It’s important to understand why freight forwarders take certain steps prior to shipping your goods. We previously discussed why it’s important to complete a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction. Now we are addressing why your Freight Forwarder segregates your hazardous materials, even if you request otherwise. The fines for non-compliance are severe. 49 CFR 107.329 provides for the maximum civil penalty amounts. Violators that knowingly violate hazardous material transportation laws and regulations may face no more than a $78,376.00 penalty for each violation, but if the violation results in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property the maximum civil penalty is $182,877.00. There is no minimum civil penalty, except for a minimum civil penalty of $471 for violations relating to training. When the violation is a continuing one, each day of the violation constitutes a separate offense. […]
Clients who export often ask us for guidance on whether to complete a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI). It’s important for our readers to understand the benefits of correctly completing the SLI provided to you by your freight forwarder.
The main benefit of an SLI is federal regulatory compliance! Prior to your goods being exported, Foreign Trade Regulations require a freight forwarder to transmit certain information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on your behalf. To efficiently gather the required authorizations to act on your behalf and the information needed to be transmitted, the trade community developed a SLI.
Aramex Emirates, LLC, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), agreed to pay a $125,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for the unlicensed export and reexport to Syria, via the U.A.E., of network devices and software without the required BIS licenses.
The Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn commented:
Today’s settlement shows the importance of compliance with U.S. law by foreign freight forwarders handling items subject to U.S. export controls.
The items in question could be used by the Syrian government to monitor Internet activity and block pro-democracy websites as part of its brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.
The annual conference of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) just concluded in San Antonio, Texas. Several prominent speakers from U.S. Customs, the Federal Maritime Commission, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security discussed new policies and procedures that every customs broker and international freight forwarder should use to serve their import and export clients.
To the dismay of the local international trade community, three international freight forwarding companies and their owners were arrested for illegally exporting merchandise to a company in Paraguay. The company in Paraguay had been designated a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" by the United States Government. Exporters and forwarding companies sending any cargo to such a company, even Sony Playstation video games, would be a violation of law.