Antidumping Duties: What You Need to Know

As any Customs broker can tell you, there are an ever-increasing number of antidumping duty cases filed. It is imperative that importers (and their brokers) understand this topic.  Dumping duties are tariffs imposed by a government when it believes foreign goods are being sold below their fair market value or cost of production.   The whole world does it. This practice of foreign goods being “dumped” below cost both skews the market and cripples domestic competitors.  In the United States it is not uncommon for antidumping duties to be implemented at rates of 100% or 200% of invoice value;  this is in hopes of protecting domestic competitors and insulating the market from below-cost distortion.  Ideally, this raises the goods’ U.S. sale price to something closer to the cost of production with some profit.  For a complete overview of the countervailing duty petition and investigation process please reference the following handbook released by the United States International Trade Commission: https://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/documents/handbook.pdf.

Antidumping duties can be crippling to companies who do not realize they are subject to such payments, which is why it is extremely important to be aware of which duties pertain to the products you import. At this time we have people who sold goods three years ago being advised that they owe 214% duty!  Can you imagine the devastating surprise?   The Mooney Law Firm is involved in antidumping cases involving products such as seafood, ball bearings, solar panels, oversized tires, garlic, auto parts, wooden bedroom furniture,  refrigerator parts, and more; this range of products demonstrates that antidumping cases can be brought in virtually all industries.  As the importer, you are responsible for determining which duties apply to the goods you import.  In addition to payment of back duties, the fines for neglecting to pay these antidumping duties on time are significant, which is why it is critical to be attentive and accountable for what you are importing.   You don’t want that 214% duty bill some years after the goods have been sold!  You are able to search by case number in the following database categorizing all of the active antidumping and countervailing duty cases: http://adcvd.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb/ad_cvd_msgs?utf8=%E2%9C%93&commit=View+most+recent+messages.

Note that the agency responsible for enforcing antidumping duties is the Department of Commerce: most mistakenly assume it is Customs.  Under the umbrella of the DOC, the United States International Trade Commission is the federal agency in charge of investigating claims of dumping.  As an importer you have an obligation to be accountable for the product you bring in, and an important piece of this is abiding by the proper duty payments.

FMC Remains Aggressive with Penalties

Since the summer (2015) there have been penalty settlements announced by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) which total in excess of $2,000,000.00.  Its Bureau of Enforcement (BOE) is the arm of the Commission specifically focused on prosecution.  The BOE investigates violations of the Shipping Act as well as enforces FMC regulations, and Bureau attorneys are the ones who act as trial counsel in all formal Commission proceedings.  Often a settlement is reached between violating parties and Bureau attorneys, and detailed below are some notably large cases from the past year.   Settlements generally avoid any admission of wrongdoing, and avoid the extensive time and money expenditure required by administrative trials.

In August, the BOE announced FMC collections of $1,227,500.00.  These collections were made in the form of penalty payments by a variety of different parties, including seven different non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and one vessel-operating common carrier (VOCC).  The violations alleged of the NVOCCs included unlawfully collecting forwarder compensation, misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts, allowing improper parties to access service contracts, knowingly obtaining transportation less than applicable rates, and more. The most heavily penalized party was the vessel operator United Arab Shipping Company; it was charged with violating 46 U.S.C. 41104(1) and 46 U.S.C. 41104(2) for allegedly paying unlawful rebates to a shipper and providing transportation at rates inconsistent with their published tariff.  In total, United Arab Shipping Company paid $537,500.00 in penalties to the agency.

In September another announcement was made regarding penalty collections, but this time only one party was involved.  A VOCC based in Norway named Siem Car Carriers was found to be in violation of 46 U.S.C. 41102(b).  In this case the violations were voluntarily disclosed, and an agreement was reached in which Siem paid $135,000.00 in penalties.  The Chairman of the FMC, Mario Cordero, states, “Voluntary disclosures can serve to diminish carrier exposure to very significant monetary penalties.”  Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that Siem would have been responsible for greater penalties if they had not taken the initiative to disclose this information voluntarily.   In January of this year we presented our first seminar on voluntary disclosure to Federal agencies.   It is interesting to see how the disclosed entity paid roughly 25% of what the non-disclosing entity paid above, though of course the facts and extent of the alleged violations may have differed greatly.

In December 2015, still more violations were announced, and this time they involved freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and two unlicensed entities acting as ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs). The British Association of Removers and Sparx Logistics are both NVOCCs that allegedly violated FMC regulations by obtaining ocean transportation at lower than applicable rates; while neither company admitted to actually doing so, they did agree to settle and pay penalties. Wilhelmsen Ships Services and N/J International are licensed NVOCCs and freight forwarders which were involved in cases charging them with operating without a valid Qualifying Individual for a period of over one year. As a result, both companies were ordered to pay penalties to the FMC. Lastly, Azap Motors and Knopf International are unlicensed entities that were both alleged to be offering OTI services without a proper FMC license. Both companies agreed to pay penalties, and Azap Motors even dissolved as a company.  Collections from penalty violations totaled $334,000.00 for the month overall.

As 2016 has kicked off, so have the FMC collections. It was announced recently that the FMC collected a total of $520,000.00 through civil penalties in the month of February.  These penalties came from four different OTIs (both NVOCCs and freight forwarders) and one VOCC. It is important to note that in that month all NVOCCs were penalized for the same action: they allegedly obtained transportation at less than applicable rates. The FMC takes this seriously, and it is important to ensure you are paying a fair price for transportation as set by tariffs.   Misrepresentation of weight, volume or commodity is dealt with harshly by the agency.

You can learn a great deal from examining past FMC penalties.  When dealing with trade and transportation it is your responsibility to understand the regulations set forth by the FMC as well as the Shipping Act, and to ensure that your actions are in accordance with these guidelines.  Otherwise, as we have seen in these cases, severe penalties may be assessed letting the agency laugh all the way to the bank.

 

 

 

2016: The Year of Cuba

2016 has kicked off with some big changes, many of which pertain to the United State’s relationship with Cuba.  On January 27th, 2016, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new regulations that further reduce U.S. sanctions on Cuba.  Translation: things are looking up in terms of repairing a long-term strained relationship between the two.  These modifications  relate to financing, exportation, and travel; they further liberalize bilateral access and promote improved relations between the United States and Cuba.  Since January, regulations have  steadily been chipped away at an effort to slowly dilute the embargo; these include regulations eased as recently as March 15th.

Previously, there were very strict regulations regarding payment and financing terms for non-agricultural exports to Cuba.  C.O.D. was the only means of payment allowed: credit was forbidden. However, many of these terms have now been reduced or repealed, allowing for payments of cash in advance, sales on an open account, and financing by a third-party country or the U.S.  In support of this, a regulation was promulgated on March 15th to ease the transfer of money between Cuban and American banks. Establishing expanded methods and means of financing helps encourage trade and exchange between the U.S. and Cuba, and it is an important step in growing the relationship between the two.

In addition, regulations regarding U.S. exports were altered.  Licenses for exports of food and services which are deemed to aid Cuba have been expanded; this category now includes telecommunications, agricultural, civil aviation safety, and news gathering software items.  This expansion allows a larger variety of items to be sent to Cuba, and a case-by-case basis licensing policy has been introduced for even more additional items.

The most drastic  changes are those regarding travel.  OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which regulates embargos) has now approved an expanded number of business-related travel reasons; these include professional conferences, sports competitions, artistic expeditions, humanitarian projects, market research, and sales/contract negotiation.  It is important to note that travel blatantly for tourism alone is still banned, but there are an increasing number of ways to circumvent this.  As of March 15th individual travel is permitted for “people-to-people missions”; this includes any trip which involves a meaningful cultural exchange with Cuban people. This is a big development, as previously this category was limited to tour groups only.  Since commercial flights to Cuba are scheduled to resume in the Fall, it is an appropriate time for these more lenient travel regulations to be taking form.    Given these new  “people-to-people ” rules, it seems a foregone conclusion that individuals who make, let’s say,  culturally driven sojourns with enjoyable side trips are very unlikely to find themselves under threat of prosecution at this time.

President Obama announced in February his plans to make a trip to Cuba in this month; it will be the first time an American President has visited Cuba in 88 years.  The goal to repair and expand relations with Cuba through enhanced communication and travel was originally announced by Obama in December 2014, and this seems to be a big step in that direction.  It is sure to be worthwhile keeping  an eye out for regulatory chanages regarding import, export, trade, financing, and more as relations between the U.S. and Cuba continue to warm.

The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015

The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 was passed by the Senate on February 11th, 2016 in a 75-20 vote. Now that the bill has been passed by the House and the Senate, the final piece of the puzzle is for President Obama to sign the bill into law. Given that this is projected to be enacted by the President soon, it is imperative for international traders to understand its key provisions.

The Act is split into 9 different sections with an overall focus on facilitating and enforcing trade; this will help to promote U.S. global opportunities while keeping the playing field level and fair. Key provisions of the Act focus on enhancing enforcement of international trade laws, providing stronger protection for international intellectual property, and modernizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processes. According to an article published by The Washington Examiner, “Current customs rules that have not fully embraced technological and trade advances are creating bottlenecks at the border that impede the just-in-time manufacturing process, which is critical to the productivity, efficiency, and global competitiveness of the U.S.” Passing this bill marks the first, long overdue, significant update to CBP processes and policies in over 10 years.

Three aspects of the bill are of particular interest. First, the focus on strengthening anti-evasion procedures is key via establishment of a Trade Remedy Law Enforcement Division at CBP’s Office of Trade. This division will be specifically aimed at preventing the evasion of antidumping and countervailing duty orders. If it is determined that evasion has occurred, CBP is required to suspend liquidation of entries and enforce the appropriate cash deposit rate for the merchandise. Updates streamline the process for investigating evasion and assessing the corresponding penalty.

Another area of focus in the bill is intellectual property protection, manifested through the creation of a greater National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. It will focus on investigating sources of merchandise that infringe intellectual property rights. The thought is to advance U.S. competitiveness globally by identifying those responsible for producing, smuggling, or distributing copyrighted and/or trademarked merchandise, rather than just seizing the end products when discovered.

Lastly, the Act drastically alters provisions regarding duty drawback. Essentially new provisions simplify drawback procedures by extending the deadline for filing drawback claims. It rises to five years while creating more transparency in the calculation of drawback refunds, and establishing a standard for classification of substitution drawback items.

Overall, this seems to be a piece of legislation that will help to advance the American economy when signed into law. While this brief post is only able to focus on certain key highlights, there are many changes proposed within the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 that are significant and impactful. To view the bill in its entirety, please visit the following link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/644/text

If you have any further questions regarding The Mooney Law Firm or the services we provide, please contact us today!

An Introduction to Business Succession Planning

Many of our clients are smaller, family-owned enterprises which have succession concerns.  It is always important to be thinking ahead, whether it’s your overall strategic vision, marketing and sales, human resources, or any other facet of your business.  The common thread for success in each of these disciplines is having a well-developed plan, including one for exit.   Here I focus primarily on planning within a family business, i.e. regarding passing a company from one generation to the next.  This includes planning for the unexpected, as the reality is that you may not always be able to foresee exactly when you will exit your business (if you catch my drift). The sooner you develop a succession plan, the better prepared you will be.

According to the Conway Center for Family Business, “Nearly 70% of family businesses would like to pass their business on to the next generation, but only 30% will actually be successful at doing so.”  Prior to establishing the critical plan, it is important to agree on some fundamental goals and objectives not only for the transition of ownership, but also for next-generation management.  The most essential element is identifying successors, because not all heirs are really interested in what your business does.   Regardless, all family members need to be factored in, even if they are not designated as successors.  A good plan will allow you to assign active and non-active roles for each member.  Additionally, the plan should outline any additional support or privileges that will be needed by the successor from other family members.  It is critical to agree on a method for dispute resolution, document the plan in writing, and ensure it is agreed to by all family members.  Yes, that is ordinarily possible.

The work does not stop there.  After a succession plan has been decided upon, it is important to create both a business and an owner estate plan.  These will address issues of taxation upon transfer of ownership. It is important to structure the succession in a way that accurately reflects the value of the business while minimizing taxes and avoiding delays in transfer of ownership. The final piece of the puzzle is ensuring there is a trustee or executor to enforce the timeline and method for transition, when that time comes.

Family business succession plans might fail due to differing family interests, but taking these initial steps ensure that you have done what you can to avoid it.   A careful planning process promotes an open family dialogue, and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the future of the family business. You can do this!

FTZ Subzones: Not a Remote Possibility Anymore

It is no secret that there are many benefits to taking advantage of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs).  Regardless of the size of an importer or exporter, using FTZs can significantly reduce costs from customs duties and taxes, and as a result increase  a company’s  global market competitiveness.  By definition, a foreign-trade zone is a geographical area (located within 60 miles of a United States port) where commercial merchandise is considered to be outside the jurisdiction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Even though the site is physically within the United States, it is treated as being outside of the Customs’ jurisdiction.  Therefore ordinary Customs rules, regulations, and fees do not apply.

A downside to FTZs is that by law they may only be operated by a city or county.  For private parties wanting their own zones, however, there is a solution, and it goes by the name of “Foreign Trade Zone Subzones”.  An FTZ subzone is an area approved by the Foreign-Trade Zone Board for use by a specific company.  Subzones endow all of the same benefits as general-purpose FTZs, but they relieve companies from having to relocate within the established Foreign Trade Zone sites.  Essentially, if you are able to have a pre-existing site or warehouse permitted as a subzone for your company, then you are operating your own private Foreign-Trade Zone.

This establishment of subzones provides many potential benefits for companies, especially those that import or re-export products. For example, let’s take a look at Volkswagen.  This company was able to have one of its production plants in Chattanooga, TN declared an FTZ subzone, and as a result VW has estimated that it could save upwards of $1.9 million dollars in inverted tariffs. (FAS.org) Tires and parts otherwise subject to high duties enter the subzone completely exempt from them, and then later  enter the U.S.  after being incorporated into cars, no longer as parts, at a much lower duty rate.  The ability to manufacture within a subzone coupled with the exemption from ordinary Customs’ duties and tariffs can translate to very significant savings.  There are many other legal advantages we don’t have space to list here.

Declaring locations as subzones used to be seen as more a privilege than a right, but there has been a shift in this attitude over the past few years.  The application process for forming a subzone is fairly streamlined, and all of the required steps and documentation can be found at the following link: http://enforcement.trade.gov/ftzpage/sz-application.html.  The average total cost including necessary permit and legal fees may range from $15,000 to $25,000, and the average time span from application to operation can be  6 months or less.  It is important to consider the costs and benefits before proceeding with a decision to pursue subzone declaration, but it is clear that there a number of significant advantages from this classification.

For regular updates on important topics such as this, subscribe to our blog today! In addition, if you have any questions regarding The Mooney Law Firm or the services we provide, please feel free to contact us.

Shipping Act Violations: FMC Informal Small Claims

Part of the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) job is to regulate international ocean transportation as it relates to U.S. exporters, importers and consumers.  One way the FMC fulfills its mission is by protecting the trading community from financial harm through dispute resolution and proceedings.  The FMC can hear disputes that arise under the Shipping Act of 1984 as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, which governs international ocean shipment of goods, codified at 46 U.S.C. § 40101-41309.  So what does this mean for you, the importer, exporter, or consumer?

 

You may have found yourself in the situation where, as a shipper, you cannot determine the location of your cargo, or your cargo was lost or damaged and you are having problems processing your claims.  You may have economic problems with an NVOCC that is defaulting, or you might not be able to agree with a carrier on a service contract.  As a freight forwarder, you may have difficulty collecting compensation from a carrier, or you may have issues with a carrier objecting to your document preparation.  If any of these issues involves a claim of less than $50,000.00, then FMC small claims proceedings are one of the ways you can go about resolving your problem.[1]

 

The FMC provides a standard format for preparing a small claim, whether prepared by an attorney or on your own, and it must include the following[2]:

 

  • a statement of which section of the Shipping Act you believe has been violated (46 U.S.C. Ch. 411)
  • a dated, signed, sworn, and notarized statement that the information contained in the claim is true and correct

 

In addition to those requirements, you would generally set out the facts of your case briefly and succinctly then send to the FMC the original claim along with two copies of the claim and any documentation you have that supports your claim.  Keep in mind that your claim must be filed within three years from the date of the violation.  As of this publication, the filing fee for a small claim complaint is $67.00[3].

 

Once you have filed your claim, the FMC will allow the person or company against whom you are complaining (the respondent) 25 days to object to the informal small claims procedure.  If the respondent objects, then the claim would go through the formal process in front of an Administrative law judge as required under Subpart T of the FMC rules.  If there is no objection, an FMC Settlement Officer appointed by the FMC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist will decide the issue on behalf of the parties.[4] 46 C.F.R. §502.304 The Settlement Officer will issue a decision that is final after a 30 day period as long as no individual Commissioner decides to review the decision and neither of the parties involved asks for reconsideration.

 

Going through the informal procedure can be faster and less onerous than more formal proceedings, and may be a good option for you if you find yourself harmed by someone’s violation of the Shipping Act.  For more information on small claims and other proceedings before the FMC, please contact us by phone at (800) 583-0250 or (850) 893-0670; by fax at (850) 391-4228; by mail at 1911 Capital Circle N.E., Tallahassee, FL 32308; or by email at smorrison@customscourt.com or nmooney@customscourt.com.  You may also find more information by visiting the FMC website at www.fmc.gov.

TRADE POLICY: OBAMA vs ROMNEY

International trade is vital to our economy, so much of the debate in the upcoming Presidential election has surrounded the candidates’ foreign trade policies. President Barack Obama (D) and his challenger, Governor Mitt Romney (R), have each publicly stated support for free trade; however their trade philosophies are very different.

 

President Obama introduced the National Export Initiative (“NEI”) in 2010 and stated his goal of doubling exports over the following five years.[1]The U.S. is currently on track to not only reach, but also to exceed this goal with a current annual increase in exports of 16%.[2] Although President Obama has not opened any new trade negotiations, he has worked with Congress to pass three free trade agreements that were previously languishing:  Panama, South Korea, and Colombia.[3]  The Obama administration has also participated in negotiating a trade pact with Pacific nations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).[4]  Although he acknowledges and supports the necessity of international free trade, President Obama still endorses the need for Americans to “Buy American”.[5]

 

Governor Mitt Romney has been thorough in outlining his foreign trade policies, a main objective of which is to create a “Reagan Economic Zone”, similar to that which President Reagan attempted during his presidency.[6]  Gov. Romney anticipates that the Zone would standardize practices and create a network of “like-minded” nations that are committed to free enterprise and open markets.[7]    According to Romney, “for every $1 billion in U.S. exports, another 5,000 jobs are created in the U.S.”.[8]  Thus, continued pursuit of current and new trade agreements will help stimulate the economy.

 

China is a hot topic for trade, and it is one of the key points for both Romney and Obama’s campaigns.  Among Romney’s objectives is the decision to take Chinese businesses to court and litigate against unfair trade practices, as well as declaring China a “currency manipulator”.[9]  In contrast to Gov. Romney’s stance, President Obama has never openly reprimanded China for manipulating its currency to fit its needs; however, the President’s administration has litigated unfair trade cases against China.[10]

 

The purpose of this blog post is solely to help inform our readers and not as a means of endorsing either candidate.  We hope that all our readers will be better informed to make the decision on November  6, 2012 that best fits their values and beliefs.

 

For more information on the 2012 Presidential Candidates please visit the links referenced in this post or the nominees’ websites directly at http://www.barackobama.com/ and http://www.mittromney.com/. For more information on the 2012 Presidential Election, how and when to vote visit http://www.presidentialelection.com/.


[1] U.S. Dept of Commerce, International Trade Administration: National Export Initiative http://trade.gov/nei/nei-introduction-state-of-the-union-012710.asp

[4] Executive Office of the President, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative: The U.S. in the Trans-Pacific Partnership http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2011/november/united-states-trans-pacific-partnership

[5] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

[6] Mitt Romney’s Campaign Website: Issues, China & East Asia http://www.mittromney.com/issues/china-east-asia

[7] Id.

[8] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

[10] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

The OSCARs: Creating Greater Efficiency in Transpacific Agricultural Shipping

The United States Department of Agriculture has teamed up with members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement[1] to enhance shipping and exports in the agricultural market by creating weekly projected equipment and container availability reports designed to increase efficiency and transparency of containers flows.

Current carriers including data for the initiative are APL, COSCO, Evergreen, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming Transportation Corporation, OOCL, NYK Line, K Line, and Hyundai Merchant Marine.[2]  The data is compiled each week to offer from information provided by these carriers from each of 18 intermodal locations regarding estimated container availability and supplies and is “based on up-to date bookings or reservation information in the westbound transpacific trade lane.”[3]

Weekly data on container availability as well as overview data for up to 6 prior months is available from these lines in the following 18 locations:

  • Charleston, SC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Savannah, GA
  • Seattle and Tacoma, WA

Shippers can find the weekly reports, which also container more information on the initiative and how to read the reports, by visiting http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ATContainerReport.

The Federal Maritime has also weighed in on the new initiative, applauding the efforts of the USDA and the WTSA and urging full shipper participation.  More information here:  http://www.fmc.gov/chairman_lidinsky_applauds_new_usda_container_availability_report_and_urges_full_shipper_participation/.


[1] The “Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) is a research and discussion forum of container shipping lines operating in the trade lane from the U.S. to Asia.”  http://www.wtsacarriers.org/home_nf.html

[3] Id.

Rail and Ocean Carriers: Transition to the ACE e-Manifest

Customs recently published an important reminder for all rail and sea carriers regarding the impending transition from the Automated Manifest System (AMS) to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) e-Manifest system.  As you’re probably aware, ACE is the gradual consolidation and automation of Customs’ current border processing systems, which is being implemented through the constantly-improving ACE Secure Data Portal.  In August of last year, Customs updated the e-Manifest system, previously used only for the processing of truck cargo, to be an alternative to the AMS for rail and sea carriers as well.  The latest planned shift, scheduled to occur on September 29, 2012, marks yet another step towards consolidation by eradicating the AMS entirely.  So if your company hasn’t yet started to transition to the new e-Manifest system, it is advisable that you heed the advice contained within this Customs bulletin (reproduced below) and contact your software provider as soon as possible.[1]

——————————————–

Are you ready for ACE e-Manifest: Rail and Sea (M1)?

The 60 day countdown has begun!

 In less than 60 days, effective September 29, 2012, ACE will be the only approved EDI for transmitting required advance rail and sea cargo information and ABI in-bond transactions to CBP.

As of July 31, 2012, 96% of ocean carriers and 83% of ABI software developers impacted by the transition to M1 have either completed or are in the onboarding process. All rail carriers are either in production or currently testing.

** If you are part of the 4% of the ocean carriers or the 17% of the ABI software developers who are NOT yet testing ACE Rail and Sea Manifest, NOW is the time to contact your Client Representative for assistance.**

CBP is finding that many software developers have misinterpreted sections of the Implementation Guidelines that have resulted in programming changes to trade software. If you have not been in touch with your Client Representative to begin certification testing, please do so immediately!

If you submit sea or rail cargo information, file ABI in-bond transactions, or receive broker download information via ABI, you or your software provider must transition to ACE, or your transactions will fail when the current Automated Manifest System (AMS) for rail and sea is decommissioned.

In order to ensure that EDI messages for rail and sea manifest and ABI in-bond transactions do not fail, it is essential that by September 29, 2012:

  1. The required programming changes are completed,
  2. Certification testing is completed in coordination with your Client Rep, AND
  3. The switch to production for ACE e-Manifest: Rail and Sea is made.

For additional information, please refer to the recently-conducted webinar available on CBP.gov at

https://connect.hsin.gov/p67194661/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal. 

Further information on ACE e-Manifest: Rail and Sea is available at

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/automated/modernization/manifest_railsea/.

As of July 29, only 60 days remain to complete all of the steps necessary to make the transition to ACE rail and sea manifest filing.”[2]