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USA: a step back on the "first sale rule"

In a recent letter addressed to the US transportation and importing community, the Commissioner of US Customs Alan Bersin announced that his administration is working on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will be published in the next days on the Federal Register, that will formally withdraw the 2008 CBP proposal to abolish the first sale rule (read our article). Indeed, such mechanism has proved to be highly beneficial for US importers, allowing them to obtain substancial duty savings.

Accordingly, the first sale rule will definitively remain in place in the US.

We are now awaiting to see what will be the future of this rule in the European Union. At the moment, the last consolidated draft of the Implementing Provisions to the new Modernized Community Customs Code (not yet adopted), proposes its abilition, but the EU Commission has accepted to rediscuss this topic early this Fall, analizing it and evaluating its impact on the EU trading community with more attention.

US Senate proposes to pospone the entry into force of the 100% container scanning rule

Earlier this week, a new bill proposed to the US Senate aims to postpone to 2015 the entry into force of the contested law on the mandatory scanning of containerized imports destined to the US territory. The motivation of this proposal is to give more time to the ports outside the US for adopting adequate X-ray or other non-intrusive detection technologies for the examination of containers outbound.

(continues... in Italian)

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Available a new version of the Transit Manual

On the EU Commission website  is avalable an updated version of the Transit Manual (published for the first time in 2004 by the TAXUD General Directorate). The guide - for the moment only in English - will be soonly available also in the other languages of the European Union. Its primary aim is to describe how the transit procedure works and what is the role played by the various participants. Last, but not least, this guide is also a tool to better ensure a harmonized application of the transit regulations at EU level.

Time Release Studies for the efficiency of the customs clearance

Time Release Studies (TRS) are a trade facilitation tool utilized by Customs to quantify the average times taken for the clearance of goods at the various entry locations in a territory (e.g. ports, airports and land borders). Their adoption dates back to the beginning of ninetiees of 20th century, on initiative of the American and Japanese customs. At international level, their adoption is recommendend since 1994 by the World Customs Organization (WCO), that on 2002 issued also guidelines to guide their members in the correct use of such a tool.

TRS allow in particular to customs administrations to measure and break down into separate phases, time required from the arrival of goods in the importing Country to their release, in order to identify bottlenecks, delays and constraints in the customs clearance process and implement adequate corrective actions.

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Harmonized System, ready amendments for the year 2012

In the international trade, the proper customs classification of exchanged goods is an extremely important operation, being the basis for the application of both tariff and non-tariff measures, as well as of the commercial policy measures established by the customs legislation. Such operation in the practice is executed by coupling a numerical code to each good, that apart from the tariff function (as it permits the determination of custom duties on the importation or, in some cases, on the exportation of goods to which they relate), has also a statistical purpose, as it allows an easier collection of the data concerning the interchanges of such goods that, in turn, facilitates the comparison with the statistics elaborated by other Countries.

(Continues ... in Italian)

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