An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending December 30, 2011 is now available on our website here.
Date: December 30, 2011
News & Information about Transborder and International Trade from GHY International
An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending December 30, 2011 is now available on our website here.
(BJ Siekierski — iPolitics)
No one had a bad thing to say about him. Then again, no one really had anything to say at all.
On May 17, 2011 his name was about as recognizable as those of fellow caucus members Randy Kamp and Earl Dreeshen.
On May 18, 2011, he replaced Peter Van Loan as international trade minister.
There was a fair amount of head scratching going on that day. Just as there was every day leading up to his first public address a few weeks later.
“You’re all thinking — oh great, a new minister — someone who now has to get up to speed on all of the issues and challenges that the last guy just figured out,” he self-deprecatingly began that first speech.
“I must confess that it’s a bit daunting to be in a room with so many business people and trade experts, two short weeks after becoming trade minister.”
Ed Fast, the unilingual Abbotsford, B.C. lawyer and former city councillor had been thrust into one of the Harper government’s more public portfolios, and one that only promised to get busier as the Conservatives seemingly pursued trade agreements with just about any country with a vowel in its name. Read more here.
(Washington Post Editorial Board)
It has been 10 years since China joined the World Trade Organization. U.S. policymakers of both parties favored Chinese membership in the organization, which promotes global trade and resolves disputes. Not only would this facilitate trade, they argued, it would also help bring China into the framework of international law and thus encourage the rise of a People’s Republic that acted with the greatest possible consideration for the needs and interests of the United States and other nations.
How’s that working out? In short-run economic terms, the bet delivered access to cheaper, high-quality goods for U.S. consumers and more income for the once-impoverished people of China. This is the result one would have expected from freer trade, which remains the key to prosperity for all emerging markets and the global economy in general.
For the longer term, though, much depends on gradually resolving the huge imbalance between the two countries, which has built up as a result of China’s persistent trade surpluses, without triggering a trade war. Read more here.
(Tom Miles — Reuters)
The 153 members of the World Trade Organization agree on two things: We’re in a hole. And we must keep digging.
The hole is the Doha Development Round, a decade-old negotiation that was billed as the next stage of trade liberalization after the creation of the WTO itself.
After repeated failures to clinch a deal, Doha is on life-support. But nobody is prepared to kill it off.
“There is a Russian proverb that says ‘Don’t chop off the branch you are sitting on’,” WTO Director General Pascal Lamy told trade ministers, defending the body at its biennial conference in Geneva last Saturday.
The ministers had collectively acknowledged that the Doha round was unlikely to be concluded in the near future, but promised to keep working towards it, despite a gulf in opinions – especially between United States and China – that makes it almost unthinkable that the WTO could reach consensus. Read more here.
(Kevin E. Noonan — Patent Docs)
Intellectual Property called a “Priority Issue”
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Report on the extent to which China is in compliance with its obligations under the TRIPS provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), as required for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Report acknowledges that China has “put in place a framework of laws and regulations aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights of domestic and foreign right holders” in compliance with its obligations under TRIPS.
However, the report maintains that “some critical changes to China’s legal framework are still needed in a few areas, such as further improvement of China’s measures for copyright protection on the Internet, and correction of continuing deficiencies in China’s criminal IPR enforcement measures.” And enforcement of intellectual property rights remains a “challenge” despite “repeated anti-piracy campaigns.” The Report asserts that counterfeiting activities and piracy remain at “unacceptable high levels,” harming U.S. interests and businesses. In this regard, this Report cites the USTR study from last May that estimated a total of $48 billion lost in sales, license fees, and royalties in 2009 alone stemming from Chinese piracy, noting that this is more than 2/3rds (almost 70%) of the total ($69 billion) of goods exported from the U.S. to China in that year. Read more here.
(Nelson Balido — Security Debrief)
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin last Thursday announced his resignation effective December 30. For folks who monitor border trade and security issues, this wasn’t exactly a surprise. But it was still a disappointment.
In March 2010, President Obama appointed Mr. Bersin CBP commissioner through a recess appointment (when Congress was out of session). This was a case of the president having grown tired of the Senate Finance Committee’s failure to do its job and act on the president’s formal nomination of Mr. Bersin to lead an agency that is critical to the country’s security and economic health.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus convened his committee in May 2010 to consider the Bersin nomination. Unfortunately, very little of the hearing focused on Mr. Bersin’s qualifications and the pressing need to confirm the president’s nomination for an agency that, as Sen. Baucus said in his opening remarks, “is the face of America.” [...]
While I’m disappointed that Mr. Bersin didn’t get a chance to continue as commissioner, it would not be accurate to say that the trade community is saddled with a consolation prize. It’s just the opposite.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the right choice in naming deputy commissioner David Aguilar as the new acting commissioner and Tom Winkowski, who currently heads CBP’s field operations, as the acting deputy commissioner. Read more here.
1. The purpose of this notice is to advise importers, customs brokers and service providers that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has amended the Health of Animals Regulations with respect to the importation of aquatic animals (finfish, molluscs and crustaceans).
2. Effective December 10, 2011, there are new requirements for importations into Canada of all aquatic animals listed in Schedule III of the Health of Animals Regulations.
3. Although the new requirements are effective as of December 10, 2011, the CFIA’s Stream of Commerce Policy allows for a one year transition period (to December 10, 2012) after which the import permit requirements will be enforced. During the transition period, compliance actions will be on an educational basis only. The new importation requirements for aquatic animals (finfish, molluscs and crustaceans) are described on the CFIA Web site.
4. All changes to requirements with respect to Harmonized System (HS) codes, Other Government Department (OGD) codes, origin and end uses have been incorporated into the CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has implemented policy directive D-11-01: Phytosanitary Requirements for Plants for Planting and Fresh Branches to Prevent the Entry and Spread of Anoplophora spp. It has done this to prevent the Anoplophora species of wood-boring beetles (such as the Asian long-horned beetle and the citrus long-horned beetle from being introduced into Canada in order to protect Canada’s plant resource base.
For more information click here.
(International Freighting Weekly – Pete Goldin)
New trusted shipper programme matches US C-TPAT
Mexico has implemented a voluntary trusted shipper programme to expedite border crossings for US cargo. Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas (NEEC) matches the U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
C-TPAT is a clearance programme for low-risk shipments entering the U.S. from Canada and Mexico that eases processing for commercial carriers at land border ports. Key benefits of both NEEC and C-TPAT include access to dedicated lanes, fewer inspections and reduced delays at the border.
To become certified by NEEC, U.S. shippers must have been conducting foreign trade for at least five years and must meet Mexico’s minimum standards for supply chain security.
Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, José Kuribrena, said: “Thanks to this programme, moving goods across the border will be easier and faster, shipments will be better protected and import export times will improve. This will increase the level of competitiveness of participating companies, and along with that, the competitiveness and logistics capacity of the country.” Read more here.
(WebMD Health News – Daniel J. DeNoon)
The USDA [December 21] announced two new rules to make U.S. beef safer.
The announcement accompanied the first report of the two-year-old Food Safety Working Group, led by the White House and staffed by agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Taking effect in 2012, the new rules:
• Declare “adulterated” and unfit for sale any beef that tests positive for any shigella toxin-producing E. coli bacteria. Current rules cover only a single strain of the potentially deadly bug, yet the other strains cause about 112,000 illnesses each year.
• Begin a “test and hold” policy for beef. Beef lots selected for testing will be withheld from market until test results show them to be free of germs and drug residues. Under the current system, beef that tests positive for bacteria or contaminants has to be recalled. The FDA estimates that the test-and-hold policy would have prevented 44 recalls from 2007 through 2009.
Read more here.
An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending December 23, 2011 is now available on our website here.
Date: December 23, 2011
(Journal of Commerce Online – R.G.Edmonson)
Agency also may allow trucking companies operating in Canada, Mexico to join
Customs and Border Protection may allow exporters to join a voluntary supply chain security program, and Japan, Colombia and Costa Rica are onboard for a test run of the program. Trucking companies operating in Mexico and Canada may also be able share in tiered benefits through the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Participants in the program, established in 2002, usually receive fewer cargo inspections, which lowers import costs. Read more here.
Harmonized System Update (HSU) 1108 was created on December 20, 2011 and contains 577 ABI records and 118 harmonized tariff records.
Changes were made as a result of the 484 (F) Committee. The Committee for the Statistical Annotation of the Tariff Schedules mandated modifications effective January 1, 2012.
As always, these changes will be included in the 2012 USHTS. However, at this time, please contact your client representative for questions regarding specific records.
Adjustments required by the verification of the 2011 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) were made as well.
The modified records are currently available to all ABI participants and can be retrieved electronically via the procedures indicated in the CATAIR. For further information about this process, please contact your client representative. For all other questions regarding this message, please contact Jennifer Keeling via email at Jennifer.Keeling@dhs.gov.
1. The recently published 2012 version of the Departmental Consolidation of the Customs Tariff (Tariff) contains amendments to the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which forms the basis of the Canadian Customs Tariff, as well as the changes resulting from the Tariff reduction reviews undertaken by both Finance Canada and Statistics Canada.
2. As a result, the classification numbers shown on current Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification and National Customs Rulings (NCRs) may no longer be valid as of January 1, 2012.
3. As noted in paragraph 10(a) of the Tariff Classification Advance Rulings Regulations, an advance ruling is not binding if there has been a “… change in … the laws of Canada”. These tariff changes are the result of amendments to the Customs Tariff Act. Thus, a ruling with a classification number that is impacted by these changes will expire as of January 1, 2012.
4. To obtain a replacement ruling that will be effective on and after January 1, 2012, please contact the CBSA office that issued the current ruling.
5. The Customs Tariff can be found on the CBSA’s website. Concordance Tables to assist in the conversion from 2011 to 2012 are also available on that same page.
6. For more information, from within Canada, call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. For more information, from outside of Canada, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long distance charges will apply). Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time/except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada at 1-866-335-3237.
(Canadian Transportation & Logistics)
TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index remained steady in November with no change from October levels, the company announced. However, year-over-year load volumes increased a “healthy” 17%, according to TransCore officials.
Historically, November experiences a decrease in spot freight, but November 2011 was the second-best November on record, with levels just behind those reached in November 2005. TransCore began recording data in 2001 when TransCore acquired Link Logistics.
Equipment postings in November were up 5% from October, however, the lowest levels for any November since 2005. Capacity was 8% below recorded levels for November 2010.
There was no change in the equipment-to-loads from volumes reached in October.
(Story: JOC Online • Video: EuroNews)
International airlines traveling to and from EU must pay for emissions, court rules
Europe’s highest court on Wednesday upheld the European Union’s right to make international airlines pay for carbon emissions on flights to and from European airports, risking a trade war between the EU and the U.S., China and India.
The European Court of Justice rejected arguments by U.S. airlines that the EU’s emissions trading scheme infringes the sovereignty of other nations and flouts international aviation pacts. “The directive including aviation activities in the EU’s emissions trading scheme is valid,” the Luxembourg-based court said. “Application of the emissions trading scheme to aviation infringes neither the principle of customary international law at issue nor the open-skies agreement” covering trans-Atlantic flights. Read more here.
C360 – Person (Importer) failed to account for all imported goods at time of the release request.
The purpose of this bulletin is to inform internal (CBSA employees) and external clients (importers, brokers and service providers) of the revisions made to Contravention C360 guidelines.
The CBSA added information to explain the importance of accounting for goods thus ensuring the health and safety of Canadians. When an importer fails to account for goods, the CBSA is unable to risk assess the goods. An unknown commodity is a high risk commodity and C360 is the applicable penalty to be applied to importers who do not account for goods on interim or final accounting at time of the release request.
Information was added to explain why carriers cannot account for goods on behalf of an importer in accordance with the Broker Licensing Regulations, and Memorandum D1-6-1, Authority to Act as Agent.
Two scenarios were added to provide examples of properly administering C360 vs. C005. C360 is administered for failing to account for goods, while a C005 penalty may be applicable for discrepancies related to the accounted goods, for example a discrepancy regarding the quantity.
The Agency added information regarding the Y50, Reject Document Control process, as a necessary step in order to reach a final release decision regardless of the application of an AMPS penalty.
Information was added regarding goods requiring a permit, licence or other documents or information normally attracting a C071 penalty.
The Agency added references to direct officers to the other following contraventions:
• For missing permits, licences or certificates required by Other Government Departments, see C071.
• For contraventions relating to undervaluation through false written receipts or documents, see C348.
• For failure by a carrier to report goods under section 12 (1), see C021.
• For failure by a person who does not use the services of a carrier to report goods under section 12 (1) and (3), see C366.
• For failure to account for imported goods found during a trade compliance verification or audit, see C070.
• For administrative type errors, see C005.
For the full guidelines review, please refer to the Master Penalty Document.
Enquiries and comments about this bulletin should be directed to:
Horizontal Border Programs Unit
Canada Border Services Agency
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8
(Winnipeg Free Press – Stephen Blank)
Stephen Blank is a senior fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute and Center for North American Studies, American University Roosevelt Island, New York City
Ten months after announcing a new commitment to enhance security while thinning the border and expediting trade and travel, U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper released the Beyond the Border Action Plan early in December.
The key areas of co-operation laid out in the plan would create new integrated programs to enhance security (by addressing threats early, improving cross-border law enforcement and developing new infrastructure and cyber-security capacities) and to facilitate trade, economic growth and job creation (by improving border management).
At the same time, the two leaders directed the creation of a United States-Canada Regulatory Co-operation Council (RCC) to increase regulatory transparency and co-ordination between the two countries.
The measures announced in the action plan are totally appropriate and unexceptional. They have been on the table for years and could (and should) have been put in place long ago. Read more here.
The Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has updated the Export Control List (ECL) and accompanying “A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls”. These changes came into effect on December 16th, 2011. The amendments serve to control, clarify controls over or to remove from control specific items and to ensure currency of Canada’s export controls of strategic items pursuant to multilateral obligations.
Click here for a list of changes and corrections to the list. The updated Export Control List Regulation will be printed in the Canada Gazette Part II later this month. “A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls – June 2010” is now available from the Export Controls Division by emailing TIE.email@example.com.