Zika Certification

Over the past two weeks NAEGA has been closely following developments related to Zika mosquito related disinsection requirements for all U.S. origin shipments bound for China. NAEGA has now learned, via the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) GAIN report from September 2, that China’s AQSIQ has agreed to a regionalization scheme for U.S. origin imports. Now, vessels originating in the United States, other than the State of Florida, will not be required to provide a disinsection certificate upon arrival at Chinese ports.

Prior to the regionalization announcement for Florida, Chinese authorities were requiring mosquito disinsection of all U.S. origin shipments. Disinsection requires that the vessel or container, not the goods, be sprayed or fumigated for mosquitos. Now, disinsection and disinsection certificates will only be required from Florida origin vessels and conveyances.

This decision to regionalize disinsection requirements to Florida was based on a risk-assessment performed by AQSIQ, using data supplied by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). FAS/Beijing and the entire U.S. Embassy was involved in the successful effort to prevail upon AQSIQ to adopt an approach that addresses their public health concern and yet reduces the trade impact of their Zika requirements.

More information on Zika disinsection requriements can be found on the USDA website, or in the following documents:

For more information please contact Gary or Ryan.

Arbitration Panelists

This week NAEGA informed American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) of its 2016 list of Approved Arbitration Panelists. The 2016 list of approved arbitrators was approved by the NAEGA Board of Directors at its March 14, 2016 meeting in Coronado, CA.

NAEGA provides AAA with Grain Arbitrators per Clause 30 of the NAEGA No. 2 FOB Contract. Three arbitrators are used during NAEGA arbitrations. Two arbitrators are chosen by the parties from the list of approved Grain Arbitrators. The third is nominated by AAA from the list of Grain Arbitrators or from the AAA Commercial Arbitration Panel.

For more information on NAEGA arbitrations please visit Contracts Committee page of the NAEGA “Members Only” website, or contact Gary or Ryan.

Argentina and Brazil to launch digital certificates of origin in bilateral

Authorities in Argentina and Brazil have announced a recently signed memorandum of understanding on initiating the use of digital certificates of origin in bilateral trade. Digital certificates of origin will be issued by certifying entities of each country in accordance with the Latin American Association for Integration (ALADI). New digital certificates of origin will enable the issuing of certificates in as little as 30 minutes, compared to current times of about 24 hours.

For more information on ALADI new bilateral certificate of origin program for Argentina and Brazil, please click here (link in Spanish).

First U.S. Commercial Flights to Cuba

On August 31 JetBlue flight 387 from Fort Lauderdale landed in Santa Clara, Cuba, marking the resumption of commercial flights between the United States and Cuba for the first time in over 50 years. Ever since diplomatic relations were restored with the island nation in December 2014, U.S. and Cuban authorities have been working toward increasing integration including, in the agriculture sector, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the USDA and the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture in May 2016.

Soon, up to 110 daily flights will be available between the United States and Cuba. The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC), of which NAEGA is a member, has been a strong supporter of increased economic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, including the authorization of commercial flights.

For more information on the first flights, please click here. More information on NAEGA participation in the USACC can be found on the “Members Only” section of the NAEGA website or by contacting Gary or Ryan.

Hanjin Bankruptcy

Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest shipowner, last week filed for bankruptcy protection, a move that has created ripple effects across global supply chains. Hanjin’s late August bankruptcy filing has caused numerous delays for Hanjin carried goods as the company remained reluctant to call on foreign ports for fear that their global assets could face seizure. Over the past week ports have also be reluctant to welcome Hanjin liners citing concerns ports would not be able to recoup their fees. The granting of a temporary Chapter 15 protection in the United States has soothed some fears of further supply chain disruptions for U.S. bound shipments. Chapter 15 protection prohibits vessels and other assets from being seized during proceedings. However, doubts still remain about whether or not vessels will be worked and containers released since there still needs to be payment to terminal operators, tug operators, longshoremen, truckers, etc. for their services.

Since the filing of bankruptcy protection U.S Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has issued a guidance related to vessel diversions for Hanjin Shipping lines. The guidance can be found here. For more information on the Hankin Bankruptcy, click here.