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

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  The additional duty is effective for subject goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 am EDT on Aug. 16.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
Information on Deployment of New Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Online Application, Now Available
July 7, 2020

​On May 22, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deployed an automated online application for submitting electronic vessel manifest confidentiality requirements. This enhancement will enable ocean carriers, importers, exporters, and consignees utilizing ocean transportation to manage their own confidentiality requests electronically via the online application, located on CBP.gov.

The new online application is now available and can be accessed on the Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Web-page by clicking HERE!

By
USTR Request Comments for the Extension of List 4A Product Exclusions
July 6, 2020

The USTR is requesting comments regarding the extension of Section 301 product exclusions for imports from China from List 4a (the $300 billion list) set to expire September 1, 2020. On list 4A, a 15% duty tariff was applied to products imported from China effective September 1, 2019 and was decreased to 7.5% duty effective February 14, 2020. Comments will be accepted between July 1st and July 30th.  All comments must be submitted through the web portal.

Access the Portal to Submit Comments Here
By
JAS Compliance is On the Move
May 1, 2020

Do you have questions about importing and exporting PPE?

On April 22nd, JAS USA Compliance held a webinar that provided helpful information regarding importing and exporting PPE.  Do listen to the audio version of the webinar, please CLICK HERE!

By
JAS USA Compliance COVID-19 Resources
May 1, 2020

​JAS USA Compliance is receiving questions regarding the importing and exporting materials related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please be sure to visit our website for resources, frequently asked questions, client advisories and presentations at www.jas.com/compliance-solutions

By
Importing Face Masks & Respirators
April 3, 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, some importers have begun to ask questions regarding requirements for importing face masks and respirators. JAS Compliance issued an advisory that intends to be a resource in providing helpful information regarding this topic.

Download the Client Advisory
By
Importers... Do Your Products Qualify for Exclusions?
April 3, 2020

The Office of US Trade Representative has issued several lists of exclusions and are continuing to update the lists.  Have you checked to see if your products apply?  JAS Compliance can help you get a refund if your product qualifies, which may be important during this time.  Contact your local JAS Representative for more information!

By
Rule Waiver for Exporters from CBP
December 22, 2019

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.

By
U.S. Lifts Sanctions on Turkey
November 5, 2019

President Trump announced on October 23rd that the economic and trade sanctions imposed against Turkey were being lifted.  He also stated that the U.S. reserves the right to reimpose sanctions against Turkey if certain obligations (including protection of religious and ethical minorities) are not met.

Read More
By
Reminder! Deadline is Approaching
November 4, 2019

Requests for exclusions from the additional tariff imposed as of Sept. 1, 2019 on List 4A imports from China may be submitted between Oct. 31, 2019 and Jan. 31, 2020. Any exclusions granted will be effective for one year, starting from the Sept. 1, 2019 effective date for List 4A.

Read More
By
Identity Verification vs Personal ID Sharing Concerns
October 3, 2019

Do you want to be required to share your personal identification documents when completing a POA for a customs entry?  There is a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) recently issued by CBP that would require more information. The proposed requirements would amend the CBP regulations to require customs brokers to collect additional information from an importer. This information would be used by customs brokers to verify the identity of importers, including nonresident importers. CBP proposes these amendments which directs CBP to require brokers to verify the identity of the importers who are their clients and must be reviewed yearly.  Do you agree or disagree?  The deadline for submitting comments on this rule is quickly approaching!  The deadline is October 15th, 2019.

For more Information or to submit comments
By
Section 301 Tariffs - Update on Exclusions
October 2, 2019

Additional exclusions for the Section 301 tariffs on Lists 1, 2, and 3 have been announced by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  These exclusions cover a total of 437 product descriptions.  Please refer to the links below for the effective dates and for more information on the specific products excluded from each list.

Download Client Advisory
By
Section 301 Tariffs Update
September 4, 2019

President Trump announced that the rate of tariffs worth $250 billion on Chinese imports will increase from 25% to 30% starting October 1. He also advised that the tariffs set on List 4A will increase from 10% to 15% effective September 1.   We will provide more information as it becomes available.

See the Full Client Advisory
By
Increases MPF User Fees
September 4, 2019

​An announcement was published on August 2, 2019 that user fees within the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 will take place effective October 1, 2019.  The minimum merchandise processing fee will change from $26.22 to $26.79 and the maximum will change from $508.70 to $519.76.  The ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will not change.  Additional user fees are also increasing.

See All Applicable Changes
By
USTR First Notice of Product Exclusions
August 5, 2019

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued its first set of product exclusions from the second group of Section 301 tariffs on goods from China. Newly exempt from the tariffs are "69 specially prepared product descriptions." The exclusions cover 292 separate requests, according to the notice. The product exclusions apply retroactively to Aug. 23, 2018, the date the second set of tariffs took effect, and will remain in effect until one year after the notice is published.

Read More (PDF)
By
China Tariffs Update: List 6 China Exclusions
August 5, 2019

​The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a 6th set of exclusions listing of the Section 301 tariffs.  The tariffs that are excluded are available to importers for one year from the publication date.

Get More Information (PDF)
By

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.”

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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!  

Get More Information

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.

Get More Information

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.

Get More Information

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."

Get More Information

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."

Get All The Information

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.'"

Read the Original Article

"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

Brazil has recently started accepting ATA Carnets for professional equipment, exhibitions and fairs!  This is right in time for the 2016 Olympics that are being held in Rio this year.  Every year, Brazil hosts tons of international cultural, political, sporting events, conferences and shows.  Brazil is making it easier for U.S. Exporters to participate and exhibit at these events, by using the ATA Carnet system.

From the original article:

​"Brazil and United States engage on a number of trade and investment initiatives. In 2011 President Obama and President Rousseff signed the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation to trade and investment between the Western Hemisphere’s two largest economies. Brazil’s acceptance of the ATA Carnet system only furthers this trade relationship and facilitates growth through easing temporary entries."

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has moved to reduce the exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States.  The agency worked with the California Air Resources Board to ensure that the final national rule is consistent with California requirements for composite wood products.  The EPA is also setting testing requirements to make sure that products comply with the standards set and to affirm eligibility requirements for third party certifiers.  The new rule includes set exceptions for products made with ultra-low formaldehyde or no-added formaldehyde resins.  

From the EPA:

“We are carrying out important measures laid out by Congress to protect the public from harmful exposure of this widely used chemical found in homes and workplaces," said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We have worked with the state of California as a partner to help ensure consistency in our requirements. The new rule will level the playing field for domestic manufacturers who have a high rate of compliance with the California standard and will ensure that imported products not subject to California’s requirements will meet the new standard and thus, not contain dangerous formaldehyde vapors.”

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Is there a difference between the Incoterms DDU and DAP?

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DAP is the short form for “Delivered at Place” that was introduced in 2010.  It is a term of agreement between a buyer and a seller much like DDU.  DDU was removed from Incoterms 2010 and replaced with DAP; however, many traders continue to use DDU in their business documents.  As a result, if traders use the terms in their business documents it is mandatory to mention “as per Incoterms 2000.”  Otherwise, DAP terms are applicable.

2nd Annual Global Trade Education Conference (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!

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Update 2016 Conference on Export Controls & Policy

Date:  October 31 – November 2, 2016

Location:  Washington, DC

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is preparing for the 29th annual Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy in Washington, D.C.  This major outreach activity draws business and government representatives from around the world to learn and exchange ideas about export control issues.  It is one of the Department’s most notable international trade events.  

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The FDA has made amendments to the registration of food facilities. A final rule was issued that states new provisions have been added to the current rules, in order to codify specific provisions of FSMA that were self-implementing and effective upon enactment of FSMA. These provisions include that one must require an email address for registration, required renewal of registration every two years, and that all food facility registrations must contain an assurance that the FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

From the FDA:

"Food facilities that manufacture/process, pack or hold food for consumption in the United States are required to register with the FDA, and this final rule adds new provisions to the current regulations to codify certain provisions of FSMA that were self-implementing and effective upon enactment of FSMA. Those provisions include the requirement of an email address for registration, required renewal of registration every two years, and that all food facility registrations must contain an assurance that the FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act."

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To many people, BIS sounds like many other government acronyms.  BIS stands for Bureau of Industry and Security.  The mandate of BIS is extremely important and worth taking a closer look at.

The BIS mission statement is to “Advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.” That is quite a mission!  Think of each of the key words in this mission statement and realize the impact this mandate has.

Exporting certain items from the U.S. to certain places in the world may present a national security risk.  Items used for weapon production can be turned around and used against the U.S. both domestically and abroad.  These concerns drive the creation and updating of the Entity Lists.  It is worth re-iterating that the entity list exists because the BIS and other U.S. Government agencies have found cause to believe that somehow, those on the list may be a risk or related to something that poses a threat to our national security.

It is also important to note that just because a person/group/organization is on the entity list, it doesn’t necessarily prohibit trade with them.  However, it does raise the flag and compel the trade professional to ensure that due diligence is exercised in vetting the person/group/organization and determining what regulatory steps should be taken and appropriate authorization obtained in order to legally proceed to trade with those on the entity list.

While things are constantly changing these days it is imperative that we remain vigilant and attuned to all the changes going on around the world.  BIS is a key U.S. Government Agency charged with being an integral instrument of protecting the United States.  The JAS USA Inc. Compliance Team understands the BIS mandate and are always willing to assist.  Contact us and we will help!

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. was excited to host all of our USA Customs Brokerage Managers at our Atlanta, GA Corporate Campus last week.  For two days, key licensed brokers from JAS Forwarding USA branch locations sat in a room together with our Corporate Compliance team and discussed current topics in the industry.  This was an exciting time of interactive learning.  Our group was eager to discuss and learn from each other on some very timely topics such as antidumping/countervailing duties, auditing strategies, training entry writers, reporting and many other topics our clients are facing.

The risks in the import sector continue to increase and Customs is ramping up information requests, actions, and enforcement.  Education is an important part of compliance with US Customs regulations protecting the interests of the United States and ultimately our clients.  JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is an advocate for continued education opportunities and is committed to assisting our internal team members in achieving excellence.

Did you know that JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team can do external training too?  We are prepared and equipped to educate our clients and assist in training to ensure excellence in compliance and risk management.  Want to know more?  Contact us and let’s learn together.

Did you know that per 15 CFR 758.6, a destination control statement is required on the invoice, bill(s) of lading or other export control documents accompanying shipments from US origin?  This is required for all exports of items on the Commerce Control List that are NOT classified as EAR99, unless the export can be made under a license exception (BAG-baggage or GFT- Gifts as defined in part 740 of the EAR).

Currently, the statement must say at a minimum: “These commodities, technology or software were exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations.  Diversions contrary to U.S. law is prohibited” (15 CFR 758.6).

These regulations have been revised and the requirement will change.  The new changes to 15 CFR 758.6 will be effective on November 15, 2016.  According the Federal Register published on August 17, 2016, the final rule implements changes which were proposed on May 22, 2015.  The stated goal of these revisions is “Harmonization of the Destination Control Statements.”  Per the summary of the Federal Register entry, “This final rule revises the destination control statement in 758.6 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to harmonize the statement required for the export of items subject to the EAR with the destination control statement in 22 CFR 123.9(b)(1) of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations" (ITAR).

The revised regulation clearly states “The exporter must incorporate the following information as an integral part of the commercial invoice whenever items on the Commerce Control List are shipped (i.e., exported in tangible form), unless the shipment (i.e., the tangible export) may be made under License Exception BAG or GFT (see part 740 of the EAR) or the item is designated as EAR99.”  Yes it is similar to what we have already discussed in the opening paragraph.  However, note the language is specifying that the “exporter” must action this requirement.

The new statement as defined in revised 15 CFR 758.6 effective November 15, 2016 is: “These items are controlled by the U.S. Government and authorized for export only to the country of ultimate destination for use by the ultimate consignee or end-user(s) herein identified.  They may not be resold, transferred, or otherwise disposed of, to any other country or to any person other than the authorized ultimate consignee or end-user(s), either in their original form or after being incorporated into other items, without first obtaining approval from the U.S. government or as otherwise authorized by U.S. law and regulations.”

Are you ready to meet this requirement?  JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is working to ensure that our bill of lading’s language has been adjusted to comply with these revised regulations.  We can help you too.  Contact us today and let’s work on some risk management together!

Zika is at the center of concerns for China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).  On August 18, staff from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing met with AQSIQ.  China has confirmed that U.S. companies exporting to China must meet the below Zika requirements.

All U.S. origin conveyances air and sea that departed the United States on or after August 5, 2016 must comply with the new requirements as per below:

  1. Chinese authorities require all cargo shipments originating from the United States to provide proof of disinsection upon arrival at the Chinese port, both air and sea shipments.  This applies to all vessels and aircraft that left the United States on or after August 5, 2016, with the exception of containers kept at or under a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Disinsection does not require fumigation, but can be carried out by physical or chemical means.  For physical, this could include trapping, air curtains, or other integrated pest management techniques.  For Chemical, this could include surface spraying, space spraying, or fumigation.  It is the shipper’s choice, but should take into account human health and safety.
  3. The disinsection requirement (and therefore the proof of disinsection) applies to the container or vessel, NOT to the goods being shipped.  Therefore, if the entire vessel can provide proof, in the form of a certificate, that the vessel is free of mosquitoes, then no additional inspection needs to be carried out.
  4. Local CIQ inspectors will continue their selective examination procedures and there will not be a separate Zika-related inspection process.  However, if live mosquito eggs, larva, or mosquitoes are found during inspection, disinsection will be required.              
  5. There is no disinsection certificate required for shipments that are chilled below 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).  But, if live mosquito eggs or larva are found by local CIQ inspectors at port, then disinsection will be required.
  6. If there has been previous disinsection of the vessel (including fumigation) for other purposes (e.g., phytosanitary work plan), then proof of that treatment is sufficient proof for this Zika-requirement.
  7. Proof of disinsection does not need to be provided by a governmental body, or a government approved body.
  8. The disinsection treatment can be carried out at any point during the shipping process.  For example, if the containers are disinsected before loading and certified as mosquito free, then loaded in a mosquito free environment, then this is sufficient.

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team suggests that clients consult with Chinese consignee(s) to determine which method you choose and at which stage it should be executed.  The fumigation process may be handled on arrival at the port in China, however that may depend on the steamship line as some lines are requiring this to be processed prior to accepting the cargo.  Keep in mind that there could be significant delays if shippers elect to fumigate in China.

Got questions or comments?  Please let us know, we want to hear from you!

On August 18, staff from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing met with The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ’s) Department of Supervision and Health Quarantine. This is an update to U.S. companies interested in China’s Zika requirements.  Please direct any questions or concerns to your local JAS office or representative.  

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2016 East Coast Trade Symposium

Date:  October 6-7, 2016

Location:  Washington, DC

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is proud to announce that the 2016 East Coast Trade Symposium is scheduled for October 6-7, 2016 in Washington DC.

Update 2016 Conference on Export Controls & Policy

Date:  October 31 – November 2, 2016

Location:  Washington, DC

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is preparing for the 29th annual Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy in Washington, D.C.  This major outreach activity draws business and government representatives from around the world to learn and exchange ideas about export control issues.  It is one of the Department’s most notable international trade events.  

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CBP is updating the protest process in ACE. Beginning on August 29, 2016, all electronically filed protests must be filed via the ACE Secure Data Portal. CBP will manage protest processing in ACE. "With the ACE Portal, protest filers will be able to electronically submit protests, including attaching supporting documentation, rather than submitting paper packets. Additionally, protest filers can update their protest with additional information or documentation as requested by CBP," stated an article by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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An estimated $2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties have gone uncollected by Customs and Border Protection.  The GAO (Government Accountability Office) recommends that Customs issue guidance should collect and analyze data on a regular basis.  They also recommended conducting regular risk assessments that consider the likelihood and risk factors related to nonpayment.

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What is the difference between Schedule B Codes (for exports) and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (for imports)?

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All of the imports and export codes used by the United States are based on the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS). The HTS assigns 6-digit codes for general categories. Countries which use the HTS are allowed to define commodities at a more detailed level than 6-digits, but all definitions must be within that 6-digit framework.  The U.S. defines products using 10-digit HTS codes. Exports codes (which the U.S. calls Schedule B) are administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Import codes are administered by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

Statistical data reports that renewals of GSP reflected refunds in the amount of $1.3 billion dollars.

GSP has also waived about $580 million in additional import taxes from August 2015 to May 2016.  "Assuming average savings in June and July, GSP renewal meant an extra $2 billion at the disposal of American companies over the past year," stated an article by Coalition for GSP, "The numbers are impressive but individual company stories show the vital importance of the GSP program to American companies and workers even better."

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TSA (Transportation Security Administration) plays a critical role in protecting the US transportation systems with the goal of ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce (TSA Mission Statement).  All of us as members of the trade community have a role in this effort.

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team strives to foster exceptional cooperation and partnering with government agencies involved in our daily business activities.  TSA is one of those key agencies!

JAS Forwarding USA Inc.’s commitment is displayed by participating in specific operational training at TSA’s request.

​JAS is honored to support TSA in its newest See Something Say Something Campaign.  Homeland Security is in the process of rolling out a pilot program for K9s, and are using trade community facilities as a setting for this training.  K9s are one of the many integral layers of screening employed by TSA to ensure that our transportation networks are kept safe from threats.  Both our JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA locations have been used for this endeavor.  These branch locations exemplify our policy of cooperation and informed compliance.  All of our staff in our branch locations strategically placed around the USA are well trained and corporately supported in TSA regulations.

Questions?  Contact us today and let’s see how we can manage risk together!

Each year representatives from the trade community attend the NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc.) GAC (Government Affairs Conference) in Washington D.C.  This conference provides attendees with the chance to engage directly with influential government parties including Senators and Congressional Representatives regarding current events and industry issues.  JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team members participated and “Marched the Hill” at this year’s conference.  We are proud that our team is engaged with lawmakers and excited to be a part of the patriotic process of discussing challenging issues with our elected officials.

This year’s conference began on September 10th and finished up on September 14th.  One of this year’s topics of engagement by members of the NCBFAA was infrastructure and port dredging.  Related to this topic is the Water Resources Development Act S.2848.  This legislation addresses shortfalls in funding for various infrastructure projects to keep US Ports and Harbors competitive and in step with the continuous growth of vessel capacity.  Key projects which are significant in numerous ports is continuous harbor deepening and dredging projects.  With growth in vessel capacity comes increased draft (the amount of water required to float the vessel- the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull- water depth must be greater than the draft) which means that harbors need more depth.  Failure to keep up with projects of this nature can have significant negative effects on the economy as the large vessels will not call where they cannot dock.

GAC attendees “Marched the Hill” on Tuesday September 13, 2016.  On September 15, 2016, by a vote of 95 to 3, the U.S. Senate passed the S.2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016.  It is exciting to see action in a timely manner after engaging with our elected officials.  JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team looks forward to attending next year and would welcome any topics our valued clients would like to raise that may be addressed in the future.  Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can make a difference together!

Most folks in the trade community have heard of the TPP aka Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Most can agree this massive piece of “pending” legislation has caused significant discussion and confusion from many sectors and political positions.  Why so much hype?  This discussion endeavors to only highlight key points about TPP as they relate to the trade community.  It is well recognized that there are clear pros and cons to most all of the components of this legislation.

The TPP involves 12 countries, including the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

Some key points:

  • Approximately 18,000 tariffs may be affected by reduction or elimination of tariff rates
  • US Goods and US farm products may have tariffs removed
  • Textiles and clothing tariffs may be removed (in various timeframes)
  • It may lead to stricter labor laws in participating countries
  • It may lead to stricter environmental rules
  • It may lead to more robust protections for drug companies
  • It may extend statutory terms of copyright protection
  • It may provide new avenues for investors to initiate litigation over laws and regulations in other participating countries

We have noted “may” in each of these key points mainly because at this point it is unclear about what is going to happen with the TPP.  With the election looming, it is certainly not likely to see any movement positive or negative on this until after the New Year.  Even then, it is still very unclear what support there is at this time in the current format.

Being informed is the first step toward action.  JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is committed to bring more and more relevant topics to our blogs and monthly newsletter.  Contact us today and tell us what you think about the TPP and any other key topics.  We are ready to help!

What fruit is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration that has its seeds on the outside?

The only fruit that has its seeds on the outside is the strawberry.  FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.  It’s also time for food facilities to re-register!  Under section 102 of the Food Safety Modernization Act, all domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or store food, food ingredients, pet foods, or dietary supplements are required to renew their registration with the FDA every even-numbered year.  Re-registration must be done between October 1 and December 31!

Update 2016 Conference on Export Controls & Policy

Date:  October 31 – November 2, 2016

Location:  Washington, DCThe Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is preparing for the 29th annual Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy in Washington, D.C.  This major outreach activity draws business and government representatives from around the world to learn and exchange ideas about export control issues.  It is one of the Department’s most notable international trade events.  

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In Washington D.C. at the National Customs Broker & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Government Affairs Conference (GAC), representatives of the association (including JAS’s very own Laurie Arnold and Leah Ellis) and government legislators sat down to discuss issues that matter to international trade.  The GAC Conference is held annually.

Some of the issues that were discussed are:

  • Extending funds for Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) through 2018.
  • Recognizes and validates the efforts to expand the Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
  • Modernizing drawback, simplifying the process for duty refunds and increasing efficiencies for trade stakeholders.
  • Establishing key aspects of the organizational structure including the Executive Assistant Commissioner positions.

FDA has issued a final rule on the safety and effectiveness of certain antibacterial soaps.  The final rule established that over-the-counter consumer antiseptic wash products contained certain active ingredients that can no longer be marketed.  "Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infections," stated an article by the FDA.  There are 19 ingredients addressed in this ruling.  Some manufacturers have already begun the process of removing these ingredients from their products.

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Import Specialists from the Miami based Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers confiscated 42 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey on August 12. This was the third large confiscation of honey in four months. The honey was being contained in 132 fifty-five gallon drums that were being falsely stated as coming from Taiwan. This was done in order to avoid the anti-dumping duties that apply to honey coming from China.

“Customs and Border Protection considers Trade Enforcement a priority since it levels the playing field for legitimate companies. The agency certainly does not want questionable companies having a competitive edge because they choose not to correctly describe their products to evade duties,” stated Center Director for Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise Dina M. Amato.

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On September 12, 2016, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation which will reinstitute Burma’s eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program as of November 13, 2016.  "This action comes after the conclusion of a review of Burma’s compliance with the eligibility criteria under GSP statute, including whether Burma is taking steps to afford internationally-recognized worker rights," stated a press release by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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Anti-dumping and countervailing duties are assessed in an honest attempt to help level the playing field for US manufacturers.  This is an important function and CBP is committed to aggressive action to protect the interests of US industry.  Anti-dumping and countervailing duties do have effectiveness and as a result CBP has seen an increase in evasion tactics in some areas of the trade community.  Evasion tactics have included fraudulent country of origin and shipping documentation etc.  This behavior by some in the trade community is rather costly to the country.  Keep in mind that ADD/CVD exists to encourage buyers to source items subject to these duties from US sources or sources that are using free market pricing strategies.  The August 2016 Government Accountability Report notes that in the past 15 years, $2.3 billion were not collected in ADD/CVD.  That is an average of $150+ million per year!  That is also a bunch of US manufacturers being harmed by these questionable evasive practices.

New regulations empower competing importers and federal agencies to call importers out for suspicion of evasive practices with regards to ADD/CVD.  Now is a good time for importers to engage in self-assessment and determine what risk(s) there may be.  Internal audits and continuous improvement of internal compliance processes is a mitigating factor when CBP considers penalties for importers.

Do you have self-audits regularly scheduled?  Do you have extensive experience investigating applicability of ADD/CVD?  We at JAS USA Inc. Compliance team have tackled these issues over and over again.  We pride ourselves in being educators and showing our valuable clients the right way to handle the sometimes uncomfortable positions these types of issues can create.  We are experts at building customized compliance plans, manuals and auditing schedules.  Contact us today and we will be glad to help you mitigate risk!

2.5% or free of duty?  It can represent a large sum if the value is high and or the volume of entries is strong.  But picking harmonized tariff codes based on duty rates is not only incorrect, it is against the laws that govern trade.  The HTSUS (harmonized tariff schedule of the United States) is not a guide, it is a legal document backed with “teeth.” Failing to effectively classify commodities can lead to CF28’s (requests for information), CF29’s (notices of action often increasing the duty liabilities to the importer), focused assessments and audits.  All of these are efficiency killers in today’s modern fast paced supply chain environment.

CF28’s take time and resources to provide appropriate answers to CBP.  CF29’s take time and resources to review, rebut and sometimes to apply subsequent payments to an entry that may already be completed and closed in the books.  Focused assessments and audits are a whole new level of resource taxing for an importer compared to CF28’s and 29’s.

So what can importers do?

First of all, importers should begin classifying according to the General Rules of Interpretation codified in the HTSUS.  These rules provide the framework to follow a process to obtain correct HTS codes.

Second, importers should assess they database of commodities and determine items which need to be re-assessed.

Finally, an assessment of CF28’s and CF29’s should be examined.  How many have been received in the past 12 months?  How many have been answered? What items were affected by the requests? Have those items been updated inside the internal databases of the importer?

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is experienced in all of these questions.  We have solved these problems and can help.  Contact us today and we will assist to analyze risk in this arena as well as others!

Turkey Day is approaching!

How much do you know about the Turkey?​

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Did you know?

  • The average American eats between 16 and 18 pounds of turkey every year?
  • California is the largest consumer of turkey in the United States?
  • Approximately 280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States?
  • Even though turkeys are not imported from the country Turkey, the United States has a significant trade impact exporting to Turkey!  6% of imported cargo in Turkey came from the United States last year!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

2016 East Coast Trade Symposium

Date:  December 1-2, 2016

Location:  Arlington, VA

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proud to announce that the 2016 East Coast Trade Symposium will be held on December 1-2, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in, Arlington, Virginia. This year’s theme is “Trade’s Impact on American Health, Safety, and Economic Prosperity.” Registration is now open!!!

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Complying with U.S. Export Controls

Date:  December 7 – December 8, 2016

Location:  Austin, TX

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 Here

The United States is terminating the national emergency with respect to Burma and has revoked the Burma sanctions.  Financial sanctions and statutory blocking on Burma has also been waived.  As a result, the economic and financial sanctions that were administered by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) are no longer in effect.  

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​The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule that permits electronic submission as an additional method available to U.S. persons for reporting requests.  Previously, these reports had to be completed as a single transaction form (BIS 621-P) or multiple transaction (BIS 6051-P) and submitted by mail.  

Access the Electronic Form

POSSIBLY! CBP FINDS BIRD'S NEST IN TRAVELER'S LUGGAGE

U. S. Customs and Border Protection specialist at George Bush International Airport seized 30 birds' nests from a passenger’s luggage.  The items that were seized, were prohibited from entering the U.S. as they can carry Newcastle Disease or the H5N1 virus.  The passenger was assessed a penalty for failure to declare prohibited agriculture products and the birds’ nests were seized.    

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