Current Export Issues - 4-25-12
1. Option 4/ Post-departure AES Filing: Option 4 is still being hashed out between the US Census and US Customs on whether it will exist and how it will exist. I have received phone calls in the last week from US Customs in DC with inquiries on how exports work and how they would work in certain Option-4 scenarios. We are, of course, hopeful these discussions and phone calls do lead into a workable and efficient system similar to the one that existed prior to 2002.
2. GRI (General Rate Increases): Most carriers are sending out their 30-day notices of GRI’s which are scheduled to take effect on May 15. Interesting and at the same time aggravating, rates in Pacific South West are said to be taking on GRI’s valued at half those being predicted for Pacific North West ports. This does not seem fair to us here in Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle. Concerns have been voiced and the we’ll see how it all hashes out on May 15.
3. FTA – (Free Trade Agreement) with Colombia: It was announced the free trade agreement with Colombia will go into effect starting May 15.
4. FMC and Price Indexing: FMC has a grand idea to create price indexes for agricultural products. Currently there are several events where the FMC intends to make presentations on this idea. Personally, it might help the smaller shipper, but not the shipper with large volumes. There was an article written in the JOC on April 11, if you would like to read more about it.
5. FMC reforming NVOCC’s: The FMC has been proposing a number of ideas to “help” NVOCC’s, but never once mentions helping freight forwarders. The FMC has stated they want to cut off the “unnecessary” regulations that govern NVOCC’s, which cost them for doing business. Personally, I think the FMC should be looking at all OTI’s and not only NVOCC’s. Another concern that doesn’t seem to be addressed in FMC’s statements are the foreign NVOCC’s. Will these changes allow China to take over our freight forwarding business? It isn’t clear and should be concern to all of us. Please watch for more to come.
6. BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security): In the April 17, 2012 Federal Register there was a listing regarding proposal for VEU (Validated End-User) as a license exception. They are receiving comments through June 8, 2012 if you would like to make yours known. It is very detailed and I would recommend you read through it even if you don’t intend to make comment.
7. BIS has also been busy changing their numbering system to match OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Controls) changes. Details of this numbering system are listed on OFAC’s web page.
Wed, Apr 25 2012 4:31 PM