To which CEE do you belong?

U.S. Customs Centers of Excellence and Expertise, aka “CEEs” are Customs way to better align with modern business practices. Whether or not you are currently engaged with your CEE, Importers are already assigned to one.

Ever wonder how to find out which CEE team has been assigned to your company? 

Well, it’s not as difficult as you may have thought… In order to get the details, you just need to do a simple bond query with your company’s Federal Identification number, either though your surety, Customs broker, or in ABI/ACE directly . The query results will show you who your CEE team is.  Below is an example of how it looks in the ABI response.

It’s as simple as that! Contact CustomsNow if you have any questions.

CBP Trade Symposium announced – July 23rd-24th

CBP TRADE SYMPOSIUM IN CHICAGO – CBP sent out a formal notice that the Trade Symposium will be held in Chicago this year. The registration will open on Thursday, June 13th, at noon EST. Learn more here.

This is always a great event to get up-to-date information on current trade activities. The event sells out quickly so be sure to register early!

“The New NAFTA” – informative article from SupplyChainBrain


Need a good introduction to “New NAFTA”?  An article written today by Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain, called “The New NAFTA: What Does It Mean For Supply Chains?”is a great place to start.

This Q&A covers topics associated with the new agreement and the potential impact to U.S. supply chains.

Specifics about the new deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, have been published on the Office of The United States Trade Representative website, found here.



According to to CBP CSMS# 18-000689, issued today, November 21, when filing a reconciliation for a Free Trade Agreement issue, ACE is displaying incorrect original paid amounts. Until headquarters issues further guidance, filers should submit the reconciliation header information in the Document Imaging System (DIS) when filing the reconciliation with a FTA issue.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please send an email to
OT-RECONFOLDER@CBP.DHS.GOV, Commercial Operations, Revenue and Entry Division, Office of Trade.

Changes (again) to CBP user fees, effective October 1, 2018

As just announced in CBP’s CSMS #18-000465, dated August 1, 2018, various changes to user fees will take effect on October 1, 2018.

The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will NOT change.  However, note the following changes:

  • The MPF minimum and maximum for formal entries (class code 499) will change – the minimum will change from $25.67 to $26.22 and the maximum will change from $497.99 to $508.70.
  • The Informal MPF (class code 311) will change to $2.10.
  • The dutiable mail fee (class code 496) will change to $5.77.
  • The surcharge for manual entry or release will change to $3.15.

The Federal Register Notice (83 FRN 37509) can be read here.  Another CSMS will be sent when the changes are in the ACE Certification environment for trade testing.

U.S. imposes 25% tariffs on approximately $50B of Chinese goods

china us trade

On Friday June 15th, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the U.S. will follow through with 25 percent tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of goods from China in 2018 import value (read announcement here).

The list of goods covered by the order includes mainly industrially significant technology products spread across 1,102 U.S. tariff lines.  The list of specific tariff numbers can be found here and, as announced, CBP will begin collecting these additional duties beginning July 6th.

Additionally, there is a second set of HTS numbers which have been identified by the interagency Section 301 Committee as benefiting from Chinese industrial policies.  These include the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy, and the set covers about $16 billion worth of imports from China. The second set of products will undergo a public notice and comment process, including a public hearing, after which USTR will issue a final determination on the products from the list that would be subject to the duties, the agency said.  Crowell Morning Trade Law wrote a good overview on this, here.

The USTR will “soon provide an opportunity” for the public to request exclusion of “particular products” from the duties to be imposed under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and will issue a notice in the Federal Register with details on this process within the next few weeks, USTR said.

Changes to China’s manifest system – what you need to know!

chinaChina’s 24 hours Advanced Manifest Regulation Update

Have you been asked by your Chinese partners for additional company information for new shipment into and out of China?  It is our initial understanding that for US entities the information requested is the consignee or notify party’s company Employee Identification Number (EIN).   The carrier OOCL provides a good overview to their customers on  their website, here.

Our friends at NCBFAA are also working diligently on providing guidance on the new requirements for shipments to and from China. The regulations are confusing and in some cases contradictory. We will follow up with addition information as it becomes available.

The GACC published the original requirements in 2008 in Decree No. 172. These specific requirements were not implemented in 2008. Customs announced in Notice No. 56 that implement would begin June 1, 2018. (See links to the notices below).

Below are some additional links to the GACC notices:

The Evolution of CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) – did you know you were participating?

CEESCBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (‘CEE’) continue to evolve and the Trade received an update during CBP’s recent Trade Symposium.  Breakout sessions were held throughout the second day with representatives from all 10 CEE’s.

Following is a recap from CNI’s own Nic Adams, VP of Client Services, who was in attendance…

CBP is in the process of assigning importers to a CEE and expects to have all importers transitioned by the end of this fiscal year (September 30th.)  Generally, the HTS numbers with the highest value determines which CEE an importer will be assigned to.

How can you determine which CEE you have been assigned to?  The secret is to look at your Entry Summaries (CF 7501) and review the team number that has been assigned to the entry.  Specifically, the 3rd digit of the team number determines the CEE.  For example, if the 3rd digit consistently ends in ‘4’ then you, most likely, have been assigned to the Apparel, Footwear & Textiles.  If the 3rd digit is not consistently the same number then you have not yet been assigned to a Center and your entry summaries are still being reviewed by the teams within your port of entry.

A list of all the teams within each CEE can be found online here.

CBP explained that you can appeal to them if you don’t believe your company has been assigned the most appropriate Center.  For example, if you import parts to manufacture an electronic device you may be assigned to the Base Metals CEE and it may be more appropriate for you to be associated with the Electronics CEE.

Within each Center there are three distinct areas; Partnership, Compliance and Validations, and Enforcement.  All three areas are learning more about their respective industries.  This is accomplished by reviewing entries, supporting documents, and even meeting with importers to better understand their industry.  This helps CBP to better identify anomalies and possible entry errors.

The Partnership team is involved with importers which are participating in Trusted Trader programs such as the Importer Self-Assessment or C-TPAT.  Those importers are assigned an Account Manager within that Center and it was noted that National Account Managers (‘NAM’) are being transitioned the Centers in addition to importers.  It may be that if you already have a NAM that you will receive a new Account Manager if your NAM is not associated with your Center.

The Compliance & Validations team is reviewing entries, issuing Requests for Information (CF 28), and taking other steps to ensure that an importer’s entries are compliant with Customs’ regulations.

Enforcement is, obviously, following up on violations and assessing penalties when appropriate.  They are also reviewing allegations of entry violations by parties that feel they may be at a competitive disadvantage due to improper filings.  Many of these allegations involve potential AD/CVD violations and the Centers are working with the Commerce Department so that scope rulings are clearer and it is easier to determine if a product is within the scope of the order.

CBP updates the “10+2” ISF FAQs

An updated version of Custom’s ISF FAQs, dated July 9th, 2010 was recently posted to the website. Click here to view.

Note that some of the newest changes to the ISF programming will not be available until mid August at a minimum as they have not been published in the CATAIR or CAMIR implementation guides. The new functionality that will not be immediately available includes:

• ISF Submission Type Changes

• Late ISF Filing (No Bonds)

• ISF Type 11 coded transaction (Informal Shipments)

Remember that all questions and comments about the new FAQs may be sent to the mailbox.

CBP’s Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) full of useful information

Expanding access to what was once only available to those select few who had access to an ABI system, US Customs (CBP) has now created a free, searchable database of messages that are of interest to many:  ABI Filers, ACE Event Participants, ACE Portal Accounts, ACE Reports Users, Air Carriers, Ocean Carriers, Periodic Monthly Statement Participants, Rail Carriers and Truck Carriers.

Not only that, CPB has launched an e-mail subscription service which provides timely notification of new messages based on each or any combination of item groups.  Groups consist of  Automated Broker Interface, ACE Outreach Events, ACE Portal Accounts, ACE Reports, Air Manifest, Cuentas en el Portal de ACE (Spanish), Ocean Manifest, Rail Manifest, Transportistas de Camion (Spanish) and Truck Manifest.

Use the CBP’s CSMS subscription form to select your area of interest and get your name added to the list. 

Happy Reading!