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The Hill: Apparel, footwear and retail will greatly suffer if US border tax enacted

Monday, March 20th, 2017


  • “House Republicans continue to aggressively push their border adjustment tax (BAT) and, if successful, Americans will soon find it hard to get affordable clothing.”
  • “In general, the House Republican “A Better Way” tax blueprint has many excellent attributes. The problem is that the “pay for” is a direct hit on the apparel, footwear and retail industry. It is also a direct hit on the American consumer.”
  • Prices on affected goods (98 percent of all apparel and footwear is imported) are projected to rise 20% or more.  And will the struggling retailer sector be able to survive?

Read the full story.

Retailers try to stay ahead of “seismic shift” in industry

Friday, March 10th, 2017
(Andrew Gombert / EPA)

(Andrew Gombert / EPA)


Target is taking extraordinary steps — such as slashing prices and updating its stores’ assortments —  to address a “seismic shift” in the retail industry as customers spend more on experiences and demand quicker, more convenient ways to shop.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “sales also are moving online, and even when customers pick Target over an online competitor like Amazon, they shop differently.”  Those trends have hit all traditional retailers, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, J.C. Penny and Kohl’s.  Learn more.

Product classification news: Snuggie is a blanket, not a garment!

Friday, February 17th, 2017




Since bursting onto the infomercial scene in 2008, one question has confounded the nation about the Snuggie: Is it a blanket or a garment? Nearly ten years later, we finally have our answer.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection had categorized the Snuggie as a garment. This made it subject to a 14.9 percent tariff, whereas blankets get hit at 8.5%. AllStar Marketing, which sells Snuggies, balked at that classification. This led to a showdown between AllStar and the Justice Department at the U.S. Court of International Trade, where Judge Mark Allen Barnett settled the question.

Barnett ruled that Customs and Border Protection was wrong to classify Snuggies as garments, according to Bloomberg. In a 32-page decision, he noted that not only is the product marketed as a blanket, depicting consumers “in the types of situations one might use a blanket,” but also that the addition of sleeves alone does not transform the blanket into clothing. Moreover, Barnett rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the item is similar to robes and priestly vestments; unlike those garments, he explained, the Snuggie opens in the back and has no closures.

The decision also referenced the Slanket and the Freedom Blanket, both of which were Snuggie precursors and classified as blankets.

US apparel, footwear industries fear Trump trade plan

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

aafaFrom our friends at the American Apparel & Footwear Association:

January 15: The United States is one of the world’s largest apparel markets, but 97 percent of the garments sold here are made elsewhere. So it will come as no surprise if fashion is the first industry to be affected when President-elect Donald Trump launches his trade strategy after taking office on Friday.

… Corporations are currently taxed upwards of 35 percent on worldwide revenues. The border tax would lower the rate and create a taxation on U.S. operations and consumption. Simply stated, when a product is imported, it would be taxed, and when exported, it would be exempt. …

“This could be devastating for the apparel and footwear industry,” said Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “This increased tax burden would translate into higher shoe and clothing prices for American consumers and fewer jobs for American workers.” (Source: LA Daily News)

US shippers forced to look inland for warehouse space

Monday, January 16th, 2017

joc whseContinuing a trend that ran through 2016, demand for industrial space is expected outpace supply, leaving importers and exporters competing for a scant supply of prime warehouse and distribution space close to major seaports and transportation hubs.  According to the Journal of Commerce, shippers may be relegated to secondary markets, such as the Inland Empire (LA) and the Lehigh Valley (Central NJ).  Read full article.*


* Site registration required


Breaking news! CBP postpones deployment of Jan 14 ACE post-entry functionality

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017



From CSMS #17-000009:


Notice Regarding ACE – Postponement of the January 14 deployment
  • This notice is with regard to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).
  • The January 14, 2017, deployment of post release capabilities including  liquidation (with the exception of the electronic posting of the Notices of Liquidation on, drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements and the Automated Surety Interface will be postponed.  However, pursuant to the Final Rule published on December 12, 2016, CBP will post the Notices of Liquidation on effective January 14, 2017, as planned.
  • In consideration of stakeholder feedback and the complexity of the ongoing integration testing, CBP is providing additional time to prepare for the final core ACE deployment and ensure a smooth transition of liquidation, drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements and Automated Surety Interface capabilities in ACE. CBP will provide updated information and a new deployment date in the near future.
Office of Trade Relations, Office of the Commissioner
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Supply chain shakeup! Amazon applies for patent for underground delivery tunnels

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017


E-commerce giant Amazon “is not satisfied with conventional transport. Alongside autonomous drones, self-driving trucks, branded fleets of airplanes and even flying warehouses, the Seattle-based company is now looking into delivering goods via a network of subterranean tunnels.”  Others have the same idea.  Check out this Newsweek article about a movement to turn conventional supply chain wisdom on its head!

CBP’s ACE Status Update Call now will be weekly

Friday, November 18th, 2016


Per CSMS #16-000952

In response to the reduced volume of incoming questions on the ACE Status Update Call, beginning on Tuesday, November 22, the ACE Status Update Call will become a weekly call held on Tuesdays at 2:00PM EST. As CBP approaches the targeted deployment of post-release capabilities to ACE in January 2017, the ACE Business Office will reevaluate the needs of the trade community and increase the frequency of the calls, if necessary.

For those already included in the email invitation for the ACE Status Update Call, the invitation will be updated to reflect this schedule change. If you have not received the email invitation and would like to be added, please email and request to be included.

Call-in information:  1-877-336-1828, call ID 6124214.

Hanjin to remove empty container from Long Beach this week!

Monday, November 7th, 2016
© 2016 Journal of Commerce

© 2016 Journal of Commerce


According to the Journal of Commerce, the backlog of empty Hanjin Shipping-leased containers in Southern California that has built up since the carrier declared bankruptcy on Aug. 31 will be reduced by two-thirds this week when Hanjin sends a vessel to the Port of Long Beach to pick up about 4,300 empties.  The removal of thousands of Hanjin containers from the Long Beach will help ease the operational pressures the empty containers have put on the supply chain in the Southern California region.

At the same time, the idled chassis upon which the containers were sitting will be released back into service.

Check out the full story.*

(*site registration may be required)

Make your Hanjin bankruptcy claims now!

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016


Veteran trade attorney, Susan Kohn Ross, of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, has posted some helpful guidance about contending with the Hanjin bankruptcy in this week’s NCBFAA e-briefing.

Here are some highlights:

  • There is a lot of press coverage about the Hanjin bankruptcy, but very little of it provides tangible facts for traders to rely on. One thing we know for sure is Hanjin filed a Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S. What that means is the U.S. bankruptcy court will defer to the Korean bankruptcy court regarding how the case will proceed.
  • The U.S. court will limit its orders to cargo in the U.S. or touching the U.S. Most importantly right now, if you think you have a claim against Hanjin, you need to file that claim in the Korean bankruptcy proceeding, and you must do that between October 11 and 25, 2016. If you miss that claim deadline, you will be out of luck.
  • There are a handful of Korean lawyers representing the interests of cargo owners and other potential claimants in Korea and they should be contacted immediately. Referrals are available.

The complete article >> Hanjin Bankruptcy Update