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PNCT & Maher Terminals  Monday, February 19th, PNCT will be CLOSED for President’s Day


Port Truck Gate Schedule for Presidents’ Day 2018 Weekend - PierPass

Terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced revised schedules for the Presidents’ Day holiday period of Friday Feb. 16, 2018, through Monday Feb. 19, 2018. The schedule is posted below, and a PDF of the schedule can be downloaded at http://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Presidents-Day_2018.pdf


Long Awaited Changes to the Reconcilation Entry Program will Take Effect on February 24, 2018 - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) will implement significant modifications to the Reconciliation Program, first announced by CBP on December 12, 2016, effective February 24, 2018.

Included among these changes to take effect on February 24th are:

• the elimination of blanket entry flagging,
• a simplification of the application process and
• changes to the reconciliation transmission procedures.

The most immediate change for current reconciliation participants relates to the way CBP entries will be identified, or “flagged,” for reconciliation. CBP will no longer automatically “blanket flag” entries for reconciliation. Instead, importers will be responsible for flagging their own entries. Therefore, it is critical that reconciliation participants coordinate with their customs brokers to ensure that any entry subject to reconciliation reporting will be appropriately flagged by the broker. Brokers (and self-filers) will need to either manually flag each entry summary or program their own software to perform blanket flagging.

Additional modifications include changes to the way new participants will join the reconciliation program and the manner in which reconciliation entries will be filed. Details of the changes (which were first announced in December 2016) can be found at: http://www.gdlsk.com/firm-news/417-changes-to-the-reconciliation-program-set-for-january-2017-.html


W&M Committee Members Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Provide Tariff Relief, Cost Savings - Committee on Ways and Means

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) joined with Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) to introduce H.R. 4979. This bipartisan legislation provides a three-year renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, a longstanding U.S. trade preference program that delivers tariff relief and cost savings to American businesses, workers, and consumers across the country.

“The benefits of GSP are clear for U.S. manufacturers and consumers. It’s so important that we move quickly to enact this extension to support the tens of thousands of U.S. jobs that depend on the program. Last year, GSP allowed Texas companies to save more than $76 million in tariffs – which are essentially taxes. This is more than all but two other states. U.S. companies of all sizes, particularly small and medium-sized companies, rely on GSP to maintain their edge over global competitors. The time is now to renew the program and remove uncertainty for U.S. companies so they can better use GSP to reduce costs, compete globally, and create jobs here at home,” Chairman Brady said.

“The GSP program saved U.S. companies over $865 million in import duties in 2017, benefiting thousands of companies of all sizes and their employees. The GSP eligibility criteria provide an important enforcement tool to require our trading partners to meet standards established by Congress in regard to opening their markets to U.S. goods and services, intellectual property protection, and child labor and worker rights. The legislation we introduced today includes a new reporting requirement that will improve the effectiveness of Congressional oversight of enforcement of the eligibility criteria. Prompt passage of this extension will help keep U.S. companies globally competitive and will allow the important work of enforcing the eligibility criteria to continue,” Chairman Reichert said.

“American businesses, workers, and consumers depend on the GSP program to lower costs and keep America competitive in the global economy. This bipartisan bill updates and extends GSP and makes commonsense fixes to the ‘competitive need limitations’ process that will save manufacturers time and money better used to expand, innovate, and create jobs. I want to thank Chairman Brady and Chairman Reichert for their leadership to further strengthen American manufacturing,” Rep. Walorski said.

Background: The Generalized System of Preferences is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. It provides duty-free access to imports on thousands of products from 121 designated beneficiary developing countries in a manner that does not hurt U.S. producers. The program’s last authorization expired on December 31, 2017. When enacted, the bill introduced today will extend the program through December 31, 2020, and retroactively extend benefits to covered imports that have been made since the program lapsed. The bill also makes technical changes to update the process for considering “competitive need limitations” under the program, consistent with H.R. 4068, introduced by Rep. Walorski.


ITA : OTEXA - Announcements

The EU has notified to the WTO: Draft Commission Regulation amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regarding certain substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) category 1A or 1B. The draft regulation would prohibit placing on the EU market certain textile products containing CMR substances above specified concentrations, and would apply to clothing and related accessories, footwear, and other products, which under normal conditions of use, come into contact with the skin. See the draft  regulation text  and  annex . Comments on the draft regulation are due by April 2, 2018. See the suggested  guidelines on preparing and submitting comments.


Update on Informed Compliance For NMFS SIMP - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

This announcement is to inform trade that that all filings covered by the Seafood Import Monitoring Program regulations must comply with the electronic filing requirements in order for an entry to receive a “may proceed” beginning April 7, 2018.

On January 1, 2018, mandatory compliance with regulations requiring the electronic filing of certain data at the time of entry and retention of chain of custody records for certain imported fisheries products under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) became effective. See 50 CFR Part 300 Subpart Q. Pursuant to CSMS # 17-000783 issued December 18, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) initially adopted an “informed compliance” approach, working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and filers to facilitate their full and timely compliance with SIMP without impeding the release and clearance of shipments for which the entry filer had incomplete information or was unable to successfully submit those data into ACE. NOAA has observed an encouraging and steadily increasing rate of compliance with SIMP filings. Therefore, NMFS is providing notice that SIMP informed compliance provisions will cease on April 7, 2018.

Beginning April 7, filings for products flagged for NMFS SIM (NM8) data, with no SIMP data, that are incomplete, or that contain erroneous SIM PGA data, must be corrected before they will be accepted. Filers are also reminded that the SIMP program includes a records retention provision, and all entries subject to SIMP may be audited and became subject to enforcement action beginning January 1, 2018. Those engaged in the import, export or re-export of covered species must also comply with all other requirements of NOAA trade monitoring programs including the TTVP/NOAA 370, HMS ITP, and AMLR trade programs, as applicable.

For questions regarding compliance and submissions with SIMP data that are rejected and cannot be resolved by the filer, filers are encouraged to contact NMFS at SIMPsupport@noaa.gov or call the SIMP Support Line at 301-427-8301 with an explanation of the problem.

NOTE: The code for enforcing the SIM HTS flags with a reject, will be in the ACE CERT environment by March 20, 2018.

Additional information can be obtained by using the following links:
Federal Register Notice (81 FR 88975, December 9, 2016) establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-09/pdf/2016-29324.pdf

Additional Guidance on Seafood Import Monitoring Program details, contacts and requirements are posted online at: here


USITC: New Releases, Documents, Announcements

CBP and Procter & Gamble Partner to Prevent Counterfeit P&G Products from Entering US - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Partnership is first formal Donations Acceptance Program arrangement to enforce Intellectual Property RightsWASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today a new formal partnership arrangement with Procter & Gamble (P&G), as part of the Donations Acceptance Program, to prevent counterfeit P&G products from entering the United States. As part of the partnership, P&G will donate testing devices to verify the uthenticity of various P&G products. The devices will help CBP officers and trade specialists quickly determine the legitimacy of the product, reducing the possibility of counterfeit goods from entering the U.S. stream of commerce.

“Intellectual Property Rights enforcement is a CBP priority trade issue, so we are pleased to announce the first formal partnership approved under the Donations Acceptance Program to aid in the fight against counterfeits,” said Office of Field Operations Executive Assistant Commissioner Todd C. Owen. “CBP’s continued partnership with P&G will help equip our officers with the tools needed to more effectively detect and seize counterfeit P&G products entering the United States.”

P&G intends to partner with CBP for the long term by resupplying and if necessary, upgrading donated testing devices as CBP’s detection needs evolve.

“CBP views its formal partnership with P&G as an important and significant step towards collaborating on mutually beneficial Intellectual Property Rights solutions,” said Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda B. Smith. “Our long-term agreement with P&G will help strengthen CBP’s immediate and future ability to protect the P&G brand and U.S. consumers.”

The Donations Acceptance Program enables CBP to collaboratively explore and implement solutions to trade and travel facilitation and enforcement challenges. This is the first formal partnership arrangement under the Donations Acceptance Program for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement to implement Section 308(d) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. Section 308(d) required CBP to prescribe regulatory procedures for the donation of technologies, training, or other related services for the purpose of assisting CBP in IPR enforcement.

Pursuant to 6 U.S.C. § 301a, and more generally, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. §§ 112 et seq., as amended, CBP and GSA are authorized to accept donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations) and non-personal services from private sector and government entities. Accepted donations may be used for port of entry construction, alterations, operations, and maintenance activities.

Public-private partnerships are a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy and allow CBP to provide new or expanded services and infrastructure at domestic ports of entry. For more information, visit www.CBP.gov/DAP.


Non-US Citizen Air Travel to US up 4% in FY2017; $2.39 Trillion in Imports Processed - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

US economic engine fueled by CBP’s facilitation of legitimate trade and travel last year

WASHINGTON—International travel and trade continued to grow in FY2017 as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) incorporated innovation and implemented new technologies to expedite the processing of a record number of air travelers and goods entering the country. In its annual Trade and Travel Report released today, CBP details its key role in advancing America’s economic growth and maintaining America’s place as the world’s top destination for tourism and business travel.

“CBP officers are charged with accomplishing two very important missions—securing the United States borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP saw record numbers for air international arrivals and increases in cargo processed and trade enforcement in FY2017,” said Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “The continued growth in trade and travel has challenged CBP to work not only harder, but smarter: incorporating new technologies and new innovations into our daily operations. These transformation efforts have resulted in more efficient processing in the air, pedestrian, vehicle and cargo environments.”

The full FY2017 Trade and Travel Report is available at CBP.gov.

Key accomplishments in FY2017 included:

CBP officers processed more than 397.2 million travelers at air, land, and sea ports of entry in FY2017, including more than 124.2 million travelers at air ports of entry. Over the last five years, international travel has grown approximately 9.7 percent overall and 21.6 percent at airports.

International travel at U.S. air ports of entry has steadily increased since FY2009. In FY2017, arriving air travelers increased by 4.2 percent over FY2016. CBP officers welcomed home 7.6 percent more U.S. citizens traveling internationally and 4.0 percent more non-U.S. citizens at air ports of entry in FY2017.

At air ports of entry, programs like Global Entry, Automated Passport Control (APC) and Mobile Passport Control (MPC) have provided travelers user-friendly technology that enhances their inspection experience, while expediting the entry process. The share of arriving air international travelers whose processing was assisted by automated means grew from 3.3 percent in FY2013 to over 50 percent in FY2017. By incorporating these technologies, overall wait times at the top 17 airports indicate that there is higher traffic volume, faster processing, and shorter waits for arriving travelers.

CBP furthered plans in FY2017 to implement an integrated biometric entry/exit process that provides significant benefits to air travel partners in addition to meeting the congressional mandate for a biometric exit system. CBP is leading efforts to streamline the travel process by providing the air travel industry a secure platform for identifying and matching travelers to their identities. This biometric technology could possibly transform how travelers interact with airports, airlines and CBP—creating a seamless travel process that is both reliable and secure.

CBP is also committed to its dual role of trade facilitation and protection of revenue. The agency remains the second largest revenue collecting source in the federal government, collecting approximately $40.1 billion in duties, taxes and other fees in FY2017, including more than $34.8 billion in duties.

CBP processed $2.39 trillion in imports in FY2017, equating to 33.2 million entries and more than 28.5 million imported cargo containers at U.S. ports of entry. Imported cargo containers increased approximately 5 percent from FY2016.

Trade enforcement remains a top priority for CBP. In FY2017, CBP launched the e-Allegation web portal for parties to submit Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) allegations online. The portal has made it easier and more efficient for members of the trade community and federal government agencies to submit allegations regarding forced labor, evasion of AD/CVD against U.S. importers, and violations of IPR. CBP trade specialists and subject matter experts review each allegation carefully and have already initiated 14 investigations.

In partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seizures of shipments with violations of IPR increased by 8 percent in FY2017 to 34,143. In addition, CBP and ICE seized 21 shipments with a domestic value of more than $48.7 million for Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) violations. CBP also detained 26 shipments valued at $1.6 million on the four Withhold Release Orders issued in FY2016.

A key part of CBP’s trade mission is the facilitation of cargo, with the goal of streamlining and promoting frictionless trade, especially in light of changing technologies and business practices.

In order to address the challenges posed by a dynamic trade environment, and as part of our commitment to support small and microbusinesses, CBP officially established the E-Commerce and Small Business Branch within the Office of Trade in FY2017. E-Commerce is largely responsible for the increase in the volume of small shipments entering the U.S. stream of commerce. The branch is developing strategic goals and objectives to position CBP to better address the challenges in the e-commerce environment now and into the future.

 
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