On June 8, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. No. 17-04] that amends the CBP regulations to reflect section 910 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) by removing the “consumptive demand” clause from the regulations (19 C.F.R. 12.42-12.45) concerning the prohibition on the importation of merchandise produced by convict, forced, or indentured labor (19 U.S.C. 1307). It also updates the regulations to reflect the correct name of the agency and includes a minor procedural change with regard to the filing of proof of admissibility.

In addition to the above, the final rule makes non-substantive amendments to correct a spelling error, replace outdated references to “Customs” with “CBP”, and make a minor procedural change involving the addition of a person (i.e., the Port Director) to whom an importer may submit proof of admissibility when contending that an article was not mined, produced, or manufactured in any part with the use of a prohibited class of labor. The current regulation (19 C.F.R. 12.43(b)) provides that the importer shall submit this information to the Commissioner. To provide more flexibility, and for consistency with 19 C.F.R. 12.42(b), CBP is amending this provision to allow for the proof of admissibility to be submitted to the Commissioner of CBP or to the Port Director.

CBP finds that good cause exists for dispensing with prior notice and public comment as unnecessary because the conforming amendment and technical corrections set forth in the document are required to ensure that 19 C.F.R. reflects both the recent amendments to the underlying statutory authority effected by section 910 of TFTEA and the most up-to-date terminology and because it involves rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice (adding the Port Director).

CBP also finds that good cause exists for dispensing with the requirement for a delayed effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so it is effective on publication.