Update on the Customs Strike in Brazil

RCL’s agent in Brazil has advised that Customs continues to work but is slowing down some of the clearances.  When a shipment arrives and is declared to customs, there are three “channels” they can associate to the shipment.

Green light – cargo is cleared almost automatically. These are the majority of  entries.

If a shipment gets the yellow light then there is some type of inspection to the cargo or documents but generally are cleared within a couple days.

Red light means mandatory exam of documents and/or cargo and can take up to 5 days to clear.

With the customs slowdown, the yellow and red channels clearance times have tripled.  Green light has not been affected.  RCL and our agent will continue to provide you with timely updates.  For any questions on shipments to Brazil or other destinations, please call or email us!

Improvement of the ATA Carnet Validation

 According to an Office of Field Operations report,a CBP Muster Topic issued in October 2011 now permits  a carnet to be  validated at any port of exit. Prior to this,  a U.S. carnet user was expected to get the carnet validated AND produce the cargo for inspection at the last of exit from the US.  This presented challenges to shippers if they were not physically at the same port of exit as the cargo.

While CBP Directive 3280-013B does not state that a carnet can only be validated at the last port of exit, that has been the interpretation at many ports. CBP Muster Topic #CCS-FY12-0031 clarifies the Directive and makes it clear that the last port of exit can also be the last port where the user will have control of the goods. As long as the goods are in a secure supply chain where the user cannot get access to them, the last port of exit can be the port where the user is separated from the goods until both arrive in a foreign country. According to the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, this muster applies to both hand-carried goods and shipped cargo.

The ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that a traveler may use temporarily to import certain goods into a country without having to engage in the Customs formalities usually required for the importation of goods, and without having to pay duty or value-added taxes on the goods.

If you have questions about using or obtaining an ATA carnet, please contact us at rclagencies@oceanfreight.com or at 973-779-5900.

Customs officers’ strike in Brazil disrupts major ports

RCL’s  local agent in Brazil has confirmed that strikes by Brazilian customs officers are disrupting ports and slowing clearance of imports.  Major Brazilian ports have been affected , including Santos, Salvador, Manaus, Paranagua and Santarem.

Customs officers are demanding better salaries and better working conditions. Civil servants (which includes Customs officers), sent a letter to Brazilian president  Dilma Rousseff on June 18 requesting a hearing and advising of strike action as part of their wage negotiations with the government. Customs officers had originally advised  they would stop work for two days a week, and only work at a minimal level on the remaining days until an agreement is reached.  This week will be critical; depending upon the reply of President Rousseff,  Customs  officers have threatened an undefined strike which could paralyze  ocean ports, bonded warehouses and airports.

RCL will continue to monitor the situation with our local Brazilian agent and will provide further information as it becomes available.

Brazil Shipments Alert

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)  reports an increased number of  customer complaints against  unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries hired to ship household goods and personal effects to Brazil.

The activities of these  unlicensed intermediaries  resulted in cargo delays, improper processing of customs paperwork,  and failure to deliver cargo after payment was made.  Often the customer had to pay additional charges  (sometimes in excess of the cargo value) in order to obtain their cargo.

The FMC  urges consumers to use only FMC licensed companies while shipping goods internationally.  The consumers can confirm a company’s licensing status by contacting the commission’s Office of Transportation Intermediaries at   (202) 523-5843  or  their Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution (CADRS) at  (202) 523-5807 .

Please note that RCL is fully licensed by the FMC, and has years of experience in handling shipments to Brazil – and all other international destinations!  For more information  on shipping to an international destination, call or email us today.



Riga Port: Wagon Shortage and Storage Charges

As our partner Maxx Intermodal Systems informs, currently there is a wagon shortage in Riga. The recent railway accident is not the only reason that causes destabilization of the platform situation in Riga. As we know, the volume shipped via Riga during the last decade was extremely high compounded by the fact that Kazakh and Uzbek railways are not returning Latvian platforms preferring to route them instead to other countries. As a result, the ability to move the backlog and dispatching of freight is slow.

Please be advised about possible delays as well storage charges that might be applied by the port if the material is not able to be provided a rail platform before free time expires in port.

As our partner informs, in order to avoid in future any problems with improper use of the platforms by other countries,   Latvia is discussing an option to privatize all their platforms. However, this might lead to the increase of the railway tariff.

The situation started improving and we will keep you informed.

Qingdao Station Railway Increase and Storage Application.

Please be advised about the new additional Qingdao station railway increase and storage application.

Our partners, Maxx Intermodal Systems report that starting from January 1st , 2012 an increase of USD 100 / Platform (2×20’ctrs or 1×40’ctr) will be applied for all transit and export cargo en route to Qingdao – Alashankou based on actual dispatch date. As a direct order of Chinese Railways, the tariff increase is applied it to all cargo that will be leaving Qingdao, as from January 1st (regardless of arrival date to Huangdao).

Read more

New Custom Regulation

Please see the below announcement from our partners, Maxx Intermodal Systems in Tashkent.

Be advised about the new regulation for custom application and documentation requirement that are attached with the cargo.

1. As from 2012.1.1, all transportation cargo to/via Customs Union (Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Belarus), should fill in the custom application form.

2. All documents that are attached with the cargo should have the following info:

Read more

Importer Security Filing 5 Data Element Requirements for FROB, T&E, and IE Cargo

Under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirement goods shipped to, or through the United States will require an ISF filing 24 hours prior to vessel’s loading. Currently an informed compliance period is still in effect; however, ISF requirements become mandatory on January 26, 2010.

For cargo destined to the United States US Customs will require 10 data elements known as the ISF-10, and for cargo passing through the US in the form of Freight Remaining on Board (FROB) or cargo intended to move through the US under a Transportation & Exportation (T&E) or Immediate Exportation (IE) bond, 5 data elements will be required prior to vessel load, known as ISF-5.

For ISF-5 the ocean carrier is responsible for FROB and the party responsible for creating the TE or IE will need to file these 5 data elements prior to vessel load:

  • Booking Party
  • Foreign Port of Unlading
  • Place of Delivery
  • Ship to Party
  • Harmonized Schedule Commodity Code (6 digit level) per item

This information must be collected at the time of booking in order to submit to either the carrier directly for FROB cargo, or to CBP for any T&E and IE cargo where Expeditors may be preparing the in-bond documents. Currently an informed compliance period is still in effect, however this requirement will become mandatory starting January 26, 2010.

The ISF-5 requirements are based on CBP information available today. Please
contact your local Expeditors representative for more information.

In addition, information on ISF-5 can be found on the CBP website at: