December 2009

CBP Symposium Highlights

The annual CBP Symposium, held at the D.C. Convention Center, Washington, D.C. from December 8-10, 2009, was the 10th year of this very successful event.  Over 850 attendees were initially greeted by outgoing Acting Commissioner Jay Ahern.  The Symposium agenda was a smorgasbord of information that was appropriate for anyone with a serious interest in international trade and logistics. Highlights included presentations from Assistant Commissioner Dan Baldwin, Office of International Trade, Rich DiNucci, Director, Secure Freight Initiative (“10+2”), Bob Swierupski, Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, and Brenda Smith, Executive Director, Trade Policy and Programs, about what the international trade community should expect in 2010 from CBP.  Special Presentations were made by Jeremy Baskin, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Domenic Veneziano, Director, Division of Import Operations and Policy, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Mr. DiNucci’s presentation on Importer Security Filing (ISF) stated that CBP has received from January 26, 2009 through December 6, 2009 3.65 million ISF filings from over 1,900 ISF filers representing 103,000 ISF importers. There is now a 95% acceptance rate on ISF filings.  As you know, the enforcement mode for ISF begins January 26, 2010, and there will be a $5,000 penalty issued by CBP for a violation per ISF transmission or $10,000 maximum per ISF filing.  Importers should be familiar with the ISF Interim Final Rule, the FAQ on ISF, and the Mitigation Guidelines issued by CBP.

Therese Randazzo, Director, IPR Policy and Programs Division, stated that CBP had issued over 1,000 fine notices, pursuant […]

Importer Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Freon

On November 20, 2009, in Federal Court in Miami, Florida, Mr. James Garrido and the company he controlled, Kroy Corporation, pled guilty to charges related to their illegally smuggling into the United States certain restricted ozone-depleting substances, in violation of the Clean Air Act enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are ozone depleting substances and include CFC-22 which is otherwise known as R-22 or popularly known by its trademark name, Freon, owned by DuPont.  CFC-22 is a widely used refrigerant for residential heat pump and air conditioning systems.

In 1988, the United States ratified the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. By ratifying the Protocol, the United States committed to a collaborative, international effort to regulate and phaseout ozone-depleting substances. The United States amended the Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1990 to include Title VI, Stratospheric Ozone Protection. The Clean Air Act established a schedule to phase out the production and importation of CFC-22.  Individual companies are licensed annually by the EPA to import specified maximum quantities of CFC-22.  By 2030, the CFC-22 will be completely phased out.

Neither Mr. Garrido nor Kroy Corporation were ever licensed by the EPA to import CFC-22.  They imported approximately 420,000 kilograms of CFC-22 valued at about $4 million over 2 years in violation of  18 U.S.C. section 545(smuggling).  They intentionally misdescribed the CFC-22 on documentation presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection as another refrigerant, R-134A, which did not require any special license from the EPA. As stated […]


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