release after cargo release, with brokers and importers expected to rectify issues with shippers and bill of lading issuers for future compliance. CBP says it aims to enhance clarity and compliance in cargo documentation for improved security and efficiency. For more information and an example cargo message, see the CSMS message here.

USTR Releases 2024 NTE Report

April 3, 2024 – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released USTR’s 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report) last week.

The report is intended to provide a comprehensive review of foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and U.S. e-commerce in key export markets.

Ambassador Tai states that USTR is using the 2024 NTE Report as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s trade policy tool to open markets for American companies. For more information, see USTR’s news release here and the report here.

BIS Urges International Collaboration to Enforce U.S. Sanctions

April 3, 2024 – Under Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Alan Estevez stated in his keynote address at the BIS Update Conference last week that BIS is actively working with U.S. allies and partners to enforce U.S. export controls.

Under Secretary Estevez stated that this has been more challenging in the case of new technology concerns when some of the technologies are used for primarily commercial applications. He reportedly stated at another press conference that day that the U.S. is pushing foreign governments to stop their semiconductor companies from servicing certain advanced chip tools that are under existing contracts with Chinese customers. For more information, read the transcript of Under Secretary Estevez’s speech and read more from International Trade Today (paywall).