November 2011




Import - New Merchandise Processing Fee – retroactive to October 1, 2011

Please be advised that recent trade legislation H.R. 2832 has changed the Merchandise Processing Fee rate for formal entries (class code 499) from 0.21% (.0021) to 0.3464% (.003464). The minimum Merchandise Processing Fee will remain at $25.00 and the maximum Merchandise Processing Fee will also remain at $485.00.

CBP is in the process of modifying its Automated System (ABI) to accept the new MPF rate of 0.3464%. The ABI system will be ready to accept the new rate as of Saturday, November 5, 2011 at approximately 7:30 a.m. The system changes will allow the trade to submit the new MPF rate for entry summaries that have a duty computation date of 10/01/2011 or later.

For entries filed on or after October 1, 2011, until the CBP system changes take effect with the 0.3464% rate, CBP will bill the importer for the increase in MPF. CBP will disregard differences of less than $20.

NOTE: If you should receive an invoice from CBP for increased MPF, please pay close attention to it and make sure to pay it promptly.


Reefers – worldwide problem

Hundreds of refrigerated containers have been quarantined in various locations around the world following reports of compressor explosions and incidents of spontaneous combustion that have resulted in at least three fatalities.

The alarm was raised by Maersk Line on October 18, 2011 when it informed the World Shipping Council’s Safe Transport of Containers Working Group that it had recently experienced three cases in which refrigeration units had exploded for no apparent reason.

It is believed that the problem began at a repair facility in Vietnam. All three units identified had received repairs in Vietnam between March and April 2011. All units had similar gas repairs or maintenance to refrigeration units in Vietnam to identify and investigate those units.

Observers say all the major reefer machinery brands are potentially affected by what is suspected to be the introduction of contaminated or otherwise unsuitable refrigerant gas into the system that causes a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with R134a, oil or air, creating a flammable/explosive mixture.

It has been reported that Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and others have identified at least 900 refrigeration units that they suspect may contain contaminated refrigerant from work completed in Vietnam during 2011. Those units have been quarantined until repair and service records can be verified.

Because of this safety issue, the unloading of vessels and processing of containers has been slowed all along the US West Coast.


Generalized System of Preferences – GSP retroactive

On October 21, 2011, the President signed H.R. 2832, which extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program through July 31, 2013. The GSP program, having lapsed December 31, 2010, has been retroactively renewed allowing for a refund of all duties paid on GSP-eligible merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during the period from January 1, 2011 through November 4, 2011.

Accordingly, filers shall be entitled to file GSP-eligible entry summaries, utilizing the Special Program Indicator (SPI) without the payment of duty for shipments entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption effective November 5, 2011. International Freight Systems automatically applied the GSP special program indicator for all appropriate entries during the GSP expired period. Therefore, a duty refund check on all applicable goods should be issued automatically.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin processing refunds immediately for entries filed via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) with the Special Program Indicator (SPI) for duties deposited on GSP-eligible goods during the period from January 1, 2011 through November 4, 2011. Importers are advised to contact Customs at the appropriate port of entry for inquiries about the status of their refunds.


Korean AMS

The Korea Customs Service (KCS) will enforce the Advance Manifest System (AMS) from December 1, 2011 for maritime export cargo and air export/import cargo. The Korean version Automated Manifest System was to take effect on October 1, 2011.

Regarding maritime import cargo and transit cargo the AMS will be enforced from a specific date designated by the commissioner of the KCS.

The KCS will run the AMS for better processing of acceptance, handling and risk management of manifests submitted by ocean carriers or air carriers.

Please stay tuned for new export paperwork cut off times as the steamship lines will need more processing time for Korean AMS before exportation.


International Freight Systems (of WA) LLC Newsletter is a bulletin for customers and partners.  Information contained in this publication has been gathered from a number of public sources that, to the best International Freight Systems’ knowledge, are true and correct.  It is our intent to present only accurate information.  However, in the event any information contained in this newsletter is erroneous, International Freight Systems (of WA) LLC accepts no liability or responsibility.
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