6 Import Advantages of Periodic Monthly Statements (PMS)?

Periodic Monthly Statements (PMS) is a feature of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) that streamlines the payment and collection of Customs duties and fees. PMS consolidates eligible shipments and allows them to be paid on a monthly basis.

There are 6 key advantages for importers taking advantage of the PMS program:

  1. Consolidating individual entry summaries, allowing them to be paid as late as the 15th working day of the following month;
  2. More working capital! By providing additional flexibility in the management of duty payments, importers have a potentially new source for extended cash flows;
  3. Streamlining accounting and reporting processes;
  4. Allows importers to select national or a port statements;
  5. Active, monthly visibility of your duty spend; and
  6. Shifting from transactional processing to an interest-free mothly payment.

Entry summaries approved for coverage on a Periodic Monthly Statement must be covered under a continuous import bond and paid via Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) Debit or Credit.

Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is the electronic payment method that allows its participants to pay duties and fees as well as receive refunds.  ACH automates secure deposits of Treasury checks, reducing delays and risk associated with receiving checks in the mail. This paperless program lessens much of the administrative errors and inaccuracies that occur with such documentation and transactions.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) offers three ACH options:

  1. ACH DEBIT
    1. Available to Automated Broker Interface (ABI) filers
    2. Can be used to pay all customs duties, taxes, and fees
  2. ACH CREDIT
    1. Available to anyone that clears formal entries on statements
  3. ACH REFUND
    1. Available to anyone with a taxpayer-assigned number, U.S. bank account, and exoects a refund from CBP.

Entry summaries not eligible for Periodic Monthly Statement include:

  • NAFTA Duty Deferral (Entry Type 08);
  • Reconciliation (Entry Type 09); and
  • Entry summaries with IRS tax class codes.

INTERESTED?

Contact Green Worldwide Shipping, or visit CBP’s PMS/ACH Guide.

Shining a Light on FDA LED Requirements

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has recently issued guidance to address confusion regarding entry reporting requirements for LED lights and products containing LEDs. LED products are radiation emitting devices that emit visible radiation and fall under the jurisdiction of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) per the 21 CFR 1000.3 (a) Accidental Radiation Occurrence reporting requirement and regulations.

Current FDA guidelines regarding LED lights and illuminating products cover:

Types of LED Lights under FDA

  • General and local illumination
    • i.e., lamps, light bulbs

Requirements of FDA

  • Set at FD2; Subheading HTSUS 8541.40.2000

Expectations of FDA

  • Accurate and consistent entry of LED products
    • Though there are no performance standards, manufacturers are still subject to general requirements
  • Transmission of entry documentation
    • Does not expect for finished products that use LED lights as indicator lights
      • toys, cell phones, tablets.
    • Does not expect annual reports on these products
  • However, several companies have filed complaints regarding filing requirements for LED lights and products that are not for medical use. The ITC has opened the floor for interested parties to file comments and concerns regarding the importation of these products.

ITC is mainly interested in comments that:

  • State how articles subject to recommended remedial orders are used in the U.S.
  • Identify public health, safety, or welfare concerns
  • Identify similar or competitive articles that complainants make in the U.S. which could replace the item of interest if it were to be excluded
  • Indicate whether complainant has the means to replace volume of articles potentially subject to requested exclusion order within a reasonable timeframe
  • Explain how requested remedial orders would impact U.S. consumers

Written submissions of this nature must be filed by OCTOBER 9TH, 2017 by close of business.

To view the full guidelines for complaint or comment submission, visit Federal Register: Notice of Receipt of Complaint Solicitation Related to Public Interest.

Customs Cracks Down on Wood Packing Materials

Effective November 1st, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin penalizing any documented violations of wood packing materials regulations, eliminating its previous mandate allowing up to five violations prior to taking action. Each violation will result in a penalty and the annual reset of violations has been eliminated.

Dangers of Untreated WPM

The introduction of exotic wood pests can lead to serious environmental impact if preventative measures are not put in place:

  • Detrimental ecological impact
    • Emerald Ash Borer
      • This beetle is native to northeastern Asia and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1990s by way of Michigan.
      • Causing slow extinction of ash trees, significant to U.S. lumber industry.
    • Damage to domestic and global lumber, fruit, and nut industries
      • Reduction in trade and damage to harvests.
    • Expensive and fruitless extermination efforts
      • Extermination has yielded few positive outcomes.

Changes in Compliance

The change will improve compliance with requirements for non-exempt WPM that have been effective since 2005. Non-exempt materials include crates, boxes, and wood used to support cargo.

Wood packing materials must be heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in the place of origin to ensure that harmful pests are destroyed.

Per usual, there must be visible and legible markings certifying treatment of WPM; these markings must be approved by the International Plant Protection Convention under its appropriate regulation.

Any WPM of foreign origin without correct and compliant markings or infested with timber pests is deemed untreated and must be exported promptly. Parties responsible for the violation must obey the emergency action stipulations and are responsible for any and all costs associated with exports.

CBP Guidance

As trade industry members, you are encouraged to educate your supply chains about ISPM 15 requirements and follow updates as the effective deadline approaches.

AUTHOR: Cityana Demase, Compliance Specialist Intern

Salespeople Can Help Importers with AD/CVD?

As a seasoned freight salesman of almost 20 years, clients are often surprised when I discuss preventative supply chain solutions for regulatory compliance (and not just for international transportation).

With the launch of their new single portal, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun to seriously re-enforce and protect domestic industry from trade infringements such as anti-dumping and countervailing (AD/CVD).

There should be no surprise!  From buyer education, to pre-purchasing scope determination, importers can and should proactively avoid, or take advantage of, industry impacting regulations.

The first step is understanding anti-dumping and countervailing scope:

What is anti-dumping?

Dumping occurs when foreign manufacturers sell goods in the United States less than fair value, causing injury to the U.S. industry. AD cases are company specific; their duties are calculated to bridge the gap back to a fair market value.

What are countervailing duties?

CVD cases are established when a foreign government provides assistance and subsidies, such as tax breaks to manufacturers that export goods to the U.S., enabling the manufacturers to sale the goods cheaper than domestic manufacturers. CVD cases are country specific, and the duties are calculated to duplicate the value of the subsidy.

RESEARCH PROACTIVELY

How can I determine whether merchandise that I am planning to import is subject to antidumping or countervailing duties?

Review the scope of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders to determine whether the merchandise falls under any relevant posted orders.. This can be done through your Customs broker, by reviewing Federal Register notices, CBP’s ACE portal, or government trade resources such as http://addcvd.cbp.gov and www.trade.gov/ia.

How can I find a full, comprehensive list of products covered by AD/CVD orders?

In three convenient places:

  1. ACE contains comprehensive case information on every AD/CVD case.
  2. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) publishes a list of every AD/CVD case.
  3. The website of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, www.trade.gov/ia,under scope information, also contains information on AD/CVD cases listed by country.

DID YOU KNOW

The AD/CVD paid at the time of entry are cash deposits of estimated AD/CVD duties only. The final amount of duties owed is not determined until Commerce conducts an administrative review to establish the final AD/CVD rates on past entries.

The final AD/CVD amount may increase, decrease, or stay the same from the AD/CVD cash deposit paid at the time of entry. After Commerce sends instructions to CBP on the final AD/CVD rate for the entry, CBP will assess this final duty.

CBP will issue a bill for any increase in duty, and refund any decrease of duty. On average, this entire process, from the date of importation, takes approximately three years.

GET YOUR MONEY BACK

I do not believe that the goods that I imported fall under the scope of an AD/CVD order, and CBP required me to pay AD/CVD duties on my imported goods. How can I obtain a ruling that my products are not subject to AD/CVD?

You may apply to Commerce for a scope ruling (know that these a publicly published to the entire trade community). Further, if you believe CBP misapplied the scope of the order as written, you may file a protest with CBP within 180 days after the entry has liquidated.  Your Customs broker can assist with filing and ensuring you receive the maximum refund.

I paid a fair price to my supplier for my imported merchandise, and the estimated AD/CVD duties that I paid are too high. How can I get a refund of the duties when CBP liquidates the entry?

You may request an administrative review of your imports from Commerce to determine the final AD/CVD duty liability. Commerce instructs CBP on the final AD/CVD rates, and CBP will assess final duties based on these instructions.

I imported my merchandise using a consumption entry, paid the AD/CVD duties, and I now want to export the goods. Can I get a refund of my AD/CVD duties?

For refunds of AD/CVD duties, the statute and regulations clearly prohibit “any remission, abatement refund or drawback of duties” (see 19 U.S.C. 1558, & 19 CFR 191.3(b)(3).  An importer should file the correct entry type appropriate for a case such as this. Once the merchandise has been released from CBP custody, the importer is not entitled to a refund of AD/CVD duties.

As your Customs broker, it is our responsibility to fully understand your products and goals. Consultative brokerage can establish preventative methods and avoid costly purchasing mishaps.

You take great pride in sourcing your inventory and providing quality products to your customers, let Green Worldwide bring consultative due diligence to the bigger picture.

 

AUTHOR

Lorenzo Giorgetti

Business Development Manager

Green Worldwide Shipping, LLC

Mobile: +1 310 977 4543

Three Common Errors for FDA Audits

Regulatory import compliance can be stressful, especially when dealing with a partner government agency such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  Reviews and audits can be complex and difficult to prepare for as new regulations and programs are implemented.

The following are three of the most common issues identified during FDA audits:

Product Descriptions

  • Be sure to stay consistent and use laymen’s terms
    • FDA recommends placing the descriptor before the product name and model
  • Double check parts database during initial entry
    • Reduces the likelihood of repetitive errors

Dual Use Imports

  • Multi-use and dual-use imports must have an end-use documentation in the entry file
    • e. Blue-1
      • Color can be in food, drinks, and cosmetics therefore, U.S. Customs and the FDA must be aware of its final use, as well as its destination.
    • e. Chemicals in odd quantities
      • Sodium fluoride and sodium bifluoride are both insecticides while ammonium bifluoride and potassium bifluoride are wood preservatives.
      • All of these chemicals are precursors to Sarin, a chemical nerve agent that causes the body to go into hyper drive, deteriorating the body by removing its ability to control itself.

Beware the Details

  • Lasers
    • Lasers must have its accession number and 2877 form uploaded into ITACS.
  • Compression Garments
    • Clothing of this nature is considered a device due to therapeutic application
      • Medical devices are FDA regulated
    • First-Aid Kits
      • Contents of kits may have separate device listings therefore each item must be a separate line item.
      • Each device is FDA regulated 

Following these simple guidelines may be the difference between a small error percentage and increased targeting for reviews and examinations.  For more information regarding regulatory compliance, visit www.fda.gov.

AUTHOR: Cityana Demase, Compliance Specialist Intern