JAS USA COMPLIANCE

News & Insights from JAS Worldwide Compliance

JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc.

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JAS USA Compliance Insights

Tidbits

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

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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Did you know that passengers leave more than $900K behind at TSA security checkpoints?
September 1, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tidbits! Back to School in 2020
August 5, 2020

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

Guideline from the CDC
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Know Before You Go! Tidbits!
July 7, 2020

​It is officially summer and hurricane season!  More families are resorting to road travel this year due to Covid-19 restrictions and are looking for new travel ideas as we all adjust to our “new norms!”  As you are planning for summer vacation and travel, The U.S. Census Bureau publishes timely statistics that are critical to emergency planning, preparedness, and recovery efforts.  The “OnTheMap for Emergency Management Tool” is a live and interactive easy to use tool that provides information on disasters, natural hazards, and weather events across the United States.  So, before you go on that road trip be sure to check your destination HERE!

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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.

New data shows that Chicago CBP officers seized around $2.88 million worth of counterfeit goods during the month of January alone. One of the biggest busts in January was a shipment from Israel with over $713,000 in counterfeit jewelry. Officers say they see counterfeit goods passing through on a near daily basis, with reports showing 29 counterfeit seizures in Chicago throughout January. The fake items seized cover all manner of accessories including jewelry, watches, shoes, and handbags. Estimates show the United States spends over $100 billion every year on counterfeit goods that infringe on intellectual property laws.

The U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to adjust the Section 232 tariffs on Japanese steel imports. This new agreement sets a quota for Japanese steel, allowing for up to 1.25 million tons to be imported without any Section 232 duties imposed. This plan is similar to a resolution passed last year easing EU steel and aluminum tariffs, though this agreement only affects Japanese steel imports.  These multinational agreements are part of a larger strategy to fight China’s anti-competitive trade practices, as well as creating a greener steel trade industry.

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is issuing a final rule to adjust certain civil monetary penalties (CMP) for inflation pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. OFAC imposes CMPs pursuant to the penalty authority in five statutes: The Trading With the Enemy Act; the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act; and the Clean Diamond Trade Act . The new rule went into effect February 9th.

AD/CVD (Anti-dumping and countervailing duty) is a hot topic in the trade world these days.  Determining whether AD/CVD applies to products is imperative to understand the costs of imported goods.  Applicability of AD/CVD is typically based on the description of the item as it relates to the scope of the AD/CVD order.  HTS codes are part of AD/CVD scopes but are not the deciding factor.  

Using case numbers, The US Customs & Border Protection system for AD/CVD search AD/CVD search can provide information on specific cases including scope and other background related to individual cases.  Simply enter a case number in the search field and the results will appear.  Users can sort by date, status, type and much more.  

  • 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.

In early January, US Customs and Border Protection released their annual statistics for Fiscal Year 2021. Among the data provided was information on the ongoing efforts to protect consumers from products made using forced labor. In the last fiscal year, CBP has prevented almost $500 million worth of goods manufactured using forced labor from entering the US. Trade seizures were also up from last year, with over 83,000 shipments siezed over alleged trade violations. CBP also noted a record year in imports, collecting almost $94 billion in duties and taxes.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has opened an AD/CVD investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of steel nails, provided for in subheadings 7317.00.55, 7317.00.65, and 7317.00.75 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey and alleged to be subsidized by the Governments of India, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey. Unless the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) extends the time for initiation, the Commission must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in 45 days, or in this case by February 14, 2022. The Commission's views must be transmitted to Commerce within five business days thereafter, or by February 22, 2022.

Investigation Nos. 701-TA-673-677 and 731-TA-1580-1583 (Preliminary)

On January 24th, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they are seeking public comment on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. These comments are intended to help shape the way the act will be implemented and enforced. Included in the notice are instructions on how to submit a comment, and a series of questions to help ensure DHS gets the information they need. The commenting period is open now and will close March 10th at midnight. For further information on the bill or details on how to submit a comment, please see the below links.

New legislation has been introduced to the House that aims to reduce exploitation of the Section 321 de minimis threshold. Section 321 de minimis currently allows goods from foreign countries to be imported duty-free and tax-free as long as the value of the goods is under $800. Over the past several years, the amount of packages arriving in the US under Section 321 has expanded exponentially, currently averaging over 2 million packages per day. There are major concerns that this is reducing the competitiveness of US businesses, and allows bad actors in the industry to exploit the lack of oversight on these lower-value shipments. The Import Security and Fairness Act is intended to close this loophole and provide additional oversight to the de minimis import process. The Act also will require CBP to collect information on all de minimis shipments in order to prevent further abuse of the rule, as well as ensuring de minimis is not being used to bring in goods made with forced labor.

Starting January 22nd, DHS will begin enforcing a requirement for all non-US citizens traveling to the United States via land port of entry or ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This new requirement is part of a series of changes to Non-Citizen entry into the US that was created in October of last year in order to fight the ongoing spread of COVID-19.  As of January 22nd, any non-US individuals entering the US - regardless of their reasoning for entry – will need to verbally state their vaccination status and provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, along with the usual documents required to cross into the United States.

US importers are responsible for keeping all records related to imporations into the United States for the legal retention period.  In general records must be kept for 5 years from the date of entry, or 5 years from the date of the activity which required the creation of the record.  Failure to produce entry records upon lawful demand can result in significant consequences.  Check out CBP’s informed compliance publication on “Recordkeeping” in the link below to learn more.

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!

First Sale Valuation and Reducing Section 301 Tariffs

February 10, 2022

2:00 PM ET- 3:00 PM ET

Sandler Travis & Rosenberg

The Census Bureau is proposing to amend its regulations to reflect new export reporting requirements related to the country of origin.  Specially, the Census Bureau is proposing to add a conditional data element, country of origin, when foreign origin is selected in the Foreign/Domestic Origin Indicator field in the Automated Export System (AES).  In addition to the new export reporting requirement, the proposed rule would make remedial changes to the FTR to improve clarity and to correct errors.

 Written comments are requested and must be received on or before February 14, 2022.

Earlier this year, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was introduced to the Senate. The bill includes measures to restrict certain goods imported from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region due to alleged human rights violations and forced labor being used to manufacture exported goods. The only exceptions for imported goods from this region will be if CBP can establish proof that the goods were not made through exploitive or forced labor practices. The bill will also empower the current administration to impose and enforce sanctions against any businesses or individuals supporting any forced labor practices within the region. This bill was passed in the House on December 8th, and the Senate on December 16.  The bill was signed by the President on December 23, 2021.

On December 13th, Chris Magnus was sworn in as the Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection agency.  The new Commissioner will lead the United States’ largest law enforcement agency, with nearly 65,000 people. Magnus brings with him over 40 years of experience in law enforcement leadership from across the US and has served as police chief in several cities. Magnus has stated that he wants to work together with Congress to address the most pressing issues for the CBP.

On December 23, 2021, the White House issued a proclamation to modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.  The White House Press Release says “Section 1205(a) of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (the “1988 Act”)…directs the United States International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) to keep the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) under continuous review and periodically recommend to the President such modifications to the HTS as the Commission considers necessary or appropriate to accomplish the purposes set forth in that subsection.”  On December 28, 2021 the Presidential proclamation was published in the Federal Register and the new changes will be in effect 30 days later (January 27, 2022).

Flagging for reconciliation allows importers to file their entry summaries using the best available information they have on file and electronically “flag” estimated elements, with the mutual understanding that CBP will receive the actual information at a later date.  Importers can then provide the corrected information on a new type of entry called a Reconciliation.  To read more about reconciliation, check out the link below.

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?

New Product Classifications Under HTSUS 2022

January 11, 2022

2:00 PM ET – 3:30 PM ET

Sandler Travis & Rosenberg

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