Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ottawa Edges Closer to Deal on Buy American

(Globe and Mail – Campbell Clark)

But trade officials caution agreement is far from certain

Provincial governments are signalling that Ottawa and Washington are moving closer to an agreement to exempt Canada from protectionist Buy American measures, but trade officials cautioned that a deal is not a certainty.

Negotiators from both countries will meet in Washington today [Thursday] for a first head-to-head session on a Canadian proposal that would guarantee that U.S. firms can bid for provincial and municipal contracts in Canada in return for an exemption from the Buy American provisions.

In Quebec City and Toronto, provincial governments – key players because any agreement would affect their own buy-local rules – said a deal is moving closer.

Quebec’s economic development minister, Clément Gignac, said, “we are optimistic that we will have a deal” and that it would also require major cities to open their buying to U.S. bids. “I will let the federal government and the U.S. government make the announcement. We are optimistic we are moving in the right direction right now,” he said. Read more here.

CSMS 09-000321 – NAFTA Track III Liberalization and Post-2006 ROO Updates


The NAFTA Track III liberalizations and the NAFTA specific rule of origin changes to comply with the 2007 and subsequent years’ HTSUS were implemented in the U.S. for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after October 2, 2009.

A memorandum to this effect and the accompanying presidential proclamation and Annex, including the specific rule of origin modifications, are posted here.

They can also be referenced by typing “NAFTA liberalization” into the search box.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Insurance Industry Tackles Cargo Theft


The U.S.-based National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and ISO plan to create a national information sharing system to combat cargo crime. By networking existing databases and adding secure reporting and analytic functions, the new system will enable more efficient, accurate and timely sharing of cargo-theft information between theft victims, their insurers, and law enforcement.

Cargo theft is a multi-billion dollar economic drain that exploits existing gaps in the nation’s information-sharing framework.

Theft victims’ inability to provide timely and accurate information about their losses hampers law enforcement’s ability to conduct an effective investigation. Aside from the immediate loss of merchandise, cargo theft affects insurers and their policyholders through added costs that are ultimately borne by consumers. Furthermore, the indirect costs of cargo theft through supply-chain interruption can jeopardise product safety when goods are taken from a controlled environment and resold to an unsuspecting public. Read more here.

Locke Urges Avoidance of Protectionism, Discusses Latin American Trade Issues

(World Trade Interactive)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged attendees of the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Chile September 28 to avoid “the protectionist temptation” in developing policies to restore economic growth. Locke also discussed a number of regional trade issues in separate meetings with his counterparts from various countries.

In his remarks at the opening of the ACF, Locke said that “some inevitably succumb to the allure of turning inward and closing off markets” in challenging economic times but that “we cannot let this happen again.” The history of the past century, he said, teaches that economic crises can and will happen and that during these times some will advocate limiting trade, closing off borders and protecting domestic industries. But “protectionism does not work,” Locke emphasized, and “protectionist policies invite trade wars and reduce living standards for us all.” He acknowledged that some U.S.-backed market reforms “have failed to deliver as promised” but said “the solution to these problems is not to abandon markets altogether” but to “make them work better, even as we build stronger social safety nets to catch those who fall through the cracks.” Read more here.

Tariffs Will Have Consequences

(Tire Business)

Considering the depth and breadth of testimony against higher tariffs on Chinese consumer tires, it’s surprising the Obama administration chose to raise them to the extent it did – an additional 35% in the first year, followed by 30% and then 25% in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Predictably, the first consequence of the decision is higher wholesale tire prices, to be followed soon by higher retail prices, meaning consumers are the ones who’ll end up bearing the additional cost, as forewarned by the opponents of the tariffs.

After reviewing the arguments for and against tariffs, it seemed apparent some sort of compromise, a hybrid solution if you will, was called for that would have appeased the United Steelworkers (USW) while at the same time not risking a possible trade skirmish with China. The union sought the sanctions/tariffs in the first place and is part of the organized labor movement that played a key role in Mr. Obama’s election.

A compromise might have combined both import restrictions, which the USW sought, and tariffs, which the International Trade Commission recommended.

For instance, the administration could have allowed a certain level of imports – perhaps up to the 21 million the USW sought – to come in under the existing tariff structure (4% of value), and then start imposing tariffs on imports over that amount. More developments on this issue at Tire Business.

Statement from Minister Day on Softwood Lumber Tribunal Ruling

(Minister of International Trade)

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today [Monday] issued the following statement on the decision of the London Court of International Arbitration Tribunal that Canada did not cure its breach of the Softwood Lumber Agreement:

“We are disappointed that the Tribunal did not accept Canada’s proposed solution to cure the breach. We continue to believe that our offer to pay $46.7 million was fair. However, there is no further route for appeal.

“The Government will comply with the Tribunal’s decision, as we remain committed to the success of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. This agreement has brought stability and has returned nearly $5 billion to the industry. This is a complex matter. We are reviewing the decision and consulting with the provinces to determine how best to move forward.”

The Tribunal’s decision states that the compensatory adjustments to Canada’s export charges must be imposed until the amount of $68.26 million identified by the Tribunal in its ruling on February 26, 2009, has been collected.

The breach is related to the use of the adjustment factor in the calculation of the volume of exports to the United States. Canada applied the adjustment factor to some provinces beginning July 2007, but the Tribunal said that we should have applied it beginning January 2007.

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement ended a long-standing dispute that had resulted in years of punishing duties against Canadian exports. Through the Agreement, $4.5 billion US in duties collected by the U.S. was returned to Canadian companies, bringing a significant infusion of capital into the industry and benefiting workers and communities across Canada.

P.M. Releases Report on Economic Action Plan

(Office of the Prime Minister)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today [Monday] presented the Government’s latest report on the implementation of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The Third Report to Canadians entitled “Staying on Course” shows that 90% of the stimulus funding for this fiscal year has now been committed to more than 7,500 infrastructure and housing projects. More than 4,000 of these projects have begun in the first six months of the 24-month plan.

View the Third Report To Canadians here.

For more information about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, and projects happening in communities across Canada, please visit

Monday, September 28, 2009

USDA Increasing Fees for Quarantine and Inspection Services

(World Trade Interactive)

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued an interim rule that, effective October 1, will increase by about 10% the fees charged for certain agricultural quarantine and inspection services provided in connection with certain commercial vessels, trucks, railroad cars and aircraft arriving at ports in the U.S. customs territory.

APHIS states that while the recent downturn in the U.S. economy has negatively impacted user fee collections, inspection and related support services continue to be provided at their existing levels, so a fee increase is needed to meet expenses that have not decreased. Comments on the higher fees are due by November 27.

• commercial vessels – $544, up from $494

• commercial trucks – $6.00 for a single border crossing, up from $5.25, and $120 for a transponder, up from $105

• commercial railroad cars – $8.75 per car, up from $7.75

• commercial aircraft – $78.00 per aircraft, up from $70.50

Buy American Waiver Granted for “De Minimis” Parts in Rural Water Projects


The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a nationwide waiver under the stimulus program’s “Buy American” clause for incidental components of eligible water infrastructure projects. This action permits the use of nondomestic iron, steel and manufactured goods when they occur in de minimis incidental components that may otherwise be prohibited under Buy American clause of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

RUS defined “de minimis incidental components” to mean those components that cumulatively comprise no more than a total of 5% of the total cost of the materials used in a project funded in whole or in part with ARRA assistance.

This action is similar to a waiver previously granted by the U.S. EPA for water infrastructure projects across the country.

RUS received $1.38 billion in ARRA funds for use in providing loans and grants to rural communities to meet their water and wastewater infrastructure needs. While the money has been obligated to specific projects in compliance with the Fiscal Year 2009 deadline of September 30, it could be years before these projects actually are designed and go to construction.

(Ed. WaterWorld ... Who knew?)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Memorandum D15-2-54: Certain Aluminum Extrusions Originating in or Exported from the People’s Republic of China


This memorandum refers to the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties to importations of certain aluminum extrusions originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Interim Memorandum D10-14-19: Administrative Procedures for the Importation of Non-Beverage Ethyl Alcohol


This interim memorandum contains updated information which replaces paragraphs 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Memorandum D10-14-19, Administrative Procedures for the Importation of Non-Beverage Ethyl Alcohol, dated April 19, 2002.

The information contained in this interim memorandum will be incorporated into the next version of the D10-14-19, Administrative Procedures for the Importation of Non-Beverage Ethyl Alcohol.

Guidance: Effective September 26, 35% Ad Valorem Duty on Chinese Tires for Passenger Cars, Light Trucks


On September 11, 2009, the President signed Presidential Proclamation number 8414, which imposes additional duties for three years on certain imports of Chinese rubber, pneumatic tires of a kind used on motor cars and on-the-highway light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. ( 74 FR 47861 Published September 17, 2009)

These duties are imposed on Chinese tires under the “Chinese Safeguard” statute (commonly referred to by the statutory section “421” of the Trade Act) and are to be assessed on the tires described below that are entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after September 26, 2009.

Specifically, the tires subject to this additional duty are Chinese origin new, pneumatic tires, of rubber, of a kind used on motor cars (except racing cars) and on-the-highway light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles and are, generally, to be mounted onto rims. These tires are classified in subheadings 4011.10.10, 4011.10.50, 4011.20.10, or 4011.20.50, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Not subject to this additional duty are:

• pneumatic racing car tires,

• new pneumatic tires of a kind used on large trucks and buses;

• new pneumatic tires of a kind used on agricultural or forestry vehicles and machines and construction or industrial handling vehicles or machines;

• new pneumatic tires of a kind used on aircraft, bicycles, motorcycles, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, and vehicles for turf, lawn and garden, and golf applications;

• pneumatic tires that are not new, including recycled and re-treaded tires; and

• non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.

A new U.S. note, number 14, and two new subheadings are added to Subchapter III of chapter 99, Temporary Modifications Established Pursuant To Trade Legislation of the HTSUS, to collect the additional duty:

• 9903.40.05 applicable to 4011.10.10; 4011.20.10, and

• 9903.40.10 applicable to 4011.10.50 and 4011.20.50.

These subheadings have been programmed into ACS.

The new duties are in addition to those in column 1 general rate of duty and are imposed for a period of 3 years. For the first year, the additional duty shall be in the amount of 35 percent ad valorem above the column 1 general rate of duty. For the second year, the additional duty shall be in the amount of 30 percent ad valorem above the column 1 general rate of duty, and in the third year, the additional duty shall be in the amount of 25 percent ad valorem above the column 1 general rate of duty.

Thus, for Chinese origin new pneumatic tires, of rubber, of a kind used on motor cars (except racing cars) and on-the-highway light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles:

• Entered on or after September 26, 2009, through September 25, 2010, the additional duty is 35%;

• Entered on or after September 26, 2010, through September 25,2011, the additional duty is 30%;

• Entered on or after September 26,2011, through September 25, 2012, the additional duty is 25%.

The classification analysis to determine whether or not a good is classifiable in headings 9903.40.05 or 9903.40.10 is as follows:

• The good must be a new pneumatic tire of Chinese origin.

• The new pneumatic tire of Chinese origin must be of a kind used on motor cars (except racing cars), station wagons, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), vans, and on-the-highway light trucks.

Carborundum Factors:
The Court of International Trade has identified several factors which are indicative but not conclusive, to apply when determining whether merchandise falls within a particular class or kind. These factors include: general physical characteristics, the expectation of the ultimate purchaser, channels of trade, environment of sale (accompanying accessories, manner of advertisement and display), use in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class, economic practicality of so using the import, and recognition in the trade of this use. See United States v. Carborundum Co., 63 CCPA 98, C.A.D. 1172, 536 F. 2d 373 (1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 979. Application of the Carborundum factors, i.e., general physical characteristics, marketing information, expectations of the purchaser, and recognition of the trade as to the use of the product, to tires imported from China, will determine whether the tires are subject to the chapter 99 duties.

LT or P Designation:
Tires with an LT or P designation on the sidewall of the tire are within the chapter 99 designation. National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration regulations provide that a tire manufacturer may use an LT or a P symbol on the side wall of a tire to indicate that it is of the type that are to be mounted onto a light truck or passenger vehicle. See 49 CFR 571.139. These tires must meet certain physical requirements to be labeled with the LT or P labels. Thus, these tires are being specifically held out in the marketplace and are considered by industry to be tires of a kind to be mounted onto motor cars such as passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, and light trucks. These tires also have the general physical characteristics of tires that are to be mounted onto the vehicles noted above and they are specifically being marketed as these types of tires.

Load Range:
In the absence of the LT or P designation, the load range of a tire is useful when determining if a tire is of the class or kind to be classifiable in the new Chapter 99 provision is the load range of the tire. The load range of a tire indicates the weight that each tire can carry. Thus, a tire that can only carry the weight of a motor car, light truck, or van has the physical characteristics of a tire that is to be mounted onto these types of vehicles. Tires that are of the kind to be mounted onto a motor car may have the following load indications: Standard Load (SL), Light Load (LL), or Extra Load (XL).

An on-the-highway tire that is of the kind to be mounted onto trucks will have an alphabetical load range indicator. Generally, a tire that has a load range of A through E (or some other equivalent standard) has the physical characteristics of a tire that is of the class or kind to be mounted onto a light truck. Tires with a load range indication of F will require additional information such as marketing information, channels of trade, etc., to determine whether or not it is of the class or kind to be mounted onto a light truck. A tire with a load range of G or higher is generally not of the class or kind to be mounted onto a light truck.

Questions regarding the implementation of this additional duty should be directed here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

DHS Releases $380 Million for Ports, Transit, Security

(Journal of Commerce Online – John D. Boyd)

Recovery Act funds to prevent terrorism, boost economy, jobs

U.S. seaports are in line for another $150 million in federal security grants that can be used for worker identification measures and other projects, as part of $380 million in new Recovery Act grants released September 23 by the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the funding includes $72 million for transit agencies that can be used to beef up security in stations, high-density tunnels and for bridges. That comes at a time when security alerts have gone out this week for mass transit systems, after the arrest of suspects reportedly planning a terrorist attack. Read more here.

Canadian Intellectual Property Law for Dummies

(IE Canada)

Miltons IP (, an Ottawa-based intellectual property law firm, today announced the release of Canadian Intellectual Property Law For Dummies, co-authored by company founder, Neil Milton.

Data released last year indicates that Canada is faring poorly at commercializing intellectual property, when compared with its industrialized counterparts around the world. A report by the Conference Board of Canada on Innovation released in October 2008, ranked Canada 13th of 17 countries in triadic patents per million population, defined as “those submitted for the same invention to patent offices in the U.S., E.U., and Japan.” The report referred to patenting as “a means of gauging how well countries transform knowledge into useable inventions,” and recommended that if Canada is to improve its standing in the world, there must be “more invention and patenting of inventions at home, as well as more strategic patenting of inventions from elsewhere.”

“Countries like Sweden are filing patents and trademarks at a rate at least four times that of Canada, despite the fact that we’re an intelligent, industrialized nation,” said Neil Milton, author. “Part of the reason for this innovation gap is that individuals are daunted by intellectual property and unaware of how to protect their ideas and how to make money from them.

“If we can provide Canadian small business owners and inventors with a solid understanding of the basics of intellectual property, more will take action to protect their IP and exercise their rights, which is good not only for the individual, but the Canadian economy as a whole.”

Miltons IP joined together with Wiley, the publisher of the popular For Dummies reference book series to create a resource for Canadians that outlines core intellectual property rights, how to make money from IP (whether your own or others), and a series of checklists.

The book contains a primer on the various types of intellectual property assets, from patents and trademarks, to copyrights and industrial designs. Each of the introductory chapters deals with one type of protection, provides definitions, pros and cons and instructs how to protect one’s IP rights. Later chapters discuss how to profit from IP and how to enforce one’s IP rights. A chapter on deriving income from someone else’s IP through licensing follows later in the book, with the final chapter dispelling some common misconceptions about IP.

Export Development Canada, Canada’s export credit agency that provides financing, insurance and risk management solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business, recognizes the need for such a resource and will be distributing the book to its clients in the information and communications technology and light manufacturing sectors.

Canadian Intellectual Property Law For Dummies is not available in stores. Rather, it is available free of charge through Site visitors enter their mailing address on the site and can expect to receive their copy by mail within 10 business days.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Minister Day Announces Free Trade Talks with Ukraine

(Minister of International Trade)

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the launch of talks between Canada and Ukraine on a free trade agreement (FTA).

“Our government is once again taking action to open doors for Canadian business in new markets,” said Minister Day. “Canadian companies are steadily building a deep business presence here in areas like aerospace, communications technologies and in agriculture. Free trade negotiations could help to extend our deepening partnership. We know the support is there – on both sides.”

Minister Day made the announcement with Ukraine’s Minister of Economics, Bohdan Danylyshyn, right after the negotiations with the Ministry of Economics. Both Canada and Ukraine have agreed to meet in the coming months to discuss a range of trade and investment issues to facilitate economic relations and fight protectionism.

An FTA with Ukraine could further open markets for Canadian exports ranging from agricultural and seafood products to machinery and pharmaceuticals. It could also help to address non-tariff barriers.

Free trade agreements also help to strengthen the Canadian economy, to create new jobs and to lower prices for Canadian consumers.

Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, and is home to a highly educated population of 46 million, a diversified industrial base and substantial natural resources. Canadian merchandise exports to Ukraine in 2008 totalled $229.7 million, an 80% increase from the year before and a 400% jump from 2004. In 2008, agricultural and aerospace machinery topped the list of Canadian exports.

New Chief for Customs and Border Protection

(Washington Post – Spencer S. Hsu)

President Obama plans to nominate Alan Bersin, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s adviser for U.S.-Mexico border issues, to be commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officials said.

Administration officials notified members of Congress of the plan to shift Bersin from his role as the secretary’s special representative for border affairs to CBP commissioner. Bersin will remain in the Homeland Security Department, but his new assignment unlike his current post requires Senate confirmation.

CBP is the nation’s front-line border agency, including among its nearly 52,000 workers the U.S. Border Patrol, air and marine units and customs officers.

Bersin has served as California education secretary, San Diego schools superintendent, and U.S. attorney for southern California under the Clinton administration. From 1995 to 1998, he was the attorney general’s southwest border representative, coordinating law enforcement issues between the United States and Mexico.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CSMS# 09-000310 - Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCS)


The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) was enacted into law June 22, 2009. FSPTCA gives FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. This authority over tobacco products is currently limited to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.

Effective Tuesday, September 22, 2009, FDA will begin determining the admissibility of regulated tobacco products. To allow for electronic processing of entries, FDA and CBP have worked together to update the FD Flags for the appropriate tariff codes in HTSUS Chapter 24, which will be effective September 22, 2009. Additionally, FDA Product Codes for tobacco products have been developed and will be available for entry filers to use as of September 22, 2009.

Of particular note to importers is a section of the Act which takes effect Tuesday, September 22, 2009: a ban on all flavored cigarettes (excluding menthol). FDA intends to begin enforcement of this provision on Tuesday, September 22, 2009; when imported or offered for import, flavored cigarette products (excluding menthol-only flavored cigarettes) are subject to refusal of admission into the US. A letter regarding flavored cigarettes, from FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products to the regulated industry, can be found at the following internet link.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Government of Canada Investing in Canada Brand Marketing Initiative

(Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada)

The Government of Canada is investing $32 million in the Canada Brand initiative to put the maple leaf brand on the top quality products Canadian farmers grow and increase sales around the world.

“Canadian farmers want to make their living in the marketplace and buyers around the world are looking for the premium products the maple leaf has come to symbolize,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment is going to help Canadian farmers drive market research and promotional campaigns to maximize opportunities around the world.”

The Canada Brand initiative will fund market analysis, advertising campaigns and public opinion research that will promote Canada’s safe, top quality agriculture. The Canada Brand initiative will work in lockstep with industry as a springboard to complement the successes already achieved in key markets.

“By more actively promoting the strengths and benefits of the Canada Brand, the Government will be complementing the individual marketing efforts of specific agriculture and food sectors in order to open more doors and increase sales,” said Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), Jean-Pierre Blackburn.

Canada Brand is the third program delivered from the $500 million AgriFlexibility fund that was part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The AgriFlexibility fund was created to help reduce costs of production and improve environmental sustainability for the sector; promote value-chain innovation and sectoral adaptation; and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges for the sector. The AgriFlexibility fund is now accepting new project proposals from provincial governments and the agricultural industry.

To find out more information about Canada Brand, please email

For further details on AgriFlexibility, visit

For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit

C-TPAT Information Update: Enforcement and Appeal Process


The C-TPAT program is one layer in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. Through this program, CBP works with the trade community in adopting tighter security measures throughout their international supply chains. In exchange for adopting these stronger security practices and after verification by CBP that the measures are in place, CBP generally affords C-TPAT members reduced inspections. C-TPAT is a voluntary program with a “trust but verify” focus and, as such, the program must take immediate action to suspend or remove members that are not in compliance with the program’s minimum security criteria. This informational notice outlines the program’s enforcement and appeal process.

C-TPAT members may be suspended or removed from the program for several reasons including, but not limited to, the following: narcotics seizures or other security related incidents such as human smuggling; failed validations or lack of compliance with C-TPAT requirements regarding supply chain or other security measures; failure to provide required information or filing false or misleading information; or actions or inaction that shows a lack of commitment to the program.

The C-TPAT Headquarters (HQ) Program Director makes the final decision to suspend or remove a member based on all available information, including reports and recommendations made by C-TPAT Field Managers. In certain aggravated circumstances companies may be immediately removed from the program, for example, when they are found to have provided false information, have demonstrated inadequate security, or have demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the program’s requirements. In other instances, which may not be as egregious, but are nonetheless significant, a company may be suspended from C-TPAT with an opportunity to resume membership once it comes into compliance with program requirements.

Once a security related incident or other program violation occurs, C-TPAT officials determine the appropriate next steps on a case-by-case basis. These steps normally include suspending benefits such as FAST lane access and allowances in the risk assessment process, as well as conducting a post incident analysis to determine the circumstances that led to the violation.

To be reinstated into the program after an incident or violation, the company must agree to a corrective action plan which identifies specific objectives and time frames within which those objectives should be reached. In addition, the company must consent to un-announced visits by C-TPAT staff to monitor progress. In the case of a failed validation, the company must demonstrate that it has successfully addressed all vulnerabilities and complied with all other requirements before being fully reinstated.

Companies that are suspended or removed may appeal this decision to CBP HQ. Appeals should include all relevant information which demonstrates how the company has addressed the issues which resulted in the suspension or removal, or provide corrected factual information in the case where a company claims that a mistake of fact or other misunderstanding has resulted in the suspension or removal. CBP will decide the appeal in a timely fashion.

To avoid suspension or removal, C-TPAT members must ensure they are in full compliance with the minimum security criteria and be cognizant of, and responsive to, mandated timeframes established by CBP. To view the C-TPAT minimum security criteria, please visit:

NOTE: as specifically provided for in the SAFE Port Act, nothing in these procedures limit the ability of the Commissioner to take actions to protect the national security of the United States.

C-TPAT members may address specific questions to their assigned SCSS and non-members may contact the C-TPAT HQ at

Friday, September 18, 2009

CFIA: Changes to Import Notification Requirements


As part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to food safety, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is initiating new import notification requirements for selected commodities regulated under the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations.

The intent of this initiative is to improve the availability of information to assist in the identification and tracking of food products in the event of a food safety issue and is not designed nor intended to impede the trade of safe food products.

In order to facilitate this initiative, the new import notification requirements will be implemented in a phased-in approach starting with 14 priority commodities. These commodities will be coded using the International Harmonized System code (HS code) and CFIA’s Automated Imported Reference System (AIRS) Codes.

The commodities identified in Table 2 and their corresponding HS codes will be added to the CFIA’s HS Code Filter List. This will require importers to identify these products by using the HS Code and CFIA AIRS extension as outlined in Table 2. Additional commodities will be added in future in priority sequence. The latest CFIA HS Code filter list is available here.

Effective March 15, 2010, Importers/Brokers will be expected to notify the CFIA of the commodities listed in Table 2 via the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) using the updated HS codes and CFIA AIRS extension. Failure to do so may result in CBSA rejecting the release request.

The extended implementation time is designed to allow those importers/brokers who currently do not have an EDI profile to apply for one, and to develop and test the compatibility of their data systems with the CFIA. To obtain an EDI profile, importers/brokers are required to complete the application and testing processes with both CBSA ACROSS Phase III and then with the CFIA. The CFIA Automated Import System (AIS) Participant’s Information Document provides more information on EDI and becoming a CFIA EDI client.

To obtain a copy of this document:
CFIA EDI Coordinator:
Phone: 613-773-5322

Any questions regarding this notice should be directed to the Area Import Coordinator in your region. Their contact information is in Table 1.

Criticism Prompts Napolitano to Halt Border Projects

(Phoenix Business Journal – Mike Sunnucks)

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is putting a halt to border construction projects funded by the federal stimulus following questions about how money is being spent, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan criticized stimulus spending on ports of entry from Canada. He also questioned plans to spend $355 million to build new ports of entry at 22 locations along the Canadian border, saying some of those have minimal traffic and security challenges compared with sites along the Mexican border.

“On average, the ports see only five vehicles per hour and yet the proposed plan is to spend an average of $16 million per facility,” said Dorgan in a statement. “It just defies common sense.” Dorgan pointed to Antler, N.D., which he said sees two trucks and 36 passenger cars per day. The Antler location is slated to be demolished and rebuilt at a cost of $14 million. “I support efforts to boost security on our northern border, but we need to do it in a way that is fiscally responsible and follows some principles of common sense,” Dorgan said. “We can do some upgrades, but we don’t need to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace the existing facilities at ports of entry that see only a few vehicles every hour. That’s just nuts.” Read more here.

Government Plans Further Tariff Relief to Benefit Canadian Businesses

(Department of Finance)

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced public consultations on the Government's intention to eliminate all remaining tariffs on imported machinery and equipment and manufacturing inputs used by Canadian industry. The consultations will run until November 6.

“In Budget 2009, our Government unilaterally eliminated tariffs on a wide range of machinery and equipment, lowering business costs by an estimated $440 million over five years,” said Minister Flaherty. “The tariff relief initiative now being considered follows from our Economic Action Plan in January and would reduce production costs even further, providing both a short-term boost and a long-term competitive edge for Canadian industry.”

“It also demonstrates, once again, Canada's solid commitment to open global markets. Should the proposed cuts be implemented, Canada would boast a tariff-free environment for imported inputs and machinery used by Canadian enterprises. Along with a world-leading financial system and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 in 2010, it adds up to a compelling Canadian advantage.”

The consultations are a follow-up to commitments made in Budget 2009 to identify additional areas where tariff relief could be provided. The tariff relief under consideration would benefit a broad range of manufacturing industries.

Full details on the public consultations can be found in the September 19, 2009 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

U.S. Customs Import Security Filing Initiative Hits Stride and a Few Bumps

(Jessica Paviluk — LOG-NET, Inc. Via PR Newswire)

Importer compliance volume is growing rapidly while responses and reporting issues grow with CBP

The volume of importers electronically filing advanced information to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the Department of Homeland Security is growing rapidly as the deadline for compliance looms, advised LOG-NET, Inc., a leading international supply chain software and service provider. The Importer Security Filing (ISF) initiative requires importers to provide significant advance information about the parties involved in import transactions to enable security screening before cargo is loaded to a vessel. Penalties for non-compliant importers begin in January 2010. The industry has been aggressively retooling centuries old trade practices in order to get the information to the CBP prior to loading the cargo for U.S. shores.

Average processing speeds decrease In the past month, increases in volume seem to have slowed the responsiveness of the CBP. Response to electronic filings had the following performance via the LOG-NET system:

Average Time for CBP to respond:
1.81 minutes, up from 1.76 minutes in the prior month

Median Time for CBP to respond:
1.83 minutes, up from 1.80 minutes in the prior month

Fastest Response Time:
17 seconds, up from 11 seconds last month

Slowest Response Time:
4.86 minutes, down from 14.9 minutes

The continuous improvement in the slowest response time was significant as it shows CBP reducing system exceptions that delay replies. However, this improvement should have allowed average responses to improve in speed and it did not. While CBP continues to keep their commitment to responding within 2 minutes, the slight increase in response time is worth watching as full volumes begin over the coming months.

Delays in report improvements begin to cause increased frustration among importers

As importers focus on the timeliness of the information, reporting to the CBP has had some shortcomings that continue to go unaddressed. Monthly report cards issued to the trade are designed to enable importers to determine the volume and timeliness of their compliance. The most recent round of reports was issued on September 8th to the importers who are filing.

Timeliness, per the regulations, is based on the time the ISF is submitted in advance of being laden aboard the vessel departing for the United States. CBP is presently reporting the time the importer files the ISF versus the time the carrier files the Bill of Lading. Carriers are under similar pressure to transmit their manifest of Bills of Ladings to the CBP. This subtlety of reporting on the Bill of Lading filing date instead of the sailing, or lading, date will cause some importers who have complied with the regulation to appear to have filed late. It is hoped that the CBP will improve this reporting in the future.

Enterprise logistics software, such as LOG-NET, maintains cross references between documents, shipments, filings, and orders and can benchmark compliance of both the importer and the CBP.

Importers should not delay in implementing the requirements of this regulation
Many importers are still not filing their ISF information. This data is vital for maintaining a resilient international trade system. With solutions like LOG-NET that make the process easy and efficient, there is no reason to delay.

In general the CBP has been doing an outstanding job of promoting the initiative and holds outreach programs throughout the country. With the Thanksgiving and holiday season approaching, there is limited time to get processes in place even if the technology is readily available and relatively inexpensive.

[Source and website]

Note: The foregoing is presented for information purposes only. GHY International does not necessarily endorse or recommend the product(s) referenced in this article.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Buy America Laws to Drag Down Canadian Recovery Next Year: Report

(The Canadian Press – Julian Beltrame)

Buy America restrictions in the massive U.S. stimulus package could be sufficiently punitive to keep Canada’s economy from a more robust recovery next year, a new economic outlook says. The CIBC report argues that Canada will largely miss out on the benefits of the U.S. recovery next year because most of the activity is being generated by government stimulus.

“Much of the U.S. growth in 2010 will be generated from government stimulus on projects where Buy America provisions shut the door on Canadian suppliers, or in sectors like education that don’t benefit Canadian industry,” said chief economist Avery Shenfeld.

The CIBC has upgraded its forecast for the Canadian economy next year by half-a-point to two per cent growth, but that is still a full percentage point less than the Bank of Canada estimate.

The key difference in the forecasts, says Shenfeld, is that the central bank has built in a substantially bigger bounce for Canada’s export sector, a pop he maintains won’t happen because of Buy America and other provisions of the stimulus program. “In a normal year Buy America provisions might not bite that much because the U.S. economy would be growing on several channels, but in the case of 2010, with a lot of the growth coming out of that stimulus, that will be one reason why we may underperform,” he explained. Read more here.

Customs Notice CN09-021: Highway Sufferance Warehouse Closure, Cranbrook, BC


1. The purpose of this notice is to advise that, effective September 4, 2009, Mohawk Terminals Ltd., located at 246 Slater Road, Cranbrook, BC will be surrendering their highway sufferance warehouse licence.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has decided not to advertise for a new highway sufferance warehouse at this port.

2. Therefore, as of September 5, 2009, all bonded highway carriers transporting in-bond commercial freight destined for clearance at the Cranbrook port should report to an alternate highway sufferance warehouse.

Please direct any questions concerning this notice to:

Anthony Krilow
A/Manager, Program and Communications Division
Pacific Region
Canada Border Services Agency
607-333 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 5R4
Telephone: 604-666-082

Extension of the B2 Pilot Project


CBSA has advised that the B2 pilot project has been extended until 31 December, 2009. CSCB are in the process of finalizing an assessment of the pilot and a decision is expected shortly.

GTA will continue to process all B2 requests from the Prairie region, with the following exceptions:

1. B2 requests that are pertinent to a Compliance Verification Services verification (multi-program or single program) initiated in the Prairie Region. These claims should be directed to the Senior Officer Trade Compliance (SOTC) or responsible office in the Prairie region;

2. Blanket B2 claims where the books and records of the importer are situated in the the Prairie region;

3. Blanket B2 claims that have been authorized by the Prairie Region; and

4. Section 60 B2 claims for Recourse.

All other B2s can be sent to:

Canada Border Services Agency
CV & S Services
Attention: B2 Processing
55 Town Centre Court, Suite 718
Scarborough, ON M1P 4X4

Please note that CBSA in the Prairie region will continue to forward B2s that are submitted in that region.

Regional contacts for this pilot are:

Doreen Maybee
Director, Client Services, GTA Region

Jim ClarkDirector,
Trade Compliance, Prairie Region

Additional questions, or requests for clarification, can be directed to Carol Ann Driscoll, Manager, Commercial Compliance at 613-954-6373 or

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trade Deficit Hits $1.43B in July

(CBC/Statistics Canada)

Canada recorded a $1.43-billion trade deficit with the rest of the world in July as imports rose faster than exports, Statistics Canada said Thursday. But analysts were quick to say the report is good news for the Canadian economy.

The agency said imports rose 8.3% from the previous month to $31.7 billion – mainly because of a 9.9% gain in imports from the U.S. Exports climbed 3.3% to $30.3 billion. July’s $1.43 billion trade deficit compares to a revised surplus of $37 million in June.

The agency said the gain in imports halted four straight months of decline and was the result of an 8.7% rise in volumes as prices slipped 0.4%. Shipments of machinery and equipment, automotive products and energy products were the main drivers of import growth. The growth in exports was attributable to a 5.9% increase in volumes. Prices fell 2.4%. Read more here.

Summary statistics and a link to the data files are on the Statistics Canada website at website. Export and import price indexes can be viewed here.


July Trade Deficit Climbs 16.3% to $32 Billion
(The Associated Press)

The U.S. trade deficit shot up in July to the highest level in six months as a surge in shipments of foreign oil and autos pushed imports up by a record amount. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the trade deficit rose 16.3% to $32 billion in July, much larger than the $27.4 billion imbalance that economists had expected. It was the largest imbalance since January and the percentage increase was the biggest in more than a decade. Read more here.

Red Ink Swamps Harper
(Toronto Star)

Ottawa’s finances are in much worse shape than previously forecast and the Conservatives no longer have any idea when they can balance the books.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday warned Canadians of painful spending restraints to deal with up to 10 years of deficits. Read more here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Asia Gets More Canadian Trade Officials at Europe’s Expense

(Embassy – Lee Berthiaume)

While applauding the government’s decision to bolster its trade commissioner ranks in Asia over the past two years, business associations are lamenting the fact the increase has come at the expense of other regions.

At the same time, given the state of the world economy, there are calls for the government to increase funding to trade promotion items like trade commissioners, which are considered extremely useful to exporting businesses. [...]

According to Embassy's figures, the government has increased the number of trade officials posted abroad by 12 over the past two years, bringing the total to 944.

Asia was quite clearly the biggest beneficiary, having seen 23 new trade officials on the continent, reflecting the government's focus on China and India, in particular. Latin America, another government priority, and the Middle East each saw increases of five.

On the other side, Europe and North America each lost 10 trade officials, while Africa stayed fairly steady, losing only one. Read more here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FDA Opens the Reportable Food Registry Electronic Portal for Industry

(FlexNews – USFDA)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a new way to head off potential cases of foodborne illness – the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) , where food industry officials must use to alert the FDA quickly, through an electronic portal when they find their products might sicken or kill people or animals.

The requirement, a result of legislation, took effect with the launch of the portal.

Facilities that manufacture, process or hold food for consumption in the United States now must tell the FDA within 24 hours if they find a reasonable probability that an article of food will cause severe health problems or death to a person or an animal.

The reporting requirement applies to all foods and animal feed regulated by the FDA, except infant formula and dietary supplements, which are covered by other regulatory requirements. Some examples of reasons a food may be reportable include bacterial contamination, allergen mislabeling or elevated levels of certain chemical components.

The opening of the RFR electronic portal reflects a fundamental principle of the President’s Food Safety Working Group that “preventing harm to consumers is our first priority.” Read more here.

CPSC Delays Reporting Deadline [Bicycles]

(Bicycle Retailer – Nicole Formosa)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has delayed the deadline for bicycle manufacturers to file reports detailing the lead content in their children’s products until October 9.

The deadline was initially set for the end of August, but the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association lobbied the Commission for an extension due to uncertainty as to which components needed to be included in the report. In a 5-0 vote, the Commission agreed last week to grant the request.

The report is required by manufacturers who want to take advantage of the two-year stay of enforcement for a strict new lead limit, as dictated by the Consumer Product Safety Information Act. The law eventually limits the amount of lead in children’s products to 100 parts per million.

The stay specifies that each manufacturer covered by the stay must file a report with the Commission identifying each model of bicycle produced between May 1, 2008 and May 1, 2009, and each component on that bicycle that is accessible to children, the material used for each part and the lead content in parts per million. Suppliers must also explain what their plans are to change the lead content in those products and what the scientific basis is to use a material that includes lead for a particular component. Read more here.

Challenging “Buy National” Clauses under BITs

(Bridges Monthly – Marie Wilke)

The ‘buy national’ clauses that numerous governments have included in their economic stimulus packages are causing growing concern. For many developing countries, bilateral investment treaties may be the best option for legal recourse against such provisions.

Despite their likely trade-distorting effects, buy national requirements appear to be consistent with WTO rules on trade in goods and services (the GATT and the GATS), although they may well breach commitments made under the plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). The GPA, however, applies to signatories only, which leaves the many developing countries that have refrained from joining the agreement without a possibility for legal recourse. For emerging markets, such as Argentina, Brazil and India, this causes major distress.

Turning away from the multilateral trading system, about 2,800 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) that provide for investor-state arbitration in international fora, such as the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), might serve as a basis for legal challenges. It is conceivable that investors engaged in the importation of products manufactured abroad, possibly even directly involved in bidding processes for government procurement contracts, will challenge buy national clauses under bilateral investment agreements with reference to (i) the substantive assurance of national treatment and (ii) the general principle of fair and equitable treatment. Read more here.

Railways Cast Doubt on ‘Green Shoots Thing’

(The Globe and Mail – Brent Jang)

North America’s leading railways, seen as barometers of economic health because of the goods they haul, don’t see a quick recovery in the works.

Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. CP-T said yesterday [Tuesday] it has seen no evidence of the recession’s bottom, while Montreal-based Canadian National Railway Co. CNR-T fears a false start in the path toward recovery or a double dip, where previous lows will be tested. […]

In the first eight months of this year, the continent’s major freight carriers saw their carloads decrease an average 19.4%, compared with the same period in 2008. The pace of traffic decline is slowing, however, with carloads down 15.7% in the last week of August, compared with the same week last year. As recently as May, carloads fell more than 25% from a year earlier. Read more here.

Confidential Verdict by WTO; Could Affect Canada’s Aerospace Industry

(Francois Shalon — Montreal Gazette)

No one is saying a word – not Boeing, not Airbus, not the U.S., nor any European government – about a confidential ruling on aircraft subsidies that was handed out Friday to a tightly restricted circle and marked for their eyes only.

But whatever is in that 1,000-page World Trade Organization verdict will almost certainly have important repercussions on Canada's large aerospace industry. In particular, the ruling might force changes in how governments – especially Ottawa and Quebec – fund programs for the Montreal mainframers, notably Bombardier Inc., but also Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bell Helicopter and CAE Inc.

The issue is one of the most complex and lengthy cases the WTO or its predecessor has heard, and it concerns mutual accusations between Boeing Co. and Airbus – or more accurately, between the U.S. and the European Union – about alleged unfair and damaging subsidies to those two companies. Read more here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prime Minister Delivers Sault Bridge Plaza Funds

(Northern Ontario Business)

Funds have finally arrived to rebuild the Canada Customs plaza at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Transport Minister John Baird were in the Sault, Sept. 2, to deliver $44 million from the Gateways and Border Crossings infrastructure fund.

The money will be used to expand and redesign the plaza including a new traffic building, inspection booths and lanes for commercial and private vehicles. The project will begin this fall and be completed by 2014.

“This bridge is the tangible link with our American neighbours and the pathway for friends, commerce and tourism,” said Sault MP Tony Martin in a statement.

The bridge is jointly owned and operated by the State of Michigan and the St. Mary’s River Bridge Corporation, a subsidiary of the Federal Bridge Corporation. Read more here.

Protectionism Is Growing, World Trade to Slow Further: WTO

(ICTSD- Bridges Monthly)

The third WTO report on trade-related measures taken by Members in response to the economic crisis found a growing trend toward protectionism and predicted that the volume of global exports and imports would decline by 10% in 2009.

“In the past three months there has been further slippage towards more trade restricting and distorting policies, but resort to high intensity protectionist measures has been contained overall, albeit with difficulties,” the report noted. Between 1 March and 19 June, a total of 119 new trade measures were notified to the WTO, with trade-restrictive or -distorting measures outpacing trade-liberalising action by a factor of two.

Anti-dumping and safeguard investigations are up, as are new tariffs and non-tariff measures, the report said. The sectors most affected include agriculture, and dairy in particular, iron and steel, motor vehicles and parts, chemicals and plastics, as well as textiles and clothing. Read more here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tariff Schedule on NAFTA Rules of Origin, Israeli Farm Goods Amended

(White House via WTI)

President Obama has issued a proclamation amending the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. to reflect numerous changes to the rules of origin under NAFTA as well as the duty-free treatment afforded to certain agricultural products from Israel.

Presidential proclamation 8097 of December 29, 2006, modified the HTSUS to reflect amendments to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and to ensure the continuation of the staged duty rate reductions under NAFTA for originating goods of Mexico in tariff categories that were affected by those amendments.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have now agreed to modify certain NAFTA rules of origin to ensure that the tariff and certain other treatment accorded to originating goods will continue to be provided under the tariff categories that were modified in proclamation 8097. This proclamation will implement these changes, which are detailed in annexes I and II in the attached report from the International Trade Commission, with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after October 2.

In addition, this proclamation makes certain technical amendments to the HTSUS, detailed in annex III of the attached ITC report, that are necessary to conform it to the Harmonized System.

Finally, this proclamation modifies the HTSUS, as detailed in annex IV of the attached ITC report, to reflect the duty-free treatment provided to specified quantities of certain agricultural products of Israel through Dec. 31, 2009, pursuant to the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement and a 2004 bilateral agreement on trade in agricultural products.

Backpedaling, China Eases Proposal to Ban Exports of Some Vital Minerals

(Story: New York Times • Video: World Focus Online)

Chinese officials said on Thursday that they would not entirely ban exports of two minerals vital to manufacturing hybrid cars, cellphones, large wind turbines, missiles and computer monitors, although they would tightly regulate production.

China produces more than 99% of the world’s supply of dysprosium and terbium, two rare minerals essential to recent breakthroughs in high-technology industries.

A bureaucratic reshuffling in Beijing this year prompted a review of Chinese policy, and regulations were drafted that would ban the export of these minerals. That incited anger and dismay from Western governments and multinational companies that depend on Chinese supplies.Read more here.

Implementation of Revised Lacey Act Provisions

(USDA/APHIS via World Trade Interactive)

Declaration Enforcement Postponed for Numerous Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has issued a notice modifying the schedule of enforcement of the import declaration requirement under the Lacey Act amendments. This modification postpones enforcement for numerous products. Comments on this action are due by Nov. 2 (refer to APHIS-2008-0119 for contact details).

Under the Lacey Act amendments included in the 2008 Farm Bill, imports of certain plants and plant products must be accompanied by an import declaration that contains, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, the value of the importation, the quantity of the plant and the name of the country from where the plant was harvested. For paper and paperboard products containing recycled content, the declaration also must include the average percent of recycled content without regard for species or country of harvest. USDA began phasing in its enforcement of this requirement in December 2008.

After a review of comments received, further internal consideration and experience with implementation of the first phase of enforcement of the declaration requirement, the USDA has revised the phase-in schedule as follows. USDA emphasizes, however, that Lacey Act amendment provisions other than the import declaration are already effective and that actions to enforce those provisions may be taken at any time.

Revised List for Phase III

Phase III, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, now covers only items classified in the following HTSUS headings.

• 4402 (wood charcoal)
• 4412 (plywood, veneered panels), except 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57
• 4414 (wooden frames)
• 4419 (tableware and kitchenware)
• 4420 (wood marquetry, caskets, statuettes)

Revised List for Phase IV

Phase IV, scheduled to begin April 1, 2010, has been substantially revised and now covers the following HTSUS headings.

• 4421 (other articles of wood)
• 6602 (walking sticks, whips, crops)
• 8201 (hand tools)
• 9201 (pianos)
• 9202 (other stringed instruments)
• 9302 (revolvers and pistols)
• 9305.10.20 (parts and accessories for revolvers and pistols)
• 9401.69 (seats with wood frames)
• 9504.20 (articles and accessories for billiards)
• 9703 (sculptures)

Future Changes

USDA states that there will be no further additions to phases III or IV and that it intends to provide at least six months’ notice to persons and industries affected by any future changes to facilitate compliance with the new requirements.

In addition, USDA is seeking comments on the following HTSUS headings currently under consideration for subsequent enforcement phases that would be scheduled to begin on or after Sept. 1, 2010.

• 4405 (wood wool [excelsior])
• 4410 (particle board)
• 4411 (fiberboard of wood)
• 4412 (plywood, including 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57)
• 4413 (densified wood)
• 4415 (packing cases, boxes, crates, drums)
• 4416 (casks, barrels, vats, tubs)
• 4701 (mechanical wood pulp)
• 4702 (chemical wood pulp, dissolving)
• 4703 (chemical wood pulp, sulfate)
• 4704 (chemical wood pulp, sulfite)
• 4705 (combination mechanical and chemical)
• 4801 (newsprint)
• 4802 (uncoated writing paper)
• 4803 (toilet or facial tissue stock)
• 4804 (uncoated kraft paper)
• 4805 (other uncoated paper and board)
• 4806 (vegetable parchment, etc.)
• 4807 (composite paper and board)
• 4808 (corrugated paper and board)
• 4809 (carbon paper)
• 4810 (coated paper and board)
• 4811 (paper coated, etc.)
• 6601 (umbrellas)
• 6603 (umbrella parts)
• 9205 (wind musical instruments)
• 9401 (seats)
• 9403.30 (wooden office furniture)
• 9403.40 (wooden kitchen furniture)
• 9403.50 (wooden bedroom furniture)
• 9403.60 (other wooden furniture)
• 9403.81 (furniture of cane, osier, bamboo, rattan or similar materials)
• 9504 (articles for arcade, table or parlor games)

Finally, USDA continues to consider the applicability of the import declaration requirement to other products not included in the revised phase-in schedule or listed above and seeks comment on how this requirement should be enforced as to additional goods classified under the following HTSUS chapters.

• chapter 48 (paper and articles of)
• chapter 82 (tools, implements)
• chapter 89 (ships, boats and floating structures)
• chapter 93 (arms and ammunition)
• chapter 94 (furniture, etc.)
• chapter 95 (toys, games and sporting equipment)
• chapter 96 (brooms, pencils, buttons)

Enforcement Delayed for Composite, Recycled, Reused Materials

Several commenters contended that identifying composite and recycled or reused materials (e.g., medium density fiberboard, particleboard and scrap wood) to the genus and/or species level would be difficult and in some cases impossible. In response to those comments, USDA has decided to further delay enforcement of the declaration requirement for these products so that it would begin no earlier than Sept. 1, 2010.

Use of Spp. to Identify Species of Imported Plants

Several commenters proposed that USDA allow for importers to provide only the genus name in circumstances where the individual species would be difficult to identify. USDA has responded by stating that in circumstances where the list of possible species in a particular product includes all species in a genus, it is acceptable to use “spp.” following the genus name on the import declaration form. However, when reference to all possible species in a genus is not accurate (based on geographical or other factors), importers are expected to provide either the single genus and species or a specific list on the import declaration form of all possible species that may have been used to produce the plant product.

Federal Register Reference: Implementation of Revised Lacey Act Provisions, September 2, 2009 available here (PDF).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CFIB August 2009 SME Business Outlook Survey


Small business confidence has taken a clear upward turn in August, according to the latest CFIB survey findings. After mediocre results in June and July, the Business Barometer® index climbed to 65.4, its highest level in two years. The improvement is broad based across industries and regions, suggesting that the economy is finally making its first tentative steps toward recovery.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing.

The full report is available on the CFIB website here (PDF).

Global Recession Ending: OECD

(Reuters – Brian Love)

The global recession is coming to an end faster than thought a few months ago and may already be over, but recovery will rely on massive government spending and low interest rates for some time, the OECD said on Thursday.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development issued forecasts showing a broad return to economic expansion in the third quarter of 2009. It also said that while authorities needed to map out a strategy for withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus once recovery was surer, now was no time to economies off life support.

Read the complete article here. Click here for the OECD document and the press conference.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New on CBP Website: “Are My Goods Subject to Quota?”


Import quotas control the amount or volume of various commodities that can be imported into the United States during a specified period of time. Quotas are established by legislation and Presidential proclamations issued pursuant to specific legislation and provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

There are three types of quotas: absolute, tariff-rate, and tariff preference level. Absolute quotas strictly limit the quantity of goods that may enter the commerce of the United States for a specific period. Currently, no goods are subject to absolute quota restrictions. Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) permit a specified quantity of imported merchandise to be entered at a reduced rate of duty during the quota period. Once the tariff-rate quota limit is reached, goods may still be entered but at a higher rate of duty. Many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other special trade legislation establish Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs) that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) administers like tariff rate quotas.

Click here for information to assist in determining whether merchandise is subject to quota restrictions as well as links to relevant references.

Compliance Failures Could Cost U.S. Importers Dearly in 2010

(eyefortransport – Matt Gersper, Global Data Mining)

Failure to comply with the Importer Security Filing (ISF) regulations could cause delays and fines that spell financial disaster for unprepared US businesses, says Matt Gersper, founder & president of Global Data Mining.

Gersper says there are three major reasons why business leaders should make sure that their companies are compliant, and each reason has a direct bottom-line impact.

• The risk of significant penalties for non-compliance: According to the ISF regulations, commonly referred to as 10+2, effective January 26 next year, an importer can be fined $5,000 per filing if an ISF is late, incomplete or inaccurate, and up to $10,000 per filing for two or more violations.

• Custom & Border Protection’s (CBP’s) renewed commitment to trade law enforcement and accurate revenue collection, which is the U.S. government’s No.2 strategic goal – ahead of improving national and economic security.

• The impact of supply chain delays: according to a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the ISF regulation will create a permanent 2.8 day delay in supply chain speed.

Research into the current state of ISF compliance and the impact this regulation has (and will have) on the supply chain reveals that:

• Providing timely ISF data is a challenge for nearly 60% of companies

• Collecting complete ISF data is a struggle for nearly 40%

• Around 20% have problems with the accuracy of the data they provide

These are the very three issues causing penalties to be assessed. Read more here.

Registering Technology Import Contracts in China: The How and The Why

(Mondaq – Bernd-Uwe Stucken et al., Salans)

Technology import contracts are contracts that involve the import of technology (“Technology Import Contract” or “Contract”) and include standard intellectual property rights licence contracts, technical service contracts, technical consultancy agreements and cooperative contracts for development, production and/or research. Agreements involving cross-border research and development that lead to the import of technology are also generally regarded as Technology Import Contracts.

Go here for more information on Import Control on Technology, and Practical Steps for Registration with COFTEC and the Chinese Tax Bureau.

Revised: Customs Self-Assessment Program Importer Part II Application


Revised application form is on the CBSA website here (PDF).