U.S. APHIS’ BRS Annual Stakeholder Meeting – November 7

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) will hold its annual stakeholder meeting on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at the USDA Center in Riverdale, MD. This meeting can be attended in-person or virtually. To ensure BRS identifies the full range of interests, BRS is seeking input on topics to be discussed at the meeting. Please submit comments or suggestions on potential topics of interest by October 9, 2018, to

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! Highlights include presentations from grain trade experts at the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) regional workshop on ePhytos for Latin America and the Caribbean, an update on government involvement on the IPPC’s ePhyto Hub, and preparations for the COP-MOP 9 meeting in Egypt later this year.

Read the full newsletter here.


Ryan is back from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) fifth meeting of the Sub-committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) meetings. The CCC deals with the carriage of packaged dangerous goods, solid bulk cargoes, bulk gas cargoes, and containers. Ryan participated in the IMO CCC 5 as a member of the International Dry Bulk Terminal Association delegation (IBTA) and closely monitored the international efforts related to the regulation of the bulk grain trade. NAEGA priorities at CCC5 included efforts to modify the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) schedules for seed cakes, monitoring if initiatives to revise classifications and  efforts to update IMSBC to incorporate MARPOL Annex V provisions.

A trip report for this mission will be available in the coming weeks.

Korea Temporary MRL List

South Korea recently released a list of temporary maximum residue limits (MRLs) that will be effective before the end of this year and maintained through the end of 2021. Please review the list of temporary MRLs and send feedback on critical missing MRLs to,, and by September 28, 2018. The final list of temporary MRLs, including import tolerances, is scheduled to be released by mid-October.

Licensing of U.S. Agricultural Shipments to Cuba

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is requesting public comments on the effectiveness of its licensing procedures for exports of agricultural commodities to Cuba. BIS will include a description of these comments in the biennial report it is required to submit to Congress under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.

In particular, BIS is seeking comments on the following areas:

  1. The number and types of licenses applied for and approved.
  2. The average amount of time from the date of filing an application until the date of its approval.
  3. The extent to which the licensing procedures were effectively implemented.

For more information, see the Federal Register notice. Comments are due by October 17, 2018.

Trump Imposes $200 Billion in Tariffs on China; China Retaliates

On Monday, September 17 President Trump announced the imposition of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China. These tariffs come on top of the $50 billion worth already imposed earlier this year, meaning nearly half of all Chinese imports into the United States will soon face levies. The tariffs will go into effect on September 24 and will remain at 10 percent until the end of the year. If China does not make adequate concessions, the new tariffs will then increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a list of the wide range of products that will be affected.

Later on September 17, China retaliated with tariffs of 5 to 10 percent on $60 billion of imports from the United States. China’s retaliatory tariffs, on items ranging from meat to wheat to aircraft, are also set to take effect on September 24.

U.S. FDA Announces new Export Certification Program

On August 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its new export certification program for certain FDA-regulated products such as grains, processed foods, food additives, color additives, food contact substances, and infant formula. The FDA may charge up to $175 for each certification.

The FDA anticipates that this new export certification will facilitate trade by assisting U.S. food exporters in fulfilling importing country requirements for FDA certification of FDA-regulated food products. Exporters should note that the FDA’s export certification program for foods is intended to be complementary to export certification for foods currently issued by other U.S. government agencies. As the FDA launches this new export certification program for foods, the arrangements currently in place for certain food commodities with other U.S. government agencies will remain the same.

The FDA will begin issuing and collecting fees for the new export certifications on October 1, 2018. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.

USDA Releases Methodology Behind Trade Mitigation Programs

On September 13, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the methodology used in calculating trade damage estimates for its Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP). USDA developed an estimate of gross trade damages for commodities with assessed retaliatory tariffs by Canada, China, the European Union, Mexico, and Turkey to set commodity payment rates and purchase levels in the trade mitigation package announced by USDA earlier this month.

In the report, the USDA’s Chief Economist Robert Johansson explained that the gross trade damage only reflects direct export losses due to the retaliatory tariff imposed on the U.S. commodity. Indirect or secondary effects from the tariff, such as cross-commodity effects, are not reflected in the gross trade damage estimate.

Find the full text of the Trade Methodology Report here.