New York - Miami - Los Angeles Friday, February 22, 2019
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Monday the 15th PNCT & Maher Terminal will be CLOSED for Martin Luther King Birthday

CERT Testing Begins for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Message Set - Fish & Wildlife Service

Background: U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Cargo System Messaging Service (CSMS) messages 17-000015 and 17-000023 issued January 12, 2017 and January 18, 2017, respectively, announced the suspension of the FWS Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) pilot and the development of an interim approach to the FWS Message Set. CSMS Message 17-000487 issued August 14, 2017 provided the revised implementation guide documents for the interim FWS Message Set and announced a January 10, 2018 date for CERT.

Action: ACE Software developers and filers should be aware that the FWS Message Set may now be tested in CERT. CBP is in the process of updating the tariff flags for the interim FWS process. Testers should only use 10-digit tariff codes that are flagged as either FW1 or FW3 in the ACE database. Testers should not test a FWS Message Set with any tariff codes flagged as FW2 as these are out of date and will fail FWS business rules.

For questions on the FWS Message Set, please contact and indicate “FWS Message Set” in the subject line or contact 703-358-1949 and indicate you have a question about the FWS Message Set.

Commission Raises Penalty Fees - Federal Maritime Commission

The Federal Maritime Commission will increase the penalty fees assessed for statutory violations effective January 15, 2018 as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. The increases are tied to the rate of inflation.

Fees for Knowing and Willful violations of the Shipping Act will increase to $58,562.00, from $57,391.00; and, fees for Not Knowing and Willful violations of the Shipping Act will increase to $11,712.00 from $11,478.00.

The Commission will increase the fees for 11 different penalties. The complete list of fees is published in the Federal Register and on the Commission’s website.

OTEXA: November Textile and Apparel Import Report

November 2017 Textile and Apparel Import Report

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. on FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Enforcement Discretion Guidance - Food & Drug Administration

The FDA is committed to ensuring the U.S. food supply remains among the safest in the world. We’ve been working hard to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the biggest overhaul of our  nation’s food safety laws in more than 70 years. The law evolved from widespread concern about outbreaks of foodborne illnesses that kill thousands each year. These were true public health emergencies that compelled Congress to make this sweeping statutory reform. FSMA represents a profound and fundamental change in our approach to food safety, shifting from being reactive to preventive.

While we’ve been setting in place the public health gains envisioned as part of FSMA by issuing new standards for food safety, we recognize that such a fundamental change in our food safety approach may require adjustments along the way to address issues that had not been previously anticipated. We value the feedback we’ve received on the new rules and understand manufacturers, farmers and other stakeholders have faced certain challenges as they work to implement the new rules. We’re actively working to pursue permanent fixes to some of these remaining issues through rulemaking or other means, but this will take time. That’s why today we released guidance outlining key areas where we intend to exercise enforcement discretion in four of the rules that implement aspects of FSMA; to address certain challenges as we work to find long-term solutions.

Our aim is to work constructively with farmers and other producers to achieve our shared goals around food safety. These steps are part of our ongoing effort to make sure we take the time to get this new framework right, so it can successfully serve the needs of consumers for the long run.

The provisions the agency does not intend to enforce relate to aspects of the “farm” definition, requirements related to written assurances from a manufacturer’s customers, requirements for importers of food contact substances, and requirements related to certain human food by-products for use as animal food. These provisions can be found in the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food Rules; Foreign Supplier Verification Programs Rule; and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Rule. This action will help reduce the burdens on both industry and government and provide the agency the ability to consider the most effective and efficient way forward.

We all share the common goal of maintaining the safety and quality of the American food supply. We look forward to continued collaboration with the affected industry, regulatory partners and other stakeholders to make sure that they understand what’s required in a post-FSMA world and to provide the flexibility needed to implement these new standards across a very diverse food supply.

In addition to the steps we’re taking today, the FDA is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to ensuring that industry and regulatory partners have the tools they need to implement FSMA, including training, technical assistance, and guidance documents to make our expectations clear. FSMA holds tremendous promise for preventing foodborne illness outbreaks and we will continue to take steps to fully and effectively implement this law so Americans can realize the public health benefits.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

ITA: Press Releases - International Trade Administration

 What Can I Bring?

Planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by reviewing the lists below. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. Read about civil penalties for prohibited items.

For items not listed here, simply snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. We look forward to answering your questions, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

See website for quick Item Lookup

Electronic Toy Maker VTech Settles FTC Allegations That it Violated Children’s Privacy Law and the FTC Act - Federal Trade Commission

Electronic toy manufacturer VTech Electronics Limited and its U.S. subsidiary have agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the company violated a U.S. children’s privacy law by collecting personal information from children without providing direct notice and obtaining their parent’s consent, and failing to take reasonable steps to secure the data it collected. VTech will pay $650,000 as part of the settlement with the FTC.

In a complaint filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, the Commission alleges that the Kid Connect app used with some of VTech’s electronic toys collected the personal information of hundreds of thousands of children, and that the company failed to provide direct notice to parents or obtain verifiable consent from parents concerning its information collection practices, as required under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In its first children’s privacy case involving Internet-connected toys, the FTC also alleges that VTech failed to use reasonable and appropriate data security measures to protect personal information it collected.

“As connected toys become increasingly popular, it’s more important than ever that companies let parents know how their kids’ data is collected and used and that they take reasonable steps to secure that data,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “Unfortunately, VTech fell short in both of these areas.”

COPPA requires that companies collecting personal information from children under 13 online follow steps to ensure that children’s information is protected, including clearly disclosing to parents the information it collects, how the information will be used, and seeking verifiable parental consent. Companies also must take reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality, security and integrity of the personal information they collect about children.

According to the complaint against VTech, the company collected personal information from parents on its Learning Lodge Navigator online platform, where the Kid Connect app was available for download, and also through a now-defunct web-based gaming and chat platform called Planet VTech. Before using Kid Connect or Planet VTech, parents were required to register and provide personal information including their name, email address as well as their children’s name, date of birth and gender. VTech also collected personal information from children when they used the Kid Connect app.

As of November 2015, about 2.25 million parents had registered and created accounts with Learning Lodge for nearly 3 million children. This included about 638,000 Kid Connect accounts for children. In addition, about 134,000 parents in the United States created Planet VTech accounts for 130,000 children by November 2015.

With respect to Kid Connect, VTech failed to provide direct notice of its information collection and use practices to parents and did not link to its privacy policy in each area where personal information was collected from children.

At the same time, the complaint alleges that the company did not take reasonable steps to protect the information it collected through Kid Connect, such as implementing adequate safeguards and security measures to protect transmitted and stored information and implementing an intrusion prevention or detection system to alert the company of an unauthorized intrusion of its network. In November 2015, VTech was informed by a journalist that a hacker accessed its computer network and personal information about consumers including children who used its Kid Connect app.

The FTC also alleges that VTech violated the FTC Act by falsely stating in its privacy policy that most personal information submitted by users through the Learning Lodge and Planet VTech would be encrypted. The company, however, did not encrypt any of this information.

In addition to the monetary settlement, VTech is permanently prohibited from violating COPPA in the future and from misrepresenting its security and privacy practices as part of the proposed settlement. It also is required to implement a comprehensive data security program, which will be subject to independent audits for 20 years.

The FTC collaborated with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, which is releasing its own Report of Findings(link is external). To facilitate cooperation with its Canadian partner, the FTC relied on key provisions of the U.S. SAFE WEB Act, which allows the FTC to share information with foreign counterparts to combat deceptive and unfair practices that cross national borders.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and stipulated final order was 2-0. The complaint and stipulated final order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

November Continues Trend in Cargo Growth at Port NY & NJ - NY/NJ Port of Authority (Breaking Waves)

Cargo tallies continued their growth trend at the Port of New York and New Jersey in November.

Year-to-date over 2016, November 2017 showed a 7.7 overall growth for the port in terms of TEUs handled (6,166,851 over 5,723,821). This growth broke down to:

  • a 6.3 percent increase in import TEU loads (3,122,103 over 2,937,980);
  • a 4 percent increase in export TEUs loads (1,294,229 over 1,244,555); and
  • a 5.6 percent increase in total TEU loads (4,416,332 over 4,182,535).

Year-to-date over 2016, November 2017 also showed a 4 percent increase in the total number of rail lifts, logging 518,959 over November 2016’s 498,021.

By month-to-month comparison against November 2016, November 2017 showed:

  • An overall growth of 7.3 percent in total TEUs handled.
  • The total number of TEU loads handled rose 7 percent, from 386,639 in November 2016 to 413,830 in November 2017.
  • Import TEU loads added 4.9 percent, rising from 271,755 in November 2016 to 285,070 in November 2017.
  • Total rail lifts rose 8 percent from 43,556 in November 2016 to 47,055 in November 2017.

These numbers add strength to the upward trajectory in cargo volumes handled by the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2017.

Cargo volumes for December 2017, as well as annual totals and comparisons for 2017, are due shortly.

Click the link at the end of this sentence to view the Port of New York and New Jersey’s Loaded Containers in TEUs and Total ExpressRail Lifts by Month.
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