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29

CBP Proposed Test Method for Textile Outer Soles
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP / www.gdlsk.com/knowledge/264-copyrighted-goods-may-be-imported-freely-says-us-supreme-court.html

Recent Publication
On March 21, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published in the Customs Record its “Proposed Test Method for the Administration of Additional U.S. Note 5 to Chapter 64, HTSUS, concerning the Classification of Footwear with Textile Material on the Outer Sole.”   This notice will officially appear as a General Notice and Request for Comments in Customs Bulletin and Decisions, vol. 47, no. 4 on March 27, 2013.  Written comments are due on or before May 28, 2013.

Impact on Tariff Classification
As you may recall, the application of Additional U.S. Note 5 will determine whether a textile sole component will be considered in eligibility for classification under Heading 6405, HTSUS which contains favorable duty rates.  Even if shoes do not pass the new proposed test, they may continue to be assessed with favorable duty rates if they incorporate textile sole components.  There are favorable duty rates for a number of footwear products that incorporate textile sole components in Headings 6402 (rubber/ plastic uppers) and Heading 6404 (textile uppers.)

The Proposed Testing Method is New and Requires Study
CBP is proposing to apply a modified version of the ISO 20871 test entitled “International Standard for Footwear – Test methods for outsoles – Abrasion Resistance” (ISO 20871:2001(E); first edition 2001-12-15).  CBP explains in the General Notice that –

The protocol for ISO 20871 tests the performance of footwear outer soles by taking three samples from the subject outer sole and subjecting their surface areas to the specified abrading machine.  The samples are weighed before and after subjecting them to the abrasion testing.  … ISO 20871 is an abrasion resistance test intended for all outer soles irrespective of material.  Moreover, ISO 20871 permits the application of a single test to textile material added to all types of outer soles, not merely to rubber.  Results of the test are expressed generally in terms of relative mass loss.

However, CBP proposes to base the determination of whether textile material possesses the characteristics normally required for use of an outer sole on whether the textile material subjected to ISO 20871 is still present on the samples after testing.  Although we concede that this is a more permissive standard than those for footwear normally subjected to ISO 20871 … [as explained in ISO 20880 (“Technical Report for Footwear – Performance requirements for components for footwear – Outsoles.” ISO/TR 20880:2007(E), first edition 2007-02-15)], employing the ISO 20871 test in this manner is an appropriate practical and efficient means to apply the standard established by Note 5 and should yield consistent results.

Accordingly, in order to demonstrate that the terms of Note 5 have been met, either as part of a request for prospective ruling under the CBP regulations (19 CFR Part 177) or in response to a request for information via CBP Form 28, importers should present independent laboratory reports applying ISO 20871 as described above.  Similarly, CBP may conduct its own testing applying ISO 20871 on footwear samples when circumstances warrant. 

CBP expects the laboratory to follow ISO20871 procedures for testing and for reporting “volume loss in cubic millimeters,” as set forth in section 7 of ISO20871 (“Expression of results”).  However, CBP states that it will determine whether or not “the textile material subjected to ISO 20871 is still present on the sample after testing,” which it describes as a “more permissive standard” than the performance requirements set forth in ISO 20880 for each major type of footwear.  It is not clear what CBP means by the phrase “is still present on the sample” or exactly how the “still present” test differs from the minimum mass requirements for abrasion resistance set forth in ISO 20880.

It is not clear at this time exactly how this new test will impact specific styles of footwear. Importers wishing to comment on the proposed test procedure or seeking additional information on the proposed testing procedure are encouraged to contact Robert B. Silverman, rsilverman@gdlsk.com


CBP Proposing to Share C-TPAT Records
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP / http://www.gdlsk.com/firm-news/267-cbp-proposing-to-share-c-tpat-records.html

In recent Federal Register Notices (78 Fed. Reg. 15889 and 78 Fed. Reg. 15962, dated March 13, 2013), the Department of Homeland Security simultaneously issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a Notice of Privacy Act System of Records concerning information gathered in connection with the Customs – Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (“C-TPAT”).

The new system of records will allow CBP to collect and maintain information pertaining to prospective, ineligible, current, or former partners in C-TPAT and other entities and individuals in their supply chains. Under the proposal, CBP would be able to share this data, which is being voluntarily provided, with other government agencies for enforcement purposes, including the Department of Justice. In addition, under the proposal, the information may be disclosed to “the news media and the public . . . when disclosure is necessary to preserve confidence in the integrity of DHS.”

GDLSK urges all current and prospective C-TPAT participants to read these notices carefully. The deadline for filing comments is April 12, 2013.  


Press Release – FAA Makes Tower Closing Decision
Federal Aviation Administration / http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=14414

WASHINGTON – (March 22, 2013) Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached the decision that 149 federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. The agency has made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest.

An additional 16 federal contract towers under the “cost share” program will remain open because Congressional statute sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share program funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5 percent cut will not result in tower closures.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration.”

“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

In early March, FAA proposed to close 189 contract air traffic control towers as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration and announced that it would consider keeping open any of these towers if doing so would be in the national interest.

The national interest considerations included: (1) significant threats to national security as determined by the FAA in consultation with the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security; (2) significant, adverse economic impact that is beyond the impact on a local community; (3) significant impact on multi-state transportation, communication or banking/financial networks; and (4) the extent to which an airport currently served by a contract tower is a critical diversionary airport to a large hub.

In addition to reviewing materials submitted on behalf of towers on the potential closure list, DOT consulted with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and conducted operational assessments of each potential tower closure on the national air transportation system.

Some communities will elect to participate in FAA’s non-federal tower program and assume the cost of continued, on-site air traffic control services at their airport (see Advisory Circular AC 90-93A.) The FAA is committed to facilitating this transition.

The FAA will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 federal contract towers beginning on April 7.


USCBP - A Power Point Presentation for our Stakeholders on Wood Packaging Material (WPM)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

SEE PRESENTATION


A Day in the Life of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security / http://www.dhs.gov/day-life-dhs

Learn how DHS helps keep our nation safe by air, land, sea and in cyberspace every day in “A Day in the Life of Homeland Security.”


Eligibility of Two Halves of a Machine Imported Aboard Two Separate Carriers to Be Entered Under a Single Entry
U.S. Customs & Border Protection  / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/legal/rulings/recent_rulings/machine_ruling.xml

On March 22, 2013, the Entry Process and Duty Refunds Branch issued HQ H234076, a prospective ruling pertaining to the entry of two halves of a blow molding, capping and filling machine for bottles. The requester proposed to ship the unassembled machine to the United States aboard two separate carriers, originating from different countries. In order to ship both halves together aboard the same carrier, the requester noted that one half would have to be transported across Europe. The requester claimed that such transport would prove to be a financial and logistical burden. However, a single entry may be made for separate shipments only when the merchandise, due to its size or nature, cannot be shipped on a single conveyance. Upon review, CBP determined that neither the size nor the nature of the machine prevented the two halves from shipping together aboard the same carrier.

( HQ H234076 )


New Cargo Processing Requirements for the Port of New River Valley, VA (Port Code 1412)
U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Effective March 29, 2013, the port of New River Valley, Va (Port Code 1412) will not be staffed. Since all cargo entered at 1412 arrives in-bond from other ports, CBP recommends that filers clear merchandise at the first port of arrival. Use of Port 1412 as the port of entry may result in delays in release of the merchandise. If an inspection is required, the merchandise must remain intact until arrangements can be made to send a CBP Officer from another port to examine the goods. CBP cannot guarantee a response time frame. Alternatively, the goods could be sent in-bond to the port of Ruchmond, Va. for the required examination. Please contact the port of Norfolk at 757-533-4200 for questions about this change. For port 1412 entry processing, contact the port of Richmond at 804-226-9675.


CBP Officers at Anzalduas International Bridge Seize Over $3 Million Worth of Narcotics
U.S. Customs & Border Protection / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/03252013_5.xml

Anzalduas, Texas - Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at Anzalduas International Bridge seized cocaine and heroin valued at approximately $3,393,000 and arrested a Nuevo Leon, Mexico man in connection with the alleged smuggling attempt.

On Saturday afternoon, March 23, a Mexican model, white 2010 Honda City driven by a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon arrived and after presenting his Mexican passport with U.S. visa was referred to secondary for a more thorough examination. During the secondary inspection, officers discovered 38 packages containing alleged narcotics concealed within the vehicle of which 28, weighing approximately 26 pounds, tested positive for heroin and ten packages, weighing 24.78 pounds, tested positive for cocaine. Officers seized the heroin, which has an estimated street value of $2,6000,000, the cocaine valued at approximately $793,000, and the vehicle as well.

CBP-OFO arrested the adult male and subsequently released him to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further investigation.

“Our officers made an excellent seizure of hard narcotics this weekend due to great teamwork and their outstanding commitment to help keep drugs from crossing our border,” said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “This failed drug smuggling attempt was shut down by our frontline officers and this seizure is a substantially significant interception at our international bridges.”

 
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