Section 301 Trade Remedies to be Assessed on Certain Products from China effective July 6, 2018

BACKGROUND

On August 18, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) initiated an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 into the government of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.  On March 22, 2018, the USTR issued a notice of determination and request for comments that stated that the government of China’s acts, policies, and practices covered by the investigation were found to be actionable under Section 301(b) of the Trade Act.  The notice proposed the imposition of additional import duties on a preliminary list of 1,300 Chinese products, and indicated that a final list would be forthcoming after the period for public comment expired.  See Federal Register, 83 FR 14906.  On June 15, 2018, the USTR issued a notice of action providing for the imposition of additional import duties on a final list of Chinese products.

Additional information can be found here:  https://www.cbp.gov/trade/programs-administration/entry-summary/section-301-trade-remedies-be-assessed-certain-products-china-effective-july-6-2018

 

 

China is Amending the Advance Cargo Manifest Information Requirements

Effective June 01, 2018, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (“GACC”) will amend its advance cargo information requirements for imports and exports according to GACC Announcement No. 56.

It will require additional data elements to be provided that are related to Inbound and Outbound Transportation by Air and Sea. 

Some of the additional data that will be required are as follows:

  • Shipper Contact Number
  • Shipper Specific Contact Name
  • Shipper Enterprise Registration Code or Unified Social Credit Code
  • Consignee Contact Number
  • Consignee Specific Contact Name
  • Consignee Enterprise Registration Code or Unified Social Credit Code
  • Notify Party Contact Number (if consignee is different)
  • Notify Party Specific Contact Name (if consignee is different)
  • Notifiy Party Registration Code or Unified Social Credit Code (if consignee is different)
  • Complete and accurate brief description of goods

Manifest data must be transmitted to the GACC prior to arrival or departure within the timeframes prescribed per mode of transportation.

The notice may be found here in Chinese:

 

http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/302266/302267/747313/index.html

An English translation may be found here:

http://www.e-to-china.com/tariff_changes/Policy_Focus/2017/1124/113580.html

 

GSP Renewed

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.

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GSP Renewed

On Friday, March 23, 2018, the President signed into law H.R. 1625 (Public Law 115-141), the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018,” which in addition to providing full-year federal appropriations through September 30, 2018, extended GSP with retroactivity, for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020. The new law, effective April 22, 2018, also provided for the retroactive refund of all duties (without interest) to the importer of record (IOR) on GSP-eligible goods entered during the January 1, 2018 through April 21, 2018 lapse period.

For detailed information on the full release, click here.

For any entries handled through South East World Wide, Ltd., take note that all of the merchandise that is eligible for GSP duty free entry, has been identified by the lines marked with "A" on the CBP7501 Entry Summary. Because the GSP program expired on 12/31/17, the full duty amount must be paid at this time. SEWW is monitoring all affected entries, and will ensure refunds are issued.

USTR Announces New GSP Eligibility Reviews of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan

USTR Announces New GSP Eligibility Reviews of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced today that it is reviewing the eligibility of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) based on concerns about the countries’ compliance with the program. The reviews are based on the Trump Administration’s new GSP country eligibility assessment process as well as GSP country eligibility petitions.

See full Announcement here.

USTR Releases Proposed Tariff List on Chinese Products

On April 3, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of the proposed products imported from China that can potentially be subject to additional tariffs.

The USTR has identified approximately 1,300 separate tariffs, which will “…undergo further review.” 

The USTR will make a final determination on the products subject to the additional duty once the public notice and comment process has completed.

Use link below to access the USTR press release :

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2018/april/under-section-301-action-ustr

The list of products and intended tariff increases can be found here
 

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)-RENEWED

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.

The GSP periodically expires and must be renewed by Congress to remain in effect. The 2015 GSP reauthorization (H.R. 1295) expired on December 31, 2017.

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GSP Renewed

On Friday, March 23, 2018, the President signed into law H.R. 1625, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018,” which in addition to providing full-year federal appropriations through September 30, 2018, extended GSP with retroactivity, from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020.

Importers should continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the SPI “A” and pay normal trade relations (column 1) duty rates until the effective date of the Act, April 22, 2018, at which time programming will obviate the duty payment.

If your entries have already been subject to GSP and filed with SEWW as your agent , your GSP Duties have been flagged with the SPI "A".  For more information, CBP.GOV

 

South East World Wide, Ltd. Proud to Offer Extended Services To/From Vietnam

It is our great pleasure to announce our extended service to and from the great nation of Vietnam.  South East World Wide, Ltd., with the cooperation of its committed team and partners, provide their clients; Import Customs, Export Customs, Ocean Service, Air Service Ground Transportation, Warehousing and Distribution Services throughout Vietnam.  Operating out of both North Vietnam from Hanoi and South Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City, we are able provide effective supply chain solutions to a variety of industrial sectors; Agri and Aqua Culture, Automotive, Consumer & Retail, Energy, Healthcare, Industrial and Technology, and Textile Industries.  Serving all major sea ports; Hai Phong, Da Nang and Cai Mep in South Ho Chi Minh.  

Expanding gross domestic product (GDP), modern infrastructure and a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) are signs that Vietnam has transformed into an attractive opportunity for overseas production relocating to Vietnam; providing value in the nations' low cost of operations, increased available and skilled workforce and strategic global positioning.  

Chassis Supply Advisory Notice

 

Last week many inland locations experienced higher than expected rail volume and greater than planned chassis demand.  Combined with severe winter weather, longer than normal equipment repair times and longer than normal-street dwell times, chassis supply in many inland locations is very tight. 

TRAC provided a status of chassis supply in the locations described below.  Please note TRAC anticipates inland volume at several locations declining this week which may help improve chassis supply.   

COCP

  • Chicago:  Rail volume at all Chicago locations has increased.  Most rail ramps have adequate chassis to support the increased demand with the exception of CN Harvey.  TRAC is providing bare chassis at alternative locations to serve CN Harvey.
  • Joliet:  High rail volume at both UP and BNSF.  Based on demand forecasts TRAC expects volume to decline and chassis supply to improve this week.
  • Columbus:  Experiencing longer than normal street-dwell times negatively affecting supply.  Chassis supply is tight.  TRAC requests ocean carriers to contact customers to encourage reducing street-dwell time.
  • Cleveland:  TRAC reports no issues, normal supply/demand fluctuations.

THE Alliance shuffles service offerings for 2018

As reported by Elizabeth Landrum from American Shipper Tuesday December 19, 2017

The ocean carrier members of THE Alliance - Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, "K" Line, MOL and NYK - are shaking up their east-west network starting in April 2018, adding one additional loop to the existing 32 services, which will now cover 81 ports with more than 250 vessels deployed in major east-west trade lanes
   The service network of THE Alliance, which originally launched in April 2017, is expected to cover more than 19 ports in Asia including seven Chinese and five Japanese ports with direct calls as well as 21 ports in the US and Canada, seven North European and 17 Mediterranean ports, seven ports in the Middle East and Red Sea, three Indian Sub-Continent ports, and seven ports in Central America/Caribbean. The network entails eight services in the Asia/Europe trade including three services covering the Mediterranean market; 16 joint services operated by THE Alliance members on the Trans Pacific trade; seven loops in the North Atlantic trade covering North European, Mediterranean, US, Canada and Mexico ports; and two loops in Middle East.
   “After one year of cooperation we are proud to say that 'our services and the network improved significantly', said member carriers in a statement. ”The business is well on track in operational terms and with the delivery of several new big ships we are able to serve our customers even better.” 
    Specifically, the carriers said the services that will change in April 2018 include the following:

https://www.americanshipper.com/main/asd/the-alliance-shuffles-service-offerings-for-2018-70062.aspx

CBP Adjusts Merchandise Processing Fees

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in a Federal Register notice that certain customs user fees would increase for fiscal year 2018, including the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF).

The adjustments calculated in the various fees are reflected by inflation. The new minimum MPF will be calculated at $25.67 and the new maximum MPF will be calculated at $497.99

For a full list of the customs user fees set to increase, please see the Federal Register notice here: 

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/11/01/2017-23876/cobra-fees-to-be-adjusted-for-inflation-in-fiscal-year-2018-cbp-dec-17-17

Harmonized System Update (HSU) 1707 created on October 19, 2017  

Harmonized System Update (HSU) 1707 was created on October 19, 2017 and contains 27,291 ABI records and 5,164 harmonized tariff records.

Modifications include those mandated by the Agricultural Marketing Service, adjusting the assessment on imported cotton and cotton products, effective November 6, 2017. Please use the link below to reference the associated Federal Register Notice...

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-09-05/pdf/2017-18758.pdf

 

 

 

Ports of LA/Long Beach Experiencing Congestion

The ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach are experiencing severe congestion and are experiencing major delays.  To add to the frustration, the ports also have a shortage of equipment.  This unfortunately is having a negative impact not only on the ports, but also on the U.S. rail and intermodal nationwide. 

The latest information shows a dozen vessels currently at anchor waiting berth space.  Thousands of containers are being held at the terminals.  Containers are also backed up at the rail pending transportation to the port for export.

Congestion has mainly been caused by the prioritization of ultra-large container ships (ULCSs) which have capacities between 10,000 and 25,000 TEU, delays shipments by smaller container ships carrying capacities of less than 10,000 TEU. 

According to an article on JOC.com by Wayne Talley, the large number of TEU unloaded from (and loaded to) ULCSs at container ports and the mere sizes of ULCSs that call container ports can result in port congestion. Container port congestion occurs when containers (vehicles and ships) interfere with one another in the use of the port’s container (vehicle and ship) services to the extent that the waiting times for containers (vehicles and ships) to use these services increase.

China National Day Holiday Approaching

The China National Day is coming soon. Starting October 1, there will be four days off in China; October 1 thru October 4. The statutory holiday for National Day is generally 5 days, and China usually adds the weekends before and after the holiday for a total of 7 days. In Mainland China, overseas institutions and enterprises take 3-7 days off, and they will hang lanterns or banners with “celebrate the National Day” and other slogans to celebrate the National Day. All walks of life enjoy the “National Day Golden Week” and spend a good time with family.

In Ancient China, when the emperor ascended the throne, his birthday would be known as the “National Day.” Today, the National Day is special founded for the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, so people across the country will celebrate on October 1st every year. Since 1998, the National Day is the “Golden Week” holiday in mainland China.

Ocean Carrier Consolidation: The 3 Ocean Carrier Shipping Alliances

These 3 carrier alliances represent nearly 80% of global container trade and roughly 90% of container capacity on major trade routes. The main trade lane that is highly affected by this change and the main reason for the new alliances is the North America-Asia: trade lane between the Far East and North America which will represent 96% of East-West trade. 

Trade Routes

The Trans-Pacific trade route is the largest trade route in the world by volume. It is the route between the Far East and North America, mainly dominated by containers hitting US West Coast ports.

The Asia-Europe is the trade route between Asia and Europe (most going to Western Europe) with most vessels going through the Suez Canal.

The Trans-Atlantic trade route is the route between Europe and North America, mainly between Europe and the US East Coast.

Ocean Carrier Alliances

Ocean Alliance CMA CGM, COSCO, OOCL, APL and Evergreen (APL is now owned by CMA CGM)

The Alliance: NYK Group, MOL, “K” Line, Hapag Lloyd, UASC and Yang Ming (UASC has merged with Hapag Lloyd)

2M Alliance: Maersk Line and MSC, with HMM and Hamburg Sud (Hamburg Sud is now owned by Maersk Line).  HMM is not officially in the alliance, but they have slot purchases and exchanges with MSC as well as Maersk.

Weekly Sailings Per Carrier Alliance

“Ocean Alliance” will have 13 weekly services between Asia and the US West Coast, 7 weekly services between Asia and US East Coast and 3 Trans-Atlantic services.

“The Alliance” will have 16 weekly services for the Trans-Pacific trade and 7 weekly services for the Trans-Atlantic trade.

“2M” Alliance, which has a slot agreement with Hyundai Merchant Marine, will have 16 weekly services.  

Non-Alliance Carriers

ZIM Integrated Shipping, Hamburg Sud, Pacific International Lines, Wan Hai Lines, and Matson who also operate on the Asia-North America trade lane will also be options to shippers and NVOCCs to sign contracts. These carriers’ routing are more susceptible to change since they have more agility to move around their vessel rotations and capacities but since they are independent, they can also have less issues with sharing space on their vessels compared to carriers that are in shipping alliances.

 

Stay Informed and In Compliance

As market conditions constantly change so do the laws and regulations governing International Trade.   It is the legal responsibility of the importer to properly declare the value, classification and rate of duty applicable for entered merchandise.  It is also the responsibility of the importer to understand and abide by the latest regulations.

The US Government along with Department of Homeland Security has provided a website which may prove beneficial to the customer importing product to the US.  

Please find following the weblink with additional valuable insight and assistance to anyone importing product from another country.  This site is a great resource for the latest information on specific laws, regulations or procedures that may affect your import transactions. https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export

Customs Border Protection (CBP) has a number of Informed Compliance publications (ICPs) in the "What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: ..." series.  The subjects listed are available for reading or downloading depending on the consumers need.  The first date shown is the original publication date.  The subsequent dates, if any, show the revisions.

If you have any questions considering your classifications, documentation or other import questions please give your local South East World Wide representative a call to schedule an appointment.

Qingdao, China – New Dangerous Goods Rule for Classes 1 - 7

Qingdao, China – New Dangerous Goods Rule for Classes 1 - 7

The port of Qingdao (CNTAO) issued a new Dangerous Goods (DG) rule. All dangerous goods classes 1 to 7 will be prohibited for loading, discharge and transshipment. Please consider this new rule for your future bookings.

Cargo already being loaded will be discharged or transshipped until August 31, 2017.

All dangerous goods, except class 1 and 7, will remain permitted for transit Qingdao (CNTAO).

Belongs to

  • Regulations

Geographical Scope

  • East Asia (from/to Americas) - Export
  • East Asia (from/to Americas) - Import
  • Asia and Oceania intra-regional
  • East Asia (from/to Europe) - Import
  • East Asia (from/to Europe) - Export

 

Rulings and Legal Decisions

Rulings and Legal Decisions

U.S.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issues binding advance rulings and other legal decisions in connection with the importation of merchandise into the United States. Advance rulings provide the international trade community with a transparent and efficient means of understanding how CBP will treat a prospective import or carrier transaction. 

For example, a ruling letter may address the tariff classification or appraised value of merchandise, the liquidation of an entry, or the exclusion of merchandise from entry. As such, ruling letters facilitate trade by enabling companies to make business decisions that are dependent on how their goods will be treated on importation. 

CBP also issues other binding decisions such as internal advice decisions letters (covering current import and carrier transactions), and protest review decisions (appeals of CBP decisions on completed transactions).

With a view to promoting transparency, CBP also makes available to the public various other guidance including the following: the Customs Rulings On-Line Search System (CROSS – a database of published rulings), the Customs Bulletin and Decisions, pertinent Federal Register Notices, CBP Directives and HandbooksInformed Compliance Publications, and a summary of laws enforced by CBP. 

For additional information, follow the link: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/rulings

 

Is Your Cargo Insured?

As a shipper we are typically busy controlling the daily challenges of running a business including managing the finances, making new sales, ensuring product is ordered and delivered in a timely manger.   We can get all of this right and forget one important component, Insurance.

One common thing overlooked is properly insuring your product and/or thinking that you are insured when you are really not.   Insurance is not always needed but is often proven to be beneficial should there be any unforeseen incident in the transportation of your product.

Shippers should purchase Cargo Insurance, whether it is for domestic US transit or international shipments that addresses their specific shipping needs, contains the limits, deductibles, terms and conditions that they require. The word "surprise" should never come up, once a loss has occurred.

No matter where you purchase your insurance take the time to understand all of the terms and conditions contained in the policy.

If you have any questions concerning your current insurance coverage, what it would cost to ensure your cargo and/or general insurance questions please give your South East World Wide representative a call to schedule an appointment.

Schedule B and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS)Updated in the Automated Export System

Effective immediately, the Schedule B, Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), and HTS Codes That Are Not Valid for AES tables have been updated to accept the changes to the July 1, 2017 codes. 

AES will accept shipments with outdated codes during a grace period for 30 days beyond the expiration date of June 30th, 2017. Reporting an outdated code after the 30-day grace period will result in a fatal error.
The ACE AESDirect program has been updated with the 2017 codes and will accept shipments with outdated codes during the grace period as well.
The 2017 Schedule B and HTS tables are available for downloading at:
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/#concordance
The current list of HTS codes that are not valid for AES are available at:
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/concordance/hts-not-for-aes.html
For further information or questions, contact the U.S. Census Bureau's International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch.
Telephone: (800) 549-0595, select option 2 for International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch
Email: eid.scheduleb@census.gov
Online: www.census.gov/trade
Blog: http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov