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Each year representatives from the trade community attend the NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc.) GAC (Government Affairs Conference) in Washington D.C. This conference provides attendees with the chance to engage directly with influential government parties including Senators and Congressional Representatives regarding current events and industry issues. JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team members participated and “Marched the Hill” at this year’s conference. We are proud that our team is engaged with lawmakers and excited to be a part of the patriotic process of discussing challenging issues with our elected officials.
This year’s conference began on September 10th and finished up on September 14th. One of this year’s topics of engagement by members of the NCBFAA was infrastructure and port dredging. Related to this topic is the Water Resources Development Act S.2848. This legislation addresses shortfalls in funding for various infrastructure projects to keep US Ports and Harbors competitive and in step with the continuous growth of vessel capacity. Key projects which are significant in numerous ports is continuous harbor deepening and dredging projects. With growth in vessel capacity comes increased draft (the amount of water required to float the vessel- the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull- water depth must be greater than the draft) which means that harbors need more depth. Failure to keep up with projects of this nature can have significant negative effects on the economy as the large vessels will not call where they cannot dock.
GAC attendees “Marched the Hill” on Tuesday September 13, 2016. On September 15, 2016, by a vote of 95 to 3, the U.S. Senate passed the S.2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. It is exciting to see action in a timely manner after engaging with our elected officials. JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance team looks forward to attending next year and would welcome any topics our valued clients would like to raise that may be addressed in the future. Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can make a difference together!
An announcement was published on July 29, 2020 that user fees within the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will take place effective October 1, 2020. The minimum merchandise processing fee will change from $26.79 to $27.23 and the maximum will change from $519.76 to $528.33. The ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will not change. Additional user fees are also increasing.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that 14 products from the Section 301 exclusion list scheduled to expire July 31st will continue to be excluded through December 31, 2020. Additionally, there are other products on the list that expired on July 31st. Comments are currently being accepted for three sets of exclusions that are scheduled to expire October 2, 2020. Comments can be submitted by clicking HERE
On July 14, 2020, the President signed an Executive Order that requires Hong Kong to be treated as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Hong Kong is now considered to be included in the entry for China under section 126.1(d)(1) of the ITAR and therefore subject to a policy of denial for all transfers subject to the ITAR. The U.S. government is taking this action because the Chinese Communist Party has fundamentally undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy and thereby increased the risk that sensitive U.S. items will be illegally diverted to the PRC.