U.S. Customs – Your Personal Policeman at the Border

Many companies mistakenly believe that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government provides sufficient protection and remedies, and, therefore, do not take the extra step to record trademarks or copyrights with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs).

The processes achieve two completely different goals.

Registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office gives public notice of one’s ownership of the trademark or copyright. On the other hand, the purpose of recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is to partner with the agency in preventing the unauthorized importation of merchandise that bears a recorded trademark or copyright. U.S. Customs prevents counterfeit and otherwise infringing products from entering or exiting the United States for registered trademark or copyright holders who have recorded their trademarks or copyrights with Customs.

U.S. Customs officials may detect infringing merchandise at the time of entry into the United States. When you record trademarks or copyrights with Customs, the information is entered into an electronic database accessible to U.S. Customs officers around the world. U.S. Customs uses this information to target suspect shipments for the purpose of physically examining merchandise which ultimately prevents the importation or exportation of infringing goods.

Advantages to Recording a Trademark or Copyright with Customs

The first and most obvious advantage to recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is that the agency will monitor and seize infringing merchandise at the ports of entry. Because U.S. […]

Jennifer Diaz Presenting at Global Trade Educational Conference 2021

The NCBFAA Educational Institute invites all global logistics professionals to its 7th Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (GTEC). This two-day event in  Baltimore, MD will give customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, OTI, service providers, importers, exporters and all global logistics professionals an opportunity to update themselves on industry developments and connect with colleagues new and old.

Join us IN PERSON in Baltimore, MD, July 26-27, 2021. NCBFAA NEI and hotel staff will be complying with all state and venue COVID-19 protocols so you can feel safe attending the event! Virtual attendance is available, so you can gain knowledge from anywhere!

REGISTER TODAY!

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An Introduction to Safeguard Investigations

What is Section 201 ?

Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides import relief measures (also known as Safeguards) for domestic industries. The measures provide temporary relief for U.S. industries when competitor imports increase so significantly that they cause serious injury or threat to the domestic industry. The Safeguard measures are temporary – they allow the U.S. President to raise import duties or impose nontariff barriers on goods entering the United States for a limited period so that domestic industry is given sufficient time to adjust to the competition.

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USTR Announces China 301 Tariff Exclusion Extensions for COVID-Related Products

On December 29, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced long-awaited extensions to a limited set of previously granted exclusions (for COVID-related products), that were set to expire on December 31, 2020. Meanwhile, importers across non-COVID industries are continuing to await guidance on their tariff exclusion extensions that are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

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Will President Trump Impose New Tariffs on Imported Vehicles?

Under the direction of President Trump, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross has initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. “The investigation will determine whether imports of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts into the United States threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232.”

What are the Section 232 Investigations? […]

FDA Launches New Webpage to Promote Use of Symbols in Medical Device Labeling

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new webpage to assist the public understand the Use of Symbols in Labeling Final Rule. The final rule was issued by the FDA in June 2016 and became effective three months later.

FDA intends the final rule to be an attempt to “harmonize the U.S. device labeling requirements for symbols with international regulatory requirements. As the medical device industry has requested the ability to use stand-alone symbols on domestic device labeling, consistent with their current use on devices manufactured for European and other foreign markets.” This is exciting news for our clients who are Medical Device Manufacturers or Importers – as of September 2016 all medical device labeling may use stand-alone symbols!

What does the Use of Symbols in Labeling Final Rule provide for?

  • Permits the use of symbols in all medical device labeling without adjacent explanatory text. This means “stand-alone symbols” may be used, but only if certain requirements are met.
  • Stipulates the use of symbols, accompanied by adjacent explanatory text is still permitted. This means companies are not required to relabel their products, even if they meet the requirements for the use of “stand-alone symbols”.
  • Revises prescription device labeling regulations, now permitting to use the symbol statement “Rx only” or “℞ only” in the labeling for prescription devices.
  • The final rule does not apply to product graphics or pictograms, such as graphics showing the steps for using a device.

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The Centers For Excellence and Expertise Have Arrived!

What are the Centers for Excellence and Expertise?

CBP is changing how it does business. CBP envisions an end to port shopping and uniform decision making throughout all ports of entry via use of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE). We previously advised our readers that a CEE was arriving in Miami!

By way of background, in 2012, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a Federal Register notice (77 FR 52048) that “developed a test to incrementally transition the operational trade functions that traditionally reside with port directors to the CEE.” The purpose of the test was to expand the CEEs’ ability to make decisions, by allowing the directors of the CEE to make decisions that were normally reserved for port directors. CBP’s goal for the CEEs is to “facilitate trade, reduce transaction costs, increase compliance with applicable port laws, and to achieve uniformity of treatment at the ports of entry for the identified industries (77 FR 52048).”

CBP discussed the application process, and urged importers to apply to a CEE to begin receiving the benefits of being a participating account early.

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Food Importers – FDA Issues New Guidance Aimed at Expediting Your Importations

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. FSMA requires FDA to establish a voluntary, fee-based program, named the “Voluntary Qualified Importer Program” (VQIP) which promises expedited review and importation of foods from importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.

On June 4th, 2015 the FDA published a draft version of “Guidance for Industry: FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP)”.  According to FDA’s website, VQIP will also benefit consumers by enabling the FDA to focus its resources on high risk foods, further protecting consumers from the potential health hazards associated with those foods. In order for a food importer to be eligible for the VQIP program, the importer should:

  1. Have at least a 3 year history of importing foods
  2. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
  3. Use a paperless filer/broker who received a passing rating during their last FDA evaluation
  4. Import food that is not subject to an import alert or Class 1 recall
  5. Not be, nor any non-applicant entity associated with the VQIP food be, subject to an FDA administrative or judicial action, have a history of significant non-compliance with food safety, or have one or more […]
By |2021-11-09T14:47:01-05:00June 11, 2015|Best Practices, Food, FSMA, Import, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)|Comments Off on Food Importers – FDA Issues New Guidance Aimed at Expediting Your Importations

Port Miami Tunnel Opening Celebration!

Today was the historic PortMiami Tunnel Opening (where you can watch my video of the first 3 trucks that officially entered the port tunnel)!  A better video can be found here, courtesy of Local 10.

As the Miami Herald reported today, four long years and $915 million dollars went into this tunnel that will now allow both cruise traffic and trucks to bypass downtown Miami and instead, head straight to the highway.

Much needed relief for residents. And… No Tolls!

Perhaps one of the more touching moments was when all of the 900+ workers were celebrated and extremely proud exiting the tunnel.

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By |2022-07-06T14:03:46-04:00May 19, 2014|Events, Import, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)|Comments Off on Port Miami Tunnel Opening Celebration!
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