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

Training Tidbits

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

  • 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saving time as we know it today, but he did pen the idea of adjusting schedules to the available sunlight in an unpublished satirical letter from 1784.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 This was later repealed, then enacted again during WWII.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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Tidbits - February 2020
February 6, 2020

Did you know that the Super Bowl featured players from 33 different states and five countries?  Click HERE to review the Census data and demographics to see if anyone from your hometown was in the game!  Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs!

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Cheese trays can be nice holidays gifts!  Did you bring any back with you from your holiday travels?  If you did, did TSA inspect your bag?  They probably did!!!  Did you know that cheese can look just like a bomb when it is passed through the TSA Xray screens?  “A block of cheese could be indistinguishable from C4.  There is no difference on the screen.  Meats too.  All organic products look orange on the display and look like explosives.” Reported a TSA agent.  C4 is a common variety of a plastic explosive that could be harmful in an explosion

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Training Tidbits!
June 3, 2018

Ready to relax at the pool?  Do you have a life jacket?  Don't leave the country with it!  

Life jackets are meant to save lives, but did you know that according to the EAR, life jackets are potentially dangerous objects that can't be taken outside of the U.S. without an export license!  

Do you have an item that may require an export license?  Export license applications and commodity classification requests can be submitted online through a system known as SNAP-R.  

The Bureau of Industry & Security has also made new updates to the system May 2018!

To Find Out More About SNAP-R
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Did you know ……September is the only month with the same number of letters in its name as the number of the month: it is the NINTH month and has NINE letters!

Additionally, the first day of fall is in September.  As the weather cools down, it is the perfect time to indulge in some of the most popular fall flavored coffee, tea, and spices!  Coffee, tea, and spices are classified in chapter NINE of the Schedule B and HTS Tariff book!!!!

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Did you know ……Watermelons are not a fruit but a vegetable?  They belong to the cucumber family of vegetables and is one of the summer’s best treats!

The United States is the 3rd largest exporter of watermelon by dollar value.  For exporting purposes, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule for watermelon is found in chapter 08 of the HTS.

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Did you know ……The first women’s swimsuit was created in the 1800’s.  It came with a pair of bloomers.

For customs purposes, if swimsuits are imported with an accompanying swimsuit cover that matches the swimsuit in design, the two items cannot be imported as a set and must be imported as two separate items for classification purposes.

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Do you know which foods are exempt from the FSVP (Final Rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Program)?

May 27, 2017 the Food & Drug Administration will begin implementation of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program also known as FSVP. There are several foods that are exempt which are as follows:

  • Meat, poultry and egg products subject to USDA regulation;
  • Suppliers covered by the seafood or juice HAACP regulations
  • Raw materials or ingredients for use in a food produced under the seafood or juice HAACP regulations
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Food imported for research or evaluation provided it is not for retail sale, is properly labeled and is accompanied by an electronic declaration at entry
  • Food transshipped through the US for export
  • Food imported for processing and future export

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Food Safety Modernization Act Wizard is a FREE compliance tool!

Did you know that there is a free, online tool designed by Registrar Corp to assist companies in assessing their U.S. FDA compliance issues, possible requirements and deadlines under five Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Rules:

  1. Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  2. Preventive Controls for Animal Food
  3. Foreign Supplier Verification Program
  4. Intentional Adulteration (Food Defense)
  5. Produce Safety

Sign Up for the FSMA Wizard

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Red Flag Indicators for an Export Transaction. There are certain actions that could be an indicator that further investigation may be required prior to proceeding with an export transaction.  If you notice any of these actions, it could be a red flag!

Please be sure to check out the detailed list of red flag indicators to an export transaction on our flyer!

Download the Flyer
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How well do you understand routed export transactions?

Routed export transactions are a much discussed topic. Therefore, the U.S. Census Bureau has revisited this topic and have provided helpful tips on remaining compliant if you’re involved in a routed export transaction.

To review the helpful tips on routed export transactions click the button below.

Read More

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Are you a compliant traveler?

Things NOT to Do on an Airplane

As we approach the holiday season, the goal is to not only be safe but to also be as pleasant as possible.

However, sometimes we get in our own way!

JAS Compliance would like to give you a few helpful tips on what not to do if you are on an airplane and make your travel easier.

  • Don’t tune out the safety briefing.
  • Don’t joke about bombs.
  • Don’t recline your seat during meal times.
  • Don’t eat smelly foods.
  • Don’t drink too much.
  • Don’t abuse the flight attendant call button.
  • Don’t put your carry-on in an overhead bin where you are not sitting.
  • Don’t inflict your feet on other passengers.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels to you this Holiday Season!

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

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

So what can importers do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TSA Compliance
September 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is there a difference between the Incoterms DDU and DAP?

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

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Today’s business world moves at great speed.  Although regulatory organizations do not always move with great speed, there are many of them out there making the rules.  With all of these organizations comes what sometimes feels to the trade community like lots of changes in short periods of time.

While not all changes are earth shaking, some are.  Some are so far reaching that they require the trade community to plan accordingly way ahead of time.  How should the trade community keep up?

There are many ways to keep up.  Newsletters, webinars and good old fashioned research are the most typical avenues.  These are all good.  There’s also the more intensive method of attending trade seminars.  Physical seminars are invaluable in many ways including the classroom style presentation of content, and the simple truth that the opportunity to network in the trade community is often a pathway to great knowledge.

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team is excited to be one of the sponsors of this year’s Second Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (G-TEC).  This is a two day intensive training event in Atlanta, Georgia starting on August 8 and ending August 9, 2016.  This is an exceptional opportunity for trade professionals including importers and exporters to interactively bring themselves up to date on relevant and well-timed content related to the trade community.

Join us at G-TEC and let’s get to know each other and learn together.

Click Here For More Information on G-TEC

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What is a USPP?
Am I The U.S. Principal Party In Interest (“USPPI”)?
The USPPI, as defined in the Foreign Trade Regulations ("FTR"), is the person in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, of the export transaction. In other words, if you are the recipient of the purchase order from the overseas party for cargo that is exported and you are invoicing them for the product, you are the USPPI no matter what the terms of sale are.

What are my responsibilities as the USPPI?

  1. DETERMINE COMMODITY JURISDICTION: Which U.S. Government Agency controls my product? Are my products subject to the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR"), the U.S. Department of State' Directorate of Defense Controls ("DDTC") International Traffic and Arms Regulations ("ITAR") and/or other government agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC"), Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), or Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco & Firearms ("ATF")?
  2. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER: Perform due diligence on the end user(s); know their intended end use; and ensure that no party to the export transaction is on any of the U.S. Government's lists of restricted parties with whom U.S. companies and U.S. Persons cannot do business without proper U.S. Government authorization.
  3. CLASSIFY PRODUCTS: for Statistics (Schedule B or the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule ("USHTS") and License Determination (Commerce Control List ("CCL") i.e. ECCN or EAR99, or US Munitions List ("USML")). License requirements are dependent upon an item's classification, technical characteristics, ultimate destination, end- user, and end-use. Exporters must determine whether or not the product being exported requires a license or whether it qualifies for a license exception.
  4. FILE ELECTRONIC EXPORT INFORMATION ("EEI") into the Automated Export System ("AES") or authorize your forwarder to file on your behalf by signing a Power of Attorney ("POA") or other written authorization such as a Shipper's Letter of Instruction ("SLI"). POAs should specify the responsibilities of the parties with particularity and should state that the forwarder has the authority to act on behalf of the Principal Party in Interest as its true and lawful agent for purpose of filing the Electronic Export Information ("EEI") in accordance with the laws and regulations of the U.S. Note: On "Routed Export Transactions", authorization is the responsibility of the Foreign Principal Party in Interest ("FPPI").
  5. MAINTAIN SHIPMENT RECORDS: according to the regulations of the controlling Government Agency; typically 5 years from the date of export

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Did you know there is no Chapter 77 of the HTS/SCH B?

The United States has adopted the Harmonized System as a basis of both its export classification system (Schedule B) and its import classification system (HTS).  The Harmonized System consists of 22 sections divided into 97 chapters with chapter 77 intentionally left blank.  Chapter 77 is blank and reserved for possible future use!  

Get More Information

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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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