Chinese Duty Increase
As you may have heard, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined after an investigation that imposition of an additional ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products from China classified in the subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) set out in Annex A of this notice. The Trade Representative has further determined to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders may request that particular products classified within a covered tariff subheading in Annex A be excluded from these additional duties. Further, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed additional action in this investigation. The proposed additional action is the imposition of an ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products of China classified in the HTSUS subheadings set out in Annex C of this notice. The effective date is July 6, 2018.
If you import items from China and would like the complete "Notice of Action", please call or email us and we will forward it to you.
Due to this large tariff increase, we are forced to amend our payment terms on shipments that include items assessed at this new 25 percent duty rate. Starting July 6, 2018 our terms will be net 8 days for these shipments. If the duty amount is small we will bill as normal. Once we clear a shipment through Customs we have 10 working days in which to submit the entry along with duties to Customs. By complying with the new terms you will avoid any penalties from U.S. Customs. To expedite this process we will begin emailing you an invoice with the Customs Entry Summary. The email will include the date your payment is due.
If you have any questions or concern please feel free to call me at 602-273-0912 or email me at:
Thank you very much for your understanding.
Robert Hornyan, CHB
ACB Import Services, Inc.
Composite Wood TSCA
EPA worked with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help ensure the final national rule was consistent with California's requirements for similar composite wood products.
The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.
Beginning June 1, 2018, composite wood products sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States are required to be labeled as CARB ATCM Phase II or TSCA Title VI compliant. Beginning on March 22, 2019, composite wood products must be labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant. These products include: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard, as well as household and other finished goods containing these products.
By including provisions for laminated products, product-testing requirements, labeling, recordkeeping, and import certification, the final rule ensures that hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard products sold, supplied, offered for sale, imported to, or manufactured in the United States are in compliance with the emission standards.
The final rule also established a third-party certification program for laboratory testing and oversight of formaldehyde emissions from manufactured and/or imported composite wood products.
Compliance Date Amendment
On March 13, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order addressing the litigation over the December 12, 2018 compliance date for the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products. Following that court order and joint stipulation document, the relevant compliance dates were and/or are:
By June 1, 2018, regulated composite wood panels and finished products containing such composite wood panels that are manufactured (in the United States) or imported (into the United States) must be certified as compliant with either the TSCA Title VI or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II emission standards, which are set at identical levels, https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/recognized-third-party-certifiers-under-formaldehyde-emission-standards-composite-wood by a third-party certifier (TPC) approved by CARB and recognized by EPA. Previously, these products were required to be TSCA Title VI compliant by December 12, 2018.
Until March 22, 2019, regulated products certified as compliant with the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards must be labeled as compliant with either the TSCA Title VI or the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards. Regulated products manufactured in or imported into the United States after March 22, 2019 may not rely on the CARB reciprocity of 40 CFR 770.15(e) and must be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant by an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC with all of the required accreditations.
After March 22, 2019, CARB-approved TPCs must comply with additional accreditation requirements in order to remain recognized as an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC and to continue certifying products as TSCA Title VI compliant.
Importer Security Filing
On January 26, 2010 You MUST File a 10+2 or Face Penalties!
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is serious. On January 26, 2010 they will start issuing penalties for failure to comply with the Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as the 10+2. We can file for you or your shipper overseas can do it, but someone must. Failure to file will result in a $5,000 per violation penalty. You can also be fined for filing incomplete or wrong information. Therefore, the total penalty per shipment could be as much as $10,000.00.
Customs' regulations require that this information be filed 24 hours prior to the loading of the vessel. In order for us to accomplish this, we need to receive the documents 4 days before departure of the vessel. This will give us ample time to file and save you from facing a penalty. If there are any corrections we will need that information immediately so we can update the information with Customs. I cannot state enough that this is YOUR responsibility and YOUR penalty.
U.S. Customs is also requiring an additional bond for the ISF. This can be done with a single ISF bond, which will carry an additional charge. The shipment and ISF can also be bonded with a continuous transaction bond.
Arizona Customs Brokers is here to assist you with this filing and the bond. On our website, arizonacustomsbrokers.com, you can download "The Importer Security Filing Data Sheet", found under forms. We have setup a special email address for you or your overseas partner to send the form and documents. This address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions regarding the ISF or bonding requirements please give Robert Hornyan a call at 602-273-0912. We are here to assist you and keep you penalty free.
Here is a link to U.S. Customs website on basic importing.
It will answer your general questions. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact our office.
Third Party Testing for Children's Products
Federal law requires that every children's product be tested by a third party, CPSC-accepted laboratory for compliance with the applicable federal children's product safety requirements.
You can review the Initial Certification Testing FAQ for more information about third party testing generally by clicking the link below. They've also provided FAQs about additional kinds of third party testing that may be required. The type of third party testing that may apply to an individual product may vary based on a variety of factors related to production choices. Companies should pay close attention to these mandatory testing requirements and maintain good records to document their compliance.
Recent News Articles Linking China Production to North Korean Factories- Additional Compliance Measures May be Required
Recent news articles have reported that Chinese apparel manufacturers are using North Korean factories to assist in the manufacture of garments sold for exportation to the United States. Based on these recent articles, the difference in labor rates, which has traditionally moved Chinese production to lower wage rate countries like Vietnam, has inspired Chinese producers to transfer some production to North Korea. Unlike Vietnam, however, the goods made in North Korea are contraband and cannot be imported into the United States. As a result, to hide the fact that North Korean factories are being used, the finished goods will have to be transshipped through China or third countries to the United States and falsely claimed to be products of China or other countries.
Purchasing products from North Korea is against the law and violators may be subject to criminal punishment and civil fines. (See E.O.13570- International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA). In addition, the current administration has made it a point to stop Chinese trade violations and to impose strict enforcement of the recent economic sanctions that have been put in place against North Korea. Criminal penalties of up to $1,000,000, and/or imprisonment for up to 20 years may be imposed on any person who willfully violates this law. Civil penalties of the greater of $284,582 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction may be imposed administratively against any person who violates this law. Of course goods made in North Korea can always be seized and forfeited by U.S. Customs.
In the past, Chinese vendors were accused of transshipping goods to the United States through third countries claiming false country of origin in order to avoid the textile and apparel quota limits that had been imposed. There have also been multiple allegations that Chinese vendors have transshipped goods to the United States through third countries to avoid the huge antidumping and countervailing duty deposits that must be paid on those goods. These latest news stories indicate that China country of origin problems are continuing today.
Against this background, it is recommended that importers should review their due diligence programs. Their programs may have to be enhanced to ensure that the claimed country of origin is correct. Please feel free to contact our office if you should have questions.
*Content from GDLSK.
Forced Labor Enforcement
Supply Chain Due Diligence
Forced Labor Enforcement
CBP works diligently to prevent goods manufactured by prohibited forms of labor from being imported into the U.S. by enforcing the withhold release orders and findings of 19 U.S.C. 1307. To release shipments subject to WRO/findings, importers must submit a certificate of origin and a detailed statement showing the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
Ensuring an Ethical Supply Chain
To combat the risks of child and forced labor in your operations and global supply chains, you should have a comprehensive and transparent social compliance system in place.
The following resources can assist companies without such a system, strengthen systems already in place or assist with conducting supply chain due diligence.
Start with the link below. It takes you to the Department of Labor's site for guidance on setting up a social compliance system.
Importers may obtain advice from a customs expert. For example, a licensed customs broker, customs/international trade attorney, or customs consultant.
Supply Chain Audits
Audits to evaluate risks in your supply chain are available from many private sources. These audits should unannounced and conducted by independent or third party auditors.
CBP Binding Rulings Program
Administrative rulings are available on prospective transactions. For additional information, please refer to 19 C.F.R. 177 and to the customs rulings online search system at:
CBP's Informed Compliance Publications
Current informed compliance publications can be located at https://www.cbp.gov/trade/rulings/informed-compliance-publications
Other Guidance and Tools for the Trade Community:
Department of Labor List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor:
Department of Labor List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor:
Responsible Sourcing Tool
Civil Society and International Organizations
These organizations produce investigative reports concerning labor rights and working conditions in countries that export to the United States. The intergovernmental Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development has produced numerous publications discussing supply chain management and due diligence.
For additional information and a complete list of WROs and findings, please visit:
2018 Federal Holidays
For your information, below is a listing of Federal Holidays for Calendar Year 2018.
Monday, January 1 New Year's Day
Monday, January 15 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 19 Washington's Birthday
Monday, May 28 Memorial Day
Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 3 Labor Day
Monday, October 8 Columbus Day
Monday, November 12 Veterans Day
Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day
Tuesday, December 25 Christmas Day
FDA Takes New Steps in Oversight of Imported Foods
FDA announced last Wednesday that it has recognized the first accreditation body under the voluntary Accredited Third-Party Certification Program created by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The organization being recognized is ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), an organization jointly owned by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This organization is being recognized because it met the applicable FDA requirements, validated through application review and on-site assessment. FDA is recognizing ANAB for a five-year term of recognition. (For more information on FDA's standards for recognition, see: Key Facts about the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program)
FDA has also launched the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), a voluntary fee-based program which offers expedited review and entry of human and animal food into the United States. Importers interested in participating in VQIP will be required to meet a number of eligibility requirements, which include ensuring the facilities of their foreign supplier are certified under the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.
These programs are additional tools FDA is using to help ensure that foods imported into the United States are produced in accordance with the same safety standards required of food produced domestically. Governments, agencies, or organizations that are interested in becoming recognized accreditation bodies may apply using FDA's web-based application and submitting an application fee.
For more information about this announcement, VQIP or the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program please visit FDA.gov.
New Tariffs: Definition and Exclusion (Steel and Aluminum)
By Susan Kohn Ross
When President Trump announced the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs on March 8, 2018, he instructed the Secretary of Commerce to issue regulations explaining how American companies could seek exclusions from those tariffs no later than March 19, 2018, and that deadline has been met. These new regulations can be found here.
Before we discuss the new regulations, we should start with the data Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released with its programming updates to implement these safeguard tariffs.
The HTS numbers added are:
9903.80.01 STEEL PROD, NOTE 19, EX CA/M 25%
9903.85.01 ALUMINUM PROD, NOTE 19, EX CA/M 10%
with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 AM (EST) on March 23, 2018. This rate of duty, which is in addition to any other duties, fees, exactions, and charges applicable to such imported steel and aluminum products, shall apply to imports of steel and aluminum products from all countries except Canada and Mexico.
(1) "Aluminum" products are defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) as: (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601)- (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604)- (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605)- (d) aluminum plates, sheets, strips, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607)- (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609)- and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 76184.108.40.206 and 76220.127.116.11), including any subsequent revisions to these HTS classifications.
(2) "Steel" is defined in the HTS as: (i) 7206.10 through 7216.50, (ii) 7216.99 through 7301.10, (iii) 7302.10, (iv) 7302.40 through 7302.90, and (v) 7304.10 through 7306.90, including any subsequent revisions to these HTS classifications.
Turning now to the exclusion process, we begin with the statement in the Federal Register notice that an exclusion will apply only if the steel or aluminum products are determined "not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality or based upon specific national security considerations."
There is one docket for the steel case (BIS-2018-0006) and another for the aluminum case (BIS-2008-0002).
Any exclusion request must be filed by an individual or organization which uses the steel or aluminum products in domestic business activities, such as construction, manufacturing, or supplying steel/aluminum products. Any individual or organization in the U.S. may file objections, but they will only be considered if the information submitted relates to the basis for the exclusion request under consideration. Anyone wishing to object must locate the exclusion request and object by adding comments to that original filing.
Exclusion will be approved on a per product basis and will be limited to the party seeking the exclusion. However, Commerce may elect to approve a broader application to additional importers. Even once an exclusion is approved, parties may still file objections. Similarly, even if a prior application was rejected, a later exclusion request for the same product is permitted.
15 C.F.R. part 705 has been amended so that Supplement No. 1 addresses steel products and Supplement No. 2, aluminum products. In each case, the required form can be found on regulations.gov and on the BIS website. The steel form is here and the aluminum case form here.
The Federal Register notice reinforces that all filings for exclusion requests and objections are subject to public inspection and copying, so business proprietary or classified information should be submitted accordingly.
In seeking an exclusion, parties would be wise to first identify the grounds on which they will rely, bearing in mind the President found that "steel and aluminum are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States and therefore……" the President is implementing these remedial actions … "to protect U.S. national security interests."
When the exclusion request is prepared, it must include the submitter's name, date of submission, the grounds for the request, plus specify the business activities in which the requester is engaged, that the party submitting the request is authorized to do so and the 10 digit HTS statistical reporting number.
A separate request is required for steel products with chemistry by percentage breakdown by weight, metallurgical properties, surface quality (e.g., galvanized, coated, etc.) and distinct critical dimensions (e.g., 0.25" rebar, 0.5" rebar, 0.5" sheet, or 0.75" sheet) even if covered by a common HTS subheading. With aluminum products, separate exclusion requests must be submitted for distinct critical dimensions covered by a common HTS statistical reporting number, e.g. 10 mm diameter bar, 15 mm bar, or 20 mm bar. Separate requests are also required for products falling into more than one HTS subheading.
Exclusion requests are permitted at any time. However, objections must be filed within 30 days of an exclusion request being published. When filing an objection, the party doing so should clearly identify and provide support for its opposition by responding to the specifics urged in the exclusion request. There is a 25 page limit. If the submission is incomplete, the exclusion will be denied or the objection not considered. BIS' findings will respond to any objections. Any approved exclusion is effective five (5) days after it is published and typically remains valid for one (1) year.
BIS has indicated that processing of any exclusion request generally will not take more than 90 days, including consideration of any objections. The way the Federal Register notice is written, CBP is expected to provide a means by which the importer will be able to reference his exclusion and the exclusion is expected to be reported at time of entry. However, the means to do so has not yet been indicated by CBP.
One other major point was emphasized in the Federal Register notice - that the procedure by which American companies will be permitted to seek exclusion or object to such requests has nothing to do with the grounds on which the U.S. may grant exclusion to any country.
Attention Ocean Importers
Beginning January 26, 2009 all shipments destined for the United States must comply with the submission of "Importer Security Filing 10+2(ISF)". The importer is ultimately responsible for the data to be entered in the Import Security Filing even if entered by an agent of theirs. This data must be received by U.S. Customs 24 hours prior to the loading of a vessel. That data has to be reviewed, classified, processed and accepted in order for your shipment to be loaded on a vessel that is destined for the USA. This data has to be sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection via an approved electronic data interchange systems.
Arizona Customs Brokers can do this for you.
Simply stated, the ISF requires the importer or their agents to provide ten data elements 24 hours before the departure of the vessel and the two remaining elements 24 hours before the vessel's arrival.
The original ten elements required are:
1. Manufacturer(Supplier)- Name and Address
2. Seller(Shipper)- Name and Address
3. Buyer(Purchaser)- Name and Address
4. Ship to Consignee or Ultimate Consignee - Name and Address
5. Container stuffing location - Name and Address
6. Consolidator(Stuffer)(Forwarder) - Name and Address
7. Importer of Record - ID Number
8. Consignee - ID Number
9. Country of Origin
10. Harmonized Tariff Schedule Number
Plus the last two elements:
1. Master Bill of Lading - House Bill of Lading(NVOCC)
2. Ocean Bill of Lading (if straight B/L).
Arizona Customs Brokers will be prepared to submit this information to U.S. Customs on your behalf. In order for us to comply with this regulation we will require that this information be sent to us 4 days prior to the delivery of the container to the port. We would also like the commercial invoice and packing list at this time. This will require additional work on our behalf and we will have to charge for this service. At this time we are not sure what the charge will be as things are still being worked out and subject to change.
Between January 26, 2009 and January 26, 2010 U.S. Customs will be evaluating any compliance difficulties. Customs reserves the right to take enforcement action when an importer is not achieving "satisfactory progress" or making a "good faith effort to comply" during this time. Customs penalties for non-compliance are $5,000.00 per violation.
Please call us with any questions you may have at 602-273-0912. As we get more information we will pass that along to you or you can check our website at www.arizonacustomsbrokers.com.