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JAS USA COMPLIANCE

News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

6165 Barfield Road
Atlanta GA, 30328
United States
Tel: +1 (770)688-1206
Fax: +1 (770)688-1229

November 2015

U.S. Importer in Violation of the Lacey Act
October 23, 2019

On October 7, a U.S. company agreed to a guilty plea for several violations of the Lacey Act. The importer will have to pay fines of over $10 million for importing illegally harvested timber from areas including forests in far eastern Russia.

​"The government says the illegally harvested oak came from forests that are home to the last 450 Siberian tigers and some of the fewer than 50 remaining Amur leopards," The Columbus Dispatch stated.

For more information please read the Official Article!

By
CBP Supervisor Assisted in Saving a Life
November 12, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the Peace Arch Port of Entry assisted in saving a 67 year old woman's life. Officers has to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Officers were advised that a woman was having an emergency and needed help during a regular screening  at the border. A supervisory CBP officer and two other CBP officers responded to the family to help, and then called 911.

Acting Area Port Director Kenneth L. Williams is quoted saying:

"The quick and professional response by CBP personnel in Blaine assisted in saving this woman's life. This scenario portrays CBP's commitment to protect and serve our communities and the traveling public."

For more information please read the Official Article!

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CBP and HSI Warn Consumers About Holiday Shopping
November 10, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations officials have warned shoppers to be very careful while shopping for holiday deals.

"Protecting intellectual property rights is a priority trade issue," stated U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Houston CBP Seaport Assistant Port Director Leslie Luczkowski shared that “Every year, criminal organizations prey on unsuspecting consumers who are looking for a great bargain during the holiday season.”

As a result, CBP has created a complex strategic approach to identify and seize counterfeit trademarks and copyrights.

Read the whole summary.

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Training Tidbits November 2015
November 2, 2015

Does your shipment reflect the correct country of export?

Did you know that if documents show the merchandise was already destined for the United States, the shipment will be treated as an exportation of the country from which it was originally exported? Make sure the country of export is properly indicated on the import commercial invoice in order to have the appropriate duty rate applied..

Contact your JAS representative for more details today!

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Webinars & Events November 2015
November 1, 2015

32nd International Conference On The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Date: November 16-19, 2015

Location: Washington, DC

The American Conference Institute welcome the US and international Anti-Corruption community for the largest event of its kind in the world. The 32nd International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in Washington DC.

Read the additional information.

Smoking Guns: Preventing The Creation Of Damaging Emails And Documents

Date: November 23, 2015

Location: Webinar, 3-4 pm EST

No matter how compliant, responsible or ethical a company may actually be, the existence of a “smoking gun” email or memo can be devastating, and can often greatly undercut a company’s ability to defend itself. Sometimes these “hot docs” accurately reflect a widespread rotten corporate culture. But often they arise from inadvertence, sloppiness, poor judgment or an attempt at humor. This webinar will present an overview of the dangers that often arise from these smoking guns, as well as how companies can reduce the likelihood of their creation.

Get the registration information.

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November 2015 Technology Update
November 1, 2015

The NCBFAA has published a letter to importers and exporters regarding the transition of the ACE system and some of the issues encountered. JAS Forwarding is working on several PGA pilots and we are processing as many entries as possible through ACE. JAS Forwarding is an active NCBFAA member.

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CBP Discovers Dangerous Pest at Port Everglades
October 26, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists working at Port Everglades came across a “Leafhopper” bug within a shipment of papayas, coming from Guatemala. The USDA confirmed this interception was a first time finding at Port Everglades. Leafhoppers are threats to crop plants. They rob plants of vital nutrients and transmit viruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens from plant to plant.

From the U.S. CBP:

“CBP agriculture specialists are the first line of defense in protecting the U.S. against agricultural threats,” said Port Everglades Port Director Jorge Roig, “Our CBP agriculture specialists are highly trained and experienced in biological sciences and we are very proud of them for intercepting this potential threat."

For more information on the Leafhopper interception please read the Original Article.

By
Negotiations End for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
October 4, 2015

Trade ministers of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement announced the conclusion of their negotiations after five years!

"The result is a high-standard, ambitious, comprehensive, and well balanced agreement that will promote economic growth amongst the 12 countries," the article stated.

The agreement will also support the creation and retention of jobs. The 12 countries included are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.

Read the whole summary.

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Training Tidbits October 2015
October 2, 2015

Have you heard about the Broker Known Importer Program?

What are the benefits of the Broker-Known Importer’s Program? The Broker-Known Importer’s Program will provide two primary benefits.  One is to enhance communication between brokers and importers by creating a framework whereby they can discuss the importer’s trade activities.  The second being that because BKIP indicator will factor into CBP’s cargo risk segmentation, importers may benefit from improved cargo targeting to CBP prior to arrival.

To Participate in the Broker-Known Importer Program, contact your JAS representative for more details today!

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U.S. BP Joins Forces to Capture Murder Suspect
September 21, 2015

When a murder suspect arrived in Mexico, Hemet police reached out to the U.S. Border Patrol to collaborate with Mexico’s law enforcement. On Sept. 16, the San Diego Sector Border Patrol’s International Liaison Unit was contacted by detectives from the Hemet Police Department, after they discovered two deceased women at a Hemet residence. The detectives believed that the murder suspect escaped to Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol coordinated with the Tijuana Police Department, advising them to be on the lookout for the man and his vehicle. Within hours, the Tijuana police initiated a stop on a vehicle matching the description and took the suspect into custody.

(Article no longer available).

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United States Signs CMA With Gabon
September 3, 2015

The United States recently signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with Gabon. This signing noted a prominent breakthrough in the association of security and trade facilities between the countries.

​From the U.S. Department of Justice:

"The United States has now signed 76 CMAAs with other customs administrations across the world. CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries and enforced by their respective customs administrations (for the United States this is CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). They provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering, and terrorism-related activities. CMAAs also serve as foundational documents for subsequent information sharing arrangements, including mutual recognition arrangements on authorized economic operator programs."

For more information on the Gabon agreement please read the Original Article.

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Training Tidbits September 2015
September 2, 2015

What are the required Electronic Export Information (EEI/AES) Data elements?
There are several data elements required to properly complete an AES filing for export shipments. CFR 15;30.6 list the mandatory data elements.
Read the Official Documents


FDA Addition to New and End-Dated Product Codes for Center of Tobacco Products
The Food and Drug Administration is adding new PIC and Subclass codes for Tobacco products! To see what they are, please see CSMS #15-000619!  
See them Here

FAQ - GSP Reauthorization
Now that GSP has been renewed, CBP has provided a list of questions and answers regarding retroactive and future claims.  
Read the Questions

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Training Tidbits August 2015
August 31, 2015

Did you know there is no Chapter 77 of the HTS/SCH B?

The United States has adopted the Harmonized System as a basis of both its export classification system (Schedule B) and its import classification system (HTS).  The Harmonized System consists of 22 sections divided into 97 chapters, with chapter 77 intentionally left blank.  Chapter 77 is blank and reserved for possible future use!

Read the Official Documents

Are you reporting the correct export value?

Are you certain that the export values you are reporting are correct? Please review the export AES valuation for a full detailed description of what the requirements are!

If you have further questions contact your JAS Representative!

Read the AES Valuation Reports

By
ACE Timeline Reassessed
August 31, 2015

CBP announced on 8/31 an updated timeline for ACE Electronic Entry and Summary Filing.  While significant capabilities have been deployed to date, concerns about stakeholder readiness have necessitated a reassessment of the current timeline.  The delay from the original date of November 1, 2015 to now February 28, 2016 will give the trade opportunity to work with and test entries with participating government agencies as the functionality is released by CBP.  February 28, 2016, filers will ONLY be permitted to process entries in ACE, including FDA, NHTSA and APHIS (Lacey).

View the updated timeline.

For more information, please contact your JAS representative.

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The Lacey Act
August 8, 2015

A LOOK AT THE LACEY ACT AND ITS EFFECT ON TRADE AND THE CASE OF CECIL THE LION

The Death of Cecil the Lion this past June in Zimbabwe, by a Minnesota dentist has spurred many ethical and moral questions, but it has always spawned important questions about the legal issues involved with animals within the international trade and transportation industries. With companies like American, Delta and United banning the transport of hunting trophies after this incident, the question of legality becomes paramount. In order to fully explore and understand the issue to ensure compliance, we must look to the current laws. Starting with the Lacey Act.

From the original article "About that Lion and the Lacey Act", by Lawrence Friedman, Partner at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, LLP:

"The Lacey Act was first passed in 1900 and is an early conservation law. As originally enacted, it protected animals from illegal hunting through criminal and civil penalties. The law also prohibits trade in protected animal and plant species that are hunted or harvested illegally. It is a crime to import into the United States any injurious animals including brown tree snakes, big head carp, zebra mussels, and flying fox bats. 18 USC 42. Exceptions can be made for properly permitted (and dead) zoological specimens and certain "cage birds." A violator may be imprisoned and fined. More relevant is that the Lacey Act also makes it illegal to import any plant or animal taken in violation of a foreign law or regulation. 16 USC 3372. This is an important compliance issue for anyone that imports animal and plant products. If you happen to import wood to make violins, for example, you need to know that the wood was harvested legally. Assuming you purchase from a supplier who is a few steps removed from the actual person that cut down the tree, how can you prove that the wood was legally harvested? Keep in mind that the Act applies to derivative products as well. This is a paperwork and due diligence process familiar to importers who have to comply with lots of similar regulations. And, it is important. That is what Gibson Guitars learned when it agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a Lacey Act case."

For more information please read the Official Article.

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Technology News August 2015
July 31, 2015

ACE IS DEPLOYING

Customs and Border Protection is currently in the process of transitioning the customs clearance process from ACS (Automated Commercial System) to a new paperless system called ACE (Automated Commercial Environment). ACS has been utilized by CBP for more than 20 years and has now become an outdated processing system. As a result, ACE is currently in the process of being deployed to the trade community.

For more information, please contact your JAS representative.

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Canada Hosts U.S. for Joint Import Safety Exercise
July 21, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has concluded a week-long joint “table top exercise” on handling safety issues through multi-agency collaboration with Canada. The joint import exercise focused on critical incidents involving imported products that were found to be dangerous, hazardous and volatile. The exercise gave each participating agency a chance to present potential scenarios of import safety events and provide feedback to respective counterparts. These recommendations will be used to better protect U.S. and Canadian consumers.

Brenda Smith, Assistant Commissioner for CBP's Office of International Trade, stated:

"This is an opportunity for Canadian and U.S. border enforcement and import safety agencies to exchange ideas and develop best practices for working together to address import safety issues. This exercise not only displayed the benefit of joint agency collaboration, but also served as an opportunity to learn from our international colleagues."

(Article no longer available).

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Will There be A Christmas in July?
July 7, 2015

DHS/CBP have posted a notice of opportunity and procedures for exporters to request assistance on tariff classifications. The document describes opportunities available to U.S. Exporters from Customs and Border Protection to resolve matters concerning tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by government agencies. By publication of this notice, CBP invites U.S. Exporters to submit requests for such assistance.

From the official report from the U.S. Census Bureau:

"The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $41.9 billion in May, up $1.2 billion from $40.7 billion in April, revised. May exports were $188.6 billion, $1.5 billion less than April exports. May imports were $230.5 billion, $0.3 billion less than April imports. The May increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $1.2 billion to $61.5 billion and an increase in the services surplus of less than $0.1 billion to $19.6 billion. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $1.1 billion, or 0.5 percent, from the same period in 2014. Exports decreased $26.5 billion or 2.7 percent. Imports decreased $25.4 billion or 2.2 percent."

(Article no longer available).

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Training Tidbits July 2015
July 6, 2015

Did you know that Customs and Border Protection requires a minimum of 16 data elements on a commercial invoice for entry processing?

Please review the commercial invoice requirements to see a full detailed description of what the requirements are.

Read the Commercial Invoice Requirements.

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Congress Announces GSP Set For Renewal
June 25, 2015

On June 25, Congress passed a trade preference package that would renew the Generalized System of Preference. The vote came just a day after the Senate passed a host of trade bills. This bill and several other long-awaited bills will have a significant impact on the trade community. The House and the Senate approved to reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences through December 31, 2017. The bill has now been signed into law as of June 29, 2015 by President Obama. This action is retroactive to July 31, 2013, the date GSP expired, meaning that importers will be able to obtain refund of duties paid since that date on goods otherwise eligible for GSP treatment.

The Coalition for GSP released the following statement after House passage:

"Final congressional passage of H.R. 1295 makes today a great day for American companies and workers that depend on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program,” said Daniel Anthony, Executive Director of the Coalition for GSP, "After two years of uncertainty and about $1.3 billion in taxes paid, companies once again can focus on growing their businesses knowing that duty-free treatment will resume shortly and taxes paid on GSP-eligible products will be refunded."

To read more on the reinstatement of GSP, click here.  

For more information, please contact your JAS representative.

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Company Pleads Guilty to U.S. Export Violation
June 24, 2015

The United States Attorney’s Office and the Office of Export Enforcement announced that a Pennsylvania corporation entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to evade export licensing requirements. The conspiracy was in connection with an attempt to smuggle a machine to Iran with possible military, as well as civilian applications. Under the U.S. law and regulations, American companies are forbidden to ship “dual use” items to Iran without first obtaining a license from the U.S. Government.

From the U.S. Department of Justice:

"Under U.S. law and regulations, American companies are forbidden to ship "dual use" items (items with civilian as well as military or proliferation applications), such as the peeler, to Iran without first obtaining a license from the U.S. Government. Aware that it was unlikely that such a license would be granted, Falcon/FIMCO, which does business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and other alleged co-conspirators agreed to falsely state on the shipping documents that the end-user of the peeler was Crescent International Traded and Services FZE (Crescent), an affiliated company, knowing that the machine would subsequently be shipped to Iran after being off-loaded in Dubai."

For more information please read the Official Document!

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DHS/CBP Posts Notice Regarding U.S. Exporters
June 18, 2015

U.S. CBP ISSUES DOCUMENT TO RESOLVE MATTERS CONCERNING THE TARIFF CLASSIFICATION AND CUSTOMERS VALUATION APPLIED TO U.S. EXPORTS BY OTHER GOVERNMENTS

DHS/CBP have posted a notice of opportunity and procedures for exporters to request assistance on tariff classifications.

"[The] document describes opportunities available to U.S. exporters to obtain assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to resolve matters concerning tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by other governments," stated a notice by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "By publication of this notice, CBP invites U.S. Exporters to submit requests for such assistance."

For more information, please read the official article!

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U.S. Exporters to Partner with CBP in June 2015
May 30, 2015

C-TPAT SEEKS TO SAFEGUARD THE WORLD'S VIBRANT TRADE INDUSTRY FROM TERRORISTS

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is preparing to deploy Phase II of the C-TPAT Program (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) in June 2015! The deployment will be inclusive of exporters. Benefits of exporters joining as a C-TPAT Partner includes global security partnerships, prioritized export shipments, reduced examinations and much more! There is no cost to join!

From the NCBFAA:

"Please be aware that C-TPAT is preparing to deploy Phase II of Portal 2.0 on May 30, 2015. All data may not be available until June 1st. This deployment will restructure the security profile function into individual line items. To prevent potential applicants from having to conduct redundant work by completing the security profile twice, once in the current format and a second time immediately after June 1st in the new format, C-TPAT will not be accepting new applications after April 15, 2015, until Phase II deploys. If you are already a C-TPAT Partner and have further questions, please contact your assigned Supply Chain Security Specialist. If you do not yet have an assigned Supply Chain Security Specialist, please contact industry.partnership@dhs.gov with any questions."

(Article no longer available).

If you would like more information on being added to the C-TPAT Program, please contact your JAS representative!

By
Trade Promotion Authority
May 27, 2015

After two years, The Senate has approved the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). If this is approved by The House, it will reassure other countries that they can trust the U.S. The TPA will give the U.S. the leverage it needs to win a fair deal for American workers, as well as extend American influence to expand American trade.

From the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report:

"A week after passing legislation to extend trade preference programs and strengthen trade enforcement, the Senate voted May 22 to approve a bill restoring trade promotion authority for up to six years. TPA allows the White House to submit legislation implementing new trade agreements that Congress must either approve or reject, but cannot amend, within a specified timeframe. TPA and the other trade and customs bills will now move to the House, where their prospects remain uncertain."

"According to press reports, only a handful of the numerous amendments to the bill that were proposed by supporters and opponents alike were ultimately considered, and only two were approved. One would give the executive branch the flexibility to use a variety of tools, including enforceable rules but also reporting, monitoring and cooperative mechanisms, to address unfair currency practices by future trade agreement partners. After opting for this approach senators narrowly rejected a tougher amendment that would have required U.S. negotiators to seek to include in future trade agreements enforceable provisions against currency manipulation by foreign trading partners to gain a trade advantage. The other approved amendment would require the executive branch to take a country’s record on religious freedom into account when considering it as a potential trade agreement partner."

Read the entire Trade Report.

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Broker Known Importer Program is Underway
May 1, 2015

The NCBFAA has developed a new program for Importers entitled the Broker Known Importer Program (BKIP). The purpose of BKIP is to establish a process whereby licensed customs brokers can identify importers who are exercising reasonable care in connection with their import related activities. CBP realizes that the customs broker in most cases has a relationship with their importers and is willing to address compliance issues prior to entry of cargo. CBP is looking to provide the importer with some benefits for having engaged in the process. To enroll, importers will need to complete an in-depth questionnaire and review regarding their organization with their customs broker. JAS Forwarding can help importers take advantage of this new program. This is a voluntary program and is geared toward the regular importer.

From the NCBFAA:

"CBP has expressed an interest in utilizing the relationship with brokers have with their importer customers to assist with the CBP mission. The National Customers Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. Has developed a concept which would provide a way for CBP to realize additional benefits from this relationship. The thought behind this program is that there are a limited number of importers who will avail themselves with the Importer Self-Assessment and Trusted Trader Programs."

If you would like more information on being added to the Broker Known Importer Program, please contact your JAS representative!

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New Country Added to U.S. Trade Agreements
April 29, 2015

AGREEMENT SIGNIFIES MILESTONE FOR BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND SENEGAL

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Senegal Customs signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement on April 27, 2015. This new trade agreement marks a significant milestone for security and trade facilitation between the two countries. With this agreement, the United States now has 73 Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements around the world.

Commissioner Kerlikowske and ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña both commented on the event:

"This agreement strengthens our resilience against threats by expanding cooperation and information sharing with Senegal,” said Commissioner Kerlikowske, “The Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement will greatly facilitate U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s work to prevent, detect, and investigate Customs offenses.”

"This agreement reflects our joint commitment to tackling transnational criminal organizations and national security threats who seek to exploit financial and trade systems,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña, “Information sharing is a critical component to our already strong bilateral relationship with the government of Senegal. ICE, through our Attaché Dakar office, looks forward to implementing new initiatives with our Senegalese counterparts based on today’s signing of this important customs cooperation agreement."

(Article no longer available).

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GSP to be Renewed! Reinstatement Looks Positive
April 27, 2015

CONGRESS LOOKS TO AID TRADE WITH REINSTATEMENT OF GSP AND OTHER TRADE PROGRAMS

After two years, Congress is discussing the possible reinstatement of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences). The GSP Program was developed as a trade program to provide opportunities for many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty. GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on approximately 5,000 types of products when imported from one of the 122 designated beneficiary countries and territories. If the program is reinstated, refunds will be issued for qualifying goods. According to the Coalition for GSP, American companies have paid nearly $2 million per day in taxes since GSP expired July 2013.

From the Tuttle Law Offices Newsletter:

"GSP is a trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries (“BC”) and territories. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974, but authorization for the program lapsed in 2013. Duty-free status is generally available to qualifying goods from qualifying countries if the BC content is 35% or more of the appraised customs value. During an April 22 markup, the Senate Finance Committee amended and sent to the Senate floor all four major trade bills: Trade Promotion Authority, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Customs Reauthorization and a preference package that contains renewals for the Generalized System of Preferences and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”). All were approved with decisive margins. Among the new provisions added as amendments are a temporary extension of an increase to the Merchandise Processing Fee, Miscellaneous Tariff Bill reform legislation, and tariff changes for performance outwear and athletic footwear."

Read the entire newsletter.

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41st NCBFAA Annual Conference
April 19, 2015
Leah Ellis (left) and Laurie Arnold (right), attended the 41st NCBFAA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.

Two of JAS Forwarding’s very own, Leah Ellis (left) and Laurie Arnold (right), attended the 41st NCBFAA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. In attendance, customs brokers and freight forwarders from all over the country gather to discuss customs business and upcoming trade news. In the image, they were attending a 50’s dinner theme. Make note of the JAS 50’s skirt!

What is the NCBFAA?

"Headquartered in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year."

Get more information about the NCBFAA.

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April 2015 Announcements
April 1, 2015

Ace Electronic Manifest Filings: Mandatory Filing: May 1, 2015!

US Customs and Border Protection commended those that have already initiated transition by filing entries or entry summaries in ACE (Automated Commercial Environment). CBP has also notified all parties that the mandatory filing date for ACE electronic manifest filings of May 1 is quickly approaching and more following soon after! The time has arrived for filers to prepare to transition to ACE!  JAS has jumped on the bandwagon EARLY and we are now processing ALL allowable entries to be filed in the ACE system!

(Article no longer available).

Customs Broker License Examination : April 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will conduct the Customs Broker License Examination on Monday April 13, 2015.  Good luck to all sitting for the exam!

Read More on the examination at the CBP Website!

Centers Of Excellence And Expertise (Cee) Now Has 10 Locations!

The transition to the new Centers of Excellence and Expertise is a fundamental change to the CBP organization and has a dramatic impact on importers!  There are exciting benefits provided to importers that voluntarily participate in the Customs Centers of Excellence Program for commodities of one of the locations.  Contact compliance@jas.com today for more information on how to become a participant with CBP!

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TSA Pre-check Reaches Milestone of One Million
March 26, 2015
THE TSA PRE-CHECK APPLICATION PROGRAM ALLOWS U.S. CITIZENS AND LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS TO DIRECTLY APPLY FOR TSA PRE-CHECK

The TSA Pre-Check application program has reached a new milestone with more than one million travelers enrolled. There are now more than 330 application centers nationwide. Operating since October 2011, TSA Pre-Check is an expedited screening program that enables low-risk travelers to enjoy a smart and efficient screening experience.

Get all the information at the official TSA blog.

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Venezuela is Added to the OFAC Sanctions List
March 9, 2015

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury has recently added Venezuela to their sanctions list as of March 9, 2015.

It is important to obtain full shipper and consignee details to ensure proper screening for handling the shipment, for Venezuela and other OFAC sanction countries. It is also important "to use an automated denied persons screening software to identify OFAC sanctioned programs and denied parties," stated the article. Please inquire with your JAS representative regarding programs and screening software that JAS has to offer!

Avalon offers advice for when dealing with OFAC sanctioned countries:

"Avalon encourages you to take special precautions when dealing with OFAC sanctioned countries to avoid any E&O exposures or costly export violations.  We understand that trading with companies within sanctioned countries carries the increased risk of claims and legal matters. Government imposed fees and fines can be crippling especially when added to the cost of legal expenses.  Expanded Regulatory Defense coverage can assist with the legal expense required to defend your company."​

Get more information from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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Cuba Sanction Update : Eligibility for Import
February 13, 2015

The Department of State issued a press release in regards to the policy changes announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014 regarding Cuba trade.

"Section 515.582 of the Cuban Assets Control Regulation (31 CFR Part 515) authorizes the importation to the United States of certain goods and services," the press release stated. "The goods whose import is authorized by Section 515.582 are goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, as demonstrated by documentary evidence, that are imported into the United States directly from Cuba, except for goods specified in certain sections of the HTS."  

Read the entire list of Goods and Services Eligible for Import.

By
Importers Pay Over $3 Million to Resolve Lawsuit
February 12, 2015
GOODS & SERVICES ELIGIBLE FOR IMPORTATION RELEASED

The Department of Justice announced that three importers have agreed to pay over $3 million "to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act alleging that the companies engaged in schemes to evade customs duties" from China. The government’s complaint claimed that the importers’ made false statements to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to avoid paying antidumping and countervailing duties. "Antidumping duties protect against foreign companies 'dumping' products on U.S. markets at prices below cost," the article stated.  

Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda of the Justice Department's Civil Division stated:

"The nation's customs laws are designed to protect domestic manufacturers from unfair competition aboard. The Department of Justice will pursue those who seek an unfair advantage in U.S. markets by evading the duties owed on goods imported into this country."

Read the entire article at The United States Department of Justice.

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Are Breweries Becoming Phenomenons?
February 10, 2015
"HE IS A WISE MAN WHO INVENTED BEER." - PLATO

Some people would be surprised at the result of the statistics that confirm beer to not only be a national, but also an international phenomenon. Based on statistics recently provided by the Economic Census from 2007 to 2012, it reflects substantial growth in U.S. establishments producing beer for exportation. On the export side, the thirst for U.S. beer grew internationally from exporting $251.4 million in value to $448.4 million in 2012.

(Article no longer available).

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February 2015 Announcements
February 2, 2015

RECORDKEEPING:

It's that time of year again when you clean up and throw out those old files!

Don't throw away something you are required to keep! JAS has the information you need to know about what to keep and what can go!

(Article no longer available).

BROKERS EXAM:

Customs Broker Licenses Examination - Notice of Examination

This notice announces that CBP will conduct the Customs Brokers Licenses Examination on Monday April 13, 2015. The exam will be given at various locations.

Read More on the examination at the CBP Website!

STATISTICS:

Department of Homeland Security released 2014 trade and travel statistics.

On January 23, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security "released its 2014 year-end comprehensive travel and trade-related statistcs from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)," stated the article. TSA consists of record breaking numbers with the expansion of TSA Pre-Check!

Get all the Statistics at the Homeland Security website!

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From the NASCAR Tracks to Commerce?
January 20, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has confirmed that Marcus D. Jadotte will take on the role of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis in the U.S. Department's International Trade Administration (ITA).

"Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Marcus spent nearly nine years at NASCAR helping the organization with its diversity and multicultural development initiatives," said Pritzker, "I look forward to working with Marcus in his new role and am delighted to have him as part of our international trade team."

Congratulations, Marcus!  

Read more about Marcus D. Jadotte.

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No Cigar for You
December 19, 2014
NEW REVISIONS TO THE U.S. SANCTIONS ON CUBA NOT AS LIBERATING AS YOU WOULD LIKE

The recent revisions to the U.S. sanctions on Cuba have generated a great deal of press coverage and, not surprisingly, more enthusiasm than accuracy. Here are a few bloopers we have seen recently.

The NBC outlet in Miami announced that the new regulations, released on January 15, would permit “South Florida cigar shops [to] soon be able to carry cigars from Cuba.” The only delay would be the time it will take those shops to “stock up” on the cigars. However, the amended section 515.560(c)(3) can bring back these products “for personal use only.” It comes as less of a shock that the online news outlet Havana Times would say this:

"The only thing you have to do to go to Cuba is book your travel. No government forms, no permissions, no license. Just go."

No, again, U. S. travelers have to qualify for one of the twelve general licenses set out in 515.560.

(Article no longer available).

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Starbucks Tea Bags & Tea Packaging Rates Separate
December 17, 2014
STARBUCKS SEEKS CLARIFICATION FROM THE CBP ON ITS TEA IMPORTING RATES

According to Customs and Border Protection Ruling number HQ H254133, payment of duties for tea bags and tea packaging are to be considered separate. Starbucks sells Tazo Tea in retail packaging at grocery stores and in their stores. As sold in the United States, Tazo Tea consists of tea that is flavored with various ingredients and then packaged in single serve tea bags for retail sale. Starbucks imports bulk tea bags into the United States, then exports it to a foreign country where it is then packaged. As a result, the duties are considered to be separate!

The CBP states rulings previously issued on the separate classification of packaging for clarification in the letter.

"Moreover, CBP has consistently issued rulings concerning the separate classification of wrappers, outer containers, and inside containers for retail packaged tea that is less than 2.3 kg net. In HQ 957210, dated March 6, 1995, we issued a ruling on flavored tea that was packaged in foil packages inside cardboard boxes, wherein we directed the importer to classify the packaging components separately. On November 22, 1993, in New York Ruling Letter (NY) 892095, CBP issued a ruling on black tea that was imported in paper tea bags, with each tea bag enclosed in a paper sack. The tea bags were packaged in a cellophane-wrapped paper box in sizes of 10 or 24 tea bags per box. The importer was advised that “all immediate containers and wrappings, and all intermediate containers, of tea in packages less than 2.3 kilograms, net, each are dutiable at the rates applicable to such containers and wrappings if imported empty.” On November 28, 2006, we issued NY N004087 to Starbucks on merchandise substantially similar to the instant merchandise. See also NY 851505, dated April 27, 1990, NY E81943, dated June 4, 1999, and N258048, dated March 27, 2014."

(Article no longer available).

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