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Don’t Gamble with Compliance

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 6, 2017 0 comments

massconversions Are you interested in e-Commerce? Have a desire to go to Vegas?

Diaz Trade Law founder Jennifer Diaz will be speaking at the upcoming Massconversions Live e-Commerce conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jennifer’s presentation will focus on the TOP 10 Tips to Comply with Customs When Buying Online. Attendees will, by the end of her presentation, know and understand the importance of:

• Tariff classification
• Customs valuation
• Country of origin marking
• Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection and CBP Enforcement
• Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Attendees will also learn basic customs concepts and terms like:

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ExportFTAImportIPR, Trademarks and Logos

“Fast Track” Bill Signed Into Law: Next Up Trans-Pacific Partnership

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 30, 2015 0 comments

mapOn Monday, President Obama signed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) into law. TPA, also known as the “fast track” bill, was seen as a crucial component in solidifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Although the re-authorization of TPA grants the President greater authority in his ability to negotiate and secure a trade deal–thus speeding up the TPP negotiation process–the TPP still has some tough negotiations ahead. However, the new authority Congress granted the President will now give him the power needed to ultimately conclude negotiations on the TPP.

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CBP Updates Trade Community on GSP Expiration

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 16, 2014 0 comments

For those of you that relied on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and are now subject to duties, CBP sent a notice today that directly impacts you.

A previous post discussed the expiration of GSP and need for congressional action to renew it. GSP expired July 31, 2013. Importers were advised to continue to use the Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A” when importing into the U.S., which would signify a valid claim for GSP but to pay duty subsequent to that date, so that in the event of a retroactive renewal, CBP could process refunds automatically.

Unfortunately, the picture above is still correct – the trade community is in limbo – will we get our duties refunded if we are entitled to GSP?  The answer… Yes, Maybe, No.  Not comforting or reassuring.

Today, CBP advised the trade community that:

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CBPFTAU.S.Customs

Say Goodbye to GSP, ATPA and ATPDEA

posted by Jennifer Diaz July 12, 2013 0 comments

The question of the day… Will GSP be extended?  Yes, no, maybe??

July 31, 2013 is the date when the expiration of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Andean Trade Preference and Act  (ATPA) and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) will take place.

Read on to ensure that you get your refunds expeditiously when/if GSP is renewed, likely after July 31, 2013.

CBP’s notice today states:

Barring Congressional action, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), special program indicator (SPI) “A” and “A+,” the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), SPI “J,” and the associated Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), SPI “J+,” are due to expire for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse after midnight, July 31, 2013.

Special Procedures for GSP-Eligible Goods:

  • Importers should pay the normal trade relations (column 1) duty rate but continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the applicable SPI (“A” or “A+” until further notice. If the program is renewed with a retroactive clause, use of the SPI will allow CBP to process automatic duty refunds. No corresponding procedure is available for the ATPA or ATPDEA programs. [MAKE SURE YOU DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR BROKER AND DO SO!]

Clarification for African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Eligible Goods:

  • Goods eligible for preference under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) may continue to receive preference on tariff items displaying SPI “A,” “A+” or “D” in the “Special” column of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

To receive AGOA preference on a good with SPI “D” in the “Special” column of the HTSUS, the importer will continue to file the entry summary with SPI “D” and without duty. To receive AGOA preference on a tariff item with the SPI “A” or “A+” in the “Special” column of the HTSUS (and thus no “D”), the importer will file the entry summary with the SPI “A” but without duty.

Impact on the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF): 

  • The expiration of GSP has no impact on the payment/non-payment of the merchandise processing fee (MPF).

CBPFTASpeaking

Jennifer Diaz Joins Governor Rick Scott in Addressing Businesses in Bogota

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 30, 2012 0 comments

On December 4, 2012, I will address companies in Bogota, Colombia to discuss the "Top 10 Tips When Importing into the U.S. to Ensure Compliance." My particular topic will go into depth on the top costly mistakes I’ve seen importers make, and most importantly, how to avoid them.  I will go into compliance with the newly enacted Free Trade Agreement and compliance with other federal government agencies (like U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and more.  Importantly, I will address how to effectively deal with the U.S. government, should you have trouble while importing.

The conference is in conjunction with Enterprise Florida’s Trade Mission to Colombia led by Florida’s Governor Rock Scott.  The purpose of the half day conference is to address the current environment of big business opportunities in Florida, especially in light of the new U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). 

Other panels include: The U.S. Economy and Investment Opportunities; Rules of Origin & Trade Facilitation (Compliance with the new FTA); Business Opportunities in Infrastructure and Utilities.  All panelists will be available for question and answer sessions as well.

Colombia is the fifth largest economy in Latin America, with a population of approximately 45 million. During the last decade, improvements in security and political stability have fostered economic growth and a secure business climate. With 4 percent GDP growth in 2010 and an estimated 4.6 percent growth in 2011, the Colombian market presents unbounded opportunities for Florida companies.

You may register and view the agenda here.

See you in Bogota!

CBPFTA

DR-CAFTA: Si o No? ( Yes or No?)

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 12, 2012 0 comments

Co-authored by Carlos Gimenez.

Just because you are importing a product from a party to the DR-CAFTA Free Trade Agreement, does not necessarily mean that the product will be granted DR-CAFTA treatment by U.S. Customs & Border Protection ("CBP"). Even if 95% of the product is made from components that all originate from DR-CAFTA party nations, that still may not be enough.

If the product has one component that originates outside of DR-CAFTA parties, whether or not the product will receive DR-CAFTA treatment will rely heavily on General Note 29(n), Chapter 61, Chapter rule 2, which states:

For purposes of determining whether a good of this chapter is originating, the rule applicable to that good shall only apply to the component that determines the tariff classification of the good and such component must satisfy the tariff change requirements set out in the rule for that good. If the rule requires that the good must also satisfy the tariff change requirements for visible lining fabrics listed in chapter rule 1 to this chapter, such requirement shall only apply to the visible lining fabric in the main body of the garment, excluding sleeves, which covers the largest surface area, and shall not apply to removable linings.

Case in point, a client requested an alaysis of whether DR-CAFTA would apply to a garment produced of components that all originated in DR-CAFTA party countries, with one exception, the lace that was used to create a decorative front panel. The lace portion of the garment originated in Korea and it only accounted for roughly 17% of the material used overall. In this case, the analysis hinged upon whether or not the lace was the "component that determines the tariff classification", and whether the lace provided the "essential character" of the garment.  In this case, the determination was that the lace was in fact the essential character, DR-CAFTA treatment was precluded, and a tariff of 16.5% was applied. If the garment was subject to DR-CAFTA treatment, rate of duty would have been FREE.

The moral of this story, if you want to ensure that the product imported is entitled to DR-CAFTA treatment, do not add any components that would jeopardize that treatment without seeking and receiving an expert opinion and/or a Binding Ruling from CBP. The worst thing that could happen is to work so hard to avail yourself of DR-CAFTA treatment, only to have to pay a double digit tariff for not doing your homework.