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April 2016

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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On the road again in search of new ways
to meet and exceed client expectations

Logo for London Book Fair, one of many international book fairs visited by employees of Universal Logistics, a leading provider of customs brokerage and freight forwarding services for the international book publishing industry.

It’s that time of year again when we make our annual tour of the major international book fairs, starting with a visit to the London Book Fair, held April 12-14 at the Olympia in West London, England.  This year we were represented by Chris Barnard, Vice President – Projects & Market Development and Andrew Doick, Business Development – International.  Mr. Barnard, who has visited this book fair many times, observed, “It’s amazing how much has changed in just one year.  We learned a lot and are going to use those insights to enhance our services to existing clients.”

Universal Logistics already has an unmatched combination of local and international strengths:

  • the leading provider of logistics services for the Canadian book publishing industry
  • the only Canadian representative (and a founding member) of BookFreight, a worldwide network of freight forwarders, specializing in book industry transportation management
  • the only company endorsed by the Canadian Book and Periodical Council (customs broker and international freight forwarder) for the last 21 years

Next stop on our international tour of book industry events is BookExpo America (BEA), which takes place at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, May 11-13.

For more information, contact Chris Barnard, Vice President – Projects & Market Development.

Valued U.S. client retires after stellar career

From left: David Lychek,
Lynn Miller, John Leis

Our long relationship with Lynn Miller at Rich Products Corporation came to an end on March 31st, when she officially retired as Senior Logistics Analyst.  Rich Products has been a valued client of Universal’s worldwide ocean export services since 1991.

Two Universal Logistics employees, John Leis, Manager – Client Relations and David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services, were honoured to be among the guests invited to Lynn’s retirement party, who gathered at the beautifully renovated atrium in the company headquarters, located in Buffalo, New York.

“Lynn was always a joy to work with because she combined a high degree of professionalism with a wonderful sense of humour.  We are going to miss her,” said Mr. Leis.

What you need to know about the 2016 Federal Budget

2016 Federal Budget

The 2016 Federal Budget and follow-up announcements by the Government have confirmed Canada is committed to “swiftly” implementing the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.  However, there is no mention of the compensation for the agriculture industry promised by the previous Government.  The current Government has also signalled that it is interested in strengthening its trade relationships with major emerging markets such as India and China.

Following are some additional Budget highlights:

Tariff Relief
Budget 2016 announces that the Government will eliminate tariffs on about a dozen manufacturing inputs, providing an estimated $9 million in tariff savings over the next five years to Canadian manufacturers in the consumer goods and transportation sectors.

Customs Import Duties Projections
Customs import duties are projected to increase by 13.2% in 2015–16, reflecting strong year-to-date overall import growth and the removal of benefits for certain countries under Canada’s General Preferential Tariff regime, effective January 1, 2015.  Customs import duties are projected to decrease slightly over the remainder of the projection period, mainly as a result of the expected impacts of the ongoing implementation of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, as well as the planned introduction of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the potential introduction of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Transfer Pricing
Budget 2016 proposes new legislation to strengthen transfer pricing documentation by introducing country-by-country reporting for large multinational enterprises.  The Canada Revenue Agency is applying revised international guidance on transfer pricing by multinational enterprises, which provides an improved interpretation of the arm’s-length principle.

Improving Export Verifications
Canada needs to ensure that its exports do not pose health, safety or security threats to Canadians and its allies and that Canada continues to respect international commitments.  The Canada Border Services Agency’s export verifications support this objective by preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the export of goods that have been obtained illegally.  Budget 2016 proposes to provide $13.9 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to improve export verifications by enabling the Agency to enhance identification processes and increase examination rates of high-risk shipments.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, General Manager – Customs Consulting Services.

Financial threshold for goods entering U.S. rises to $800 USD

Canada - U.S. Border

The maximum value of articles that may be brought into the U.S. (De Minimis) by one person in one day, informally and free of duty, has been increased to $800 USD, effective March 10, 2016.  The previous limit was $200 USD.  This change, commonly referred to as a Section 321 Release, does not pertain to:

  • consolidated/multiple shipments
  • one of several lots covered by a single order or contract, which has been sent separately to obtain free entry as a Section 321.

In order to qualify, the carrier must report the goods as a Section 321 on their manifest.  Otherwise, a formal Customs entry must be presented by the customs broker to avoid shipment delays and additional costs (e.g. bond fees, re-manifest fees, waiting time, etc.).

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, General Manager – Customs Consulting Services.

New SOLAS Verified Gross Mass Requirements
on track for implementation July 1

Container Ship

While there have been some changes in timelines and expectations, it is still likely that SOLAS Verified Gross Mass requirements will be implemented, as planned, on July 1.  Under the new regulations, shippers are required to verify the gross mass of containers carrying cargo.  Failure to comply will mean that a container will not be loaded on a ship.  There are two ways to verify gross mass:

  • Method 1 – Following the packing and sealing of a container, the shipper can weigh the container or ask a third-party to handle that task
  • Method 2 – The mass of the container is added to the collective mass of the contents going in to the container.

For more information, contact David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
This city is located at the Pacific entrance to what is referred to as a candidate for the
‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.

Global Spotlight Quiz

What city is next to a critically important transportation route that has daily ups and downs?

This mystery city is a mixture of modern skyscrapers and ancient ruins.  See if you can name it after looking at the following clues:

  • The city’s economy depends heavily on the trade and shipping made possible by the recently expanded and modernized transportation route, which handles 4% of the world’s trade
  • Ranked as the world’s third cheapest major city
  • Founded in 1519, it is the capital city to a small nation of almost 4 million people
  • The most important city in the country, accounting for over 50% of the nation’s GDP
  • Its international airport is the hub for air traffic serving the Caribbean, South, North and Central America
  • Located next to a large tropical rainforest

  Click here to see the answer

For more information about freight to/from this city, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

Quick Tip

Develop a Request for Quotation (RFQ) form to simplify
the process of securing rates

Get an edge on the competition by getting the most out of your rate quotations.  By standardizing the process, you can control the quality of work and make the review of the rates easier.

  • Add detailed information (e.g. full commodity description, dangerous goods details, special handling requirements, facility characteristics, etc.) to make every quotation more accurate and competitive.
  • Indicate shipment frequency and annual volume to qualify for savings tied to volumes.
    A proper RFQ makes it much easier to compare “apples to apples” when sourcing quotes from various carriers.

Christine Gebera, Customs Operations – Universal Logistics USA
Christine Gebera,
Customs Operations –
Universal Logistics USA

At Your Service: Christine Gebera, Customs Operations – Universal Logistics USA

Christine Gebera is a member of the Customs Operations team in the Buffalo, New York office of Universal Logistics USA, which she joined in June 2015.  Her responsibilities include handling the release of shipments being imported into the U.S. via various modes of transport.

Christine holds a Graduate Cum Laude – B.A., Political Science & Government (SUNY Buffalo State College) and a Graduate Certificate in International Relations (Salve Regina University).

After hours, she is an active volunteer and has earned a Volunteer Service Award for delivering outstanding community service.

Christine can be reached by phone (716) 882-4100 or by email.

April 2016

is produced monthly for the clients of Universal Logistics. Reader comment and story ideas are welcome. Comments of general interest to all Route readers will, with the permission of the writer, be published. Copyright ©
Universal Logistics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction for any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

Route is produced by Universal Logistics. Editor: Bettina Scharnberg. Email: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained herein, Universal Logistics accepts no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions. Written correspondence should be forwarded to:

Universal Logistics Inc.
125 Commerce Valley Drive West
Suite 750, Thornhill, Ontario L3T 7W4
Tel: 905-882-4880    Fax: 905-882-2250
Attention: Bettina Scharnberg
Universal Logistics

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