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

United States and Japan Launch Task Force to Promote Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains

February 2, 2023

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade, and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to launch a Task Force on the Promotion of Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains.

This task force established under the US-Japan Partnership on Trade program provides an opportunity for the US and Japan to work together to promote human rights and recognize international labor rights. The US and Japan will exchange information on relevant laws and policies to facilitate dialogues with business and worker organizations to promote best practices for human rights.

These areas of cooperation are designed to protect workers and enhance predictability and clarity for businesses as they seek to contribute to resilient and sustainable supply chains.

“From their leadership in the development of the Group of 7 Trade Ministers’ Statement on Forced Labor to their first-ever release of human rights due diligence guidelines for responsible supply chains to their commitment to carry out shared principles to combat forced labor.   “The launch of this Task Force is another example of how trade can be a force for good throughout the world.  Developing new tools that bring together the combined expertise of agencies across the Governments of the United States and Japan will help contribute to tackling worker exploitation in global supply chains.” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.

Read Full Article
By

Latest News

US Capitol Building

JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc.’s VP Compliance, Laurie Arnold and Compliance Operations Manager and NCBFAA Legislative Committee Chair, Leah Ellis, has diligently championed to help pass the Customs Business Fairness Act (CBFA) for many years alongside the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).  In a significant victory for Customs Brokers the bill was included in a continuing resolution bill that passed both the House and Senate.  The CBFA has finally come to fruition.  “The CBFA bill has been a long-standing passion of mine to help prevent Customs Brokers from having to return customs duties when an importer has filed bankruptcy and at long last (20 years) this bill has passed and signed into law and I am very happy to have been a part of the march to protect the Customs Brokers of our industry,” said Laurie Arnold when asked for her reaction on the passing of CBFA.

The CBFA, a long-standing initiative of the NCBFAA, aims to protect customs brokers and their employees by advocating for changes in bankruptcy laws. The bill seeks to grant "subrogation" rights to customs brokers, allowing them to assume the priority rights of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when importers file for bankruptcy. This would prevent payments made to CBP through customs brokers from being subject to preference payment recovery actions during the 90-day period preceding the importer's bankruptcy filing.

NCBFAA President Jose D. (JD) Gonzalez lauded the passage of CBFA, emphasizing its importance to the customs broker industry. He credited the dedicated efforts of the association's Legislative Committee leadership, Legislative Advisor Nicole Bivens Collinson, and member companies for lobbying lawmakers and pushing for the bill's passage.

Special recognition was extended to Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) for his role in championing CBFA in the House of Representatives. Garbarino reintroduced the bill at the association's request in 2023, garnering bipartisan support with 28 co-sponsors. NCBFAA expressed gratitude to its members for their engagement in advocacy efforts, including letter-writing campaigns urging Representatives to support the bill.

NCBFAA also acknowledged the contributions of individuals and organizations who worked tirelessly over the past two decades to advance CBFA. Past and current leaders of the association's Legislative Committee, along with former NCBFAA Legislative Representative Jon Kent, were recognized for their efforts. Additionally, the longstanding lobbying efforts of organizations such as the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association, JFK Airport Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association, and International Trade Surety Association were highlighted as instrumental in the bill's progress.

US Department of Homeland Security Seal

In a recent enforcement action at International Falls, Minnesota, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted over 7,800 lighting fixtures bearing counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification marks. These fixtures, as part of shipments from China and imported by a U.S. home design company, were deemed unsafe after inspection, raising concerns about potential fire hazards.

The seized lighting fixtures, among the cargo transiting from Canada into the United States, were inspected by CBP officers at International Falls, the busiest rail port in the country. Upon discovering the counterfeit UL certification marks, which falsely implied safety testing, CBP seized the shipments and initiated enforcement actions.

DeAnn O’Hara, CBP’s Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer for the area port of Pembina, North Dakota, highlighted the seriousness of the issue. "When U.S. consumers purchase a lighting fixture with a UL trademark on it, they are under the impression that the lighting fixture has been tested for safety. When Chinese manufacturers fraudulently place a UL trademark on untested fixtures, they are tricking consumers into buying a product that may not be safe and could start a fire in their homes," she explained.

CBP imposed fines totaling $100,000 on the shipments, in addition to seizing and destroying the lighting fixtures. This enforcement action underscores CBP's commitment to protecting the American public from unsafe and counterfeit products.

The seized lighting fixtures represent just one facet of CBP's broader efforts to safeguard public safety and enforce trade regulations. Beyond intercepting unsafe goods, CBP's Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Division (FP&F) plays a crucial role in adjudicating enforcement actions, ensuring compliance with laws, and facilitating the forfeiture process for seized items.

FP&F, comprised of a team of officers, paralegals, seized property specialists, and technicians nationwide, handles a wide range of cases, from drug seizures to intellectual property rights violations. The division follows a strict process with defined timeframes to ensure fairness and due process for all parties involved.

In addition to its enforcement duties, FP&F is instrumental in returning stolen property and cultural artifacts to their rightful owners. Recent successes include repatriating stolen artifacts to countries like Ukraine and Yemen, showcasing CBP's dedication to preserving cultural heritage and combating illegal trade.

While CBP faces challenges in keeping pace with evolving trade patterns and increasing volumes of shipments, its collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and commitment to public safety remain steadfast. As DeAnn O’Hara emphasized, "At CBP, we take the safety of the American public very seriously. That’s why we work so hard to remove unsafe products from the U.S. commerce before they can ever reach consumers."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry apprehended over $11 million worth of blue fentanyl pills concealed within a vehicle recently.

In a significant interception, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry apprehended over $11 million worth of blue fentanyl pills concealed within a vehicle recently.

A staggering estimated 561,000 fentanyl pills, with a total weight of 123.6 pounds, were confiscated by CBP officers during the operation, highlighting the continuous efforts to curb the influx of illicit drugs across the border.

The interception unfolded around 8:20 p.m. when a 37-year-old man driving a 2008 sedan applied for admission into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. A CBP K-9 unit, conducting routine pre-primary inspections, alerted officers to the glove compartment area, indicating potential narcotics present presence.

Following the canine alert, CBP officers proceeded with further examination, leading them to refer both the driver and the vehicle for comprehensive inspection in the secondary inspection area.

Upon meticulous scrutiny, CBP officers uncovered a startling discovery – a total of 100 packages containing blue pills meticulously concealed within the vehicle's dashboard and the front passenger seats. Subsequent testing confirmed the contents as fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid known for its lethal potency.

Mariza Marin, Port Director for the San Ysidro Port of Entry, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Fentanyl is a very lethal drug that continues to be encountered along our southern border. I’m very proud of the exceptional work by our officers who skillfully interdict illicit narcotics on a daily basis.”

The apprehended individual was promptly handed over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation, while both the narcotics and the vehicle were seized by CBP officers as part of the operation.

This seizure is part of Operation Apollo, a collaborative regional effort involving federal, state, and local agencies aimed at combating the pervasive threat posed by fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics. Operation Apollo underscores the commitment of law enforcement entities to safeguard communities against the devastating impact of drug trafficking.

For more information about Operation Apollo and ongoing efforts to combat the drug trade, interested individuals are encouraged to seek additional details through official channels.

The successful interception serves as a testament to the unwavering dedication of CBP officers in safeguarding the nation's borders and preventing dangerous substances from infiltrating communities.

Our Sites use cookies for analytics purposes. For more information about the cookies we use on our Sites or how you can disable them, please see our Cookie Policy.