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The trade war between the United States and China marches inexorably onward into the fall. The President's tweet of August 1st announcing Section 301 duties on the majority of the remaining HTS numbers from China set in motion a flurry of activity for importers and this week things came into greater focus as the US Trade Representative announced the details for list 4 - or rather list 4A and list 4B.
Bond sufficiency reminder for importers.
With nearly all remaining items from China about to be subject to Section 301 duties, this is a great time to remind importers that the issue of bond sufficiency has been front and center as Section 232 and Section 301 trade remedies rapidly max out most continuous bonds.

We strongly encourage importers to work with us to forecast their anticipated exposure and if a new bond is required, secure a bond for the correct anticipated amount because a series of additional bonds put in place over the course of a year is an unnecessary waste of money. For more information about bond sufficiency, contact our VP of Imports, Bob Glover, using the button below.
CITES Conference underway in Switzerland.
Earlier this month, there were proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act that were published in the Federal Register for comment. While this is happening, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. There are 183 member countries who participate in the program and at this year's meeting, the group released a press release in advance detailing just some of what will be considered during the nearly two-week long convention:

"Governments have submitted  56 new proposals  to change the levels of protection that CITES provides for species of wild animals and plants that are in international trade. Many of these proposals seek to ensure that trade in at-risk species remains sustainable by requiring trade permits through a CITES Appendix II listing. Others recommend banning all commercial trade in specimens of species threatened by extinction by listing them on Appendix I. Still others aim to provide evidence that a population has stabilized or expanded and can be safely transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II."
CBP proposing additional information collection from importers by customs brokers.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) views customs brokers like Coppersmith as a front-line partner in their missions of safety and security. Whether it is our participation in CTPAT or the other internal controls we deploy, CBP looks to the community that files 96% of the entries to help stop things like drugs, IPR violations and opioids. To that end, the agency published for notice and comment some comprehensive changes to the kind of information we would be required to collect with a power of attorney.

The list is wide-reaching and calls for original government documents to verify the identity of a POA signatory, credit checks, written proof of a POA grantor's authority and more. While our national association will submit comments to the agency, if importers are interested in submitting their comments to these proposed changes as well, we strongly encourage people to read the NPRM and submit comments by the due date of October 15, 2019.
US citrus exporters who do business in China will likely have some additional competition from Chilean citrus coming in the next year. Fresh Fruit Portal is reporting that Chinese inspectors are touring the country for ten days to see various growing and production regions and at the end of the visit will begin to work on the text of an agreement which could be signed as soon as the APEC meeting in November of this year.

Chile currently has access to China for cherries, blueberries, kiwifruit, table grapes, nectarines, plums, avocado, apples, and, more recently, pears.
Carriers and insurers are seeing a fire at sea onboard a ship about once every six weeks. Several container lines are implementing policies to fine customers who fail to properly declare dangerous goods on the commercial invoice after a series of onboard fires this year. Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL said they would step up random inspections and assess fees of up to $35,000 per misdeclared box.
 
Using electronic documentation and close relationships with carriers, Coppersmith Global Logistics can help customers comply with liner carrier rules. (Image source: The Loadstar)
The Vietnamese government is tightening country-of-origin rules to avoid U.S. trade restrictions aimed at stopping companies from rerouting goods to the Asian nation to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

Many companies are relocating production to Vietnam to avoid the 25 percent tariffs, but others are skirting the rules by trans-shipping goods in an effort to make it look like they were produced there instead of China.

Importers as part of their compliance program are strongly encouraged to take steps to validate the origin source of their products.
Shippers will pay for the looming international requirement for ocean carriers to use cleaner, but more expensive, low-sulfur fuel through surcharges, but the higher cost isn’t enough to alter their routing decisions or order timing, industry experts say.

With the IMO2020 deadline less than six months away, carriers are using a mix of scrubbers to clean exhaust and dry dock conversions to run on the new fuel formulation.
   
Freight rates could increase by several hundred dollars, depending on the route, but transportation remains a tiny percentage of the total landed cost.
   Many breakbulk shippers who comply with international anti-pest rules for imported wood products are still getting hit with re-export costs when Customs inspections find destructive material in the packing material or dunnage.
 
Even though the wood packing materials have been certified for overseas shipping, CBP requires the packing cases – and sometimes the cargo contents – to be shipped to another country and treated before it can re-enter U.S. commerce. The problem is especially pronounced in project cargoes.