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News / Regulatory Updates

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Solas Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification Update

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (“OCEMA”) amended its Recommended Best Practice for the Acceptance and Transmission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) to include a Terminal Weighing Approach (TWA). The TWA contemplates that marine terminals will provide gross container weights directly to ocean carrier stowage planners as VGM on behalf of shippers.

What this Means: Vessel Operators have finally agreed that the existing practice, whereby the marine terminals weigh containers prior to loading, is sufficient compliance for purposes of the VGM rule. Many Carriers have indicated they will now accept the weight provided by the terminals in lieu of receiving anything from shippers or NVOCCs with respect to traffic moving to the terminals by truck. With respect to containers moving by rail to the port of lading, most carriers have agreed to provide tare weights of the containers to be added to the weights reported by the shippers and NVOCC’s, and that would again constitute sufficient compliance with the VGM amendment.

MIQ Amended Procedures: MIQ will no longer require the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification distributed in June. Instead, MIQ requests that our client shippers either (a) use the revised MIQ Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) or, should the client shipper prefer to use its own form(s), (b) sign and return the MIQ Amended Terms and Conditions acknowledging that (i) MIQ is entitled to rely on the accuracy of weights provided by the shipper and (ii) agreeing to indemnify and hold MIQ harmless from any and all claims, all claims, losses, penalties or other costs resulting from any incorrect or questionable statements of the weight provided on which MIQ or its agent relies.

MIQ will continue to monitor the situation very carefully on a carrier by carrier basis. Please contact your MIQ Account Representative with your questions and concerns.


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CBP To Increase ISF Enforcement: Ports To Issue Claims For Liquidated Damages

CBP issued CSMS #16-000499 on June 17, 2016 announcing that (a) Local Customs Ports will now issue Liquidated Damage claims without Headquarters’ review; (b) no longer will Ports issue three warnings before initiating Liquidated Damage claims (i.e. the “three strikes” policy); and, (c) Ports may hold cargo instead of (or in addition to) initiating Liquidated Damage claims.

The maximum liability for ISF filings is $10,000 in liquidated damages. However, CBP will normally assess a liquidated damages penalty of $5,000 per violation for most ISF violations (except for missing ISF’s). The guidelines also state that CBP will consider the presence of mitigating and aggravating factors when determining the final liquidated damages or penalties. Mitigating factors include: evidence of progress in implementing ISF requirements, a small number of violations compared to the number of shipments, Tier 2 or Tier 3 C-TPAT status, and demonstrated remedial action to prevent future violations. Aggravating factors include: lack of cooperation with CBP, evidence of smuggling, multiple errors on the ISF, and a rising error rate. Source: THE INTERNATIONAL LAWYER, Vol 44, No 1 (Spring 2010)


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Regulatory Compliance Updates – April 2016

SOLAS

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to require shippers to provide the Verified Gross Mass (“VGM”) of containers carrying cargo before those containers can be loaded aboard a vessel.  Without a VGM, the amendments also prohibit the vessel operator from loading a packed container.  The SOLAS amendments are effective July 1, 2016; are not expected to be postponed; and, are globally binding – all Countries party to the convention have undertaken to implement amendments.  There is no exception to this requirement.  If the acceptable VGM documentation is not timely provided by the shipper, that container will not be loaded on board the vessel.  As your NVOCC or Freight Forwarder, MIQ will require from your or your supplier the following data:

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MIQ Supply Chain Alert

New Container Weight Verification Mandate

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in November, 2014 to require shippers to verify container weights.  These amendments were brought about by accidents resulting from overweight containers – both on the road and at sea – as well as studies showing that an unacceptably large percentage of significantly overweight containers are tendered to carriers.  SOLAS is globally binding; all Countries that are party to the convention have undertaken to implement amendments.

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MIQ Supply Chain Alert

Driver Coercion Rule To Take Effect Jan 29th

On Nov 29th, the U.S. Department of Transportion’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officially published the Final Rule in the Federal Register pertaining to Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; referred to as the “driver coercion rule”.

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Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

On December 9, 2015 Congress reached a final agreement on H.R. 644, the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.”  The bipartisan, bicameral trade legislation authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection and puts in place effective tools to: (a) strengthen trade enforcement at the border; and, (b) facilitate the efficient movement of legitimate trade and travel. The Bill now will go to the President for signature.

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Congressional Vote on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) May Be 2016

The U.S. and its 11 negotiating partners – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – reached preliminary agreement on October 5, 2015, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would result in the world’s largest free-trade area, with a combined GDP of $27 trillion, equaling almost 40 percent of the global economy.

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Bill Could Be First Step to Younger Truck Drivers

Truckinginfo.com

A Senate bill would instruct the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a pilot study of lowering the age at which Class A CDL holders can drive trucks across state lines.

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MIQ Supply Chain Alert

PRESIDENT GETTING CLOSER TO “FAST-TRACK” AUTHORITY

Over the last few weeks there have been two separate trade related bills making headlines.
Both the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) have the potential to help American workers. Understanding the purpose of each bill, and where the bill is at in Congress, can become a bit complicated. To help sift through the acronyms and related details, we have provided you a definition of each bill, as well as where the bill stands in the legislative approval process currently.

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House passes bill with section on restart provision

TheTrucker.com

The House of Representatives by a narrow margin has passed and sent to the Senate the controversial FY2016 Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that President Barack Obama said he would veto if it reached his desk without major changes, including three involving the trucking industry.

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