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



News

  • 01/01/2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    CBP Trade Call Updates

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    In an effort to keep us informed during the Federal Government shutdown, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is holding bi-weekly conference calls, every Monday and Wednesday, to apprise the trade of on-going developments and to answer any questions we may have.

    On Monday, CBP reiterated CSMS #18-000757, stating that they will be unable to process Section 301 exclusions during the shutdown, as the programmers in charge of updating the HTS numbers with their corresponding new 9903 HTS have been furloughed. CBP will not accept entries or PSC's with the new HTS 9903. Protests for the Section 301 exclusions will be accepted since protests do not require a transmitted CF 7501 correction. At the conclusion of the shutdown, CBP will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation. Any updates to the Automated Customs Environment (ACE) will be implemented 10 business days after the shutdown has concluded.

    Trucks carrying packages qualifying for Section 321 will still be required to file electronic manifest for truckloads up to 5,000 lines beginning January 1. There is a glitch for manifests having over 5,000 lines and CBP will accept paper on those until the fix can be dealt with after the shutdown. A mailbox (ofo-manifestbranch@cbp.dhs.gov) has been created for manifest questions.

    While EPA's funding has lapsed, they do have enough for serving the ports for clearances. For those shipments that require pre-file approval, filers can work with the ports to get a conditional release so that the cargo can be moved from the ports and held at the importer' premises until the shutdown is over. The TSCA Hotline will remain open, but filers should work with EPA at the ports.

    Fines, Penalties and Forfeiture (FP&F) officers have not been furloughed.

    After originally stating the ACE Help Desk team had been furloughed, CBP corrected that statement on today's call by saying the ACE Help Desk and the ACE Accounts Service Desk are manned by contractors who are already funded. The Trade Remedy and Entry Summary mailboxes will also still be monitored.

    Filers should not experience lack of responses for questions and requests for CF 28's and 29's. The import specialists at the Centers are not furloughed.  If a filer is having a response problem, they should raise the question to a Center Team Supervisor.

    CBP also took questions from those on the call. Below are the answers to the most pertinent questions.

    When asked whether any rulings would be coming during the shutdown, CBP stated that there would be no rulings released during the furlough.

    A question regarding other agency availability during the shutdown was asked and CBP responded by saying that it's not CBP's intention to hold cargo, and they intend to conditionally release.  FDA is funded.  EPA is not funded, but they do have minimal staff available for trade. 

    When asked about carriers running into a few anomalies with ACE 10+2 programming and whether it would be fixed/ignored for now, CBP noted that there is a recurring timing problem and that they are aware of the problem and are working to correct it.

    When asked about deadlines, CBP stated that they are sorting through the funding lapse on legal and administrative processes, but that the trade should go ahead and meet any deadlines due to CBP. The Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) employees should still be working.

    In regard to the STOP Act, CBP said that there would be a CSMS message to let the carriers know the requirement exists for the postal service. Not a regulatory requirement for the carriers to obtain that data. There will not be contemplated enforcement actions against the trade as this is a postal service requirement.

    With the ITC being furloughed, updates to the HTSUS site for January 1 will not be done until the shutdown is over.

    All quota openings for January 2 appear to be operating normally, including 232 quotas.

    After being asked about a decrease in liquidation postings over the last week, CBP said they look through their systems and found no reason other than there being only three business days that week.

    A question was raised whether or not there would be a delay in Drawback due to programmers being furloughed and CBP responded by saying that they do not expect any delays for the February Drawback deployment.

    The NCBFAA will continue to take part in these trade calls and will update our members as situations develop.

  • 12/21/2018 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    Potential Government Shutdown Guidance

    With a Federal government shutdown looming on the horizon, the NCBFAA has reached out to representatives of Partner Government Agencies (PGA) for information regarding the arrangements they have in place for the processing of Import and Export cargo. Please see below for agency guidance and procedure.

    CBP

    On a conference call this afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said they are keeping a close eye on the situation and will be as prepared as they can be in case of a government shutdown. CBP is planning to have conference calls every Monday and Wednesday, at 1:00 p.m. ET, for the duration of the shutdown. A CSMS message will be prepared shortly, outlining the plans. The Office of Trade will be open to ensure cargo flows as routinely and predictably as possible. CBP is working with other agencies to have the flow of trade as close to normal as possible. Management and leadership will continue to work, however, client representatives and others will not. In the case of an ACE outage, client representatives will be recalled.

    As for field operations, ports will be staffed as normal. Trucks will be processed, air cargo and hubs will be working and trains and vessels will all be processed. There will be no interruptions to conveyance, clearance and cargo release. As some PGA's will not be funded, CBP will use their discretion at the border to keep cargo flowing. Centers of Excellence and Expertise will be open as normal with drawback and liquidations continuing under normal circumstances. As for the quota desk, it will be operational. The Quota Branch Chief and an additional staff member will be in the office.

    Monday and Tuesday of next week are still considered holidays and will be treated as such. Expect normal holiday hours and level of service. Land borders and airports will be open Monday and Tuesday but are operating under normal federal holiday procedure.

    For general trade questions, please see ports and centers. For trade policy questions, a dedicated email (otentrysummary@cbp.dhs.gov) has been set up and will be staffed if there is a question that cannot be staffed at ports or centers.

    CPSC

    In the event of a shutdown, all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) port investigators would be furloughed. CPSC targeting would be suspended. Shipments that have been targeted, but not arrived for examination, would be released, unless CBP or another PGA has interest or an imminent health and safety issue has been identified. Decisions on whether to release shipments that have been detained because they failed field screening and may be violative will be made on a case by case basis.

    As far as a point of contact during a shutdown, they are referring callers to their hotline at (800) 638-2772, which will direct inquiries to staff on duty.

    EPA

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have funding to continue border operations.

    FDA

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) import operations will remain operational: FDA Prior Notice review, entry processing, sampling/examination of high-risk shipments, and compliance activities will continue.

    For any entry-related issues:

    • For issues related to Prior Notice processing, contact FDA's Division of Food Defense Targeting at their main number 866-521-2297;
    • For issues related to FDA entry admissibility processing, contact your usual local FDA contacts. These can be found using FDA's "FDA Import Offices and Ports of Entry" webpage at this link: https://www.fda.gov/forindustry/importprogram/ucm319216.htm
       

    FMCSA

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will have funding to continue border operations.

     

    FWS

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will operate at the ports as normal during any possible shut down since the wildlife inspection program is funded using user fees and not appropriated funds. Issuance of Import/Export Licenses and Designated Port Exception Permits (DPEP) will be suspended during any shutdown as will their general email (lawenforcement@fws.gov) and headquarters/regional office telephone services. Any permits issued by the Division of Management Authority (DMA) such as CITES, ESA, etc. would be suspended during a possible shutdown.

    While they will have emergency IT available to maintain eDecs and internal systems, help desk personnel will be on furlough in the event of a shutdown. They are asking the trade to stay in touch with the wildlife inspection offices if any help desk assistance is needed for eDecs.

    NHTSA

    In the event of a government shutdown, no National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) personnel will be available to release shipments in a circumstance where such action on their part is needed. No one will be available to take calls during the shutdown.

    NOAA

    Customs operation will continue. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) will be closed.

    USDA

    The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will continue to provide inspection services, including inspections for import requirements, during a Federal Government shut down. The inspection results are electronically transmitted to their Compliance Enforcement Management System (CEMS). CEMS is the system that automatically reconciles entries which pass inspection and meet 8e import requirements and returns a "May Proceed" message back to ACE should an entry meet import requirements. As with the last government shutdown, entries which electronically reconcile via CEMS will continue to do so with a "May Proceed" message back to ACE as long as transmissions of inspection certificates are submitted by inspection personnel and everything reconciles. 

    The Marketing Order and Agreement Division's Compliance and Enforcement Branch (CEB) staff will be lightly staffed.

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will have funding to continue border operations.

  • 06/05/2018 1:45 PM | Bo Burge

    As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ongoing effort to make the oversight of food safety stronger and more efficient, the FDA and the USDA today announced the alignment of the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program (USDA H-GAP) with the requirements of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA’s) Produce Safety Rule. 


  • 05/31/2018 2:28 PM | Bo Burge

    Press Release
    Mexico City on May 31, 2018 

    MEXICO WILL IMPOSE EQUIVALENT MEASURES ON VARIOUS PRODUCTS IN RESPONSE TO THE US PROTECTIONIST MEASURES ON STEEL AND ALUMINUM.

    Mexico deeply regrets and disapproves the decision of the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico as of June 1, on national security grounds.

    Mexico has repeatedly stated that these types of measures under the veil of national security are unjustified. Steel and aluminum are inputs that contribute to the competitiveness of several strategic and highly integrated sectors in North America, such as autos, aerospace, electric and electronics, among others. Mexico is the largest market for US aluminum and the second importer of US steel. Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that distort international merchandise trade.

    In response to the decision of the United States to impose tariffs, Mexico will adopt equivalent measures on a variety of products, including flat steel (hot and cold foil, including coated and tubes and pipes), lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, cranberries, various cheeses, and others products, up to an amount comparable to damage caused by the United States’ action.

     This measure will be in force for as long as the US government maintains the imposed tariffs.  Mexico reiterates its openness to a constructive dialogue with the US, its commitment to the international trade system, and its rejection of unilateral protectionist measures.


  • 05/25/2018 9:45 AM | Bo Burge

    The FDA DUNS Portal is currently available. The portal available at https://fdadunslookup.com/ provides industry with the ability to look-up and/or verify DUN and Bradstreet numbers to assist in the identification of DUN and Bradstreet numbers for firms. 



  • 05/07/2018 9:00 AM | Raul S. Villarreal

    Great Seminar by FDA CSO Selina M. Mata - DIOP, regarding FSVP and the brokers responsibility.




  • 05/04/2018 1:27 PM | Bo Burge

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib), administered together, for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), and has a type of abnormal gene, BRAF V600E (BRAF V600E mutation-positive). 

  • 05/04/2018 10:12 AM | Bo Burge

    ACE Outreach Events

    FDA has published a Quick Reference to the Supplemental Guide for Filers and Importers. This is a concise, user-friendly resource that outlines the requirements for each FDA-regulated commodity type.



    The document is available for download at the following link: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/ImportProgram/EntryProcess/ImportSystems/UCM606518.pdf



    For questions about this document or its content, contact ACE_Support@fda.hhs.gov

  • 05/03/2018 11:00 AM | Bo Burge

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a final rule to extend the compliance dates for updating Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels, from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will receive an extra year to comply – until January 1, 2021. The agency published a proposed rule to extend the compliance date in September 2017, and this rule finalizes that extension.

    After considering a range of stakeholder comments, the FDA recognizes the need for manufacturers to have additional time to make required changes. The approximately 18-month extension accomplishes this goal and will provide sufficient time to transition to the new version of the Nutrition Facts label.

    The FDA is also committed to ensuring that all manufacturers have guidance to help implement the required label changes by the upcoming compliance dates. A full list of Nutrition Facts-related guidance documents is available on the FDA website.

    For Additional Information:

    Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label


  • 05/02/2018 10:45 AM | Bo Burge


    California reports 100 ill in  an outbreak traced to raw oysters

    A norovirus outbreak traced to raw oysters from British Columbia has crossed the Canadian border, and U.S. officials say an unusual strain of the virus is involved.

    About 100 people in California have reported becoming sick with symptoms of norovirus after eating raw oysters from British Columbia, according to the California Department of Public Health. The ill people said the oysters were sold by restaurants and retail stores.


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