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July 2018

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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How to stay up-to-date on the growing trade war

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Be among the first to know about the latest developments in the multi-front trade dispute between the U.S. and many of its biggest trade partners by signing up to receive our Email Alerts! or visiting our web pages on the Trade War.  There is no better way to get a quick summary of key developments in what is rapidly becoming a global trade war.  For example, here are the headlines for our three latest alerts:

  • U.S announces second round of tariffs on Chinese Goods (July 12, 2018)
  • Surtaxes imposed on certain products originating in the United States (June 29, 2018)
  • Tariffs and counter tariffs impact global trade (June 26, 2018)

The trade disputes began in March when the U.S launched its first round of tariffs.  Subsequent rounds, hitting products made in Canada, Mexico, the EU and China, have been met by equal penalties on U.S. products.  The U.S. shows no sign of backing down and has threatened to impose up to $200 billion in additional duties on products made in China.  Predictably, China responded almost immediately by saying it would respond with counter measures that may go beyond trade.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, to see how our Customs Consulting Services team can further assist or to request a Tariff Impact Study for your company.

Customs compliance priorities updated for 2018


Your chances of being selected by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for trade compliance verification are higher if you import products on the following list of priorities, updated this month.

The list identifies products that are of concern, which due to misclassification, have led to a loss of revenue for the CBSA.  Non-compliant companies will have to pay retroactive duties and, potentially, Administrative Monetary Penalties.

See below for more details on each new commodity:

Other Mountings and Fittings, Suitable for Furniture (new)
Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 83.02

  • The risk identified is that imported goods could be incorrectly classified as mountings and fittings, suitable for furniture, within Heading 83.02, instead of being properly classified elsewhere within various chapters, and be subject to duty rates up to 6.5%.
  • This verification priority was released in June 2018.
  • Results are not yet available.

Air Heaters and Hot Air Distributors (new)
Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 73.22

  • The risk identified is that imported goods could be incorrectly classified as air heaters and hot air distributors within Heading 73.22, instead of being properly classified elsewhere within the same chapter, and be subject to duty rates up to 7.5%.
  • This verification priority was released in June 2018.
  • Results are not yet available.

Flashlights and Miners’ Safety Lamps (new)
Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 85.13

  • The risk identified is that imported goods could be incorrectly classified as flashlights and miners’ safety lamps within Heading 85.13, instead of being properly classified elsewhere within the same heading, and be subject to a duty rate of 7%.
  • This verification priority was released in June 2018.
  • Results are not yet available.

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

U.S. truck rates continue to spike

Truck driver with tablet

Rising rates for U.S. trucking, which began in January, are expected to peak in mid-summer, when
demand for trucking is highest.  Prices are already up 25-30%, mainly because of these factors:

  • surging fuel prices
  • a shortage of drivers
  • rapidly increasing demand
  • stricter enforcement of drive-time regulations (Electronic Logging Devices), which have forced some rigs off the road
  • delays at ports, where operators are having difficulty handling the mega container ships now used by many lines to reduce ocean freight costs

Trucking companies are responding by refusing to service certain markets, introducing new fees or offering service with no guarantees.

Our trucking expert, William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services, welcomes inquiries on the best available options under the current market conditions.  You can reach him by email or by calling 905-822-4880, ext. 224.

Major expansion of Prince Rupert Port

With the goal of avoiding a repeat of the problems which bogged down container flow last winter, the expansion of Prince Rupert Port enters the final stage.

By adding 500,000 TEU capacity, the project will raise the facility’s capacity to 1.8m TEU, a 33% increase.  Specific improvements include an expansion of the container yard from 32ha to 41ha, and the addition of three gantry cranes, two rubber-tyred units and an eighth dock gantry crane.

Plans also call for the relocation of buildings to create more container storage space and to boost rail capacity.  The addition of 2 km of track will give the facility a total of 7.5 km at the dock.  The latter is required to address the major bottle neck of last winter, which led to a pile up of containers and increased dwell times to as much as 7 days, twice the norm.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
This royal building could be confused
with Buckingham Palace because it
features the same architecture.

Global Spotlight Quiz

How many clues do you need to name the city that invented French Fries, but is not in France?

  • Home of the World Customs Organization (WCO), representing 182 global Customs administrations, voice of the international Customs community and creator of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
  • One of the most secure cities in the world
  • Actress Audrey Hepburn was born in this city
  • About 27 percent of the residents are not citizens
  • Beer lovers can enjoy 800 different brands of their favourite “suds”
  • Dining out is easy as there are 138 restaurants per square mile
  • Public signage is in two different languages
  • The international airport is the #1 seller of chocolate in the world

  Click here to see the answer

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

Quick Tip

Cargo Theft at Gate

Ensure your shipping/receiving warehouse staff is available to receive delivery of your shipments quickly

Once advised your shipment is available for local delivery, take delivery at the earliest opportunity.  The longer your cargo sits on a pier, at a terminal or warehouse, the more likely it is to be pilfered, lost, stolen or damaged.  Help to minimize your risk of problem shipments.

Lukas Hamann, Customs Operations
Lukas Hamann,
Customs Operations

At Your Service: Lukas Hamann,
Customs Operations

After graduating from Seneca College’s International Transport and Customs program, Lukas joined our Head Office Customs Operations team in May 2016.  He now has two years of experience handling clearances via all modes of transport and has expanded his professional qualifications by:

  • obtaining the Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) designation in September 2017, with a score of 94% on the final exam, the highest mark in Toronto Region and the second highest mark in all of Canada
  • successfully completing the Customs Brokers Professional Examination in October 2017

Lukas can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 235 or by email.

July 2018

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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