INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Exports

Brazil:

The Tax Department issued clarification that sales made by companies to exporting firms are subject to eleven percent (11%) Social Security Tax (31 ITR 1588; 9/4/2014).

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Foreign Investments

U.S.:

A bill was introduced to require the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to consider the net benefit of any transaction between a foreign and the U.S. company (31 ITR 1709; 9/25/2014).

Trade

U.S.: 

S. 2828 (Ukraine Freedom Support Act) was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to impose sanctions on the Russian energy companies (31 ITR 1711; 9/25/2014).

Intellectual Property

U.S.:       

H.R. 5233 is a bill to create a federal private right-of-action for trade secret misappropriation and was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee (31 ITR 1712; 9/25/2014).

Export

U.S.:   

Companies and shippers will no longer have to file electronic export information in the Automated Export System (AES) for temporary exports (79 Fed. Reg. 54,588); (31 ITR 1653; 9/18/2014). 

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Export Finance

U.S.:   

A civil fraud lawsuit against a Turkish business agent is being pursued for alleged participation to fraudulently obtain a loan guarantied by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (U.S. v. Besneli, SDNY, 1:14-CV-07339-JFK, 9/10/14); (31 ITR 1716; 9/25/2014).

Customs

U.S.:       

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found a corporate officer of an importer of record (IOR) personally liable for gross negligence penalties where the importer understated the value of the goods (U.S. v. Trek Leather, Inc., 2014 BL 256080, Fed. Cir., No. 2011-1527, 9/16/14); 31 ITR 1662; 9/18/2014).

Wave boards were properly classified as "sports equipment" for customs purposes according to the Court of International Trade (CIT) (Streetsurfing LLC v. U.S., Ct. Int'l Trade, No. 09-00136 (Slip Op. 14-110), 9/22/2014) (31 ITR 1718; 9/25/2014).

The CIT granted the request of an importer found liable for penalties for negligently misclassifying imports of workloads to be an appropriate matter for mediation notwithstanding the objections of the U.S. Government seeking $50,000.00 in penalties and unpaid duties (31 ITR 1618; 9/11/2014).

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed a suit brought by Custom Fraud Investigations, LLC (CFI) on behalf of the U.S. Government because it failed to plead sufficient facts to support its claim that a manufacturer (Victaulic Co.) failed to properly mark its pipe fittings and knowingly avoided its obligations to pay marking duties (31 ITR 1620; 9/11/2014). 

Dumping

U.S.:       

Five (5) defendants admitted they conspired to sneak aluminum extrusions into the U.S. with the intent of skirting anti-dumping and countervailing duties according to the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) and were indicted by a grand jury to be sentenced in December, 2014 (31 ITR 1555; 9/4/2014).

Government Procurement

U.S.:   

Samsung Electronics agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle allegations it misrepresented the origin of Chinese-made electronic components to resellers contracting with the U.S. Government stemming from a former Samsung employee whistleblower asserting the claim under the False Claims Act (U.S. ex rel. Simmons v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., D. Md., No. AW-11-2971; 8/19/2014); (31 ITR 1556; 9/4/2014).

EXPORTS AND SANCTIONS

Export Controls

U.S.:   

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Revised Guidance on Entities owned by Persons Whose Property and Interest in Property Are Blocked" (the "50 Percent Rule") issuing guidance through four policies that are further explained in the FAQs #398-402 on its website (http://www.treasury.gov) (34 Worldecr.com) (9/14) (p. 13).

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

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