Export Regulations and Cloud Computing…Beware!

Co Authored by Perry Sofferman

Forrester Research predicts that the global market for cloud computing services will have increased from $40.7 billion dollars in 2011 to approximately $241 billion dollars by 2020. You can see the ZDNet article here. This figure includes the Platforms as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Business Process as a Service delivery models. What this information reveals is that while cloud computing is already a significant part of operational strategy for many businesses (as well as governmental agencies), we should expect it to not only grow as a market but to become even more intertwined with the way we conduct business and store data on a daily basis. Consequently, businesses in general and export compliance officers in particular need to be vigilant and make sure that their use of this important technology is consistent with US export regulations. 

When using cloud services, the user is uploading data to available servers in the cloud provider’s server facility(ies). The type of data uploaded and the location of the server where that data is stored can potentially trigger export compliance issues for the user. In fact, the ultimate location of the particular server used to hold the user’s data may be unknown to either the user or the cloud provider. Data can be redirected to various servers in different countries in order to properly allocate server space based on fluctuations of usage in different time zones. It should be noted that this is […]

June 10 – FSMA Rules Will be Released!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been court ordered to set firm dates for FSMA’s implementation.  Details of the court case forcing FDA to set these dates, and the organization that sued the FDA to make this happen follow.
Background
The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the FDA on August 29, 2012.  The complaint alleged FDA failed to promulgate 7 food safety regulations required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Congress enacted the FSMA – which was signed into law on January 4, 2011 – to modernize food safety laws and regulations by mandating science-based standards and controls; by providing the FDA with greater authority to prevent and address food safety hazards by taking steps to prevent them from occurring; by strengthening the FDA’s inspection and enforcement powers; and by improving coordination among federal, state, and foreign food safety agencies. CFS documented the foodborne illness outbreaks since FSMA was signed into law, January 4, 2011.

Court Order
The court case is being heard by Judge Phyllis Hamilton, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Yesterday, May 21, 2013, Judge Hamilton ordered that the FDA and CFS have an extended deadline of June 10, 2013 to file a joint statement with a […]

C-TPAT Member Exports to Receive Expedited EU Customs Clearance

The United States and the European Union are now collabroating in an effort to increase the safety and efficiency of international shipments. The two parties have implemented a mutual recognition arrangement for their respective supply chain security programs. The equivalent to the CTPAT in the European Union is known as the Authorized Economic Operator Program. This program is what will allow the EU to enforce this agreement. The implementation of the new bilateral agreement will allow:

  • US importers authorized under CTPAT to be considered secure
  •  exports to receive a lower-risk score by the customs administrations of EU member states; and
  • time and money savings.

This program creates an improved supply chain that is secure. The agreement allows importers and exporters to shorten shipping and processing times due to the fewer security related inspections and controls that they are subjected to. The benefits received by both parties are reciprocal when exporting into each others jurisdiction.

However, the agreement contains some exceptions. For instance, only tier 2 and 3 CTPAT importers qualify for full AEO benefits. Additionally, they are also the only importers that may receive lower risk-assesment scores, and consequently, undergo fewer inspections when exporting to an EU member state. Also, CTPAT members must expressly elect for the United States to share certain information with the European Union and certify that their exports meet all applicable requirements. Finally, the mutual recognition agreement will only apply to those CTPAT importers that are also exporters.

The EU and the US have also recently discussed the possibility of a free trade agreement. The mutual recognition agreement will facilitate trade and allow […]

By |2015-11-30T13:14:51-05:00May 10, 2013|CTPAT|0 Comments

ACI’s Import Compliance & Enforcement Conference,

The American Conference Institute will be having its 8th Import Compliance and Enforcement Conference on June 11, 2013, in Washington DC. The conference will consist of two days full of lectures discussing highly complex U.S. import compliance challenges, along with how to satisfy Canadian and Mexican customs authorities. Unlike previous conferences, this unique event is designed to provide attendees with a comprehensive benchmarking experience, where participants can exchange best practices and lessons learned for 2013 and beyond. Some of the most notable industry experts that will be present are Chrystler, Hershey, Williams-Sonoma, Boeing, IBM, General Electric, Cisco, Tyco and yours truly.

This event is uniquely designed to maximize benchmarking on how to resolve the most complex, pressing import compliance issues affecting the industry. The new program features for 2013 are:

  • Two highly focused sessions on valuation and transfer pricing:
  • ISA member case studies: New and longstanding members speak about their recent experiences, and how to meet ISA requirements.
  • Inside a focused assessment: Lessons learned from recent experiences on how to handle common and unanticipated CBP requests
  • CTPAT and Foreign Re-Validations: Meeting new expectations for CTPAT risk assessments, and how the new EU Mutual Recognition Agreement affects importer validation requirements
  • NAFTA, CAFTA, and US-Korea – FTA success stories:
    • The finer points to minimizing duties, fees, taxes, red tape, and proving origin
  • Developing a global strategy for customs classification and tariff engineering.

One of the most notable topics discussed will be broker selection and management. I have the privilege to discuss important aspects within […]

FDA Investigates Caffeine in Foods

Recently, there have been several reports citing illness, hospitalizations, and death after consumption of food and beverages containing high doses of caffeine. These reports have prompted the FDA to investigate multiple products with high amounts of caffeine that are currently being sold on the market. Some of the most notable reports include products such as 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy Drink, and Wrigley Alert Energy Gum.

The FDA is closely monitoring these types of products and is investigating their safety. They are primarily concerned with the effects of these products on children. The manufacturers of this merchandise claim that they are marketed and labeled exclusively for adult use. However, critics of these products remain skeptical due to the fact that caffeine is added to items like candy, which is attractive to children.

The FDA seeks to limit the intake of unhealthy dosages of caffeine, especially with respect to children. The FDA believes that the dissemination of products composed of high amounts of caffeine create concerns because, “it will be increasingly easy to consume caffeine throughout the day, sometimes unwittingly, as companies add caffeine  to candies, nuts, snacks and other foods.” Although several hospital reports mention these caffeinated products, it is still unclear whether the adverse effects were triggered by the caffeine intake. FDA officials state that they would take action if they could link the deaths to consumption of the energy drinks, including forcing the companies to take the products off the market.

Some manufacturers of caffeinated products have already taken internal measures to mitigate the problems caused by their product. For instance, Wrigley […]

By |2022-07-07T09:56:45-04:00May 3, 2013|FDA Issues|0 Comments
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