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

JAS Attended Events

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

FTZ CONFERENCE OCTOBER

JAS employees were on the move in September as Compliance Project Manager Scott Cassell and Miami FTZ Administrator Ivel Martinez attended the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones “Celebrating 50 Years of NAFTZ” conference held in Miami on September 10 to 13. JAS operates foreign trade zones (FTZ) in both Charleston, SC and Miami, FL and the conference was a great opportunity for the JAS team to stay abreast of the current issues and regulatory changes affecting FTZ’s.

The entire JAS compliance team also meet on September 19 and 20 at the JAS headquarters in Atlanta for their annual meeting. Led by Vice President of Compliance Laurie Arnold this year’s theme was “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success!”. Various topics were discussed and strategies for the coming year were formulated.

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Laurie Arnold Speaks at NCBFAA 50th Annual Conference

Laurie Arnold, JAS Vice President of Compliance and the NCBFAA Treasurer, spoke on the panel "Past, Present, & Future" at the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association's (NCBFAA) 50th annual conference in New Orleans.  Pulling out her "crystal ball," Laurie speculated on what the future work environment might look like considering the ongoing development of Artificial Intelligence and chat apps.  The panel also discussed the environmental benefits of remote work and the potential danger of cyberattacks on business, power grids and the water supply.

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TSA Joined Forces with AIFBA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCBFAA Site
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(L to R) Leah Ellis, JAS Compliance Operations Manager, & Laurie Arnold, VP Compliance, stand in front of the World Trade Bridge on their trip to Laredo, Texas

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. 

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JAS on the Move
October 1, 2021

Our very own Laurie Arnold, Vice President Compliance for JAS Forwarding USA Inc. was a guest speaker at the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America, Government Affairs Conference in Washington DC on Sept 21. She spoke on the Customs Business Fairness Act HR 4816 bill that she as the NCBFAA Legislative Committee Chair has been championing to become permanent.  This bill would protect Customs Brokers from having to reach into their pocket and pay customs duties to the court for redistribution due to the 90-day claw back bankruptcy law.  The customs broker would have collected that customs duty from the importer and already paid it to US Customs. If the importer files bankruptcy the broker must pay that money back if in the 90-day period but US Customs would keep the funds already paid.

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Laurie Arnold and Leah Ellis of Corporate Compliance at JAS Forwarding attended the NCBFAA annual conference and provided their committee reports at the annual meeting.  The NCBFAA conference is an annual event that brings together more than 600 international trade representatives from across the United States to discuss trade affairs.

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Congress has included the Customs Business Fairness Act on Dec. 21 as part of the latest coronavirus relief package that changes the way U.S. bankruptcy law is applied to customs brokers when importers become insolvent. Under the current law, a customs broker may be ordered by the bankruptcy trustee to give back the duty paid to it by the insolvent importer during the past 90 days. It does not matter to the bankruptcy trustee whether that money has already been paid to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to cover import duties.

The provisions amend various sections of the Bankruptcy Code on a temporary basis to provide additional relief to customs brokerage businesses directly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Laurie Arnold, Regulatory Officer of JAS Forwarding USA Corporate Compliance, along with Whitmer and Worrall, led the NCBFAA's latest lobbying effort to include the bankruptcy bill in the latest COVID-19 relief legislation.  Congratulations Laurie and everyone that helped to make this happen!

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JAS is on the Move!
August 5, 2020
Free Lunch for Truck Drivers Initiative in Virginia

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

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The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the trade agreement that is scheduled to replace NAFTA and enter into force effective July 1, 2020.  JAS USA Compliance held a webinar to discuss an overview of the trade agreement and provided resources and helpful information regarding the implementation of the agreement.  To listen to the audio of the webinar and access the certification template form, please visit our website by clicking HERE!

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In March 2019, JAS Forwarding Miami Branch was very pleased to have MSA Security on site for a live demo of their canine screening process.  The 3PK9 Security Program allows airlines and freight forwarders to utilize private sector canine teams as a primary screening method.  Essentially, reducing time and cost compared to other screening procedures.

Read More on the Live Demo
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JAS is On the Move
March 5, 2020

Laurie Arnold presented to the Atlanta International Forwarders and Brokers Association (AIFBA) a legislative update on the HR2261 Bankruptcy Bill, the section 301 tariff and an update on the USMCA that will replace NAFTA.  Laurie is actively engaged in local organizations is committed to working with National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarding Association (NCBFAA) diligently to get Bill HR2261 passed into law.

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JAS USA Compliance Members visit Savannah Port

Laurie Arnold (Regulatory Compliance Officer) and Leah Ellis (Corporate Compliance Specialist) of JAS USA Compliance attended a port tour at the Savannah Port with other leaders of the NCBFAA.  They were able to get an up-close and personal view of vessel operations and learned about the new and exciting plans for the port’s rail and vessel operations!

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Laurie Arnold, Regulatory Compliance Officer of JAS Forwarding and Legislative Committee Chair for NCBFAA, attended a meeting organized by NCBFAA at Senator Lindsay Graham’s office in Washington DC.  The meeting was to discuss the bankruptcy bill (HR2261 currently in the house with 25 Congressional co-sponsors) and to try to get the Senate version underway.  She is diligently working with industry professionals on the bill in an attempt to get it passed into law.

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​Laurie Arnold of JAS Worldwide, Legislative Committee Chair for NCBFAA, attended a meeting organized by NCBFAA with US Customs Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez and many other CBP Commissioners to discuss various topics related to our industry. Topics included de minimis entry type 86, power of attorney vetting, the recent customs broker exam and the need for collaboration and direct communication between the forwarding, brokerage community and US Customs.  This is one way that JAS is keeping the clients’ interest in front of US Customs and any potential changes that may impact the industry!

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On August 22nd, JAS USA Compliance held a seminar for importers with the emphasis on “Adapting Compliance Solutions in the Evolution of Constant Change.” Relevant topics were discussed such as duty drawback, tariff engineering, incoterms, trade agreements, antidumping/countervailing and more!

Contact your JAS Compliance Team for more information!

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On March 27th, JAS USA Compliance conducted or first FREE webinar open to current and potential JAS Import Clients.  During this session, we discussed Section 232 & 301 tariffs and how it affects customs bonds, tariff exclusions and more!  Please find the link below to review all of the questions and answers that were discussed in the webinar session.  More webinars to come throughout the year!

Read the Q&A From the First Webinar
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Recently, our very own Compliance Officer Laurie Arnold was “flying” high, as her and Compliance Specialist Scott Cassell did an onsite audit for a company with airplanes.  

Did you know that JAS Corporate Compliance offers internal auditing and other value added services?

​We offer the following services for clients that include but not limited to:  

  • Client On-site audit and periodic review services.
  • HTS, valuation, marking, ruling, and specialized commodity consulting.
  • Customs Compliance Training (Import & Export)
  • CTPAT Import & Export Guidance
  • Collaboration in the development and maintenance of Import & Export Compliance Manuals

For more information on any of these services, please contact your local JAS Representative today!

Contact Your Local JAS Representative
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As of Monday March 20, 2018 JAS Forwarding (USA) is now assisting CBP and TSA on its initiative to provide enhanced security for air cargo coming into the United States.  The Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) initiative was created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to gather data concerning the parties and commodities involved in air cargo prior to its loading on an aircraft at a foreign port. The initiative is currently in the pilot phase allowing CBP to collaborate with the air cargo industry to determine the most effective means of achieving the desired regulatory results without affecting the speed of air cargo operations.

Read More on ACAS Pilot Screenings
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Effective December 2017, the JAS Charleston branch has been approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)!  This is the first FTZ within JAS!  Foreign Trade Zones are secure areas under Customs and Border Protection supervision that are generally considered outside of CBP territory upon activation.  Foreign and domestic merchandise may be moved into the zones for operation, not otherwise prohibited by law including storage, exhibition, assembly, manufacturing and processing.  Under zone procedures, the usual formal CBP entry procedures and payments of duties are not required on the foreign merchandise unless and until it enters CBP territory for domestic consumption.  For more information on the JAS FTZ, please contact your local JAS Representative!

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The Bureau of Industry and Security annual Update Export Control Policy Conference gives the exporting community the opportunity to learn first-hand from senior U.S. Government officials about current issues and trends in export control policies, regulations and practices. This major outreach activity draws business and government representatives from around the world to exchange ideas about export control issues. It provides attendees with the opportunity to interact with U.S. Government officials about programs and services offered by U.S. Government and industry exhibitors. It is one of the Department of Commerce’s most notable international trade events.  In attendance from JAS Forwarding were Laurie Arnold (Regulatory Compliance Officer) and Tiffany Coffey (Corporate Compliance Specialist).

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CLUE #1

The JAS USA Compliance team will be attending the NAFTZ Conference next week in San Diego, CA- USA

Here is the first clue - the Foreign Trade Zone pending activation is on the opposite coast from the NAFTZ Conference.  Activation appears to be very close.

Stay tuned for more information.

Questions?  Contact us today!

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From left to right: Drew Pollitz (San Francisco Operations Manager), Tiffany Coffey (Corporate Compliance Specialist), Jorge Suarez (San Francisco Branch Manager)

JAS Corporate Compliance staff conducts internal compliance audits at each of our branches annually.  The purpose of the audit is designed to monitor and evaluate our internal control environment as to its adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness as it relates to customs compliance.

JAS Corporate Compliance also offers value added services for clients such as:

  • Client On-site audit and periodic review services.
  • HTS, valuation, marking, ruling, and specialized commodity consulting.
  • Customs Compliance Training (Import & Export)
  • CTPAT Import & Export Guidance
  • Collaboration in the development and maintenance of import & export compliance manuals

For more information on any of these services, please contact your local JAS Representative today!

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SEMICONDUCTOR

On October 25, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register several updates to its comprehensive interim final rule of October 7, 2022, which amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement controls on advanced computing integrated circuits (ICs), computer commodities that contain such ICs, and certain semiconductor manufacturing items exported to China. The updates, inter alia, adjust the thresholds for which chips are covered by the regulations, expand licensing requirements to an additional 43 countries included in the D:5 Country Group of the EAR, and add several dozen items to the list of controlled semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Exporters of ICs and semiconductor manufacturing items should thoroughly review the notice and submit any comments to BIS by the December 18, 2023, deadline. The Center for Strategic & International Studies has published a concise summary and commentary on these updates prepared by Emily Benson. A link to this commentary is below.

GOAT

Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) are tasked with preventing the introduction of invasive species and toxic substances into American agriculture and natural resources. To accomplish this task, a CBPAS will utilize targeting, detection and interception techniques while examining passengers returning to the United States and commercial cargo arriving into U.S. ports of entry. CBPAS’ also work to identify and prevent any attempts at agro-terrorism via the intentional introduction of disease or the contamination of food products with toxic substances. The diversity of passengers and cargo attempting to enter the United States on a daily basis can lead to some interesting interceptions by agriculture specialists.

One recent example took place at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in early October. CBPAS’ inspected a small box carried by a passenger returning from Kenya. To the specialists surprise, the box contained giraffe fecal material. The passenger then advised that she had obtained the droppings in Kenya and planned to make a necklace with them, also stating that she had used moose feces at her home in Iowa in the past for the same purpose. The box was then seized and destroyed.

Another recent example occurred at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Two passengers returning from Congo were referred for inspection. Inside their baggage was found an unknown meat along with 15 pounds of raw goat viscera including, among other things, the heart, lungs and entire digestive system of a goat. The items, of course, were confiscated. Never a dull moment in the life of a CBPAS!

CBP LOGO

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) quietly unveiled a new online portal, ePetition, for the filing of required documentation for petitions for mitigation of amounts charged in penalty notices and liquidated damage claims. Petition filers, however, should still make contact with the responsible CBP officer stated on the notice to confirm that uploaded documents are well received. Petitions can then subsequently be looked up on the portal and the status checked.

CONTAINERS LA

As of November 1, 2023, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) charged at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase 4 percent. The increase is a result of the 4 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates recently ratified in the coastwide contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association. The TMF was instituted as a way to encourage shippers to have their cargo picked up at the terminals during late night shifts or on weekends to reduce the congestion at the terminals occurring during normal business hours. Beginning November 1, the TMF will be $35.57 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $71.14 per forty-foot container.

TRAINING GROUP

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that it will be providing a quarterly series of webinars free of charge to assist and train small and medium-sized businesses on how to report trade violations that could threaten their bottom line and hurt the overall economy. The webinars will run from November 7, 2023, through September 10, 2024, and will guide participants through the process of reporting commercial trade violations using the Trade Violations Reporting Tool. The webinars will demonstrate how to report allegations of a variety of trade violations, including antidumping and countervailing duty evasion, forced labor, and natural resource crimes.

LEIDEN

On November 23, Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated in the United States. In the town of Leiden, Netherlands stands an ancient church, called the Pieterskerk, that has a unique connection to the Thanksgiving Day celebration. Inside this church, you will find a large display dedicated to the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, MA on December 22, 1620. The one hundred or so individuals who arrived in Plymouth on the vessel Mayflower are widely known for having fled England to escape religious persecution for their Puritan faith. However, less widely known, is that many of these pilgrims actually first fled to Leiden in the Netherlands and lived there for around 12 years before setting sail for America. Their pastor John Robinson was buried at this church and there is a prominent memorial display for him inside. The church also has an ancient pipe organ that is still played and that contains some pipes dating to the 1400’s. Another interesting fact about Leiden is that during the same time the pilgrims were living there, a teenager by the name of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was living there as well. This young man became known to history as a brilliant painter and printmaker, going simply by his first name, Rembrandt. If you ever travel to the Netherlands, make sure to visit Leiden and the Pieterskerk.

CCSF WAREHOUSE

JAS Forwarding had its ninth facility certified for cargo screening as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF) by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on August 9, 2023. Located in Somerset, NJ, the facility handles eCommerce and, as a result, 60 pallets a day on average are being screened. This equates to approximately 10,000 to 15,000 pieces of cargo being screened at this one facility. With the approaching eCommerce peak season about to start in November, the volume of cargo screened is expected to increase 150%! The primary screening method is K9, therefore, our K9 handlers and K9’s such as Zeus (pictured above and below) will be hard at work!

CLOSED SIGN

A U.S. government shutdown was averted at the eleventh hour on the evening of September 30, when both the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills to extend present government funding levels for 45 days to November 17. Additional aid to Ukraine and provisions to enhance border security were left out of the measures, while a large appropriation of $16 billion for disaster relief was included. The limited term of the measures, however, means that a shutdown could well become imminent again unless longer term funding bills are approved within the next 45 days.

COMPLIANCE PIECE

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed a civil penalty of $48,750 against a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines to resolve 13 violations of the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as was alleged in a Proposed Charging letter. Between May 2019 and March 2020, the manufacturer received requests on thirteen different occasions from a Middle Eastern airline to not import any Israeli origin goods into the Middle East to fulfill purchase orders from the airline. The manufacturer failed to report to BIS the receipt of these requests as required by 15 CFR 760.5. However, the manufacturer fully cooperated with the investigation and significantly reduced the penalty imposed as a result of the remedial measures taken after discovery of the conduct. This is another reminder of the need to have robust procedures in place to monitor receipt of any such boycott requests and to have a mechanism in place to report them immediately to BIS.

SOFTWOOD LUMBER

Another chapter in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between the United States and Canada was opened on September 1. Canada’s Trade Minister Mary Ng announced that Canada was launching a Chapter 10 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) challenge to the latest countervailing duties (CVD) in place on importations of softwood lumber into the U.S. Additionally, a suit is being filed by Canada in the U.S. Court of International Trade to challenge the antidumping duties (ADD) on softwood lumber from Canada also now in effect.

The dispute goes back to 1981 when the U.S. lumber industry first requested the Department of Commerce to investigate Canadian stumpage programs and impose countervaling duties. The issue is rooted in the fact that most Canadian land where softwood lumber is harvested from is owned by provincial governments, and the fees charged to harvest timber on the land, or the stumpage rates, are set by government regulation. In the United States, most softwood timber land is privately owned and the stumpage rates are determined by market forces. U.S. lumber companies have long claimed that the stumpage rates charged to harvesters by the provinces in Canada are well below market rates and are, therefore, countervailable subsidies. An agreement to suspend the application of any ADD or CVD that had been in effect expired in 2015, and the battle has raged on ever since. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of Canada in 2020 and stated that the United States CVD measures were not in conformity with its WTO obligations. However, the U.S. has ignored that determination for the most part. Talks between the leaders of Canada and the U.S. in Ottawa earlier this year did not break the impasse.

COSMETIC BAG FDA REGISTRATION

The Food and Drug Administration recently published its much anticipated Draft Guidance on Registration and Listing of Cosmetic Product Facilities and Products as mandated by the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022. The guidance provides details on which facilities must register and the information required to be provided in cosmetic product listings. FDA also published screenshots for the “Cosmetics Direct” electronic submissions portal to be utilized for the registration and listings. The portal is supposed to be available in October.

CRITICAL MINERALS

The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 along with the increased attention given to clean energy transportation alternatives and environmental protection has highlighted the increasingly important role played in the economy by what are termed critical minerals and rare earth elements. The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) has published a very helpful primer that explains what these items are, where the main sources of supply are, and their end uses and applications. The IGF is a forum of more than 80 member countries established to support the advancing of sustainable development goals through effective laws, policies, and regulations for the mining sector.

As the primer states, critical minerals are the minerals and metals necessary for renewable energy and clean technology. It further states that “there is no universally agreed upon definition of what “criticality” means, and criticality changes over time, depending on the needs of society and the availability of supply”. Rare earth elements are “a set of 17 metallic elements that are considered critical because of their properties”. These elements are not in fact rare but are referred to as rare because they can be difficult to extract and can be complex to process.

The need for and importance of these minerals and elements will only increase and will continue to have major impacts on United States trade policy and the logistics industry.

FTZ CONFERENCE OCTOBER

JAS employees were on the move in September as Compliance Project Manager Scott Cassell and Miami FTZ Administrator Ivel Martinez attended the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones “Celebrating 50 Years of NAFTZ” conference held in Miami on September 10 to 13. JAS operates foreign trade zones (FTZ) in both Charleston, SC and Miami, FL and the conference was a great opportunity for the JAS team to stay abreast of the current issues and regulatory changes affecting FTZ’s.

The entire JAS compliance team also meet on September 19 and 20 at the JAS headquarters in Atlanta for their annual meeting. Led by Vice President of Compliance Laurie Arnold this year’s theme was “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success!”. Various topics were discussed and strategies for the coming year were formulated.

HALLOWEEN

It is October and that means Halloween is around the corner! The Library of Congress reports that Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced “SAH-win”). Samhain was a pagan religious celebration at the time of the harvest at the end of summer in which people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Then, in the eight century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a day to honor Catholic saints and this was called All Saints Day. All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before All Saints Day then became a holiday as well and was celebrated as All Hallows Eve, from which we derive Halloween. The Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns is rooted in the Celtic legend about a man named Stingy Jack who was able to repeatedly trap the devil and would only let him go if he promised that Jack would never go to hell. However, when Jack died, heaven did not want him either, so he had to wander the earth as a ghost for eternity. The devil then gave Jack a burning lump of coal in a carved-out turnip to light his way. The tradition then started in Ireland of carving scary faces in turnips to frighten the ghost of Jack and other evil spirits away. Have a safe and happy Halloween and look out for Jack!

Worker Examination

In a Federal Register notice, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the opportunity for qualified, interested shippers to register as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF). While the TSA had approved shippers to become CCSF’s previously when requested, the TSA had never fully integrated these operations into the Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program (CCSSSP). An incentive for shippers to consider becoming a CCSF is that, on October 31, the Impracticable to Screen (ITS) amendments that the TSA had in effect will expire. These amendments allowed cargo not easily screened due to the commodity packaging type or size to move via airfreight. After October 31, ITS cargo will require 100% screening. ITS cargo could be screened by the airline or other third-party service provider, however, higher costs for the shipper are likely to result.

To initiate the registration process, shippers must send an email indicating their interest to an address identified in the notice and TSA will respond with additional information regarding the application requirements.

PCB

Several prominent information technology associations, including the Semiconductor Industry Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and the Information Technology Industry Council, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressing concern over the recent announcement by the Indian Government to require a license to import computers and related information and communication technology products into India. The licensing requirement is to take effect on November 1, 2023. One concern raised was that the licensing regime could make it difficult for U.S. companies with data centers in India to import servers into India that are needed for their operations. While the government announcement included certain exemptions, the associations requested more comprehensive details on the scope of the exemptions. Licensing requirements have also been used in the past as major non-tariff import barriers by various countries, which was another concern raised. The U.S. government was urged to request that India reconsider the implementation of the policy.

Pencils

In an important recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in the case, Royal Brush Manufacturing, Inc. vs. United States Dixon Ticonderoga Company, that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) violated the Fifth Amendment right to due process of Royal Brush by providing only redacted versions of reports that CBP utilized in making its determination that antidumping duty (ADD) evasion occurred in connection with an Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigation. The EAPA investigation centered around pencils shipped from the Philippines to Royal Brush in the United States. CBP concluded that the pencils were of Chinese origin and were transshipped via the Philippines to avoid paying the ADD under case A-570-827 for Cased Pencils from China. However, in making this determination, CBP relied on reports from a verification visit made to the Philippine factory. When Royal Brush requested copies of the reports, production number data and photographs taken at the factory were redacted due to CBP deeming this information to be confidential business information. CBP stated that there was no provision in the EAPA law itself that empowered them to issue a protective order which could have allowed release of the confidential information. Royal Brush then filed suit in the Court of International Trade (CIT).

The CIT ruled in favor of CBP, then Royal Brush appealed. The appellate court stated in its decision: “In short, the law is clear that, in adjudicative administrative proceedings, due process includes the right to know what evidence is being used against one.” The decision further stated: “As best we can make out, the government’s argument is that due process does not require public disclosure of confidential business information relied on in adjudication but only requires disclosure to affected parties under protective orders… We are aware of no case supporting any such extraordinary theory, and it is untenable on its face. The right to due process does not depend on whether statutes and regulations provide what is required by the constitution.” The case was remanded back to the CIT for CBP to provide Royal Brush the redacted information and give them an opportunity for rebuttal.

In legal circles, it is believed that this decision could also have an impact on CBP’s investigations under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act as CBP often does not release the evidence that it has compiled to the party whose cargo is being detained, which may now lead to court challenges of those decisions.

Allow Delay

In separate Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) messages, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced postponements of two important system enhancements. First, CBP stated on 08/22/23 that it was disabling the testing of the Ocean House Bill Release in its ACE test Certification Environment. This testing was a precursor to having Ocean Bill Release go live in ACE. A new date for when either testing will continue or the Ocean House Bill Release will go live is to be determined.

Also, on 08/25/23 CBP announced that it was postponing the migration of declarations-related functionality as a part of the Phase 4 ACE portal functionality modernization. A new date for this update is to be determined as well.

Law Book

Violations of anti-boycott prohibitions enforced by the Commerce Department via the Export Administration Regulations and the Internal Revenue Service via Internal Revenue Code Section 999(a)(3) can lead to very costly penalties, as law firm Sandler, Travis , & Rosenberg reminded the trade in a recent article. Any company that agrees to or actually refuses to do business with or discriminates against Israel or other blacklisted companies, inter alia, can be subject to these penalties, which include hefty fines and even jail time for criminal violations. Therefore, companies must perform their due diligence to ensure that violations of these regulations are not occurring anywhere in their operations.

Passport

In a recent advisory opinion, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Commerce Department, set forth the requirements for the export, reexport, or transfer of licensed technology and software between a licensed U.S. entity and foreign nationals of a related foreign company who are on temporary rotational assignment in the United States. As long as the technology or software is within the scope of the license in question, then release to these foreign nationals would be authorized. However, any new technology or software to be released to these foreign nationals that is not authorized by the existing license would require a new export license.

USTR Logo

In a notice to be published in the Federal Register, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it will be extending to December 31, 2023 the 352 previously reinstated Section 301 duty exclusions and the 77 COVID-related 301 exclusions that were set to expire on September 30. The required four-year review of the Section 301 duties imposed on certain products from China is still underway and this extension will allow for a transition period as that review continues.

American Flag

Hard to believe, but it will be 22 years this September 11th since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 caused the death of nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia and on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. We still mourn and honor those whose lives were sacrificed. What you may not know is that 187 years prior another event occurred in the month of September. On September 14, 1814, poet Francis Scott Key was watching the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the continuation of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain. As the U.S. soldiers gained the advantage, a large U.S. flag was hoisted above the fort. Inspired by the bravery and tenacity of the soldiers, Key penned the words to a song titled “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the rest, of course, is history! In remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11th, we share a not so well-known additional stanza of the anthem:

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace may the heaven rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto - "In God is our trust,"

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

Over the land of the free and the home of the brave

SHEFFIELD HALLAM RELEASES EXTENSIVE LIST OF UYGHUR REGION COMPANIES

Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom via its Forced Labor Lab released another forced labor resource in the form of a spreadsheet listing over 50,000 companies that operate in the Uyghur Region of China. The spreadsheet also has a section grouping over 35,000 companies under specific industry categories. Sheffield Hallam provides numerous resources on its website relating to forced labor issues in the Uyghur region, including a 50+ page report on automotive supply chain connections to forced labor in the region.

United States Capitol

A letter signed by 66 members of the U.S. House of Representatives was sent to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, urging renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences Program (GSP). The GSP is a trade program that provides nonreciprocal, duty free treatment for certain U.S. imports from eligible developing countries. The program expired in December 2020. Various measures to renew the program have been introduced since its expiration, some with provisions to alter eligibility requirements, however, the program remains expired at present.

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