After months of wrangling by longshoremen and their employers in a complicated labor dispute at West Coast ports, representative from both sides indicated that a tentative agreement has been reached on the key issue of chassis.
These trailers, which move cargo containers to and from ships at ports, have been in short supply, primarily due to ocean carriers divesting interest in the chassis and a lack of a cohesive backup plan for their management and maintenance.
According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, both sides — the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, with 20,000 dockworkers, and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers at 29 ports — have offered little detail on the chassis accord, but are hopeful it can pave the way for a final agreement, and eliminate the port congestion caused by the dispute.
On January 29, 2015, from 8 – 10 AM, the public is invited to a free event at the Long Beach Convention Center, “The State of the Port 2015,” delivered by Jon Slangerup, the new Chief Executive of the Port of Long Beach.
Slangerup will provide “updates on major infrastructure projects, cargo trends, jobs, security and other key Harbor Department initiatives.”
Importers whose cargo release is conditioned on the approval of PGAs are currently awash in paperwork and delays. But relief is coming soon though ACE. As noted in US Customs’ January 2015 ACEopedia:
“Forty-seven agencies are involved in the trade process and among these agencies, nearly 200 forms are required for imports and exports. The current processes are largely paper-based and require information to be keyed into multiple electronic systems. As a result, importers and exporters are often required to submit the same data to multiple agencies at multiple times. The Single Window initiative, originally established under the International Trade Data System (ITDS), is the effort to create a single system, so that multiple paper processes can be eliminated and importers and exporters will only have to file information once, to one system.”
Nearly one year ago, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the 47 PGAs to utilize ITDS by December 2016.
Per the ACEopedia, here are the key technical capabilities in ACE for PGAs:
Interoperability Web Service
The pipeline through which data is transmitted between CBP and PGAs. This capability enables improved information sharing and faster decision making by the Government.
PGA Message Set
Document Image System
The consolidated set of data to be collected electronically from trade partners by CBP on behalf of government agencies. Data submitted in this manner will replace the myriad paper forms required by multiple agencies.
Allows trade partners to supply supporting documentation electronically as image files to CBP and PGAs. DIS integrates with the ACE Secure Data Portal, allowing authorized personnel access to images to perform coordinated reviews.
Importing food into the US from a foreign food facility? Make sure that facility has a valid — and renewed — registration with the US Food & Drug Administration. Otherwise, FDA may hold the imported food at the port, or even refuse import of that food.
The Food Safety Modernization Act requires foreign (and domestic) facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the US to register with FDA. These facilities must renew their registrations with FDA, every other year, by December 31 of each even-numbered year. If a facility failed to register or renew by December 31, 2014, FDA may issue a hold for any food to be imported into the US.
“FDA encourages import brokers who file prior notices for food shipments after January 1, 2015 take proactive action and contact clients with high-volume food shipments, inquire about the renewal status of foreign manufacturing facilities associated to their shipment, and confirm any new registration numbers. Prior notices after January 1, 2015 must have a valid facility registration number. Doing so could greatly mitigate any prior notice shipment delays related to invalid or canceled registration.”