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Even where a product appears to be EAR99 based on a self-classification, there still may be benefit to obtaining a formal CCATS from BIS. First, this could avoid questions from US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), which enforces US export control laws at the border and which might question whether the products are described in an ECCN on the CCL. Second, it could be helpful to have a CCATS on hand to provide to other parties involved in the transaction that may want assurances that the export is in compliance with US export control laws, such as banks, intermediaries, and customers.
As in the export context, all parties to an import transaction should be screened against the US restricted parties lists.
All of the parties involved in a proposed transaction should be screened against the US restricted parties lists on a transaction-specific basis (such as prior to order acceptance/shipping). Some of the main US restricted parties lists include OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List, and BIS’ Entity List and Denied Persons List. Depending on which list applies, the involvement of a restricted party could result in the transaction being prohibited or restricted. Also, entities that are 50% or more owned by certain kinds of restricted parties may themselves be restricted, even if not named on a list. Screening should include not only direct counterparties like customers and vendors but also banks, intermediaries, known end-users, etc. Restricted parties can be located anywhere in the world.
What should you know about US export controls and economic sanctions?
If the products otherwise comply with US law, there is nothing under US customs laws that would prohibit importing them into the United States. In particular, CBP has confirmed publicly that hemp seeds can be imported into the United States. As with any other types of products, anything imported into the United States must be “classified” in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Based on the HTSUS code, and the customs value and the country of origin of the good, the appropriate duties, if any, need to be paid. Importers can self-classify the products or submit an administrative ruling request to CBP prior to importation.