The Periodic Electronic Newsletter Publication of the
International Association of Movers

Friday - October 20, 2006
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The YP-35

Alan F. Wohlstetter


New & Prospective


  • U.S. President Signs SAFE Port Act
  • Thanks for Coming to San Francisco!
  • Customs Boosts Fines for Agriculture Import Violations
  • FMC Orders Investigation of Unlicensed
    NVOCCs in New York

  • Sea Containers Files for Chapter 11
  • CRITICAL ISSUE: US Customs - Intensive HHG Inspections
  • Homeland Security Seeks Deals on Cargo Scanning
  • Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and DHL
    to Form Strategic Partnership
  • US Economic Sanctions Against Sudan
  • HGFAA Job Board: Find Industry Professionals - 50% OFF!
2007 IAM
Annual Meeting
New York City, NY
Oct. 14-17

Wood Packing


U.S. Customs &
Boarder Protection

Dept. of Homeland Security

Transportation Regulations


CIA World


U.S. President Signs SAFE Port Act

The White House issued a news release stating that President Bush signed into law the Security and Accountability for Every Port (SAFE Port) Act of 2006 (H.R. 4954).  Among other things, this bill, also known as the Port Security Improvement Act of 2006, modifies the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program by requiring the prompt issuance of TWIC cards to maritime employees and the initiation of a pilot program for installation and use of card readers. It also codifies the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Container Security Initiative (CSI) programs.

Source: Holland+Knight / Washington DC


Thanks for Coming to San Francisco!

The 44th Annual Meeting of the Household Goods Forwarders Association of America which was held last week in San Francisco, California was another overwhelming success.  For the third consecutive year, the number of attendees set a new record.  This year’s annual meeting was attended by xxxx association members and invited guests, contributing to the overall success of the event.  Those who attended had ample opportunity to prospect for those Golden Opportunities at the various meetings and network functions.  Thank you again also to our wonderful sponsors and exhibitors who help to make the exhibit hall and network central the place to be.

If you are interested in obtaining copies of the various presentations made during the various business sessions, please visit the INDUSTRY ALERTS section on the IAM homepage.  You may also reach the links by clicking on the link below:

Thanks Again! and we look forward to seeing you next year at the Marriott Grand-Marquis Hotel in New York City from October 14th through the 17th, 2007.


Customs Boosts Fines for Agriculture Import Violations


The civil penalty for failing to declare agricultural items at U.S. ports of entry will increase by $50 to $300 for first-time offenders, effective Oct. 1, Customs and Border Protection announced on Friday.

Second-time offenders will face a fine of $500.

The agency said the key to avoiding the penalty is to declare all agricultural items and present them to Customs for inspection so that an agriculture specialist can determine if it is admissible or not.

Customs said the increases aim to prevent the introduction of harmful plant and animal pests or disease that a traveler may unintentionally bring into the U.S. through agricultural products. Restricted items include meat, fruits, vegetables, plants, soil and products made from animal or plant materials.

Customs noted that such imports could harbor pests such as the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, which is a threat to more than 250 hosts, including fruits, nuts and vegetables. If allowed to become established in an area, the price tag to eradicate it could be billions of dollars, Customs said.

"We want to impress upon travelers how serious and damaging foreign plant and animal pests and diseases could be," said Jeffrey Grode, executive director for CBP Agriculture Programs and Liaison office. "Agricultural pests and diseases are a threat to U.S. food crops and livestock. Some of these organisms are highly contagious animal diseases that could cause severe economic damage to the livestock industry and losses in production, which would mean increased costs for meat and dairy products. Other pests can affect property values by damaging lawns, ornamental plants, trees, and even homes."

Source: Journal of Commerce Online


FMC Orders Investigation of Unlicensed NVOCCs in New York

Three separate entities and one individual acting as Ocean Transport Intermediaries in the New York area are under investigation by the FMC for allegedly providing Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier services without obtaining an OTI license, providing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a bond, or maintaining a public tariff.  The Federal Maritime Commission issued Docket 06-09 September 19, 2006 naming Parks International Shipping, Inc., Cargo Express International Shipping, Inc., Bronx Barrels & Shipping Supplies Shipping Center Inc., and Ainsley Lewis a.k.a. Jim Parks as respondents in the investigation.  All three companies are incorporated in the State of New York, and all offered services in the trades between the USA and ports in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Ainsley Lewis, President of Parks International, is also involved in operations of Cargo Express and Bronx Barrels.  The Shipping Act provides for penalties of up to US$ 30,000 for each violation knowingly and willfully committed, and not more than US$ 6,000 for other violations.  An initial decision of the FMC Administrative Law Judge will be issued by September 19, 2007 and the final decision of the Commission will be issued by January 17, 2008.

Source: SIGNALS Newsletter


Sea Containers Files for Chapter 11

Bermuda-registered Sea Containers and two of its subsidiaries, Sea Container Services Ltd. and Sea Containers Caribbean Inc., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States after failure to pay a $115 million bond due Oct. 15.  Sea Containers however claims to remain “optimistic” on their restructuring plan.  The New Jersey ferry company SeaStreak and United Kingdom rail operator Great North Eastern Railway "will continue their normal day to day operations," Sea Containers said. GE SeaCo, its joint venture container leasing business, is also "completely unaffected."  The New York Stock Exchange suspended the trading of Sea Container's  common shares and senior notes as the struggling London-based company is still to file its 2005 annual report or any quarterly reports for this year with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Journal of Commerce


CRITICAL ISSUE: US Customs - Intensive HHG Inspections

The issue of increasing damage and the associated costs due to “intensive” physical customs inspections of household goods shipments is an issue the Association is well aware of. Over the last few months, we have been receiving increasingly more frequent reports of such inspections and the often times horrific results.

The association, in coordination with a number of its committees is currently examining the best approach to this increasingly unpredictable pattern of examinations.

The first step in tackling this issue is the collection of data and hard facts. We need to know where, when, why, how, as well as the delays and damages involved when a customs ordered inspection or physical examination takes place.

In an effort to collect relevant data on the frequency and results of the aforementioned inspections, IAM has begun collecting information to establish an overall framework of the dimensions of this increasingly costly industry wide problem. We ask all of our members worldwide, to provide us with information on their experiences as they pertain to increased “physical” and/or “intensive” exams of household goods shipment arriving in the
United States. The data points we are currently focusing on include:


  1. Port/Location of Inspection
  2. Entity Performing Inspection (i.e. – U.S. Customs, Terminal Operator, Third Party)
  3. Shipment Origin
  4. Date of Inspection
  5. Type of Inspection (Indicate if more than one – VACIS, Physical, Intensive)
  6. Fee(s) for Inspection (Yes / No and Amount)
  7. Pre Inspection Notification (Yes / No)
  8. Shipment Delays (Days)
  9. Demurrage Charges (Amount)
  10. Reason for Inspection
  11. Damage to Shipment (Yes / No)
  12. Value of Damage
  13. Additional Cost (Specify)

This issue is rapidly becoming a major hindrance to the efficient and cost effective movement of international household goods shipments. Your assistance and participation in this effort will be a great benefit to the entire industry.


You may submit your information to Boris Populoh via email at:


Homeland Security Seeks Deals on Cargo Scanning

The U.S. Homeland Security Department expects to formalize agreements with up to three foreign ports by the end of this year to scan all cargo containers before they are shipped to the United States, a senior department official said Wednesday.

"We are talking to some of the foreign ports," new Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham told reporters. He said the department is in discussions with "probably half a dozen" ports but declined to specify which ones. He said the department should have agreements with one or more of them by the end of the year.

About 11 million cargo containers are shipped to the United States each year. Industry officials estimate that number will double by 2014.

The subject of scanning all cargo containers for radiological and nuclear materials was a hot-button political issue in Congress during the last several months. Democrats pressed for legislation that would have required the department to ensure that within three to five years, all U.S.-bound cargo at foreign ports be scanned. Republicans, backed by the shipping industry, argued that it was wrong and technologically unfeasible to set an arbitrary deadline.

In the end, Congress passed a maritime security bill that requires the department to establish a test program at three foreign ports to scan all containers. The program will be expanded to other ports as soon as possible if the department determines that doing so is feasible and will not disrupt trade. Basham said he expects President Bush to sign the bill Friday.

Basham said one of the biggest challenges for the effort is that foreign ports have different sizes and configurations. Currently, the port of Hong Kong is using an integrated scanning system developed by private industry. Basham noted the system has a high level of false alarms.

Basham also said the department plans to begin a test program that would allow private companies or organizations to validate the security plans of shippers under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program, or C-TPAT. He said the project, known as third-party validations, would be particularly valuable in areas where the U.S. government does not have ready access, such as China.

Basham became commissioner in June. Giving his first speech Wednesday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he assured industry that he will continue the maritime security programs that have been in place for several years, including keeping the C-TPAT program voluntary.

He said he is not proposing any new big programs, but his agency is evaluating what additional information should be collected on cargo containers.

He added that the agency will open a second national targeting center by the end of the year to focus on gathering information on containers by "teleforensics" and "remote-imaging." He said the agency's objective is to increase the use of non-intrusive scanning practices to determine which containers need to be physically inspected.

Source: Chris Strohm / CongressDaily


Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and DHL
to Form Strategic Partnership

DHL to Acquire from an AAWW Subsidiary a 49 Percent Equity Interest in AAWW’s Polar Air Cargo Scheduled-Service Business for $150 Million Cash; 20-Year Commercial Capacity Arrangement with Potential Revenues in Excess of $3.5 Billion. The proposed transaction includes a strategic 20-year commercial arrangement that will ensure DHL access to aircraft capacity in key global markets, while providing the AAWW companies with a valuable, long-term customer and potential revenue stream in excess of $3.5 billion over the full-term of the agreement, although there are certain early termination rights at five-year intervals. In addition, DHL will have access to available additional aircraft capacity from AAWW's subsidiary Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas).


Source: Business Wire


US Economic Sanctions Against Sudan

President Bush signed an Executive Order imposing economic sanctions against the Government of Sudan. Companies doing business with both the United States and Sudan should exercise caution so as to avoid inadvertent violation of US law.

Source: Holland+Knight / Washington DC


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