CBP began a pilot program this month allowing commercial trucks to prepay the single-crossing user fee online prior to arrival at a port of entry. The pilot is being conducted at the Buffalo, Detroit and El Paso ports of entry and will last for approximately one year.
Per CSMS #16-000499:
- For shipments that are on the water on or after June 30, 2016, CBP ports will no longer be required to send requests for liquidated damages (LD) claims to Headquarters for review, and the “three-strikes” approach to LD claims against importers’ bonds will also end. There is no change to cargo holds for ISF non-compliance; ports may hold cargo instead of (or in addition to) initiating LD claims.
- If you have any questions regarding this matter, you may send them to email@example.com.
US Customs’ Outbound Enforcement Team at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport reminds exporters that:
1) it will continue its practice of notifying carriers and terminal operators via email of outbound cargo hold requests (to ensure targeted cargo is available for exam)
2) it can better facilitate export shipments if carriers and NVOCCs provide export vessel booking reports three days prior to scheduled departure and once after document cutoff for all non-bulk vessels (to expedite exams)
The complete Public Bulletin: LA16-008 CBP Outbound Cargo Holds & Request for Booking Reports at the LALB Seaport
The US Customs Office of Field Operations for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport has issued the public bulletin to remind the trade that CBP “maintains a Zero Tolerance policy regarding gateout containers/cargo.”
The agency will assess civil monetary penalties against all culpable parties for each gateout incident, defined as “allowing a container/cargo that has been targeted by CBP for terrorism or enforcement inspection to be released without authorization from CBP.”
Details are available here: CBP Policy Reminder
As announced in CSMS #16-000227, US Customs will vest authority for post-release trade processes in the Center Directors for six more of the nation’s 10 Centers of Excellence & Expertise (CEEs), effective March 23, 2016.
This grant of power, pursuant to a 2014 CBP Delegation Order, will provide the directors of the following CEEs with trade authority for post-release trade processes of entry summaries, in certain ports of entry, for the respective industry tariff lines:
- Agriculture & Prepared Products
- Automotive & Aerospace
- Base Metals
- Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising
- Industrial & Manufacturing Materials
Uncertainty still prevails over the new verified gross mass (VGM) requirements enacted by the International Maritime Organization earlier this year, and may adversely affect shippers in less than three months.
According to the Journal of Commerce*:
- Operators of all 13 terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are ill-equipped to weigh containers according to SOLAS guidelines before they are loaded onto ships. Since the SOLAS requirements will be effective on July 1, the port complex advises that “shippers will have to make other arrangements for obtaining the required verified gross mass of the containers.”
- China is the world’s leading generator of export containers, but has still not published SOLAS container weight guidance. Only 10 countries of the 162 signatories to the SOLAS treaty have had their guidelines and regulations published to the website of the World Shipping Council, a group that represents roughly 90 percent of global container capacity and was a major player in the creation of the new rule.
- Non-compliance with the VGM requirements can have severe consequences: OOCL, a major Hong-Kong based carrier said “the ‘no VGM, no loading’ principle would apply, and terminals observing the SOLAS Convention and/or local regulatory requirements would reject containers at the gate if no VGM was provided. In addition, the shipper would be responsible for the potential regulatory penalties and all costs associated to the exception handling of the containers without the VGM.”
(*JOC site registration may be required)
The expansion of the Panama Canal, a $5.3 billion project almost two years behind schedule and plagued by cost overruns and contractor disputes, will open on June 26, according to Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Quijano.
The expansion may shift international trade routes, allowing ships to reach Asia from the U.S. Gulf Coast more than two weeks faster than they would going east through the Suez Canal. It’ll make room for vessels with the capacity to carry 12,600 containers, almost three times what the existing locks permit, and will be able to handle tankers carrying liquefied natural gas.
The Canal project has been a major force in driving US port improvement projects to accommodate the larger ships.
ACE is moving the trade to its long-stated goal of paperless processing. To that end, filers must submit supporting documentation via ACE’s Document Image System (DIS). However, some PGAs, for the time being, will require submission of original paper documents.
The Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport “is working to standardize the receiving and processing or physical paper documents for ACE Cargo Release Entries” via specifically labelled “ACE” drop-boxes at the ports. In addition, there are specific requirements imposed for the cover sheets that accompany the physical papers. Details are available here: LA&LB Ports Interim Procedures Regarding Paper Documents for ACE Cargo Release Entries.
As a reminder, LA/LB has also established a process for submission of original paperwork for live entries.
Filers submitting live entries through ACE Cargo Release at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex should know that it’s not entirely a paperless process yet. In a February 23 public bulletin, the seaport notes that such live entries must be filed directly with the the Finance Team in Long Beach.
In a somewhat ironic message, the edict from the port complex reads in part:
Since ACE Cargo Release is considered a paperless program, brokers/filers will only be required to submit in a green folder CBP Form 7501 or 7501A with a check attached to the Financial Team. The invoice, packing list, and remaining supporting documents shall be uploaded onto the Document Image System (DIS). No check or cash collections of any type should be submitted to Selectivity, Entry or Import Specialist teams.
The complete Public Bulletin: LA16-003 Submission of Live Entries filed through ACE Cargo Release at the LALB Seaport
As reported in the Journal of Commerce*, the ports’ terminals have implemented creative solutions such as dray-offs (draying imported containers to near-dock yards immediately upon removal from vessesls) and free flow or peel off (similar to dray-offs but cargo is segregated in a peel-off pile and instantly provided to truckers without regard to destination).
The results are impressive. For example, the average turn time at the SSA terminal is 33 minutes, much less that the LA/LB average of 90 minutes.
(*JOC site registration may be required)