De Minimis Nightmare

De Minimis Nightmare

(January, 2017)

As previously mentioned in “De Minimis Value Increases to $800.00“, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that imported free of duties and taxes from $200.00 to $800.00. This was expected to expedite and simplify the Customs process.
However, according to Jack Hubbard, President of CBFANC, the Customs Brokerage industry has been and will continue to be hit hard by this change. He provides an example of a major USA women’s clothing retailer shipping to Canada, unloading a container there, splitting up and moving shipments into the U.S. via trucks to clear as de minimis transactions. No duties and fees are paid, and they are claiming that they saved approximately $20,000,000.00 in taxes, duties, fees, and processing costs in the last year. Many firms are following suit and it is estimated that as much as 30% or more of imports may fall under Section 321 in the next few years.
At a recent PCC board meeting in January, 2017, many board members expressed alarm about the financial and public health ramifications of continuing to operate with these clearances. This information was taken directly from Please read more at – News – January 2017.
Vantage Point Services has been personally advised that U.S. Customs is cracking down on de Minimis transactions. Please note that they are only allowing one de minimis entry per day, per consignee.

Seattle Office Closure! 2-6-2017

Dear Vantage Point Services Customers,


We are experiencing extreme weather conditions with over a foot of snow at our Seattle Office Location! Employee safety is our first concern, so they will not be able to come into the office until road conditions clear up. Our phones in the Seattle office are being transferred to our San Francisco office.


Please note that if you have deliveries or pickups in the area, those will likely be cancelled as well.


Please contact our San Francisco office at (650) 875-7722! We are ready to help!


Thank you for your patience and understanding!


Vantage Point Services – San Francisco

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the Vantage Point Services San Francisco Team!


We had a great holiday party this weekend consisting of great wine, fun times, and delicious food!


Now back to work!vps2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Vantage Point!!!


Our Seattle Office dressed up as Superheros! Give us a call if you need to be rescued from a scary freight situation!

halloween-1 halloween

Use of ACE CBPF 3461 and Local Impact – Bonds Required for All Entries


(July 26, 2016)

As you may already be aware, effective July 23, 2016, CBP will no longer accept the prior version of the CBPF 3461 (10/09 Version).
General Instructions for Non-ABI Processing can be found at
One of the most important things to note is that, per San Francisco Customs, all entries (including informal entries) now require a Single Transaction E-Bond or a Continuous Bond prior to presenting the entry for release.
The Port of San Francisco understands these non-ABI ACE changes increase the processing times for the importer and CBP. Non-ABI filers have the option to use the services of a licensed customs broker to transmit entry data electronically via ABI into the ACE system. ACE transmissions receive priority processing, often resulting in quicker release
– Adele Fasano, Acting Port Director

As always, Vantage Point Services is here to help clear entries so that you can relax. We can file single entry bonds, submit entries online via ACE, and release them more quickly than going to Customs yourself.

Please call our San Francisco Office: (650) 875-7722 or our Seattle Office: (206) 878-8884 if you need any help clearing customs.

This information came directly from an Information Notice from the Port of San Francisco that was published on July 26, 2016 – Number: 728-06-04. Please contact Entry Branch Chief Elizabeth Vega – (415) 782-9400 with any additional questions.

ACE Capabilities Deployed and Mandated

ACE Capabilities Deployed and Mandated

(July 23, 2016)

Activation and Mandate in ACE for Quota Entry Types and Reject Notifications for ACS submissions

(as of July 21, 2016)

Beginning July 23, 2016 trade parties will be required to submit electronic entries and entry summaries for additional entry types to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  Electronic entries and entry summaries associated with the following entry types will be accepted and mandated in ACE: 02, 07, 12, 21, 22, 31, 32, 34, and 38.  Filing of electronic entries and entry summaries associated with entry types 06 and 23 were previously mandated in ACE if they did not include quota merchandise.  Filing of these transactions with quota merchandise will also be mandated on July 23, 2016.


The ability to file these additional entry types in ACE means that quota functionality will be activated in ACE and ACE filing will be mandatory for electronic quota submissions after July 23, 2016.  The Automated Commercial System (ACS) will no longer support quota submissions after the transition.  The Quota cutover timeline from ACS to ACE follows below.  Further details about the transition will be posted on under the ACE Features section as changes occur.

Quota Resources:

ACS Reject Notifications

As announced through Federal Register Notice 81 FR 32339, effective July 23, 2016 ACE will be the sole CBP-authorized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system for processing electronic entry and entry summary filings of certain entry types.  ACS will no longer be a CBP-authorized EDI system for purposes of processing the following entry types:

  • 01—Consumption—Free and Dutiable
  • 02—Consumption—Quota/Visa
  • 03—Consumption—Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
  • 06—Consumption—Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
  • 07—Consumption—Antidumping/Countervailing Duty and Quota/Visa Combination
  • 11—Informal—Free and Dutiable
  • 12—Informal—Quota/Visa (other than textiles)
  • 21—Warehouse
  • 22—Re-Warehouse
  • 23—Temporary Importation Bond (TIB)
  • 31—Warehouse Withdrawal—Consumption
  • 32—Warehouse Withdrawal—Quota
  • 34—Warehouse Withdrawal—Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
  • 38—Warehouse Withdrawal—Antidumping/Countervailing Duty & Quota/Visa Combination
  • 51—Defense Contract Administration Service Region (DCASR)
  • 52—Government—Dutiable

This is a partial article from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To read the full article, please go to

Yemen Shuts Down Ports After Saudi Airstrike

From Vantage Point Services – UPDATE 3/28/2016

All airports in Yemen are currently closed, however there are limited operations to Aden port via ocean freight currently – Full Container Load (FCL) only. Please contact us for more details.

Yemen Shuts Down Ports After Saudi Airstrike

(March 27, 2015) JOC Staff

Yemen has shut down its major seaports after a series of airstrikes from neighboring Saudi Arabia against rebels fighting Yemen’s Western-backed government, according to various reports.

Port of Aden officials, however, have publicly denounced the claims, saying the country’s largest container gateway is still operational despite the crisis.

Industry and local reports announced all Yemeni ports had closed Thursday after Saudi and Arab allies bombed sites near the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa. Further south, Houthis and army loyalists Friday continued to battle with militias loyal to Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi near the port city of Aden.

The port, strategically located on the gulf of the same name, is Yemen’s major cargo seaport, and the largest natural deepwater port in the region. It is also home to the Aden Container Terminal, the largest container terminal in the Republic of Yemen.

According to a Reuters report, industry and local sources have reported Aden, as well as ports in Al Mukalla, Al Mokha and Al Hudaydah, have been closed in the aftermath of the Saudi airstrikes.

“All major seaports were shut down on Thursday due to the rising conflict,” an anonymous industry source is quoted. Local sources in Yemen have confirmed the closure, Reuters said.

The reports fly in the face of statements from some port officials in Yemen, who have argued that terminals were still in operation.

“Leadership confirms that the shipping traffic at the Port of Aden is working smoothly and nothing disturbs it,” the port said in a statement Thursday. “The leadership denies news from some websites about any threats to the port and invited them to be cautious in publishing such news.”

Nevertheless, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued restrictions on certain vessels arriving at U.S. ports from a number of Yemeni gateways that “do not maintain effective anti-terrorism measures”, according to a statement.

The crisis in Yemen has heightened concerns over the country’s primary export: oil. Yemen exports about 1.4 to 1.5 million barrels of Masila crude each month, largely to China. It is far from being the biggest player in the Mid-East oil market, but the current port shutdown has heightened concerns the Yemeni crisis could stunt oil supplies from the entire region.

For years, Yemen has been seen as a proxy battleground for Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, which is suspected of supporting the Houthi rebels. The conflict in the region came to a head this week after President Hadi fled the country by sea Wednesday as Houthi Shiite rebels and their allies moved on his last refuge in the south, captured its airport and put a bounty on the president’s head.

Although Yemen produces only a small amount of oil itself, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council states are nervous of any conflict that could affect the Gulf of Aden, which sees roughly 3.8 million barrels of oil pass through its waters daily.

The unrest in the country, which some fear could turn into civil war or an even wider regional conflict, prompted a 5 percent spike in the price of Brent crude Thursday.

An analyst for Verisk Maplecroft quoted by Reuters Thursday described the oil price hike as “a bit of an overreaction” but warned that the Houthi takeover had “significant geopolitical repercussions in that it adds to Iran’s growing regional clout.”


Please find the full article here: 


De Minimis Value Increases to $800

De Minimis Value Increases to $800

(March 11, 2016)

WASHINGTON — As agreed in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, signed by President Barack Obama Feb. 24, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that March 10, it raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that generally may be imported free of duties and taxes from $200 to $800. This raising of the de minimis exemption is due to an amendment of the Tariff Act of 1930 included in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

Shipments valued at $800 or less for the de minimis exemption will be eligible under the same processes and with the same restrictions that currently apply to de minimis shipments of $200 or less.

CBP plans to publish an Interim Final Rule amending the appropriate regulations and soliciting comments from interested parties. CBP has the right to require a formal entry on any shipment where additional information, bonding or protection is required.  In the case of low value shipments, it is important to note that this treatment can be denied if used for the purpose of avoiding compliance with any pertinent law or regulation.

In fiscal year 2015, CBP processed more than $2.4 trillion in trade, processed approximately 33 million import (entries) and collected roughly $46 billion in duties, taxes and other fees – the largest amount collected in the last five years.

For Complete Article:

CBP Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Trade and Travel Numbers

CBP Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Trade and Travel Numbers

(March 4, 2016)

WASHINGTON—As the agency charged with protecting America’s borders, welcoming visitors to the United States, and facilitating the nation’s international trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection plays a vital role in the national security and economic prosperity of the United States. Today, CBP released its fiscal year 2015 travel and trade-related statistics.

“I want to thank the men and women of CBP for their unrelenting commitment to our national security mission,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “CBP continues to improve our ability to facilitate the ever growing amount of travelers and trade entering and leaving the United States each day, including a more than 20 percent increase in international air arrivals and a more than 7 percent increase in import value processed over the last five years.”


Highlights of the Article:

Travel Facilitation – “CBP officers processed more than 382 million travelers at air, land and sea ports of entry in FY 2015, an increase of 2 percent from the previous fiscal year. More than112 million international travelers arrived at U.S. air ports of entry, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous fiscal year. Despite the continued increase in international air travelers, the national average wait time at the top 10 international airports was down 3 percent.”

Utilizing Technology to Improve Passenger Experience – “In FY 2015, CBP accomplished:

  • Installed Automated Passport Control kiosks in 14 new locations to streamline the traveler inspection process, reduce wait times and enhance security. At some APC locations, wait times decreased by as much as 27 percent. Eligible travelers can use APC kiosks to expedite their entry into the U.S. at 38 airports worldwide, including all major international airports in the United States.
  • Completed a pilot program in partnership with Airports Council International-North America for Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized smartphone app to expedite the entry process for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors. The free app offers travelers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport another option to expedite their entry into the United States. CBP plans to expand MPC to more airports in 2016…
  • Additionally, CBP’s five partnerships established under Section 560, to include Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the City of El Paso, the South Texas Assets Consortium, the Houston Airport System, and the Miami-Dade County in Florida, have provided new or enhanced port processing services on a reimbursable basis. A decrease in the average wait times at these locations is due in part to these partnerships with wait times in FY 2015 decreasing 14.6 percent at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 11.1 percent at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and 7 percent at the Ysleta and Paso Del Norte Bridges in El Paso.”

Trusted Traveler Programs – “Global Entry, the agency’s largest program with more than 2.6 million members, is operational at 47 U.S. airports and 13 Preclearance locations; these locations serve 99 percent of incoming travelers to the United States. CBP added five Global Entry kiosk locations in 2015.”

Preclearance – “More than 17 million travelers were processed at one of CBP’s Preclearance locations in Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates in 2015, accounting for more than 15 percent of total international air travel this year.”

Trade Facilitation – “CBP processed more than $2.4 trillion in imports in FY 2015, while enforcing U.S. trade laws that protect the nation’s economy and the health and safety of the American public. CBP also processed approximately 33 million imports (entries) and collected approximately $46 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees, which is the highest amount collected in the last five years.

  • Special programs and Free Trade Agreements represented approximately 27 percent of total U.S. imports, by value, with the North American Free Trade Agreement leading the way.
  • Duty collection remains a CBP priority and the agency collected more than$37 billion in duties in FY 2015, an increase of 6.6 percent from FY 2014.
  • CBP processed more than $1.5 trillion worth of U.S. exported goods and more than 26.3 million imported cargo containers through the nation’s ports of entry, an increase of 2.7 percent from FY 2014.”

Unsafe Imports – “In FY 2015, CTAC initiated 368 seizures of unsafe imported products with a gross Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of$24 million. This represents a 107 percent increase in the number of CTAC-initiated seizures over the previous year.”

Protecting America’s Domestic Industries – “Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) is an enforcement priority for CBP.  In FY 2015, $10.1 billion of imported goods were subject to AD/CVD, and CBP collected $1.2 billion in AD/CVD deposits. CBP also levied 18 monetary penalties totaling over $60 million on importers for fraud, gross negligence, and negligence for AD/CVD violations under 19 U.S.C. § 1592. CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized shipments with a domestic value of more than $5 million for violations of AD/CVD.  In addition, 92 CBP audits of importers of AD/CVD commodities identified $69 million in AD/CVD discrepancies with $7 million collected to date. ”

Modernizing Trade Systems – “In FY 2015, CBP enhanced several elements of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the import/export system that will ultimately allow businesses to electronically transmit all import and export data required by the U.S. government. Consistent with Executive Order 13659: “Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses,” ACE is streamlining trade for industry and government by replacing paper-based processing and legacy system requirements with faster, more modernized, and more cost-effective electronic submissions. This past year:

  • The percentage of core manifest processing capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 78 to 100 percent.
    • The final mode of transportation, air, was incorporated into ACE, providing a common platform for all electronic import manifests
  • The percentage of core cargo release capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 68 to 90 percent.
    • ACE cargo release processing was expanded to all CBP ports for all modes of transportation.
  • The percentage of core post release capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 61 to 82 percent.
    • Electronic bond capabilities were deployed in ACE—which allow electronic filing and processing of single transaction and continuous bonds—streamlining a process that has historically been entirely manual and paper-based. Time for processing these bonds has been reduced in many cases from days to minutes.
  • The percentage of core export capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 59 to 93 percent.
    • CBP, working with the Census Bureau, has integrated AESDirect into ACE, thereby eliminating the need to maintain two data collection systems for exports—increasing efficiencies, streamlining trade and reducing costs.
  • The percentage of core Partner Government Agency (PGA) capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 57 to 86 percent.
    • CBP continued work to integrate requirements for CBP and 15 key PGAs into ACE.  These PGAs have requirements that must be integrated into ACE before electronic filings become mandatory in ACE. “

For the  full article,  click here:

CBP Announces the Open Season for Applications for the Reimbursable Services Program

CBP Announces the Open Season for Applications for the Reimbursable Services Program

(February 1, 2016)

WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the open period for accepting letters of application through the Reimbursable Services Program (RSP). Applications may be submitted via email until 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 29.

Pursuant to Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, CBP is authorized to enter into partnerships with private sector and government entities to provide new or expanded services on a reimbursable basis.  Reimbursable services include customs and agricultural processing, border security, support, and immigration inspection-related matters at ports of entry.  Associated costs may include the salaries of additional staff, overtime hours, administration, and transportation expenses.  For CBP-serviced airports, Section 550 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 expands the limit to 10 agreements per year.

Letters of application will be evaluated based on their individual merit and ability to satisfy the evaluation criteria posted on  Applicants and interested parties may submit questions regarding the Reimbursable Services Program via email at

The Reimbursable Services Program is a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy. The program enables CBP to support additional requests for services while also managing rising volumes of travel and trade that are critical to our economy.  In the first 18 months of the program, CBP was able to provide more than 93,000 additional processing hours at primary lanes and booths, which contributed to both increased border throughput and decreased border wait times.

For the Full Article, go to: