Monthly Archives

March 2013

CBPImportTSAU.S.Customs

Sequestration Causes Furloughs in CBP – What This Means for You

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 25, 2013 0 comments

International passengers at Miami International Airport (MIA) have certainly felt the detrimental effects caused by the sequestration, as thousands have missed connecting flights – because of CBP processing delays.   

The sequestration has created hard caps on the amount of government spending due to the government’s inability to compromise on a budget.  Prior to the sequestration, CBP stated that they would ensure that their core mission would not be compromised, and under no circumstances would CBP diminish their commitment to completing their responsibilities.  On March 11, 2013, CBP began sending furlough notices to all of its 60,000 employees as the agency aims to make $754 million in cuts required under the sequestration. The furloughs are set to begin on April 21, 2013 and continue through September 30, 2013. 

These furloughs will…

  • put full time employees on unpaid leave for no more than 14 workdays.
  • pro-rate furlough time for part-time workers. 
  • freeze hiring
  • reduce and eliminate overtime and compensatory time

CBP agrees the biggest hit to border security comes from cuts to overtime. CBP will see income cut by 40%. Partly as a result of having to take up to 14 unpaid days off work.

What should importer/exporters and those involved in international trade expect?

Cargo processing during arrivals/departures outside normal business hours may experience delays until the following business morning. This roll over of work may in turn provide for regular cargo processing delays which are expected to take from 30 minutes up to a few hours during regular working hours. The daily tasks completed by cargo processing are not expected to be reduced. However, additional work usually performed during normal overtime shifts will be added to these daily shifts thus providing for extra delays! 

CBP has prioritized perishable goods due to the obvious health risks involved. Agricultural products will also be prioritized to avoid spoilage and delays of these delicate products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has commented that they are not expecting any direct impact to their operations and will immediately notify the industry if they anticipate any negative effects to sequestration. For the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) overtime was immediately ceased, with the exception of security checkpoints. Staff has been kept on to accommodate delayed departing flights. TSA is still evaluating possible furloughs.

For now there are still many what-ifs, and that uncertainty is already taking its toll.

What can be done?  Advise Congress now on how CBP furlough’s will negatively impact your business.

Best PracticesCosmeticsFDA IssuesFoodFSMAImportImport AlertMedical Devices

FDA Discusses TOP Reasons for Detention of Goods

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 20, 2013 0 comments

At today’s Import Operations Training, sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (FCBF), top officials from FDA traveled to Miami to educate importers and brokers.  Topics ranged from a general overview of FDA compliance, TOP rationales for FDA detentions, Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) updates, an overview of the newly re-organized (now DIO) Division of Import Operations (formerly DIOP – policy has now been removed), an overview of CBP & FDA’s Joint Team 488 – which handles liquidated damages claims for underlying FDA violations and much more. Highlights of the TOP rationale for detentions follows, as I feel this is of most value to you to know and is arranged by commodity.

Food Products Top Rationales for Detention

  • Manufacturer (processor, packer or person holding food product) is not registered with the FDA pursuant to the Bioterrorism Act.  (You can Register with the FDA here: www.FDA-USA.com)
  • Low Acid Canned Foods (LACF) are imported without establishment registration (FCE #) or scheduled process (SID #)
  • The products are subject to an Import Alert
  • Product labeling is not compliant (FDA does not pre-approve food labeling, it is up to importers to assure it is compliant before importing)
  • Common labeling violations include:
  1. Label is not in English
  2. Incorrect or missing statement of identity
  3. Failure to list allergens
  4. Failure to declare ingredients
  5. Failure to include a proper “Nutrition Facts” label (incorrect formats for Nutrition Facts labeling is also common) required by 21 C.F.R. 101.9
  6. Color additives are not declared correctly (or at all) on the label or not certified
  7. Food  additives are unsafe or not declared on the label

Dietary Supplements Top Rationales for Detention

  • The products are subject to an Import Alert
  • Product labeling is not compliant (FDA does not pre-approve dietary supplement labeling, it is up to importers to assure it is compliant before importing)
  • Common labeling violations include:
  1.  Label is not in English
  2. Unauthorized health claims
  3. Undeclared active ingredients
  4. Lacks a “Supplement Facts” panel required by 21 C.F.R. 101.36
  5. Failure to list the name of product and “Dietary Supplement” or “Herbal Supplement” on the label
  6. Failure  to list the appropriate disclaimer necessary when claims are made

Cosmetics Top Rationales for Detention

  • The cosmetics are subject to an Import Alert (for example IA 66-38 for cosmetics labeled with drug claims)
  • The cosmetics are contaminated and unsafe to use
  • The cosmetics are manufactured under unsanitary conditions
  • The cosmetics contain a non-permitted color additive
  • Product labeling is not compliant (FDA does not pre-approve cosmetic labeling, it is up to importers to assure it is compliant before importing)
  • Common labeling violations include:
  1.  Label is not in English
  2. Labeling is missing ingredients
  3. Label lacks warnings and adequate directions for use
  4. Missing the net quantity of contents
  5. Cosmetic  contains a “drug” claim

Drugs Top Rationales for Detention

  • The cosmetics are subject to an Import Alert (for example IA 66-41 – Unapproved new drugs)
  • Drugs are not registered or listed with the FDA
  • Product labeling is not compliant (FDA does not pre-approve drug labeling, it is up to importers to assure it is compliant before importing)
  • Common labeling violations include:
  1. Label is not in English
  2. Label does not contain adequate directions for use
  3. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) is not properly labeled or listed
  4. Drug contains a “new” chemical or a different dosage making the product a “new drug”

Medical Devices Top Rationales for Detention

  • The manufacturers is not registered with the FDA
  • The initial importer is not registered with the FDA
  • The device is not listed with the FDA
  • The product does not contain a 510k or PMA
  • Product labeling is not compliant (FDA does not pre-approve medical device labeling, it is up to importers to assure it is compliant before importing)
  • Common labeling violations include:
  1. Label is not in English
  2. Label is false or misleading 

Bottom line, as you can see, it is up to you, the importer to perform pre-compliance and assure you get compliance right before you import.  FDA expects you to know the requirements and has little mercy if you don’t.  Assure you stay compliant and avoid the top rationale for FDA to detain your goods by hiring someone that is extremely knowledgeable with FDA’s laws and regulations and continually stays up to date with the constant changes. 

Best PracticesCBPEventsExportImportSpeaking

Expedite Your International Expansion Strategy

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 12, 2013 0 comments

Jennifer Diaz, Esq.
jdiaz@becker-poliakoff.com

Alhambra Towers
121 Alhambra Plaza
10th Floor
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Tel: 305.262.4433
Fax: 305.442.2232

   

Connect with us on LinkedIn

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Expedite Your International Expansion Strategy

UPS is sponsoring a free International Symposium and breakfast hosted by David Ruiz, President of the UPS Florida District.

Learn how you can expedite your company’s international expansion strategy with the help of the UPS.

Topics Include:

  • How to Make Connections in Emerging Markets,
    Sandra Campbell, Director, Tampa Bay Export Assistance Center, US Commercial Services
  • Navigating International Trade Laws and Regulations,
    Jennifer Diaz, Attorney at Law, Board Certified in International Law, Becker & Poliakoff
  • How to Finance the Global Supply Chain
    Vicki Marks, Manager, UPS Capital
  • UPS Solutions to Demystify International Logistics
    Rusty Richardson, International Area Sales Manager, UPS

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

UPS APAC Facility
111 S US Highway 301
Tampa, FL 33619

Breakfast Starts at 8:00 a.m.
Symposium Concludes at 11:30 a.m.

Click Here for Event Flyer.

Please Contact Olga Diaz (olgadiaz@ups.com)
to RSVP or for additional information.

Visit Our Websites
Condominium & HOA Law Blog | CALL | The Customs and International Trade Law Blog
The Florida Construction Law Authority | Business Litigation Perspectives
The Corporate & Capital Law Blog | IP & Information Law Monitor

 

Offices
Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar, Miami, Morristown, Naples
New York, Northern Virginia, Prague,Orlando, Red Bank, Sarasota, Stuart
Tallahassee, Tampa Bay, Washington DC, West Palm Beach

This message was sent by Becker & Poliakoff, 3111 Stirling Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.

Best PracticesCBP

File Your Petitions Timely, Or Else…

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 6, 2013 0 comments

As of January 9, 2013, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is making procrastinators pay the price for filing untimely petitions that seek relief from liquidated damages. CBP amended it’s guidelines for the cancellation and mitigation of claims for liquidated damages in cases where petitioners are late in filing claims for relief. Additionally, CBP also changed the formula for calculating late petition mitigation.

Current Rule for Timely Petitions

Under the existing regulatory authority, in order to be considered timely, petitions for relief in response to claims for liquidated damages must be filed:

  • A.    By bond principals within 60 days from the date of mailing of the notice of liquidated damages (see 19 C.F.R. 172.3(b)) or any lawful extension thereof; or
  • B.     By sureties within 60 days of the demand for payment by CBP (see 19 C.F.R. 172.4) or any lawful extension thereof.

When circumstances so warrant, extensions of the time period to file a petition may be granted by the FP&F Officer (FPFO) if such an extension of time is requested during the 60-day period available for timely filing a petition (see 19 C.F.R. 172.3(c)). The amendment to the current rule does not allow a petition for relief to be considered if it is filed after (a) the commencement of sanctioning action against the bond principal or (b) the issuance of a notice to show cause against the surety.

A party responsible for a liquidated damages claim may submit an offer in compromise to CBP pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1617 and 19 C.F.R. 161.5. These new guidelines, which will be applicable to all liquidated damages claims for which a late petition is filed on or after Jan. 9, are applicable only to petitions for relief and do not apply to offers in compromise submitted pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1617 and 19 C.F.R. 161.53.

Consequently, the new mitigation guidelines concerning untimely petitions will impose a more stringent standard. Untimely petitions will be accepted or considered only if the petitioner is able to demonstrate the existence of extraordinary circumstances that prevented the petitioner from filing a timely petition or timely seeking a lawful extension of time in which to file a petition. What does that mean? The FPFO will exercise his or her discretion in determining whether circumstances existed so as to warrant CBP’s consideration or acceptance of a late petition.

Untimely Petitions will NO longer be Accepted

Subject to the permitted exceptions, no untimely petition will be accepted in any circumstance if it is filed:

  • a.         More than 180 days after the date of mailing of the notice of claim to the bond principal, or in the case of a surety, the date of mailing of the first demand on surety;
  • b.         After the petitioner has previously submitted a petition in the same case and/or been offered mitigation in the same case, and such mitigation amount was not paid within the prescribed period;
  • c          After the claim has been referred to Office of Chief Counsel for collection action;
  • d.         After the commencement of sanctioning action against the bond principal; or
  • e.         After the issuance of a notice to show cause against a surety.

CBP notes that (a) an untimely petition is not a supplemental petition described in 19 C.F.R. 172.41, (b) a supplemental petition must be timely filed following a decision on an original petition filed in accordance with the established regulatory time frames, (c) the rejection of an untimely petition does not constitute a “decision” for purposes of 19 C.F.R. 172.41, and (d) petitions that are filed untimely and not accepted for consideration will be rejected. A party responsible for a liquidated damages claim may submit an offer in compromise to CBP pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1617 and 19 C.F.R. 161.5.

The Exceptions…

However, untimely petitions for relief of liquidated damages claims issued for the late filing of an entry summary, the late payment of estimated duties (including under the periodic monthly statement test), the late payment of passenger processing fees or the late filing or late payment of reconciliation entries may be accepted without regard to the limitations expressed in paragraphs a and b above at any time prior to the circumstances described in paragraphs c through e.

New Mitigation Calculation for Late Petitions

CBP has also implemented a new calculation for mitigating liquidated damages for untimely petitions. In calculating the mitigated amount on a late petition, CBP will first determine the base amount (i.e., the amount of mitigation that would have been afforded on a timely petition). CBP will then determine the “additional mitigation amount” by multiplying the full assessed amount of the claim by 0.1 percent (.001) and then multiply by the number of days the petition is late (i.e., .001 times the number of days late times the full assessed claim amount.) The product will be the additional amount which will be added to the base amount to produce the mitigated amount applied to the untimely filed petition. In no case will the additional mitigated amount to be added to the base amount be less than $400. For example, a $100,000 liquidated damages claim for which a petition is filed 30 days late will be mitigated to the amount provided by the guidelines plus an additional amount calculated by the new formula (30 days late x .001 = .03 x 100,000 = $3,000 added charge.) 

Bottom line, assure you have an expert Customs attorney assisting you to fight for mitigation of Liquidated Damages claims, and file your Petitions TIMELY!