New Update – Port of Anchorage, Alaska closed.

wood-landscape-mountains-nature

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I earlier posted about CSMS #42243866, in which the Port of Anchorage was closed Thursday and Friday due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. However, CBP subsequently released CSMS #42247648 in which they announced the Federal Building at 605 West 4th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska that houses the CBP Area Port office (3126) is now closed for at least 14 days.

The CSMS further announces any documents (entry packages, FP&F payments, petitions, etc.) that would be sent to the 605 West 4th Avenue address should be submitted to: CBP Cargo Office at Ted Stevens International Airport (4600 Postmark Drive, Room NA207, Anchorage, Alaska, 99502).

The Anchorage Seaport and Cargo operations are still running and business as usual.

Hope the employee has a quick and speedy recovery!

CBP revokes WRO on tuna harvested by the Tunago 61 vessel.

pexels-photo-3475617

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – CBP announced that tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No.61 vessel will be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry beginning April 1, 2020.

The revocation of withhold release order (WRO) on tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No. 61 vessel was based on information provided to CBP that tuna and tuna products from this vessel are no longer produced under forced labor conditions.

A WRO is put in place prohibiting the importation of certain goods if CBP believes the goods being imported were made wholly or in part by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor.

If you are subject to a pending WRO and want to discuss your options, or if you are aware of an importer using any type of forced labor; contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

New CSMS message about importing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

pexels-photo-3962293

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and to help facilitate the importation of personal protective equipment (PPE), the FDA issued new instructions for PPE and medical devices through the Cargo Systems Messaging Service. A copy and paste of the entire message is copied below:

 


CSMS #42124872 -Information for Filing Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Devices During COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing instruction to the import community regarding the submission of entry information for personal protective equipment and certain other devices. Following the instructions below will help facilitate the import process for all; especially for products related to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. It is in the best interest of the U.S. to facilitate and expedite the importation of products into the U.S. market that address immediate, urgent public health needs.

For further information regarding entry submission requirements, see the FDA Supplemental Guidance for ACE at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2020-Mar/FDA%20Supplemental%20Guide%20Release%202.5.1%202018%200410.pdf.

1. Non-FDA-regulated general purpose personal protective equipment (masks, respirators, gloves, etc.):

Personal protective equipment for general purpose or industrial use (that is, products that are not intended for use to prevent disease or illness) is not regulated by FDA.

For these types of products, entry information should not be transmitted to FDA. At the time of entry for these products, Importers should transmit entry information to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using an appropriate HTS code with no FD Flag; or using an appropriate HTS code with an FD1 flag and do a ‘disclaim’ for FDA.

2. Products authorized for emergency use pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

When importing such products, entry information should be submitted to FDA; however reduced FDA information is required for review.

At the time of entry, Importers should transmit an Intended Use Code of 940.000: Compassionate Use/Emergency Use, and an appropriate FDA product code.

Below is a list of products and the appropriate product codes that are currently authorized by an EUA:

• Diagnostic tests: QPK, OTG, QKO, QJR
• Masks/Respirators: NZJ

Questions regarding appropriate product coding can be submitted to FDA at: COVID19FDAIMPORTINQUIRIES@fda.hhs.gov.

Requests for Emergency Use Authorization can be submitted to FDA at: CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov (for diagnostic devices) and CDRH-NonDiagnosticEUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov (for non-diagnostic devices)

3. Products regulated by FDA as a device, not authorized by an EUA, but where an enforcement discretion policy has been published in guidance.

When importing such devices, entry information should be submitted to FDA.

At the time of entry, Importers should transmit an Intended Use Code of 081.006: Enforcement discretion per final guidance, and an appropriate FDA product code.

Below is a listing of guidance documents that have been issued for specific products related to COVID-19, which contain product codes within the scope of each guidance:

• Non-Invasive Remote Monitoring Devices
• Ventilators and Accessories and Other Respiratory Devices

A full list of all guidance documents related to COVID-19 is also available on FDA’s website.

All questions regarding these instructions, or to resolve entry issues for shipments can be submitted to FDA at: COVID19FDAIMPORTINQUIRIES@fda.hhs.gov or 301-796-0356.


 

If you import PPE and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Port Houston closing two terminals due to corona virus.

pexels-photo-1314567

Photo by Nick Bee on Pexels.com

An employee working at two Port Houston terminals tested positive for the coronaviorus. The Port of Houston Authority reported an employee working at the Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result the public terminals are closed with operations temporarily suspended. The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the Barbours Cut Container Terminal and the Bayport Container Terminal.

The Houston ship channel and the other private terminals are still in operation. The Port Houston is one of the largest container ports in the Gulf of Mexico and handle approximately 70% of the containers moving through the gulf.

Costco approved as FDA’s first Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) company.

pexels-photo-1797428

Photo by Alexander Isreb on Pexels.com

Costco Wholesale was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the first company in the FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP).

The VQIP is a voluntary fee-based program ($16,681 FY2020) that helps expedite the review and importation of foods into the US. One main requirement is for importers to demonstrate they maintain control over the safety and security of the supply chain. As the supply chain reaches overseas, most food importers such as Costco need to ensure the locations of their foreign suppliers are certified by the FDA’s third-party certification program.

If you are a food importer and want to take advantage of benefits offered by being a VQIP, contact experienced customs and trade law attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US China set to sign a trade deal on Wednesday.

birds eye view photo of freight containers

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

On January 15th, the US and China are expected to sign phase one of the new trade deal between the two nations. The deal is 86 pages long and the full content has not yet been released.

According to Barron’s, citing a former Trump administration trade negotiator, the deal will cover 5 areas:

1.  Commitment from China to stop forced technology transfers.

2. Process for China to create judicial proceedings to enforce trade law secrets, patent extensions for US pharmaceuticals.

3. No further currency manipulation

4. Commitment by China to buy more agricultural products.

5. Use science-based risk assessment when determining whether to ban US imports.

Will post more details as soon as they are confirmed. If you have any questions about the trade deal or general import and export questions, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Importer pays $3+ million civil penalty to Customs.

round mirror

Photo by Ethan Sees on Pexels.com

According to an U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, a company named Satisloh paid $3,320,425 for customs violations.

Satisloh imported machinery used to produce optical lenses but was hit with penalties for violation §19 U.S.C. 1592. Section 1592 allows Customs to issue penalties against importers who enter goods into the US by “false statements” or “omissions”.

We see many importers violate section 1592 because a false statement or omission can occur when describing a good for import, classifying a good by product number (HTSUS number) or providing false information on entry paperwork.

After a violation of section 1592, customs may issue a civil penalty, from there, the importer of record can try to submit an offer in compromise to customs to settle any claims. In this instance, Satisloh settled with Customs for $3,320,425.

If you have received a penalty notice, or notice of seizure or any other Customs action or Form. Contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Man pleads guilty in multi-million dollar counterfeit cellphone scheme.

pexels-photo-699122.jpeg

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

According to CBS 2 news in Boise, Idaho – a man in Boise pleased guilty to trafficking in counterfeit cellphones and accessories. Artur Pupko, age 28, pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories on Amazon and eBay.
According to court documents, Pupko would buy bulk products from China, then repackage the products and claiming them as new and genuine. Pupko may face up to 10 years in prison and a $5 million dollar fine. Sentencing will occur on December 17, 2019.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs and are facing criminal or civil penalties, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by text/call at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

France imposes 3% tax on US technology companies.

photo of eiffel tower

Photo by Eugene Dorosh on Pexels.com

On January 11th, the French Senate and National Assembly passed a 3% tax that will impact American technology firms such as Google and Facebook. In response, the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US Office of the Trade Representative will start their own investigation to determine whether the French bill is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts US commerce.

An investigation may result in retaliatory tariffs on French goods such as wine, cheese and perfume. In fact, Trump in the past has hinted at placing tariffs on French wine since France places higher tariffs on imports than the US does. CNBC reports France exported $3.6 billion in wine to the US in 2018, making America France’s largest export market.

135 Chinese Mitten Crabs seized in Indianapolis.

Chinese Mitten Crab.jpg

By Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=342346

CBP reported on September 18th, the seizure of 135 Chinese Mitten Crabs. Also known as the “Shanghai hairy crab”, these burrowing crabs are named after their furry claws that resemble mittens.

Mitten crabs are invasive species that burrow causing damage to embankments and clogging drainage systems and as such it is illegal to import, transport or possess live Chinese Mitten Crabs in the US.

If you have any import, export or compliance questions, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.