Import Export Customs Compliance and Trade News

Trade and customs compliance and regulation news that affect import, export, transportation, logistics, and supply-chain industry and how you do business.
Douglas J. Heffner | Kathleen M. Murphy | James L. Sawyer | Luke J. Karamyalil

Trump Administration to Investigate Imports of Automobiles and Automotive Parts

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Following instructions from President Trump, on May 23, 2018, Department of Commerce (DOC) Secretary Wilbur Ross launched an  investigation  to determine whether imports of automobiles and automotive parts threaten the national security of the United States. The investigation will be conducted pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. This action follows the administration’s recent Section 232 investigation on targeted steel and aluminum imports, which resulted in the assessment of 25 percent and 10...
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Tahlia Townsend | Matthew E. Cvercko | Sean C. Koehle

U.S. Bureau Of Industry And Security Updates Unverified List

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Tahlia Townsend ,  Matthew E. Cvercko  and  Sean C. Koehler  are attorneys in the International Trade Compliance practice at Wiggin and Dana LLP .  On May 17, 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) updated the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) Unverified List (UVL), adding thirty-three entities and adding a new address for one individual currently on the list. The newly listed entities, which are listed below, include aircraft manufacturers, electronics manufacturers, universities, and...
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Import Compliance Basics: 5 Things You Need to Know

Newbies to Trade
By Mikah Wisner, Customs Services Director, DB Schenker If you’ve been tasked with getting your company’s import compliance under control,  these five steps will get you quickly up-to-speed Taking on a new position at an importer usually means sifting through the remnants of your predecessor’s activities and policies and trying to come up with a way to work better, smarter, and faster. These goals aren’t always easy to achieve in the import space, which tends to move quickly...
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What Is LCL Shipping?

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By Rieva Lesonsky Importing products from China is a great way for a small business to diversify their product offerings, stay on top of trends and reduce costs. However, in order to maintain your profit margins, it’s important to understand and manage your shipping costs. Today’s shipping lesson: What is LCL shipping, and how can it benefit your business? LCL shipping vs. FCL shipping When goods are shipped by ocean freight, you have the choice...
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Laurel Delaney

How a Letter of Credit Can Boost Profitability

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MasterCardBiz with Laurel Delaney One of the most important things to negotiate before closing on an export sale is how payment will be made. Short of asking for payment in advance, securing payment with a letter of credit is the next best option. Sure it’s a little more expensive–typically 1/8 of 1 percent of the total transaction price plus incidental fees related to any amendments that might have to be made–but it’s worth it to...
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George W. Thompson

What is EAR?

Exports Administrations Regulations
Commerce Department Export Controls (Export Administration Regulations) The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the United States Commerce Department has responsibility for administering export controls on commodities, software and technology that is not within the jurisdiction of another agency. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) issued by BIS set forth the scope of this authority. BIS oversees export and reexport restrictions on controlled products and on specified destinations, persons and activities. For example, BIS administers...
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US Company Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit, Pays for Importer’s Customs Fraud

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Prosecution a Warning to US Companies That Source Goods From Abroad Written by Mark Strauss Federal prosecutors in New York recently  announced the settlement  of a remarkable lawsuit relating to a scheme to evade import duties. The case involved an importer’s undervaluation of apparel to pay less duties than were really owed. The settlement that prosecutors reached, however, was not with the importer, but its customer. Notations, Inc., a Pennsylvania womenswear wholesaler, agreed to pay...
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Jennifer Saak

Export Controls: 5 Ways to Monitor Changing U.S. Regulations in the Coming Year

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Now is the time to think strategically about the new year.  How will you stay on top of dynamic export controls regulations and remain compliant?  As the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative continues, there are still some crucial pending changes that affect both companies and universities in research and technology.  These future updates include a clarification on the ITAR’s definition of “fundamental research” and the transition of certain items from the ITAR’s United States Munitions...
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Lisa M. Richman

Update on the NAFTA Renegotiations: What You Need to Know

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The cancellation of US involvement in the TPP, and its potential withdrawal from NAFTA have sparked considerable anxiety over the loss of protections and opportunities both investment treaties afford. But there are alternatives. The Trump Administration has proposed substantial changes to the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a multilateral trade and investment agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. During five rounds of negotiations, the representatives of the parties to...
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Simon Slyper

CTPAT 2018 Update

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At the 2017 Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Conference in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced plans to strengthen the existing “minimum security criteria (MSC) for the program and adding new criteria to reflect evolving security threats. The updated, modernized MSC will include the following: • Cybersecurity (elevated firewall performance, test affirmation of resistance to attempted hacking, etc.) • Prevention of money laundering • Emphasis on corporate responsibility of senior management...
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U.S. Customs plans to update CTPAT best practices, minimum-security requirements, and compliance certification

U.S. Customs plans to update CTPAT best practices, minimum-security requirements, and compliance certification
Director of cargo security program outlines current and planned updates at Coalition of New England Companies for Trade annual cargo symposium. The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism , better known as CTPAT, has a new logo, a red, white, and blue globe made of interlocking puzzle pieces. It has new spelling, with no hyphen in its name or acronym anymore, and a new tag line: "Your Supply Chain's Strongest Link." But that's not all that's...
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LCL (Less Than Container Load), or FCL (Full Container Load): That Is the Question

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When 20’ and 40’ full containers make up 90% of all goods shipped around the world, a common question arises with newer shippers: “What if I don’t have enough freight to fill a full container?” In this case, LCL (Less-than-Container-Load) may be right for you. Don’t judge a shipper by their carton count LCL offers shippers with regular smaller shipments the flexibility to move their orders when they’re ready rather than waiting for enough orders...
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Ketan M. Ganase

Predictability Through Incoterms

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Expanding your business beyond the borders and perceived safety of your own country may be a frightening prospect full of uncertainties, but in today’s global marketplace, it often is the only option available to stay competitive. The nature of cross-border business is such that a lot can be lost in (miss)translation. Parties to international transactions will often speak different languages, employ different trade practices, rely on divergent business customs or any other of the plethora...
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George W. Thompson

Census Bureau Seeks Comments on Routed Transaction Rules

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There’s almost no getting around filing an Electronic Export Information for exports from the United States. Sure, there are a few exclusions, and most shipments to Canada get a pass, but an EEI is required for the vast majority of transactions. Whenever an EEI is filed, it must state whether the export is “routed” or not. The concept of a routed transaction was entirely made up by Census, and from what I can tell is...
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Juan Arvilla

Why Are Manufacturing Companies Moving to Mexico?

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Global commerce, market competition, and reduced costs among other factors, have explained U.S manufacturing companies moving to Mexico.  With their own budget plan, each company has to constantly modify and adjust to changes in the world economy. When it comes to competition, CEO’s have to think strategically when creating their own product and delivering it. Quality doesn’t always overrule quantity or other factors. No matter how good the product is, if a competitor is creating...
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KPMG

NAFTA Insights

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Since the last NAFTA Insights, there have been comments via social media about the potential for US withdrawal from the Agreement and scrutiny of dispute resolution mechanisms, labor standards and local content rules. With Eurasia Group providing the latest developments from Round 2 of the NAFTA renegotiations, this edition considers whether the US President can withdraw from NAFTA – and the ‘all bets are off’ scenario that you should build into your business planning. On...
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Lost Bill Of Lading Requirements & Procedures

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This article is informational and describes requirements if ever found in an unpleasant situation, such as misplacement or loss of the most important document in the shipping industry. As the title suggests, the procedures and requirements surrounding a lost Bill of Lading are both very complex and detailed. Contracts of Carriage are commonly issued in two forms: OBLs (Original Bills of Lading) and Seaway Bills. The lost or destroyed OBL process is not applicable to...
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Jennifer Diaz

CTPAT “Your Supply Chains Strongest Link”

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I attended the  2017 CTPAT conference  in Detroit (August 29 – 30, 2017). After 2 days of CTPAT’ing, here is a list of my top 10 takeaways including the changes I see coming to the CTPAT program. There is a new name. Notice the – is officially gone, no more C-TPAT (despite all of us conditioned to using the -, it is no more. CTPAT it is. There is a new slogan – CTPAT “Your Supply Chains...
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Lawrence M. Friedman

GSP and Sets

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Here's a question. Assume pots and pans from Thailand individually qualify for duty-free entry into the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP"). That means they have 35% of their value derived from Thai-origin materials or costs and are shipped directly from Thailand to the U.S. So far, so good. Now assume that glass lids for the pots and pans are added to the imported goods and those lids are from China, which...
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Jennifer Saak

Turn COMPLAIN into COMPLIANCE: Building an Export Controls Compliance Program That Works

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Why is a culture of compliance seemingly more easy to achieve at some companies versus others? Are there basic principles to consider, regardless of the specific regulatory area? Government regulations don’t always “make sense” to the people that need to follow them. Thus, following the rules and regulations aren’t always easy. And if people across an organization don’t follow the rules…well, that’s where potential risks turn into actual compliance gaps and eventually to violations. Sensible...
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