A Happy, and More Secure, 2009

Dec 31, 2008   

Instead of merely wishing its people a “Happy New Year” for 2009, U.S. government regulators have taken many recent actions to ensure that 2009 will be a more secure new year as well – secure from potential threats posed by foreign imports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently (CBP) enacted its “10+2” rule, more formally called the “Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements.” This rule requires U.S. importers to provide CBP with ten additional data elements (such as the manufacturer and country of origin) as part of import filings, and requires import vessel carriers to provide two extra pieces of information to the agency. The purpose of this rule is to enhance CBP’s ability to identify high-risk shipments – such as potential weapons for terrorists – before they enter the United States.

Similarly, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was signed into law in 2008 and gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission powerful new tools to safeguard us from hazardous imported products. The CPSIA is primarily aimed at protecting children from imported toys and other products, which may contain hazardous substances such as lead and other contaminants. It requires that manufacturers – including importers – and private labelers of certain products certify (by issuing a certificate that accompanies the product) that the products comply with all applicable consumer product safety rules.

Joining the fight against potential threats posed by hazardous, imported products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Protection Plan targets the $49 billion worth of food imported into the United States each year, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is busy safeguarding the meat, poultry, egg product, and agricultural commodities coming over our borders every day.

Does all of this regulation make us more secure?

We know so. We have seen melamine-laced consumer products stopped at our ports and disease-infested meats denied entry to the U.S. We have first-hand knowledge of dangerous materials being intercepted by CBP and unsafe medical products kept from entering U.S. commerce.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of these government regulators and the men and women serving at our borders, like you, we are looking forward to a happy, prosperous and more secure 2009.

Best wishes to all of our friends and clients in the coming year!

For more information on how Fuerst Ittleman can assist you in meeting these requirements or your other regulatory or legal needs, please contact us at 305 350 5690 or contact@fidjlaw.com.