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November 14 2012 Issue

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Update on ACE Initiatives on Cargo Release, Exports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted to its Web site an update on the functionality already implemented in the Automated Commercial Environment as well as near-term priorities for other ACE deliverables, such as Cargo Release, entry summary edits and export processing. ACE is currently in an operations and maintenance phase but CBP recognizes that additional functionality is necessary to achieve broad participation and is therefore committed to working with ACE stakeholders to develop business cases for remaining functionality in order to secure the additional funding needed to implement it.

CBP states that for the development of future capabilities it is reorienting its development team and processes to produce smaller pieces of functionality more frequently, resulting in a more flexible, user-focused development process. Recent efforts such as Simplified Entry were developed using this approach with great success, and based on this success CBP is working to implement this approach across the ACE program. The goal of this effort is to achieve an automated single window system that supports a competitive global economy, efficient trade processing, collection of federal revenue, and safe and secure trade flows.

Cargo Release. ACE Cargo Release will provide the trade community with a more automated and modern process that streamlines data requirements, removes paper and provides for expedited import decisions by federal agencies.

Simplified Entry is the first phase of Cargo Release. CBP is currently conducting a pilot test of Simplified Entry in the air transportation mode that eliminates the current CBP Form 3461 used to make entry and replaces it with a streamlined set of data – 12 required and three optional data elements – submitted earlier in the process. The pilot is currently operational at airports in Indianapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Miami, Newark, New York/JFK and Boston, with plans to expand it to airports in Memphis, Detroit and Anchorage. A total of 20 filers are now participating, and as of Oct. 18 there had been approximately 27,500 simplified entries successfully filed (up from 15,000 a month earlier) for nearly 600 importers. CBP is also working to add new functionality to the pilot, including incorporation of the PGA message set, the SE transaction set, single transaction bonds, automated corrections and deletions, the Document Image System, and remote location filing.

PGA Interoperability. This initiative enables CBP to share information, documents and events of interest in an automated manner with participating government agencies in an effort to significantly enhance the interagency collaboration required during the cargo importation, review and release process. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Coast Guard are already participating, and other agencies in the process of being brought into the interoperability environment include the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Census Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. There has been no change in this list since the last ACE update.

Exports. CBP is planning to establish ACE as the single processing platform for all export manifest and commodity transactions. Current plans call for the development of an automated export manifest system for all modes, which will involve coordination with the Census Bureau and other PGAs involved in export licensing and commodity transactions. A pilot test using the Document Image System capability, which allows for an emailed submission and automated processing of export manifests in the ocean mode of transportation, was launched in March and has now been expanded to all seaports and ocean carriers. CBP has provided no further details on the operation or results of this pilot. 

Japanese Prime Minister Supports Participation in Trans-Pacific Pact

Press reports state that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced his party’s support for Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a way to further aid the country’s economic recovery. Tokyo has been considering whether to get involved with the TPP for a while, trying to determine how to balance the interests of the consumers and businesses who back it with those of the politically powerful agriculture sector that doesn’t. According to press accounts, the embattled Noda is looking to take a firm stand in favor of the TPP, as well as a trilateral free trade agreement with China and South Korea, in an effort to boost his party’s chances in an election expected to be held in the next few months. If his party loses, however, Japan’s engagement in these initiatives could be less certain.

Trade Finance Guide for Small Businesses Updated

The International Trade Administration released Nov. 12 the third edition of its Trade Finance Guide. The ITA states that this “concise, easy to understand and use” guide was written to help U.S. companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, learn the basic fundamentals of trade finance “so they can turn their export opportunities into actual sales.” The guide provides general information about common techniques of export financing and this year’s edition includes two new chapters on consignment and government-backed agricultural export financing. 

New International Treaty Aims to Halt Illicit Tobacco Trade

The United Nations reports that on Nov. 12 a new international treaty was signed to combat the illicit global trade in tobacco products. The new protocol sets the rules for combating this trade through control of the supply chain and international cooperation. It also commits countries to establishing a global tracking and tracing system as a central measure.

The illicit trade of tobacco products “is a global problem which undermines health objectives, imposes additional strain on health systems and weakens tax and other measures designed to strengthen tobacco control,” said a statement from the World Health Organization. “It also leads to substantial revenue losses to governments around the world while generating vast financial profits for illegal traders, which are often used to fund transnational criminal activity.”

According to a UN press release, this agreement will be open for signature for one year beginning Jan. 10, 2013. The agreement will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by 40 parties. 

In the News: Argentina Trade Policy, Thailand Rice

Argentina's International Trade Disaster

US challenges Thai rice policy

AD/CV Notices: Honey, Lemon Juice

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Honey.
Country: Argentina.
Nature of Notice: Preliminary intent to revoke antidumping duty order effective Dec. 1, 2010, and countervailing duty order effective Dec. 1, 2011, because domestic parties have expressed no interest in the continuation of these orders.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Lemon juice.
Country: Argentina and Mexico.
Nature of Notice: Determination to conduct full sunset reviews of antidumping duty orders. 

No IPR Import Restrictions on Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits

The International Trade Commission has terminated in its entirety without the imposition of import restrictions patent infringement investigation 337-TA-848 of certain radio frequency integrated circuits and devices containing same. Complainant Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation withdrew its complaint and there was no opposition.

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