Miami-Based Trade is Booming (So is Enforcement)

Jun 18, 2010   

WorldCity, a Miami, Florida, media company focused on the impact of global trade “ and a strategic partner of Fuerst Ittleman “ reported on June 16, 2010 that import and export trade through South Florida ports is showing double-digit growth in 2010. From the Ports of Key West north to Palm Beach County, exports rose by more than 14% and imports surged by more than 26% through April.

This resurgence in trade is welcome relief following 2009, which saw record drops in trade activity in the Miami District. Tony Ojeda, executive director of Miami-Dade’s International Trade Consortium commented in a Miami Herald article, “I think 2009 didn’t exist. It was a terrible year for all of us. But this year, there’s a feeling of optimism.”

While many trade exports pin most of the trade growth on the revival of moribund Latin American economies, trade through the Miami Customs District with other countries such as the Bahamas, China and Switzerland are on pace to set new records in 2010. Moreover, the overall Latin American economy did not suffer as much as that of the United States and Europe in the recession which began in 2008.

Adding fuel to the resurgence in local trade is a significant increase in commerce between China and Latin America “ trade which very often transits the ports of the Miami area. Ojeda pointed out that Taiwan is planning to bring a 40-member delegation to South Florida later this summer. “They are very interested in establishing a foothold here in Miami to serve as their gateway to Latin America,” he told the Miami Herald.

Trade Enforcement is Increasing as Well

Yet hand-in-hand with this resurgence in trade is a surge in enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the other federal agencies which monitor imports and exports such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

CBP recently announced the seizure of almost $220 million counterfeit goods “ in April 2010 alone “ as part of a focused enforcement effort against intellectual property rights violations. Compare this number with fiscal year 2009, in which CBP seized a total of $260 million in counterfeit merchandise.

Similar enforcement initiatives by Investigative and Enforcement Services, an arm of USDAs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, have resulted in increased fines and penalties for importers introducing invasive species and not conforming to phytosanitary requirements. The FDA has also jumped on the enforcement bandwagon targeting importers of food products and medical devices for increased scrutiny.

For guidance on how your import/export business, or related business, can take advantage of the surging trade economy while maintaining strong regulatory compliance, contact Fuerst Ittleman at 305-350-5690 or