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Ignorance is No Defense! Learn What CBP Considers Prohibited/Restricted

posted by Jennifer Diaz July 3, 2019 0 comments

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United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of the principal agencies under the leadership of DHS, has released an updated list detailing items prohibited from entry into the US. These goods fall under a variety of classifications, including “dangerous toys, cars that don’t protect their occupants in a crash, bush meat, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol”.

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CBPChinaChina Trade WarCustoms ExpertDepartment of Homeland SecurityFDA IssuesICEImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeSupply ChainTrade WarTSA

Government Agencies Seek out Blockchain Solutions to Strengthen Current Systems

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 19, 2019 0 comments

images In an effort to improve the security and tranquility of Americans, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are looking for tech-startups and scientific talent to be integrated into DHS’ Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). DHS and its subsidiary groups seek to find commercially viable companies to invest in, many of which reside in the same territory of SVIP–Silicon Valley. The goal is to bridge the gap between American technological innovation and the security and effectiveness of government agencies, tasked with the protection of the country.

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CBPInternational TravelTSA

Air Cargo Advanced Screening

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 22, 2018 1 Comment

Following September 11, 2001 commercial airlines’ vulnerability and appeal to terrorists became apparent. In 2002 the Department of Homeland Security was established solely to protect Americans from threats like these.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cooperate to facilitate safe travel and transportation into the United States. Under the current regulatory framework, TSA has responsibility for ensuring the security of the nation’s transportation of cargo by air into the United States while CBP has responsibility for securing the nation’s borders by preventing high-risk cargo from entering the US. Continue Reading

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First Commercial flight to Cuba Scheduled to Depart August 31, 2016!

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 12, 2016 0 comments

Cuba_RouteMapCo-Authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law. 

The novelist Graham Greene once said that Havana was a city to visit, not a city to live in – well, now visiting just became far simpler.

On Thursday, July 6, 2016, eight airlines were granted a tentative approval from the U.S. government for flights between certain U.S. cities and Cuba’s capital, Havana.

The U.S. cities are Continue Reading

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.

CBPTSA

Keep Your Shoes ON When Going Through TSA

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 30, 2012 1 Comment

If you travel often, read on, you’ll be glad you did. When was the last time you had the ability to go through security WITH YOUR SHOES ON? Without taking out your laptop? WITH your jacket on? Without having to take out your liquids?

If this appeals to you, which it definitely did for me, you’ll be pleased to know the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for TSA Pre-Check, an initiative that allows eligible passengers to qualify for expedited screening at participating airports.

U.S. citizens, who are members of a CBP Trusted Traveler program, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS are automatically eligible to participate and receive expedited screening benefits for domestic travel through the TSA Pre-Check initiative. TSA Pre-Check benefits include keeping shoes, light outerwear and belts on, keeping laptops in their cases, and leaving the 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in one’s carry-on during screening through TSA security checkpoints.

Members interested in participating in TSA Pre-Check through their Trusted Traveler program membership must enter their PASS ID into the ‘Known Traveler’ field when booking a flight reservation or saving their PASS ID to their airline’s frequent flyer profile. Members can find their PASS ID either online by accessing their GOES account, or on the back of their membership card in the top-left corner.

When traveling on one of the TSA Pre-Check participating airlines, CBP Trusted Traveler members should remember to provide the airline with their full name, date of birth, and PASS ID exactly as it appears in their CBP Trusted Traveler program online account to ensure they are properly considered for TSA Pre-Check.

To learn more, visit Global Entry or TSA, you’ll be glad you did!

Disclaimer, I’ve been displeased as this is not sure proof. Don’t expect it to work 100% of the time, it doesn’t… But, when it does, you’ll be ecstatic!
 

Department of Homeland SecurityImportTSA

TSA 100% Screening – The Air Cargo Advance Screening Pilot Takes Off

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 27, 2012 0 comments

On May 16, 2012, the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] announced – starting December 3, 2012, all international passenger air carriers destined for the United States will be subject to 100% cargo screening. TSA’s website advises: “[g]lobal shippers and U.S. importers should contact their logistics partners to determine if these measures may have any impact on their supply chain.” This process requires enhanced screening for shipments designated as higher risk, while lower risk shipments will undergo other physical screening protocols.

How Can Your Supply Chain Remain Streamlined?
There is an Air Cargo Advance Screening [ACAS] pilot strategic plan underway to keep global supply chains efficient. ACAS is a voluntary initiative allowing carriers, forwarders and shippers to submit electronic data about cargo before it is shipped.  TSA and CBP will have a fast and efficient new ways to screen vast amounts of cargo and zero-in more quickly on which specific items require further scrutiny, and which cargo items are cleared to get in the air faster.

Recently, at the AirCargo 2012 conference in Miami, CBP Deputy Commissioner Thomas Winkowski stated “[t]his is our new roadmap. . .this will lead everyone in this room toward a better, more secure way of moving cargo by air. . . To date, we have successfully processed 14 million transactions and proved that the system works.” Of those 14 million transactions, less than one percent required further scrutiny. Winkowski stated “ACAS is a game changer.

For more information regarding how these changes will affect your company’s global supply chain beginning this December, or updates on the ACAS program’s implementation and how to apply, contact attorney Jennifer Diaz at (305) 260-1053 or JDiaz@becker-poliakoff.com.

Jennifer Diaz is the Chair of the Customs and International Trade Department at Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. She earned her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center. Jennifer is admitted to practice law in the state of Florida and is board-certified in International Law by the Florida Bar.

InvestigationTSA

TSA and Pepper Spray – A Story of What NOT to Do

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 14, 2011 1 Comment

Our beloved Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has the responsibility of screening passengers to "ensure that certain items and persons prohibited from flying don’t board commercial airliners."  This is accomplished through 43,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) located at 450 airports around the United States.  While I am waiting in line to be screened, there seems always to be one energetic TSO screaming at my fellow passengers to take our shoes off, remove most liquids, take our belts off, take out our laptops, etc.. it is hard to remember that the official Mission of the TSA is to "protect the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce."  I do have one funny story to tell you about the TSA and a certain passenger.

While the TSA regulations specifically prohibit the carrying on board an aircraft, or even into the airport, any weapon or explosive device, a particular passenger had a pepper spray pen with him. The pepper spray pen was not detected by the TSO when the passenger’s body and luggage went through those radiation-emitting devices.

That is bad enough, but what the passenger did next was a mistake. After passing through TSA, he then approached the crew of the aircraft at his gate of departure, and handed over the pepper spray pen to the gate agents with some sort of statement that the TSOs did not detect the pen during the screening process.  Predictably, the passenger was then approached by law enforcement, interrogated, and not allowed to fly on that aircraft. The passenger subsequently received a Letter of Investigation from the TSA with the threat of a $11,000 penalty for attempting to compromise a security system utilized by TSA.

Seems to me that the gate agents and TSA should simply have said "thank you" to the passenger for turning over the pepper spray pen, rather than going on a witch hunt.  Perhaps the lesson the TSA wants to get across to people is not to tell the truth. If the passenger had kept his mouth shut, he would have kept his pepper spray pen, not missed his flight, and not have to pay a potential penalty of $11,000.  Plus, I guess now the TSOs will start yelling at passengers that the list of prohibited items includes pepper spray pens.

One more thing.  While it is prohibited to carry on board an aircraft any pepper spray, you may still transport it in your checked luggage, according to the TSA website

TSA

TSA 100% Air Cargo Screening Update – 6 Months Later?

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 3, 2011 1 Comment

On Thursday, March 10, 2011, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. EST, Marc Rossi, Chief, Cargo Screening, TSA Headquarters will speak at a webinar hosted by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.  Shippers, indirect air carriers (IACs) or freight forwarders, and international airlines will benefit from learning about the newest policies and requirements by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Sign up here to take advantage of this webinar opportunity.

A quick chronology is important.  On Aug. 3, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act). The 9/11 Act required TSA to establish a system for the air cargo industry to screen 100% of cargo transported on passenger aircraft in the United States at the piece level.  That goal was achieved in August 2010.

This webinar is a natural follow-up to my April 7, 2010 blog post entitled “TSA 100% CARGO SCREENING RULE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2010.”  It is just over 6 months since the TSA had implemented its 100% cargo screening requirement, so it’s time for a check-up. While Marc Rossi will focus on the operational requirements of 100% air cargo screening as part of the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), I will focus on the legal requirements of the TSA for IACs, as well as explain how to respond to a TSA Letter of Investigation and a TSA Notice of Proposed Penalty for any alleged failure to comply with some TSA requirement.

The 100% Air Cargo Screening by TSA – How’s it Going 6 Months Later? webinar is sponsored by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), and you may participate in the webinar by registering on-line, or calling (202) 466-0222 .

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Does the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Make Us Safer?

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 17, 2011 3 Comments

I read a fascinating article entitled "HOMELAND SECURITY HASN’T MADE US SAFER," written by Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate.  It was in the January/February issue of Foreign Policy magazine.  The article criticized the massive spending of time and money by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Ms. Applebaum aimed her barbs right at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with the comment:  "As for the TSA, I am not aware of a single bomber or bomb plot stopped by its time-wasting procedures."

I started thinking about it, and even as a pretty well informed customs and international trade attorney, I could not recall a single incident either.  I have seen the indignities of TSA personnel at the airport force handicapped and elderly people out of their wheelchairs.  I have also been the victim of TSA officers groping around my private areas during one of their random, ‘enhanced pat down’ searches.  For a rollicking good laugh, I encourage you to read the official TSA Blog.  People say the strangest things about their air travel experiences to the TSA from the supposed privacy and safety of their computers.

The TSA submitted a budget request of $8.1 billion for fiscal year 2012. With the billions of dollars spent by both the Bush and Obama Administrations over the past 10 years in the ‘War on Terrorism’ and in support of ‘homeland security,’ the question of whether or not the TSA’s 43,000 trained and certified Transportation Security Officers make us safer through its passenger and baggage screening procedures is still debatable.

I would still like to meet the idiot savant who came up with the 3-1-1 TSA rule about carrying liquids aboard an airplane.  I can’t figure out why we had the technology to send men to the moon in 1969, but in 2011 still have to take our shoes off before walking through a TSA x-ray machine.  I guess the silver lining in all this is that, relatively speaking, the air and ocean cargo screening procedures by the TSA are much better thought out and reasonable.