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CBP launches Broker-Known Importer Program (BKIP)

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

US Customs and Border Protection logoUS Customs recently announced, in CSMS #15-000275, the implementation of the Broker-Known Importer Program (BKIP), an initiative proposed by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFFA).

The program allows a licensed customs broker to inform CBP, via the filing of an electronic entry,  that the importer listed on the entry is known to the broker, and that the broker has advised the importer of their compliance responsibilities under Customs regulations.  In addition, the broker will have verified the importer’s grasp of its obligations in areas such as entry declarations, ADD/CVD, IPR, valuation and preference programs, through a questionnaire.

CBP will use this information for purposes of cargo risk segmentation.  When a broker identifies an importer who is exercising reasonable care in connection with their imports by checking the BKIP indicator flag on an entry, Customs may adjust that importer’s risk profile in CBP’s targeting system accordingly, even if the importer is not part of the Trusted Trader programs — C-TPAT or ISA. (The BKIP indicator flag for entries has already been deployed as part of ACE.)

BKIP is a voluntary program for both brokers and importers.

BKIP Benefits:

  • New platform for brokers and importers to discuss compliance obligations
  • Potential to increase broker entry accuracy
  • Increased compliance knowledge for importer staff
  • Improved cargo targeting by CBP at time of cargo arrival
  • More information to CBP about importer from a trusted source

Helpful Links

 

 

 

US West Coast ports: Imports rise as cargo pileups shrink

Monday, May 11th, 2015
"Docker throwing a twistlock on a container" by Danny Cornelissen - http://www.portpictures.nl. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons

“Docker throwing a twistlock on a container” by Danny Cornelissen – http://www.portpictures.nl. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons

 

It’s been almost three months since the labor dispute that crippled US West Coast ports was tentatively settled, and since then, containerized imports are on the upswing.

According to the Journal of Commerce*, the National Retail Federation in its publication, Port Tracker, reported that March import traffic jumped 45% from February, when the discord between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association severely hampered port operations for several months.

Dockworkers and management have made a concerted effort clear the massive container backlog resulting from the port slowdowns (presumably, in part, due to the implementation of chassis pools), although the ILWU has yet to ratify February’s agreement on the dockworkers’ labor contract (vote due on May 22).

See also our previous blog post:  Most shippers to divert cargo away from US West Coast ports.

(*JOC site registration required)

 

LA/LB Ports: New chassis pool to help clear cargo backlog

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
March 1, 2015.  A significant backlog of container ships awaits unlading at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, visible from over 50 miles away in southern Orange County, CA.  ® 2015 Customs Now, Inc.

March 1, 2015. A significant backlog of container ships awaits unlading at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, visible from over 50 miles away in southern Orange County, CA. ® 2015 Customs Now, Inc.

While extraordinary congestion from the West Coast port labor dispute remains at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, key stakeholders have taken a major step forward to address the backlog.

As reported today in Transport Topics, three of the ports’ largest intermodal chassis operators have created a chassis pool that “allows truckers to use equipment from any of the pools, instead of having to find, or wait for, a chassis from one of the individual pool operators.”

A chassis shortage was a weighty area of contention in the labor dispute, and the establishment of the pool is critical to address the estimated half million containers that continue to clog the port complex.

JOC: Most shippers to divert cargo away from US West Coast ports

Thursday, February 26th, 2015
 © 2015 Journal of Commerce

© 2015 Journal of Commerce

 

 

This week, the Journal of Commerce surveyed about 140 shippers to gauge sentiments on the recent West Coast port congestion debacle.  Despite tentative settlement of the labor dispute that resulted in the massive cargo backups at these ports, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated their intention to redirect shipments away from the West Coast, primarily to the US East and Gulf Coasts, as well as the Port of Vancouver in Canada.

While the majority of shippers specified that they would divert 10 to 30% of their cargo, nearly an equal number signaled that they plan to reroute 31% or more.

Meanwhile, JOC also reports that retailers, a key driver of imports of US  West Coast ports, expect shipping delays, product shortages and increased trucking rates caused by the port slowdown to adversely affect business for weeks.  Perhaps this development has had some effect on the survey results.  (JOC site registration required).

See West Coast port congestion from the sky

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
© 2015 Michael Kelley

© 2015 Michael Kelley

Check out the bird’s eye view of the congestion at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, captured by aerial photographer, Michael Kelley.  Kelley noted that he saw “30 to 40 ships” waiting to discharge their cargo, the result of the ongoing US West Coast port labor dispute.

Just over two weeks ago, it appeared that the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union had reached agreement on a major issue — management of truck chassis —  a key point of contention in the dispute.

That consensus, however, seems to have evaporated as shipping lines have announced that they will suspend the loading and unloading of cargo ships over the next four days.  The move is an attempt to avoid paying holiday/weekend overtime wages, a response to a perceived “chronic” work slowdown by dockworkers, which their union disputes.

 

Progress on chassis in West Coast labor dispute

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

chassisAfter months of wrangling by longshoremen and their employers in a complicated labor dispute at West Coast ports, representative from both sides indicated that a tentative agreement has been reached on the key issue of chassis.

These trailers, which move cargo containers to and from ships at ports, have been in short supply, primarily due to ocean carriers divesting interest in the chassis and a lack of a cohesive backup plan for their management and maintenance.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, both sides – the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, with 20,000 dockworkers, and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers at 29 ports – have offered little detail on the chassis accord, but are hopeful it can pave the way for a final agreement, and eliminate the port congestion caused by the dispute.

 

 

Shippers: December 26 deemed a federal holiday

Friday, December 12th, 2014

december26Per CSMS #14-000631, President Obama signed an Executive Order designating Friday, December 26, 2014 as a federal holiday.  US Customs advises entry summary filers as follows:

Statements that are due on Friday, December 26, 2014 may be paid electronically prior to December 29, 2014.  Entry summaries and statements due on Friday, December 26, 2014 may be presented and paid on Monday, December 29, 2014, without penalty.


 

 

 

“Made in the USA”? Not with that foreign zipper

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

made-in-the-usa

 

US apparel companies beware.   A federal judge recently ruled, in the case of Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmeid Inc. et al, that California’s “Made in the USA” labeling law is not pre-empted by federal apparel labeling laws and thus its rigorous standards for domestic labeling would apply in a class-action lawsuit alleging improper labeling.

As summed up by the law firm of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.,

U.S. apparel companies that use de minimis amounts of foreign-made components such as zippers or buttons in their garments were dealt a blow recently when a federal judge declined to throw out a class action lawsuit alleging that clothing labeled as “made in USA” is in violation of California’s strict false advertising law. The case will thus continue and could still result in settlements, damages or other expensive alternatives for affected companies.

This is not the first time that the California labeling law has been litigated.  See this Law360.com article about recent cases on this topic (site registration may be required).

 

 

Port Congestion 101 – watch JOC video

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

See Bill Mongeluzzo, West Coast Editor for the Journal of Commerce, describe the perfect storm of events that have caused the ongoing gridlock in the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, which has reverberated around ports nationwide.  Bill spoke at JOC’s Inland Distribution Conference.

 

 

Market pool for truck chassis in the works for Port of NY/NJ

Friday, September 26th, 2014
© Port Authority of NY & NJ

© Port Authority of NY & NJ

 

In follow up to last week’s post on addressing truck congestion at US ports, commentary in the print edition of American Shipper (September 2014) reveals that there is progress on this front on the East Coast.

In his piece entitled “Answer to New York/New Jersey’s chassis blues?”, Chris Dupin reports that a working group of the Port Authority of NY/NJ’s Port Productivity Task Force is attempting to implement the task force’s recommendations that the industry create a ‘market pool’ for chassis:

“The market pool would be a port-wide pool with interoperability, meaning chassis could be used to move boxes that come from any of the terminals of liner carriers in the port.  The pool would not set prices, nor collaborate about anything that has to do with commercial relationships with customers.  Members of the pool would still compete with each other, but the task force thought a market pool could help solve some of the problems the port experienced with a lack of equipment and imbalance last year.”

Issues such as who will run the market pool are still in discussion.