Argents’ history is rooted in customs brokerage and at no time has there been greater importance placed upon the role of the agency in the facilitation of legitimate trade. Argents works with air, sea and land ports of entry as well as multiple Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE’s) to speed merchandise through Customs as well as any of the dozens of participating government agencies exercising jurisdiction over imported goods.
Liz Deaton, Argents’ Director of Import Operations has been with the company since 2003, but her experience in the industry predates that an additional decade. Her knowledge of air and ocean processes as well as the regulations means that Argents’ customers have some who understands both the practical and theoretical, marrying the two to successfully keep cargo moving through supply chains. Her best advice to new companies starting out is to proactively develop and implement a compliance plan – don’t wait for CBP to find it as a deficiency because the time and cost of remediating will eclipse the savings of putting it in place early.
The proper classification and valuation of merchandise is the first and most important step in ensuring an uninterrupted flow of goods from manufacturer to final consignee.
Whether requesting a binding ruling, researching and determining classification using the Explanatory Notes and General Rules of Interpretation or prevailing on a protest, Argents invests the time during client onboarding to ensure compliance and identify risk or exposure from previous transactions.
As an experienced customs broker, Argents is well-versed in the regulations governing valuation at the time of entry and can work with clients to determine transaction or computed value or whether or not there are parties between the buyer and seller adding value that can legitimately be removed to work backwards to a first sale price.
The classification of merchandise requires an engineer’s knowledge of product specifications, a salesperson’s awareness of its end use and a qualified customs broker’s knowledge of potential exposure for marking, antidumping, trade remedy or required PGA release.
Once a classification has been determined, there are limited options to avoid paying the proscribed duties that are due. Whether ad valorem based on value and classification or subject to flat trade remedy percentages, presenting the lowest permitted entered value is an importer’s best tool to keep their landed costs as low as possible.
Customs and Border Protection and dozens of federal agencies have jurisdiction over what can and cannot be entered into the commerce of the United States. Whether for reasons of protecting American agriculture, protecting American consumers or preventing criminal organizations from profiting on forced labor or counterfeit goods, trust Argents to secure the release of your imported goods.
The increasing focus placed on product safety for pandemic medical items and the prevention of imports of products made with forced labor mean that importers increasingly need to work more closely with their customs broker to safely navigate the increasing layers of scrutiny on foreign-made products.
Section 301 duties imposed on exports from China and trade remedy duties on products of European countries and elsewhere mean that typical commercial shipments bound for the United States for warehousing and fulfillment could be subject to significant double-digit duties upon arrival.
A legitimate exception is made for shipments bound for named consumers when shipped to the United States. The de minimis exception of up to $800 per person, per day, is how many online marketplaces and e-Commerce sellers keep their prices low, remain competitive and stave off having their goods copied and private branded by larger competitors.
Section 321 entries are most often utilized when there is a direct sale between a foreign seller and a US buyer. Argents can collect consolidated shipments at origin, present them to Customs upon arrival and then inject them into the final mile delivery provider of the client’s choosing.
A Type 86 entry is identical to a Section 321 entry, but with more data, including a third party seller if one exists. Shipments that require the release of a participating government agency like FDA must be filed as a Type 86, even if below the de minimus value threshold.
Before the pandemic, the logistics industry had a finite definition of peak season – late July through early December was the busiest period for shipping worldwide. In the post-pandemic logistical landscape, peak season became a theoretical concept to define an ephemeral spike in supply chain activity during two years of abject chaos. In fact, the… Read more »
Representatives from Argents recently attended the WCA Regional Conference, and while some normalcy has returned relative to the last two years, staffing and labor shortages were at the heart of nearly every conversation. The World Cargo Alliance operates multiple global networks of independent freight forwarders and customs brokers operating in nearly every country on the… Read more »
The South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA) is making moves to get ahead of the game. They’ve announced several key strategies they’ll be implementing to mitigate peak season disruptions and avoid the debilitating congestion the ports suffered in the early part of the year. The SCPA reports: “SC Ports has moved roughly 2.7 million TEUs thus… Read more »
In the past, when making policy, Federal Reserve officials didn’t give too much consideration to supply chain challenges. The consensus was that supply chain issues would manage themselves and the Fed would manage the economy, independent of those issues. However, that strategy could soon be changing. With a possible impending recession (though, the ATL Fed… Read more »
Finding balance in logistics is often less about finding a network loaded with divergent businesses and expertise, and more about creating a Venn diagram that carries passion, dedication, friendship, and communication in the overlay. One lesson we’ve learned at Argent’s, and try to impart each day, is that there is no substitution for a team… Read more »
Last week, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) held its annual conference in Tucson, Arizona. Our Director of Import Operations Liz Deaton was in attendance. The conference brings together customs brokers and freight forwarders from across the United States and many of the vendor partners with whom we work including software,… Read more »