Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initially announced last week that importers had until September 25th to comply with a marking change in response to the President’s Executive Order 13936. On Friday, August 21st the agency announced via a CSMS message an additional forty-five days extension which makes this a bit better for importers. The new deadline for compliance is November 9, 2020.

The US government determined that because Hong Kong is no longer operating autonomously following the imposition of the National Security Law by China, a number of steps have been taken governing both exports and imports to the territory. This is among the first changes to impact imports.

Marking regulations are found in 19 CFR Part 134. The most important takeaway is that goods must be marked “conspicuously and legibly” with the country of origin at the time of importation. Goods which are not marked or improperly marked are detained and receive a NLM (Not Legally Marked) notice from the agency. The goods will be required to be brought into compliance before they can be sold or distributed.

When a shipment has received a marking notice, CBP will either require a sample to be submitted for approval prior to release, or they’ll release based upon pictures or an attestation from the importer.

Regardless of whether a sample is required or not, the most important thing for importers to remember is that much like an FDA shipment that has been detained, it cannot be shipped until such time as the agency has approved the goods for release.

We understand that while CBP may take the purview that a 90 day grace period is sufficient, purchase orders, tools, molds, labels and stamped parts may require a far longer lead time than what the agency has chosen to afford.

At Mach 1, we are committed to working closely with our customers to notify them and help meet the challenges that changing import regulations can have on their business. Admittedly, while Hong Kong is not the manufacturing center it was for technology and textiles of ten or twenty years ago, there are still goods made in the territory which will nonetheless be impacted.

If you believe that your supply chain will be adversely affected and cannot meet this deadline with imports in your pipeline, please contact me or your Mach 1 representative as soon as possible so we can work together to suggest plans to either delay the shipments or how to go about bringing the goods into compliance upon entry.

Written by: Tanissa Loroña, Director, Trade Services


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