2014 IFCBA World Conference

The International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations held its bi-annual world conference "Celebrating 25 Years of Trade Facilitation through Expertise and Innovation" in Seoul, Korea from May 13-17, 2014. Please click here for the press release and for the new IFCBA executive team. 

About the IFCBA

The IFCBA has been representing the interests of the worlds' customs brokers and their clients since 1990. Many of our member asoociations have been involved in similar activities within their own countries for nearly a century. » more

Recent News

The Law on Customs issued by the National Assembly in June and due to take effect on January 1, 2015 demonstrates the efforts of the government in reforming customs procedures. However, many issues will need to be clarified. Baker & McKenzie Vietnam partner Nguyen Lan Phuong and senior trade practitioner Tran Ngoc Trung take a look at the issues.

This has been excerpted from a 29 July 2014 article by Vietnam Investment Review and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.vir.com.vn/news/en/corporate/new-customs-law-expectations-met.html

India could put a landmark World Trade Organization deal in jeopardy at hectic negotiations in Geneva after saying it would withhold support for the agreement unless there was simultaneous progress on resolving a dispute over its food security program.

India would like the WTO — which set itself a deadline of July 31 for the deal on the movement of goods across borders — to address its concerns over a cap on subsidies that could limit government stocks of grain that are part of its food program.

This has been excerpted from a 28 July 2014 news item by India West and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.indiawest.com/news/india/wto-talks-india-hardens-stand-on-food-subsidy/article_e8489ec6-1587-11e4-87e3-001a4bcf887a.html

Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares has again reminded all importers and customs brokers to comply with the accreditation requirements of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) by Thursday.

The deadline for compliance with the new accreditation requirements for importers and customs brokers was first extended to June 30, then to July 31, as many importers and customs brokers did not file for accreditation during the initial period given to them.

This has been excerpted from a 28 July 2014 news item by Business Mirror and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/business/banking-finance/36163-two-step-importer-broker-accreditation-ends-in-two-days

U.S. importers have bought themselves another two years before they must implement a container-scanning rule that they believe should be scrapped altogether.

Mandated by the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Department of Homeland Security issued a requirement that 100 percent of U.S.-bound ocean containers be scanned at the foreign port of origin. Since then, Congress and DHS have been kicking the can down the road, repeatedly delaying implementation of a rule that industry says is unworkable. The latest move puts off action until 2016.

This has been excerpted from a 29 July 2014 article in Forbes and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbowman/2014/07/29/delay-container-scanning-rule-two-years-not-good-enough-importers-say/

Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) will restrict most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland starting from Aug. 1, due to "the violation of certification and the identification of quarantine products", spokesman Alexei Alekseenko said.

He said the move was part of a VPSS plan to consider restricting all or some fruit imports from the entire EU, announced with little fanfare on Monday while European countries were debating the latest sanctions. The VPSS said at the time it would decide the fate of overall EU imports in a week or two.

This has been excerpted from a 29 July 2014 article by Reuters Canada and is available in its entirety at:
ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0FZ12220140730?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

At the recent IFCBA Board of Directors meeting in Seoul, Korea, an update was provided on proposed changes to the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG).  The IFCBA has been an active member of the PSCG since it was formed, and IFCBA Secretary Carol West has been its Chair since 2008. One of the proposed changes to the PSCG is that organizations with observer status at the WCO, such as the IFCBA, will no longer be eligible for membership in the PSCG.

In June, the PSCG provided commentary to the WCO Policy Commission on the proposed changes to the PSCG.  The PSCG’s suggested changes are reflected in the PSCG Commentary on Changes, June 2014. In addition, the full PSCG report to the Policy Commission is in its PowerPoint presentation. 

If members have any comments or questions, please advise the Secretariat at ifcba@ifcba.org

Analyzing the global corporate trends during the last decades, the relentless pursuit for process efficiency and the reduction of costs can be regarded among the most outstanding. In many industries these elements determine the business competitiveness, are indicative factors of the companies capability to fulfill their social objectives or necessity for precipitated closure of its activities, due to bankruptcy. Nowadays, it is more difficult to find new opportunities for cost reduction, so long after the beginning of implementation of policies such as "lean manufacturing" and "downsizing" that optimized the productivity of businesses. Henceforth, business managers must be more sophisticated to cut unnecessary expenditure.

This has been excerpted from an 18 July 2014 article by Alexandre Lira de Oliveira of Lira & Associados and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.liraa.com.br/conteudo/2608/fostering-competitiveness-on-the-brazilian-operations-through-customs-knowledge

The cost of trade among South Asian countries is far too high. There is a need to simplify procedures for trade, and reduce the cost and time taken to handle cargo to ensure that trading within the region is more cost effective. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (2013), agreed upon at the World Trade Organisation Bali Ministerial Meeting, promises to address at least a few of South Asia’s trade facilitation concerns.

The following paper was written by Prabir De with the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi, and Visiting Faculty, Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, University of Calcutta, Kolkata:
http://www.epw.in/system/files/pdf/2014_49/28/WTO_Trade_Facilitation_Agreement.pdf

The WCO Council, at its 123rd/124th Sessions in June 2014, adopted a Recommendation that lists recommended amendments to the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature which will enter into force on 1 January 2017 (HS 2017).

This Recommendation is being promulgated under the provisions of Article 16 of the HS Convention, which implies that HS Contracting Parties now have six months to notify the WCO Secretariat of an objection to a recommended amendment.

This has been excerpted from an 11 July 2014 news item by the World Customs Organization and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2014/july/new-harmonized-system-standards-to-enter-into-force-on-1-january-2017.aspx

Mega-regionals are deep integration partnerships between countries or regions with a major share of world trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). Beyond simply increasing trade links, the deals aim to improve regulatory compatibility and provide a rules-based framework for ironing out differences in investment and business climates.

This has been excerpted from a 9 July 2014 article by Tomas Hirst of the World Economic Forum and is available in its entirety at:
http://forumblog.org/2014/07/trade-what-are-megaregionals/