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*Anyone with questions regarding these international trade topics should contact Rebecca Mond, TIA senior director of federal government affairs (202.459.0352).
Importer Security Filing
The Importer Security Filing (ISF) commonly referred to by the trade as
“10+2” is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
regulation that requires importers and vessel common carriers to provide
trade data to CBP in advance of the shipments arriving into the U.S. by
vessel (ocean cargo).
Commercial Environment (ACE)
Commercial Environment (ACE) is the commercial trade processing system used by the U.S. to automate border processing, enhance border security and foster our Nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel.
As of October 1, 2012, CBP has successfully transitioned both sea and rail manifests to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE.) ACE now operates as the only CBP-approved electronic data system.
ACE’s e-Manifest: Sea and Rail began its pilot phase in August 2011, and in November 2011 CBP began accepting e-manifests from trade users in the ACE system. For further information on ACE, please refer to the status report accessible below.
View current status
Cargo Screening Program (CCSP)
The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007
required 50% screening of air cargo, at the piece level, by February
2009 and 100% by August 2010. The Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) created this voluntary program which is a partnership between
industry and government. Domestic facilities that seek approval as CCS
facilities are subject to rigorous security regulations by the
C-TPAT (Customs and Trade Partnership against Terrorism)
C-TPAT is a voluntary initiative between government and industry with
the goal of strengthening and improving the overall international supply
chain and bolster U.S. border security. C-TPAT participants must
ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate and
verify the security guidelines of their business partners within the
supply chain. In return, the companies benefit from “fast
lane” border crossings and other important incentives. Companies
of all sizes can benefit from C-TPAT membership.
Dodd-Frank Act Conflict Minerals Reporting
On August 22, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
adopted a rule mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act (2010) that requires publicly traded companies
to disclose their use of conflict minerals originating in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country, in order to stop rebel
groups from illegally using profits from the minerals to fund their
activities. Section1502 of the Act is a disclosure provision that
requires companies to determine whether their products contain conflict
minerals (tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten) and report their findings to
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on an annual basis.
Dodd-Frank Reporting Requirements
Conflict Minerals Resource Center
In conjunction with Source Intelligence, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and six other industry associations, TIA has developed a website that provides information and training to help companies in the supply chain comply with the current SEC Conflict Minerals regulations.
FDA's New Import Trade Auxiliary Communications System (ITACS)
On March 14, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened to the
public its new Import Trade Auxiliary Communications System
(ITACS). ITACS is an Internet-based information system which,
initially, allows importers and their representatives to check the
status of import entries subject to FDA clearance, electronically submit
documentation relating to such entries, and provide shipment
availability information to the FDA for goods that have been targeted
Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) Program
As of October 5, 2012, importers who have successfully undergone a Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Focused Assessment (“FA”) within the last 12 months audit are eligible for automatic transition into the ISA program without further CBP review provided they are a U.S. or Canadian importer, are a C-TPAT member, agree to develop a risk-based self-testing plan, and otherwise comply with ISA program requirements.
The opportunity for automatic transition into the ISA program is also available for those U.S. importers that, within the last 12 months, have successfully completed a Compliance Improvement Plan (“CIP”) following an FA, and have been deemed to pose an acceptable risk after CBP follow-up. Such importers will also not be required to undergo an ISA application review meeting, but will remain required to otherwise comply with the program requirements, as outlined below, one of which is membership in C-TPAT.
Intellectual Property Rights
In recent years, counterfeiting, piracy and other intellectual property rights (IPR) violations have grown in magnitude and complexity, costing
businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue and often posing health
and safety risks to consumers. Companies may take steps to protect
their IPR by recording, and renewing, trademarks, copyrights and trade
names with CBP.
Lacey Act Amendment
The Lacey Act is the world’s first ban on trade in illegal wood.
In 2008 Congress passed a farm bill, which included an amendment to the
100 year old Lacey Act to address illegal logging. The Act:
- Prohibits all trade in plant and plant products that are illegally
sourced from any U.S. state or foreign country.
- Requires importers to declare the country of origin of harvest and
species name of all plants contained in their products.
- Establishes penalties for violation of the Act, including forfeiture
of goods and vessels, fines and jail time.
Simply put, there is a regulation (19CFR 103.31) which requires
Importers to file certain trade information with CBP; many of these same
data elements are also now required as part of the ISF
“10+2” requirements. It has come to TIA’s
attention that certain publications and Internet based operations are
selling this trade information. Section 19 CFR 103.31 allows an
Importer to keep its manifest information confidential; confidentiality
must be formally requested in writing and renewed every two
MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur – Common Market of the South) Tariffs
On December 7th, the Common Market Committee of the Mercosur nations of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela voted against a proposal from Brazil to permanently increase the duty on toys for all Mercosur countries to 35%, up from the common rate of 20%. The Committee voted to extend until December 31, 2014 a current ruling that allows individual Mercosur members to increase their duties up to 35% if they choose. On November 7th, Argentina announced that it was increasing duties on toys to 35%.
Simplified Entry/Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS)
CBP’s recently initiated Simplified Entry pilot program allows importers to file, prior to arrival, a simplified entry consisting of 12 required data elements and 3 optional data elements, instead of the typically-required 27 elements that are usually filed post-takeoff. The program is available only within the air cargo environment, but CBP plans to institute similar programs in the ocean and rail environments.
Currently, there are a limited number of participants and ports in the pilot program. The initial participating ports were Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta. In August 2012, the program was expanded to four West Coast ports (Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles,) and in September 2012, six additional ports (Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Miami, Newark, JFK and Boston) will be added to the program. While the program is only in its initial phases, by August 2012, more than 11,800 Simplified Entries had been filed for more than 400 importers of record.
Background information regarding Simplified Entry/Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS)
Statistical Provisions for Toy Tariffs
International Trade Administration
Trade.gov – All-encompassing trade site covering trade barriers, tariffs, policy, exports, compliance, enforcement, etc.
- Tradeology – The official ITA blog.
- International Trade Update – Monthly publication featuring trade news highlights.
- Export.gov – Complete guide to exporting that utilizes resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in the global marketplace.
- @TradeGov – Follow the ITA on Twitter for a steady stream of updates.
United States Trade Representative
- USTR.gov – Covers trade agreements, hearings, updates on trade negotiations, the current administration’s approach to trade policy, etc. Features trade spotlight blog.
- @USTradeRep – Follow USTR on Twitter for a steady stream of updates.
United States Customs & Border Protection
- CBP.gov – Provides border advisories, updates on product seizures, information on trusted trade / mutual recognition programs, etc.
- Frontline magazine – Published quarterly; discusses CBP’s efforts in every area, from trade enforcement to cyber-security.
- @CustomsBorder – Follow CBP on Twitter for a steady stream of updates.
World Trade Online
- Insidetrade.com – Provides specific information and analysis of EU/US FTA negotiations and progress, as well as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and World Trade Organization (WTO) news including hearings, notifications, actions, etc.
World Trade Organization
WTO.org – Provides news on Technical Barriers to Trade and current WTO disputes, as well as official WTO council and committee documents, trade statistics, etc.
- @WTO – Follow WTO on Twitter for a steady stream of updates.
STR Trade Report
- STRtrade.com – Delivers short and up-to-date write-ups of trade policy and regulations, negotiations and agreements; includes descriptions of the affects that outside factors have on these issues. Outlines all developments that affect importing / exporting.
Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs
Toy Industry Association
1200 G Street NW, Suite 450
Washington DC 20005