* The Republic of Mali – Effective Nov 24, 2019, for purposes of AGOA(African Growth and Opportunity Act), the Republic of Mali is designated a “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country.” HTS Ch. 98 Subchapter XIX, General Note 2(d) is modified by inserting in alphabetical sequence in the list of lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries “Republic of Mali”.
* Thailand. Effective April 25, 2020, GSP eligibility will be revoked for approximately one-third of eligible products from Thailand (valued at about $1.3 billion), including all seafood products, based on that country’s failure to adequately provide internationally-recognized worker rights. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that the list of affected products (see attached) is focused. Additional guidance will be issued close to the date of implementation. https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/gsp/Products_to_be_removed_from_GSP_eligibility_for_Thailand.pdf
* California Truckers – Please be informed of a possible port strike, supported by Independent Owner Operator truckers throughout California, affecting the Ports of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strike is designed to protest the stricter set of requirements contained within California Assembly Bill 5. AB5 is a California law which limits the use of classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees by companies in the state. It will take effect January 1, 2020. We do not know the scope or depth of the strike, we are advising in case there are terminal delays next week.
Additional information about Customs Brokerage, Freight Forwarding, and related services may be obtained by contacting your Western Overseas representative.