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May 2014
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West Coast Starts Labor Negotiations

It’s National Transportation Week!  Reach out and thank a logistics professional today and help spread greater awareness and appreciation of the transportation industry!  Transportation Week focuses on the importance of critical infrastructure investments such as bridge repair and channel dredging.  Look out for mega-container ships in 2015 after the Panama Canal expansion project is complete!
 
The average consumer knows very little of what is required to get product into the country and to market,  likely unaware that the entire industry is sitting on pins and needles waiting for the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to renew a West Coast labor contract soon.  Talks between PMA and ILWU began Monday, May 12, in San Francisco.  Although PMA Chief Executive James McKenna says he does not expect negotiations to be finalized by the June 30 deadline, both groups plan to meet daily until a new contract is signed.  14 primary steamship lines have filed tentative plans for congestion surcharges with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).  These surcharges, some of which are over $1000 per container, would be applicable in the event a slowdown or strike occur.  No one knows whether negotiations will go smoothly or result in disruptions, but some anxious shippers have already initiated contingency plans.
GSP Update
 
May 7th, President Obama suggested Congress remove Russia as a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary country because it is no longer considered a developing economy.  The GSP program expired on July 31, 2013.  Lawmakers continue to struggle to find a way to reinstate GSP benefits for eligible imports despite budgetary constraints.  The President did not say the removal is a punitive measure in response to Russian support for political violence in the Ukraine.  The Obama Administration has also suspended GSP benefits for Bangladesh. 

Good news...continued talks lead us to hope GSP will eventually be reinstated.  It has been one year since GSP expired and some GSP entries have already liquidated with duty paid.  Future Forwarding Company can file protest to suspend liquidation in case GSP is reauthorized retroactively.  Interested importers should contact their account representative about this additional service.
Intellectual Property Rights
 
Effective May 8th, trademark and copyright owners who have recorded intellectual property rights (IPR) with CBP will be able to renew and update recordations on-line through the newly-revised IPR E-Recordation application, https://iprr.cbp.gov.  For more information, contact the Intellectual Property Rights Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, at hqiprbranch@dhs.gov or call Paul Pizzeck at (202) 325-0057, or Charles Steuart at (202) 325-0093.  Counterfeit goods pose serious risk to consumer health and safety, especially when electrical products, automobile parts, pharmaceuticals and toys are counterfeited.  Organized counterfeit schemes usually have evidence of some involvement with other illegal activities such as drug trafficking, forced or child labor.  We strongly encourage recordation with CBP for ANY product imported under trademark or copyright!!  Don’t let your company be their next victim!
New Specifications for Security Seals
effective May 15th


 
ISO published the new standard, ISO 17712:2013, last year. C-TPAT compliant shippers may continue to use ISO 17712:2010 security seals until their supply is depleted, and purchase ISO 17712:2013 high security seals in the future.  C-TPAT participants should be careful when buying seals and secure written certification from the supplier verifying seals meet new standards.
Future Forwarding Company would like to thank our customers and also our staff who helped make the transition to our new facility as seamless as possible.  We certainly could not have done it without everyone’s cooperation!  Moving over 80,000 square feet of cargo is a big deal, but our super team made it happen!
Employee Spotlight - Josh Durham
One key member of our warehouse team is Josh Durham.  As Intake Supervisor, Josh keeps incoming freight flowing smoothly throughout the warehouse. He knows our warehouse like the back of his hand.  With all of his responsibilities, you may need to play a quick round of “Marco Polo” in order to quickly find him.  If you can’t find him around lunch time, look for a blur in the parking lot.  Josh is an avid runner who just completed his first 5k. Of course, sharing a house with his wife and their 3 daughters might give him a bit of an incentive to run to escape all of the estrogen. In his spare time, Josh sings in his church choir and enjoys movies and television.  Full of quotes, Josh has a quip for every occasion.
 

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