The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, which amended the Shipping Act of 1984, went into effect on May 1, 1999. This shipping act combined non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC) and ocean freight forwarders under one category labeled "ocean transportation intermediary" (OTI). An intermediary is defined as "a person who acts as a link between people in order to try to bring about an agreement."
S232 - Steel & Aluminum Tariffs (Worldwide Application)
S232 tariffs were ruled “constitutional” in March of this year by the Court of
International Trade. With this ruling, the S232 tariffs are expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Since the tariffs went into effect in March of 2018, there have been over 50,000 steel and aluminum exclusion requests made and the Bureau of Industry and Security has approved just over 25,000 through mid-March of this year. Click here to read more about S232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel imports.
On Sunday, May 5, the Administration announced that List 3 of the S301 tariffs, which are currently at 10% on $200 billion of Chinese imports, will be increasing to 25% effective Friday, May 10, 2019. Trade talks continue with China but are not progressing as hoped.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) imposed a draft restriction of 47 feet in mid-March. ACP plans to impose a more severe limit on April 11, 2019. This will directly impact the size and number of TEUs that will be available for loading through the Panama Canal.
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, also known as the TSCA Title VI, was fully implemented as of March 22, 2019 following a nine-year waiting period.
Composite wood products required to be certified as emission compliant by CARB and EPA recognized Third-Party Certified (TPC) starting on May 22, 2017. From May 22, 2017 through March 22, 2019, products regulated by TSCA Title VI had to be labeled as TSCA Title VI or CARB ATCM Phase II compliant.
The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently issued a notice, officially "postponing" the tariff rate increase "until further notice." S301 List 3 tariffs will remain at 10 percent instead of increasing to 25 percent. The delayed increase is due to progress in US and China trade negotiations.
Last week, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan announced that CBP will reassign up to 750 officers from ports of entry along the US-Mexico border. These officers will assist US Border Patrol with processing an increased number of migrant crossings.
Over the weekend, the US Administration announced that it would postpone increasing S301 List 3 tariffs. The United States and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet to reach a final trade agreement.
Over the last several months, there have been a number of key updates to S232 Tariffs and S301 Tariffs Lists 1-3. In addition, the United States and China continue to hold trade talks. Last week in Beijing, key officials from the United States and China outlined a “10-item list of ways China can reduce its trade surplus with the US."