your direct filing solution
ACE Certified ACE-Certified
Get Started Today
Linked InTwitterFacebookRSS



Recent Posts

Paying too much for your ISFs?

Ask us how you can save money and automate the process.

Get Started Today!

get started

Contact us for more information or to schedule a live demo.

Contact Us


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

C-TPAT: AQUA Lane for expedited unlading opens at LA/LB seaport

Thursday, September 29th, 2016



US Customs’ Los Angeles Field Operations Unit has announced the opening of the Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval (AQUA) Lane program at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

AQUA Lane provides an expedited vessel clearance process to sea carriers actively participating in the C-TPAT program, who meet the requisite criteria, that enables them to immediately unload cargo upon arrival in the US — prior to CBP meeting the vessel.  It allows CBP to lessen congestion at seaports, redirecting Customs’ resources towards high risk threats and away from low risk carriers.

Complete information, including FAQs are found in the LA/LB seaport’s September 28, 2016, Public Bulletin.  LA:LB Implementation of AQUA Lane at the LALB Seaport


CBP to host fines, penalties and forfeiture mitigation trade forum for importers at LA/LB port

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

US Customs and Border Protection logo


On August 24, US Customs’ Los Angeles Field Operations Unit will host a trade forum for the importing community on fines, penalties and forfeitures mitigation guidelines at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex.  Reservations are first come, first served.  Details are here: LA-LB Trade Forum on Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures (FP&F) Mitigation Guidelines

Expanded Panama Canal opens!

Monday, June 27th, 2016

panamacanalThe newly expanded Panama Canal opened to much fanfare this past weekend:

  • The first ship that made it through the locks and completed the 50-mile journey from Atlantic to Pacific was the Chinese-owned Cosco Shipping Panama
  • 85 percent of the 166 reserved crossings scheduled for the next three months are for container ships. Container cargo accounts for nearly 50 percent of the canal’s overall income
  • However, factors that can negatively affect the canal’s traffic and include global shipping due to the drop in oil prices, an economic slowdown in China, which is the canal’s second-largest customer, and other factors that have hit the waterway’s traffic and income
  • While canal authorities anticipate increasing commerce between Asia and ports on the U.S. East Coast, it’s not at all settled that all those ports are ready to handle the huge New Panamex-class cargo ships

CBP pilots new user fee payment option for trucks

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
© Maclean's

© Maclean’s

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.

ISF: CBP defers to local ports on enforcement, ends “3 strikes” policy

Friday, June 17th, 2016



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

Port of LA/LB: outbound cargo holds & requests for booking reports

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016



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


CBP reminds the trade of “zero tolerance” for gateouts

Friday, May 6th, 2016



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

6 more CEE Directors granted authority for entry summary at ports

Friday, April 8th, 2016

As announced in CSMS #16-000227, US Customs will vest authority for post-release trade processes in the Center Directors for sixcee map 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
  • Machinery

The Delegation Order does not remove any authority from the Port Directors but serves to share trade authority until full regulatory changes are completed.

CEE_Operational_Expansion 2016


Confusion over SOLAS VGM requirements pervades

Monday, April 4th, 2016



© Journal of Commerce

© Journal of Commerce

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)