Santos Customs on Strike Following Week of Slowdowns

Customs officers in the largest Brazilian port of Santos decided to proceed with a one-day strike, guaranteeing further delays and extra warehousing costs for shippers after a week of slowdowns, the Journal of Commerce reports.

All cargo will be affected apart from “essential” items, such as medicines, hospital supplies, livestock, and food for ships’ crews, according to Sindifisco, the union representing officers of the Receita Federal, which is the name of Brazil’s customs agency.

The union says they had to go ahead with the strike after the government failed to respond to last week’s slowdowns.

Sindifisco is now saying the government has reneged on promises made earlier this year to get them back to work.  The government counters that it has not gone back on the promises, but given the dire state of public finances, much of the agreement must be delayed.

While Sindifisco says that each day of downtime in Santos leads to the accumulation of 2,000 to 3,000 containers and delays in the collection of Reais100 million ($30.8 million) in federal taxes, members of the local shipping community dispute those figures.

Currently , hundreds of containers are delayed at Santos.  At this moment, it is difficult to say whether or not dispute will be resolved by November 1st.

Please be guided accordingl. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation.

CBP Delays ACE Roll Out

US Customs and Border Protection last week indefinitely delayed the last core trade processing capabilities of its  new electronic filing system, the Journal of Commerce reports.

The  deployment of last core capabilities – liquidation, reconciliation, drawback, duty deferral, collections and the Automated Surety Interface (ASI)-  of Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)  was planned for July 8th.  It’s the fourth time that this stage of the ACE roll out has been delayed.    Customs announce its new plans to reschedule the deployment for a later, unspecified date.

“We have been conducting ongoing, rigorous testing to ensure these capabilities will operate successfully. Our latest efforts have revealed areas specific to collections that are in need of further testing before these capabilities can be deployed,” Customs said in a statement.

Yet, even the functionalities of ACE that are online now are still facing issues. Just over the past month, users have reported slowdowns lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to nearly five hours when using ACE’s entry summary, entry summary interfaces, and cargo release query functions, according to the ACE application dashboard and comments from individual customs brokers.

The ACE system was designed with the intent of streamlining cross-border trade, replacing the antiquated Automated Commercial System (ACS) and allowing shippers to easily transmit documents with government agencies, saving time and money.