Impacting hi-tech manufacturers outside of China, this new control list calls for tighter regulatory oversight of firms that use encryption technology within their products. Encryption technology is used to protect information within many military, government and civilian systems, such as computers, networks, mobile telephones, wireless microphones, wireless intercom systems, Bluetooth devices, and bank automatic teller machines. The Beijing-based State Encryption Management Commission intends to release the list in 2009. All foreign-based firms importing CEPs into China will need to create detailed processes and procedures for China CEP license management.
New Import Challenges — The Amended Lacey Act
The United States is now the first country in the world to prohibit the import, export, sale or trade in illegally harvested wood and wood products. An amendment to the 108-year old Lacey Act will require detailed reporting (scientific name, quantity, value and country) of any plant matter incorporated into an imported product brought into the United States.
This law broadly covers plants used in processing, no matter how miniscule the amount and no matter how far removed from the harvesting of the plant. The amendment could have significant consequences for U.S. importers who will be subject to new data reporting requirements. The specific scope of what items are covered under the amendment is still being defined, with Congress acting to reduce the burden on trade. For example, plant matter used in the creation of shipping labels and manuals may not have to be reported. The first phase of enforcement is expected to begin in April 2009.
Violations of the Lacey Act provisions are expected to be prosecuted through either civil or criminal enforcement actions.
A Global Eye Toward Consumer Product Safety
In August, the United States signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), presenting certain manufacturers and importers with a new set of regulations to manage. Considered to be the most sweeping consumer product safety law enacted in decades, the new law is expected to usher in similar regulation around the world to addresses safety standards and requirements for children's products, such as mandatory testing, the reduction in the use of lead paint, and more visible cautionary statements related to choking hazards.
In November, representatives from China, the European Union and the United States met in Brussels for the first high-level trilateral summit on product safety to discuss key developments and further joint activities to improve cooperation and the exchange of information relating to consumer product safety. Upon import, products must be accompanied by certification that they comply with all applicable consumer product safety rules and similar rules, bans, standards and regulations under any other laws administered by the importing nation.
About the Author: As the Global Product Executive for the Logistics product suite with the Global Trade Services group at J.P. Morgan, Bernie Hart leads a business of 650+ employees that delivers end-to-end global risk management and operational solutions. www.jpmorgan.com/trade