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 cold chain challenges to distribute the COVID vaccine. Podcast link follows or simply read below. TMIT – Date of Entry.
Today’s Question: Can I Choose My Date of Entry?
Due to a surge of container vessels calling on ports such as Los Angeles, numerous ships have had to remain at anchor awaiting berthing rights. This can delay the date of entry and, hence, Customs’ assessment of duties. This can have significant financial implications for importers.
Why? Often the high duties and fees that CBP collects on China trade remedies, antidumping and countervailing duty cases and quotas can vary widely if you are just a day early or late. Case in point, hundreds of China tariff exclusions expire on December 31, 2020, so file early; but certain tariff rate quotas open up January 1, 2021, so filing later may be the name of the game.
But all is not lost – importers do have some options to consider when it comes to the date of entry. In fact, the Customs regulations provide that when entry or cargo release documentation, the first step, is filed in proper form without an entry summary, the second step, the time of entry can be:
1. when the CBP officer authorizes release of the merchandise;
2. if the merchandise already has arrived within the port limits, when the entry documentation is filed; or
3. if the entry documentation is submitted before arrival, when the merchandise arrives within the port limits.
In many cases, importers work with their customs brokers to lock in the vessel arrival date as the earlier entry date to avoid tariff increases. However, a two-step process is necessary where the broker must file the cargo release separately from the entry summary. They also must file a statement requesting the arrival date to be set as the entry date on the same day as the cargo release.
As long your broker has confirmed the actual vessel arrival date you should be all set to beat the clock to avoid potentially tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in duties. Just be sure to choose your date of entry wisely.
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.
For more information, please follow this link.