JAS USA COMPLIANCE

News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

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JAS USA Compliance Insights

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JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

Did You Know? December 2022
December 5, 2022
Holiday Lights

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

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

  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • If using an extension cord, make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into older homes.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Never pull or tug on lights – they could unravel and inadvertently wrap around power lines.
  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
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Did You Know? Haunting Halloween Facts!
October 3, 2022
Festive Jack-'O-Lanterns on a window sill

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

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

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

• Another $3 billion will be spent on candy alone

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

• The average pumpkin has about 500 seeds.

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

Yum!
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The Colors of Autumn
September 7, 2022
colorful leaves

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

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

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Back to School!
August 1, 2022
Back to School tidbits

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

  • Over 50 million students will be attending public schools in 2022.
  • There are nearly 98,000 public schools in the US. 
  • About 10% of students will attend private schools.
  • Back-to-school costs for 2022 are expected to average about $864 per family.
  • On average, schools spend over $13,000 per student annually. 
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Firework Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
July 5, 2022
Did you know, fireworks image

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:

  • Chinese alchemists first discovered how to make explosive black powder over 1000 years ago. This black powder consisted of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate. This powder would eventually be refined and developed into gunpowder – the perfect substance for launching and exploding colorful chemicals in the sky.
  • Fireworks did not have color or design until the 1830s when Italian pyrotechnicians added arial shells and metal salts to the mixture. These additions would cause brilliant colorful effects and allow for multiple timed explosions with a single firework shell.
  • Fireworks have been used to celebrate Independence Day since the very first anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1777, in Philadelphia.
  • Americans spent $1.5 billion on fireworks last year. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) projects that spending will likely exceed $2 billion this year!
  • Fireworks are getting more expensive, and there will likely be shortages. Due to rising inflation and rising shipping costs, fireworks are going up in price.
  • Display fireworks are hard to ship! Since fireworks are considered explosives, importing them comes with certain restrictions. An importer will need a Federal Explosives Importer License or an ATF license specific to the activity planned for the imported fireworks. All fireworks must be properly labeled with warnings and pass inspection upon entry to the US.

Happy 4th of July!  Please make sure to be safe when using fireworks!

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Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
June 1, 2022
Summer Tidbits

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:

  • MAKE SURE YOU ARE HYDRATED! – This cannot be emphasized enough. Hydration is key to keeping your body temperature regulated. Drink plenty of cool water or sports drinks with electrolytes and stay away from coffee or other drinks that can dehydrate you.
  • Eat a popsicle – Frozen treats are a fantastic way to keep you cool when it’s hot out. As a bonus, a tasty frozen popsicle can double as a mini ice pack if you’re really burning up!
  • Dress appropriately – When dressing for the heat, make sure to wear lightly colored loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Strap on some sandals or flip-flops to reduce feet sweat. Don a hat and put on some sunglasses to keep your head cool and block UV rays from the summer sun.
  • Eat something spicy – Yes, you read that correctly. Eating spicy food might not be comfortable for everyone, especially in the heat. However, spicy foods can improve your circulation, which causes you to sweat more, and sweat cools the body. Who knew that a dash of hot sauce could keep you cool as cucumber?
  • Freeze your sheets – Getting to sleep when it’s hot is just the worst. Combat warm nights with cold sheets! Strange as it sounds, putting your sheets in the freezer shortly before bedtime will help you cool down when you go to bed. You can also try keeping freezing gel packs between your sheets to keep you cool throughout the night.

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Arbor Day
April 1, 2022
Arbor Day 2022

On April 29th, people all around the world will be celebrating Arbor Day, a special day where we get together to celebrate trees and plant new ones. The very first Arbor Day in the US took place in Nebraska on April 10th, 1872, which means this year we will be celebrating 150 years of planting trees! This is also the 50th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees around the world. The Arbor Day Foundation has planted and distributed 500 million trees (and counting) over the last 50 years. If you would like to contribute to making the world a little greener or get some trees to plant yourself for future generations to enjoy, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation site. All donations are tax deductible and go towards making the world better for all!

Donate Here
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Did you know? Daylight Savings Time
March 4, 2022
  • While it is often attributed to him, Ben Franklin actually did not come up with daylight saving time as we know it today, but he did pen the idea of adjusting schedules to the available sunlight in an unpublished satirical letter from 1784. In the letter he calculated the money that Parisians could save on candles if they woke with the sun instead of lazily waking at noon.
  • The actual name is Daylight Saving, not Daylight Savings, as it is often called.
  • Daylight Savings was not enacted officially in the US until March 1918. This was later repealed, then enacted again during WWII. After the war, states were allowed to choose whether they wanted to utilize DST or not. This resulted in massive travel issues for citizens crossing multiple state lines.
  • Modern use of DST was established in 1966, when the government passed the Uniform Time Act, creating a standard for daylight savings across the country (minus a few holdout states).
  • Hawaii, Arizona, and most US Territories do not observe DST.
  • There is much debate over whether DST has positive or negative effects on regions that use it, and whether it is necessary at all. Polls indicate that over 60% of Americans generally support the idea of eliminating DST permanently.
  • Studies show that the second Monday in March (the day we “lose an hour” every year) there are noticeable spikes in workplace accidents, traffic accidents, losses of productivity and slight increases in health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
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Did you know? Valentines By The Numbers
February 1, 2022

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Sweep your partner off their feet with these fun Valentine’s facts.

  • In 1875, a Swiss inventor Daniel Peter combined cocoa and condensed milk to create the first Milk Chocolate, which is now the most widely consumed chocolate across the globe. The milk condensation process had been created by Henri Nestlé, who's last name may sound very familiar! These men would go on to create Nestlé, one of the largest food and confectionary companies in existence today.
  • The United States is the biggest importer of chocolate in the world! In 2020, the United States imported $2.9 billion worth of chocolate.
  • Projections for 2022 show that Americans will likely spend over $27 billion on their Valentines. This is an increase of over $5 billion compared to last year!
  • Nothing says “I Love You” like a new diamond bracelet! Lovers all across the United States spent a whopping $5.8 billion on jewelry for their significant others in 2021.  
  • Conversation Hearts (also called Sweethearts), while not exactly considered the best-tasting Valentine’s candy, have become a holiday staple since their creation in 1901 by the famous confectionary company Necco. Approximately 8 billion conversation hearts are made every year!
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(Inter)National Meat Month!
January 4, 2022

January is National Meat Month, and what better way to celebrate than with the perfect steak dinner! Of course, you’ll need some quality ingredients to serve your protein-rich meal, but where did all these ingredients come from? It may surprise you to find that old traditional steak dinner requires foods and goods from all over the globe to come together on your dinner plate. The package label may say ‘New York Strip Steak’ but there is a fair chance that steak was imported from Canada, Mexico, or New Zealand. Once you get the steak going, you can add some flavor by topping it with some shiitake mushrooms, fresh from South Korea! Next, you’ll want a side for the meal, so scallop some Canadian potatoes and top it with some American cheddar cheese. Of course, you’ll need some greens to balance out the meal - time to toss a salad! Take a big pile of leafy lettuce and ripe tomatoes (both imported from Mexico) and top with some fancy cheese and dressing, both Italian! Considering all the countries that had to come together to plate this one meal, maybe we should call it International Meat Month?

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The Santa Suit Debate
December 2, 2021

Mall Santas have an important question to ask themselves when picking out their jolly red attire every winter – Am I buying a Santa Costume or a Santa Suit? The answer to that question will weigh heavily on Saint Nick’s wallet! The difference is how these outfits are officially classified within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. A cheap, lower quality costume is going to be considered a “festive article”, which is duty-free. However, a nice Santa Suit is considered clothing, sometimes categorized as “fancy dress”, which does have certain duties attached. This can hurt costume businesses hoping to import some holiday cheer. Several costume companies have petitioned the government over the years to have Santa Suits officially classified as festive articles to no avail. So, make sure your children are extra-well behaved this year when you visit Santa Claus at the mall, looking jolly can get expensive!

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Interplanetary Cargo – Imports from Mars!
November 1, 2021

Last year, NASA and ESA began an ambitious project with the intent to gather rock samples from Mars, and have those samples brought back to Earth. This multi-billion dollar project began with NASA’s launch of Perseverance, a rover designed to drill for rock samples and store them for a return trip. In order to retrieve the samples, the aerospace manufacturer Airbus has been hired to build a specialized spacecraft called the ERO, or Earth Return Orbiter – a massive structure that will cross millions of miles to Mars’ orbit. From there, it will pick up the samples stored by the Perseverance and make a return trip to Earth, resulting in what could be considered the first interplanetary cargo delivery! The ERO is expected to launch sometime in 2026. Now the real question is, what duties do NASA and ESA have to pay for several tons of Mars rock?

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Fun fact- International Coffee Day, October 1, 2021
October 1, 2021

International Coffee Day is celebrated each year on October 1.  Coffee has been used for centuries and grows on multiple continents around the world.  Coffee imports into the US are subject to PGA (Partner Government Agencies).  PGA requirements are diverse and require expertise to navigate.  On International Coffee Day, reflect on the expertise required to bring that beautiful concoction of caffeinated bliss to our breakfast tables!

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Did You Know? September 2021
August 31, 2021

Labor Day in the USA commemorates the labor movement for worker’s rights.  In the 19th Century, work conditions were quite different from what they are today, and work weeks were long and difficult.  Today, workdays and weeks are much more manageable in comparison. Labor Day also brings those exciting Labor Day Sales hopefully to save little on some consumer items!  

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Why are Hot Dogs and Buns Sold in Different Quantities?
August 2, 2021

There’s a food dilemma that people have been questioning for a long time!  Have you ever purchased a pack of hot dogs and a pack of buns only to discover that there are 10 hot dogs and 8 buns?  Let’s finally right this wrong!  Why are there different quantities?  According to the National Hot Dog Sausage Council (NHDSC) hot dog buns are baked in clusters of four in pans that are designed to hold eight rolls.  So, there you have it!  Keep that in mind when you are grilling hot dogs during this last summer month!

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Why is Sunscreen Regulated by the Food and Drug Administration?
July 2, 2021

FDA regulates sunscreens to ensure they meet safety and effectiveness standards. To improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of sunscreens, FDA issued requirements and it must pass certain tests before they are sold.  Also, how you use the product, and other protective measures you take, make a difference in how well you can protect yourself and your family from sunburn, skin cancer, early skin aging and other risks of overexposure to the sun.

Here are some key sun safety tips:

  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  • Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and more often if you are sweating or jumping in and out of the water.

Enjoy your summer and have fun in the sun!

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Summer Fun and Strawberry Picking
June 3, 2021

Ahhh, the smell of ripe strawberries lingers in the air as one of the most wonderful times of the year has arrived…. SUMMER!  

Consider strawberry picking as a family friendly outdoor activity this year!  Most of us are accustomed to strawberries from the grocery that were shipped in from faraway places and picked perhaps a bit early to ensure smooth travels.   Local strawberries are a totally different experience.  You are selecting each one yourself at the peak of perfection.  They are ripe and red totally through and filled with flavor beyond comparison.

Here are 5 tips to make your strawberry picking experience the best!

  1. Pick on a weekday when strawberry availability is at its peak. Strawberries ripen over time and supplies are best mid-week.
  2. Arrive right when the farm opens on weekends.
  3. Local Berries are Fragile. Eat your strawberries or freeze them within 24 hours of picking.  
  4. Dress for Picking!  You are visiting a working farm so close-toed shoes, sun hat and sunscreen are in order.  
  5. Please pay for your Strawberries before eating them. It is hugely tempting to eat strawberries while picking, but strawberries are sold by the pound at most farms so you will need to weigh and pay before you enjoy.

Enjoy!! Cheers to the summer!

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Memorial Day or Decoration Day?
May 6, 2021

Did you know that the Memorial Day Holiday used to be known as Decoration Day?  The holiday was celebrated by “decorating” the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, flags, and more, hence the name “Decoration Day.” Over time, it became known as Memorial Day.  

We honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military, particularly those who died in battle or because of wounds sustained in battle.

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Do You Have a Garden?
April 1, 2021

Roll up your sleeves and get your garden ready for Summer on April 14, as it is National Gardening Day. Gardening is a fun and relaxing hobby enjoyed by many, and this is the perfect day for those who have been wanting to take up gardening to finally gather their tools and seeds and get their hands dirty. National Gardening Day happens at the height of Spring, so it is the perfect day to start growing your flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruits, so they are ready to be enjoyed in the Summer. Even if you don't have a garden, you can still exercise your green fingers on houseplants, and bring the outside in.  Happy Spring!!

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National Virtual Vacation Day!
March 3, 2021

Did you know that March 30th is National Virtual Vacation Day?  When March 30th arrives, so does National Virtual Vacation Day, reminding us all to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate no matter where we are.  Vacations restore our minds, bodies, and souls. Studies show that taking a vacation lowers the risk of heart disease. They also help hone our problem-solving skills and promote overall brain health. There has never been a better time than now to explore a virtual vacation.  Stay safe and enjoy National Virtual Vacation Day!

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Share the Gift of Love through a Valentine's Day Card!
February 3, 2021

As we continue to practice social distancing, share the gift of love through sending a Valentine’s card to your family, friends and loved ones this year!  Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the 2nd most popular day of the year for sending cards?  Christmas is the first most popular!  Also, did you know that 9 million people buy their pets a gift for Valentine’s Day?  Maybe get them a card!  Hopefully, they won’t eat it!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy New Year! Do You Have a New Year's Resolution?
January 5, 2021

Did you know that the first New Year’s celebration goes back 4,000 years ago when Julius Caesar (the emperor of Rome) was the first to declare January 1 a national holiday!  Today, approx. 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions that vary from losing weight, getting organized, spending less, saving more, staying fit/healthy, quit smoking and more! 25% of people give up on these resolutions by the 2nd week of January!  What are your plans?  Be sure to stick to it and reach your goals this year!  JAS Forwarding USA Compliance is sending you well wishes of health and prosperity this year!

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Fancy Another Pint?
December 2, 2020

It is the Holiday Season!  Can you guess what the most widely consumed drink is worldwide?  If you guessed BEER, you are correct!  Few would question its worldwide appeal but let us see what the numbers say!  Click HERE to check out just how popular beer really is according the statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau!

Happy holiday season to you and your family!  Stay Safe!

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Tidbits!
November 4, 2020

As many people in the United States begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, CDC offers considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. Click HERE to read the full article on the CDC’s guidance to holiday celebrations.  

Happy holiday season to you and your family!  Stay Safe!

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Halloween is NOT Cancelled!
October 1, 2020

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

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

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

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Temporary Suspension of Tariffs on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia Authorized

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

CBP Releases Guidance for Importers on UFLPA

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.

Ocean Shipping Reform Act Signed into Law

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.

EPA Form 3540-1 Update

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.

G-TEC

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.

Did you know, fireworks image

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:

  • Chinese alchemists first discovered how to make explosive black powder over 1000 years ago. This black powder consisted of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate. This powder would eventually be refined and developed into gunpowder – the perfect substance for launching and exploding colorful chemicals in the sky.
  • Fireworks did not have color or design until the 1830s when Italian pyrotechnicians added arial shells and metal salts to the mixture. These additions would cause brilliant colorful effects and allow for multiple timed explosions with a single firework shell.
  • Fireworks have been used to celebrate Independence Day since the very first anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1777, in Philadelphia.
  • Americans spent $1.5 billion on fireworks last year. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) projects that spending will likely exceed $2 billion this year!
  • Fireworks are getting more expensive, and there will likely be shortages. Due to rising inflation and rising shipping costs, fireworks are going up in price.
  • Display fireworks are hard to ship! Since fireworks are considered explosives, importing them comes with certain restrictions. An importer will need a Federal Explosives Importer License or an ATF license specific to the activity planned for the imported fireworks. All fireworks must be properly labeled with warnings and pass inspection upon entry to the US.

Happy 4th of July!  Please make sure to be safe when using fireworks!

CBP recently expanded their Antidumping/Countervailing Duties & Trade remedies web page.

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.

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.

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)

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.

CBP 2 Letters

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 Tidbits

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:

  • MAKE SURE YOU ARE HYDRATED! – This cannot be emphasized enough. Hydration is key to keeping your body temperature regulated. Drink plenty of cool water or sports drinks with electrolytes and stay away from coffee or other drinks that can dehydrate you.
  • Eat a popsicle – Frozen treats are a fantastic way to keep you cool when it’s hot out. As a bonus, a tasty frozen popsicle can double as a mini ice pack if you’re really burning up!
  • Dress appropriately – When dressing for the heat, make sure to wear lightly colored loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Strap on some sandals or flip-flops to reduce feet sweat. Don a hat and put on some sunglasses to keep your head cool and block UV rays from the summer sun.
  • Eat something spicy – Yes, you read that correctly. Eating spicy food might not be comfortable for everyone, especially in the heat. However, spicy foods can improve your circulation, which causes you to sweat more, and sweat cools the body. Who knew that a dash of hot sauce could keep you cool as cucumber?
  • Freeze your sheets – Getting to sleep when it’s hot is just the worst. Combat warm nights with cold sheets! Strange as it sounds, putting your sheets in the freezer shortly before bedtime will help you cool down when you go to bed. You can also try keeping freezing gel packs between your sheets to keep you cool throughout the night.

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)

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 To Send Known Importer Letters

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.  

CIT Gavel

On April 1st, the Court of International Trade issued an opinion stating that the USTR acted within its rights when implementing lists 3 and 4A of the Section 301 Tariffs. The plaintiffs in the case suggested that lists 3 and 4A violated the Trade Act and should be removed because these tariff lists were in retaliation to new Chinese tariffs on US goods, and not based in the original USTR Section 301 report.

They also suggested that the lists were unlawful because USTR did not start a new Section 301 investigation before implementation. The CIT found that the new lists were not in violation of the 1974 Trade act as alleged, but they found that the USTR did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act because they did not properly respond to the public comments on lists 3 and 4A. The case has been remanded to the Office of the USTR, allowing an opportunity for them to explain the reasoning behind the implementation of these lists. The USTR has been given until June 30th to provide this information.

US CBP Office

CBP has released their monthly statistics for March. See the trade highlights below:

  • Processed over 3.1 million entry summaries valued at over $337 billion.
  • Collected $9 billion in duties.
  • Seized 10,583 shipments that contained over $1.5 billion of counterfeit goods.

The report includes statistics on international travel, border enforcement, drug seizures, agricultural seizures, and CBP’s response to COVID 19. The report also includes links to previous reports and year-over-year comparisons. 

Helpful Tips May 2022

Ahead of the upcoming guidance on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), it is strongly recommended that all importers review their supply chain to ensure that their goods are not being made with forced labor. CBP has a FAQ section for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that covers Withhold Release Orders, proof of admissibility, and best practices. The Due Diligence/Best Practices section has extensive resources that you can apply when reviewing your supply chain. The UFLPA will be going into effect on June 21st, so be sure to do your due diligence as soon as possible.

The US and UK have reached a new agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imported form the UK

The US and UK have reached a new agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imported form the UK. These changes allow the US to import a certain amount of UK steel and aluminum products without facing Section 232 tariffs. The deal also lifts tariffs placed on certain US goods exported to the UK. This agreement mandates an annual third-party audit of financial records for UK steel businesses controlled by Chinese companies to identify whether the company is being unduly influenced by the Chinese government. The tariffs will be lifted on June 1st, 2022.

On March 14th, CBP announced they are detaining all imported merchandise produced by Li-Ning Sporting Goods

On March 14th, CBP announced they are detaining all imported merchandise produced by  Li-Ning Sporting Goods, a major Chinese sporting goods company. A recent CBP investigation concluded that Li-Ning Sporting Goods is using North Korean labor in their supply chain, which violates 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 part 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 forced labor. All Li-Ning merchandise arriving at US ports will be detained until the importer is able to provide evidence that the goods were not made using forced labor, or else the goods may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.

The quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties will increase from the previous quarter.

The quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties will increase from the previous quarter. For the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2022, the interest rates for overpayments will be 3 percent for corporations and 4 percent for non-corporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 4 percent for both corporations and non-corporations.

On March 11th, President Biden signed an executive order banning the importation of Russian seafood

On March 11th, President Biden signed an executive order banning the importation of Russian seafood* and alcohol. The order also bans exports of luxury goods to Russia and restricts any new investments in Russia’s economy by US citizens. This order is one of several orders aimed at reducing Russia’s ability to fund their invasion of Ukraine, and part of a greater global effort to prevent further escalation in this conflict.

* The OFAC General License 17a authorizes the import of Russian seafood and fish until June 23, 2022, provided the requirements in the license are met.

Arbor Day 2022

On April 29th, people all around the world will be celebrating Arbor Day, a special day where we get together to celebrate trees and plant new ones. The very first Arbor Day in the US took place in Nebraska on April 10th, 1872, which means this year we will be celebrating 150 years of planting trees! This is also the 50th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees around the world. The Arbor Day Foundation has planted and distributed 500 million trees (and counting) over the last 50 years. If you would like to contribute to making the world a little greener or get some trees to plant yourself for future generations to enjoy, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation site. All donations are tax deductible and go towards making the world better for all!

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued additional sanctions and export controls against Russia in response to their invasion of Ukraine. These new rules are intended to severely impact Russian financial systems, disrupt their economy, and reduce their access to high-tech imports. The largest Russian banks targeted by these sanctions have been cut off from US financial systems. The ruling also places restrictions on the Russian military, preventing access to exports from the US and certain exports that utilize US-originating goods. Several Russian elites and their families have also had severe sanctions placed upon them and their US assets have been frozen. Canada, Japan, Australia, the EU, and other US allies are also placing their own sanctions against Russia in a unified effort to further damage Russia’s ability to carry out their invasion.

Please note the situation in Ukraine is changing rapidly, and this report is based on the most up to date data available at time of publishing.

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