Friday, July 19, 2013

Fact Friday: Ships visiting Port of Houston

Fact Friday:
       Ships visiting the Port of Houston . . . 

If you are like me we're always hearing about how New York and Long Beach  have more activity than the Port of Houston.   Check this out

In 2012:      8385 Ships called on the Port of Houston
                   4500 Ships called on the Port of New York
                   4000 Ships called on the Port of Los Angles

Surprising Numbers. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fact Friday: Texas Ranks Number 1!

Fact Friday:  
Texas Ranks Number One in Exports for 11th Consecutive Year!

Texas is ranked as the number one EXPORTING state for the 11th year in a row,  according to statistics for 2012 released by the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Texas exports for 2012 totaled $265 billion,  a 5.4 percent increase from the $251 billion recorded in 2011.  The state's top export recipients were Mexico ($94.8 billion), Canada ($23.7 billion), China ($10.0 billion) and the Netherlands ($9.5 billion) which imported Texas manufactured goods, respectively.

The leading exporting industries in Texas in 2012 were petroleum and coal products, chemicals, computer and electronic products, non-electrical machinery and transportation equipment.  The Port of Houston is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the nation, and many of the other top goods move across Port of Houston Authority docks.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fact Friday: Mega Ships

JOCFact Friday:  Mega Ships

Seeking efficiency and economies of scale, the world’s container carriers are increasingly ordering mega-ships capable of handling more than 8,000 20-foot-equivalent container units, especially on the Asia-Europe trade lane. Shippers and carriers looking to reach the North American east coast with these post-Panamax ships must transit the Suez Canal because, as their name implies, they are too big to sail through the Panama Canal. But with Panama’s decade-long canal expansion project set for completion in 2015, the giant vessels will be able to add the Panama Canal to their route options. Ports around the world are preparing for the onslaught of these mega-ships, dredging harbors and investing in super-post-Panamax cranes that can reach across 22 or more rows of containers to expedite loading and unloading operations.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Potential Lapse of Duty Free Treatment for eligible imports

From our friends over at OHL

Since 1976 the US has been providing preferential duty-free treatment to goods and countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Enacted as part of the Trade Act of 1974, the US Generalized System of Preferences is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world. Imports from over 3,500 products from 127 designated beneficiary countries (BDCs) and territories including 44 least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs) may be given duty-free treatment in the US. In addition over 1,500 products are GSP-eligible only when imported from a LDBDC. Numerous other industrialized countries have implemented GSP programs similar to the US program.
The GSP program is not fixed and is subject to changes in duration and coverage. GSP was most recently re-authorized in September 2011 and the statutory authorization for this preference program expires again on July 31, 2013. It is expected that this expiration will ultimately result in a lapse of duty-free treatment for eligible imports. Based on past experience, re-authorization legislation will most likely include retroactive coverage. Eligible goods will be entered with payment of duties but also may be entered with the normal indicator of GSP eligibility. This indicator will enable CBP to refund duties when and if authorized. Importers should contact their OHL Account Representative to ensure that goods are properly flagged and to plan on duty expenses.
The GSP program provides for reviews of eligible products and countries. The GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee conducts an annual review during which changes are considered to the lists of articles and countries eligible for duty-free treatment. Eligibility is based on certain economic needs criteria along with other mandatory criteria. Changes are made by executive authority. In addition, there are mandatory and discretionary factors which the President considers in designating a country as eligible for GSP. Typically the results take effect on July 1st annually. Among the criteria considered is whether the country has taken or is taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights, including acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational safety and health. The administration has announced that based on this criteria, Bangladesh will be suspended for eligibility. This suspension from benefits will take place 60 days after publication of the proclamation in the FEDERAL REGISTER. [This suspension also removes Bangladesh content from consideration as part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).] Reinstatement of benefits can be considered in subsequent annual reviews but, unlike duties deposited during lapse periods, should Bangladesh be reinstated at a later date, benefits will not be retroactive.
Importers making GSP claims are subject to CBP regulations and are expected to exercise reasonable care in the conduct of their import business. CBP expects importers to establish internal controls to document the regulatory requirements for substantiating GSP claims. This
The documents that CBP may request vary on a case-by-case basis. Examples of the types of documents that should be available to establish and document a GSP claim are:
  • GSP Declaration (see 19 CFR 10.173)
  • Bill of Materials
  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Production records kept in the ordinary course of business
  • Payroll information to document labor costs
  • Factory profile
  • Affidavit with supporting documentation
The documentation necessary to substantiate a GSP claim must be kept readily accessible, should CBP request it. Records may be requested from the importer of the products for which GSP is claimed, from the foreign exporter, or both. The substantiating documentation must be kept for a period of five years.