September 2012

Band-Aid or Stitches? What’s Your Compliance Approach?

When you get a deep cut, do you simply put on a band-aid or do you go to the hospital to get stitches that you really need? Stitches take time and are more costly – but, your bleeding will stop and your cut is less likely to re-open. With a band-aid – you’re likely to re-open your wound and/or get an infection. You get stitches if you know what’s good for you!

Compliance is similar in that there may be a quick fix for the current issue; however, if you don’t stop the bleeding and get stitches, you will be in trouble in the long-run, and the bleeding won’t stop.

On a daily basis, different companies call me to discuss issues they are having with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). For instance, today, a company called me discussing a CBP 28 – Request for Information, and thereafter a CBP 29 – Notice of Action received from CBP. The issue was an underlying classification issue. Bottom line, they had never done any Pre-Compliance on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule’s (HTS) they were using for their imported merchandise. They said the infamous line – that’s why I hired a broker. Important to note that this just does not cut it with CBP.

CBP publishes really great Informed Compliance Publications for Importers – too few importers have read them, and too small a percentage of importers know they exist. For new importers, CBP has a great resource titled Basic Importing and Exporting. Included […]

As U.S. Imports from China Intensify so does CBP Enforcement

Co-authored by Michael De Biase

With the concentration of US imports from China increasing in parallel with intellectual property rights seizures, companies rely heavily on the government, specifically on US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to help protect and enforce their intellectual property rights (“IPR”).

According to Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with Greater China, “US imports from China [are] more concentrated than ever“.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce establishes that importation into the U.S. is a concentrated field, with the top 500 U.S. importers – 0.4 % of all importers – comprising roughly 68% of all imports by value in 2010. Imports from China, although somewhat less concentrated, are still dominated by larger enterprises, as companies with more than 500 employees – 4% of all importers from China – account for 60% of all imports from China. As concentration increases, the opportunity to trade in quantities that take advantage of China’s economies of scale decrease; thus, heightened concentration is not a good thing for Chinese manufacturers.

While the import concentration from China is growing, CBP is reporting a record number of IPR seizures. From 2010-2011 alone, IPR seizures increase by 24%, and have nearly doubled since 2009. Considering that China is the number one source company of imports, it should come as no surprise that it also accounts for the largest number of IPR seizures, with 62% of […]

DR-CAFTA: Si o No? ( Yes or No?)

Co-authored by Carlos Gimenez.

Just because you are importing a product from a party to the DR-CAFTA Free Trade Agreement, does not necessarily mean that the product will be granted DR-CAFTA treatment by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”). Even if 95% of the product is made from components that all originate from DR-CAFTA party nations, that still may not be enough.

If the product has one component that originates outside of DR-CAFTA parties, whether or not the product will receive DR-CAFTA treatment will rely heavily on General Note 29(n), Chapter 61, Chapter rule 2, which states:

For purposes of determining whether a good of this chapter is originating, the rule applicable to that good shall only apply to the component that determines the tariff classification of the good and such component must satisfy the tariff change requirements set out in the rule for that good. If the rule requires that the good must also satisfy the tariff change requirements for visible lining fabrics listed in chapter rule 1 to this chapter, such requirement shall only apply to the visible lining fabric in the main body of the garment, excluding sleeves, which covers the largest surface area, and shall not apply to removable linings.

Case in point, a client requested an alaysis of whether DR-CAFTA would apply to a garment produced of components that all originated in DR-CAFTA party countries, with one exception, the lace that was used to create a decorative front panel. The lace portion […]

South Florida’s Unsung Heroes Gain Recognition on November 15, 2012

For over a decade, the South Florida Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-South Florida), part of a worldwide organization dedicated to advancing global trade opportunities for women, has hosted the International Business Woman of the Year (IBWOY) Awards.

On November 15, 2012, the OWIT-South Florida will host the 11th annual IBWOY Awards at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral. The annual IBWOY Awards recognize outstanding women for their significant contributions to enhancing international trade and business in South Florida through their professional and community activities, as well as their mentoring of other women in South Florida. More than 200 members of the South-Florida International Business Community, including past IBWOY Award winners, gather to pay tribute to honorees in three categories which include Large Company, Small to Medium sized Company and Service awards.

I look forward to seeing you on November 15th!  Check out these links to more about OWIT’s IBWOY Awards and the benefits of sponsorshipContact me with any questions about OWIT, or IBWOY.


By |2022-07-08T15:50:24-04:00September 6, 2012|OWIT|0 Comments

Don’t Let Your Bioterrorism Act Registration Lapse

US Capitol building
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) has for the first time, specifically put the onus on importers to have a program to verify that the food products they are bringing into this country are safe. The idea behind FSMA is to change FDA regulatory enforcement and focus to more of a preventative approach, instead of reactionary. These new requirements include risk-based controls, foreign supplier verification program, certification, and audits. A brief overview of the requirements may be found here.

I’ve summarized the requirements relevant to your Bioterrorism Act Registration below, so you can be sure your registration doesn’t lapse.

New Biannual Registration Requirements

FSMA amended the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) Section 415 to provide for biannual registration updates. Facilities which are required to register will have to re-register every 2 years, during the period beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 in even numbered years. This will first occur in October-December 2012.


Note that even facilities which are already registered with the FDA are still required to renew their registrations during the October 1 – December 2012 registration renewal period.

U.S. Agent

FDA requires that foreign facilities have a U.S. agent. The U.S. agent must:

  1. live or maintain a place of business in the U.S. and
  2. be physically present in the U.S.
The U.S. Agent is also responsible for the payment of “reinspection fees” of foreign […]


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