A Little Due Diligence

As I have written in previous posts, it is a mistake to leave export compliance in the hands of your shipping department. Shippers are under time pressure to get shipments out the door and often do not have sufficient knowledge or training to avoid mistakes. In addition shippers rarely have the authority to stop shipments if they spot red flags and this can have big consequences. So don’t give shippers the responsibility for compliance without the authority.

Many exporters automatically classify their shipments as EAR99 and NLR without checking that these designations are accurate. A little due diligence goes a long way so here goes.

Exporters, do you know how to determine your ECCN (Export Control Classification Number)? While it is true that many exported commodities can be designated EAR 99 and NLR (No License Required), it is important to first check for an ECCN. The correct ECCN is necessary in order to determine if a license is required for your shipments.

There are three ways to determine ECCN: 1) self classify, 2) consult manufacturers of commodities, 3) request a classification by BIS.

The CCL (Commerce Control List) Index @ bis.gov is a good place to start.

https://lnkd.in/gi4iFCu

If you need help contact mitch@adhoclogistics.com

Test Yourself

In a recent post we discussed Country of Origin and “substantial transformation”. Here are a few questions from the April 2019 Customs Broker License exam. If you sit for the exam you have 4.5 hours to answer 80 questions, or a little more than 3 minutes per question, in an open book format. Questions 8 and 9 may seem obvious using the substantial transformation rule. Question # 11 will take a deeper dive into the regulations and this is what makes the exam difficult as it may consume valuable time. Test yourself and post your answers if you like.

8. Swedish iron ore is refined into steel near the town of Essen, Germany, and subsequently fashioned into automobile radiators in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2018. What marking is required for the automobile radiators?

A. Product of EEC B. Made in SK C. Product of Germany D. Made in Slovakia E. Made in Czechoslovakia

9. Fish are caught by a Norwegian flagged vessel in international waters off the coast of Portugal. The fish are kept either whole or filleted on-board. The fillets are sent to England, where they are seasoned, battered, and pre-fried. What is the country of origin of the battered fillets?

A. Portugal B. England C. Norway D. Canada E. Spain

11. Mr. Smith contacts your brokerage from the Customs area at the local international airport. He has just flown in from the UK and is attempting to bring in new Scottish 100% wool sweaters to sell at his new store. CBP has advised him that although an appropriate country of origin label is found affixed to the sweaters, the fiber content label is not acceptable. Which of the following actions should the local CBP brokerage take? A. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith if he agrees to remove the content label because no labeling is needed due to the exemption of wool wearing apparel. B. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith because they fall under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939. C. The sweaters must be returned to the UK. D. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith, but he will have to label the sweaters at his own expense under Customs supervision. E. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith, but a marking duty equal to 10% of the price in the domestic retail market duty should be assessed against Mr. Smith.

A. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith if he agrees to remove the content label because no labeling is needed due to the exemption of wool wearing apparel. B. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith because they fall under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939. C. The sweaters must be returned to the UK. D. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith, but he will have to label the sweaters at his own expense under Customs supervision. E. The sweaters should be released to Mr. Smith, but a marking duty equal to 10% of the price in the domestic retail market duty should be assessed against Mr. Smith.

Mid Year HTS Revisions


The United States International Trade Commission has updated the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States effective July 1, 2020. Mid year is a good time to review your harmonized codes. The change record for this revision includes 4 pages of newly established, modified, and discontinued codes.

Using obsolete codes can result in customs delays, inaccurate  duty assessments, or fines and penalties so it is a good business practice to check the tariff. While you are at it are you sure EAR99 and NLR apply to your exports?

For assistance contact mitch@adhoclogistics.com

Comment on LinkedIn

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB commented on thisDavid J. DiSanto • 1stDiSanto & Associates, Inc. Consulting in Supply Chain Analysis & Optimization2w •

The airline said it’s starting to see signs people are flying again. United expects passenger revenues to grow 50% to 100% between June and July, though that will still be down as much as 88% compared with last July, normally part of the busy summer travel season.

United Taps Frequent Flyer Program for $5 Billion Loan as Air Travel Remains Sluggish….United Airlines is using its frequent flyer program to borrow $5 billion as passenger travel, which ground to a near-halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, starts to pick up but remains far short of a typical summer travel season. The loan secured by its…

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB   Licensed Customs Broker, International Logistics Consultant

EU is not an option for Americans right now