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R.L. Swearer Company is a Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder that specializes in providing international trade solutions for those who import and export. We provide a full range of services that enable our clients to focus on their core business while staying informed, compliant and competitive in today’s global economy.
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Important Trade News

The legislation to retroactively renew GSP was signed by the President on October 21st. CBP has announced that GSP will go into effect again on November 5th. CBP will automatically issue refunds on entries that were flagged with the GSP "A" special program indicator from January 1, 2011 through November 4, 2011. Interest will not be paid on the refunds. Note: If the entry has already liquidated, a protest may be required. This decision is still pending from CBP. If you are an importer that utilizes the GSP program please confirm that the 'A' indicator is present on your entry summary.

Legislation to implement free trade agreements for Korea, Colombia, and Panama was also signed on October 21st. This will not go into effect immediately as each partner country must be able to demonstrate that it is in compliance with their obligations under the FTA first.

The Andean Trade Preference Act/Andean Trade Promotion Drug Eradication Act (ATPA/ATPDEA) was renewed retroactively to February 12, 2011. These entries will not automatically liquidate with a refund, and individual requests may need to be submitted. If you feel you have a refund due under this program please contact your RLS account representative.

Finally, the merchandise processing fee (MPF) is increasing from 0.21% to 0.3464% effective October 1, 2011. CBP is still working on their programming and will give us a one week notice before they start collecting the increased amount. The minimum MPF for formal entries remains at $25.00, and the maximum MPF remains at $485.00.

CBP is planning to issue bills to importers for additional MPF for the period October 1 until the higher rate is collected, but only for increases of $20.00 or more. This could change, but that looks to be the current benchmark. If you receive a bill from CBP for increased MPF you must pay it!

Due to the recent civil unrest that has unfolded in Egypt, most air and ocean carriers are no longer accepting cargo in or out of the country. In addition, almost all cargo that has arrived in the last couple of days is being held in the port area due to security concerns. Internet and phone communication are spotty to nonexistent at this time, which is hampering the ability to get current information. R.L. Swearer Company, Inc. will continue to monitor this situation and provide additional updates as necessary.

Consumer Product Safety Commission Requirements and Enforcement

CPSC's Import Surveillance Division (CIS) works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify and examine imported shipments of consumer products. As part of this effort, CIS has co-located investigators at many of the largest ports of entry who work side-by-side with CBP staff. CIS also works to educate importers, manufacturers, and Customs brokers on CPSC's standards and procedures.
Be sure your products are compliant and avoid detainment by familiarizing yourself with CPSC's website.

TSA is concerned about US shipper’s lack of impact awareness about 100% screening issues (August 2010)

The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 legislation mandates 50% screening of cargo that is transported by a passenger carrier by February 2009 and 100% screening of cargo that is transported by a passenger carrier by August 2010. TSA is required to establish a system to ensure 100% of cargo transported on passenger aircraft is screened at a level of security commensurate to that of passenger baggage. This requires screening at the piece level. Because this screening requirement is not supplemented by congressional funding, it is the air cargo industry’s responsibility to bear all costs.

If you import anything that is a product of plants or trees read this now

APHIS Revises

Lacey Act Declaration

Enforcement Phase-In Schedule

(Delay for Certain Items, Etc.)

Note: Updated regulation for imports into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

Importer security filing (ISF)
What is 10+2 (ISF)

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will require all inbound containers to be fitted with high security seals starting 15 October, 2008.

Many containers shipped to US ports are already secured with high security seals; the new legislation now makes this level of security mandatory on all shipments to the US.

From October 2008, all seals will therefore have to meet or exceed the PAS ISO 17712 standard for high security seals.

From CBP.GOV: The First Sale Declaration Requirement mandates importers to declare to CBP, at the time of entry when the transaction value of goods entered for consumption or withdrawn from warehouse was determined on the basis of the price paid by the buyer in a sale occurring earlier than the last sale prior to the introduction of the merchandise into the United States.

So what does this mean to you as an importer?



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