Fashion Intel & Analysis

This week U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released the Textile Enforcement Statistics for the first quarter of FY 2020 (October - December 2019).  This data reports on the various CBP enforcement activities related to textile and apparel products.   

During this time period, the number of non-IPR seizures (including smuggling) increased from 164 to 183 but the value of these seizures fell from $5.47M to $2M. The total number of IPR-related seizures increased from 1,330 ($4.75M in value) to 1,441 ($6.9M in value). CBP issued no commercial fraud penalties and 42 cases of liquidated damages for textile shipments. 

The statistics highlight CBP’s findings from the foreign factory visits of Textile Production Verification Teams (TPVTs). During this time period, CBP visited 2 countries, 16 factories, and found 50% discrepant. 

The CBP statistics also include information about cargo examinations and audits. Finally, CBP reports that they collected $1.8M in textile-related Section 301 duties. The textile enforcement statistics can be found here on CBP’s website

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it intercepted 5,000 stuffed toy ducks with unsafe levels of lead. The shipment of stuffed toy ducks, which came from Hong Kong, was inspected by CBP and the toys were sent to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) for testing. It was there that CPSC determined the toys contained "an excessive amount of lead" and were banned from entering the United States. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently launched the United States - Mexico - Canada Center to help coordinate implementation for the United States - Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will enter into force on July 1st and the Center will bring together experts from all three countries.  The "virtual" center will "serve as a central communication hub for CBP and the private sector community, including traders, brokers, freight forwarders and producers, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition from the North American Free Trade Agreement to USMCA."  CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith said the Center is "integral to successful implementation of USMCA, as it will focus on outreach, training, and developing new regulations and procedures while providing consistency and transparency to the trade community."

Barnes & Thornburg LLP is offering a series of webinars on COVID-19 issues to address business considerations during the crisis. The following webinar recordings are available for USFIA members:

Wage and Hour and COVID -19 Danger Zones – A Continuing Series

COVID-19 has increased certain wage and hour and employment law risks. Join the Wage and Hour practice group in its continuing review of compliance pitfalls and challenges. This webinar addresses:

  • Further drill-down on wage and hour risks caused by COVID-19 related business changes and how to try to avoid them
  • How to identify potentially problematic pay practices
  • Wage and hour litigation, particularly related to COVID-19, and potential exposure

Reopening and the COVID-19 Exposure Lawsuits That Are Looming

This webinar covers: 

  • Current landscape with respect to the types of cases and causes of action that have already been filed
  • Analysis/predictions with respect to anticipated risks and defenses
  • Tips for limiting potential liability

In a Federal Register notice, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announces they are initiating the annual eligibility reviews of Sub-Saharan African countries who receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Due to COVID-19 concerns, USTR will not conduct any in-person hearings related to this matter but will accept written submissions until June 24, 2020.