White House Press Release, 3 Dec 2018 – Chinese Tariffs

“President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.
President Trump and President Xi have agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%.”

All Standalone Lithium Batteries Prohibited as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft as of April 1, 2016

In February, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)—the United Nations agency that regulates the transport of dangerous goods aboard aircraft —enacted a ban on transporting standalone lithium ion batteries (UN 3480) as cargo on passenger aircraft. The ban goes into effect April 1, 2016.

Since lithium metal batteries (UN 3090) were already prohibited, the new regulation means no standalone lithium batteries, in any quantity or packaging, may be shipped as cargo on passenger aircraft.

Can you still ship lithium batteries by air? Yes. Batteries packed with or in equipment (UN 3091 and 3481) may still be shipped compliantly, subject to regulations. (Passengers may still transport their own battery powered devices and spare batteries in their carry-on bags—for now. See https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/hazmat_safety/more_info/?hazmat=7 for FAA’s guidance)

And all lithium batteries may still be transported on cargo-only aircraft, subject to regulations—see below. However, you need to be aware that airlines may have their own variations in place even though the regulations don’t prohibit them on cargo aircraft.

ICAO has also mandated that, effective April 1, 2016, standalone lithium ion batteries (UN 3480) can only be shipped by air with a state of charge 30% or less. In addition, shippers will be not be authorized to transport more than one package of standalone lithium ion batteries prepared in accordance with packing instruction 965 or 968 Section II per consignment. “A shipper is not permitted to offer for transport more than one package prepared according to Section II in any single consignment.” A consignment is defined as: ” One or more packages of dangerous goods accepted by an operator from one shipper at one time and at one address, receipted for in one lot and moving to one consignee at one destination address.”

No more than one Section II lithium battery package may be placed into an overpack.

Section II packages may not be offered in a unit load device and must be offered separately from other non-dangerous cargo.

So, come April 1st, if you have to ship lithium ion batteries by air which are not packed with equipment, you’ll have to:

Ship them by cargo aircraft only (if the airline hasn’t filed a variation or implemented an embargo)
Ensure they are at a state of charge no more than 30% of capacity
Pack them separately from everything else

How will shippers verify the state of charge of prepackaged batteries? How can you manage the more restrictive packing rules?

New lithium battery markings and labels – You will need to begin using new markings and Class 9 hazmat labels for all lithium battery shipments—but not until January 1, 2019. (Early adopters are free to use them voluntarily on January 1, 2017.)lithbathandlenewnewhazclass9

Rumors of lithium batteries earning their own hazard Class 10 were thus put to rest, at least for the time being.

Authors
Labelmaster
Tags Dangerous Goods, Dangerous Goods by Air, Featured Article, how to ship lithium batteries, IATA, ICAO
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10 Most Corrupt Countries

From

    Material Handling & Logistics

“The Corruption Perceptions Index 2015, which was released late January, ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index.”

1. Somalia
2. N. Korea
3. Afghanistan
4. Sudan
5. Angola
6. Libya
7. Irag
8. Venezuela
9. Haiti
10. Yemen

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption. Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs.

New Container Weight Verification Rules Start July 1

The new container weight rules, which are nicknamed within the industry as VGM (Verified Gross Mass) but technically known as SOLAS (Safety of Lie at Sea) amendments, are set to start July 1, 2016. The VGM/SOLAS rules are mandatory for all packed containers received for transport (gate-in or off-rail) and state that the Shipper is responsible for providing the VGM to the carrier. The VGM must be received by the carrier before the container can be lifted onto a vessel at the port of loading. Failure to provide VGM will mean the ship’s master is required, by law, to refuse the container for carriage. Verified Gross Mass is calculated by adding the tare weight of the container and weight of cargo.

FDA News Release: Importers Now Accountable for Verifying Safety of Food Brought into US.

FDA News Release: Nov 13, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today took major steps to prevent foodborne illness by finalizing rules implementing the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act that, for the first time, establish enforceable safety standards for produce farms and make importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. The Agency also issued a rule establishing a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, also known as auditors, to conduct food safety audits of foreign food facilities. These final rules will help produce farmers and food importers take steps to prevent problems before they occur.

An estimated 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year. Over the past few years, high-profile outbreaks related to various foods, from spinach to peanut products, have underscored the need to make continuous improvements in food safety.

The

    Foreign Supplier Verification Programs

rule requires food importers to verify that foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that meets U.S. safety standards and that they are achieving the same level of food safety as domestic farms and food facilities. In 2013, USDA estimated that imported food accounted for about 19 percent of the U.S. food supply, including about 52 percent of the fresh fruits and 22 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by Americans. The final rule ensures that importers conduct verification activities (such as audits of a supplier’s facility, sampling and testing of food, or a review of the supplier’s relevant food safety records) based on risks linked to the imported food and the performance of the foreign supplier.

The FDA has also finalized a rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification, which is part of FSMA’s new food import safety system. This rule establishes a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies (auditors) to conduct food safety audits and to certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such facilities meet applicable FDA food safety requirements. To prevent potentially harmful food from reaching U.S. consumers, the FDA can require in specific circumstances that a food offered for import be accompanied by a certification from an accredited third-party certification body.

“The ultimate success of FSMA depends on full funding of the President’s FY 2016 budget request,” Taylor said. “This will help us train FDA and state food safety staff on the new system, fund our state partners to work with farmers on produce safety, provide technical assistance to small farms and food businesses, and successfully implement the new import system that U.S. consumers deserve and Congress envisioned.”

The FDA has finalized five of the seven major rules that implement the core of FSMA. Today’s historic rules build on the preventive controls rules the FDA finalized in September 2015, which mandate modern preventive practices in food processing and storage facilities. These rules work together to systematically strengthen the food safety system and better protect public health.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Federal Register

•FSMA Final Rule on Produce Safety
•FSMA Final Rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals
•FSMA Final Rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification
•FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Page Last Updated: 11/13/2015

LAX-LB and NY-NJ Ports Still Plagued by Congestion

    Journal of Commerce, 10/17/14

Congestion at large U.S. ports is generating increased complaints by truckers and shippers about demurrage penalties for late pickup of containers that can’t be removed from gridlocked marine terminals. The problem is most acute at the two largest U.S. container gateways, Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey, both of which are struggling to deal with bigger ships, rising volumes and chassis supply. Senior Editors Bill Mongelluzzo and Joseph Bonney reporting.

FMC Issues Port Congestion/Surcharge Advisory

The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom

Possible Port Congestion Surcharges Industry Advisory

May 29, 2014

The Federal Maritime Commission has received numerous informal inquiries in relation to certain congestion surcharges that have been announced in tariff rules required to be published under the Shipping Act of 1984, as revised by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (1998) and the Commission’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 520. This Industry Advisory is issued in order to respond to those inquiries.

Unless done pursuant to a waiver or exemption, any tariff rule (including surcharges) of a common carrier that results in an increased cost to a shipper may not be effective earlier than 30 days after publication. 46 U.S.C. § 40501(e); 46 CFR § 520.8.

The Shipping Act and the Commission’s regulations require that the rules applicable to any given shipment shall be those in effect on the date the cargo is received by the common carrier or its agent. 46 CFR § 520.7. Thus, if any cargo-related disruption were to occur at a port after cargo has been tendered by a shipper, a carrier may only lawfully charge the rates in effect on the day the cargo is tendered. These regulations apply both to import and export cargo.

US Imports Jump 15%

U.S. containerized import volume jumped 15.1 percent year-over-year in March 2014, the largest increase in 13 months, according to advance figures from PIERS, the data division of JOC Group Inc., dated 15 April 2014 by Journal of Commerce

US Signs Free Trade Agreements with Panama and Dominican Republic

The US has recently signed Free Trade Agreements with both Panama and Dominican Republic providing new and numerous benefits to US exporters. The Caribbean region is the 3rd largest export market for US manufactured goods, behind only Mexico and Brazil. Contact Lindsay Barich at 781-961-3540 to learn more how Unitrans Worldwide, Inc. can assist your company export products to the Caribbean market!

High Security Seals Required

Effective 1 March 2012, the current International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s mechanical seal standard will be replaced with a new ISO standard — ISO 17712:2010. The benefits of the new seal standards include 1) a reduced possibility of cargo theft; 2) reduced shipping delays that result when seals are broken or missing; and 3) increased detection of comprised or tampered seals.