Churchillian Thoughts on European Customs Valuation

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At present, there seems to be a renewed interest in the venerable Winston Churchill in popular culture. Between John Lithgow’s portrayal in The Crown and Gary Oldman’s version in The Darkest Hour, we are presented with a reintroduction to some of Mr. Churchill’s more memorable quotes. One of my favourites is, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”

Unfortunately, this quote does not accurately reflect customs duty adjustments based on retroactive changes in transfer pricing agreements.

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Topics: Europe

Looking Back on 2017

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2017 is in the books and was, by many accounts, a tumultuous year for the world. President Trump began his presidency that continues to transform world politics, the U.K. triggered Article 50 to begin the Brexit process, Mohammad bin Salam in Saudi Arabia is reshaping the Middle East, there is saber-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, and I have not even mentioned China.

Every corner of the world is experiencing a level and a speed of change and transition that we typically only see in wartime. There was also that solar eclipse in North America. How cool was that?

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Topics: Tradewin

Intro to the Korea ISA program for an AEO company

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Korea is introducing a new Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) program allowing companies the opportunity to file an annual ISA report in lieu of undergoing a Customs Assessment.  It also provides the extra benefit of allowing VAT recovery on additional duties payable, which is an obstacle under the current system. 

The reality of the ISA program is that it is practically impossible for customs to verify the legality of all import declarations due to the limited manpower of the auditors. Given this circumstance, customs audits were primarily focused on the collection of additional duties. This increased the number of objections and appeals filed against Customs, proving to be a burden for both businesses and tax collection.

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Topics: Korea

Asbestos Imports in Australia: Bigger than Ben Hur?

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Whilst a few things are bigger than the original, and most are bigger than the remake, the Asbestos issue for importers in Australia is certainly up there.

First and foremost, Asbestos is no joking matter. I will refrain from the scientific explanations (not my forte) but suffice to say that Asbestos is bad and can cause significant respiratory issues, cancer, and death. Rightfully, the Australian Government has taken steps to limit people’s exposure to Asbestos and Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) by introducing, amongst other measures, a total import and export ban in 2003.

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Slave and Child Labor in Global Supply Chains

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The passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (signed in February 2016) seems to have prompted a renewed effort by CBP to enforce regulations regarding the importation of “Merchandise Produced By Convict, Forced, or Indentured Labor.”  We have seen many instances over the last few weeks where importers have received CF28s asking about steps the importer has taken to ensure that their supply chains are free of child, forced, or convict labor.  Some of the demands are exceedingly broad:

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