COVID-19 Latest Updates

Section 301 Investigations Opened for Vietnam, WTO Approves Tariffs on U.S. Exports, CMA CGM is Back Online

By October 15, 2020 No Comments

Customs

The Trump administration has announced tariffs on $2 billion worth of aluminum imports on 18 countries. The move appears to circumvent the pending U.S. International Trade Commission’s antidumping investigation, which was set to conclude in February. The tariffs, which will impact imports from South Korea, India, Germany and others, will range from 54% to as much as 132%. 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has given the EU the green light to hit the U.S. with tariffs on $4 billion worth of exports. The tariffs, which are being levied by the EU as a result of claims that the Trump Administration illegally provided state aid to Boeing Co., are expected to be stalled until after November’s presidential election.

Section 301 investigations have been announced over allegations of illegal timber sourcing in Vietnam and suspicions of currency fixing. Specific rates and HTS numbers are still unknown, but our experts expect heavy impacts on the furniture industry. Comments on the investigations are open until November 12th. 

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is beginning the process of rewriting the global Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes. The HTS codes, which are rewritten every 4-6 years, will be published for use at the start of 2022. The changes can have widespread impacts on classifications and duty rates, so now may be a good time to connect with your customs broker to prepare.

Ocean

CMA CGM has restored all online services after a cyberattack crippled their systems at the end of September. Shippers can still expect delays and communication issues as the carrier gets back up to speed, but they may be in for a pleasant surprise as well. CMA CGM wiped storage charges for many shippers, and the carrier is actively seeking tariff publication relief and other means to mitigate additional costs.

Equipment shortages continue throughout the Asian Pacific. Many are still fighting for space and containers, and many blank sailings still linger as we approach the holiday season.

Air

Air freight rates are increasing steadily as we bear the brunt of peak season. Capacity remains relatively constrained, but continues to improve after delays from closures due to the Chinese Golden Week holiday.

Trucking

U.S. trucking capacity remains low, but relatively stable. Domestic spot market rates are still rising, but less rapidly than they have in recent weeks. 

Cargo owners can expect delays in the Northwestern U.S. as carriers continue to reroute to avoid lingering Canadian port congestion. Impacts can also be felt along the Southern border as Texas, Louisiana, and the rest of the region recover from Hurricane Delta.