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Did You Know? The Customs Reauthorization Bill and more

Posted on 25 February 2016

This “Did You Know?” is brought to you by Mainfreight, Inc – while designed to be informative and provide information that may impact you and your supply chain, it is not to be construed as legal advice or to be relied upon as such.  

Did You Know? The Customs Reauthorization bill was signed into law by President Obama.

Somewhat surprisingly, the House and Senate managed to agree on a very broad-ranging bill that will impact importers.  Some of the key provisions include the following:

  • Are you C-TPAT certified? CBP must now work closely with the private sector to (1) ensure that agency partnership program participants receive commercially significant and measurable trade benefits (!) and (2) improve its ability to classify and appraise imported goods, improve trade enforcement efforts and further facilitate trade.
  • Do you import goods of “relatively” low value? As of March 11, the value of goods that may be imported by one person on one day free of duty and tax will increase from $200 to $800.   Though this may not impact our clients much, it will impact those who order via e-commerce websites, as goods valued up to $800 will no longer require a customs entry (except for foodstuffs, no doubt).
  • Importer Verification standards to be increased: Customs has to create and implement minimum standards regarding an importer’s identity (which will mean we will need more information from new importers before we can legally clear shipments on your behalf – if you import already? You are grandfathered in!). Customs Brokers will be now penalized for failing to properly validate a new importer.
  • On April 25, there will be a key amendment made to chapter 9801 – US goods returned. A new provision (and WAY overdue) will allow for duty-free returns of previously exported non-U.S. goods and HTSUS Chapter 9802 related to articles exported and returned, or advanced or improved abroad, will be modified.
  • Do you want to “drawback” duties you’ve paid in? Well, it’s not “QUITE” drawback simplification, but as of Feb 2018, drawback will be simplified somewhat by standardizing the time frames for filing drawback and modernizing the claimant recordkeeping requirements.
  • By Aug 2016, CBP has to establish a new bond sufficiency program to require that bond amounts for new importers to be more-readily adjusted based on the level of risk “to the revenue” (before 9/11, Customs used to “protect the revenue” – looks like it’s getting a bit more attention now).
  • Usage of ACE – the Automated Commercial Environment  - as a “single window” is now mandated to be in effect by December 31, 2016. This will mean your customs broker (Mainfreight, Inc.- natch!) will now be filing all import-related info electronically via the new ACE system. And we’ll need to supply a lot more info to the feds as a result.  Need a free ACE web-portal account with Customs? Have a designated company official sign up here: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated

Did You Know?  Mainfreight Inc. cannot legally determine the ECCN’s of your goods? 

But we will verify them to make sure we can ship t the end-user/country!

Did You Know? If an item falls both within ITAR and BIS (State) export controls that ITAR is “controlling”?

Did You Know? Mainfreight Inc.’s CHB operations have led the industry in ACE adoption?

  • We began using ACE entry summary processing in March 2013
  • We started using ACE Cargo Release in January 2015 – with levels above 75% as of Aug last year and surpassing 85% now.
    • Is it any wonder we are ready for ACE –and many of our competitors – still – are not?
      • ACE is mandated as of March 31 for most entry types. We’re not just ready. We’ve been doing it for years. Go with the pros! 

 Did You Know? SOLAS kicks in on July 1st – are you ready, ocean exporters?

As always, Mainfreight Inc thanks you for your business and support- it truly is appreciated!