UPDATE TO PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF FIRST SALE RULE

In January of this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed to eliminate the favourable “First Sale” method of valuation. This action could raise import tariffs by as much as 15%. U.S. Congress has moved to stop U.S. Customs from revoking the First Sale Rule. CBP has been inundated with opposition from the private sector. The five-year Farm Bill (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act) has been passed by Congress and includes several provisions that forestall any immediate action to revoke the First Sale Rule. A nonbinding “Sense of Congress” resolution states that CBP should take no action before January 11, 2011, and then only after consulting with the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee for six months.

Both Congress and the Senate approved of the measure by a strong veto-proof margin, defying the President’s veto action. Despite the recent veto, the House and Senate are now considering resending the bill to the President because the portion covering the First Sale rule and the Softwood Lumber provisions was completely omitted.