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Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico: A Suspension Agreement was Signed – Now What?

A signing ceremony for the Suspension Agreement occurred on Thursday, September 19. That agreement takes effect upon signing by Commerce and the Signatories.  The suspension agreement imposes new procedures on tomatoes imported from Mexico. Tomatoes imported from signatories will not require the 17.56% antidumping duty deposit, however liquidation will still be suspended. Here are 4 Things to Know About the Suspension Agreement: The signing triggers a 20 day window where interested parties may request the US International Trade Commission to review if the agreement completely eliminates the injurious effect of dumping. The review takes no more than 75 days.  Should the USITC’s conclusion be negative, then the antidumping duty investigation will, once again, resume like it did on May 7, 2019, as if no suspension agreement were in place. Should the USITC’s conclusion be affirmative, or no review is requested, then the antidumping duty investigation will be suspended, liquidation suspension will be lifted, and CBP will be instructed to liquidate entries at 0% ADD margins. When entries become eligible for liquidation, importers and their Customs brokers should be monitoring these entries for liquidation. If they do not liquidate, the customs broker should be contacting CBP to request liquidations. In general, Roanoke Trade’s underwriters will waive the standard waiting period for review of collateral release for these importer’s bonds. Each importer will be reviewed individually to determine when collateral may be released. We anticipate that qualified importers will receive refunds earlier than the normal waiting period. We believe that continuous import bonds may be reviewed for a possible reduction after CBP liquidates the entries for tomatoes. Contact your Roanoke Trade bond service representative for a bond sufficiency report to help determine when the bond can be reduced. Please don’t hesitate to contact your local Roanoke Trade bond team with any questions you may have about this suspension agreement, especially when they involve the importation of merchandise subject to ADD/CVD.

Why Cargo Insurance is so Important!

By Karen Groff, President Roanoke Insurance Group Inc.   As part of a project to benchmark the safety of containers at sea, the National Cargo Bureau (NCB) recently completed a random inspection of 500 import and export ocean shipping containers and discovered that 55% had misdeclared, misplacarded and/or improperly secured cargo.   NCB inspects approximately 31,000 US export “haz-mat” containers per year on behalf of ocean carriers to ensure the safety of cargo being loaded on their ships; however, NCB does not typically inspect import containers arriving at US ports. Of the 500 containers included in this project, 49% of the imports and 38% of the exports containing dangerous goods failed inspection. Improperly secured cargo which could result in dangerous cargo shifting in transit was also found in numerous non-hazardous containers. A document prepared by the World Shipping Council for the upcoming meeting of the UN International Maritime Organization’s Subcommittee on Carriage of Cargo and Containers noted that “the increasing number of casualties related to container fires during the past years suggests that the problem is exacerbating.”   While your cargo may be properly packed you cannot guarantee that your shipment is not exposed to risks caused by an improperly packed or misdeclared neighboring container. These risks not only include the exposure to direct physical loss or damage to your goods, but also potential contributions to General Average as experienced by those onboard the MSC Flaminia or Maersk Honam. Shipper’s Interest Cargo insurance is the most cost efficient and effective risk management strategy for mitigating these exposures over which you have absolutely no control. Call Roanoke today to make sure your or your clients’ shipments are protected from loss!   Article source: Insurance Marine News

International Small Banking and Finance Seminar With Roanoke Guest Speaker Amanda Barlow

Last updated on September 27th, 2019LET THE EXPERTS HELP YOU SUCCEED! Learn key financial tools and resources Address your company’s needs with on-site consulting sessions Workshops on loan application process and CA SBA-funded STEP* program *California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Registration is $40 and includes parking, a continental breakfast and lunch! What:    Global Financing Assistance for Exporters When:   October 23, 2019 8:00 AM – 12:15 PM (PDT) Where:  SBDC Lead Office, Irvine, CA Roanoke’s Amanda Barlow will be speaking on the topic of ATA Carnets. View full speaker lineup.     This event is cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the District Export Council of Southern California.      

Claims Support Through Hurricane Dorian

To Our Valued Partners: In the event you or your clients are impacted by Hurricane Dorian, Roanoke is here to help. We are closely monitoring the storm and ports, and we are committed to timely assistance with any claims you may experience. How to Report a Claim For Marine Cargo Claims: Report your loss directly in our CoverageDock™ system. You may also reach us by phone at 847-969-7064 or by email at marineclaims@roanokegroup.com. Service Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 PM CT (extended assistance at 847-594-2220 or 847-254-0430) For Commercial Property Claims: Contact Melissa Pyles, Hemanti Amin or Rita Ginnow or call us at +1.800.ROANOKE (800.762.6653). You may also email us for these types of claims at marineclaims@roanokegroup.com. Claims Services Once the claim file is opened, a Roanoke adjustor will be assigned and will work with you and your team until your claim is resolved. We are here to walk you through the claims process.  Our claims team can also advise you around claims-related issued like gathering claims documents and arranging salvage procedures and surveys. We thank you for the trust you place in Roanoke and are here to help.  

Labor Day Shipping Awareness

The Shipping Risks Making Supply Chain Logistics Vulnerable Everyone looks forward to a long holiday weekend, especially after a busy summer season. Labor Day is just around the corner and while you may be in vacation mode, it’s important that manufacturers and logistics service providers be prepared for the risks associated with the long weekend. Did you know that in Labor Day weekends between 2014 and 2018, the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) recorded 2.4 thefts a day? This statistic is 14% higher than the industry average for any other time during the year.   Why is there so much risk for manufacturers and logistics-related organizations during this specific weekend? Organized cargo theft rings are happy to take advantage of the fact that many shipments will be left unattended due to the extension of the weekend. The most affected industries include: Tobacco (+71%) Pharmaceuticals (+37%) Personal Care (+18%) Home & Garden (+18%) Electronics (+18%) These statistics are not meant to scare you, but to inform you of the impending risks for your manufacturing or logistics-related organization. Facility theft can lead to hundreds of thousands of lost value.   How to Protect Your Shipments This Holiday Weekend  Luckily, there is still time to prevent some of this Labor Day theft and avoid becoming one of the horrible statistics. The SensiGuard SCIC recommends that logistics and security professionals increase or test all security protocols to make sure everything is in-line with best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations. Other ways your business can work to diminish any potential criminal attempts this time of year include: Confirm your receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend Plan for secure parking locations in the event that a shipment will be left unattended for a longer period of time Invest in GPS tracking and active monitoring of your high-value shipments Not only will these measures help to mitigate potential threats, but in some cases, they have also been proven effective in helping to facilitate the successful recovery of stolen merchandise.   Important Information for Transportation and Storage Facilities In order to take all measures to prevent cargo theft rings from successfully stealing shipments, the following guidelines have been released and endorsed by IMUA, PCSC, Travelers Insurance, SWTSC, SETSC, NETSC, the Cargo Security Alliance, and Sensitech. For Transportation: Verify the authenticity of all shipment-related activity…
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What is a Cyberattack and How to Protect Against It?

Last updated on August 23rd, 2019Transportation and logistics service providers, and mostly all companies large and small, are suffering business disruptions due to cyberattacks. A single email sent by a hacker to an unsuspecting and trusting individual — if opened by mistake —  can compromise the operations of an entire company. Every company is vulnerable and it’s only smart to take precautions and make contingency plans against cyberattacks.   What is a Cyberattack? A cyberattack is a proactive targeting and attack of a company’s computer information systems, technology infrastructure, network or personal computers and devices. The attacker is a person or group with malicious intent that intends to access data and technology functions without authorization.   How to Defend Against a Cyber Attack? There are several ways to defend your company and colleagues against a cyberattack. Below are the most important methods from the Department of Homeland Security. Never click on links in emails. Never open attachments. Never give out personal information. While this is great advice, it’s hard to conduct business without doing any of the above. That being said, how can you protect your company?   How to Protect My Company? One such plan is to include Cyber Coverage as part of your business insurance portfolio. While it won’t prevent the cyberattack from occurring, it will provide resources, support and compensation to get you back in business.   A Cyber Claim Illustration A client of Roanoke Trade recently discovered that their systems had been infected with a ransomware virus. Even though their IT team was notified quickly, their system was still compromised. In total, eight devices were infected with ransomware. To get back to normal business operations, the servers had to be rebuilt and the data restored from a back-up by a team of technical specialists. Fortunately, a forensic analysis concluded that no data was accessed and withdrawn by the attacker. However, the efforts of the IT team and specialists, and general downtime resulted in a loss of company productivity and real dollars. Our client filed a claim under their Roanoke policy and the underwriters determined that this “computer attack” qualified as a covered loss under their Cyber Suite Coverage attached to their Errors and Omissions policy. The client received a payment from the underwriters of $22,210 after paying their $1,000 deductible. The business was back in business…
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Using ATA Carnets for Global Expansion: A Video Interview

Last updated on August 20th, 2019Ever wondered how ATA Carnets benefit businesses looking to expand on a global scale? Find the answer to that question and more in this brief excerpt from an interview with Amanda Barlow, Vice President of ATA Carnet. “The ATA Carnet is an absolutely amazing and dynamic tool that allows and assists U.S. business as well as foreign business to expand in foreign markets,” Amanda explains in a recent interview. Watch to learn more: Contact Us We will be releasing additional segments of this interview in the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the benefits of the ATA Carnet for global expansion of your business or need help with your ATA Carnets, please contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1.800.Carnets (1.800.227.6387) or by email. About Roanoke Trade Roanoke Trade, a division of Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc. and part of Munich Re Specialty Group Ltd., operates as a specialty insurance broker focused on surety and insurance solutions for logistics service providers and companies with supply chains. Years of dedicated focus and responsive service have earned us the recognition as a trusted provider of customs bonds, marine cargo insurance and ATA Carnets for the industry.

Why Logistics Service Providers Need General Liability Insurance

Last updated on August 7th, 2019As your customer’s primary resource in trade facilitation, your focus is to hone your expertise and provide the best information and service possible.   Finding time to focus on general business concerns can sometimes take a back seat to business growth and client retention.  Just as your goal is to simplify the complicated with your clients, you want the same assistance from your insurance provider.  Liability is a multi-faceted risk category, and the insurance that protects your exposures will often have a multi-coverage solution.  The foundation of most insurance programs, however, begins with General Liability (GL) coverage. You may think the only reason you need a GL policy  is to satisfy your landlord or vendor’s requirements, and you may have purchased coverage for this purpose. However,  GL is so much more than a checked box.  It is a policy designed to protect your business against claims from bodily injury or property damage sustained by a third party as a result of your business operation. In addition to bodily injury and property damage your GL policy also provides coverage for: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability –  This responds to any lawsuit that is alleging that you are responsible for Personal Injury arising out of the advertising of your products or services.  An example of covered offenses are libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and misappropriation of advertising ideas. Medical Payments – Responds to non-litigious medical claims for bodily injury which occur in the normal course of business.  In plain terms, this could act as the “please don’t sue me coverage”, where medical payments will be paid by the policy to avoid a lawsuit. GL, and specifically medical payments, do not extend to employee injury claims as this risk is covered under Worker’s Compensation. Products and Completed Operations –Responds to lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that is derived from your “products” or “completed operations.”  Although transportation and logistics companies don’t typically sell tangible products, those providing packing, crating, assembly, and pick and pack services may have a risk.  Both bodily injury and property damage claims can arise while employees are performing your services, or as a result of your professional service mistakes or failures Products and completed operations coverage should not be confused with Errors & Omissions (E&O). An E&O policy addresses claims for financial…
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Ransomware. To Pay Or Not To Pay? That Is The Question.

If you haven’t been the victim of a ransomware attack yet, you may be someday soon. According to research by the cybersecurity company, Malwarebytes, six of every ten malware infections during the first quarter of 2017 were attributed to ransomware.1 If and when it happens to you, you will have to decide whether to pay the ransom or not. Here are some things to consider that may help in coming to the right decision for you. If You Decide To Pay If you pay the ransom, you may get your data back and your operations can return to normal. You can reduce business interruption, although investigation and remediation of any damage to the system is still necessary. If you pay the ransom, at least there’s a better chance of getting your data back. But there are a few things to consider. First off, bad guys aren’t known for keeping their word. In recent large-scale attacks, the emails associated with digital currency payments were disabled shortly after the attacks and there was no way for the attackers to track who paid ransom and who did not. In other attacks, hackers simply took the money and never provided the encryption keys. In still others, once a ransom was paid and the attackers provided the encryption key, they returned and attacked again. Another thing to consider if you decide to pay the ransom is that you will likely need to purchase digital currency to do so. That is not the easiest thing to do when you’re under pressure and have never done it before. Bitcoin is usually the currency requested and can be purchased through an online exchange, but the transaction is not immediate. It can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days to set up an account and process a transaction. For that reason, if you determine that you’re inclined to pay ransom, you may want to purchase some Bitcoin or other digital currency to have on hand to facilitate the transaction. However, be mindful that you will need to have access to the funds should your system become encrypted, so you will want to set up your account and store your currency somewhere separate from the system you wish to protect. Although the media have reported a few ransomware cases with demands that range from tens of thousands to millions…
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Tariffs and Bond Sufficiency: How the Customs Broker Can Help

Since the onset of the trade wars between the United States and China in spring of 2018, the growth of additional duties owed for goods where the country of origin is in China is not slowing down.  On May 10, 2019, the duty amount on products subject to Section 301 tariffs contained on List 3 increased from 10% to 25%.  There is also concern that the U.S. will soon assess additional duties on nearly all goods from China. The impact of these additional duties has a direct effect on U.S. Customs Import Bonds, as the bond amount is primarily calculated as 10% of the total duties, taxes and fees you have paid in the last 12 months (subject to a $50,000 minimum bond amount).  As imports of goods from China continue, the additional duties owed will likely increase, causing many importers to need a larger bond. In the last nine months we have seen an unprecedented rise in bond insufficiency notices sent out by CBP. The number of letters that used to be seen in a year is often seen in just one month. Customs brokers, importers and surety agents are all scrambling to comply within the short timeline allowed in the letter – 15 days after the date of the letter, termination must be received by CBP. Many of the notices are for principals that have already had at least one bond increase since the inception of the increased tariffs. Now more than ever it’s important for importers to understand their Customs Bond obligations. Maintaining a sufficient bond is the importer’s responsibility under informed compliance requirements, but it often falls to the surety agent and the customs broker to guide the importer towards a proper bond amount. Education is key. Many importers don’t understand the ramifications of needing to increase their bond amount multiple times. Having more than one bond in a year creates a “stacking liability” or aggregate liability issue for both the surety and the importer. When a bond, a financial instrument, is terminated and replaced, the liability represented by that bond for both the importer and the surety under that bond doesn’t go away with the termination. Depending on the entry type, the liability can remain open for years. Even under the normal liquidation cycle, entries will stay open for 314 days. Now the increased bond…
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