PierPass Fees Increase 8/1/19 – C-TPAT Legislation Introduced to Show Benefits

PierPass Fees at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Will Increase Effective August 1, 2019

Members of the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA) announced that the PierPass fee will increase on August 1, 2019 to $32.12 per TEU, and $64.24 per FEU (40FT equivalent unit).

According to the Pier Pass Org, This fee is called the PierPass Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) and applies for both day and night cargo, across all hours of operation. The TMF applies to non-exempt containers; exempt containers include empty containers, import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt from the TMF. PierPass does not set a fee for less than container load shipments. NVOCCs who impose a PierPass fee for LCL shipments and/or a PierPass handling fee must file these fees in their FMC tariff rules, or clearly note these in their tariff rates or NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs).

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) first authorized The West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA) under FMC Agreement No. 201143 in June 2003. In 2005 the WCMTOA was amended to allow its members to create PierPass, Inc. and implement the “OffPeak program” to reduce severe cargo-related congestion on streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. OffPeak established regular weeknight night and Saturday work shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at marine terminals and implemented the PierPass TMF. In November 2018 FMC approved the change of the TMF to the current flat fee for container moves on all shifts, known as PierPass 2.0.

Legislation Introduced to Show Quantifiable Benefits for C-TPAT Members

According to JOC, Legislation was introduced in Congress Monday, 7/15, that would force US Customs and Border Protection to show quantifiable benefits to parties involved in Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). The legislation also provides protection to “mitigate economic hardships” if a company is suspended or kicked out.

The bill calls for the first re-authorization of the C-TPAT program in 13 years. House bill 3719 would address two key complaints among cargo owners and transportation providers regarding C-TPAT program: murky benefits for onerous program requirements and concerns over backlash if suspended of expelled per the JOC.com.

Language in the bill would also give members a way to mitigate the financial pain of being suspended or expelled from the program. The legislation would also create a mechanism to suspend or expel members if they fail to meet minimum security requirements, provide false or misleading information, or pose a threat to national security.

Customs maintains C-TPAT-verified importers are three-and-a-half times less likely to have their shipments examined by the agency, seven times less likely to see their cargo go through extensive examination and are eligible for priority treatment during major supply chain disruption. Some shippers, however, have argued the program’s requirements and potential costs outweigh the agency’s assurances.

“The C-TPAT Re-authorization Act is the most significant legislative expansion of trade facilitation measures in several years,” said Michael Mullen, executive director of the Express Association of America, representing DHL, FedEx, and UPS. “By defining and increasing the benefits of C-TPAT membership, the bill will prove to be an impetus for more companies to join the program with a subsequent increase in supply chain security.”

C-TPAT is a voluntary program and has been joined by thousands of shippers, carriers, and non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) who commit to maintaining a safe supply chain and submit to periodic audits in return for receiving a lower risk score on their shipments, which would result in fewer inspections and cargo delays. There is a tangible benefit to that beyond supply chain disruption because inspections result in added costs to the shipper both for the inspection itself and any detention and demurrage costs that result.

Source: JOC

Number of CBP Bond Insufficiency Notices Continues to Escalate

The slew of trade remedies now faced by U.S. importers continues to push up the number of bond insufficiency notices being issued by CBP, said Colleen Clarke, vice president-business development at Roanoke Insurance Group, during a discussion at the American Association of Exporters and Importers Annual Conference in Washington June 27. “From 2006 through 2017, there were about 2,000 insufficiencies on average, annually,” she said. “In 2018, there were 5,900. In 2019, just through June, six months, there’s been 6,200.” If that trend continues, there may be some 12,000 insufficiency notices for the year, which would be a six-fold increase from before the trade remedies, she said.