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

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JAS USA Compliance Insights

Training Tidbits

JAS USA Compliance Insights on the Impact of COVID-19

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saving time as we know it today, but he did pen the idea of adjusting schedules to the available sunlight in an unpublished satirical letter from 1784.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 This was later repealed, then enacted again during WWII.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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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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What does cheese look like on the TSA X-Ray screen?
January 7, 2020

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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Training Tidbits September 2017
September 8, 2017

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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Training Tidbits August 2017
August 1, 2017

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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Training Tidbits! July 2017
July 10, 2017

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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Training Tidbits June 2017
June 6, 2017

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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Training Tidbits May 2017
May 2, 2017

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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February 2017 Training Tidbits
February 6, 2017

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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Training Tidbits! January 2017
January 5, 2017

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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Training Tidbits December 2016
December 5, 2016

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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Shop the Tariff Schedule for the Best Rate
October 19, 2016

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 / Countervailing Duties
October 6, 2016

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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Training Tidbits September 2016
September 8, 2016

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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Regulation Changes Coming
August 24, 2016

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' Commitment to Training
August 17, 2016

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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Exports, BIS, and Entity Lists
August 10, 2016

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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Training Tidbits August 2016
August 4, 2016

Is there a difference between the Incoterms DDU and DAP?

​  

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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Regulatory Changes = New Business Risk
August 3, 2016

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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Training Tidbits June 2016
June 2, 2016

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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Training Tidbits May 2016
May 2, 2016

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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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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