JAS USA COMPLIANCE

News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

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JAS USA Compliance Insights

Announcements

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Imposes $300 Million Penalty

On April 19, 2023, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued the largest standalone administrative penalty in its history.  The US Company and its Singaporean affiliate were imposed a $300 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of U.S. Export Controls related to selling hard disk drives to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.  The US Company continued to do business with Huawei despite being aware of the August 2020 controls that BIS imposed on Huawei.  This is another reminder of the importance of entity screening and the need to discontinue relations with sanctioned entities.  To read more details, check out the BIS press release in the link below.

BIS Press Release
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EEI Data Private May 2023

As a reminder, per 15 CFR 30.60, the Electronic Export Information (EEI) collected by the Census Bureau is confidential and it "shall not be disclosed to anyone by any officer, employee, contractor, agent of the federal government or other parties with access to the EEI other than to the USPPI or the authorized agent of the USPPI." 

Official Statement
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IRS EV May 2023

The Internal Revenue Service issued its much anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking outlining the requirements for electric vehicle eligibility for the Section 30D New Clean Vehicle Credit of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.  A total credit of $7,500 is available provided that; 40% of the critical minerals used to manufacture the vehicle's battery must be extracted or processed in the U.S. or any country the U.S. has a free trade agreement with (which increases to 80% by 2026); and 50% of the battery components must be manufactured or assembled in North America (which increases to 100% by 2028).  There are also maximum vehicle value limitations and phased in prohibitions for components and minerals coming from a "foreign entity of concern" (to be defined at a later date).  Check out the full Federal Register notice at the link below:

Read More
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UFLPA Article

The implementation of UFLPA has led to a marked increase in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detentions which, at present, are notified to the trade via a paper CBP form 6051D Notice of Detention.  On May 20, 2023, CBP will deploy to the ACE Secure Data Portal the automation of the form to allow the trade to complete the form and provide additional documentation to CBP via the portal.

The lead Congressional sponsor of UFLPA, Senators Jeffrey Merkley and Marco Rubio and Representatives James McGovern and Christopher Smith, sent a letter to Robert Silvers, Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) requesting, inter alia, more robust reporting to Congress of UFLPA enforcement measures, expansion of the Entity List, and increased scrutiny of de minimis shipments.  To read more, click the button below.

Click below for more information on the above (1)Click below for more information on the above (2)
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G-TEC, Global Trade Educational Conference

The 9th annual Global Trade Education Conference (G-TEC), hosted by the NCBFAA Educational Instistute (NEI) will be held at the Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City, OK from July 31 toAugust 1, 2023. G-TEC is the premier industry training conference and this year's event includes a Pre-Conference Workshop on Sunday afternoon. For more details and registration information, click below.

G-TEC Information and Registration
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Delay of Section 232 Aluminum Smelt and Cast Reporting Requirements

March 30, 2023, CSMS message 55701614 was released indicating “The new requirements for reporting the countries of smelt and cast for imports of aluminum and aluminum derivative products effective on April 10, 2023 have been delayed thirty days until May 10, 2023.  This will allow additional time for the trade to update their software programming and systems to comply with these new reporting requirements.”

To read more, click here
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Trade Court Upholds Section 301 Tariff Action Over APA Compliance Concerns

On March 17, 2023, the United States Court of International Trade held issued its opinion on whether the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative complied with the Administrative Procedure Act.  This opinion was related to lists 3 and 4a of the Section 301 tariffs on China.  In the opinion, the Trade Court upheld the Section 301 tariff action.  To read the full opinion, check out the link below.

Read More
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CBP- The Truth Behind Counterfeits

CBP produces some informative and exciting videos related to international trade.  These videos can be found on the CBP.GOV website by going to the “Newsroom” link and selecting Video Gallery.  Check out this short informative video called “The Truth Behind Counterfeits.”

Watch the Video
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BIS Imposes $2.77 Million Penalty

In February, BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security) issued a penalty for over 2 million dollars to a 3D printing company that exported military design documents to China and Germany. To read more, check out the link below.

Read More
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Processing Approved Section 232 Product Exclusions

Updated guidance for processing approved Section 232 product exclusions was announced on February 7, 2023 via CSMS message 55014059.  

CBP now directly processes approved Section 232 exclusions based on weekly lists provided by DOC. CBP activates approved product exclusion IDs in ACE on a weekly basis.  

Importers can check CBP.gov every Friday, to determine if a Section 232 approved product exclusions is active in ACE. The posting can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/document/publications/active-section-232-product-exclusions-ace.

Read More
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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the next hot Forced Labor Commodity?

Polyvinyl chloride, which is one of the most widely produced synthetic plastics, is used in a wide variety of applications including doors, windows and even flooring.  PVC may be a new target for CBP in the Forced Labor arena.  Sandler Travis & Rosenberg’s article shares a little more on this topic.  To check it out click on the link below.

Read More
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CBP Officers Conduct X-Ray inspections at the Superbowl

CBP “participated” in the big game.  CBP’s efforts include the security screening of all vehicles entering and working in the stadium in advance of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, AZ.  CBP is often called to help with events of this magnitude.  

CBP Officers are trained to look for things that are out of place or not quite right.  Officers use specific questions and tactics to determine if anything is not normal.

Read More
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Mexico Forced Labor
March 6, 2023
Mexico forced labor

The US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, released a statement regarding Mexico’s resolution aimed at prohibiting imports of merchandise produced with forced labor.  

“With this resolution, Mexico has taken an important step toward joining the United States and Canada in prohibiting the importation of goods produced with forced labor.   In light of this progress, the United States, Canada, and Mexico will work more closely together to eliminate forced labor from global supply chains and tackle transshipment, leveling the playing field for North American workers while protecting the most vulnerable workers around the world,” said Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative.

Read More
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Settlement for Underpayment of Customs Duties

A civil lawsuit was filed and settled against a US based vitamin corporation that imports and sells nutritional supplements from China.  The settlement resolves claims that the importer was defrauding the US by misclassifying products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule in order to avoid paying duties.  This resulted in the the U.S. Attorney announcement of a $22.8 million settlement.  To read more check out the link below.

Read More
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Almost 5,000 Earrings Retailing for $1.3M Seized by Louisville CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville KY detained a shipment believed to be counterfeit jewelry on January 2.  

CBP officers examined the shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods and discovered the shipment contained 4,920 pairs of earrings with Chanel logos. They were seized for infringing Chanel’s protected trademarks. The earrings, arriving from China and heading to Maryland, would have been worth a total of $1.37 million had they been genuine.

“This just goes to show you how criminals are using express consignment facilities to ship their items to unsuspecting consumers, damaging our economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “I want to congratulate our Officers for their outstanding job. CBP is the first line of defense, and we will continue to protect the safety of consumers.”

CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.

For More Information
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Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA)

Beginning March 18, 2023 US Customs will require a postal code for entries with goods manufactured in China.   CBP will utilize the postal codes to help determine if the imported products are coming from the Uyghur region. This enhancement will provide an early notification to importers of the possibility their goods may have been produced with forced labor. Any warning messages we receive will be reported to the importer.

read more
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FDA Registration
November 1, 2022
Food and Drug Administration renewal

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Facility Registration Renewal is from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022. All food facilities must submit a timely renewal. Failure to do so will cause product to be denied entry into the U.S.

Importantly, a DUNS number for the food facility location must be provided as part of the FDA renewal (a DUNS number for the corporate headquarters is not sufficient!). In the past, FDA has been flexible, allowing the use of “pending” if a DUNS’ number could not be obtained. FDA will no longer offer such flexibility.

As of October 1, the FDA will open its portal where food facilities must renew their food facility registrations. The window for renewal will run until December 31. All food facilities in your supply chains must submit a timely renewal. Failure to do so will cause product to be denied entry into the U.S.

This time, every registrant must have a DUNS number associated with the physical location of the food facility (a DUNS number for the corporate headquarters is not sufficient!). The FDA will no longer accept the use of “pending” in lieu of a valid DUNS number.  

A special warning: the name and contact information on the FDA food facility registration must exactly match the DUNS number contact information. If not, the registration may be cancelled. For example, if the FDA registration identifies “ABC Manufacturing” at “123 Main Street,” while the DUNS number info is listed as “ABC Manufacturing LLC” at 123 Main St.,” the registration will be denied. The two must be an exact match in every way.

Renewal Link
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Correction under magnifying glass

In a recent update, CBP has clarified the information sent in CSMS # 52984467 regarding courtesy copies of certain CBP forms, which was announced in our previous newsletter (read the original here). This correction states the filer will receive a courtesy copy of all forms in which they are the filer regardless if the importer has an ACE account or not.

CSMS Clarification
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Reviewing Section 301

In May of this year, the USTR notified representatives of domestic industries that benefit from the Section 301 Tariffs that the tariffs were set to expire, but the statute allows for comments on the continuation of the tariffs. On September 2nd, USTR announced that due to the requests for continuation, the Section 301 tariffs will not expire as scheduled. Moving forward, USTR will perform a review of the tariff actions and release further information to the public on the next steps for the four-year review.

Formal Notice of Continuation
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The Colors of Autumn
September 7, 2022
colorful leaves

It’s that time of year again. Fall is almost upon us! Fall officially starts September 22nd on the Autumnal Equinox. After months of record-breaking heat, we can finally start to wear long sleeves again, sip some warm coffee, relax, and watch the leaves change. Have you ever wondered why the leaves change? Many think it has to do with the cooling weather, but this is not the case. The beautiful red, yellow, and orange coloring we see in leaves are the result of the tree receiving less sunlight! Every leaf has a chemical inside called chlorophyll, which allows the leaf to absorb sunlight and gives them their signature green color. As the days get shorter, chemical changes take place that causes the base of the leaf to form a corklike wall where it meets the tree branch. This wall seals off the leaf from the rest of the tree, cutting off the supply of nutrients going to the leaves from the tree. The lack of nutrients and less daylight cause the chlorophyll to break down. The green color from the chlorophyll fades, and the other pigments within the leaf begin to make an appearance. Whether the leaf turns red, yellow, orange, or tan all depends on the other chemicals and pigments within the leaf.

Be sure to share these facts with your friends and family, and have a wonderful Autumn!

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forced labor ctpat update

CBP has announced new requirements related to forced labor for the CTPAT program that will affect all current and future participants in the program. Six requirements have been changed from “should” to “must” within the minimum security criteria requirements to be a CTPAT partner: Risk-based mapping, due diligence and training, evidence of implementation, code of conduct, remediation, and shared best practices. CTPAT members must meet these new requirements to be accepted as a partner, and current CTPAT partners will have until August 1st 2023 to implement the new rules. Trade and Compliance experts have raised concerns that implementation of these new rules may result in higher costs for participating members.

CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria Resources
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customs border protection

Trade highlights from CBP’s recent updates for Fiscal Year 2022 going through June 30th:

  • Processed 29.4 million entry summaries valued at $2.5 trillion
  • Collected $82.4 billion in duties, taxes, and fees
  • Issued 5 withhold release orders (WROs)
  • Detained 2,010 shipments worth $357.8 million related to WROs
  • Seized 15,834 shipments related to intellectual property rights violations

CBP Trade Statistics
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cobra customs user fees update

On August 25th, some Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) customs user fees and limitations were adjusted. The following changes will be applied to imports starting October 1st, 2022:

  • Formal MPF (499) limits changed. Minimum: $29.66 / Maximum: $575.35;
  • Informal MPF (311) changed to $2.37;
  • Dutiable Mail Fee (496) changed to $6.52;
  • Surcharge for Manual Entry or Release (500) changed to $3.56.

ACE CATAIR Entry Summary Create/Update
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update

CBP recently updated the ACE portal system on how CBP Forms 28, 29, and 4647 are provided to importers. ACE Forms Modernization Application, which is designed to send these forms to the importer via the ACE portal. CBP is working to ensure that importers without ACE portal accounts will still receive these forms via email to the customs broker.

If you would like to receive these via your ACE portal: 

• Both the importer account and the broker account have enabled the “Portal” setting in the “Mode of Communication” portlet.

• The importer has added all Importer of Record numbers to their top account record in the ACE Portal.

Apply for ACE Portal Account
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US – Kenya Trade Partnership In Development

The United States and Kenya recently began talks to develop a stronger trade partnership and to help drive economic growth. Kenya is already a part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows them duty-free access to certain goods in the US market. The US Trade Representative and the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary plan to continue meeting and develop a roadmap for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. The main points they are looking to collaborate upon include anti-corruption practices, environmental protection, digital trading, and the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises that help sustain economic growth. They are set to begin work on these projects within the next few months. 

See the Press Release
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Episode 1 The CBP Office of Trade Control, together with Santa’s Workshop

Episode 1 The CBP Office of Trade Control has joined together with Santa’s Workshop for an exiting new Series, CBP Trade Special Operation North pole. Check out the investigation and learn more about how all goods, even those from Santa’s Workshop, need to adhere to U.S. trade laws.

Holiday Lights

Did you know that more than 60% of the world's holiday accessories such as lights, come from China, not the North Pole as one might think. We of course know that these lights have to clear U.S. Customs & Border Protection, but did you know that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is also watching?

Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL which indicates conformance with safety standards. Use only lights that have plugs containing fuses.

  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • If using an extension cord, make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into older homes.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Never pull or tug on lights – they could unravel and inadvertently wrap around power lines.
  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
No Image

CIFIUS New Penalty Guidlines, National Risk Factors and More

December 7, 2022

2:00 PM ET - 2:30 PM ET

0.5 CCS Credit

TSA Joined Forces with AIFBA

On Oct 18th,  TSA joined forces with Atlanta International Forwarders & Brokers Association (AIFBA) to put together a much needed “Aviation Air Cargo Industry” Day in Morrow GA.  The line-up of speakers included officials from CBP, TSA, FAA, BIS and more. This sold-out event included attendees ranging from Forwarders, Brokers, Truckers, Airlines, Screening Facilities, Canine companies and more. With over 30 GOV officials in the room, attendees were able to easily connect and get much needed answers to numerous industry concerns regarding today’s air cargo sector. As a first-time event, it was a huge success and will likely become an annual affair.  As a sponsor, JAS Forwarding’s Sommer Sampson (TSA Program Manager/IACSC) spearheaded this event along with ATL Brokers Association, Local ATL TSA, and various other sponsors.

Food and Drug Administration renewal

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Facility Registration Renewal is from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022. All food facilities must submit a timely renewal. Failure to do so will cause product to be denied entry into the U.S.

Importantly, a DUNS number for the food facility location must be provided as part of the FDA renewal (a DUNS number for the corporate headquarters is not sufficient!). In the past, FDA has been flexible, allowing the use of “pending” if a DUNS’ number could not be obtained. FDA will no longer offer such flexibility.

As of October 1, the FDA will open its portal where food facilities must renew their food facility registrations. The window for renewal will run until December 31. All food facilities in your supply chains must submit a timely renewal. Failure to do so will cause product to be denied entry into the U.S.

This time, every registrant must have a DUNS number associated with the physical location of the food facility (a DUNS number for the corporate headquarters is not sufficient!). The FDA will no longer accept the use of “pending” in lieu of a valid DUNS number.  

A special warning: the name and contact information on the FDA food facility registration must exactly match the DUNS number contact information. If not, the registration may be cancelled. For example, if the FDA registration identifies “ABC Manufacturing” at “123 Main Street,” while the DUNS number info is listed as “ABC Manufacturing LLC” at 123 Main St.,” the registration will be denied. The two must be an exact match in every way.

TTB Publishes Temporary Regulations to Implement CBMA Import Refunds

The Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provide for reduced rates or tax credits for certain quantities of beer, wine and distilled spirits produced in or imported into the U.S.  Recent changes have transferred the responsibility for administering the CBMA tax benefits from U.S. Customs to the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB)  The changes begin with products entered for consumption in the U.S. on or after January 1, 2023.

Accordingly, TTB is publishing a temporary rule implementing these provisions and providing procedures for foreign producers and importers.  TTB is also publishing a notice of proposed rule making to obtain comments on the provisions in the temporary rule.  Comments are due by November 22, 2022.

Did You Know?

Did you ever wonder why Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thanksgiving of the month? Thanksgiving hasn't always been on the fourth Thursday in November. FDR in 1939 moved the holiday up by a week to help boost retail sales during the Depression. For the next 2 years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation but admitted on November 26, 1941, he made a mistake and signed a bill into law to officially make the fourth Thursday of November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

Pictured L-R: Joshua Foster-DFW Transportation Security Inspector (TSI), Brad Foster-DFW TSI, Nicholas Rubin-GK9 handler, James Bates-DFW TSI, Margaret Christian-JAS Corporate TSA Alternate Security Coordinator, Sommer Sampson-JAS Corporate TSA Primary Security Coordinator, Michael Scholz-DFW Gateway Manager, Jeanette Dilone-DFW Export Manager

Over the past few months, Sommer Sampson (TSA IACSC) & Margaret Christian (TSA A-IACSC) have been traveling to help implement additional screening facilities to new and current JAS locations.  

Air cargo screening demands continue to be on the rise since the ICAO 100% Screening Mandate of all outbound Air Cargo in 2021.  To enhance customer demands, JAS TSA Compliance successfully rolled out 3 new Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF’s), with 2 more additional openings being planned for the near future.  These new facilities (located in Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles) will add flexibility and increased options for our customers during the ever-increasing challenges that the industry continues to navigate. JAS longtime partner, Global K9 Protection Group (GK9PG) helps to make this happen by using canine as the primary screening method. JAS is also one of the few Indirect Air Carriers (IACs) approved to accept and handle Impracticable to Screen (ITS) cargo, giving us even more flexibility in our offerings to customers.

While heightened screening demands continue to challenge the industry, JAS is confident and ready due to our (now) 8 CCSF locations, multiple methods of screening, and years of experience in the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP).  If you would like to learn more please contact compliance@jas.com

Laurie Arnold (VP Compliance), and Leah Ellis (Compliance Operations Manager) posing with their awards

From September 18th-20th, Laurie Arnold, VP Compliance and Leah Ellis, Compliance Operations Manager, attended NCBFAA’s annual Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, DC. There they met with several Congressional members to discuss international trade industry issues. They also worked on the Seafood Import Monitoring Program bill (SIMP), the Customs Business Fairness Act and the new Customs Modernization Update. Laurie and Leah also received awards for their hard work and dedication for their past year’s efforts as the legislative and PAC committee chairs.

Reviewing Section 301

In May of this year, the USTR notified representatives of domestic industries that benefit from the Section 301 Tariffs that the tariffs were set to expire, but the statute allows for comments on the continuation of the tariffs. On September 2nd, USTR announced that due to the requests for continuation, the Section 301 tariffs will not expire as scheduled. Moving forward, USTR will perform a review of the tariff actions and release further information to the public on the next steps for the four-year review.

Correction under magnifying glass

In a recent update, CBP has clarified the information sent in CSMS # 52984467 regarding courtesy copies of certain CBP forms, which was announced in our previous newsletter (read the original here). This correction states the filer will receive a courtesy copy of all forms in which they are the filer regardless if the importer has an ACE account or not.

Festive Jack-'O-Lanterns on a window sill

Trick-or-Treat! Here are some fun facts to share with the family while you hunt for the best pumpkin in the patch.

• Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the US, right under Christmas.

• Americans are expected to spend over $3 billion on costumes for Halloween in 2022.

• Another $3 billion will be spent on candy alone

• Think you can carve fast? The fastest pumpkin carving of a complete Jack O’ Lantern face according to Guinness World Records is 16.47 seconds. Beat that!

• The average pumpkin has about 500 seeds.

• Pumpkin seeds make a terrific snack! Click the button below for a simple toasted pumpkin seeds recipe that you can make with your family!

update

CBP recently updated the ACE portal system on how CBP Forms 28, 29, and 4647 are provided to importers. ACE Forms Modernization Application, which is designed to send these forms to the importer via the ACE portal. CBP is working to ensure that importers without ACE portal accounts will still receive these forms via email to the customs broker.

If you would like to receive these via your ACE portal: 

• Both the importer account and the broker account have enabled the “Portal” setting in the “Mode of Communication” portlet.

• The importer has added all Importer of Record numbers to their top account record in the ACE Portal.

cobra customs user fees update

On August 25th, some Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) customs user fees and limitations were adjusted. The following changes will be applied to imports starting October 1st, 2022:

  • Formal MPF (499) limits changed. Minimum: $29.66 / Maximum: $575.35;
  • Informal MPF (311) changed to $2.37;
  • Dutiable Mail Fee (496) changed to $6.52;
  • Surcharge for Manual Entry or Release (500) changed to $3.56.

customs border protection

Trade highlights from CBP’s recent updates for Fiscal Year 2022 going through June 30th:

  • Processed 29.4 million entry summaries valued at $2.5 trillion
  • Collected $82.4 billion in duties, taxes, and fees
  • Issued 5 withhold release orders (WROs)
  • Detained 2,010 shipments worth $357.8 million related to WROs
  • Seized 15,834 shipments related to intellectual property rights violations

forced labor ctpat update

CBP has announced new requirements related to forced labor for the CTPAT program that will affect all current and future participants in the program. Six requirements have been changed from “should” to “must” within the minimum security criteria requirements to be a CTPAT partner: Risk-based mapping, due diligence and training, evidence of implementation, code of conduct, remediation, and shared best practices. CTPAT members must meet these new requirements to be accepted as a partner, and current CTPAT partners will have until August 1st 2023 to implement the new rules. Trade and Compliance experts have raised concerns that implementation of these new rules may result in higher costs for participating members.

L-R Laurie Arnold, Amy Magnus Sr. Counsel, JD Gonzales, President NCBFAA and Victoria Lane, VP NCBFAA

Recently, Laurie Arnold, JAS VP Compliance and the Treasurer for NCBFAA, attended the 8th annual NEI Global Trade Educational Conference (GTEC). The event took place at the historic InterContinential Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel, hosted by the NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI). Laurie attended presentations on many different subjects, including forced labor, 301 tariffs, CBP updates, binding rulings, and trade remedies. The event had many networking opportunities to connect with other members in the industry. The NEI offers multiple learning and educational opportunities. If you would like to learn more about these types of events, you can subscribe to NEI news and updates from the NCBFAA site.

colorful leaves

It’s that time of year again. Fall is almost upon us! Fall officially starts September 22nd on the Autumnal Equinox. After months of record-breaking heat, we can finally start to wear long sleeves again, sip some warm coffee, relax, and watch the leaves change. Have you ever wondered why the leaves change? Many think it has to do with the cooling weather, but this is not the case. The beautiful red, yellow, and orange coloring we see in leaves are the result of the tree receiving less sunlight! Every leaf has a chemical inside called chlorophyll, which allows the leaf to absorb sunlight and gives them their signature green color. As the days get shorter, chemical changes take place that causes the base of the leaf to form a corklike wall where it meets the tree branch. This wall seals off the leaf from the rest of the tree, cutting off the supply of nutrients going to the leaves from the tree. The lack of nutrients and less daylight cause the chlorophyll to break down. The green color from the chlorophyll fades, and the other pigments within the leaf begin to make an appearance. Whether the leaf turns red, yellow, orange, or tan all depends on the other chemicals and pigments within the leaf.

Be sure to share these facts with your friends and family, and have a wonderful Autumn!

Department Of Commerce Initiates Circumvention Inquiry on Chinese Aluminum Foil

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has initiated an inquiry to establish whether imports of completed aluminum foil products from Korea and Thailand that use Chinese-manufactured aluminum inputs are circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties on those goods. These duties apply specifically to aluminum foil “having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width,” that was manufactured in China. The DOC will be contacting certain companies in Korea and Thailand to analyze their production and supply chain and make a decision based on their review. 

US – Kenya Trade Partnership In Development

The United States and Kenya recently began talks to develop a stronger trade partnership and to help drive economic growth. Kenya is already a part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows them duty-free access to certain goods in the US market. The US Trade Representative and the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary plan to continue meeting and develop a roadmap for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. The main points they are looking to collaborate upon include anti-corruption practices, environmental protection, digital trading, and the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises that help sustain economic growth. They are set to begin work on these projects within the next few months. 

Section 301 actions must undergo a review every 4 years

According to the Trade Act, Section 301 actions must undergo a review every 4 years to ensure that those tariffs are still necessary and effective. During the review process, USTR will take comments and requests for continuance from members of the industry via the online portal on the USTR website.

List 1 was originally set to expire on July 6th but is still currently in effect, though no announcement has been made about its continuation yet. The 60-day period to request continuation for List 2 is open until August 22, 2022.  List 3 is scheduled to expire this September, and List 4A is set for September 2023, and both will have their own respective opportunities to submit requests for continuance. 

Back to School tidbits

This August, students will begin returning to classes for the 2022-2023 school year. Let's look at some interesting facts about schooling in the US to get those brains back in action!

  • Over 50 million students will be attending public schools in 2022.
  • There are nearly 98,000 public schools in the US. 
  • About 10% of students will attend private schools.
  • Back-to-school costs for 2022 are expected to average about $864 per family.
  • On average, schools spend over $13,000 per student annually. 
Temporary Suspension of Tariffs on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia Authorized

Recently, the US has been experiencing a shortage of solar energy modules, and energy producers have not been able to keep up with demand for clean energy alternatives. On June 6th, the current administration declared “an emergency to exist with respect to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected customer demand.” This emergency declaration allows for solar panels originating from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to be imported to the US duty-free for the next 24 months, at the discretion of the Secretaries of Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security.

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