Recent Trade Compliance News

BIS CUBA CALL-IN PROGRAM

On January 16, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security amended the Export Administration Regulations to reflect certain changes in U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba. For further information, please review the associated Federal Register notice, fact sheet,and frequently asked questions.

BIS CUBA CALL-IN PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT

The Bureau of Industry (BIS) has scheduled monthly call-in programs to field questions from the exporting community concerning the Cuba rule published on January 16, 2015.
The first program will take place on Tuesday, May 12 at 2 pm EDT. Subsequent programs are scheduled at 2 pm EDT on June 9, July 7, August 11 and September 8.

CALL-IN INFORMATION

Toll Number:                                                    1-210-838-9521
Toll Free Number:                                           1-888-889-0538

Leader and Participant passcode:                  CUBA

RELEVANT LINKS

Cuba rule:                                                       [LINK]
FAQs:                                                              [LINK]

Licensing Policy

There is a general policy of denial for exports and reexports to Cuba of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as described in Section 746.2(b) of the EAR. However, there are exceptions to the general policy of denial, some of which are listed below:

  • Medicines and medical devices, whether sold or donated, are generally approved.
  • Vessels and aircraft on temporary sojourn to Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis when they are used to deliver humanitarian goods or services or when their use is consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States.
  • Items necessary for the environmental protection of U.S. and international air quality, waters and coastlines, including items related to renewable energy or energy efficiency, are generally approved.

In addition to authorization provided under licenses, there is authorization provided by license exception, some of which are described below.

License Exceptions

A license exception is an authorization to export or reexport under stated conditions certain items without a license that would otherwise require a license. Only the license exceptions, or portions thereof, listed Section 746.2(a)(1) of the EAR are available for Cuba.

You may export or reexport to Cuba without an individual validated license if your transaction meets all the applicable terms and conditions of the available license exceptions. To determine the scope and eligibility requirements, you must review the sections or specific paragraphs of Part 740 of the EAR. Read each license exception carefully, as the provisions available for sanctioned countries are generally narrow.

Support for the Cuban People

License Exception Support for the Cuban People (SCP) (Section 740.21 of the EAR) authorizes the export and reexport of certain items to Cuba that are intended to improve the living conditions of the Cuban people, support independent economic activity, and strengthen civil society in Cuba, and improve the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people. Items eligible for export and reexport to Cuba pursuant License Exception SCP must be for certain specified end uses and end user and are limited to those designated as EAR99 (i.e., items subject to the EAR but not specified on the Commerce Control List (CCL)) or controlled on the CCL only for anti-terrorism reasons.

Agricultural Commodities

License Exception Agricultural Commodities (AGR) (Section 740.18 of the EAR) authorizes the export or reexport of U.S.-origin agricultural commodities to Cuba, provided that your transaction meets all of the criteria in Section 740.18(a) of the EAR. Please note that the commodities must meet the definition of “agricultural commodities” in Part 772 of the EAR and must be designated as EAR99. To supplement the definition of “agricultural commodities” in the EAR, the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a list of specific commodities that fall within the definition.

Note: You must notify the Bureau of Industry and Security prior to any export or reexport (or prior to the first of multiple shipments) under License Exception AGR. Notifications are submitted through the Simplified Network Application Processing Redesign (SNAP-R). The U.S. Government has up to 11 business days to review your transaction prior to shipment. Exporters are required to check SNAP-R or the System for Tracking Export License Applications (STELA) prior to shipment to ensure that the U.S. Government has no objections to your proposed transaction. Please refer to Section 740.18(a) of the EAR for additional information regarding the terms and conditions for use of License Exception AGR. For assistance with using SNAP-R to submit AGR notices, please review the SNAP-R Exporter User Manual or call the Office of Exporter Services at (202) 482-4811.

Consumer Communications Devices

License Exception Consumer Communications Devices (CCD) (Section 740.19 of the EAR) authorizes the export and reexport of certain commodities and software to eligible recipients in Cuba. A list of the eligible items is located in Section 740.19(b) of the EAR. Eligible recipients are individuals in Cuba, other than certain Cuban Government and Communist Party officials, and independent non-governmental organizations in Cuba. Organizations administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party, including schools and hospitals, are not eligible recipients. Note that there are some restrictions on reexports of foreign-produced commodities by U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries.

Gift Parcels

License Exception Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations (GFT) (Section 740.12(a) of the EAR) authorizes the export and reexport of certain donated items by an individual (donor), or a forwarding service acting on behalf of the donor, to an eligible recipient (donee). Gift parcels may contain a variety of items, including food, most medicines, medical supplies and devices, certain consumer communications devices, and other items of a type normally exchanged as gifts between individuals, subject to restrictions described in Section 740.12(a) of the EAR. Eligible recipients (donees) are individuals, other than certain Cuban Government or Cuban Communist Party officials, and charitable, educational, and religious organizations in Cuba that are not administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party. For example, hospitals or schools administered or controlled by the Cuban Government are not eligible recipients.

Donors may send one gift parcel per month per eligible recipient. The combined total domestic retail value of eligible items may not exceed $800 per gift parcel. However, the frequency and value limits do not apply to food donated in gift parcels. Items contained in gift parcels must also be in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals.

Aircraft and Vessels

Flying an aircraft or sailing a vessel to Cuba, even temporarily, constitutes an export or reexport to Cuba. If the aircraft or vessel is subject to the EAR (e.g., those departing from the United States), then a license is required to fly/sail to Cuba. Certain exports and reexports of aircraft on temporary sojourn to Cuba may be eligible for License Exception Aircraft and Vessels (AVS) (Section 740.15(a) of the EAR). Note that only paragraph (a) of License Exception AVS is available for Cuba and that the corresponding requirements and criteria must be met in order to be eligible. An individual validated license is required for all exports and reexports of vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba.

License applications for exports and reexports of aircraft and vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis when they are used to deliver humanitarian goods or services or when their use is consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States. License applications are generally only authorized for commercial shipments of authorized cargo. You may contact the Foreign Policy Division at (202) 482-4252 for additional information regarding temporary sojourns and assistance with associated license applications.

Other U.S. Government Agencies

Please be aware that other U.S. Government agencies administer regulations that could also impact your export or reexport transaction. For example, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) maintains certain Cuba-related sanctions. Exporters and reexporters are responsible for complying with all applicable regulatory requirements.

Questions

For questions specific to Cuba, contact the Foreign Policy Division at 202-482-4252.

http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/country-guidance/sanctioned-destinations/cuba

Delayed pilots aimed at speeding US-Mexico truck trade move forward

WASHINGTON — It’s been more than a decade in the making, but the Mexican government has finally cleared a hurdle that prevents U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents from pre-clearing cargo south of the border.

As soon as August, the U.S. and Mexican governments are expected to finalize the terms of two pilot projects that will permit American customs agents to pre-clear goods on Mexican soil before they are carried into the U.S., according to a statement from Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo.

Backers hope the pilot projects will demonstrate to Congress that an expansion of the program will allow shippers to get cargo faster across the border without sacrificing security. In April, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies agreed to loosen restrictions on armed foreign agents operating on Mexican soil, paving the way for long-stalled pilot projects  in Otay Mesa, California, and San Jeronimo, Mexico.

At the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the second-busiest commercial port on the border, customs agents from both countries will work in tandem under the same roof to inspect and pre-clear fruits and vegetables. The lifting of the weapon ban will also allow U.S. Customs agents to pre-clear shipments of Dell computer and other electronics leaving a Foxconn factory in San Jeronimo for across the New Mexico border.

The need for faster border crossings is increasing as shippers supply chains become more time-sensitive and overall trade between the two North American Free Trade Agreement partners builds.  U.S. trade in goods with Mexico rose 5.5 percent last year to $534.5 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Although Canada is still the primary partner for truck-borne trade with the U.S., Mexico is closing the gap. In 2014, 48 percent of truck border crossings occurred on the U.S.-Mexican border, up almost 20 percent since 2004, due in large part to the increased exports and growing industrial output that are now spurring Mexican growth and trade.

http://www.joc.com/regulation-policy/customs-regulations/us-customs-regulations/delayed-pilots-aimed-speeding-us-mexico-truck-trade-move-forward_20150609.html

Defendants Charged with Conspiracy to Engage in Wire Fraud, Identity Theft, and Misuse of Automated Export System

Thursday, June 4, 2015
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

First Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that defendant Mao Peng (age 25) of Kenosha, Wisconsin has been charged in a three-count criminal information with conspiring to engage in wire fraud, identity theft, and misuse of the United States’ Automated Export System to further criminal activity. Mr. Peng has also entered into a written plea agreement by which he has agreed to plead guilty to those charges. According to the information and a plea agreement, Peng conspired to defraud the State of Wisconsin of state and local sales tax revenue in connection with the purchase of luxury vehicles, which Peng and his company Longen Trading intended to export to China, by fraudulently using Native American straw buyers to make those purchases in a tax-exempt manner. Specifically, Peng and Longen Trading used Native American straw buyers in connection with the purchase of approximately 154 luxury vehicle purchase transactions, having a total purchase price of approximately $9,132,106.94, and thereby evaded Longen Trading’s payment of a total of approximately $515,964.04 in state and local sales taxes that Longen Trading was legally obligated to pay in connection with the purchase of those vehicles. According to the information and a plea agreement, Peng and Longen Trading also conspired to cause luxury vehicles to be purchased for export, via identity theft, that is, by using means of identification that belonged to a past or prospective straw buyer, without that person’s permission to purchase the vehicle using his or her identity. Specifically, between on or about June 2012 and June 2014, Peng and Longen Trading conspired with others to purchase approximately 71 luxury vehicles, having a total purchase price of approximately $4,212,945.06, using a means of identification belonging to another person, without that person’s knowledge or permission. According to the information and plea agreement, between approximately June 2012 and June 2014, Peng and Longen Trading also conspired with others to use the Department of Commerce’s Automated Export System (“AES”) to further these illegal activities, in violation of 13 U.S.C. § 305(a)(2). Under the plea agreement, Mr. Peng has agreed to plead to all three counts of the information, to join the government in recommending that the sentencing court impose a sentence of 27 months’ imprisonment, to pay restitution of $515,964.04 to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and to stipulate to the civil forfeiture of approximately $1.2 million in funds seized from various bank accounts he controlled as well as 29 new luxury vehicles, including new Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and BMW vehicles. In announcing the filing of the information and plea agreement, First Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad stated: “As this case reflects, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Justice are committed to aggressively combatting both identity theft and tax evasion. We are also committed to taking the profit out of crime and to obtaining just financial outcomes in our criminal cases through the judicious use of both asset forfeiture and restitution remedies.” Haanstad commended the investigative work that the United States Secret Service and United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security, Office of Export Enforcement conducted in this matter, along with the investigative assistance provided by the following state and local law enforcement agencies: the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Investigations, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Oneida Police Department, the Menomonee Police Department, the Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department, the Kenosha Police Department, the Wauwatosa Police Department, the Waukesha Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Green Bay Police Department, the Milwaukee Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, and the Native American Drug and Gun Initiative Task Force. “The quality and overall success of this investigation is a direct reflection of the contributing agencies’ efforts, resources, and teamwork,” stated a spokesperson for the United States Secret Service’s Milwaukee Office. “OEE will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt criminal export activity,” stated David R. Nardella, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Chicago Field Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott Campbell. An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. First Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that defendant Mao Peng (age 25) of Kenosha, Wisconsin has been charged in a three-count criminal information with conspiring to engage in wire fraud, identity theft, and misuse of the United States’ Automated Export System to further criminal activity. Mr. Peng has also entered into a written plea agreement by which he has agreed to plead guilty to those charges. According to the information and a plea agreement, Peng conspired to defraud the State of Wisconsin of state and local sales tax revenue in connection with the purchase of luxury vehicles, which Peng and his company Longen Trading intended to export to China, by fraudulently using Native American straw buyers to make those purchases in a tax-exempt manner. Specifically, Peng and Longen Trading used Native American straw buyers in connection with the purchase of approximately 154 luxury vehicle purchase transactions, having a total purchase price of approximately $9,132,106.94, and thereby evaded Longen Trading’s payment of a total of approximately $515,964.04 in state and local sales taxes that Longen Trading was legally obligated to pay in connection with the purchase of those vehicles. According to the information and a plea agreement, Peng and Longen Trading also conspired to cause luxury vehicles to be purchased for export, via identity theft, that is, by using means of identification that belonged to a past or prospective straw buyer, without that person’s permission to purchase the vehicle using his or her identity. Specifically, between on or about June 2012 and June 2014, Peng and Longen Trading conspired with others to purchase approximately 71 luxury vehicles, having a total purchase price of approximately $4,212,945.06, using a means of identification belonging to another person, without that person’s knowledge or permission. According to the information and plea agreement, between approximately June 2012 and June 2014, Peng and Longen Trading also conspired with others to use the Department of Commerce’s Automated Export System (“AES”) to further these illegal activities, in violation of 13 U.S.C. § 305(a)(2). Under the plea agreement, Mr. Peng has agreed to plead to all three counts of the information, to join the government in recommending that the sentencing court impose a sentence of 27 months’ imprisonment, to pay restitution of $515,964.04 to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and to stipulate to the civil forfeiture of approximately $1.2 million in funds seized from various bank accounts he controlled as well as 29 new luxury vehicles, including new Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and BMW vehicles. In announcing the filing of the information and plea agreement, First Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad stated: “As this case reflects, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Justice are committed to aggressively combatting both identity theft and tax evasion. We are also committed to taking the profit out of crime and to obtaining just financial outcomes in our criminal cases through the judicious use of both asset forfeiture and restitution remedies.” Haanstad commended the investigative work that the United States Secret Service and United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security, Office of Export Enforcement conducted in this matter, along with the investigative assistance provided by the following state and local law enforcement agencies: the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Investigations, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Oneida Police Department, the Menomonee Police Department, the Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department, the Kenosha Police Department, the Wauwatosa Police Department, the Waukesha Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Green Bay Police Department, the Milwaukee Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, and the Native American Drug and Gun Initiative Task Force. “The quality and overall success of this investigation is a direct reflection of the contributing agencies’ efforts, resources, and teamwork,” stated a spokesperson for the United States Secret Service’s Milwaukee Office. “OEE will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt criminal export activity,” stated David R. Nardella, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Chicago Field Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott Campbell. An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

http://www.justice.gov/usao-edwi/pr/defendants-charged-conspiracy-engage-wire-fraud-identity-theft-and-misuse-automated

EAR99 and 5D992 Software Exceptions with Respect to the Crimea Region of Ukraine

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL Executive Order 13685 of December 19, 2014 Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to the Crimea Region of Ukraine GENERAL LICENSE NO. 9 Exportation of Certain Services and Software Incident to Internet-Based Communications Authorized (a) Except as provided m paragraph (d) of this general license, the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine of services incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet, such as instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, and blogging, is authorized, provided that such services are widely available to the public at no cost to the user. (b) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this general license, the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in the Crimea region of Ukfaine of software necessary to enable the services described in paragraph (a) of this general license is authorized, provided that such software is designated EAR99 under the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730 through 774 (the “EAR”), or is classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) as mass market software under export control classification number (ECCN) 5D992 of the EAR, and provided further that such software is widely available to the public at no cost to the user. (c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this general license, the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine of software that is not subject to the EAR because it is of foreign origin and is located outside the United States that is necessary to enable the services described in paragraph (a) of this general license is authorized, provided that such software would be designated EAR99 if it were located in the United States or would meet the criteria for classification under ECCN 5D992 of the EAR if it were subject to the EAR, and provided further that such software is widely available to the public at no cost to the user. (d) This general license does not authorize: (1) The exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of services or software with knowledge or reason to know that such services or software are intended for any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13660 of March 6, 2014, Executive Order 13661 of March 17, 2014, Executive Order 13662 of March 20, 2014, or Executive Order 13685 of December 19, 2014; (2) The exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of any goods or technology listed on the Commerce Control List in the EAR, 15 CFR part 774, supplement No. 1 (CCL), except for software necessary to enable the services described in paragraph (a) of this general license that is classified by Commerce as mass market software under ECCN 5D992 of the EAR; (3) The exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of commercial-grade Internet comiectivity services or telecommunications transmission facilities (such as dedicated satellite links or dedicated lines that include quality of service guarantees); or (4) The exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of web-hosting services that are for commercial endeavors or of domain name registration services. (e) Specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis for the exportation or reexportation of services or software incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet not specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this general license, and for the exportation or reexportation of hardware incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet. Note to General License 9: Nothing in this general license or in any license issued pursuant to paragraph (e) of this general license relieves the exporter from compliance with the export license application requirements of another Federal agency. John E. Smith Acting Director Office of Foreign Assets Control Dated: May 22, 2015

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/ukraine_gl_9.pdf

BIS ADDS AL NASER AIRLINES TO MAHAN AIR TEMPORARY DENIAL ORDER

Thursday, May 21, 2015

BIS ADDS AL NASER AIRLINES TO MAHAN AIR TEMPORARY DENIAL ORDER

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today issued an order denying the export privileges of Al Naser Airlines, Bahar Safwa General Trading, and Ali Abdullah Alhay for ongoing efforts to illegally export civilian aircraft to Iran in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

Also today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines, Syrian businessman Issam Shammout, and his UAE-based Sky Blue Bird Aviation pursuant to Executive Order 13224, a counter-terrorism authority. These entities and this individual were sanctioned for providing support to Iran’s Mahan Air, which was designated in October 2011 pursuant to E.O. 13224 for providing financial, material and technological support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

The BIS order adds the parties to an existing Temporary Denial Order (TDO) against Mahan Air of Iran. TDOs are issued by the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement denying the export privileges of a company or individual to prevent an imminent or on-going export control violation. These orders are issued for a renewable 180-day period and cut off not only the right to export from the United States, but also the right to receive or participate in exports and reexports from the United States or in other transactions that are subject to the EAR..

According to the TDO, Al Naser Airlines, based in Iraq, sought to acquire, for Mahan Air, at least two Airbus aircraft that were located in the United States. Ali Abdullah Alhay, a twenty-five percent owner of Al Naser Airlines who was acting on its behalf, signed a Letter of Intent for the aircraft as well as subsequent Sales Agreements. Payments were wired from the account of Bahar Safwa General Trading of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, an entity suspected of acting as a front company for Mahan.

Agents from the BIS Office of Export Enforcement detained the two aircraft prior to their export from the United States. Recent press reports indicate that Al Naser Airlines continues its efforts to procure commercial aircraft for Mahan Air.

Mahan Air has been subject to a Temporary Denial Order since 2008 that has been successively renewed, most recently in January 2015 for its on-going procurement efforts and attempts to evade U.S. export law. Additionally, in October 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury named Mahan Air as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for providing financial, material and technological support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.

BIS controls exports and re-exports of commodities, technology, and software to support national security and foreign policy, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and missile non-proliferation, human rights, regional stability, and curbing terrorism. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations. For more information, please visit www.bis.doc.gov.

http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/172-about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/press-releases-2015/868-bis-adds-al-naser-airlines-to-mahan-air-temporary-denial-order

 

All Service Ports within CBP can now process entries via ACE Cargo Release

SERVICE PORT OF MILWAUKEE BULLETIN NOTICE:

 

To: Customhouse Brokers, Importers, and Others Concerned

The purpose of this Bulletin Notice is to let the trade know that all Service Ports within CBP can now process entries via ACE Cargo Release. Attached to this Notice is the newly published ACE Cargo Release Business Transition Process-Draft. Copied from this draft is the purpose of the publication immediately below:

“The purpose of this document is to outline Cargo Release processing in the Automated Commercial
Environment (ACE) and provide a comparison to the processing CBP has performed for many years. This is not a technical document designed to allow for software development. That can be found in the ACE CATAIR found online at http://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/cargo-release-ace-catair-chapter. Where appropriate, changes from current processes and policy are highlighted in this document. To allow for the November 1, 2015 deadline for transition to the ACE Cargo Release system, each chapter of this document is divided into three sections:
• Current process – this section identifies existing processes utilizing ACS and/or paper forms. In cases of entry summary processing, it also defines current ACE Entry Summary processes.
• Transition process – This describes the steps needed to transition to a fully automated environment from a paper dependent one and includes some interim processes for continuation of submission of paper form and legacy processes for both CBP and Partner Government Agencies (PGA).
• To-Be process – this describes the end state processing in a fully automated environment.
Additionally, this document is divided into CBP processes only and PGA processes. The PGA processes
are divided into chapters with general system processing information for PGAs followed by specific
chapters for each PGA with information on their participation and expectations form by form (or process).”

The Service Port of Milwaukee has three ACE Ambassadors to assist you in this transition. They are as follows:

CBPO Toni Mussa for questions relating to Entry/Cargo Release 414-486-7790 ext. 134
Entry Specialist Sarah Falvey for question relating to Entry Summary 414-486-7790 ext. 139
Supervisory Entry Officer Gerard Lefever 414-486-7790 ext. 129.
/Signed/
Gerard Lefever
for William E. Braun
Service Port Director
Port of Milwaukee

China says U.S. welcome to use civilian facilities in South China Sea

The United States and other countries will be welcome to use civilian facilities China is building in the South China Sea for search and rescue and weather forecasting “when conditions are right”, China’s navy chief has told a senior U.S. officer.

China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Recent satellite images show China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in the disputed Spratly Islands and may be planning another.

Those moves, along with other reclamations, have caused alarm around the region and in Washington too, with the issue dominating a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this week, to China’s displeasure.

In a teleconference with the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert, China’s navy chief Wu Shengli said China’s building work in the South China Sea would not affect freedom of navigation or overflight.

“Instead, it will improve the ability in these seas of public services like weather forecasting and maritime search and rescue, fulfilling international obligations to maintain the security of international seas,” Wu said, according to a Chinese Defence Ministry statement released late on Thursday.

“(We) welcome international organizations, the United States and relevant countries to use these facilities in the future when conditions are right, to have cooperation on humanitarian search and rescue and disaster relief,” Wu added.

The statement cited Greenert as saying he hoped China could explain to countries in the region in a timely manner the aim of the building work. It would also be good for maintaining stability and freedom of navigation if other countries could use such facilities for joint humanitarian operations, he said.

Disputes over how to tackle an increasingly assertive stance by China – an ally of several Southeast Asian states – in the strategic South China Sea make the issue the region’s biggest potential military flashpoint.

China this week accused Vietnam, the Philippines and others of carrying out their own illegal building work.

While the militaries of China and the United States have worked hard to improve communication and cooperation, there is still deep mistrust. In 2013, a U.S. guided missile cruiser narrowly avoided a collision with a Chinese warship in the South China Sea.

Wu said U.S. surveillance operations were “totally out of step” with efforts to improve their military relations.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/01/us-china-usa-southchinasea-idUSKBN0NM31620150501

Xi eyes China-Australia FTA this year

BEIJING, March 30 — China is looking forward to a China-Australia free trade agreement being signed this year, President Xi Jinping said when meeting with Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove on Monday.

“The two sides should work to sign and approve the free trade agreement this year and implement it as soon as possible, as it can act as a new accelerator for economic cooperation,” Xi told Cosgrove, who is making his first state visit to China.

http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0331/c90883-8871379.html

Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and PayPal, Inc.; OFAC has also Released Additional Enforcement Information

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $7,658,300 settlement with PayPal, Inc. (PayPal) to settle potential civil liability for 486 apparent violations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 544; the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560; the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515; the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 594; and the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 538.  For several years up to and including 2013, PayPal failed to employ adequate screening technology and procedures to identify the potential involvement of U.S. sanctions targets in transactions that PayPal processed.  As a result of this failure, PayPal did not screen in-process transactions in order to reject or block prohibited transactions pursuant to applicable U.S. economic sanctions program requirements.  Separately, between October 20, 2009 and April 1, 2013, PayPal processed 136 transactions totaling $7,091.77 to or from a PayPal account registered to an individual on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.  PayPal’s automated interdiction filter did not initially identify the account holder as a potential match to the SDN List, and when it did, PayPal Risk Operations Agents dismissed alerts on six separate occasions after failing to obtain or review documentation corroborating the identity of the SDN.

Paypal agrees within 15 days of the date Pay Pal receives the unsigned copy of this Agreement to pay to the U.S. Department of the Treasury the amount of$7,658,300.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20150325_33.aspx

China reviews anti-dumping measures on imported PVC

BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) announced it will begin a review of the nation’s imported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) policies as anti-dumping measures are due for renewal.

The review comes at the request of domestic PVC companies and seeks to evaluate whether dumping or damages to the domestic industry will recur if the anti-dumping measures were terminated against PVC imports from the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia as well as China’s Taiwan, the MOC said in a statement Monday.

The review will begin on Sept 29 and end before Sept 28, 2015.

A five-year anti-dumping tax on the PVC imports started on Sept 29, 2003. In 2008, the MOC decided to renew the anti-dumping measures for another five years after a sunset review.
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2014-09/30/content_18685918.htm