Trade and Customs Updates
CBP Publishes Updated FAQs about De Minimis
On Tuesday, 18 Jul 2023, CBP published to its website, a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address De Minimis, Entry Type 86 and the Section 321 Data Pilot concerns from their recent webinar.
The new list of FAQs contains 20 general
questions on De Minimis, 16 questions on Entry Type 86, and seven questions on the Section 321 Data Pilot. The questions cover what is eligible for De Minimis, data requirements, bond requirements, who can file these de minimis shipments, as well as the mode of transportation eligible for De Minimis among others.
APHIS invites US Stakeholders to Comment on IPPC Standards and Documents
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant & Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ) division announced that the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has opened consultation on draft standards, specifications, and documentation on 01 Jul 2023.
The IPPC has made available for consultation (review and commenting) several draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), draft phytosanitary treatments, draft diagnostic protocols, a draft specification, and a draft Recommendation from the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM). APHIS is inviting all interested US stakeholders to participate in this consultation. The list of available drafts, deadlines for commenting, and instructions for submitting comments are available on the APHIS website.
If you have any questions about IPPC consultation, please email Dr. Marina Zlotina, PPQ’s IPPC Technical Director, at email@example.com.
Canadian Strike Ends as ILWU and BCMEA accept mediator terms
The port strike that paralyzed most cargo moves through Canadian west coast ports since 1 Jul moved closer to its end on Thursday, 13 Jul. Both the International Longshoreman Workers Union (ILWU) and British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) endorsed the compromise suggested by a federal mediator,
opening the way to ratification by their respective members.
According to an operations update by the Port of Vancouver, some operations were already set to resume Thursday afternoon, hours after the two sides signaled acceptance of the proposed four-year labor agreement. However, it will take some time to work through the backlog.
“Both Vancouver and Rupert face a significant amount of delays, port swaps, and diversions that come on the heels of this latest development. We expect the railways, shippers, and ports will be feeling the operational effects of this for many weeks to come.”
Canada’s labor minister, Seamus O’Regan, decided on Tuesday that the two sides were not far enough apart to justify a continuation of the strike, which has cost Canadian trade an estimated C$500M ($379M) a day.
A designated mediator hammered out a compromise proposal, presented to the ILWU and the BCMEA on Wednesday with a 24-hour deadline to signal whether they would accept it and pass it to their members for ratification.
“The strike is over. […] The parties have reached a tentative agreement,” minister O’Regan tweeted last Thursday and, in a joint statement with Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, thanked both sides.
“The scale of this disruption has been significant. The extent of it has shown just how important the relationship between industry and labor is to our national interest. We do not want to be back here again,” they said.
The terms of the deal have not been made public yet. Sources close to the negotiations said remuneration and union jurisdiction over terminal maintenance work had been the biggest stumbling blocks. While the agreement needs to be ratified by the members of both organizations, port activities are expected to resume without significant delay.
According to one report, the BCMEA’s final offer had been a 14% pay rise over four years, whereas the union was asking for 17% over two years plus a C$8,000 lump sum payment. In the last round of talks, last Monday, the employers had reportedly offered some concessions on ILWU jurisdiction on terminal work.
APHIS Launches Change to Core Message Set Flag
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) replaced the APHIS Core Message Set AQ3 flag with an AQX flag to alert filers that products under a Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code require a Message Set. The new
AQX flag (set to “warning severity”) will signal filers that additional data may be required. It will not prohibit importers and customs brokers from successfully submitting an entry without APHIS Core Message Set data or disclaims. APHIS is currently assigning the new AQX flag to HTS codes in CERT and expects to start assigning the AQX flag in PROD, no earlier than August 21, 2023.
APHIS is introducing the new flag in response to evidence that some HS codes are largely disclaimed and do not require APHIS Core Message Set data. This change will eliminate the burden on stakeholders who had to disclaim large volumes of shipments.
Customs Brokers who get an HTS flagged AQX entry will receive this message:
“PU2 – DATA MSNG [missing] FOR HTS – NO ACTION REQD”
The AQX flag does not eliminate the requirement to file an APHIS Core Message Set when permits, certificates or other documents are required for agriculture admissibility. The AQX flag simply removes the requirement to disclaim products not regulated by APHIS, or indicates data is not required.
CDC issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Dog and Cat Importations
On Monday, 10 Jul 2023, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to begin the process of updating its dog and cat importation regulation (42 CFR 71.51) and related definitions (42 CFR 71.50). The NPRM is intended to solicit public comment and feedback on the issue of dog
importations and CDC’s proposal to inform the requirements of a final rule.
The CDC is seeking public input on proposed updates to its dog and cat importation regulation (42 CFR 71.51) and related definitions (42 CFR 71.50). The proposed updates to CDC’s requirements for dog importation, if adopted, would:
- better protect the public’s health by preventing the reintroduction of dog rabies in the United States
- impact only a small percentage of people who import dogs into the United States each year
- provide flexibility to dog owners in meeting the regulatory requirements for importation to the United States
Rabies kills approximately 59,000 people globally each year, mostly children who are infected from dog bites. The United States was declared free of dog rabies in 2007, but dog rabies remains endemic in over 100 countries. CDC regulates the importation of dogs to prevent dog rabies from being reintroduced into the United States. CDC’s dog and cat importation regulation has not been updated in over 70 years. Dog importation has changed drastically since that time and updates are needed to protect the public’s health.
Parties interested is submitting comments can submit their comments via mail or electronically using Docket #CDC-2023-0051 or RIN 0920-AA82 until 08 September 2023.
Online comments can be submitted via http://regulations.gov.
Comments submitted via US mail should be sent to:
Division of Global Migration & Quarantine
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
1600 Clinton Rd NE
FDA Announces Findings from Pilot to Evaluate Third Party Food Safety Standards
On Monday, 17 Jul 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the findings from the voluntary pilot program to evaluate alignment of private third-party food safety audit standards with the food safety requirements in two regulations issued to implement the FDA Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) – the Preventive Controls for Human Food (PC Human Food) and the Produce Safety rules.
Buyers and others in the food supply-chain often use third-party audits to assess the quality and safety of a product. For example, buyers, such as importers and receiving facilities, might stipulate an audit as part of a purchase agreement. In addition, under FSMA, the PC Human Food rule, Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PC Animal Food) rule, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) rule – allow for third-party audits to be used as supplier verification activities.
The FDA understands that a finding of third-party audit standards alignment with the FSMA regulations could help give importers and receiving facilities confidence that the standards used to audit their suppliers adequately address applicable FDA food safety requirements. This information, along with results of a firm’s audits, also could help inform the FDA in determining risk prioritization and resource allocation.
As part of the pilot the FDA selected and assessed third-party food safety standards for alignment with the requirements in the PC Human Food or Produce Safety rules. Although the specific elements of the third-party food safety standards and the FSMA implementing regulations may not be identical, a finding of alignment indicates that the relevant technical components of the PC Human Food or Produce Safety rules have been addressed. The reviews focused on assessing third-party food safety standards and not the overall quality of the audit programs or qualifications of auditors. The FDA’s review and the findings from this pilot do not constitute an endorsement of any one food safety audit standard, nor do they constitute an endorsement of audits conducted under such standards.
FDA Uses Traceback to Respond to Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
investigators trace food that ill people report eating all the way back to a farm or production facility. Finding commonalities in the supply chains of foods eaten by ill people helps investigators zero in on a potential source of the outbreak. Traceback is one tool used by FDA investigators during the many steps taken by the agency along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local, state, and international public health authorities to respond to outbreaks in FDA-regulated food products.
The video explores how the CDC works with public health authorities to learn more about what might be making consumers sick, and then if an FDA-regulated food product is identified, how the FDA investigates the cause of the outbreak and works with industry to remove any potentially contaminated product from store shelves. The FDA, CDC, and local and state partners also work together to warn the public, as appropriate, and to help prevent additional illnesses