Two Minutes in Trade: Podcast from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg

By Lenny P. Feldman*
Staying on top of the international trade developments can be difficult these days but listening to St&R’s Two Minutes in Trade podcast is like having your own daily briefing.
Lenny Feldman, Senior Member, presents an update on the impact choosing the date of entry can have on duty payments. Podcast link follows or simply read below. TMIT Trade Leadership & Regulations.
Today’s Question: Changes in Trade Leadership & Regulatory Approaches.
Until the Senate Finance Committee confirms permanent leadership, the Biden Administration has selected TSA Director Perkoske as Acting DHS Secretary and CBP New York Director of Field Operations, Troy Miller as Acting CBP Commissioner.  Both leaders are well known in enforcement circles and bring a great deal of experience and pragmatism to these roles. However, the approach the Biden Administration will expect from these leaders remains unclear now that it has put a freeze on any pending regulations and just revoked the Trump Administration’s executive orders to reduce and control regulatory costs and enforce the regulatory reform agenda.  The current objective is to confront today’s issues by empowering agencies to use appropriate regulatory tools.
The federal government typically acts through three vehicles: laws enacted by Congress, regulations promulgated by departments and agencies, and policy set by the Administration and throughout the executive branch. As regulations have the force of law but provide the necessary interpretation and details to guide regulated entities, they play a most critical role. The previous administration required federal agencies to identify at least two regulations to be repealed, replaced or modified for every new regulation, including an offset of costs. This was known as the “2 for 1” rule. Along with other members of the trade, I had identified hundreds of regulations, with CBP officials, that were obsolete, obstructive or inoperable. Even with the executive order revoked, CBP seems committed to updating and streamlining its regulations to increase efficiencies and compliance.
Meanwhile, with a freeze in place many critical regulatory packages will remain in limbo for the time being. These include the forced labor regulations that are desperately needed to provide clarity on the detention, disclosure and mitigation process; the section 321 de minimis regulations on the importing process and multimodal, including postal, data requirements; the customs broker modernization, importer vetting and continuing education requirements; and USMCA country of origin, verification and auto rules. These regulations really are not political in nature and the trade community largely awaits this guidance needed for day to day transactions. So, during this transition period it will be critical to encourage the new leadership team to move these regulatory packages forward. Otherwise, one thing is for sure – change will be a long time coming.
*Lenny Feldman is a Member of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., resident in the Miami office and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. He currently co-chairs the twenty-member U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee providing strategic recommendations directly to CBP and the departments of Homeland Security and the Treasury on issues such as e-commerce policy, trade partnership programs, enforcement and facilitation mechanisms, and regulatory reform.
Mr. Feldman innovatively and resourcefully resolves complex issues pertaining to import classification compliance and tariff engineering; valuation requirements and first sale duty savings; seizure and penalty prior disclosures and mitigation petitions; antidumping and countervailing duty administration and enforcement; trade preference qualification for NAFTA/USMCA, CAFTA-DR, and other programs; intellectual property pre-compliance and forfeiture defense; importer/broker compliance reviews and cost savings analysis; export control reviews and enforcement strategies; and CTPAT/border security certification, validation, and suspension/revocation support.
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