June Newsletter: US/China G20 meeting results, 301 portal, CBP serious about CTPAT and more.

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Following a meeting of Presidents Trump and Xi, it will take time for the details of their hour-long discussion Saturday to be fully flushed out. What it appears was agreed to on Saturday in Osaka was that President Trump will hold off on the proposed last round of tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in imports not already covered by one of the previous lists. There will also be a softening of the restrictions on companies doing business with Chinese telecom Huawei and a promise to purchase agricultural products from American farmers.

While good news on the tariff and agricultural front, these two things are merely restorations of the previous way that the countries did business with one another. Any of the additional items that were at the heart of this fight in the first place – market access, currency manipulation, IPR protection and help with the opioid crisis – went unmentioned. It’s early, and we’ll be watching when the delegation returns to the US for changes that are promulgated by the agencies or published in the Federal Register for comment. The Washington Post has a good summary article that can be read by clicking below.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative published instructions in the Federal Register on June 24th about how an online portal will work for submitting exclusion requests for List 3 of the China Section 301 duties. In brief, submitters will need to register first and the window for submission is from June 30th through September 30th. Submissions will be public and there is a fourteen day period for comments to be filed about why the exclusion should not be allowed. Submitters will then have seven days from then to submit their rebuttals. Clicking READ MORE will take you to the Federal Register notice, but if you have any questions, ask your Ken Hamanaka representative.

Ken Hamanaka Co Inc recently went through our CTPAT re-validation audit and know firsthand how seriously the agency takes the program. The importance of CTPAT is chain of custody from start to finish – and the full benefits the program offers are not available if there is any point in the shipment’s chain of custody where the CTPAT membership link is broken. In June, MSC had a container ship arrive at the port of Philadelphia carrying so much cocaine that it was one of the largest drug busts in the country’s history. As a result, CBP suspended their participation in the CTPAT program. This means that for importers who relied on the CTPAT chain of custody with MSC in their supply chains, the chain is broken. MSC will undoubtedly work to restore their membership, but for now, shipments moving on MSC will not accrue their fullest possible CTPAT benefits for targeting and risk scoring.

Ken Hamanaka Co will be closed in observance of the July 4th Independence Day holiday. We kindly ask that if you have pre-arrival filings which need to be made to CBP or other regulatory agencies that you let us know no later than Tuesday, July 2nd to make the necessary arrangements. We will be back in the office on Friday, July 5th.

Limitations of liability – we’ve used them in our personal insurance policies for home, auto and health – did you know that your cargo carriers do the same thing? Whether by air, sea, rail or ground, each carrier has a limitation of liability that, more often than not, will not fully reimburse a shipper for loss or damage in transit. Cargo insurance is the only way for an interested party to protect themselves for not just the value of the goods but the cost of the freight and Customs duties as well. Rates vary based on factors such as the trade lane, mode of transport  and commodity, but for more information about cargo insurance and how it can protect your interests, ask your Ken Hamanaka representative for more details.

In Los Angeles where we’re based, the issue of automation on the waterfront has always been a contentious one. In countries like Singapore and China, automation on terminals increases throughput. Cranes which load and unload ships, move containers around the dock and transfer them to and from railcars are automated, monitored and move in concert. As ships grow larger and carry more cargo, solutions other than throwing more humans at a problem must be found. APM Terminals, one of the terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles, wants to bring automation to their terminal within, what they believed, were the terms of the agreement with the ILWU, the union representing longshoremen.

The Port of LA Harbor Commission voted 3-2 in favor of approving a coastal development permit which would allow APM to begin automating parts of the terminal with automated straddle carriers. A member of the Los Angeles City Council has announced his opposition to the vote and plans to block it from moving forward with the full Los Angeles City Council. Click the button below to read the latest from American Shipper. 

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