On January 16th, as a result of Iran verifiably meeting its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aka the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. lifted the bulk of its secondary sanctions on Iran, which targeted certain sectors of Iran’s economy, including its financial services; energy and petrochemical; automotive; gold and precious metals; and shipping, shipbuilding and port sectors. It is extremely important to understand that the primary sanctions prohibiting U.S. companies and U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with Iran remain in place. Read More >

U.S. to suspend duty-free benefits on South African agricultural products

Last week, President Obama issued a proclamation to suspend the duty-free treatment afforded to South African agricultural products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), effective March 15, 2016.  The president notified Congress and South African President Jacob Zuma in November of his intention to suspend the benefits due to South Africa’s lack of progress in eliminating barriers affecting U.S. agricultural exports.  The president’s proclamation also modified the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to reflect the suspension once it becomes effective.

Under the AGOA, eligible sub-Saharan African countries are permitted to export certain products to the U.S. duty-free.  Section 104 of the AGOA authorizes the president to designate certain countries as eligible beneficiary countries, and to terminate the designations of countries not making continual progress toward, among other things, eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment. 

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What Exporters can Learn from Hetran…Just Say No!

When it comes to export violations, it’s best to just say no.  FIMCO, an Iranian corporation, was recently sentenced and ordered to pay a criminal fine, in addition to a civil penalty assessed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), for conspiring to export to Iran a bar peeling machine and related parts (used to produce high-grade steel for automobile and aircraft parts) without the required authorization.  Hetran, a Pennsylvania-based company, and its President, Helmut Oertmann, also participated in the conspiracy and were jointly levied an $837,500 penalty by BIS in December 2014.

According to BIS, between June 2009 and July 2012, FIMCO and Hetran, along with other co-conspirators, developed a scheme to export the commodities, which were designated as EAR99, from Pennsylvania to Iran.  Oertmann directed Hetran to manufacture the machine and accepted partial payment ($337,500) from FIMCO.  Once the machine was manufactured, the plan was for Hetran to ship it to FIMCO in Iran via the UAE, falsely indicating on the shipping documents that the UAE was the ultimate destination of the items. 

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The following events related to international trade may be of interest to you:

Joiner Law Firm
Deleon Trade LLC

For an advanced trade compliance conference and networking event in Houston, Texas, February 3-5, 2016.

Jamie Joiner and Darrell Spires (Joiner Trade Solutions) will present on Export Licensing Strategies and provide best practices for submitting export license applications to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Joiner Law Firm attorneys will also present on Classifications and will provide in-depth, advanced-level strategies to help you navigate through the dynamic and ever-evolving U.S. Munitions List and Commerce Control List (CCL).

Other conference speakers will discuss customs-related topics, such as U.S. customs audits, anti-dumping and countervailing duties, and customs valuation.

Please click here to view the agenda.

Space is limited.

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