The Laredo Licensed U.S. Customs Brokers Association, Inc.



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  • 04/05/2019 11:24 PM | Anonymous

    April 5, 2019

    Good Evening Trade Community (Laredo Field Office AOR),

    Please view the current Hours of Operation for the Ports’ Cargo Import Lots within the Laredo Field Office (Truck Environment).


    I want to reiterate that the eight Ports of Entry that extend from Del Rio to Brownsville, TX (Laredo Field Office AOR) will continue to adhere to their current normal Trade hours of operation and there are no plans at this time to reduce weekend hours. The eight Port of Entry are experiencing a shortage of available personnel due to the recent deployment to assist Border Patrol. As a result, commercial primary lanes have been reduced and have resulted in longer crossing/wait times.

    We continue to support the FAST/CTPAT Program and ensure that FAST/CTPAT lanes continue to be open. I recommend that you and your customers (importers) take advantage of the early morning hours that are normally underutilized.

    If you have any questions, reach out to the corresponding APD Trade at your location or me at 956-753-1773.

    Points of Contact at 8 ports are as follows:

    Port of Brownsville 2301 – Chris Kishore, APD  956-548-5854
    Port of Del Rio 2302 – David W. Green, APD  830-306-4360
    Port of Eagle Pass 2303 – Gilbert Sepulveda, APD 830-752-3593
    Port of Laredo 2304 – Javier Vasquez, APD  956-794-9494/9495
    Port of Pharr 2305 – Andres A. Vega, APD  956-843-5701
    Port of Rio Grande 2307 – Jorge A. Flores, APD  956-487-1663
    Port of Progreso 2309 – Enrique Moya III, APD  956-354-3653
    Port of Roma 2310 – Rogelio Olivarez, Jr, APD  956-849-1678

    Sincerely,

    Armando Taboada Jr.

    Armando Taboada Jr.
    (a)ADFO Trade
    Laredo Field Office
    956-753-1773

  • 04/03/2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Good day

     At today's monthly CBP / Trade meeting we were briefed about the current status of operations at the Laredo Field Office Ports of Entry. Operations have been affected due to the re-assignment of officers to help Border Patrol with migrant processing at other ports.

    Armando Taboada – Assistant Director, Laredo Filed Office, Brad Skinner - Deputy Director, Laredo Field Office, Albert Flores - Laredo Port Director, David P. Higgerson – Director, Laredo Field Office (Laredo Field office covers 8 ports of entry from Brownsville, TX to Del Rio, TX)

    Border Delays

    Those present heard comments from:

    • David P. Higgerson – Director, Laredo Field Office
    • Brad Skinner - Deputy Director, Laredo Field Office
    • Armando Taboada – Assistant Director, Laredo Filed Office
    • Albert Flores - Laredo Port Director
    • 15-20% of their staff has been reassigned to assist Border Patrol with the immigration issue, about 750 officers.
    • Due to short staff, some of the bridge lanes are closed.
    • World Trade Bridge – out of 15 lanes, 6 are open for regular cargo and 3 for FAST.
    • Colombia Bridge – 2 regular and 1 FAST lane are open
    • World Trade Bridge – usually processes  8,000 northbound daily, they are currently processing 5,000.   3,000 trailers backed up in Mexico.
    • Colombia Bridge – usually processes 1,700 northbound daily, they are currently processing 1,000.  700 trailers backed up in Mexico.
    • Southbound shipments and northbound Fast and rail shipments are not being affected by any delays.  (in reality, if any delays they are due to the tractors sitting somewhere – shortage on drayage tractors)
    • CBP is looking into solutions, such as opening all lanes during the week and closing on weekends.  Any changes, the trade will be notified 5 days in advance. 
    • Port of Laredo has no plans to close this weekend to comercial traffic.
    • Some small ports have already started closing on weekends such as Mariposa Commercial Facility in the port of Nogales, AZ. and at Eagle Pass, TX
    • Advise your clients to take advantage of crossing as early as possible to avoid further delays
    • The average time of a truck crossing is 4 hours from when the trailer arrives at the Mexican toll booth to the CBP primary lane. That does not count the line on the Mexican side, which can be a couple of miles long. This is being measured manually by CBP at all ports.
    • CBP is working with MX Customs to stop the flow of traffic by 11:00 pm, so CBP can process all trailers that are on the bridge by midnight.
    • CBP will be putting something out in writing since MX news is reporting incorrect information.
    • Before the immigration issues, Border Patrol should of had 27,500 employees but they were at 25,000 – short staffed.  From the time an employee is hired to the time to work on the field, is 16 months.
    • Another 2,000 employees from the DHS other agencies will be moved to help Border Patrol too.
    • CBP will also be closing passenger bridge lanes which will affect the MX holidays (holy week and 5 de Mayo), expect major delays.
    • No need to port shop, all southern ports are working the same.    They are being consistent,  small ports have even less personnel.
    • All ports across the southern border are in constant communication

    Any major updates will be shared with the trade as soon as possible
  • 04/03/2019 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    Today we had a presentation from the Automotive CEE about importing vehicles

    The trade community got a process review on how to import vehicles and complying with CBP and PGA regulations

    • Assistant Center Director - Lucy Guardiola
    • Supervisor Import Specialist - Sandy M. Lopez
    • Import Specialist - Mike Cruz
    • Import Specialist - Claudia  Hernandez
    • Import Specialist - Gaby Lengyelz
    • Import Specialist - Jillian Martinez
    • Import Specialist - Jorge Garza




  • 03/15/2019 4:02 PM | Raul S. Villarreal

    Helps secure additional CBP officers, border technology, and canine teams in FY19 Appropriations

    WASHINGTON— Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) helped secure funding for innovative non-intrusive imaging equipment, additional canine teams, and 600 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in the fiscal year 2019 appropriations package. He also included language that will encourage CBP to hire an additional 600 officers, whose salaries will be paid for with custom fees, with the potential of yielding 1,200 new officers. Deploying these and additional resources at our ports of entry (POEs) will help CBP combat the entry of illicit goods, narcotics, and human smuggling into the country. It will also increase security and ensure the smoother, faster flow of legitimate trade and travel.

    CBP’s dual mission of protecting our borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel is not only a critical component of national security, but also of the nation’s economic prosperity. In FY2017, CBP processed $2.39 trillion in imports, equating to 33.2 million entries and more than 28.5 million imported cargo containers at 328 U.S. POEs. For years, Congressman Cuellar has made it a top priority to ensure that CBP has the capability and capacity to improve the efficiency of legitimate trade and travel at our nation’s POEs, while maintaining the highest standards of security.

    Congressman Cuellar said, “My district is home the largest inland port in the United States, conducting over 60 percent of all U.S.-Mexico trade. Increasing the number of trade enforcement personnel and improving technology will help streamline international commerce, eliminate costly bottlenecks and increase trade as well as security for cities along the border, greatly benefitting the local and national economy.”

    “CBP processes over one million passengers and pedestrians who make their way across the United States’ borders to visit our cities each day,” Cuellar continued. “These people spend their hard-earned money eating at our restaurants and purchasing goods in our stores, which benefits the local border communities in my district. It is my top priority to facilitate this increased tourism and trade while also protecting our borders. This starts with making certain that we have a sufficient number of CBP personnel and new technologies at our ports of entry.”

    Increasing CBP Officers at Ports of Entry

    To increase border security at the POEs, Congressman Cuellar included funding for 600 new CBP officers in the fiscal year 2019 appropriations package. He also included language that will encourage CBP to hire an additional 600 officers, whose salaries will be paid for with custom fees, with the potential of yielding 1,200 new officers. Increasing the number CBP personnel at POEs will ensure legitimate trade and travel, while working to increase the nation’s security.

    In the fiscal year 2019 Appropriations Conference Report, he helped secure language and funding for:

    • $58.7 million to hire 600 new CBP officers for ports of entry and language encouraging CBP to hire an additional 600 officers whose salaries will be paid for with custom fees;
    • $20 million for CBP officer retention;
    • $564 million for innovative non-intrusive imaging equipment;
    • $6 million for outbound enforcement equipment;
    • $45 million for inspection equipment at international mail and express consignment facilities;
    • $10 million for automated commercial environment enhancements to include post core development and collections;
    • $18.5 for revenue modernization;
    • $14.7 million for Office of Field Operations facilities;
    • $191 million for infrastructure improvements at ports of entry;
    • $15 million for port of entry technology for opioid detection;
    • $27 million for law enforcement Canines;
    • $2 million for canine team personnel for opioid detection;
    • $1.6 million for support staff for opioid detection;
    • $5.7 million for laboratory personnel for opioid detection;
    • $2.5 million for equipment for field labs for opioid detection;
    • $20 million for the expansion of the National Targeting Center;
    • $5 million for counter-network operations at the National Targeting Center;
    • $2 million for the Office of Trade to enhance targeting activities; and
    • $113 million for additional air and marine assets, to include three multi-enforcement aircraft.

    Increasing Technology Along the Border

    This bill includes $564 million for CBP to procure cutting-edge NII technology that will enable the agency to expedite the screening of a larger portion of the $11 billion worth of international trade that crosses our borders every day. CBP currently has 315 large-scale NII systems deployed at U.S. POEs to examine cargo conveyances such as sea containers, commercial trucks, and rail cars, as well as privately owned vehicles for the presence of contraband without physically opening or unloading them. This funding will go towards initiating a five-year plan to screen 100 percent of all vehicles that cross the southwest border. Increased technology at major ports of entry will increase efficiency significantly by increasing cargo capacity and reducing wait times. These improvements will reduce millions of dollars in lost economic output and create jobs at the border and across the United States.

    Increasing Canine Teams & Personnel

    Congressman Cuellar helped secure $29 million for law enforcement canine teams to assist in screening at POEs. The primary goal of the CBP Canine Program is terrorist detection and apprehension. The working CBP canine team has become the best tool available to detect and apprehend persons attempting entry to organize, incite, and carry out acts of terrorism. The Canine Program's secondary goal is detection and seizure of controlled substances and other contraband, often used to finance terrorist and/or criminal drug trafficking organizations. The combination of NII equipment, canine teams, and well-trained, highly skilled officers will allow CBP to help end the exploitation of the nation’s southwest land POEs while increasing trade and travel.

    Securing Pay Raises for Federal Employees

    As a member of the Conference Committee on Homeland Security Appropriations, the Congressman fought for increased pay to federal workers. He helped secure language as a part of the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security spending bill that gives an average 1.9 percent pay raise to government workers. Through conference, Congressman Cuellar was able to secure this raise for federal employees because he understands that it is essential for both recruitment and retention that CBP be more competitive with wages so that they are able to retain agents and address staffing deficits


  • 03/07/2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    In case you missed either the February 26th or March 6th TSCA Title VI Import Certification webinar we are sharing the presentation.

    The webinar was an overview of the TSCA Title VI regulation as it applies to imported composite wood products, component parts, and finished goods as well as the March 22, 2019 TSCA Section 13 import certification date and how import certification will be completed in the ACE-ITDS environment.

    Please click the link to download the presentation.

    TSCA Title VI Import Certification Webinar_v4.pdf

    You may also click the link that is listed below to access the recordings from both webinars. 

    https://www.cbp.gov/trade/stakeholder-engagement/webinars

    Thank you,

    Office of Trade Relations

    Customs and Border Protection 

  • 03/04/2019 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that the enforcement of the changes to the in-bond regulations that were scheduled to begin on February 6, would be postponed to a later date.

    According to CBP, this was due to their desire to reschedule "the planned consultation and collaboration with the trade through the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) In-bond Working Group."

    That meeting is scheduled to take place in early April and a new enforcement date will be determined and announced at the completion of the review.

  • 03/04/2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has shared their updated ACE Development and Deployment Schedule, which includes updates as of February 2019.

    As a reminder, CBP notes that this is a "notional schedule and is subject to change."

    For the updated deployment schedule, please see here
  • 02/25/2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released "Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food," an outline of the agency's comprehensive approach to ensuring the safety of food imported in the United States.

    "An important aim of the agency's strategy for the safety of imported food," writes FDA in the introduction to their plan, "is to assure Americans that food imported from abroad is held to the same food safety requirements as food produced domestically."

    This has become extremely important over the years as the United States "imports food from more than 200 countries or territories and approximately 125,000 exporting food facilities plus farms." This year alone "between 14 and 15 million shipments of imported food are expected to enter the United States."

    To help them achieve their mission of ensuring the safety of imported food, the FDA set their three main safety goals as:

    1. Preventing food safety problems in the foreign supply chain prior to entry into the United States;
    2. Effectively detecting and refusing entry of unsafe foods at the border; and
    3. Rapidly responding when FDA learns of unsafe imported foods.

    A fourth, overarching goal for their entire strategy is to create an effective and efficient food import program.

    If you would like more information on how they plan to implement the strategy and accomplish their goals, please be sure to check out the "Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food" document here
  • 02/25/2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that March 16 will be the deployment date of the revised CBP Form 5106 in ACE. CBP states that the "revised form will include new data elements, which will provide additional detail on individuals and organizations requesting to be recognized as Importers of Record (IOR), thereby enhancing CBP's ability to perform risk assessments."

    CBP also addresses common questions related to Form 5106:

    What will stay the same in ACE?

    All existing data elements required or conditionally required under the current CBP Form 5106 will remain.

    What will change in ACE?

    • Form is officially renamed the "Create/Update Importer Identity Form."
    • The only new required data elements on the revised form are:
    • Email address for the IOR; and
    • Type of address(es)
    • The new optional data elements on the revised form are:
    • Estimated entries per year;
    • How the IOR will be used (Importer, Consignee, etc.);
    • Trusted Trader program codes;
    • Fax number;
    • Website;
    • Business Description;
    • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code;
    • Dun & Bradstreet Number (D-U-N-S);
    • Filer Code;
    • Year established;
    • Related business entities Employer Identification Numbers (EINs);
    • Banking information;
    • Certificate or articles of incorporation information; and
    • Information for up to four beneficial owners and/or company officers

    What additional resources are available?

    • The cutover details for submission to ACE is as follows:
    • The legacy Importer Create/Update ABI application (TI) will be disabled at 8:00pm on Friday, March 15, 2019. Any submissions of the TI after that time will be rejected.
    • During the outage window, the new ACE Importer Create/Update functionality for Trade and CBP users will be deployed to ACE production.
    • Legacy importer accounts will be converted to new ACE as part of the deployment of the 5106 in new ACE.
    • Any new ACE Importer Create/Update submissions (TP) submitted to ACE prior to completion of the deployment will be held in queue and processed once the entire deployment is completed.
    • The new data elements in the Importer/Bond Query (KI), specifically the Full Legal Importer Name and Center ID/Description, will not be returned in the query response (KR) until the entire deployment is completed.
    • Federal Register Notices (FRNs): 79 FR 61091, 80 FR 492.56 and 80 FR 44361.
    • Draft Importer/Consignee Create/Update CATAIR.
    • A quick reference guide will be provided prior to the deployment date.
    • Post-deployment support calls, daily March 18 - 22, 2019.

    Who do I contact if I have issues?

    Technical questions related to testing and using the revised CBP Form 5106 (Create/Update Importer Identity Form) in ACE should be addressed by a Client Representative or the ACE Account Service Desk (ASD) at 1-866-530-4172 or ACE.Support@cbp.dhs.gov.

    Revised CBP Form 5106 policy questions should be emailed to 5106@cbp.dhs.gov.


  • 02/19/2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    Beginning March 22, 2019, importers of certain types of composite wood products will need to certify that their imported products comply with the formaldehyde emissions standards under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Title VI. The TSCA Title VI formaldehyde emissions standards apply to three types of composite wood products: 

    1) hardwood plywood; 

    2) medium-density fiberboard (MDF); and 

    3) particleboard - whether the product is unfinished panels or incorporated into component parts or finished goods. 

    The foreign producer must have the products tested and certified by an EPA-recognized 3rd party certifier.

    Composite wood products are commonly used in the manufacture of furniture, kitchen cabinets, flooring, picture frames, and wooden children's toys.

    When filing an entry, customs brokers will need to provide the name, telephone number and email of the individual (the importer or agent) who is certifying that the products comply with TSCA Title VI.

    The importer's responsibilities include:

    • Certifying at entry that the wood product is compliant with TSCA (or certifying that the product is not subject to TSCA);
    • Recordkeeping: For 3 years, the importer must keep an invoice, bill of lading or comparable document that states the product is compliant with TSCA Title VI
    • Upon the request of EPA, the importer must be able to make records available to the EPA (within 30 days) identifying the panel producer, the date produced, the supplier and the date the products were purchased. [The importer is not required to maintain this information, but will be required to have the supplier or producer provide the information when requested to do so.]

    With the deadline fast approaching, customs brokers will want to prepare clients who import composite wood products subject to the formaldehyde emissions requirements for these new responsibilities. The EPA is scheduled to co-host two upcoming webinars that will cover importer responsibilities under this regulation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The webinars will have the same content and will be hosted on February 26 and March 6 from 2-3 pm EST.

    To register for the February 26 webinar, please click here.

    To register for the March 6 webinar please see click here

    One portion of the webinar will discuss general rule requirements for importers of regulated composite wood products and component parts/finished goods, for which the compliance date began on June 1, 2018. Another portion of the webinar will discuss the TSCA Section 13 import certification requirements, which go into effect on March 22, 2019. These two webinars are intended for importers, import brokers, and other interested TSCA Title VI regulated stakeholders who may import products into the customs territory of the U.S. that are, or contain, TSCA Title VI regulated composite wood products. The webinars will also include time for questions and answers at the end of the presentation with staff from the EPA and CBP.
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