News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

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Atlanta GA, 30328
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April 2024

April 3, 2024
US Capitol Building

JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc.’s VP Compliance, Laurie Arnold and Compliance Operations Manager and NCBFAA Legislative Committee Chair, Leah Ellis, has diligently championed to help pass the Customs Business Fairness Act (CBFA) for many years alongside the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).  In a significant victory for Customs Brokers the bill was included in a continuing resolution bill that passed both the House and Senate.  The CBFA has finally come to fruition.  “The CBFA bill has been a long-standing passion of mine to help prevent Customs Brokers from having to return customs duties when an importer has filed bankruptcy and at long last (20 years) this bill has passed and signed into law and I am very happy to have been a part of the march to protect the Customs Brokers of our industry,” said Laurie Arnold when asked for her reaction on the passing of CBFA.

The CBFA, a long-standing initiative of the NCBFAA, aims to protect customs brokers and their employees by advocating for changes in bankruptcy laws. The bill seeks to grant "subrogation" rights to customs brokers, allowing them to assume the priority rights of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when importers file for bankruptcy. This would prevent payments made to CBP through customs brokers from being subject to preference payment recovery actions during the 90-day period preceding the importer's bankruptcy filing.

NCBFAA President Jose D. (JD) Gonzalez lauded the passage of CBFA, emphasizing its importance to the customs broker industry. He credited the dedicated efforts of the association's Legislative Committee leadership, Legislative Advisor Nicole Bivens Collinson, and member companies for lobbying lawmakers and pushing for the bill's passage.

Special recognition was extended to Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) for his role in championing CBFA in the House of Representatives. Garbarino reintroduced the bill at the association's request in 2023, garnering bipartisan support with 28 co-sponsors. NCBFAA expressed gratitude to its members for their engagement in advocacy efforts, including letter-writing campaigns urging Representatives to support the bill.

NCBFAA also acknowledged the contributions of individuals and organizations who worked tirelessly over the past two decades to advance CBFA. Past and current leaders of the association's Legislative Committee, along with former NCBFAA Legislative Representative Jon Kent, were recognized for their efforts. Additionally, the longstanding lobbying efforts of organizations such as the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association, JFK Airport Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association, and International Trade Surety Association were highlighted as instrumental in the bill's progress.

Read the Original Article Here
April 3, 2024
US Department of Homeland Security Seal

In a recent enforcement action at International Falls, Minnesota, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted over 7,800 lighting fixtures bearing counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification marks. These fixtures, as part of shipments from China and imported by a U.S. home design company, were deemed unsafe after inspection, raising concerns about potential fire hazards.

The seized lighting fixtures, among the cargo transiting from Canada into the United States, were inspected by CBP officers at International Falls, the busiest rail port in the country. Upon discovering the counterfeit UL certification marks, which falsely implied safety testing, CBP seized the shipments and initiated enforcement actions.

DeAnn O’Hara, CBP’s Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer for the area port of Pembina, North Dakota, highlighted the seriousness of the issue. "When U.S. consumers purchase a lighting fixture with a UL trademark on it, they are under the impression that the lighting fixture has been tested for safety. When Chinese manufacturers fraudulently place a UL trademark on untested fixtures, they are tricking consumers into buying a product that may not be safe and could start a fire in their homes," she explained.

CBP imposed fines totaling $100,000 on the shipments, in addition to seizing and destroying the lighting fixtures. This enforcement action underscores CBP's commitment to protecting the American public from unsafe and counterfeit products.

The seized lighting fixtures represent just one facet of CBP's broader efforts to safeguard public safety and enforce trade regulations. Beyond intercepting unsafe goods, CBP's Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Division (FP&F) plays a crucial role in adjudicating enforcement actions, ensuring compliance with laws, and facilitating the forfeiture process for seized items.

FP&F, comprised of a team of officers, paralegals, seized property specialists, and technicians nationwide, handles a wide range of cases, from drug seizures to intellectual property rights violations. The division follows a strict process with defined timeframes to ensure fairness and due process for all parties involved.

In addition to its enforcement duties, FP&F is instrumental in returning stolen property and cultural artifacts to their rightful owners. Recent successes include repatriating stolen artifacts to countries like Ukraine and Yemen, showcasing CBP's dedication to preserving cultural heritage and combating illegal trade.

While CBP faces challenges in keeping pace with evolving trade patterns and increasing volumes of shipments, its collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and commitment to public safety remain steadfast. As DeAnn O’Hara emphasized, "At CBP, we take the safety of the American public very seriously. That’s why we work so hard to remove unsafe products from the U.S. commerce before they can ever reach consumers."

Read the Original Story Here
April 3, 2024
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry apprehended over $11 million worth of blue fentanyl pills concealed within a vehicle recently.

In a significant interception, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry apprehended over $11 million worth of blue fentanyl pills concealed within a vehicle recently.

A staggering estimated 561,000 fentanyl pills, with a total weight of 123.6 pounds, were confiscated by CBP officers during the operation, highlighting the continuous efforts to curb the influx of illicit drugs across the border.

The interception unfolded around 8:20 p.m. when a 37-year-old man driving a 2008 sedan applied for admission into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. A CBP K-9 unit, conducting routine pre-primary inspections, alerted officers to the glove compartment area, indicating potential narcotics present presence.

Following the canine alert, CBP officers proceeded with further examination, leading them to refer both the driver and the vehicle for comprehensive inspection in the secondary inspection area.

Upon meticulous scrutiny, CBP officers uncovered a startling discovery – a total of 100 packages containing blue pills meticulously concealed within the vehicle's dashboard and the front passenger seats. Subsequent testing confirmed the contents as fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid known for its lethal potency.

Mariza Marin, Port Director for the San Ysidro Port of Entry, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Fentanyl is a very lethal drug that continues to be encountered along our southern border. I’m very proud of the exceptional work by our officers who skillfully interdict illicit narcotics on a daily basis.”

The apprehended individual was promptly handed over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation, while both the narcotics and the vehicle were seized by CBP officers as part of the operation.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo, a collaborative regional effort involving federal, state, and local agencies aimed at combating the pervasive threat posed by fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics. Operation Apollo underscores the commitment of law enforcement entities to safeguard communities against the devastating impact of drug trafficking.

For more information about Operation Apollo and ongoing efforts to combat the drug trade, interested individuals are encouraged to seek additional details through official channels.

The successful interception serves as a testament to the unwavering dedication of CBP officers in safeguarding the nation's borders and preventing dangerous substances from infiltrating communities.

Read the Original Story Here
April 3, 2024
Export Control

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced significant revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), imposing stricter controls on exports and reexports to Nicaragua. This move comes in response to mounting concerns regarding human rights abuses perpetrated by the Nicaraguan government against its citizens and civil society groups, as well as its continued military and security cooperation with Russia.

The amendments, effective immediately, see Nicaragua being shifted from Country Group B to Country Group D:5, resulting in a more restrictive classification. Consequently, a stricter licensing policy will apply to items controlled for national security reasons, with the country now subject to 'military end use' and 'military end user' restrictions.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez emphasized the alignment of U.S. national security and foreign policy with its values, stating, "We will not allow peaceful trade to be diverted in ways that undermine our values and weaken our security." Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler echoed this sentiment, highlighting the role of export controls in preventing U.S. technology from being misused to support human rights abuses.

This rule builds upon previous actions by BIS, including the addition of the Nicaraguan National Police to the Entity List in March 2023. It reflects ongoing efforts by the U.S. Government to restrict the availability of items subject to EAR to Nicaragua’s military and security services.

The move signifies a continued escalation in U.S. efforts to address the situation in Nicaragua, as international concern grows over the Ortega government's crackdown on dissent and violations of human rights.

Read the Original Document Here
JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc. On The Move
April 3, 2024
JAS is On The Move

JASVP Compliance, Laurie Arnold attended the CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit in Philadelphia, PA from March 26 through March 28, 2024.  The US Customs Trade Facilitation & Cargo Security Summit in Philadelphia addressed updates on ACE 2.0, continuing education, and ecommerce.

Also, JAS’ own Scott Cassell, Corporate Compliance Project Manager attended the Commerce Department’s BIS Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy in Washington DC from March 27 through March 29, 2024.  A wide variety of topics related to US export controls were updated by members of the Commerce Department and related agencies involved in export controls.

National Carrot Day
April 3, 2024
National Carrot Day

Every year on April 4th, carrot enthusiasts and food lovers alike come together to celebrate National Carrot Day. This humble vegetable, with its vibrant orange hue and crisp texture, holds a special place in the hearts and diets of people worldwide.

Carrots, scientifically known as Daucus carota, have a rich history dating back thousands of years. Originating in Central Asia, they were initially cultivated for their medicinal properties rather than culinary appeal. Ancient civilizations, including the Greeks and Romans, recognized carrots for their health benefits, particularly for improving eyesight.

Over time, carrots evolved from a medicinal herb to a staple ingredient in cuisines around the globe. From soups and salads to stews and desserts, carrots lend their unique flavor and nutritional value to a myriad of dishes. Their versatility in both savory and sweet recipes makes them a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike.

Nutritionally, carrots pack a powerful punch. They are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is crucial for eye health, immune function, and skin health. Additionally, carrots provide a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins C and K, potassium, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

National Carrot Day offers an opportunity to celebrate this underrated vegetable and explore its culinary potential. Whether enjoyed raw as a crunchy snack, roasted to caramelized perfection, or blended into a velvety soup, there are endless ways to savor the flavor and goodness of carrots.

Beyond their culinary appeal, carrots have also found their way into popular culture, appearing in folklore, literature, and even as beloved cartoon characters. Who can forget Bugs Bunny munching on a carrot as he outsmarts his foes?

In addition to indulging in carrot-centric dishes, National Carrot Day encourages awareness of sustainable farming practices and the importance of supporting local agriculture. Choosing organic, locally grown carrots not only ensures freshness and flavor but also reduces carbon footprint and supports small-scale farmers.

So, whether you're a devoted carrot connoisseur or simply looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, National Carrot Day provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this crunchy and nutritious root vegetable. So grab a bunch of carrots, get creative in the kitchen, and join in the festivities on April 4th!


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