LA/LB Seaport’s new rules for FDA refused merchandise

fdalogoUS Customs’ Los Angeles Field Office has released a Public Bulletin announcing revised port procedures for disposition of merchandise refused by FDA, which will be overseen by the newly created Federal Destruction and Redelivery Team (Team FDR).  Key points are as follows:

  • All merchandise refused by the FDA must be exported or destroyed under CBP and FDA supervision within 90 days of the refusal date.
  • Instead of receiving a separate CBPF 4647 and the Notice of FDA Action (Refusal), the importer will now receive a new combined “Refusal Redelivery Notice” (RRN).
  • The RRN is the Notice of Refusal stamped by CBP to indicated redelivery.  A cover sheet with port specific instructions for exportation or destruction of FDA refused merchandise will be included.

The Public Bulletin also details the specific procedures for merchandise for exportation as well as merchandise for destruction (for both seaport shipments and air shipments).

The Public Bulletin can be found here:  LA15-005 (Updated) Los Angeles Field Office Procedures for CBP-FDA Refused Merchandise



Shippers: December 26 deemed a federal holiday

december26Per CSMS #14-000631, President Obama signed an Executive Order designating Friday, December 26, 2014 as a federal holiday.  US Customs advises entry summary filers as follows:

Statements that are due on Friday, December 26, 2014 may be paid electronically prior to December 29, 2014.  Entry summaries and statements due on Friday, December 26, 2014 may be presented and paid on Monday, December 29, 2014, without penalty.




A change on ISF bonds… and eBonds coming soon

seal_acePer CSMS #14-000637, US Customs is eliminating the late ISF submission exemption from bond requirements:

“Effective January 10, 2015, late ISF submissions will no longer be exempt from the bond requirement and most ISF transactions will require a bond when they are filed.  To avoid delay or examination upon arrival, importers should ensure that bonds are in place to cover the ISF transaction prior to the cargo being loaded on the vessel destined for the United States.”

While this particular ISF bond exemption is going by the wayside (remaining are those for household goods, government and military, informal shipments and a handful of others), the impact on the trade will be insignificant.

First, as a practical matter, most importers already secure a single ISF transaction bond (or use an existing continuous bond) in these instances.  Moreover, CBP’s eBond functionality, schedule to debut on January 3, 2015, will begin to render the current single transaction bond procurement process moot, as e-Bond will allow for instantaneous filing and approval of bonds for importers who do not have one in place already.  Specifically, on that date:

For ACE Entries followed by ACE Entry Summaries, or ACE Entry Summaries certified for ACE Cargo Release, where a Single Transaction Bond is used, an eBond will be required.  ACE will implement validations on these inbound transactions where, if a bond is referenced on a transaction, and no bond is found on file in ACE, that transaction will be rejected.

For all other single transaction bond scenarios listed above utilizing the legacy ACS system, eBond will not be required. CBP will continue the paper processing of these bonds until ACS is retired and supplanted by ACE for all transactions in October 2016.  For more information, see US Customs’ November 2014 presentation, “e-Bond:  The Future of Bonds in ACE.”

But really, how will ACE work?



As mentioned in this blog previously, the first of the ACE deadlines are fast approaching.ACE Chart

Many in the trade still have fundamental questions about how ACE they will transact with ACE.  To address these concerns, US Customs’ ACEopedia (updated October 2014) provides a handy checklist (inset) to determine which part of ACE will handle a particular task.  According to CBP, there are two primary methods of interacting with ACE:

  1. Filing transactions via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Interfaces:   With the exception of filing an electronic truck manifest and Importer Security Filing for low volume filers, EDI is the only mechanism through which transactions (entries, entry summaries, and ocean and rail manifests) can be filed in ACE.  [Note:  And by “EDI”, CBP means the Automated Broker Interface, which self-filing importers and customs brokers currently use to file entries, ISFs, etc.  See our blog post on this topic.]
  2. Using the ACE Secure Data Portal:  
    The ACE portal is an online tool that allows users to file electronic truck manifests and run reports. ACE reports can be used to monitor compliance and daily operations.

Reminder:  Mandated use of certain ACE functionality will commence in May 2015 and mandated use of ACE for all trade processing will be required by October 2016.  Make sure now that your (or your broker’s) ABI software is ACE-certified to avoid any problems next year!