This week's latest ocean freight, trade and compliance updates.
Ocean Freight 🛳️
Asia Transpacific Trade
Space continues to be tight in all areas through Week 33.
Carriers are beginning to add additional sailings and extra loaders to help clear backlog, however, some shippers are pushing their volumes forward in an effort to beat a potential 8/1 GRI which is eating up much of the available capacity.
UWL will continue to push for as much fixed rate allocation as possible.
Carrier CMA-CGM also announced it will take over APL allocation in the Transpacific trade beginning on October 1, 2020. Please contact your UWL representative if you have any questions regarding this change.
North American Exports
In China, expect port congestion and customs clearance delays due to increased food testing for all import cargo. Intensive testing of meat, seafood, and other products for the coronavirus, which began last month, "has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports," Bloomberg reported.
In India, the state government of Maharashtra announced a complete lockdown at the Nhava Sheva port from 7/13 through 7/16 due to rising cases of COVID-19. Expect delays affecting vessel operations at the port, CFS, and inland locations due to the lockdown.
In Bangladesh, there are reports of port and train delays out of Chattogram (formerly Chittagong port), along with heavy congestion due to reduced manpower stemming from the COVID-19 situation.
We will continue to keep you updated as more information is available.
Trade & Compliance 🌐
Preferential trade agreement for Hong Kong ends, Trump signs Sanctions Bill
On July 14, President Trump signed an executive order ending Hong Kong’s preferential trade treatment. The order also increased export restrictions on sensitive technologies.
“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China. No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies,” Trump said during a press conference.
In addition, Trump signed The "Hong Kong Autonomy Act", which authorized sanctions against Chinese authorities and foreign banks involved with passing the national security law in Hong Kong.
According to International Trade Today, "The State Department and Commerce Department previously announced a ban on defense exports to Hong Kong and suspended license exceptions for shipments to the region."
Section 301 Exclusions on ~100 products expire on July 9
The USTR decided not to extend nearly 100 Section 301 tariff exclusions which expired on July 9 ($34B Action - Tranche 1) it said in a notice. Twelve Chinese products, however, will see their exclusions extended through December 31, 2020. See CSMS #43043838 for additional guidance.
Additional Section 301 Product Exclusions Announced
The USTR announced in a notice another set of 61 product exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on goods from China. The new exclusions respond to 86 separate exclusion requests and apply retroactively to Sept. 1, 2019, the date the tariffs took effect. The exclusions will remain in effect until Sept. 1, 2020.
Reminder: USTR is still accepting comments regarding some Section 301 product exclusion extensions
The USTR is still considering extending some Section 301 product exclusions that expire in coming months. Exclusions will be evaluated independently, with the primary focus being whether the product remains only available in China despite the imposition of the tariffs.
Comments will be accepted beginning July 1 and are due by July 30.
We will continue to keep you informed of the latest market developments.
Should you have any questions or if you need assistance, please contact your local UWL customer service representative or reach out here.