Announcements

Announcements

Next CITBA International Trade Committee Conference Call - November 18

On November 18, CITBA’s international trade committee will have a conference call to discuss the committee’s upcoming events and other work.  Any CITBA member that wishes to join the committee is invited to participate in the call. 

 

The international trade committee organizes events for the trade community with members of the bar, officials from the agencies, and judges from the courts.  The committee also works to keep CITBA members informed about developments in the field of international trade. 

 

Please join us to help plan the committee’s activities, get to know more members of the trade bar, and enjoy more opportunities to interact with the agencies and the courts!

 

The call will be on November 18, 2014, from 12 noon to 1 PM EDT.  The call is being hosted by the international trade committee’s co-chairs, Alice Kipel and Elizabeth J. Drake.  Please contact Elizabeth at edrake@stewartlaw.com if you wish to participate.

 

 


Andrew P. Vance Memorial Writing Competition

CITBA and Brooklyn Law School (BLS) sponsor this annual Writing Competition to encourage law students who are interested in careers in customs and international trade law. The competition honors the memory of Andrew Vance, past president of CITBA and a distinguished practitioner and public servant.  Entrants must be currently enrolled in a JD or LLM program at any of the nation's law schools. Additional information and instructions for participation in this competition is forth in the PDF below.

 

The deadline for submissions is May 24, 2013. 

 

Click here to view winners since 1999.

 

 

Open Vance FlyerVance Flyer

USCIT Proposed Rules

 
The U.S. Court of International Trade is proposing some rules changes that may be significant to your practice.  The proposed amendments pertain to USCIT Rules 3, 5, 56, 56.2, 65, 73.2, 75, 81; USCIT Forms 5, 11, 14 (new) and 18A (new); USCIT Specific Instructions for Forms 11, 14 (new) and 18A (new); Administrative Order 02-01; and Appendix on Access to Business Proprietary Information Pursuant to Rule 73.2(c). The proposed amendments also pertain to new Standard Chambers Procedures, including new Forms SCP 1, SCP 2, SCP 3 and SCP 4.
 
Some of the areas addressed in the proposed rules include:  elimination of page limits for certain documents, electronic filing for confidential briefs, a new case scheduling form, notice of appearance requirements, and form requirements when a case if final. 
 
Comments must be submitted in writing by the close of business on November 2, 2012.
 
Further details regarding the proposed rules changes can be found here
 

U.S. Court of International Trade Survey

The Court of International Trade’s Advisory Committee on Rules is undertaking a study of discovery practices in cases brought before the Court to review a denied protest under 28 U.S.C. § 1581(a).  To provide quantitative data in support of that review, CITBA is hosting a survey designed for lawyers who practice before the CIT and have experience in 1581(a) cases.  If you have experience in 1581(a) cases, please click here to complete the survey.  The survey will stay open until October 1, 2012.
 
Please take the survey only once. Thank you.
 

Guidance on Best Practices for Preventing Unlawful Diversion of Dual-Use Items Subject to the Export Administration Regulations

On August 31, 2011, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued guidance entitled "2011 Best Practices for Preventing Unlawful Diversion of U.S. Dual-Use Items Subject to the Export Administration Regulations, Particularly through Transshipment Trade." 

 

A press release regarding this guidance, including a summary, can be obtained here.

 


Thomson Reuters Survey Request Of CITBA Members

Thomson Reuters is developing an international trade current awareness and news publication.  It is conducting a survey of CITBA members to achieve the following objectives:

 

-  Increase understanding of what current awareness and news CITBA members currently receive;

-  Find out how CITBA members receive their international trade current awareness and news information; and

-  Discover the international trade current awareness and news needs of CITBA members.

 

If you would like to participate in the survey, please click here

 


President Obama Nominates Judge Evan Jonathan Wallach to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

 

The White House announcement of the nomination can be viewed here.

 


Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Proposed Foreign Trade Zone Regulations

In the first meaningful update in some time, the Foreign Trade Zones Board proposes a "major" revision to its regulations.  The revisions involve changes related to manufacturing and value-added activity, as well as new rules designed to address compliance with the requirement for a grantee to provide uniform treatment for the users of a zone.  Comments on the proposed rules must be received by April 8, 2011.  Details on the proposed rules and comment/filing requirements are detailed in the attachment below.

 

In addition, the Foreign Trade Zones Board is holding open forums on February 7 and 9, 2011 in Washington, DC to discuss the proposed regulations.  Details on the open forums can be found at:  http://ia.ita.doc.gov/ftzpage/letters/freeforums.html.

Open FTZ Proposed RegulationsFTZ Proposed Regulations

Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Proposed State Regulation Regarding the Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category VII

As part of the President’s Export Control Reform effort, the U.S. Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category VII of the U.S. Munitions List (tanks and military vehicles).  The proposed rule would revise Category VII to describe more precisely the defense articles described therein.  Comments on the proposed regulation must be submitted by February 8, 2011.  Details on the proposed regulation are in the attachment below.

Open 2010 December USML Proposed Regulation2010 December USML Proposed Regulation

Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Proposed State Regulation Regarding Revisions to the U.S. Munitions List

As part of the President’s export control reform initiative, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) at the U.S. Department of State seeks public comment on revisions to the United States Munitions List (USML) that would make it a “positive list” of controlled defense articles, requests that the public “tier” defense articles based on the Administration’s three-tier control criteria, and identify those current defense articles that the public believes do not fall within the scope of any of the criteria’s tiers.  A “positive list” is a list that describes controlled items using objective criteria rather than broad, open-ended, subjective, or design intent-based criteria. 

 

DDTC is not seeking with this advance notice of proposed rulemaking input on whether particular defense articles should or should not be controlled on the USML or whether any defense articles should be controlled differently.  Rather, it is only seeking input on how the USML can be revised so that it clearly describes what is subject to the jurisdiction of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), how defense articles are identified by tier, and what current defense articles do not fall within the scope of any of the tiers.  Guidelines for revision of the USML toward this end are provided in the proposed regulation.  Comments on the proposed regulation must be received by February 8, 2011.  Details on the poposed regulation are in the attachment below.


Open 2010 December USML Proposed Regulation2010 December USML Proposed Regulation

Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Proposed BIS Regulations Regarding the Revision of Descriptions of Items and Foreign Availability

As part of the President’s export control reform initiative, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public comments on how the descriptions of items controlled on the Commerce Control List (CCL) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) could be more clear and positive and ‘‘tiered’’ in a manner consistent with the control criteria the Administration has developed as part of the reform effort.  The request for comments on how items on the CCL could be tiered includes a request for comments on the degree to which a controlled item provides the United States with a critical, substantial, or significant military or intelligence advantage; and the availability of the item outside certain groups of countries.  Comments on the proposed rules must be received by February 7, 2011.  Details on the proposed regulations are in the attachment below.

Open 2010 December CCL Proposed Regulation2010 December CCL Proposed Regulation

Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Proposed BIS Regulation Regarding the Strategic Trade Authorization License Exception

This proposed rule would add a new license exception to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The exception would allow exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) of specified items to destinations that pose little risk of unauthorized use of those items.  To provide assurance against diversion to unauthorized destinations, transactions under this license exception would be subject to notification, destination control statement and consignee statement requirements. This proposed rule is part of the Administration’s Export Control Reform Initiative undertaken as a result of the fundamental review of the U.S. export control system announced by the President in August 2009.  Comments on the proposed regulation must be received by February 7, 2011.  Details on the proposed regulation are in the attachment below.


Open 2010 December License Exception Proposed Regulation2010 December License Exception Proposed Regulation

Opportunity for CITBA Members to Comment on Possible CIT Procedural Change

Court Rule 73 - Filing of Official  Documents - provides the basis for the Clerk to request “from the appropriate customs officer” documents relating to an action commenced in the Court.  The Clerk’s office has reported that soon it may be hard pressed to find storage space in the Court for such documents. 

 

The Advisory Committee to the Court has been requested to determine if there are ways to reduce the impending space squeeze.  One of the ideas put forth by the Clerk’s office is to change the operative date when the documents are sent by CBP to the Court from the date the summons is filed to some later date, for example the date of the complaint.

Members of the Advisory Committee have voiced their opinions about this change and the problems it may create.  We seek to afford CITBA members, and others who may learn of this proposal, the opportunity to comment as well.  If interested, please respond via email to
msor888@rode-qualey.com.

CITBA Comments Regarding The Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking On Courtesy Notices Of Liquidation

 
On May 17, 2010, CITBA submitted comments on the proposal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to discontinue mailing paper courtesy notices of liquidation to U.S. importers of record whose entry summaries are filed using the Automated Broker Interface (ABI).  The comments are in response to a March 16, 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
 
A copy of the comments is attached below.
Open May 17 CommentsMay 17 Comments

Andrew P. Vance Memorial Writing Competition

CITBA and Brooklyn Law School (BLS) sponsor this annual Writing Competition to encourage law students who are interested in careers in customs and international trade law. The competition honors the memory of Andrew Vance, past president of CITBA and a distinguished practitioner and public servant.  Entrants must be currently enrolled in a JD or LLM program at any of the nation's law schools. Additional information and instructions for participation in this competition is forth in this link (you will need a program that reads .pdf files such as Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Click here to view winners since 1999.


Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Cases in the CIT

The U.S. Court of International Trade hears cases involving TAA.  To learn about TAA, click on this link to read an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (You must have an Adobe Acrobat program to view this link) of a course first presented at “What You Need to Know About Trade Adjustment Assistance Cases – From All Sides” sponsored by the U.S. Court of International Trade, the American Bar Association, and the Customs and International Trade Bar Association, in April, 2005.

Additional and more detail information can be obtained at the TAA Coalition web site, which includes a "Primer on TAA petition process," among other informative materials.


Message Concerning Electronic Filing in the USCIT

We have received comments and concerns about Metadata, and what the risks are in publishing and sharing electronic documents. The following is an overview of Metadata, and some of the issues that have been brought to our attention. If you have any questions about Metadata, we encourage you to speak with your IT staff.

Ruby Krajick
Systems Manager
U.S. Court of International Trade
1 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278

The Metadata Problem

Briefly, Metadata is simply data that describes other data. Specifically, Metadata is information that remains in an electronic document, such as the document's author(s), recipients, file properties, and especially troubling in some situations, the history of all prior revisions. It exists because of intentional design features in current computer software. If not monitored properly, Metadata can disclose information about the document that was not intended to be transmitted or shared. Although Metadata is most commonly found in documents created in Microsoft Word (and Microsoft's Excel and PowerPoint), similar problems can exist with WordPerfect documents and even PDF files.

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the only format used by the Court's CM/ECF System. The Clerk's Office is recommending creating PDF files natively (without scanning), which produces a smaller file and a crisper image of the document. We believe strongly that the native PDF documents are the better choice for filing papers with the Court.

In the past, there has been a perception that PDF documents were secure and could not be edited. This conclusion arose for two reasons. First, a PDF file was traditionally regarded as a "picture" of a document and therefore impenetrable. Second, in the past, many computer users had only the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which basically permitted a user to read a PDF file. Only limited edits are possible using Acrobat Reader, primarily to documents set up as forms.

In recent years, many lawyers (as well as the entire Judiciary) have upgraded from the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to the full version of Adobe Acrobat. The newer versions of the full Acrobat program are designed to make it easier for users to work collaboratively on PDF documents. The recipient of a PDF document, who has a newer Acrobat program, can edit the text of the document much as if it were a Word or WordPerfect file. The recipient also can comment on the document and send the comments back to the author. The author then can decide which suggestions to accept and export those comments into the document. The full version of Adobe Acrobat also has tools that make it easy to redact portions of the text of a PDF file by "blacking out" provisions of the document. 

The Risks
PDF documents are not necessarily secure if you leave Metadata behind in the document for others to view.

The ability to edit and work collaboratively on PDF documents can therefore reveal the document’s information to recipients with Adobe Acrobat. One of the settings in some versions of the full version of Acrobat, when checked, attaches the Word source file to the Adobe PDF document. If the Word file contains Metadata, that information will go along with the PDF file. Another setting allows someone working on the PDF file to "hide" comments made to the PDF. In either of these instances, a recipient of the PDF file with the full version of Acrobat may be able to view hidden information. The point is that if you use the full Acrobat program to create, edit or send PDF files, it is important to understand the PDF settings and to check periodically which settings are activated.

While the normal method used to prohibit unrestricted access to Metadata is to change the security settings so that the PDF document cannot be printed or edited without a password, the CM/ECF System will not accept any document with password encryption enabled.

Suggestions
Regardless of the application used, it is important to understand your application settings, and to check periodically that you are creating published documents that are free of any Metadata. Users redacting text in a PDF document should not use Acrobat tools to "black out" portions of a document when their intent is that the recipients not see the redacted information. Recipients with the full version of Acrobat are able to remove the "black out" and view the redacted text.

The bottom line on this is that everyone needs to understand how properly to create, edit, and distribute electronic documents, the Metadata risks involved, the procedures for eliminating unwanted Metadata, and the steps to secure electronic documents. If you use the full version of Adobe Acrobat, please familiarize yourself with how to create a PDF file that is free of Metadata. You also should understand the features of the programs you use, their conversion and security settings and check periodically which ones are activated. We urge you to discuss this subject with your organization's Information Services staff.