Tuesday, April 22, 2014

US Customs New Freedom of Information Act Portal – What Do You Want to Know?

I want answers.  US Customs apparently wants to give them to me too, as it sent me a lovely email to register as a user of its new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) portal called “FOIA Online.”

In terms of registration I’d give it a thumbs up for “User Experience” as it was very simple to do and it’s quite nice looking as well.  While I haven’t experienced the benefits first hand, U.S. Customs touts them as, and I quote:

* You will immediately receive a unique FOIA tracking number and acknowledgment that your FOIA request was received by CBP.

* You will be able to track your FOIA request any day/any time through your FOIAonline account.

* You will receive an email to retrieve responsive records or document via your FOIAonline account, when records or documents become available.

* You can view all of your historical FOIA requests via the “dashboard” in your FOIAonline account.


Sound good to you?

Want to give it a try? 

Head over to FOIAonline and check it out for yourself.

Questions/comments?  Post below or email me at clark.deanna@gmail.com

Keep up with me at www.fashioncompliance.com or:

On Twitter @fashcompliance

ciao ciao!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Application Deadline Approaching for FIT International Trade & Marketing Program Online Degree Program

Have you been considering a career in international trade?  Interested in taking a class with faculty like myself?  Looking for online convenience in a degree program?  Then look no further!

I'm pleased to announce that applications are still being accepted for the online degree by the International Trade & Marketing Dept. (ITM) at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), to which I am a proud faculty member!

More information on the 2 year program and eligibility requirements can be found here.

For more information on the ITM Dept. itself, please go to this link here.

Hope to see you on campus!

Keep up with me at www.fashioncompliance.com or:
On Twitter @fashcompliance

Monday, March 31, 2014

Macy's 2014 Flower Show in New York City

Speaking of a retailer that sells a lot of foreign made wearing apparel...

Beautiful floral displays are towering over shoppers at this year's Macy's Flower Show in New York City.  Che Belli! (That means "how beautiful!" in Italian)

Now through April 6, 2014 at Macy's Herald Square location.

Go check it out!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How Many Times Do I Have to Pay Duties?

The first time you import merchandise into the U.S., you would expect to pay customs duties, and under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS), unless the goods are exempted from such payment, that money will have to be paid.

But what about if the merchandise had

a. Already been imported,
b. Duties Paid,
c. Subsequently Exported, and
d. Now being reimported again?
 Is paying again required?
Well, depending on the circumstances, there can be ways of either recouping some of the initial duty payment, or qualifying for an exception to avoid paying the duty such as the exemption where articles exported from the U.S. are

1. Returned within 45 days of such exportation,
2. Were “undeliverable”, and
3. Which had not left the custody of the carrier or foreign customs service.

As a general rule however, 19 CFR 141.2 of the Customs regulations provides that dutiable merchandise imported and afterwards exported, even though the duty had been paid on the first importation, is liable for duty payment on every subsequent importation into the Customs territory of the US (unless exempt by law).

This rule does not however, apply to imports of:

(a) Personal and household effects taken abroad by a resident of the United States and brought back on his return to this country (see §148.31);

(b) Professional books, implements, instruments, and tools of trade, occupation, or employment taken abroad by an individual and brought back on his return to this country (see §148.53);

(c) Automobiles and other vehicles taken abroad for noncommercial use (see §148.32);

(d) Metal boxes, casks, barrels, carboys, bags, quicksilver flasks or bottles, metal drums, or other substantial outer containers exported from the United States empty and returned as usual containers or coverings of merchandise, or exported filled with products of the United States and returned empty or as the usual containers or coverings of merchandise (see §10.7(b), (c), (d), and (e));

(e) Articles exported from the United States for repairs or alterations, which may be returned upon the payment of duty on the value of repairs or alterations at the rate or rates which would otherwise apply to the articles in their repaired or altered conditions (see §10.8);

(f) Articles exported for exhibition under certain conditions (see §§10.66 and 10.67);

(g) Domestic animals taken abroad for temporary pasturage purposes and returned within 8 months (see §10.74);

(h) Articles exported under lease to a foreign manufacturer (see §10.108); or

(i) Any other reimported articles for which free entry is specifically provided.

Questions or comments?  Post below or email me at clark.deanna@gmail.com

Keep up with me at www.fashioncompliance.com or:

On Twitter @fashcompliance

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Commission on the Status of Women at the U.N.

This week marks the fifty-eighth (58th) session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which is taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from March 10 – 21, 2014.

Obviously in the context of fashion and international trade, the role of women is paramount to the industry and the manufacture of wearing apparel.

I had the privilege of attending together with the Hon. Weatherspoon (next to me in photo) a briefing at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations by U.S. delegates to the CSW conference, which included Ambassadors Cousens, Russel and King (center of photo), and Sharon Kotok.
 "Countries where women can reach their full potential are more stable "
On the U.S. agenda, priorities include the adoption of the agreed conclusions from 2013 without any erosion to them (Draft Version).  Other priorities are in 3 specific areas:

1) Gender Based Violence: Includes intimate partner violence and a “national action plan” for women and security – don’t be fooled by the language however, according to a source of mine, while this is called a “national” plan, it does not actually include any plan for U.S. women. (I would love to be corrected on this if it is, in fact, untrue)

2) Women’s Economic Empowerment: Shifting the focus to women as drivers of economic empowerment and agents of change.  Also, to knock down barriers women face, including

  • -         A lack of meaningful decision making at every level
  • -         Women’s leadership in government
  • -         A lack of access to credit
  • -         A lack of access to education
  • -         Inheritance laws (I witnessed this bias first hand in my own family)
  • -         Marriage laws (Luckily, no pressure there!)

3) Adolescent Girls: This looks directly at child marriage and keeping girls in school, since by staying in they are more likely to have economic empowerment and more likely to support their community (as compared to men – not my words)

For more information about the CSW click here.

Questions/comments?  Post below or email me at clark.deanna@gmail.com

Keep up with me at www.fashioncompliance.com or:

On Twitter @fashcompliance

Monday, March 10, 2014

Does a Country With People Who Have Smaller Hands Have a Competitive Advantage in Apparel Manufacturing?

This was one of many thought provoking questions that came up during my recent discussion with Mr. Theo Samuels-Hunt, a Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce based in Philadelphia.

According to a source of his that did substantive training of the Chinese many decades ago in sewing and textile manufacturing,

“You can train anyone to sew but if you do not have an innate physical ability, e.g., smaller hands to do more delicate work, that work cannot be done.”

And apparently, the Chinese and Italians have smaller hands according to source, which enable them to do more detailed work, as would someone from Ethiopia or Somalia.


Other less anecdotal but equally interesting comments shared revolved around the many benefits for exporters who use his office.

Generally speaking, he works with companies to help them learn how to export and to find foreign buyers in overseas markets.  This typically means working with the overseas commercial officers in U.S. embassies who know the “movers and shakers” in the local foreign market and can therefore identify those companies that could be a “match” for the U.S. supplier looking to sell there.

U.S. manufacturers are eligible for his assistance when they have at least 50% of the value of their content as originating from the United States. 

50% does not mean that 50% of the raw materials of the product must originate from the U.S. but rather, this 50%+ figure takes into account the value of other variables that contribute to a product such as it’s
- Research and design
- Intellectual Property
- Marketing

Theo is in the “Textile, Apparel and Sports” team in his office which means he works particularly close with companies in these areas and in particular, those dealing in industrial textiles, which would include yarns and fabrics for articles like military garments, architectural fabrics such as for shades and blinds, shoe (leather) companies, automotive and space fabric made goods and even a well-known wedding gown manufacturer.

Interested in learning more about how to export?  Theo can be reached at theo.hunte@trade.gov

Questions/comments?  Post below or email me at clark.deanna@gmail.com
Keep up with me at www.fashioncompliance.com or:
On Twitter @fashcompliance

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Careers in International Trade Event March 20th 2:00 - 3:30 PM at SIBL

For anyone interested in the critical intersection between international trade and fashion law, this free event in NYC not to be missed!

Questions/comments?  Post below or email me at Clark.Deanna@gmail.com

Keep up with my at www.fashioncompliance.com

On Twitter @fashcompliance, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FashionCompliance