On March 11, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order ("EO") that prohibited the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce. Because the Executive Order lists no effective date, implementation will be immediate. No exceptions are listed for such products that are in transit and the EO specifically states that the prohibitions apply "notwithstanding any contract entered into or license or permit granted prior to the date of this order."

In addition to these immediate prohibitions the President also is asking Congress to send him a bill to revoke Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia. The effect of this revocation will be to increase the duties on all imports from Russia not already banned from importation to the "Column 2" duty rates from the current "Column 1" rates. As a practical matter, this revocation will raise the average duties on Russian goods from the current 3 percent average, to an average of about 32 percent, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The Biden Administration is asking for legislation for this revocation of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia to ensure that this move is upheld in any court actions that may be brought. We expect that the Congress will pass the requested legislation quickly.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.