Tuesday, January 20, 2009

U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement to Become Effective February 1, 2009

The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (UPTPA) will go into effect on February 1, 2009. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 80 percent of U.S. industrial and consumer products and more than two-thirds of current U.S. farm exports will enter Peru duty-free when the agreement takes effect. Under the agreement, Peru will enjoy permanent trade preferences that were temporary under the Andean Trade Preference Act. Additionally, Peru will be removed as a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences. In order to receive preferential treatment under the UPTPA, U.S. and Peruvian goods must qualify as originating using tariff shift rules similar to those found in NAFTA, CFTA and CAFTA-DR. Duties on some originating goods will be eliminated immediately on February 1, while others will be phased out over a 10 to 17 year period.

For more detail on the tariff shifts, RVC and other requirements, visit the USTR web site to view the final text of the UPTPA.

Friday, January 16, 2009

CBP Posts Notice of Exam for April 2009

U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted a notice to its web site announcing the April 2009 Customs Broker License Exam. The exam will be held on Monday, April 6, 2009 and applications (CBP 3124E) to take the exam must be received on or before Friday, March 6, 2009. Applicants should bring the following reference materials to the exam. Please note the appropriate editions for the HTSUS and CFR.

- Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2008 version – Supplement 1)

It is important to use this edition since questions often require the determination of the correct HTS number, duty rate and applicability of Free Trade Agreements, all of which may change slightly from year to year.

- Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (revised as of April 1, 2008 Parts Parts 0 to140, 141 to 199 and 200 to End) (no supplements)

- Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR)
  • Appendix B - Valid Codes
  • Appendix D - Metric Conversion
  • Appendix E - Valid Entry Numbers
  • Appendix G - Common Errors
  • Appendix H - Census Warning Messages
  • Appendix L - Drawback Errors
  • Glossary of Terms

- Instructions for Preparation of CBP Form 7501 (8-30-2005)

-C-TPAT - Minimum Security Criteria for Customs Brokers (3-20-2007)

-Submission Changes for Supplemental Information Letters and Post Entry Amendments

-Remote Location Filing Eligibility Requirements

- Directives

  • 3510-004, Monetary Guidelines for Setting Bond Amounts
  • Amendment to 3510-004 for Certain Merchandise Subject to Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Cases
  • 3550-055, Instructions for Deriving Manufacturer/Shipper Identification Code
  • 3550-067, Entry Summary Acceptance and Rejection Policy
  • 3550-079A, Ultimate Consignee at time of Entry or Release
  • 3560-001A, Census Interface-Processing Procedures
  • 5610-002A, Standard Guidelines for the Input of Names and Addresses Into Automated Commercial System (ACS) Files
Note: CBP added the C-TPAT Minimum Security Criteria for Customs Brokers (3-20-2007) to the list of reference materials for the April 2008 exam and asked five questions related to that document. Be sure to read the C-TPAT document thoroughly and review the questions from the April Exam!

It’s time to get ready for the next Customs Broker Exam! Click HERE for a complete list of our study plans and products designed to help you study and pass the exam! As always, the only way to guarantee that you receive the correct editions prior to the Notice of Exam posting is the get the Required Testing Material package through Boskage. Don’t forget to visit the Boskage Trade News Blog for additional for import/export news updates, articles about specific trade topics and helpful posts related the Customs Broker Exam!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Importer Security Filing Events Scheduled

U.S. Customs and Border Protection "CBP" has posted a list of trade outreach events to be hosted at various locations in the U.S. These events are designed to provide the trade community with an opportunity to learn more about the new Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements (ISF or ”10+2”) interim final rule. These events are intended to give the importing and filing community a basic understanding of how to comply with the new requirements. Space is limited so please use the links below to pre-register.

The following cities are scheduled for January 2009:
Note: Specific event information with location details and further instructions will be emailed to registrants after completion of the on-line registration process.

Check the blog or the CBP website for scheduling of these events in the following cities.

  • Houston, TX

  • Boston, MA

  • Miami/Port Everglades, FL

  • Long Beach, CA

  • Chicago, IL

  • Norfolk, VA

Customs Broker Triennial Status Report Due

In accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 111.30(d), every licensed broker must file a status report and pay a corresponding fee every three years. The report and fee of $100 must be submitted to CBP during February 2009. There is no required format for this report; however, CBP provided a sample. The elements of the report contained in 19 CFR 111.30(d) may be provided on a sheet of paper and submitted to Customs along with the money order or check for the corresponding fee. Again, the attached sample report is only a suggested format and its use is not mandatory. A report that is filed during the month of February 2009 is considered timely filed. CBP offices will begin accepting status reports and the corresponding fee on January 2, 2009. Any license for which no report and fee is filed is subject to suspension by operation of law.

Each individually licensed broker must state whether or not he/she still meets the applicable requirements of 19 CFR 111.11 and 111.19 and has not engaged in any conduct that could constitute grounds for suspension or revocation under Section 111.53. Individuals are considered to be “actively engaged in customs business” when they are currently or have recently transacted customs business on behalf of others as a sole proprietor OR when they are employed by a licensed customs broker who is currently or has recently transacted customs business on behalf of others. Those who work for another broker and are not directly involved in any activities which fall under the scope of the definition of “customs business” may report that they are “NOT actively engaged in customs business.”

All valid licenses for which no report has been submitted will be suspended by operation of law on March 1, 2009. In cases like these, the port director will transmit a notice of the suspension to the broker during the month of March 2009 at the last known address reflected in CBP records. During the sixty-day period beginning on the date of the aforementioned suspension notice, the broker may submit a status report and fees to the appropriate port director. If this occurs, the license will be reinstated. Unfortunately, failure to submit a status report and the corresponding fees to CBP during the sixty-day period will result in the license being revoked. Such licenses are revoked by operation of law without prejudice to the filing of a new application for a license. You worked hard for that license and you don’t want to take the broker’s exam again, so arrange to file your report today!