Ascent Global Logistics Blog

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Compliance Circular: September 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Sep 3, 2019 11:45:48 AM

Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality: Who Can See Your Information?

With varying regulations governing the disclosure (Freedom of Information Act) or confidentiality (Department of Homeland Security) of certain records, it can sometimes be challenging to know who can have access to what information in the international world of trade. Importers and exporters, along with their brokers, forwarders and ocean carriers, must follow certain guidelines as to what information must be disclosed and what must be kept confidential in the commercial environment. 

19Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 103.31 Subpart C provides guidance on vessel manifests, including who can be privy to that information. Members of the press, including newspapers, commercial magazines, trade journals and similar publications are allowed to review the vessel manifests of imports and exports and the following data associated with them:

  • Name and address of the shipper
  • General nature of the cargo
  • Number of cartons/packages
  • Gross weight
  • Carrier Name
  • Port of Export
  • Port of Destination

Information gathered by these sources is often sold in the marketplace in publications like Piers or Panjiva, which provide basic details to trade and transportation groups on cargo that is coming into the United States and exporting from the United States. While the public is not allowed to review these manifests, importers and exporters and their brokers, attorneys, agents can request copies of any manifests for which they have a legal interest. 

19CFR103.31(d) provides specific guidance on how to keep this information confidential from those who have access to the data. Inward and Outward Manifest Confidentiality requests can be made to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, requesting all data be treated confidential from all means of review, including the press. Up until now, this request was usually in the form of a letter or an email to vesselmanifestconfidentiality@cbp.dhs.gov from the importer, exporter or their designated agent/broker. The letter or email included:

  • Name(s) of the Importer/Consignee – Every possible name combination that might appear on a bill of lading should be referenced on the confidentiality request.
  • Address of the Importer/Consignee
  • Optional:  List of all suppliers/shippers that might appear as a shipper on a bill of lading.

On August 22, 2019, CBP announced that a new tool would be deployed in the near future that would allow the Vessel Manifest Confidentiality to be filed electronically via an online portal/tool. The new electronic process would streamline the request and what typically took 60-90 days to complete will be completed in as little as 24 hours. 

Further details are available in the CBP Pub#0876-0419.

If you are interested in requesting for your manifest information to be confidential, please reach out to your Ascent partner or email compliance@ascentgl.com for further information.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Compliance Circular: August 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Aug 1, 2019 2:50:53 PM

CBP Promises Transparency and Commitment to National Security at 2019 Trade Symposium

Over 1,200 members of the trade community including importers, exporters, customs brokers, forwarders, carriers and various supporting businesses descended on Chicago July 22-24, 2019 to hear from the top leadership of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service. Speakers included Mark Morgan (Acting Commissioner of CBP), Kevin McAleenan (Acting Secretary of DHS) and Brenda Smith (EAC from the Office of Trade). Also in attendance were speakers from CBP, FDA, DOC and USTR.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Compliance Circular July 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Jul 1, 2019 11:30:33 AM

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently held their annual CTPAT Conference in San Antonio, TX, with an attendance of over 1,500 CTPAT members – from importers and exporters to Canadian and Mexican foreign manufacturers, from highway carriers and sea carriers to brokers and freight forwarders. A sea of people converged upon the seventh largest city in the nation and CBP did not disappoint – providing valuable information  regarding the updated Minimum Security Criteria as well as how security in our agriculture is vital to our economy.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Compliance Circular June 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Jun 3, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Tips for a Lower-Stress Travel Experience This Summer

One of the busiest travel seasons has arrived, with travelers preparing to take trips that will have them transiting through airports both domestically and internationally, as well as crossing various international borders and possibly interacting with different customs officials. Both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) share tips to help make those encounters go more smoothly and quickly.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Compliance Circular May 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on May 15, 2019 10:38:52 AM

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, which amended the Shipping Act of 1984, went into effect on May 1, 1999. This shipping act combined non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC) and ocean freight forwarders under one category labeled "ocean transportation intermediary" (OTI). An intermediary is defined as "a person who acts as a link between people in order to try to bring about an agreement." 

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

UPDATE: EPA, TSCA And Wood Products

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Apr 4, 2019 11:28:09 AM

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, also known as the TSCA Title VI, was fully implemented as of March 22, 2019 following a nine-year waiting period.

Composite wood products required to be certified as emission compliant by CARB and EPA recognized Third-Party Certified (TPC) starting on May 22, 2017. From May 22, 2017 through March 22, 2019, products regulated by TSCA Title VI had to be labeled as TSCA Title VI or CARB ATCM Phase II compliant.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Power Of Attorney: Critical To International Shippers

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Mar 5, 2019 1:08:35 PM
When people hear the phrase "Power of Attorney," they often think immediately of a Medical Power of Attorney or a Dependent Power of Attorney. However, Powers of Attorney are crucial to the International Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokerage world. Powers of Attorney are the mechanism by which the importer or exporter authorizes the forwarder or broker to act on their behalf in customs related transactions. 
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Topics: International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Give Thanks To Your Broker! Our Brokers Are At The Heart Of Our Industry

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Feb 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM

In February, we often celebrate Valentine’s day with candy and flowers for the people who have a special place in our heart. This month’s compliance circular is going to focus on some of the people at the heart of the international freight forwarding industry, the Customs Brokers. As early as 1799, Customs Brokers were called “known agents or factors” and could make entry on behalf of cargo owners who were unable to do so, for a variety of reasons.

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Topics: International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

New Year's Resolutions For Importers And Exporters In 2019

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Jan 2, 2019 12:21:54 PM

As the new year begins, many will make New Year’s resolutions to save money, lose weight, get in shape, travel more, read more books, learn a skill or hobby and a whole host of other goals. But New Year’s resolutions don’t have to just apply to personal health and wellness.

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Topics: Exporting, Importing, International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular

Binding Rulings: Take The Guesswork Out Of The Process

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Dec 4, 2018 10:53:37 AM

Each product that is imported into the United States and cleared through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required to be classified based on The Harmonized Tariff System of the United States. Those classifications are the responsibility of the importer (19 U.S.C. 1484), since they have firsthand knowledge of what the article is, what it is made of, how it is manufactured and the end use.

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Topics: International Freight Forwarding, Monthly Compliance Circular