DJS Owners David & Melissa on The Small Business Advocate Show with Jim Blasingame!

DJS owners David & Melissa Meyer were recent guests on the The Small Business Advocate Show with Jim Blasingame talking about being a third generation family business, their secrets for how to work together as husband and wife, and how things have changed since the two previous generations of the family operated DJS.

Both parts of their interview can be found on the bottom of their bios on the Small Business Advocate site.

David Meyer bio link

Melissa Meyer bio link


On July 1, 2016, a container cannot be loaded onto a vessel without the shipper submitting the container’s verified gross mass (VGM). This is the result of Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) becoming legally effective July 1st. SOLAS was amended by the United Nation’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) in November of 2014, requiring shippers to provide a container’s VGM to the carrier and terminal operator before a container may be loaded on board a vessel, with enough time in advance of loading for the carrier to complete the vessel stow plan. Under this new regulatory change, the shipper will be required to provide verified weight of the container using one of the two approved methods. The shipper will be held responsible for the accuracy of the weight submitted to the carrier or terminal.

Estimating weight is not permitted under the new SOLAS requirements. There are two acceptable methods: method 1–the shipper must weigh the packed container or method 2–the shipper must weigh the container’s contents. Under either permissible method, the weighing equipment used must meet national certification and calibration requirements. Exactly how shippers will submit the VGM information to the carrier will most likely be carrier specific; however, the specific requirements and procedures are not yet known.

This is an international requirement and all shippers throughout the world will be required to comply with the new SOLAS requirements for submitting the weight of the container. Importers will be affected if their shippers fail to meet the new requirements resulting in possible shipping delays. Additionally, the cost of compliance will most likely be passed on to the purchaser of the goods.

DJS will continue to monitor the individual carrier requirements and procedures and provide updates as more details and specifics are known.

The full article published by the World Shipping Council can be accessed here: SOLAS.

NCBFAA’s ACE Update Letter

We encourage you to read the letter from NCBFAA President Geoff Powell (NCBFAA Letter to Importers and Exporters), which sets forth the NCBFAA’s perspective on the current status of the ACE/ITDS migration. It offers insight into the work being done to get ACE up and running, and is important information for the trade community to understand during this transition. Please feel free to direct any questions to DJS.

GSP to Be Renewed Retroactively

On June 25, 2015, Congress approved H.R. 1295–The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (the “Act”). The President (POTUS) signed the Trade Preferences Act of 2015, renewing GSP and other preference programs which expired July 31st, 2013. As of July 29, 2015, eligible goods entered or withdrawn for Consumption (meaning Customs Entry) are duty free using GSP indicator “A”.

We are currently waiting for clarification on how the duty refunds will be processed. We don’t yet know if the duty refunds will be processed automatically or if importers will be required to file a refund “request” with CBP. We anticipate that Customs will issue a directive establishing guidelines for receiving refunds.

DJS cannot claim GSP without proper documentation, or a statement on or attached to the Commercial Invoice(s). If you are not certain of how it should read, see below example:

Darrell Sekin, NCBFAA Chairman, Honored at IFCBA Meeting

IFCBASekin1During its recent 25th anniversary celebrations in Brussels, Belgium, the International Federation of Customs Brokers (IFCBA) acknowledged those Member Associations serving as IFCBA Managing Directors. Among this term’s Managing Directors is NCBFAA Chairman Darrell Sekin, Jr., who accepted the IFCBA’ s recognition on behalf of the Association.

Coinciding with the anniversary were meetings with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to discuss issues of mutual concern such as customs broker regulation and the important role played by customs brokers in assisting small and medium sized enterprises enter and succeed in the global marketplace. During the talks, IFCBA Chairman Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamkar confirmed the IFCBA’s commitment to further collaboration with the WCO particularly with regard to enhancing the value that customs brokers deliver to their national economies.

“Key to these discussions from the NCBFAA’s perspective was,” according to Chairman Sekin, “’the role of the broker’ and how we remain relevant within the Private Sector Consultative Group in WCO to make sure that we have a real voice in recommendations made by that group.”

Click here to view original article.

Individual Liability for Corporate Entry Violations Stands; Supreme Court Won’t Review

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Supreme Court announced May 26 that it has denied a petition to review a September 2014 court decision that created a broad new category of individuals who may be subject to penalties for corporate entry violations. The ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit distinguished between those who enter goods (e.g., the importer of record) and those who introduce goods into U.S. commerce and broadly defined the latter, thereby extending to import managers, compliance officers, business owners and others personal liability for fraudulently or negligently providing information on company imports.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers an on-demand webinar examining how the CAFC’s decision, as well as other compliance considerations, may affect small businesses. Click here for more information.

19 USC 1592(a)(1) prohibits any person from fraudulently or negligently entering, introducing or attempting to enter or introduce merchandise into U.S. commerce by means of (a) any document or electronically transmitted data or information, written or oral statement, or act that is material and false or (b) any material omission. U.S. v. Trek Leather Inc. and Harish Shadadpuri centers on Trek’s failure to include in the price actually paid or payable for 72 entries of men’s suits the cost of fabric assists provided to foreign manufacturers that were then incorporated into the imported suits.

Shadadpuri argued that he could not be held personally liable for this failure despite his status as Trek’s president and sole shareholder because he did not serve as the importer of record. The CAFC, however, ruled that 19 USC 1592(a)(1) applies to any person, regardless of whether or not they are an importer of record. In effect, the court ruled that there is no need to pierce the corporate veil to impose 592 penalties against anyone who personally commits a violation.

The CAFC then found that Shadadpuri was grossly negligent in introducing goods into U.S. commerce because he (a) transferred ownership of the goods while they were in transit to the U.S. to a company he chose to be the importer of record and (b) furnished to the hired customs broker, for use in completing and submitting the required entry documents, commercial invoices that materially understated the value of the merchandise. The CAFC rejected Shadadpuri’s argument that because he did not enter the goods as the importer of record he could not be held liable under 1592(a), citing a 1913 Supreme Court decision as confirming that the term “introduce” in 1592(a)(1) means that liability for fraudulent or negligent actions under this provision extends “beyond the act of filing with customs officials papers that ‘enter’ goods into United States commerce.”

The petition seeking a Supreme Court review of the CAFC decision argued that it “is of exceptional importance to the thousands of American-based corporations and their shareholders, officers and employees who are involved in the importation of merchandise into the United States” because it “erroneously expands direct and personal liability for civil penalties” to these individuals “beyond the limits set by Congress,” putting them at risk for “enormous statutory penalties on the basis of negligence or gross negligence without regard to whether they qualify as an ‘aider or abettor’ under the statute.”

The petition also alleged that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has demonstrated “clear intent to take advantage” of the CAFC’s decision by proposing to amend CBP Form 5106 “to collect expansive and personal information from corporate officials.” Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg founding member Lee Sandler said trade groups may now encourage CBP to issue a policy statement or informed compliance publication clarifying its position on this issue.

NCBFAA President Calls for FMC Port Congestion Fact Finding Investigation

Washington, DC: In a letter to Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association, Inc. (NCBFAA) President Geoffrey Powell urged the FMC to initiate a fact finding investigation into the issue of port congestion and its impact on demurrage, detention and per diem charges assessed by the vessel operating common carriers (VOCCs) and the port terminals.
Click here to read more.