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United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade, and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to launch a Task Force on the Promotion of Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains.
This task force established under the US-Japan Partnership on Trade program provides an opportunity for the US and Japan to work together to promote human rights and recognize international labor rights. The US and Japan will exchange information on relevant laws and policies to facilitate dialogues with business and worker organizations to promote best practices for human rights.
These areas of cooperation are designed to protect workers and enhance predictability and clarity for businesses as they seek to contribute to resilient and sustainable supply chains.
“From their leadership in the development of the Group of 7 Trade Ministers’ Statement on Forced Labor to their first-ever release of human rights due diligence guidelines for responsible supply chains to their commitment to carry out shared principles to combat forced labor. “The launch of this Task Force is another example of how trade can be a force for good throughout the world. Developing new tools that bring together the combined expertise of agencies across the Governments of the United States and Japan will help contribute to tackling worker exploitation in global supply chains.” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) recently deployed the Investigations Database System (IDS). This new tool was designed to help users find data related to investigations on unfair imports in a more user-friendly manner. A major new feature is the ability to conduct quick searches and advanced searches of the centralized investigation database that generate in-depth search results across multiple practice areas, providing new perspectives and value-added insights for users.
Other key functions and information across practice areas include:
Users are encouraged to visit the USITC website at to explore this new tool.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began detaining merchandise produced or manufactured by Jingde Trading Ltd., Rixin Foods. Ltd., and Zhejiang Sunrise Garment Group Co. Ltd. at all U.S. ports of entry on Dec. 5, 2022. This enforcement action is the result of a CBP investigation indicating that these companies use North Korean labor in their supply chains in violation of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
CAATSA prohibits the entry of goods, wares, and articles mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in party by North Korean nationals or North Korean citizens anywhere in the world, unless clear and convincing evidence is provided that such goods were not made with convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions. Pursuant to CAATSA, CBP will detain merchandise from these entities at all U.S. ports of entry unless there is clear and convincing evidence that forced labor was not present at any stage of the production process. Evidence must be provided within 30 days of notice of detention. If the importer fails to provide clear and convincing evidence within this timeframe, the merchandise may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will collaborate with 13 partner government agencies to deploy a Global Business Identifier (GBI) pilot program that will test the concept of a single business identifier solution to improve the US Government’s ability to efficiently identify high-risk shipments and facilitate legitimate trade.
Through the GBI Evaluative Proof of Concept (EPoC), volunteers from the trade community will provide CBP with entity identifier codes, used widely in various industries, to allow more comprehensive insight into shipper, seller, and manufacturer data.
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The Office of the United States Trade Representative today announced a nine‑month extension of 352 product exclusions in the China Section 301 Investigation that had been scheduled to expire at the end of 2022. These exclusions were initially reinstated on March 28, 2022 and the extension will help align further consideration of these exclusions with the ongoing comprehensive four-year review.
Interested persons may submit comments on the tariff headings containing these exclusions through the USTR portal in the four-year review, which closes January 17,2023. Additional information is set out in the following Federal Register Notice.
Click the link below to read more
Jas Forwarding USA Inc. issued a client advisory on December 16,2022 advising clients of the section 301 tariff exclusion extension.
See attached Client Advisory
The Department of Justice, and Colorado United States Attorney’s office announced that a U.S company, and its Danish parent company, has paid settlement in the amount of $728,910 for failing to properly classify its imported products and declare their value, thereby failing to pay the full amount of customs duties owed to the United States on imported goods.
Under the Tariff Act of 1930, companies that import products into the United States are required to pay customs duties—typically calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods—on those products. Importers must classify their imported products according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and they owe different rates of duty depending on which HTSUS category the product properly falls into. Importers are also required to properly declare the value of any goods they import, including products that have been exported, repaired abroad, and re-imported into the United States.
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Members of the 16th term Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, known as COAC, were recognized for their meaningful contributions when they gathered Wednesday for their last public meeting of the year in College Park, Maryland. “The COAC advises U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding regulations, policies or practices and provides critical feedback from the trade community on how these changes will impact the economy and global supply chain entities,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller, who co-chaired the proceedings. “We understand that even small changes on our end can have a significant impact on trade. Millions of jobs rely on international trade, and we take both the health of the economy and economic security very seriously.”
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ACE is the U.S. electronic Single Window platform for all trade processing, including all Manifest, Cargo Release, Post-release, Export and Partner Government Agency (PGA) data. Trade users can access ACE via two channels: The ACE Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal) and electronic data interchange (EDI). Deciding on which ACE access method is needed depends on the specific trade activity.
JAS Forwarding USA Inc. has been hard at work processing refund requests for the section 301 exclusion 9903.88.67 issued in March 2022 retroactive back to October 2021. This exclusion is applicable to items falling within the descriptions of the HTS for each individual HTS. Eligible items can receive a full refund plus interest of section 301 duties paid on entries from October 12, 2022. The exclusion is valid through the end of this year. So far JAS Forwarding USA Inc. has processed refund requests for clients totaling over $10 million dollars! Do you have any entries that might be eligible? Contact us today and let’s explore!
Email us at Compliance@jas.com
Last month, Laurie Arnold, VP Compliance, and Leah Ellis, Compliance Operations Manager, went on a trip to Laredo, TX to visit our LRD branch. They spent part of their week in the Laredo office, discussing compliance topics and JAS policies on statements, training, auditing, and duty payments with branch Customs Broker Gustavo Aldrete and the import team.
On July 12th, Laurie and Leah braved the record-breaking high temperatures to visit the World Trade International bridge that spans Laredo, TX and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas on the Northern Mexican border. Here they developed a better understanding of the border crossing process and got to watch the cargo trucks as they brought their shipments into and out of the country.
Towards the end of their trip, they celebrated Branch Manager Antonio Pastrana’s birthday and enjoyed some cake with the Laredo team.
CBP’s Office of Trade Relations are hosting webinars during the first few weeks of June. These webinars will provide an overview of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), as well as strategies on implementation of the act before it goes into effect on June 21st.
The UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by certain entities, is prohibited by Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and that such goods are not entitled to entry to the United States.
CBP is also urging all importers to do their due diligence and review their supply chains to ensure their goods are not being produced with forced labor before UFLPA is implemented.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced its determination to reinstate certain previously granted product exclusions in the China section 301 Investigation. The determination reinstates 352 of the 549 eligible exclusions. The reinstated product exclusions will apply as of October 12, 2021 and extend through December 31, 2022.
The reinstated exclusions are set out in the Federal Register notice linked here.
Clients with products that qualify for reinstated exclusions should contact their local JAS Forwarding USA Inc. branch representative to discuss how to assess impact and define next steps to work towards any duty refunds.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) is scheduled to go into effect on June 21, 2022. In preparation for the implementation of this act, CBP has created a webpage as well as a new email for questions and information on the implementation of UFLPA. The website will be regularly updated with the most up to date information, and their inbox is open for inquiries and compliance advisement. The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) will also be holding a public hearing on the methods used to prevent goods produced with forced labor from entering the US. The hearing is on April 8th, and members of the public can register on the CBP site if they wish to provide public testimony.
U.S. CBP’s ACH (Automated Clearinghouse) is an electronic payment option that allows participants to pay customs fees, duties, and taxes electronically. This program offers numerous benefits from automation of payables on duties to better accuracy of payments. Additionally, once importers are signed up for ACH, the PMS (Periodic Monthly Statement) becomes an option which provides additional cash flow benefits. To learn more, check out our ACH and PMS flyers linked below.
Did you know that the JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team can partner with clients to consult on numerous issues? Our team has well over 100 combined years of experience in regulatory trade compliance. Check out our Compliance presentation and let’s connect and see how we can partner.
The Manhattan U.S. attorney has announced criminal and civil charges against the CEO of an apparel company. It is alleged that the CEO has engaged in Customs Fraud. The CEO is suspected of misrepresenting value of imported goods in an attempt to avoid paying lawfully owed customs duties.
There are new requirements for importing US and Foreign Goods Returned under HTSUS Chapter 98 (9801.00.10). Previous changes and history are found in the CSMS message linked below and summarized here. On April 25, 2016, a change to HTSUS Chapter 98 for U.S. goods returned went into effect. Specifically, section 904(b) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), “Modification of Provisions Relating to Returned Property,” amended HTSUS Subheading 9801.00.10.
The expansion of Subheading 9801.00.10 includes all products exported from and returned to the United States, regardless of country of origin. For U.S. origin products, there is no time limit on filing a claim. For foreign origin products, there is a 3-year time limit. The changes to 9801.00.10 apply to U.S. or foreign articles returned to the United States and entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after April 25, 2016.
U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Tom Carper, along with 38 other members of the Senate, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai, asking her to restart the exclusion process for imports from China subject to tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Trump administration set up an exclusion process to help U.S. manufacturers and businesses receive relief from the tariffs when an imported good was not available outside of China, or when the tariffs caused severe economic harm to U.S. industry. Unfortunately, those exclusions expired at the end of 2020, and the Biden administration has not restarted a process for businesses to apply for new exclusions.
The mandate issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) from Sept 2016, requires that all air cargo carried by commercial aircraft be screened or have commensurate security measures applied by June 30, 2021. A 100% requirement for screening of cargo transported on passenger planes has been in effect since August 2010 with freight forwarders successfully meeting this mandate. JAS Forwarding (USA) has long been a member of TSAs Certified Cargo Screening Program and currently has CCSF (Certified Cargo Screening Facility) located in all major gateways
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that there are 100 products that were on the first Section 301 exclusion list and will expire today. Among these products are electric motors, pump parts, construction equipment, agricultural vehicles, hubs, bearings, capacitors, switches, and dental x-ray equipment. Please click below to access the list of tariffs that are due to expire.
USMCA WEBINAR 06.23.20
(Presentation only file below)
There is no official certificate of origin form for USMCA; however, certification is required at the time of the claim. Please find a template form that is available below if a form is preferred.
The following presentations are available for informational purposes only related to COVID-19. Please be advised that the material provided is not legal binding and should not be considered legal advice.
The following client advisories have been issued by JAS USA Compliance regarding the impact of COVID-19.
JAS USA Compliance is receiving questions regarding the importing materials related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The below information is intended to be a guide and serve as a resource for informational purposes.
IMPORTING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
When an inquiry is submitted to JAS USA Compliance regarding the importation of personal protective equipment (PPE), please provide answers to the following questions when submitting your inquiry:
Hand Sanitizer/Antibacterial Soaps
COVID-19 Test Kits
If the inquiry is regarding any other emergency items not listed, please provide as much information about the product as possible including the manufacturer information and a complete description.
Any further questions regarding importing COVID-19 materials can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESOURCES AND FREQUENTLY REQUESTED INFORMATION
FDA’s Subject Matter Experts
Due to the large number of inquiries that FDA and CBP have been receiving on importing medical products under one of the guidance documents or an Emergency Use Authorization, we have set up the following email addresses for importers, manufacturers, or brokers to get direct answers.
For more information, please visit the following links to FDA's COVID-19 website
CSMS # 42448725 - Information for Filing Personal Protective Equipment & Medical Devices During Covid-19
On August 25th, some Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) customs user fees and limitations were adjusted. The following changes will be applied to imports starting October 1st, 2022:
Trade highlights from CBP’s recent updates for Fiscal Year 2022 going through June 30th:
CBP has announced new requirements related to forced labor for the CTPAT program that will affect all current and future participants in the program. Six requirements have been changed from “should” to “must” within the minimum security criteria requirements to be a CTPAT partner: Risk-based mapping, due diligence and training, evidence of implementation, code of conduct, remediation, and shared best practices. CTPAT members must meet these new requirements to be accepted as a partner, and current CTPAT partners will have until August 1st 2023 to implement the new rules. Trade and Compliance experts have raised concerns that implementation of these new rules may result in higher costs for participating members.
Recently, Laurie Arnold, JAS VP Compliance and the Treasurer for NCBFAA, attended the 8th annual NEI Global Trade Educational Conference (GTEC). The event took place at the historic InterContinential Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel, hosted by the NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI). Laurie attended presentations on many different subjects, including forced labor, 301 tariffs, CBP updates, binding rulings, and trade remedies. The event had many networking opportunities to connect with other members in the industry. The NEI offers multiple learning and educational opportunities. If you would like to learn more about these types of events, you can subscribe to NEI news and updates from the NCBFAA site.
It’s that time of year again. Fall is almost upon us! Fall officially starts September 22nd on the Autumnal Equinox. After months of record-breaking heat, we can finally start to wear long sleeves again, sip some warm coffee, relax, and watch the leaves change. Have you ever wondered why the leaves change? Many think it has to do with the cooling weather, but this is not the case. The beautiful red, yellow, and orange coloring we see in leaves are the result of the tree receiving less sunlight! Every leaf has a chemical inside called chlorophyll, which allows the leaf to absorb sunlight and gives them their signature green color. As the days get shorter, chemical changes take place that causes the base of the leaf to form a corklike wall where it meets the tree branch. This wall seals off the leaf from the rest of the tree, cutting off the supply of nutrients going to the leaves from the tree. The lack of nutrients and less daylight cause the chlorophyll to break down. The green color from the chlorophyll fades, and the other pigments within the leaf begin to make an appearance. Whether the leaf turns red, yellow, orange, or tan all depends on the other chemicals and pigments within the leaf.
Be sure to share these facts with your friends and family, and have a wonderful Autumn!
The Department of Commerce (DOC) has initiated an inquiry to establish whether imports of completed aluminum foil products from Korea and Thailand that use Chinese-manufactured aluminum inputs are circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties on those goods. These duties apply specifically to aluminum foil “having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width,” that was manufactured in China. The DOC will be contacting certain companies in Korea and Thailand to analyze their production and supply chain and make a decision based on their review.
The United States and Kenya recently began talks to develop a stronger trade partnership and to help drive economic growth. Kenya is already a part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows them duty-free access to certain goods in the US market. The US Trade Representative and the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary plan to continue meeting and develop a roadmap for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. The main points they are looking to collaborate upon include anti-corruption practices, environmental protection, digital trading, and the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises that help sustain economic growth. They are set to begin work on these projects within the next few months.
According to the Trade Act, Section 301 actions must undergo a review every 4 years to ensure that those tariffs are still necessary and effective. During the review process, USTR will take comments and requests for continuance from members of the industry via the online portal on the USTR website.
List 1 was originally set to expire on July 6th but is still currently in effect, though no announcement has been made about its continuation yet. The 60-day period to request continuation for List 2 is open until August 22, 2022. List 3 is scheduled to expire this September, and List 4A is set for September 2023, and both will have their own respective opportunities to submit requests for continuance.
This August, students will begin returning to classes for the 2022-2023 school year. Let's look at some interesting facts about schooling in the US to get those brains back in action!
Judicial Remedies - Challenging CBP's Decisions & Rulings in the Court of International Trade
August 16th, 2022
2:00 PM ET - 3:00 PM ET
1 CCS Credit
Recently, the US has been experiencing a shortage of solar energy modules, and energy producers have not been able to keep up with demand for clean energy alternatives. On June 6th, the current administration declared “an emergency to exist with respect to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected customer demand.” This emergency declaration allows for solar panels originating from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to be imported to the US duty-free for the next 24 months, at the discretion of the Secretaries of Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security.
CBP has released the UFLPA Operation Guidance for Importers. This document details the enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and has operational guidance and best practices for importers to comply with the act, which went into effect on June 21, 2022. The guidance has step-by-step instructions on how to submit a request for exception to the rebuttable presumption, which prohibits importation of any “goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions.” The guidance also includes an extensive list of resources for importers to use when doing their due diligence and maintaining the security of their supply chain, which CBP recommends all importers do as this act takes effect.
On June 16th, the current administration signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) into law. This act will provide additional powers to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) which will help combat rising freight costs, enhance oversight on international ocean carriers, and prohibit carriers from unreasonably denying US exports. The Act will allow the FMC to conduct investigations into ocean carriers and apply enforcement measures based on their findings. The Act also changes some rules on demurrage and detention charges, passing the burden of proof from the invoiced party to ocean carriers to verify the demurrage and detention charges, and ensuring that these charges meet federal regulations.
The EPA has updated the 3540-1 Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (NOA) form. This type of form is generally only used for entries that cannot be done through ACE. The new form clarifies some of the requested data elements and has improved instructions for filling out the form. CBP will continue to accept the old form until July 30th, 2022. After the grace period, all importers should be using the new form when filing entries.
On August 1st and 2nd, 2022, the NCBFAA National Educational Institute will host the annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G-TEC) in Chicago. The conference is open to all importers and exporters, and will have sessions on many different topics featuring subject matter experts and prominent leaders in the industry. Topics include CTPAT, Binding rulings, export sanctions, trade remedies, forced labor prevention, tips on managing remote work, and many more. This event is a great opportunity for importers and exporters to learn more about compliance and improve the effectiveness of their due diligence. and provide due diligence. NCBFAA members that register will have access to member pricing and earn 14 CCS/CES credits. This event is also a great opportunity to network with others in the global trade industry.
Independence Day is July 4th and many Americans spent this long weekend celebrating with a BANG! Fireworks have become an integral part of celebrating major holidays in America. Here are some fun facts about fireworks:
Happy 4th of July! Please make sure to be safe when using fireworks!
CBP recently expanded their Antidumping/Countervailing Duties & Trade remedies web page. This site has links with the latest information on trade remedies for Sections 201, 232 and 301, AD/CVD information, FAQ’s, Informed Compliance Publications, guides on different trade policies, and a searchable public message system. This site will be an incredibly helpful tool for importers looking to get their products through customs efficiently and avoid delays.
On May 9th, the Department of Commerce announced that the Section 232 Tariffs on Ukrainian steel will be lifted for one year. This follows similar tariff suspensions on Ukraine-originating goods by other allied countries around the world. Ukraine’s steel industry is one of the most important parts of their economy and employs a significant portion of the country. This suspension will provide relief to this industry, allowing for additional export opportunities as their steel mills begin production again.
The US Commerce Department will require aluminum licensing applications to note “country of largest smelt” and “country of second largest smelt” starting June 29, 2022. This means that importers bringing in aluminum products will need to identify on their applications the country in which the largest and second largest volumes of new aluminum are being produced. There was a one year grace period allowed for importers to use “Unknown” in these fields as they collected the information they would need to meet the requirement. This grace period will expire June 28th, and moving forward, all aluminum import license applications will require these fields to be filled for the aluminum licensing application to be considered.
The FDA recently released updated guidance on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Food Importers (FSVP), requiring that every entry line of food being imported to the US has a unique facility identifier (UFI). Earlier guidance allowed for using “UNK” (unknown) in place of the DUNS number in the UFI field, as this was a new requirement and importers would need time to gather the necessary information. As of July 24th, 2022, the FDA will no longer allow the use of “UNK” in the UFI field. All foods subject to FSVP must have the corresponding DUNS number in the UFI field of each entry. Moving forward, CBP will reject any entry line for foods subject to FSVP if there is no DUNS provided.
Last month, CBP announced that they would be sending Known Importer Letters to importers that imported goods that may be subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Since then, approximately 400 letters have been sent to importers across the US. There are two versions of this letter, one for importers that are part of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), and one for those who are not. The CTPAT letters have additional language noting that the importer may be removed from the CTPAT program if they are in violation of UFLPA. CBP is urging all importers to thoroughly review their supply chains before implementation of UFLPA on June 21st.
Summer starts on June 21st, and experts say we are in for a hot one this year! Meteorologists are predicting above-average temperatures across the US, particularly in the North and Midwest. Here are some tips to keep you and your family cool as we enter the sunniest season of the year:
Laurie Arnold Vice President Compliance for JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc. was elected as the Treasurer to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) at the 49th Annual NCBFAA conference in Tucson AZ on May 2nd. The NCBFAA is a national membership headquartered in Washington DC that represents more than 1,000 member companies with over 110,000 employees in international trade-the nation’s leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries, NVOCC’s and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. The NCBFAA established in 1897, is the effective national voice of the industry. The association keeps a close eye over legislative and regulatory issues affecting the international trade community.
Laurie has served the last 3 years as the Legislative Committee Chair for the NCBFAA, working with the congressional offices on a variety of issues, including the America Competes Act currently in congress. The America Competes Act (HR4521) covers multiple areas including the Illegal Fishing & Forced Labor Prevention Act (SIMP) and Import Security & Fairness Act. Working on The Customs Business Fairness Act (CBFA) HR4816 by far is where her passion shows. She was instrumental in having the language from this bill included in the Cares Act of 2020. The provision provided customs brokers a year reprieve of being required to return any customs duty received from the importer and provided to US Customs as a pass through if the importer filed bankruptcy. While the provision did expire at the end of 2021, she has remained committed to making the CBFA permanent. Laurie is looking forward to serving in her new role as the Treasurer for the NCBFAA.
CBP has announced that they will be sending “Known Importer Letters” to all importers known to have imported goods that may be subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). These letters are being sent to encourage importers to review their supply chain and identify any potential forced labor issues within. The UFLPA “establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China” will not be allowed into the United States. CBP will be sending the Known Importer Letters before the rebuttable presumption goes into effect on June 21st. CBP is also encouraging importers to review their supply chain even if they do not receive a Known Importer Letter.