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December 2017

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Higher U.S. Customs user fees coming soon

Effective January 1, 2018, there will be new per-shipment minimums and maximums for U.S. Customs’ Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF).The minimum will be $25.67 USD, a $0.67 USD increase, the maximum will be $497.99 USD, a $12.99 USD increase. The Informal MPF (applies to shipments valued under $2,500 USD) will change from $2.00 USD to $2.05 USD. Goods of NAFTA Preferential Origin are exempt MPF.

The Merchandise Processing Fee is a fee imposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to offset the cost of salaries and other expenses incurred in the processing of imports and release of merchandise into the United States.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Four ways to avoid business closures during Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year
  1. Place your bookings at least ten days prior to vessel departure time.
  2. Make early arrangements on original bills of lading (telex release or courier of originals) to avoid potential storage issues at destination.
  3. Where feasible,arrange express B/Ls or telex release to prevent any stress of late deliveries and storage fees.
  4. Take into account that business closures vary by location:
    • China: February 15, 2018 – February 21, 2018
    • Hong Kong: February 16, 2018 – February 19, 2018
    • Taiwan: February 15, 2018 – February 20, 2018

If you have any questions concerning shipments booked with Universal Logistics and how they may be impacted by the Chinese New Year, please contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions at (905) 882-4880, ext. 308 or by email.

CETA Origin Declaration update


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has advised that Field 3 of the CETA Origin Declaration can be completed with any one of the following preferential origin indications:

  • Canada
  • EU
  • Canada/EU
  • CM

This update overrides an earlier decision that Field 3 needed to specifically indicate “Canada/EU” if the products qualified as originating under the CETA Rules of Origin. The only exception was for products originating in Ceuta or Melilla, in which case CM would have been the correct indication. This was in accordance with the instructions in Annex 2 of the CETA Protocol on ROO and OP.

CETA Origin Declaration wording:

"The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs authorization No…) declares that, except where otherwise indicated, these products are of …(3) preferential origin."

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Why failure to use compliant wood packaging
is so costly – for your business and the environment

Wooden pallets

Do you know what happens if a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer finds non-compliant wood packaging in your shipment and/or evidence of live insects? The container will be fumigated as per CBSA / CFIA requirements, and the entire contents, including your goods, will be exported back to the country of origin. Worse still, it could take weeks or longer to complete the fumigation if the chemical used to do the fumigation, methyl bromide, is not immediately available.

It should be noted that fumigation is not acceptable for importation into Canada, which means importers should advise their suppliers to abstain from this practice. The best way to protect your business interests is to educate your suppliers that all wood packaging (skids, container blocking, bracing and dunnage) included in your shipments must be fully ISPM 15 compliant, the standard established to prevent the invasion of non-local insects that can damage the environment.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

Trade talks between Canada and China called off

Formal talks on a comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and China have been cancelled after the negotiators were unable to resolve several significant issues. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said both sides are willing to continue exploratory talks.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Higher prices for air freight in 2018

Air cargo

Air freight prices are forecast to jump 4% in 2018, following a 5% increase in 2017, while volumes are forecast to rise 4.5%, about half the rate of growth (9.3%) in2017.

Air cargo volume growth continues to exceed the expansion of capacity, an imbalance that has existed for the last 15 months. IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said air cargo volumes were up in 2017 because, "many companies needed to restock inventories quickly to meet unexpectedly strong demand."

The growth of e-commerce is also expected to support continued momentum in the cargobusiness.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
This is what the city’s port looks
like on a typical day.

Global Spotlight Quiz

How many clues do you need to name a trade centre
once known as the "Paris of the East"?

  • This city began as a humble fishing village – today it is the world’s busiest port, both in terms of volume and cargo tonnage.
  • This city was dubbed the "Paris of the East" in the 1920s and 1930s, known also as the "Oriental Pearl".
  • This city is one of the largest in theworld.
  • The world’s tallest hotel is a part of this city’s impressive skyline.
  • This city is undergoing a major industrial restructuring as low, value-added manufacturing, particularly the textile and heavy-equipment manufacturing industries, move out of thecity.
  • The 6 key advanced industries (including electronic information products, automobile, petrochemical, fine steel, equipment complex, bio-medicine) accounted for 67% of the gross industrial output in2015.
  • Multi-national companies have set up 535 regional headquarters and 396 R&D centers in thiscity.

Click here to see the answer

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

Quick Tip

Secure written quotations for all traffic lanes and pay careful attention to the validity dates – Understand the assessorial charges right from the start

Freight rates can change frequently – sometimes every 1-2 weeks. It is important to pay attention to the validity dates to ensure you have requested an updated rate at the time of your shipment. Make sure to ask up front what a carrier’s charges are for waiting time, storage, demurrage, fuel surcharges, etc.. These costs appear on your invoice as assessorial charges and, once incurred, are difficult to negotiate.

Remember to ask that all rate quotations be put in writing. This will protect you from potential discrepancies at time of invoicing. Always read and review all terms and conditions of your quotation to ensure you fully understand and ask questions of your freight forwarder.

Lilija Lautenschlaeger, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

Lilija Lautenschlaeger, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

At Your Service: Lilija Lautenschlaeger, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

A strong background in both ocean import and export procedures as well as regulations, combined with an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration – International Business from George Brown College, makes Lilija Lautenschlaeger an invaluable resource for our valuedclients.

An employee since October 2016, Lilija is part of our Head Office Ocean Services team. She
can answer virtually any questions concerning ocean freight, a capability developed through our emphasis on cross training.

Lilija can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 312 or byemail.

December 2017

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. 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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