CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

Subject to certain limits under California law, California residents may ask us to provide them with (1) a list of certain categories of personal information we have disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the immediately preceding calendar year, and (2) the identity of those third parties. To make this request, California residents may contact us as specified in the "How To Contact Us" section at the bottom of the Privacy Notice Page.

CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

Subject to certain limits under California law, California residents may ask us to provide them with (1) a list of certain categories of personal information we have disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the immediately preceding calendar year, and (2) the identity of those third parties. To make this request, California residents may contact us as specified in the "How To Contact Us" section at the bottom of the Privacy Notice Page.

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

COMPLIANCE SOLUTIONS

JAS USA Compliance Insights

Client Advisory

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

Additional Section 232 Steel & Aluminum Exclusions
January 5, 2021

The U.S. Department of Commerce has published a Federal Register Notice issuing 123 new Section 232 tariff exclusions on steel and aluminum imports.  The exclusions are effective for article entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after December 29, 2020.

To see the official federal register notice and the list of new exclusions
By
Aluminum Import Licenses Required Beginning Jan 25th
January 5, 2021

The U.S. Department of Commerce published a final rule in the Federal Register adopting the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system regulations.  The AIM website consists of an online aluminum import license application platform and public AIM monitor. The license application system will be available for early registration on or after January 4, 2021, and licenses will be required for entries of covered aluminum products beginning January 25, 2021.

For more information and to access the new system
By
GSP Expired as of December 31st
January 5, 2021

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) has expired as of December 31, 2020.  Until further notice, GSP eligible goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse need to pay “General” (column 1) duty rates effective, January 1, 2021, 12:00 am. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encourages importers to continue to flag GSP eligible importations during the lapse, starting January 1, 2021.  JAS Forwarding will continue to flag for GSP eligible entries.

To read the official notice from U.S. Customs
By
China Section 301 Exclusions Update
January 5, 2021

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it has granted 19 new exclusions and 79 extensions from Section 301 China tariffs on China. These exclusions are effective until March 31, 2021.

To see the full list of extended and new exclusions
By
Triennial Broker Fees Due
January 5, 2021

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that the 2021 Customs Broker Triennial Status Report and fee submission period for all licensed customs brokers will run from December 15, 2020 to February 28, 2021. Each licensed broker is required to file a status report with CBP every three years.

Customs Broker Triennial Status Report and fee submissions can be made online via the eCBP portal, which accepts credit card, debit card, and digital wallet (e.g. PayPal and Amazon Pay) payments. No additional fees are charged for any payments and receipts are provided electronically.

To access the Triennial Status Report Online
By
2020 Trade Updates
December 2, 2020

As we approach the end of the year, please be advised that there are several updates on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), China 301 Tariffs, and the European Union Tariffs.  Several of the updates include expirations scheduled for December 31, 2020.

Read More on End of the Year Trade Updates
By
Commerce Provides Relief for Exporters with Six-Month Extension on Licenses
December 2, 2020

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that exporters may request six-month extensions for licenses due to expire on or before December 31, 2020. The extensions are being provided as a response to situations caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read the Official BIS Notice
By
ICAO All-Cargo 100% Screening Mandate June 2021
December 2, 2020

The mandate issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) from Sept 2016, requires that all air cargo carried by commercial aircraft be screened or have commensurate security measures applied by June 30, 2021.  A 100% requirement for screening of cargo transported on passenger planes has been in effect since August 2010 with freight forwarders successfully meeting this mandate. JAS Forwarding (USA) has long been a member of TSAs Certified Cargo Screening Program and currently has CCSF (Certified Cargo Screening Facility) located in all major gateways

Read More
By
GSP Changes Effective November 1st
November 4, 2020

The White House issued a proclamation for a set of changes to the Generalized System of Preferences that take effect Nov. 1st.  Changes in the proclamation include the addition of fresh-cut roses to and removal of parboiled rice from the list of goods that are eligible for GSP.  The proclamation also suspends GSP benefits for certain products of Thailand effective Dec. 30, 2020.

Read the Full Proclamation
By
U.S. Customs Restricts Palm Oil Imports from Malaysia for Forced Labor
November 4, 2020

US Customs and Border Protection has blocked the imports of palm oil and palm oil products from Malaysia in the latest move by the agency targeting overseas forced labor practices.

The restrictions are a result of a year-long investigation into labor abuses.  CBP uncovered indicators of forced labor including physical and sexual violence, debt bondage, retention of identification documents and withholding of wages.  

Please be sure to read the newly published 2020 edition of the List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor published by the Department of Labor for more information.

Read the Publication by the Department of Labor
By
REMINDER - Section 301 Exclusions Expiring December 31st
November 4, 2020

Section 301 product exclusion extensions announced in a notice applicable September 1, 2020 are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020.  To see the federal register announcement and a list of product exclusions that will be expiring, please CLICK HERE.

By
It's Not Too Late to File for a Claim
October 1, 2020

On September 10, 2020, a group of importers filed a lawsuit in the Court of International Trade claiming that Section 301 List 3 & 4A overstepped the authority outlined in the Trade Promotion Act of 1974.  The lawsuit also claims that the Section 301 Lists 3 & 4A overstepped the notice and comment period outlined in the Administrative Procedures Act.  If the lawsuit is successful, the government could possibly owe importers who file an independent claim the Section 301 duties, taxes and interest that was paid for list 3 & 4A.  There was a rush to have all independent claims filed by September 18th; however, compelling legal arguments have been found that may support that the early deadline does not apply.  List 4A will not be questioned for timeliness if filed on or before August 19, 2021.

Read More on Filing Direct Claims
By
Significant New EPA Rule on Certain Chemical Substances
October 1, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new rule on 20 chemical substances that will require importers to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to importing effective November 16, 2020.  Some of the substances are for use in chemical intermediates, car head lamp sealants, lubricants, coating polymers, tackifiers for synthetic automotive tire stock, adhesives, coatings, print resins, UV-curable inks, and more.  Importers must certify that shipments of these substances comply with all applicable rules and orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Read EPA publication on the new rule
By
Upcoming Changes to Steel License Application
October 1, 2020

Effective October 13, 2020, a new field on the steel import license form will be required to provide information about the country of melt and pour on all standard licenses from all countries.   There will also be a new license application site starting October 13.  This new application will not be available to the public until October 13, 2020.

Access the new license application and to read the full article on the new requirements
By
Section 301 Exclusions Extended for List 1
October 1, 2020

The U.S. Trade Representative announced that over 150 product exclusions from List 1 and 2 of Section 301 tariffs are set to expire on October 2, 2020.  These exclusions are now subject to the 25% additional tariffs going forward.  There are also 124 exclusions that were extended.  These exclusions will be in place until December 31, 2020.

To read the USTR announcement on exclusion updates, please click HERE for list 1 updatesand click HERE for list 2 updates
By
Canadian Aluminum 232 Tariffs
September 1, 2020

President Trump made an announcement of re-imposing an additional 10 percent tariff on non-alloyed unwrought aluminum articles from Canada.  The additional duty is effective for subject goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 am EDT on Aug. 16.  Any imports of such goods that were admitted into a U.S. foreign-trade zone under privileged foreign status prior to the effective date will be subject to the 10 percent tariff upon entry for consumption after that date.

Read the Full Article
By
Marking Requirements for Hong Kong Goods
September 1, 2020

CBP has issued a notice that goods produced in Hong Kong will need to be marked as a product of China effective September 25, 2020.  The marking notice is a result of the July 14th Executive order that resulted in a policy change that requires Hong Kong to be treated as China. CBP is allowing a 45-day transition period for implementation.

Read the Full Notice
By
USTR Revises List of EU Goods Subject to Section 301 Tariffs
September 1, 2020

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released an updated list of goods from the European Union to be subject to Section 301 tariffs as part of the dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization over Airbus subsidies. The changes are applicable for products entered for consumption or withdrawn from a warehouse on or after 12:01 am on September 1, 2020.

See the Full Notice of Products Impacted
By
Section 301 List 3 China Tariffs to Expire
September 1, 2020

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 266 products on the List 3 of Section 301 exclusion list will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020.  Additionally, there are 700 other products that were on that list and expired August 7, 2020.

See the list of tariff exclusions that are extended and expired
By
CBP User Fees Increase
August 5, 2020

An announcement was published on July 29, 2020 that user fees within the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will take place effective October 1, 2020.  The minimum merchandise processing fee will change from $26.79 to $27.23 and the maximum will change from $519.76 to $528.33.  The ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will not change.  Additional user fees are also increasing.

See All Applicable Changes
By
Section 301 Tariffs Expiring
August 5, 2020

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 14 products from the Section 301 exclusion list scheduled to expire July 31st will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020.  Additionally, there are other products on the list that expired on July 31st.  Comments are currently being accepted for three sets of exclusions that are scheduled to expire October 2, 2020.  Comments can be submitted by clicking HERE

See the list of expired Tariffs
By
Licensing Policy Change for Hong Kong
August 5, 2020

On July 14, 2020, the President signed an Executive Order that requires Hong Kong to be treated as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).  Hong Kong is now considered to be included in the entry for China under section 126.1(d)(1) of the ITAR and therefore subject to a policy of denial for all transfers subject to the ITAR.  The U.S. government is taking this action because the Chinese Communist Party has fundamentally undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and thereby increased the risk that sensitive U.S. items will be illegally diverted to the PRC.

Review the Latest Status of This Order
By
Section 301 Investigation of France's Digital Services
August 5, 2020

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced new tariffs in response to the French digital services tax. The tariffs of 25 percent on $1.3 billion worth of trade could go into effect until January 6, 2021. The tariffs would apply to several make-up products, handbags, and assorted soaps.

Read More
By
Hong Kong Restrictions
July 7, 2020

H​The U.S Department of State and U.S. Department of Commerce have issued statements that the United States will end exports of U.S. origin defense equipment to Hong Kong.  The U.S. will also take steps towards imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies as it does for China.   Preferential treatment to Hong Kong (including the availability of export license exceptions) are suspended.  Further action to eliminate differential treatment is also being evaluated.

Hong Kong Restrictions Advisory
By
UPDATE - Amendment of Export Regulations for Shipments to China, Russia, & Venezuela
July 7, 2020

On June 8th, an advisory was released announcing that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) was amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to expand license requirements on certain exports.  The amendment requires a license for the exports, reexports, and transfer of items intended for military use destined for China, Russia, or Venezuela.  It broadens the list of items for which the licensing requirements and review policy apply and expands the definition of “military end use.”

There has been an amendment to the regulation to extend some of the ECCN requirements until September 2020.  

Effective June 29th certain ECCN’s are subject to the new rule while other will be subject to the new rule effective September 27th.  

To see the full list:

Amendment of Export Regulations Advisory
By

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new rule on 20 chemical substances that will require importers to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to importing effective November 16, 2020.  Some of the substances are for use in chemical intermediates, car head lamp sealants, lubricants, coating polymers, tackifiers for synthetic automotive tire stock, adhesives, coatings, print resins, UV-curable inks, and more.  Importers must certify that shipments of these substances comply with all applicable rules and orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Effective October 13, 2020, a new field on the steel import license form will be required to provide information about the country of melt and pour on all standard licenses from all countries.   There will also be a new license application site starting October 13.  This new application will not be available to the public until October 13, 2020.

The U.S. Trade Representative announced that over 150 product exclusions from List 1 and 2 of Section 301 tariffs are set to expire on October 2, 2020.  These exclusions are now subject to the 25% additional tariffs going forward.  There are also 124 exclusions that were extended.  These exclusions will be in place until December 31, 2020.

Are you practicing reasonable care to ensure importedgoods are not produced wholly or in part with convict labor, forced laborand/or indentured labor?  CBP haspublished a reasonable care checklist that includes questions to help importersavoid forced labor of imported goods.  

Some Halloween traditions may look different this year to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still plenty of ways families can have fun while avoiding the scare of being exposed to or spreading the virus.

Most importantly, keep doing what you have been doing: avoiding large gatherings, keeping a distance of six feet from others, wearing cloth face coverings (think superhero!), and washing hands often.  

CLICK HERE for ideas for ways to keep safety steps in place while celebrating!

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date:  October 20-23, 2020

Location:  VIRTUAL

This two-day virtual program is led by BIS's professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

Register Here

ITAR/EAR Controls for Non-US Companies

Date:  November 16-17, 2020

Location: VIRTUAL

EAR and ITAR regulations are extra-territorial and apply to companies and organizations outside of the United States. Non-compliance can result in serious fines and penalties - even the loss of U.S. Government contracts and the ability to receive U.S. items. Instructors Suzanne Palmer (ECS) and Marc Binder (ITC Strategies) give comprehensive instruction on how the rules apply outside the U.S. and detail best practices for staying in compliance.

Register Here

President Trump made an announcement of re-imposing an additional 10 percent tariff on non-alloyed unwrought aluminum articles from Canada.  The additional duty is effective for subject goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 am EDT on Aug. 16.  Any imports of such goods that were admitted into a U.S. foreign-trade zone under privileged foreign status prior to the effective date will be subject to the 10 percent tariff upon entry for consumption after that date.

CBP has issued a notice that goods produced in Hong Kong will need to be marked as a product of China effective September 25, 2020.  The marking notice is a result of the July 14th Executive order that resulted in a policy change that requires Hong Kong to be treated as China. CBP is allowing a 45-day transition period for implementation.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released an updated list of goods from the European Union to be subject to Section 301 tariffs as part of the dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization over Airbus subsidies. The changes are applicable for products entered for consumption or withdrawn from a warehouse on or after 12:01 am on September 1, 2020.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 266 products on the List 3 of Section 301 exclusion list will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020.  Additionally, there are 700 other products that were on that list and expired August 7, 2020.

The new AD/CVD Public Message Site will be deployed and available for use on August 21, 2020.  It will provide a modernized AD/CVD site on the ACE Secure Data Portal using the current URL.  Additionally, it will highlight features that include enhanced advanced search capabilities, a simplified data flow, and improved data presentation.  

To access the new site, click HERE!

Are there questions about what is subject to China tariffs for products from Hong Kong since the new rule has been published?  CBP has provided a list of frequently asked questions available on their website.  To see the list of questions and answers, click HERE!

TSA collected $926,030.44 in unclaimed money that passengers left behind at airport security checkpoints during Fiscal Year 2019, including $18,899.09 in foreign currency.

The money consisted of loose change and paper currency that passengers removed from their pockets and left behind in a bin during the security screening process at TSA checkpoints.

The amount found during FY19, which ended September 30, 2019, marked a decrease in the amount of unclaimed money collected in FY18 when $960,105.49 was left behind.  When passengers approach the checkpoint, all items from pockets must be removed, including wallets and loose change. TSA recommends that travelers place those items directly into their carry-on bags so that they will not accidentally leave anything behind in a bin.

The top five airports where passengers have left the most money behind were:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport - $98,110
  • San Francisco International Airport - $52,668.70
  • Miami International Airport - $47,694.03
  • McCarran International Airport - $44,401.76
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport - $40,218.19

To read the full article…. Click HERE!  Be sure that you have all your belongings the next time!

WESCCON

Date:  October 1-4, 2020

Location: VIRTUAL

This conference offers opportunity to meet people in the global logistics industry. It will consist of panels, roundtable discussions and town hall meetings on relevant topics to keep you informed on the latest industry issues and trends.

Register Here

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date:  October 20-23, 2020

Location:  VIRTUAL

This two-day virtual program is led by BIS's professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

Register Here

An announcement was published on July 29, 2020 that user fees within the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will take place effective October 1, 2020.  The minimum merchandise processing fee will change from $26.79 to $27.23 and the maximum will change from $519.76 to $528.33.  The ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will not change.  Additional user fees are also increasing.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 14 products from the Section 301 exclusion list scheduled to expire July 31st will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020.  Additionally, there are other products on the list that expired on July 31st.  Comments are currently being accepted for three sets of exclusions that are scheduled to expire October 2, 2020.  Comments can be submitted by clicking HERE

On July 14, 2020, the President signed an Executive Order that requires Hong Kong to be treated as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).  Hong Kong is now considered to be included in the entry for China under section 126.1(d)(1) of the ITAR and therefore subject to a policy of denial for all transfers subject to the ITAR.  The U.S. government is taking this action because the Chinese Communist Party has fundamentally undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and thereby increased the risk that sensitive U.S. items will be illegally diverted to the PRC.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced new tariffs in response to the French digital services tax. The tariffs of 25 percent on $1.3 billion worth of trade could go into effect until January 6, 2021. The tariffs would apply to several make-up products, handbags, and assorted soaps.

Free Lunch for Truck Drivers Initiative in Virginia

Acts of kindness are contagious!!  After seeing a similar initiative to feed truckers in Atlanta the broker’s association in Virginia decided to follow through with a similar initiative!  CBIFFA (organization Customs Brokerage and International Freight Forwarding of Virginia) led by JAS Compliance USA Team Member Tiffany Coffey provided 100 free lunch boxes, water, and snacks to truck drivers.  It was their way of saying thank you to drivers for being on the front-line servicing logistics needs in the middle of a pandemic!  Way to go Tiffany and the CBIFFA team in Virginia!

Entry Type 86 is a fairly new entry type intended to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) manage the flow of goods by creating greater visibility for low-value shipments entering the U.S. while improving border protection, import security, and safety. As of September 2019, imports to the U.S. with a de minimus value of less than $800 can be classified under type 86.  Do you have questions about how or when this entry type can be used?  Please see the list of FAQ’s on Customs website regarding entry type 86.

Now is the time of year that parents start gearing up for kids to go back to school!  This year is different as we continue to adjust to the new norm during an ongoing pandemic.  Are your children returning to the classroom?  Are they converting to virtual learning modules?  No matter which direction of learning that your children will participate in this year, here is a guideline for the CDC to help keep our children healthy and safe as we approach the school year!

Encryption Controls Virtual Seminar

Date:  August 25-26th, 2020

Location:  VIRTUAL

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will provide a comprehensive overview of controls on Compencryption in the EAR.  The program will include a live Q&A, provide detailed electronic reference materials for ongoing use, and allow attendees the opportunity to view recordings of the sessions for a limited period following the seminar.

Register Here

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date:  September 9-10, 2020

Location:  VIRTUAL

This two-day virtual program is led by BIS's professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

Register Here

WESCCON

Date:  October 1-4, 2020

Location: VIRTUAL

This conference offers opportunity to meet people in the global logistics industry. It will consist of panels, roundtable discussions and town hall meetings on relevant topics to keep you informed on the latest industry issues and trends.

Register Here

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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).

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).

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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).

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

The United States and Singapore has signed three Customs agreements, in order to ensure cooperation and mutual assistance on Customs enforcement and support of lawful trade and travel. Both parties "signed a U.S.–Singapore Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Singapore’s Customs’ Secure Trade (STC) Partnership," an article by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated. "The mutual recognition arrangement between C-TPAT and Singapore’s STC will link the two industry partnership programs, so together it will create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitation global cargo trade," the article stated.

CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske stated:

"The signing of the MRA and CMAA between the U.S. and Singapore demonstrates the partnership and commitment of each country to combatting customs fraud and to a secure global supply chain."

Read more about the agreements with Singapore at the official CBP website.

JAS EMPLOYEE NAMED PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT FORWARDERS AND CUSTOMS BROKERS ASSOCIATION OF CHARLOTTE

Congratulations to Daniel Zupko as he was named the President of the International Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Charlotte (IFFCBA)! The mission of the organization is to serve the Charlotte freight forwarder and customs broker community by providing a central source of information regarding industry laws and regulations. Daniel served as the Treasurer and Chairman of the customs committee of the organization for the past two years. He also brings over 20 years of experience to IFFCBA and JAS! Congratulations and best wishes to him as President!

Ear Export Controls / Itar Defense Trade Controls Seminar Series

Date: December 7-10, 2015

Location: Miami,  Florida

This seminar series provides both novice and experienced export compliance professionals with an in-depth education on export control regulations administered by the US Departments of State, Commerce & Treasury.

Did You Miss The BIS Update 2015 Conference?

If you did, you are still able to find the recap online that contains the program summary, presentations and speeches. The annual conference gives the exporting community the opportunity to learn first hand from senior U.S. Government officials about current issues and trends in the export control policies, regulations and practices.

Get the registration information.

The United States signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on December 7, 2015 with the Dominican Republic. The agreement allows for a stronger and better relationship between the countries, specifically securing the global supply chain and also acknowledging the potential of efficiency between U.S. Customs and Border Protection's C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the Dominican Republic’s Authorized Economic Operator Program.  "CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske signed the arrangement on behalf of the United States and Dominican Customs Director General Fernando Fernandez signed on behalf of the Dominican Republic," an article by U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated.

CBP Commissioner R.Gil Kerlikowske stated:

“I’m pleased to be here to join President Danilo Medina and Director General Fernandez in the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement. This is a significant milestone for both the United States and the Dominican Republic in the facilitation of secure trade between our two countries.”

Read more about the Mutual Recognition Agreement.

The Federal Trade Commission has announced proposed court orders imposing $1.3 million in penalties against four retailers.  The fines are due to a settlement based on wrongly labeling bamboo materials.    The complaints allege that the four importers broke the law by continuing to misrepresent products of bamboo, despite the warning letters from the FTC in 2010.  In 2013, several other importers settled a combined $1.26 million to settle similar FTC claims.  

Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, is quoted saying the following on the matter:

"It's misleading to call bamboo that has been chemically processed into rayon simply 'bamboo'. With consumers in the midst of their holiday shopping, it's important for them to know that textiles marketed as environmentally friendly alternatives may not be as 'green' as they were led to believe."

Download the Original Article.

On December 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced $94,700 in fines to five importers and that more than 1394 items that included engines, scooters and ATV’s had been seized, exported or destroyed.  "This was the latest result of their continued joint operations at the ports of LA, Long Beach and Oakland, targeting foreign-made vehicles and equipment without proper emission controls, as well as illegal pesticides, imported into the United States in vocation of federal law," stated an article from the U.S. EPA,  "EPA estimates that the non-compliance vehicles and engines in its enforcement cases announced today would have emitted at least 215,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC) per year."  

“EPA has been working diligently with CBP officers at the ports to ensure all items entering our nation comply with federal environmental standards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue our efforts to reduce pollution and protect consumers from illegal imports," the article stated.

Read the original article.

President Obama will move as soon as next month to remove several restrictions regarding trade, finance and travel policies towards Cuba. While the exact timing for implementation is still being determined, the Obama administration took a major step forward on December 17 to normalize relations with Cuba. The White House also issued a fact sheet about the specifics about the new regulations.  

(Article no longer available).

RULE WAIVER FOR EXPORTERS TO DEPOSIT PERMANENT EXPORT LICENSE WITH CBP (CSMS# 15-000962)

In anticipation of the implementation of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), DDTC is electronically sending CBP registration and licensing data on a daily basis.  Since CBP port officials will have access to the DDTC registration and licensing data through ACE, there is no longer a need for exporters to deposit permanent export licenses with CBP prior to filing in ACE.

Effective immediately, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade Controls is exercising the authority under 22 CFR 126.3 to waive the requirement under 22 CFR 123.22(a)(1) for exporters to deposit permanent export licenses with CBP, prior to filing in the Automated Export System (AES).  This exemption will remain in effect until DDTC amends the language of 22 CFR 123.22(a) (1) to remove the requirement.

Read the official statement.

CONFIRMED OUTBREAK OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA IN THE CANADIAN PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

"Effective immediately, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has notified U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of immediate restrictions on the importation of certain bird and poultry products and live birds from a control zone in Southern British Columbia," stated U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This restriction is due to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as bird flu. Due to the outbreak, certain poultry products that are originating out of the control zone of British Columbia are prohibited until further notice.

A statement from the CBP:

"Travelers intending to bring food products into the U.S. from Canada are encourages to learn which products are allowed and which are prohibited before they travel."

For further information and a list of prohibited items please visit the official CBP.gov website.

Customs Broker Exam Bootcamp

Date:  January 18-21, 2016

Location:  Lexington, KY

Multi-day, all-day, intensive, collaborative, and hand on workshops that illuminate your way to the customs broker license.  Class will begin at 8:00 am each day and end at 6 pm.

Get More Information

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

​Date:  January 27-28, 2016

Location:  Memphis, TN

The two-day program is led by BIS's professional counselling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

Get More Information

What the Heck is a Routed Export Transaction?

​A routed export transaction occurs when a foreign purchaser, or foreign principal party in interest (FPPI) requests to have their merchandise retrieved by a freight forwarder or other agent who has been contracted by the foreign purchaser to export the merchandise from the United States.

Did you know that even though the FPPI is “controlling” the export transaction, the USPPI still has responsibilities?  The USPPI is responsible for providing their name, address and all the commodity information to the filing agent.

Congratulations to Leah Ellis, Corporate Compliance Specialist, as she was named the President of the International Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Houston!  The mission of the organization is to serve the Houston freight forwarder and customs broker community by providing a central source of information regarding industry laws and regulations.  Leah Ellis started with JAS Forwarding on December 8, 2008.  In September 2009, she started playing an active role in the Compliance Department as well as being the Import Manager of the Houston Office.  In January of 2011, she joined the Corporate Compliance Team.  She also became a Director of the Houston Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association in 2011, and followed with becoming secretary in 2013.   She has played an active role at both the Local and National level. Congratulations!

The United States and European nations have changed certain conditions of the oil and financial sanctions on Iran and released roughly $100 billion of its assets after international inspectors concluded that the country had followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program.  The changes are mostly financial related and the majority of them are for companies outside of the USA that may be a subsidiary of a US company.  This is not an indication that it is acceptable for a U.S. Company to do business in Iran. You should consult an attorney before considering trade with Iran to ensure you can comply with any regulations.

"Relations between Iran and the IAEA now enter a new phase. It is an important day for the international community. I congratulate all those who helped make it a reality," said Director General Yukiyo Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

To read more on Iran Sanctions Lifted:  http://www.alston.com/advisories/iran-sanctions-relief/

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.

Download the Fully Detailed Description of Commercial Invoice Requirements

Complying with U.S. Export ControlsDate:  February, 17-18, 2016

Location:  Tampa, Florida

The two-day program is led by BIS's professional counselling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

Get More Information

Interactive Export Workshop: DC 2016 Intermediate/Advanced Level

Date:  April 5-6, 2016

Location:  Alexandria, VA

This workshop will help experienced export compliance practitioners take their compliance knowledge and their company's compliance program to a higher level.  Successful participants will possess a good basic understanding of export controls.

Get More Information

On February 28, 2016, U.S. Custom and Border Protection is mandating all entries with the FDA and must be filed as ACE Entry Summary and ACE Cargo Release.  With the integration of ACE Cargo Release, several of the PGA’s (Other Government Agencies) are requiring more information.  FDA is one of these PGA’s which is requiring more accurate information on entries.

FDA is now requiring a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet Number) for both the Importer and Shipper.  If a Shipper does not have a DUNS, the shippers FEI number should be submitted.  If the Importer does not have a DUNS, they will be required to apply for one in order to process the entry.

Please read the attached advisory for further information.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection automated systems electronically support the facilitation of importing and exporting goods. By the end of 2016, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) will become the Single Window - the primary system through which the trade community will report imports and exports, and the government will determine admissibility. Through ACE as the Single Window, manual processes will be streamlined and automated, paper will be eliminated, and the international trade community will be able to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations.  Customs and Border Protection has issued a date of February 28 for a large majority of Participating Government Agency entries to take place.

JAS Forwarding USA has been working diligently for months on the ACE transition and was one of the first brokers to ever file using the ACE system.  The new ACE platform will be a robust system when complete, but it has had its share of ups and downs during the production process.  It has been a rocky road getting ACE to fruition. There have been deployments that have not worked correctly and have caused major headaches for the industry as well as delays in programming being delivered by CBP to the software providers.  This then causes delays to the industry.  Some programming will be delivered by CBP to the software providers the day before the cut over.

JAS will continue to work through these issues and currently participates in several pilots with CBP such as FDA, DOT and the Lacey Act. While U.S. Customs & Border Protection has until the deadline of February 28th, JAS Compliance is currently taking part in daily conference calls with CBP, participating in webinars and attending meetings and classes regularly to ensure that JAS Forwarding USA is ready.

“I have been in the business for a very long time and I clearly remember the first day I heard about ACE over a decade ago and thought ‘wow, this would be a great tool.’  I have watched and listened to CBP discuss ACE and what it can do for years.  The time is finally here.  It has been a rocky road but JAS will do everything we can to ensure that we are ready.” says Laurie Arnold, Regulatory Compliance Officer, JAS Forwarding USA, Inc.

For more information:  http://www.ncbfaa.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/userfiles/uploads/second_ACE_letter.pdf

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) changed the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to require shippers to verify the weight of their containers. The IMO decided to make this change because of road and sea accidents caused by overweight containers.

"Since the new SOLAS container weight rules were released, and as the deadline for implementation rapidly approaches, there have been an increasing amount of questions, few answers and genuine concern among shippers and the industry as to the potentially serious impact of the rule on U.S. trade and competitiveness," stated an article by the NCBFAA.

Please see the full article from the NCBFAA  that includes details of the new rule and answers to some questions that have been raised.

Even though the ACE go live date was pushed back to March 31 for some entry types by US Customs, JAS USA is still pushing forward with processing all entries as ACE Cargo Release.  JAS participates in all applicable pilot programs, the most recent is the APHIS Core Live Animal Program.  JAS was the first broker to participate and transmit the first Live Animal entry with APHIS and CBP. The pilot entry of a purebred horse was a success.  Way to go JAS!

Essentials of U.S. Export Controls

Date:  March 16, 2016

Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

This is an intensive, one-day program that covers the key information you need to know to comply with the EAR. Counselling and other professionals from the Bureau of Industry and Security will cover the major elements of the U.S. export control system for commercial exports. This fast-paced program is ideal for those with busy schedules.

Interactive Export Workshop: DC 2016

Intermediate/Advanced Level

Date:  April 5-6, 2016

Location:  Alexandria, VA

This workshop will help experienced export compliance practitioners take their compliance knowledge and their company's compliance program to a higher level.  Successful participants will possess a good basic understanding of export controls.

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.  

Get the whole list here!

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. This is also known as the Customs Authorization Bill. This legislation is an important and relevant breakthrough for CBP because it is the first reauthorization for their agency since being created in 2003. "By authorizing CBP, the Act establishes a modern foundation for the agency’s critical missions to counter terrorism and transnational crime, advance comprehensive border security and management, and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness by enabling lawful trade and travel," stated an article by U.S Customs and Border Protection.

The article also stated:

"The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act aligns with these goals by enhancing CBP’s ability to prevent violations and take strong actions against violators.  It bolsters our ability to prevent and disrupt the flow of counterfeit goods into the U.S., a critical tool to safeguarding U.S. intellectual property rights.  The Act also formally recognizes CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), one of the agency’s major efforts to modernize and streamline operations by consolidating certain operations by industry sectors.  It also strengthens CBP’s efforts around Preclearance, creating mechanisms to expand and fund these agreements, further extending CBP’s security capabilities abroad.  And, imperative to human rights protections around the world, the Act eliminates obstacles to preventing imports made with forced or child labor into the United States."

To read more on the trade enforcement and see the entire statement click here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Interagency Executive Council, and the White House in order to track and assess stakeholder readiness for the mandatory filing of electronic entires and corresponding summaries in the ACE. Serious progress has been made, but some concerns remain regarding stakeholder readiness. An updated timeline has been created for the transition to ACE for electronic entry and entry summary filing.

"This updated timeline continues to align with our December 2016 deadline for full implementation of the Single Window via ACE," an article by the NCBFAA stated, "On March 31, 2016, filers will be required to file in ACE for certain entry types as outlined in the updated timeline."

View the updated ACE timeline here.

TSA asks that you please leave these items at home!  If an item resembles a real bomb, it is prohibited!  When these items are found, they can cause large delays. Novelty items are also prohibited from being brought on the aircraft. For example, the comb knife as illustrated was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Lexington Airport which could be considered a concealed knife.  Concealed knives can lead to fines and arrests!

From the offical TSA Blog:

"Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items."

Read the entire blog entry from TSA here.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OTR) are working to reconstruct the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) because of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). More information has been provided in regards to the proposed plan for the reconstruction of the way MPF is currently calculated. MPF is currently calculated on 0.3464 percent with a minimum of $25.  The restructuring MPF would affect all formal entries at a minimum of $30 MPF.  

From Express Trade Capital on the restructuring:

"Rather than being calculated on an ad valorem basis, which is prohibited under TPP, the MPF would be a charged as a flat fee based on the value of the shipment. The MPF is currently calculated at 0.3464 percent of entered value for entries above $2,500, with a minimum fee of $25 and capped at $485 per entry. This restructured MPF would affect all formal entries imported into the U.S. with the fee breakdown being as follows:

  • Minimum $30 MPF on entries valued between $2,501 and $20,000
  • $120 MPF on entries valued from $20,001 to $55,000
  • $260 MPF on entries valued from $55,001 to $130,000
  • Maximum $500 MPF on entries valued at more than $130,000"


​See the full blog article from Express Trade Capital here.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a public meeting that was held on March 21, entitled “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act:  Prevention-Oriented Import System Regulations and Implementation.”  The public meeting provided importers and other interested persons an opportunity to discuss import safety regulations and programs, including final rules for foreign supplier verification programs for importers of food and human and animals and accreditation of third-party certification bodies.  Every importer of food will soon need to assess the potential hazard of the food product they import and verify that the supplier has established preventive controls to address those hazards.

From the official FDA constituent update:

"Participants will also be briefed on the status of FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, which is still in development. Additionally, the public meeting will provide importers and other interested persons an opportunity to discuss FDA’s comprehensive planning effort for the next phase of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act implementation relating to import safety programs, which includes establishing the operational framework for these programs and plans for guidance documents, training, education, and technical assistance. The meeting is also designed to answer questions about these import programs and provide an opportunity for interested persons to make public comments."

Get the official FDA story here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that all 10 of its Centers of Excellence and Expertise Centers are now operating at full capacity.  The full operation of all 10 centers is the culmination of considerable work within CBP and with trade stakeholders to streamline operations and modernize the way CBP does business.  The centers provide centralized points of contact for specific industries such as apparel, electronics, machinery, natural gas, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and more.

“The Centers transform the way CBP interacts with trade stakeholders while meeting the needs of economic growth and facilitating supply chain security,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “As one of the agency’s major modernizing efforts to streamline trade operations, the Centers increase uniformity at our ports and enhance CBP’s industry expertise to better enforce the nation’s trade laws.”

Learn More

Lithium batteries have been the preferred energy source to power a wide variety of consumer goods.  Although they are widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods and post a risk with transportation regulations.  As of April 1, 2016, The ICAO Air Navigation Commission prohibits shipping lithium ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircrafts.  

Get More Information

Developing an Export Compliance Program

Date: April 27, 2017

Location: Portsmouth, NH

Developing and maintaining an export compliance program is highly recommended to ensure that export transactions comply with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and to prevent export control violations. This one-day workshop provides an overview of the steps a company may take to implement an internal Export Compliance Program.

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/compliance-a-training/export-administration-regulations-training/seminar-details/1220-april-27-2017-portsmouth-nh

Georgia Logistics Summit

Date: May 16 – 17, 2017

Location: Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Logistics Summit is an event that brings more than 1500 logistics professionals to learn best practices and connect with industry decision makers. Registration is now open!

http://www.cvent.com/events/2017-georgia-logistics-summit/event-summary-173feb5695f6427bb175e17df60c38ac.aspx

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date: June 8-9, 2017

Location: Seattle, Washington

This two-day program is led by BIS's professional counselling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/compliance-a-training/export-administration-regulations-training/seminar-details/1206-june-8-9-2017-seattle-wa

The 11th Annual Export Control Forum
Date:  April 20-21, 2016Location:  Burlingame, CAThe Export Control Forum is a one-and-a-half day program dedicated to bringing the business community up-to-speed on the latest initiatives underway in the export control field, including the latest developments in the Export Control Reform initiative.




Registration is open for G-TEC!
Date:  August 8-9, 2016Location:  Atlanta, GAThe NCBFAA Educational Institute is proud to invite all global logistics professionals to the Second Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G·TEC).  This two-day event during beautiful summertime in Atlanta, GA will give customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, OTI, service providers, importers, exporters and all global logistics professionals an opportunity to update themselves on industry developments and connect with colleagues new and old.  The JAS Compliance Team will be in attendance!  Be sure to stop by and say hello!  

The Senate recently passed a bill aiming at those who steal trade secrets from other businesses. The measure will also allow people and businesses whose trade secrets are stolen to sue for damages in federal court, just as those who have other kinds of intellectual property misappropriated, such as patents and trademarks. The legislation will also permit a court to order the seizure of property if it will protect trade secrets. Trade secret theft costs more than $300 billion a year for the U.S. economy.

"Supporters of the legislation say that in the digital world, trade secrets are far more vulnerable than when business plans or a secret formula were locked in the office safe. Businesses use electronic means to share secrets with far-flung business partners, but that can put enormous amounts of information at risk if it's downloaded from a computer or the cloud," stated an article by the U.S. News.

Get the Original Article

Why are Harbor Maintenance Fees paid to US Customs?

In the 1980s, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (today known as Harbor Maintenance Fees) were enacted by Congress to recover a portion of the cost of maintaining the nation’s deep draft navigation channels.  The fee became effective April 11, 1987 and has been assessed on port use associated with imports, exports and movement of cargo and passengers between domestic ports.  HMF duties are assessed on ocean import entries.

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!  

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Standard vs. Routed Export Transactions
Date:  May 12, 2016
Location:  Webinar
This webinar will address the two types of export transactions and the responsibilities of parties to the transactions.  We will discuss how to differentiate between a standard and a routed export transaction, as well as clarify the responsibilities of parties involved.  


Registration is open for G-TEC!
Date:  August 8-9, 2016
Location:  Atlanta, GA
The NCBFAA Educational Institute is proud to invite all global logistics professionals to the Second Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G·TEC).  This two-day event during beautiful summertime in Atlanta, GA will give customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, OTI, service providers, importers, exporters and all global logistics professionals an opportunity to update themselves on industry developments and connect with colleagues new and old.  The JAS Compliance Team will be in attendance!  Be sure to stop by and say hello!

According to the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) 29 CFR 1910.1200(g), what used to be Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are now obsolete and have been replaced by Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  Safety Data Sheets are used to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products.

"The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the headings listed on the page," stated an article by the United States Department of Labor.

See the Safety Data Sheets

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date:  June 9-10, 2016

Location:  Seattle, WA

The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods.  The program will focus on what items and activities are subject to the EAR and what steps to take to determine if an export license is required.

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Registration is open for G-TEC!

Date:  August 8-9, 2016

Location:  Atlanta, GA

The NCBFAA Educational Institute is proud to invite all global logistics professionals to the Second Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G·TEC).  This two-day event during beautiful summertime in Atlanta, GA will give customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, OTI, service providers, importers, exporters and all global logistics professionals an opportunity to update themselves on industry developments and connect with colleagues new and old.  The JAS Compliance Team will be in attendance!  Be sure to stop by and say hello!

Get More Information

What is a USPP?
Am I The U.S. Principal Party In Interest (“USPPI”)?
The USPPI, as defined in the Foreign Trade Regulations ("FTR"), is the person in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, of the export transaction. In other words, if you are the recipient of the purchase order from the overseas party for cargo that is exported and you are invoicing them for the product, you are the USPPI no matter what the terms of sale are.

What are my responsibilities as the USPPI?

  1. DETERMINE COMMODITY JURISDICTION: Which U.S. Government Agency controls my product? Are my products subject to the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR"), the U.S. Department of State' Directorate of Defense Controls ("DDTC") International Traffic and Arms Regulations ("ITAR") and/or other government agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC"), Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), or Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco & Firearms ("ATF")?
  2. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER: Perform due diligence on the end user(s); know their intended end use; and ensure that no party to the export transaction is on any of the U.S. Government's lists of restricted parties with whom U.S. companies and U.S. Persons cannot do business without proper U.S. Government authorization.
  3. CLASSIFY PRODUCTS: for Statistics (Schedule B or the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule ("USHTS") and License Determination (Commerce Control List ("CCL") i.e. ECCN or EAR99, or US Munitions List ("USML")). License requirements are dependent upon an item's classification, technical characteristics, ultimate destination, end- user, and end-use. Exporters must determine whether or not the product being exported requires a license or whether it qualifies for a license exception.
  4. FILE ELECTRONIC EXPORT INFORMATION ("EEI") into the Automated Export System ("AES") or authorize your forwarder to file on your behalf by signing a Power of Attorney ("POA") or other written authorization such as a Shipper's Letter of Instruction ("SLI"). POAs should specify the responsibilities of the parties with particularity and should state that the forwarder has the authority to act on behalf of the Principal Party in Interest as its true and lawful agent for purpose of filing the Electronic Export Information ("EEI") in accordance with the laws and regulations of the U.S. Note: On "Routed Export Transactions", authorization is the responsibility of the Foreign Principal Party in Interest ("FPPI").
  5. MAINTAIN SHIPMENT RECORDS: according to the regulations of the controlling Government Agency; typically 5 years from the date of export

Our very own Peris Githongo-Johnson of the JAS Compliance Team graduated from Strayer University on May 14th, 2016 with a bachelor degree in International Business (minor in accounting)!

Please join us in congratulating her on a job well done!

The NCBFAA Conference provides a setting for the nation’s leading customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCC’s, and service providers to gather and update themselves on industry developments.  NCBFAA members also learn from subject matter experts how to overcome industry challenges!  As the conference came to an end, Commissioner Kerlikowske provided remarks on his participation in another successful annual conference! This year JAS Forwarding had four attendees’ to participate in the conference.

"In Fiscal Year 2015, CBP processed more than 26 million imported cargo containers, along with $1.5 trillion of U.S. exported goods. We also collected approximately $46 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees – this highest amount collected in the past five years. And technology – which is spurring “e-Commerce,” for example – is radically changing the face of the global supply chain, increasing its complexity and challenging all of us to stay ahead of the curve. We’re using technology to cope with these changes, and the Automated Commercial Environment is a great example," stated Commissioner Kerlikowske.

Read All of The Remarks

The consequences of evading AD duty can be devastating to your company, not only financially but also publicly. Recently, a U.S. company agreed to pay $15 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claim Act (FCA), by evading antidumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from China.

"A U.S. company has agreed to pay $15 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in a years-long scheme to evade antidumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from China through misclassification, according to an April 27 press release from the Department of Justice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said that under the recently enacted Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act “CBP will likely see an increase in these types of settlements as the streamlined processes take effect concerning allegations of duty evasion,” stated the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.

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On April 27, the House of Representatives approved a 415-2 vote a bill (H.R. 4923) to reform the process of developing and enacting miscellaneous trade bills which suspend duties on imported products for which there is inadequate domestic production and availability.

A statement by the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report:

"Under H.R. 4923, the MTB process would begin with petitions submitted by U.S. businesses to the International Trade Commission rather than via legislation introduced by members of Congress. The ITC would analyze these petitions, taking into account comments received from the public and the White House, and then issue a public report to Congress with its recommendations regarding those products that meet MTB standards. Ways and Means would then examine the ITC’s recommendations and draft an MTB, which could exclude products recommended by the ITC but could not add products that were not recommended. The committee would have to certify that there are no spending earmarks and publish a list of any limited tariff benefits (tax cuts that benefit ten or fewer businesses). The House and Senate would then consider the MTB within existing rules."

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A historic rule was finalized today by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to extend its authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco, just to name a few. This rule allows FDA to improve public health and protect future generations from the dangers of tobacco use.

“We have more to do to help protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine, especially our youth. As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation – it will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions.”

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C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) has deployed phase II of portal 2.0. This deployment includes enhancements to the account management tool, as well as a new format for the security profile which will allow C-TPAT partners with multiple accounts to potentially manage these accounts jointly by merging C-TPAT security models.

From the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website:

"As the C-TPAT Portal 2.0 project transitions into Phase II, the security profile has been rebuilt into a comprehensive criteria-by-criteria format, complete with the ability to add evidence of implementation at each criteria statement for review.  Help text is available to clarify the criteria statements.  The reformatted security profile eases the Annual Review process by allowing C-TPAT Partners to change existing answers to criteria statements, as opposed to the old appending style, as it creates new copies of the security profile per criteria upon approval by the SCSS.  Transition to the updated Security Profile format requires ALL C-TPAT Partners to complete a new security profile at the next annual review subsequent to Phase II deployment.  C-TPAT displays the old version to all Partners in the C-TPAT Partner Document Library for reference as a .PDF document to facilitate completion of the reformatted version."

"A main tenet of Portal 2.0 is to facilitate more effective account management through combining multiple Trade Accounts into a single Trade Organization.  In addition, it will also be possible in the future to merge multiple C-TPAT accounts into a single Security Model, if accounts are managed under the same trade account and follow the same security policies and procedures."

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Big changes sometimes go unnoticed!  On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (Pub. L. No. 114-125) ("TFTEA") into law.  Section 904 of the TFTEA amends Chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") and became effective on April 24, 2016.  Subsection (b) covers amendments to Heading 9801 of the HTSUS and provides:

(b) Modification of Provisions Relating to Returned Property

(1)   In General - The article description for heading 9801.00.10 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is amended by inserting after "exported" the following:  ", or any other products when returned within 3 years after having been exported".

In essence, this amendment is intended to remove the requirement that goods entered under Heading 9801 be of U.S. origin if they are imported back into the U.S. within 3 years of their date of export from the U.S.  In other words, goods of ANY origin can now claim duty-free entry under Heading 9801 as "U.S. Goods Returned" provided the 3-year deadline is met.  What kind of documentary requirements will U.S. Customs and Border Protection require to support the new 9801 claims?   The agency has yet to provide any kind of internal guidance to the ports of entry on this and related issues, so stay tuned.  We'll update you in the next newsletter.

Article reprinted with permission on behalf of; The Pike Law Firm, P.C. website: pikeinfo@thepikelawfirm.com

On May 20, 2016 the FDA took a major step in ensuring consumers have better nutritional information for most packaged food sold in the United States. The updated label requirements make improvements to this valuable resource so that consumers can make a more informed decision of food choices.

From the original article:

“I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices.”

Read the Original Article

The final rule requires that importers complete risk assessment activities in order to make certain that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. safety standards.

From the original article:

"The final rule requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. safety standards. This rule is the product of a significant level of outreach by the FDA to industry, consumer groups, the agency’s federal, state, local, tribal and international regulatory counterparts, academia and other stakeholders. The FDA first proposed this rule in July 2013."

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The Department of Homeland Security recently prolonged the deadline "for complying with a congressionally mandated requirement of 100 percent scanning of U.S.-bound maritime cargo containers," stated an article by the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report. However, DHS is also requesting new ideas on how to meet the requirement.

From the original article:

"The SAFE Port Act of 2006 requires all maritime cargo containers admitted into the U.S. to be scanned through non-intrusive inspection and radiation detection equipment in a foreign port prior to being loaded on a U.S.-bound ship. The original deadline for achieving this goal was July 1, 2012, but DHS has now invoked three successive two-year waivers, the latest running through 2018. Officials have said compliance is virtually impossible with available resources and technology and conflicts with the department’s general approach to risk management, which seeks to focus scarce inspection resources on the highest-risk containers. Most recently, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress in May 2014 that the department’s 'ability to fully comply with this unfunded mandate of 100 per cent scanning, even in the long term, is highly improbable, hugely expensive and, in our judgment, not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet this country's port security and homeland security needs.'"

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"The world’s largest business organization, the International Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Brazil’s ratification of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)—an agreement which was forged under the leadership of the Brazilian head of the WTO Roberto Azevedo," stated an article by the ICC.

Brazil will become the 72nd country to affirm this landmark agreement, which will speed global commerce by cutting red-tape at borders-and third country in South America after Guyana and Paraguay.

A study by the Getulio Vargas Foundation for CNI offers that Brazilian GDP could increase by US $24 billion with the addition of trade facilitation measures. "Globally the WTO estimates that the TFA will reduce trade costs by more than 14% globally-creating an estimated 20 million jobs globally," stated the article.

"The ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the recently launched National Export Plan send a strong signal of Brazil's commitment to put international trade at the heart of its economic recovery," said Daniel Feffer, Chair of ICC Brazil.

Applauding this breakthrough development for trade facilitation, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: "Implementing the TFA gives Brazil, once one of the world's fastest growing emerging market, an opportunity to reboot its economy by creating significant export diversification gains and reducing trade costs."

"The Agreement will enter into force global when two-thirds of the WTO's [110] members ratify the deal," the article stated.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it would begin tighter enforcement of either late or inaccurate Importer Security Filings (ISF) beginning June 30, 2016.  Non-compliant Importer Security Filings could result in an increase in penalties or cargo holds for importers at ports of entry.  (CSMS #14-000283)

Updated Importer Security Filing (ISF) Enforcement

CBP recently issued a CSMS for updated Importer Security Filing (ISF) Enforcement.

This new phase of ISF enforcement applies to ISF-10 shipments, not ISF-5, for ocean shipments on the water on or after June 30, 2016.

CBP-HQ provided new guidance to the ports to issue any ISF claims within 90 days of discovering the violation.

Although CBP ports will no longer be required to take a "three-strikes" approach before issuing liquidated damage (LD) claims or send these claims to CBP-HQ for review, each port will continue to have authority to manage their local enforcement posture as they do today.

Per existing policy, CBP will continue to focus on "significantly" late ISF shipments that preclude or compromise CBP's ability to target the cargo before it arrives in the U.S. For example, West Coast ports have longer ocean voyages so "significantly" late may be ISFs that are not filed within 72 hours to 5 days prior to arrival of the cargo in the U.S. Other ports with shorter voyages may focus on 24 hours prior to vessel departure (what the law requires).

We also expect CBP to focus on repeat violators which can include ISF shipments that are inaccurate because there is no bill of lading match, and/or the match was not made timely and compromised CBP's targeting prior to the cargo's arrival in the U.S.

​Although CBP delayed these enforcement changes for over a year, the webinar that CBP hosted last May still provides relevant information. We encourage you to view the CBP Webinar Recording, Presentation, Transcript, and Q&A .

"The Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls is increasing the maximum amount of the civil monetary penalties it assesses for violation of certain provisions of the Arm Export Control Act," stated an article by the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.  The updated amounts will apply to all penalties determined after Aug. 1st regardless of when the violation occurred.

To see the listing of the provisions affected and to read more about this click here

Washington, DC - During the ministerial session, held in March, the Ministers held in-depth discussions on Brazil and US respective approaches to trade and investment negotiations, which provided an invaluable opportunity to exchange information and identify points of convergence.

Brazil is the United States’ 12th largest goods trading partner, and two-way goods trade was $59 billion in 2015. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Brazil was $4.3 billion in 2015.  Two-way goods and services trade totaled approximately $95 billion in 2015.

Minister Mauro Vieira highlighted the importance of the U.S. market for Brazilian exports, in particular of manufactured goods, which "clearly demonstrate the competitiveness of the Brazilian industry and the integration of value chains between our two countries." Industrial goods answered for over 60% of our 2015 exports to the U.S. – a noted improvement vis-à-vis the 53% reached in 2014.  The Minister stressed that "notwithstanding the importance of traditional agriculture exports to the United States – which we certainly like to expand significantly, with more exports of meat, sugar and fruits, for instance – our first three main exports to the US are Machinery, Airplanes, and Iron and Steel products."

“The United States and Brazil have a large and dynamic trade and investment relationship, and we have the potential to do even more together to stimulate economic growth and create more jobs in both our countries,” Ambassador Froman stated.

The next meeting of the Commission will be held in Brasília in 2017.

Sources:

(Source One no longer available).

Source Two

Brasilia (June 14th, 2016) - In a meeting with the US ambassador, Liliana Ayalde, the Brazilian Minister of Industry, Trade and Services, Marcos Pereira affirmed interests in advancing business relationships.

The meeting purpose was to ensure the continuity and strengthening of trade relations between the two countries, especially through the MDIC-DoC dialogue (Department of Commerce) and the US-Brazil CEO Forum.

This dialogue was created in 2006 and relaunched in 2010 and has been one of the priority mechanisms MDIC the last four years, which allows for cooperation in economic and commercial matters, with positive results through various exchanges, technical visits and semi-annual meetings.

The Minister, also expressed to the ambassador the willingness to carry out the edition 2016 of the CEO Forum (Brazil-US Forum of Senior Managers Companies), which had been canceled. Formed by twelve large companies in each country, the Forum, created in 2007, aims to facilitate discussions and make recommendations for economic development. The American presidential election could derail this year's edition.

Liliana highlighted the breadth and long-lived partnership between the two countries, with about $ 100 billion in trade, and interest in further advance. Minister Marcos Pereira gave a brief account of the current political situation in the country with an impeachment process in progress, but assured that the Brazilian institutions are strong and work well. "Although still interim, the government works as if it were definitive," he said.

Sources:

Source One - Portuguese

Source Two - English

Today’s business world moves at great speed.  Although regulatory organizations do not always move with great speed, there are many of them out there making the rules.  With all of these organizations comes what sometimes feels to the trade community like lots of changes in short periods of time.

While not all changes are earth shaking, some are.  Some are so far reaching that they require the trade community to plan accordingly way ahead of time.  How should the trade community keep up?

There are many ways to keep up.  Newsletters, webinars and good old fashioned research are the most typical avenues.  These are all good.  There’s also the more intensive method of attending trade seminars.  Physical seminars are invaluable in many ways including the classroom style presentation of content, and the simple truth that the opportunity to network in the trade community is often a pathway to great knowledge.

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is excited to be one of the sponsors of this year’s Second Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G-TEC).  This is a two day intensive training event in Atlanta, Georgia starting on August 8 and ending August 9, 2016.  This is an exceptional opportunity for trade professionals including importers and exporters to interactively bring themselves up to date on relevant and well-timed content related to the trade community.

Join us at G-TEC and let’s get to know each other and learn together.

Click Here For More Information on G-TEC

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