– PLEA ON FIRST SALE RULE: A bipartisan group of 17 senators is urging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to withdraw a proposed rule change that would force U.S. companies to pay millions of dollars in additional duties on the products they import. The U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency plant has drawn both lawmakers and company executives. The rule allows a firm to determine the value of an imported finished product on its cost at the point of first sale in the supply chain, such as factory to wholesaler. The proposal would peg the final value to the point of importation, generally meaning the actual wholesale price. Since Customs calculates duties based on the value of a product, if the new rule is implemented companies would pay higher duties because the value of the product increases as it moves along the supply chain.
-COSTA HONOR: Francisco Costa, who has been nominated for women’s wear designer of the year at the 2008 CFDA Fashion Awards, is set to receive the Philadelphia University Spirit of Design Award on April 30. Costa, creative director of Calvin Klein Collection, will get the award during the university’s “Eco Couture” fashion show at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
-LEVIEV GROWS STORES: Diamond jewelry brand Leviev is opening two stores in Dubai in a partnership with Levant Jewelers. A 2,000-square-foot unit will launch in the Burj Dubai Mall by the end of the year and a 300-square-foot shop within the new Atlantis Hotel Resort in Jumeirah Palm Island is to open in September. Leviev has an in-store shop in Levant Jewelers in the Al-Qasr Hotel in Dubai that launched on March 18. Separately, Leviev has named Harriet Hunter as director of marketing, replacing Celine Assimon. Hunter will be based in Leviev’s New York corporate office and report to Thierry Chaunu, president and chief operating officer.