US Customs’ Los Angeles Field Operations Unit has announced the opening of the Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval (AQUA) Lane program at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.
AQUA Lane provides an expedited vessel clearance process to sea carriers actively participating in the C-TPATprogram, who meet the requisite criteria, that enables them to immediately unload cargo upon arrival in the US — prior to CBP meeting the vessel. It allows CBP to lessen congestion at seaports, redirecting Customs’ resources towards high risk threats and away from low risk carriers.
As announced on today’s ACE Technical Call with the trade:
US Customs continues to assess stakeholder readiness for the mandatory transition of post-release capabilities in ACE. In order to allow additional time for all stakeholders to prepare for this transition, and to provide the opportunity to solicit and receive public comment on the associated regulatory changes, CBP is rescheduling the October 29, 2016 transition.
This transition includes the mandatory use of ACE for liquidation, drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements, and the Automated Surety Interface. CBP is targeting January 2017 for the revised deployment and mandatory date and will provide additional clarification regarding the precise transition date in the coming weeks.
A US federal maritime commissioner said that shipping alliances may have to prove that they have emergency procedures in case a member files for bankruptcy, as Hanjin Shipping has done, adversely affecting its own customers and those of its shipping partners in its CYKHE alliance.
Since the collapse of Hanjin, shippers, truckers, terminals, fuel providers and chassis companies have expressed concern about the impact on their business, and many have filed papers in hearing in the US Bankruptcy Court matter
Their concerns are, for example:
How to obtain containers locked in Hanjin ships
How to return Hanjin containers when terminals won’t accept them
How to deal with Hanjin containers and chassis stored in yards and warehouses across the US (causing fears of another chassis shortage)
Most supply chain practitioners have turned to using analytics, business intelligence or reporting tools to better understand how their transportation networks are functioning, and how they might be improved.
American Shipper, for the first time, is benchmarking this all-important discipline, and we need your valuable feedback to make this initiative a success. Please take the time to participate in our short survey on the analytics. This 14-question poll should take only 5 to 7 minutes, but the insight you provide is incredibly important. In November, we will publish our results with expert analysis in our 2016 Supply Chain Analytics Benchmark Report.
As a token of our appreciation, the first 25 people to take the survey and provide a valid email address will receive a $10 Amazon e-gift card.
The companies that are gaining a competitive edge are the ones investing in technology that can greatly improve inbound visibility and best address the current challenges in the market. They’re using systems that provide end-to-end visibility into inventory and supply chain activity across the globe.
Some of the many advantages of increased visibility, besides the elimination of outdated manual processes, include:
Increasing supplier collaboration
Improving supply chain agility and reducing inventory
Reducing transportation spend
Tracking actual landed costs as they accrue
Meeting regulatory compliance requirements and streamlining the customs process
The CustomsNow™ ACE-compliant SaaS solutions can help achieve these benefits, especially improvements in customs compliance, release processing, and visibility to the Customs and Partner Government Agency (PGA) status. For example:
By filing entries directly, importers have immediate access to the current status of their import shipments – specifically, visibility to CBP holds (both compliance and security related), PGA holds, and more.
For certain types of holds, these importers are better positioned to ensure that the agency has the information needed to make an admissibility decision.
Direct filers are able to run AMS queries to verify clearance and avoid delivery delays.
The 2016 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London was a treasure trove of powerful insights from top supply chain practitioners across all industry verticals. But one statement stood out. Gartner predicts that by 2018, the deployment of end-to-end supply chain visibility solutions will increase by up to 50%.
Visibility has ranked on top of the agenda for most supply chain executives for many years and the topic has received its fair share of attention during industry conferences in the last decade. But for the longest time, this desired end-to-end visibility across the entire partner network has remained an elusive goal for most organizations. The main reason for this is that for way too long, companies were led to believe that network-wide visibility can be accomplished with a piece of enterprise software.
But after massive investments in traditional enterprise systems, many organizations have come to realize that the kind of on-premise software they were buying simply wasn’t made for a networked world.
The bulletin is directed towards “the local trade community,” so it is not clear whether this guidance has nationwide applicability.
In general, all FDA regulated goods are considered restricted merchandise, and therefore are not necessarily subject to refunds by law
CBP will not automatically issue refunds on FDA refused merchandise
CBP will no longer automatically accept cancellation requests on entries where duties and/or fees were paid, and the refused merchandise was exported or destroyed (cancellation requests are considered if not duties/fees were paid)
To obtain refunds, importers can file a post entry claim or protest, but the refused merchandise must not in any way be able to be reconditioned
SupplyChain 24/7 has published some significant new trends in the search for new talent in the supply chain industry
Demand for supply chain professionals in manufacturing and retail have “gone through the roof.”
Women are finally breaking into the top echelons of what had been a male-dominated industry.
With big data driving insights, many companies are seeking analysts with mathematical and data driven backgrounds to determine how to best use data to predict trends.
There is a need for candidates with technology backgrounds who can understand the causes and effects on operations and how to best use digital developments to streamline processes
While a background in mathematics, statistics and data analysis are in high demand, employers are not discounting the importance of soft skills, such as the ability to communicate trends and analysis with senior management
Effective October 29, 2016, US Customs will cease processing duty deferral entries in ACS and will do so via ACE. According to CBP, fortunately for filers, most of duty deferral processing will largely stay the same.
1) What will change with duty deferral in ACE?
There are only minor changes to duty deferral processing in ACE.
A duty deferral entry cannot be edited in ACE, only lines may be deleted. In order to edit, the original duty deferral entry must be rejected and the trade must resubmit. As necessary, the trade may request CBP reject the entry summary for corrections.
2) Are there any duty deferral resources available?
CBP has begun to issue informed compliance notification letters to importers. The receipt of an informed compliance notification letter means Regulatory Audit has identified specific problems with the company’s import transactions and is “strongly considering” the company for a comprehensive audit. These audits may include both substantive transaction testing and internal control testing.
These letters advise importers that, while they are not required to make a prior disclosure, they may elect to file a disclosure with CBP. The letters go on to state that, because the company has been provided information relating to specific problems with their import transactions, “violations that may occur in the future could result in seizures and forfeitures of imported merchandise and/or the assessment of monetary penalties.”
Below is a summary of the top 10 actions to consider once receiving an informed compliance letter.
Consider the Meaning of the Letter. CBP has explained that these letters are a courtesy notification that an audit and/or investigation may be forthcoming. These letters are not random. Why did they send you the letter? Don’t blind side your management, tell them about the letter and what it might mean for the company. Should your company sign and return the letter? What does it mean if you do? Who should sign? Is there another way?
Get Educated! Have you read the CBP Informed Compliance Publications provided to you via the letter and other sources available on CBP’s website to understand your legal requirements? Attend training and webinars to increase your knowledge and understanding of CBP requirements.
Conduct a Risk Assessment. Focus on the risks identified in the Informed Compliance letter as well as Anti-dumping Duty and Countervailing Duty risk. We also recommend confirming any corrective actions in prior disclosures are working as intended, and review the results of CBP Form 28s, CBP Form 29s, post summary corrections submitted to CBP, as well as any internal post entry audits conducted by the company.
Test and Measure Your Compliance Level. Are you audit ready in all risk areas? CBP may start with the risk area identified in the letter but, if audited, CBP auditors can and frequently do expand and review all risk areas. Conduct targeted sampling based on risk.
Get Management Buy-in. Use data metrics, identify possible loss of revenue and corresponding penalties for your management team.
Evaluate Your Internal Control Program. Include all 5 components of COSO-based internal control. Ensure you have a manual that is audit ready, develop/implement a robust post entry audit process, and ensure you have strong broker management procedures and a dedicated, well-educated compliance team.
Consider a Prior Disclosure. If you find past non-compliance consider the pros and cons of filing a Prior Disclosure to protect the company from penalties. Statistical sampling is a valuable tool to use to limit work. To ensure prior disclosure rights are not cut off, consider filing an initial notice, which would then be completed via a perfected prior disclosure.
Develop a Corrective Action Plan. Make a plan that will strengthen internal controls to ensure errors do not reoccur. When they do, conduct a root cause analysis.
Implement Corrective Action. Make sure that your corrective action plan is working. Retest compliance levels to validate new controls are working and are effective.