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March, 2011

March 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

US Customs has just issued its March 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update.  Highlights include:

  • Upcoming enhancements for ACE
    • Document Imaging System (DIS) – Improved automated submission of imaged documents and data from participating trade partners to US Customs and Participating Government Agencies (PGAs).  Goals are to speed up cargo release and exams, create central repository with nationwide visibility of documents, and quicker, cheaper review process. (Summer 2011 deployment targeted)
    • ISF Portal – Authorized trade users can access the ISF Portal via link in ACE Portal. Increased access to ISF reports and queries, and ability for small importers to file up to 12 ISFs annually.  (Spring 2011 deployment targeted)
    • Post Summary Corrections (PSC) – Will allow filers to submit corrections (even multiple corrections) to ACE summary data previously submitted to CBP within the last 270 days, even if they are not the original filer. (Spring 2011 deployment targeted)
  • Recent ACE Updates
    • Improved searchability and sorting of AD/CVD messages
    • Resolved formatting issue in Entry Summary Universe that adversely affected running modified reports and creating new reports.
  • CBP 2011 Trade Symposium – Detailed instructions on how to participate in the April 13-14 symposium via webcast.  The theme is “Working Together to Strengthen Economic Competitiveness.”
  • Guidance for truckers and carriers for amending a previously filed ABI QP In-Bond entry. (See our March 11 blog post).
  • Answers to the trade’s questions on ACE
  • And more

The ACE Trade Account Owner Update is available here.

AAEI’s 90th Annual Conference & Expo – register now!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Register now to attend the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) 90th Annual Conference & Expo to be held on June 5th – 7th at the Hilton New York in NYC.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Janet Napolitano – Secretary of Homeland Security, Department of Homeland Security
  • Michael Ducker – Chief Operating Officer for FedEx Express and President of its International Division
  • Eric Hirschhorn – Under Secretary for Industry and Security Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce

Agenda topics include:

  • Global Security Programs
  • Corporate Priorities in Trade Compliance and Planning
  • Duty drawback
  • Export Reform in 2011
  • and much more

For more details, visit AAEI’s website.  You can register here.

Imports from Japan – update from FDA re: radionuclide contamination

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

In response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, the US Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to minimize or eliminate any radionuclide contamination from certain products imported to the US from Japan.

According to FDA Import Alert 99-33, FDA may detain without physical inspection covered food products from the following prefectures of Japan:  Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, and Tochigi.

The covered products include:

  • (09 - - - –) Milk/Butter/Dried Milk Prod (Desc:Milk /Butter/Dried Milk Products)
  • (14 - - - –) Filled Milk/Imit Milk Prod (Desc:Filled Milk/Imitation Milk Products)
  • (20 - - - –) Fruit/Fruit Prod (Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod)
  • (21 - - - –) Fruit/Fruit Prod (Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod)
  • (22 - - - –) Fruit/Fruit Prod (Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod)
  • (24 - - - –) Vegetables/Vegetable Products (Desc:Vegetables/Vegetable Prod)
  • (25 - - - –) Vegetables/Vegetable Products (Desc:Vegetables/Vegetable Prod)
  • (40 C - - 01) Milk Base Formula Product (Similac, Enfamil, Etc) (Baby) (Desc:Milk based formula)
  • (40 C - - 99) Formula Products (Milk and Milk Substitutes) (Baby) (Desc:Formula Products (Milk) Baby)

Detained products may be released by providing evidence that they do not originate from the listed prefectures, or that they do not contain violative levels of radionuclide contamination (based on lab analysis).

FDA has increased surveillance of all products from the affected prefectures, and products from other areas of Japan.

FDA Import Alert 99-33 may be viewed here, and the pertinent US Customs CSMS notice is available here.

Update from CBP/trade roundtables

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Last week, US Customs & Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin and other senior CBP officials held a series a roundtables with the trade in Washington, DC.  Highlights include:

  • Attendees approved of full funding for the continued revamping of ACE, which will eventually serve as a single portal for trade activity.  Bersin favorably acknowledged attendees’ requests for automated tools within ACE particular to Foreign Trade Zones.
  • As for C-TPAT, Bersin proposed creating a private sector task force to address problems arising for the trade due  multiple federal agencies having overlapping jurisdiction at US ports.
  • There was much support for Customs’ account management program, including a suggestion to scale the program “to meet nationwide needs.”

A full update from the roundtables is available here.

Truck shipments: CBP guidance on e-Manifests and ABI QP in-bond amendments

Friday, March 11th, 2011

US Customs has just issued important information regarding truck shipments into the United States:

e-Manifest Truck User Guide

The document provides instruction for carriers that submit electronic truck manifests to CBP in advance to facilitate a truck’s processing at a US land border crossing.   It has been revised  to include step-by-step instructions on creating and submitting an e-manifest, and also contains valuable advice about adding drivers, shippers and consignees to an account, creating standard manifests and shipments, and much more.  The truck users guide is available here.

ABI QP In-Bond Amendments

To avoid synchronization errors in amending a previously filed ABI QP In-Bond entry, CBP strongly recommends treating the two required ABI transactions separately:  First, delete the original in-bond data, and then, after receiving an ABI confirmation of deletion, resubmit in-bond entry with amended information.  The details are found here.

Trans-Pacific capacity, rates uncertain; container shortage likely

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

According to the Journal of Commerce, it’s nearly impossible to predict whether the supply of vessel capacity will mesh with the demand for space on trans-Pacific vessels.   Panelists at JOC’s 11th Annual Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference concluded that the balance “could tip in either direction, toward oversupply and lower rates or tight supply and higher rates.”    Factors influencing the supply/demand balance include introduction of new vessels, where those vessels are put in service, carriers’ ability to absorb 2010 demand growth, and vessel capacity rates, which have fallen to the mid-80% range since 2010.  See the full article,  “TMP Panel Debates Capacity Outlook.”

“This is a most confusing market,” said Ed Zaninelli, vice president of westbound service at Orient Overseas Container Line, said at the conference.  For example,  carriers of US exports across the Pacific are seeing declining freight rates, even though demand is strong.  This is due to a glut of shipping capacity from the US West Coast to Asia, a result of unexpected increased imports from Asia  through January 2011 and a resultant oversupply of vessels now in areas such as Los Angeles and Long Beach.  See the full article, “Trans-Pacific Exports Grow But Rates Fall.”

Nevertheless, one area of certainty is that there will continue to be a shortage of containers.  As reported in this blog on February 15, container manufacturers slowed production in response to weakened demand during the onset of the global economic slowdown, but still are having trouble meeting increased demand as the economy improves.  Some predict this shortage will drive up freight rates.  See the full article, “Carriers Face Renewed Container Shortage.”

Apparel importers & retailers – free webinar on California Prop 65

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

On March 28, from 2 – 3:00 PM EST, the American Apparel & Footwear Association is presenting a FREE webinar, “Understanding California Proposition 65,” which regulates substances officially listed by California as causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

According to AAFA:

California Proposition 65 is changing every month. With more than 400 judgments to date, manufacturers, distributors and retailers need to know how this affects their products….Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of apparel, footwear and other hardlines products are encouraged to attend this webinar to learn more about recent judgments regarding Proposition 65.

For more information and registration, click here.

February 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

US Customs has just issued its February 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update.  Highlights include:

  • Announcement that the next major release of ACE functionality will be cargo release.  CBP sought input from the trade and participating government agencies through a series of workshops, and will be including 75% of the suggestions as in scope for cargo release
  • Guidance for importers for displaying set data in ACE reports
  • Reminder for truck carriers about transponder replacements, the purchase of the annual user fee and the renewal proces, as well as posting links to Customs’ presentations — Review of e-Manifest:  Trucks and Review of Shipment Release Types:  Trucks
  • Recent ACE updates
  • Answers to the trade’s questions on ACE
  • And more

The ACE Trade Account Owner Update is available here.