Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How the OFAC Stole Christmas

santa_f16Reprinted with permission from Clif Burns of the Export Law Blog.

A spokesman for the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) told Export Law Blog this morning that discussions between OFAC and the North Pole over Santa Claus’s Christmas Eve itinerary had once again broken down and were not expected to be resumed before Santa’s scheduled departure on December 24 at 10 pm EST.

Friday, December 19, 2014

TOP Questions and Answers on Obama's Cuba Announcement

cubaTop Questions and Answers in regards to the December 17, 2014 announcement by President Obama stating the U.S. will lay out “a new course in our relations with Cuba.”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Congressional Response to President Obama's Announcement on Future Relations with Cuba

CubaIn a Miami Herald article published today, Congressional opposition to President Obama's announcement that the U.S. will lay out “a new course in our relations with Cuba” was discussed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Business with Cuba - What's Legal and What's Not?

Cuban cigarBy now, you've likely seen the many news stories about the BIG announcement made today by our President. The news release starts by stating... "Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people." Whatever your personal and/or political beliefs are, this is big news and potentially big opportunity for those who heed it. The legality of importing Cuban cigars is one of the many changes discussed below. Read on for the full details.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New FDA TOOL for Importers

Do you import food products (or any FDA regulated product) into the U.S.? I've launched a new website (www.FDA-USA.com) to assist you in learning the basic requirements for FDA regulated products. The website features information for importers of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, dietary supplements and alcoholic beverages.

Don't forget, if you are a registered food facility with the FDA and don't comply with FDA's mandatory biennial registration, FDA can cancel your FDA Food Facility Registration. Learn more about the Biennial Registration requirement in my previous post here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

NEW CBP Pilot Program Focuses on IPR Pre-Compliance

IPRCBP is currently taking volunteers for a brand new Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) voluntary pre-compliance program.  The Journal of Commerce reported on the new pilot program here. Do you agree with my comments?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Calling ALL Animal Lovers! Walk for the Animals - 2/28/15

Every now and then there is a charity that just plain and simply warms your heart and has you painlessly giving away that money you work so hard to obtain.  The Humane Society of Greater Miami is that charity for me. Both of my precious pets are from the Humane Society - and I am extremely thankful. This is my small way to give back, and I hope you will join me if you are in Miami! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jen Diaz to Speak on Import Regulations

IBTE2014 FLYERThe 11th Annual International Business Trade Expo (IBTE), “Expanding Beyond Our Borders,” will be held Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The event promotes international trade and highlights the significant impact that bilateral trade has in South Florida’s economy. IBTE is hosted by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) in partnership with: Florida Chamber of Commerce; Enterprise Florida; City of Lauderhill; Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Unique Production International, and MD Marketing Network.

Business leaders from across the globe will convene to strategize on how to promote and expand bilateral trade between Florida the Caribbean and Latin America. Attendees will hear from experts on trade issues and regulations affecting Florida’s international business economy, and more.

Featured Speakers, Panels and Workshops are listed below:

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Mandatory Biennial Registration Renewal for Food Facilities will soon be required, on October 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014. If your facility is not re-registered with the FDA by December 31, 2014, FDA will cancel your Bioterrorism Act registration and your importations will be delayed. A FDA Registration number is mandatory to import food products into the U.S.

Here's what you need to know about FDA's new FSMA requirement on Bioterrorism Act registrations.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jennifer Diaz Teaches Two Medical Device Seminars at FIME

FIMEI'm pleased to be back for my fourth year teaching at FIME! For those of you that don't know, FIME was rated the #1 medical show in the USA by Successful Meetings Magazine. FIME runs from August 6-8, 2014 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  You still have limited time to register to attend the conference and my seminars!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time to Register - 2014 C-TPAT Conference

forkliftIt's officially time to register for the 2014 C-TPAT National Conference.

Despite substantial scrutiny and restriction due to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines for government sponsored conferences, a scaled back C-TPAT conference will go on.  This year’s theme will be “C-TPAT: Partnering in Supply Chain Security and Facilitation for the 21st Century.”

Here's what you need to know:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exports from China are on the Rise – What is your IPR Plan?

made in ChinaOn April 11, amid a high demand for soccer apparel in preparation for FIFA World Cup, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized counterfeit soccer apparel shipped from China to the Port of Savannah. The value of the seized goods exceeded $1 million in manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The apparel seized contained counterfeit trademarks of the following professional soccer clubs: Arsenal, Barcelona, Celtic, Chelsea, Mexican Federation, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid.  Little did they know they should have tried to import Germany's soccer club's apparel. “You look at that Chelsea patch, and it just looks off,” said Steve Sapp, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “The last B is smaller than the rest, and that’s the kind of thing you often see with these counterfeit goods. Our investigators know the signs that these goods aren’t real.”  Both images are provided below for you to see for yourself - check out the extra space at the top, and the "u" in club.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

White House's OMB Intervenes to Weaken FDA's Proposed Regulation of E-Cigs

e-cig smokeOn April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) issued a proposed regulation which would subject the currently unregulated e-cigarette industry to FDA regulation under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The proposed rule put e-cigarettes with a list of products FDA "deemed" tobacco products, and as such, subject to the FD&C Act. OMB intervened to weaken FDA's original proposal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do You Want to be a "Trusted Trader"? C-TPAT is No Longer Enough

Trust U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published the long awaited Federal Register Notice, dated June 16, 2014, discussing the "Announcement of Trusted Trader Program Test." This new "Trusted Trader" program is big news for U.S. and non-resident Canadian importers, and if implemented will combine the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self Assessment (ISA) programs, making ISA extinct.  CBP is currently recruiting test companies that have to be willing to go through an 18 month program test.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Freight Forwarder Pays $125,000 Mitigated Penalty - Avoid This & Learn 11 Steps to Exporting

Aramex Emirates, LLC, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), agreed to pay a $125,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for the unlicensed export and reexport to Syria, via the U.A.E., of network devices and software without the required BIS licenses. The Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn commented:
Today’s settlement shows the importance of compliance with U.S. law by foreign freight forwarders handling items subject to U.S. export controls.
The items in question could be used by the Syrian government to monitor Internet activity and block pro-democracy websites as part of its brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CBP Updates Trade Community on GSP Expiration

For those of you that relied on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and are now subject to duties, CBP sent a notice today that directly impacts you.

A previous post discussed the expiration of GSP and need for congressional action to renew it. GSP expired July 31, 2013. Importers were advised to continue to use the Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A” when importing into the U.S., which would signify a valid claim for GSP but to pay duty subsequent to that date, so that in the event of a retroactive renewal, CBP could process refunds automatically.

Unfortunately, the picture above is still correct - the trade community is in limbo - will we get our duties refunded if we are entitled to GSP?  The answer... Yes, Maybe, No.  Not comforting or reassuring.

Today, CBP advised the trade community that:

Monday, May 19, 2014

PortMiami Tunnel Opening Celebration!

Today was the historic PortMiami Tunnel Opening (where you can watch my video of the first 3 trucks that officially entered the port tunnel)!  A better video can be found here, courtesy of Local 10.photo

As the Miami Herald reported today, four long years and $915 million dollars went into this tunnel that will now allow both cruise traffic and trucks to bypass downtown Miami and instead, head straight to the highway.

Much needed relief for residents. And... No Tolls!

Friday, April 25, 2014

E-Cigs "Deemed" Tobacco Under New FDA Proposed Rule


On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced what some call a "long- awaitedproposed regulation that will impact the future of the currently booming e-cigarette industry. Currently, e-cigarettes are not a part of FDA's purview and have no FDA oversight - FDA's proposed rule intends to change this in a big way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Export Penalties Already Total $184 MILLION in 2014 – Want to Learn Who, What, Why & How to Stay Compliant?

Within just the first nine weeks of 2014, almost $182 million dollars in penalties have been assessed against companies for OFAC and ITAR export violations.  Within those same nine weeks alone, companies have been ordered to pay the Department of Treasury almost $25 million dollars more than was ordered in all of 2013. Simply put, compliance is critical, and non-compliance is costly!

Don’t miss this update on export enforcement actions stemming from a busy 2013 and start of 2014.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Trade Day is Coming to Miami!

cargo at portTrade Day is coming to Miami, courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (CBP) on April 2, 2014.  The ports of Champlain, Boston, Savannah, Buffalo and Detroit have held Trade Day (some already twice) and we are thrilled CBP's Port of Miami is bringing Trade Day to us.

This is the time to take advantage.  Importers, exporters, customhouse brokers, freight forwarders and all other interested parties in the international trade community - if you have been looking for an informal opportunity to meet one-on-one with government officials that are responsible for processing and facilitating trade related import transactions and enforcing the various Free Trade Agreements and trade laws, this is your chance.