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.
Robert J. Bowman

Customs Regs: A Necessary Evil, or The Key to Competitive Advantage?

CUSTOMS
How those burdensome Customs rules and regulations imposed on importers and exporters can make companies more competitive and efficient. Companies engaged in international trade are quick to complain about their regulatory burden. Indeed, one could cite countless cases of shipments delayed by agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the importer’s failure to adhere to the slew of rules that governs cross-border commerce. And the number of regulations seems to grow every day, requiring...
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Cuba-U.S. Relations: The Rapprochement Slows Down

Cuba
Written by Alejandro E. Moreno | Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP Soon after Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Cuba to found a communist state in 1959, Cuba began nationalizing U.S-owned properties in Cuba. In response, the U.S. implemented trade restrictions, closed its embassy in Havana, broke official diplomatic relations with Cuba, and attempted to overthrow the Cuban government. The U.S. also declared a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960, which severely hampered the...
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Kenneth J. Nunnenkamp | Giovanna M. Cinelli

The Nuts and Bolts of the Steel and Aluminum 232 Matters

Steel Imports
On March 8, President Donald Trump announced that trade remedies would be imposed on steel and aluminum imports pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Section 232 allows for trade remedies when the president, acting through and on the recommendation of the Department of Commerce, finds that imports threaten the national security of the United States. Upon such a finding, the president can “adjust the imports of an article and its...
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Steve Lowery

Bigger Requires Better

Port
In transportation, everyone knows that  bigger is always better ; it’s why we have 18-wheelers and jumbo jets. So, it only stands to reason that ships, which still move about 90 percent of all global trade, would travel this route. Big time. And, indeed, since their civilian introduction in the 1950s, container ships have grown with the kind of consistent bursts we normally associate with adolescents. A really big container ship in the mid-’50s maxed...
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Steve Lowery

When Pigs and Tariffs Fly

Tariff Pork Exports
China’s announcement that it would be imposing a 25 percent additional tariff on exported American pork could not have come at a worse time for the  American pork industry , coming as it does after the industry had just hit record levels in 2017, when U.S. pork exports recorded the largest year ever in volume, with sales to more than 100 countries around the world. United States pork  and pork variety meat exports totaled 5.399...
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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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Jennifer Diaz

CBP Releases New E-Commerce Strategy

CBP
On December 1, 2016, we wrote about U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP)  new E-Commerce and Small Business Branch , which was created to help consumers and merchants safely navigate the complexities associated with the steady rise of global e-commerce. CBP defines  e-commerce  as high-volume, low-value shipments purchased via electronic means. E-commerce shipments pose the same health, safety, and economic security risks as containerized shipments, but the volume is higher and growing. Additionally, transnational criminal...
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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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Jennifer Saak

Which Export Classification? ECCN vs Schedule B

Not all export classifications are the same. Do you understand which export classification is needed for your international shipment, export of technology, or deemed export transactions? Here are 4 key points about U.S. export classification numbers that will help you figure out which number is relevant – and when. We explain the difference between these export numbers, what these export classification numbers stand for, the government regulations in which they are rooted, and when you...
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Juan Arvilla

Six out of Ten Vehicles Manufactured in Mexico are Trucks and SUVs

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The change in demand for light vehicles manufactured in Mexico is leading the country’s automakers to produce more trucks and SUVs for the US market. Last January, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that it will move its production of pick-ups from Mexico to the United States.  This move appears to be the result of the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cuts, which are making the United States more competitive in the manufacturing sector.  Despite this, Mexican...
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Daniel D. Ujczo | Bruce C. Thelen | Brenda C. Swick

Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Tariff
Commerce Issues Requirements For Exclusion Requests. In President Trump’s March 8, 2018 proclamations announcing new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, he directed the Commerce Department to issue procedures within ten days for requests to exclude specific products from the tariffs. Those procedures have now been issued in the form of an interim final rule and provide much clearer direction for affected firms that wish to seek an exclusion. As expected, Commerce indicated that an...
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Ecommerce Logistics Costs Set to Rise

Logistics
Ecommerce logistics  costs as a proportion of sales look set to rise in the coming years, driven by an increase in the volume of returns, a higher proportion of premium deliveries, and the cost of labor, according to the findings of an ecommerce logistics survey released by Transport Intelligence. 108 retailers and logistics companies around the world took part in the survey which was conducted over the holiday period in 2017-18. Despite the cost increases...
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Remedy These 5 Bad Practices For Managing Global Freight

GLOBAL FREIGHT
By Phil Marlowe As supply chain professionals, we live in a world of unprecedented connectivity where partners collaborate seamlessly, in real time, to make faster, better decisions on production, inventory and shipping. And then there is global freight management. Here, clerks manually enter shipment data and that data gets shared – as emails, spreadsheets and shipping documents – among factories, freight forwarders and carriers. It’s an appallingly inefficient and manual process that can result in...
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As NAFTA Talks Continue, Your Hamburger Hangs In The Balance

NAFTA HAMBURGER
The Washington Post | By  Caitlin Dewey   Few meals are more American than a burger and fries, the combo McDonald’s made globally famous. But few Americans probably realize how much the affordability of that classic meal depends on a free-trade agreement. French fries from Canada. Tomatoes from Mexico. Beef sourced from a supply chain that crosses all three countries. When it comes to dinner, there's plenty at stake in the North American Free Trade Agreement,...
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U.S. Imports Of Fresh-cut Flowers

IMPORT FLOWERS
U.S. imports of Fresh-cut flowers increased 5 percent from $1.05 billion to $1.1 billion through the first 11 months of 2017 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. The category ranked 279 through November among the roughly 1,265 import commodity groupings as classified by Census. It ranked No. 271 for the last full year with a total value of $1.13 billion, a...
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Incoterms 2010: How To Use Them In A Contract

CONTRACT INCOTERMS
By Simon Minett Common errors made by importers and/or exporters in the use of Incoterms in contracts  Despite the fact that Incoterms were developed to simplify international transactions and to make their application in international trade more precise, there are still a number of reasons why they often fail to achieve their intended purpose. In most cases, it is due to lack of knowledge of the terms as well as inaccuracy and even too little...
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Chocolate Exporters by Country

CHOCOLATE EXPORT
Global sales from chocolate exports by country amounted to US$26.4 billion in 2016. Overall, the value of chocolate exports were up by an average 10.6% for all exporting countries since 2012 when chocolate shipments were valued at $23.9 billion. Year over year, the value of exported chocolate increased by 2.8% from 2012 to 2016. Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar in chocolate exports during 2016 with shipments amounting to $19.3 billion or...
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US Company Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit, Pays for Importer’s Customs Fraud

uslawsuit
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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Ten Supply-Chain Predictions for 2018

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By Global Trade A new report from the market research firm  IDC , “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Supply Chain 2018 Predictions,”  posits that  digital transformation  (DX) is the key overriding theme in IDC’s worldwide supply chain top 10 predictions for 2018, including the impact for supply chain planning, supply chain execution/fulfillment, and procurement and supply chain security. While the predictions largely focus on the near term to midterm (2017–2020), the impact of many of these predictions...
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