According to this Federal Register notice, CBP is proposing amendments to the current broker verification regulations, and WOW!, it’s going to be a lot of additional work for the broker. This proposed amendment will require customs brokers to collect certain information from importers to enable the broker to verify the identity of an importer.
CBP believes this additional
scrutiny will help to prevent fraud and impede the creation of shell companies
by importers looking to evade CBP laws.
following information is what CBP is suggesting, at minimum:
The client’s name;
For a client who is an
individual, the client’s date of birth;
For a client that is a
partnership, corporation, or association, the grantor’s date of birth;
For a client that is a
partnership, corporation, or association, the client’s trade or fictitious
The address of the
client’s physical location (for a client that is a partnership, corporation, or
association, the physical location would be the client’s headquarters) and
The client’s email address
and business website;
A copy of the grantor’s
unexpired government-issued photo identification;
The client’s Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) number, employer identification number (EIN), or importer
of record (IOR) number;
The client’s publicly
available business identification number (e.g., Data Universal Numbering
System (DUNS) number, etc.);
A recent credit report;
A copy of the client’s business registration and license with
state authorities; and
The grantor’s authorization to execute power of attorney on behalf
of the client.
The comment period is open to the public until October 15th, 2019 and may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal here.
The U.S. puts in place the latest tariff increase – here’s what you need to know…
As announced on August 30th, 2019 in a Notice of Modification of Action from the Office of the United States Trade Representatives, additional 301 tariffs are now in place. For products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 Federal Register notice, the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the current effective date of September 1, 2019. For products covered by Annex C of the August 20 notice, the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the current effective date of December 15, 2019.
For questions about this action, contact Associate General Counsel Arthur Tsao, Assistant General Counsel Megan Grimball, or Director of Industrial Goods Justin Hoffmann at (202) 395–5725. For questions on Customs classification or implementation of additional duties on products identified in the Annexes to this notice, email Customs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the list of HTS numbers covered by the Sept 1st increase here.
On August 13, 2019, it was announced that the US is delaying
imposing tariffs on over $300 billion dollars of imports from China until Dec
15th because of “health, safety, national security and other
factors” according to The Washington Post and other news sources.
The products include mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some
toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing. The Trump administration say’s this delay was
in part to avoid hitting US shoppers this Christmas.
Today, American Shipper published in their Daily Digital Magazine, the news that acting CBP Commissioner, John Sanders, is resigning effective July 5th, 2019.
Acting Commissioner Sanders was in his role for 2 1/2 months. According to various news reports, President Donald Trump is expected to name Mark Morgan, a former FBI analyst who currently serves as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as the new acting CBP commissioner.
Facing the onslaught of President Trump’s China Tariffs,
importers are having to get creative in order to minimize the impact these
higher duty rates will have on their goods.
Foreign Trade Zone / Bonded Warehouse / Tariff Engineering
Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ), approved by the U.S. government,
can be a temporary haven for companies reducing duties on a case-by-case
basis. Trade zones are not a loophole
for goods destined for the U.S. market, but they can be a way for companies to
avoid duties on goods shipped to the United States and subsequently re-exported
to another country.
There are different types of zone designations depending on
the end use of the goods; further manufacturing, packaging, comingling, etc. In any case, the duties are not paid out
until the goods are exported out of the Trade Zone, either in-bond for
re-export or destined for the U.S. market.
Companies can utilize the zones to spread out those duty payments based
upon the timing of the export from the zones.
This can help manage huge import duty payments being paid at time of
import to the U.S.
Bonded warehouses are another option. Firms can store and
make products in “Customs-bonded” warehouses for up to five years. Duties are
only applied once products leave the facility for consumption. Companies can
apply to U.S. Customs for a license to operate a bonded warehouse.
According to a paper by law firm Barnes, Richards & Colburn,
Tariff engineering also is making a comeback.
Companies can tweak their design processes in order to be able the
re-classify their goods under a lower duty rate. However, importers need to be very conscious
of taking this too far, since Customs tends to reject revisions to existing HTS
codes when companies appear to be making a “fictional or temporary
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!
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.