Archive for April, 2011

Mexican AEO program nears pilot stage

  Mexico Customs will launch a pilot of its version of a supply chain security program for trusted shippers in May, an agency official confirmed last week.
   The Alliance for Secure Commerce is being developed in the mold of the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and other authorized economic trader programs promoted by the World Customs Organization to reduce opportunities for criminal and terrorist infiltration of containers and truck trailers moving in international commerce.
   Authorized economic operator (AEO) programs provide trade facilitation benefits as an incentive to companies that demonstrate that they and their overseas business partners have tight security measures for facilities, personnel, data sharing, transportation and container stuffing. Some programs, such as in the European Union, also offer reduced administrative requirements for companies that have high compliance rates with trade laws. C-TPAT is focused on U.S. importers while some foreign programs focus on exporters to help them avoid U.S. scrutiny and speed their goods to market.  Read more.

E. Kulisch, American Shipper,4/20/2011

April 29, 2011 at 7:00 am

Preparing for 2011 China Validation

Custom and Border Protection (CBP) has recently notified C-TPAT members, who have all or a majority of their foreign business partners (FBP) in China, that they have been selected to be part of the joint validation process with CBP and the Chinese Government. CBP states that this validation will be conducted during the 2011 calendar year.

Only specific regions in China will be subjected to such foreign validation visits. The target locations for the validations in 2011 will be the Guangdong Province, tentatively targeted to be completed during July/August, 2011, and Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces which are tentatively targeted to be completed during September/October, 2011.

CBP will retrieve information against the member’s IOR (Importer of Record) number(s). This will be accomplished by identifying the MID (Manufacturer Identification Code) number(s) for one or more of the member’s foreign vendors which has been designated in and/or located in or nearby the target province(s). A MID code is derived from the name and address of the entity (i.e., factory) performing the origin process.  Read more.

Norman Jaspan Associates, 04/25/2011

April 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S. raises defenses against beetle threat

Agriculture inspection officers have intercepted 44 Khapra beetles at U.S. ports so far this year, exceeding the total number of interceptions in 2010, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
   The interceptions have been made in passenger terminals at airports and at seaports in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Houston and Chicago.
   Officials say they began an initiative to increase training for agriculture specialists, in conjunction with the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, after noticing an increased trend in detections of the destructive pest.  Read more.

American Shipper, 4/20/2011

April 27, 2011 at 7:00 am

Appreciating the Renminbi

Jing Ulrich is Chairman of China Equities and Commodities with JP Morgan. A key speaker at the Hong Kong Asian Financial Forum 2011 in January, Ms Ulrich says increased interest rates and higher reserve requirements for banks will be matched by the appreciation of the renminbi over the next two years. 

What’s your outlook for the Chinese economy?
In 2010, China’s growth rate probably reached 10 per cent. In 2011, we expect China’s growth to slightly decelerate, to about nine per cent. But by any measure, China’s growth will remain robust in the coming year or two. 

Does that mean the Chinese government’s approach to slowing the economy and reducing dependence on exports is working?
It’s beginning to work. Inflation remains one of the main challenges facing the Chinese economy in the coming few months. Inflation comes from several sources. One is food prices. In recent months, we’ve seen agricultural commodity prices rise at a rapid rate. Another source of inflation is basically imported, mainly coming from raw material prices. China is the largest importer of raw material, from oil to iron ore, to coking coal; these raw material prices have been rising very rapidly as well, contributing to domestic inflation.

The third source of inflation is wages. In the last year, minimum wages have gone up by about 23 per cent, contributing to the Consumer Price Index. So in the coming few months, one of the main focuses of the Chinese government is to contain inflation and achieve a more sustainable growth rate for the economy.  Read more.

Hong Kong Trader, 20 April 2011

April 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

White House advances U.S.-Panama FTA

The White House on Monday sent a letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committee leaders that the administration is ready for the next step of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
   “Panama has now fulfilled its commitments” to the meeting the free trade agreement, said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in the letter.
   “I am pleased to report to you that the Office of the United States Trade Representative has completed its preparatory work on the agreement and stands ready to begin technical discussions with members of Congress on the draft implementing bill and draft statement of administrative action,” Kirk added. “We hope our discussions to review these documents can commence without delay so that we can work together to bring the benefits of this agreement home to American businesses, farmers and workers.”                Read more.

American Shipper, 4/19/2011

April 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

Senate bill would supersede scan-all mandate

A bill introduced last week in the Senate to reauthorize the SAFE Port of 2006 would reverse a congressional mandate to scan all ocean containers by July 2012 if certain conditions are met.
   Lawmakers included the scan-all provision in the 9/11 Implementation Act four years ago despite heavy industry and international opposition. Since then many lawmakers have come to the realization that forcing inspections at foreign ports is impractical or too costly, and have publicly voiced support for giving the Department of Homeland Security more flexibility for implementation.  Read more.

E. Kulisch, American Shipper,  4/19/2011

April 22, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S., French Customs compare notes

Jérôme Fournel, France’s Customs and Excise General Director, met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Washington on Tuesday to discuss bilateral cooperation on border and supply chain security.
   The French delegation was also scheduled to visit CBP’s National Targeting Center for cargo and tour CBP operations on the Southwest Border. French Customs is interested in learning more about high-tech detection systems and other capabilities used to protect the border, the agency said.               Read more.

American Shipper, 4/15/2011

April 21, 2011 at 7:00 am

SAFE Port update introduced in Senate

New legislation submitted in the U.S. Senate on Thursday would reauthorize for five years several maritime security programs that are key components of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s layered strategy of using risk segmentation to focus limited inspection resources on cargo about which it has adverse information or not enough information.
   It would also increase funding for port security grants.
   The SAFE Port Reauthorization Act of 2011 would extend statutory support for the Automated Targeting System used to identify high-risk cargo, the Container Security Initiative for overseas inspection of certain high-risk cargo through bilateral relationships with overseas customs administrations, and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, an industry partnership program to secure end-to-end supply chains.
   The bill was introduced by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Patty Murray, D-Wash., who are the original authors of the 2006 SAFE Port Act.                     Read more.

E. Kulisch, American Shipper,  4/18/2011

April 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S., industry hold Egypt trade forum

 The U.S. government, U.S.-Egypt Business Council, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host an international trade forum in Washington on June 27-28.
   The U.S. Trade and Development Agency will sponsor a 48-person delegation from the Egyptian public and private sectors to travel to Washington for the Egypt: Forward Forum. The forum will bring together key Egyptian and U.S. public and private sector representatives to discuss trade, investment and commercial opportunities between the United States and Egypt.
   Breakout sessions will focus on four priority sectors: energy, information and communication technology, transportation, and agriculture. Following the forum, four site visits, each focused on one of the four highlighted sectors, will occur in additional U.S cities across the United States to meet with companies and discuss opportunities to work in Egypt.  Read more.

American Shipper, 4/15/2011

April 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

U.S. exports down 1.4% in February

 The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the nation’s February exports were down 1.4 percent to $165.1 billion, compared to the previous month.

 Similarly, U.S. imports of goods and services decreased 1.7 percent over the period to $210.9 billion, causing the U.S. trade deficit to decrease 2.6 percent since January to reach $45.8 billion in February.

“Although exports dipped in February, exports grew strongly late last year and in January,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, in a statement. “President Obama is committed to pursuing an ambitious trade agenda that will keep our economy growing and support good jobs for U.S. workers by opening new markets.  Read more.

American Shipper, 4/13/2011

April 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

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