April 2010


At today’s Food and Drug Law Institute’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. said that one of her priorities is responding to the globalization of the food supply, and the increase in misbranded and adulterated food products imported into the United States.  Dr. Hamburg stated that the FDA “cannot wait until the food arrives at our borders,” that “extending the FDA’s global reach is key to our success,” and that the FDA’s new PREDICT system will focus FDA Inspectors to select, stop, and examine high-risk shipments being imported into the United States.

Ralph Tyler, FDA’s new Chief Counsel, stated that the laws enforced by the FDA affect 25% of the American economy.  The crowd in attendance applauded when Ralph stated that “FDA lawyers are not doing their jobs when they simply say ‘no'” to the food, drug, and cosmetic companies regulated by the FDA.

Michael Chappell, FDA’s Associate Commissioner for the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), is the person responsible for managing the import, inspections and enforcement policy of the FDA.   He stated that companies are now operating in “an age of heightened enforcement by the FDA.”  He stated that “salmonella and listeria remain major problems in food manufacturing facilities.”  He advised that there were 19 million customs entries in 2009, and the number is ever increasing.   He stated that the FDA had in 2010 already issued a record number of Warning Letters to importers, producers, and distributors of FDA regulated products, especially dietary supplements and cosmetics.

In summary, my take away after hearing from the […]

By |2015-12-01T01:32:04-05:00April 22, 2010|FDA Issues, Food, Import|0 Comments


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.

Deputy Commissioner for U.S. Customs, David Aguilar, used a new talking point in his repeated use of the phrase “protect the American way of life” which apparently has replaced “protect the border” in his description of the mission of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  U.S. Customs Senior Attorney Susan Terranova stated that in 2009, Customs had issued over 500 penalties against exporters and freight forwarders for failing to file timely or accurately complete Automated Export System (AES) filings. Each penalty was issued in the amount of $10,000.

Marc Rossi, Branch Chief, Certified Cargo Screening Program, Air Cargo Division, TSA, stated that there are 98 foreign flagged airlines that fly into the United States, over 4,000 indirect air carriers (IACs), 52 independent cargo screening facilities, and only 403 IACs certified by the TSA as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF), in preparation for the August 1, 2010 100% screening of air cargo aboard passenger aircraft in the United States.  More information about the implementation of the 100% screening rule is available at www.tsa.gov/ccsp.

Along with Brandon Fried, Director, Air […]


On January 11, 2010, I posted “You Ready for 100% Cargo Screening by the TSA” because at that time, the international aviation industry was not prepared for the implementation on August 1, 2010 of the TSA mandated 100% screening of air cargo aboard passenger planes.  The date is fast approaching, and shippers, indirect air carriers (freight forwarders) and airlines which need to get “on board” should attend an upcoming seminar.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals South Florida Roundtable is hosting an excellent, informative seminar the morning of Friday, May 7, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Presenters includes the Assistant Branch Chief of TSA from its Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and knowledgeable professionals who have already led the changes at American Airlines, DHL, and others. The seminar will focus on the practical steps that shippers, IACs, and air carriers must know, including how to comply with TSA’s Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) and become a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF).  Registration for the seminar may easily be done on-line.

By |2015-12-01T01:31:00-05:00April 7, 2010|TSA|0 Comments


I just returned from a wonderful trip to both Italy and Israel, and I can’t help but compare our Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedures to that of other countries.  In both Italy and Israel, I did not have to take off my shoes or follow the all too familiar 3-1-1 TSA enforced liquid policy. Yet, on April 2, 2010, Department of Homeland Secretary Napolitano announced another set of security measures that hassle passengers who travel by air.

As you may recall, TSA implemented the 3-1-1 policy in response to the thwarted liquid explosive bomb plot in the United Kingdom in August of 2006. The current TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags is that liquids and gels must be in a 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) , put in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag, and that there is only 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. I would really like to know the scientific basis for why 3.4 ounces, and why a 1 quart-sized bag?  Who comes up with this stuff at TSA or DHS? And if it is so necessary to protect the traveling public, why does neither Italy or Israel follow the same rules since they both have far more experience with terrorism than the United States?

I am a customs and international trade lawyer, not a security expert. I don’t pretend to know the difference between a millimeter wave or backscatter body imaging system, I just am not thrilled about taking my shoes off or separating my liquids […]

By |2015-12-01T01:29:59-05:00April 6, 2010|TSA|0 Comments


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