Trade and Customs Updates
CBP Publishes Continuing Education Final Rule for Customs Brokers
In a Federal Register notice published June 22, 2023, US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) issued their final rule establishing a continuing education requirement for customs brokers. The rule takes effect on July 24, 2023, requiring licensed customs brokers to attain
36 hours of continuing education during each triennial reporting period.
Individual brokers will be required to certify compliance with the continuing broker education requirements, which include training and educational activity that have been accredited by a CBP-selected accreditor or identified by CBP per § 111.103(a)), as part of the filing of their 2027 triennial status reports.
To allow for the full implementation of the continuing education requirement, CBP will reduce the number of required continuing education credits for the triennial period beginning on February 01, 2024. It is important to note that the proration will only affect the triennial period between 2024 and 2027. Then all triennial periods will require completing and certifying 36 continuing education credits. CBP will reduce the 36 continuing education credits needed to be completed by six credits for approximately every six months that elapse between February 01, 2024, and the compliance date on which individual brokers may begin completing qualified continuing broker education courses.
Section 111 of the US Customs Regulations will be updated to reflect the changes in various sections and add sections 111.101-111.104 (Subpart F – CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUAL BROKERS).
Ian Saunders confirmed as Secretary General for WCO
The Department of Commerce and Acting Commissioner of US Customs & Border Protection, Troy Miller, announced on Saturday, June 24, 2023, that as part of the 141st and 142nd sessions of the WCO Council, the Directors General representing
their 185 member countries elected Ian Saunders representing the US as the next Secretary-General for the World Customs Organization (WCO) to a five-year term starting on January 01, 2024. The WCO Secretary General is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the WCO Secretariat.
Mr. Saunders, nominated by US Customs and Border Protection, assured the Organization’s members of his commitment to driving Customs toward a safe, prosperous, and inclusive future. He said:
“While respecting the WCO’s rich past, there is a need to innovate and adapt to modern challenges. I intend to lead the Organization by forging strong and enduring public-private partnerships, leveraging technology, promoting inclusivity for effective global Customs cooperation, and ensuring transparency and openness as fundamental principles of good governance.”
The election of Mr. Saunders reestablishes the US as a leader in the international trade arena, replacing Kunio Mikuriya of Japan as Secretary General, who has served as Secretary General since 2009.
US Customs and Border Protection and various Biden administration officials have promoted Mr. Saunders’ candidacy since he was nominated in January 2023.
House of Representatives Select Committee issues report on Fast Fashion and UFLPA
As part of their investigations on forced labor in the Uyghur Region of China, the House Select Committee on Forced Labor issued a report detailing interim findings related to China-based fast fashion companies and online marketplaces operating in the United States.
The report highlights a handful of “key findings” from the committee’s ongoing investigation into Chinese fast fashion companies and online marketplaces in the US. The committee stressed that it continues to scrutinize Chinese supply chains’ compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) — including the business practices of Shein, Temu, Nike, and Adidas — but released this “interim” report to inform American importers that there is an “extremely high risk that Temu’s supply chains are contaminated with forced labor.”
The committee said Temu and Shein are potentially responsible for more than 30% of all daily packages shipped to the US under the de minimis provision, and almost half of those shipments come from China. The business model for both companies was built around shipping to the US utilizing the de minimis provision to avoid ULFPA scrutiny and customs duties
Vessel Entrance Clearance System (VECS) continues to expand
CBP has expanded the Vessel Entry Clearance System (VECS) pilot program by adding five new ports to the pilot (Portland, ME; Eastport, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; Searsport, ME; and Bangor, ME) on June 26, 2023. The VECS pilot now has more than 25 ports
participating in the pilot. The VECS pilot was set up to enhance the process by which vessel entry and clearance data is posted to Customs systems.
The VECS process represents a complete digitization and automation of the Entrance and Clearance process. VECS will allow vessel masters, operators, and agents to submit specific vessel entry and clearance data and requests to CBP electronically instead of submitting paper forms, as currently required by CBP regulations.
VECS will allow participants to electronically submit the data required on CBP Forms 26, 226, 1300, 1302, 1303, 1304, and 3171 through VECS before arrival or departure from designated ports.
Ø VECS website.
Ø FRN published on July 20, 2022
Ø FRN was posted on November 21, 2022
FDA Updated FAQs and added Tools for Food Traceability Rule
On Monday, June 26, 2023, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and posted additional tools to provide the industry with more information about its Food Traceability Rule under the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA). The Food Traceability Rule facilitates faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and deaths. Food subject to the final rule requirements appears on the Food Traceability List (FTL).
The new FAQs address questions to help clarify how the rule applies to specific situations and are based mainly on questions received during the FDA’s regular interactions with industry and on questions sent via the Technical Assistance Network, a central source of information for inquiries related to the FSMA rules, programs, and implementation strategies.
Along with the FAQs, additional tools developed to help further educate and inform industry subject to the Food Traceability Rule are accessible from the FDA’s traceability website.
The compliance date for all persons subject to the Food Traceability Rule is January 20, 2026.
Ø Traceability Rule: Federal Register Notice
Ø Full and Partial Exemptions to the Food Traceability Rule
Trade and Customs Reminders & Events
Electronic Submission of Adverse Event Reports to FDA
APRIL 4, 2023 – NOVEMBER 7, 2023
These meetings will focus on enhancements to electronic submission of Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) in FAERS using ICH E2B(R3) standards.
Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum
July 11, 2023