Protect Your Cargo from the Hot Summer Temperatures!

The summer of 2018 has brought record breaking heat temperatures to countries around the world. Currently, Norway, Sweden, and Finland are experiencing intense heat with temperatures skyrocketing to over 20 degrees above the average for this time of year. Scandinavia is not the only area experiencing record heat. Britain is coming off of its third longest heat wave in history and drought conditions extending from Glasgow to Wales have plagued much of the UK this year. In the United States, the conditions are no different, with higher than average heat temperatures being reported from New England to California.

With all this heat comes the extra worry of cargo protection. For cargo that is temperature sensitive, remember to ship in a temperature controlled container or use thermal blankets. Keep in mind that WSSA can provide temperature coverage for all your beverage shipments that are shipped in insulated containers.

For more information on the Scandinavian heat wave, click here and to read about record heat around the world, visit this link. If you would like to obtain temperature coverage for your cargo through WSSA, please contact us!


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Mexico Announces New Tandem Truck Rule

Late last month the Mexican Transport and Communications Ministry implemented a new transportation rule regulating double articulated trucks (also known as tandems). The new regulation, which went into effect June 27, 2018, requires tandem truck units to acquire and display a sticker proving their authorization to travel as a tandem unit across Mexican Territory.


Many steamship lines are making customers aware of this new regulation by sending out regular communication bulletins and instructions on how to obtain the stickers. They are also warning customers that this new rule may bring about a shortage of equipment and that loads that have previously been traveling as tandem may now have to transit as singles. Albatrans Mexico is also working with all of our shippers and truckers to explain the situation and work through these new regulations, but we do expect delays and increased costs.


To read the full version of this new rule, please click here.


If you have any questions or concerns about this new regulation, please contact us.


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Trucking Strike in Italy

Our office in Italy has made us aware that trucking companies and the VTE Genova terminal have called for a strike beginning tomorrow, July 12, 2018, until Tuesday, July 17, 2018. During this time, transportation and delivery delays may occur.

As always, we will keep you informed of any delays that will impact our customers’ containers. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.


il porto di genova, container

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Trade War Heats Up!

The trade war is escalating quickly as China has retaliated against Trump’s trade regulations on over $34 billion of Chinese goods. Tariffs on Chinese goods went into effect Friday morning at 12:00am EST and China quickly countered with regulations of their own. A wider range of US goods will be impacted including vehicles, soybeans, beef, and other agricultural products. While it may take some time for the impact of these tariffs to be felt by US consumers, disruptions within supply chains and rising costs on pre-fabricated goods can be expected.

China, however, is not the only entity to recently impose tariffs on US goods.  The EU, Canada, and Mexico have all jumped on board to send the message to US political leadership. A recent example of that is the EU-imposed 25% tariff on whiskey and bourbon imports from the USA. This tariff which went into effect June 22, 2018, has the potential to cause the whiskey industry a serious financial blow and negatively impact small scale distillers around the country.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates when applicable. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.


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New Surcharges July 1st

Many carriers have instituted Emergency Bunker surcharges and Cost Recovery measures that went into effect July 1, 2018. The new charges are in response to the overall increase in fuel costs over the last year and continued attempts to get rates to a sustainable level. Vessels in many wine and spirits trades are sailing at 100 percent capacity and often overbooked.

The rising fuel costs are continuing to impact pickup and delivery costs on a global scale. Coupled with congestion and driver shortages in many locations, the industry is expected to see difficulties and rising costs through the summer and into peak season.

If you have any questions, please contact us or your Albatrans representative.


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Breaking News: Initial Guidelines for Importers to Receive Tax Refunds!

The CBP has finally released the long-awaited guidelines on the implementation of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act of 2017. We have provided the guidelines below for your reference. They are also available on the CBP website by clicking the link below.

CSMS# 18-000403 – Implementing the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017

06/27/2018 09:36 AM EDT

Ocean Manifest


Effective January 1, 2018, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017 (CBMA) (as contained in Pub. L. No. 115-97) amended the Internal Revenue Code with respect to the tax treatment of certain alcoholic beverages. Since passage of the CBMA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of the Treasury have worked together to coordinate implementation of the CBMA for imports. The provisions of the CBMA are effective during calendar years 2018 and 2019.

The CBMA requires that procedures be established governing how an importer can receive a reduced tax rate on qualifying distilled spirits or beer, or receive a tax credit on qualifying wine. On January 31, 2018, CBP issued Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) #18-000103, which stated that, until such procedures are established and guidance issued, importers of beer, wine, and distilled spirits seeking to qualify for excise tax relief, based on qualifying assignments made by a foreign producer, should continue to pay the full excise tax rates.

Under the CBMA, reduced tax rates and/or tax credits are applicable to importations of certain limited quantities of distilled spirits, beer, or wine imported from each qualifying foreign producer. Further, the foreign producer must have affirmatively assigned those rates or tax credits to an importer or importers and the quantity assigned to all importers by that producer may not exceed the quantities allowed by law. As a result, for an importer to be eligible to receive a reduced tax rate or a tax credit, the importer must be able to substantiate that the foreign producer has assigned an allotment of its reduced tax rate or tax credits to the distilled spirits, beer, or wine imported by that importer.


Importers will continue to pay the full excise tax rate at time of entry summary filing. CBP and Treasury are considering amending current regulations (19 CFR 24.36) to allow CBP to issue refunds owed pursuant to the CBMA on entries when appropriate. These amendments to 19 CFR 24.36 would apply to entries that have not been finally liquidated and would be retroactive.

In anticipation of the new regulations, CBP suggests importers file protests on liquidated entries for which a CBMA reduced tax rate or credit may be due. Such protests should, at a minimum, include an Excel spreadsheet with information including entry number(s), line number(s) and the following information by line number: producer, alcohol type (beer, wine, cider or distilled spirits), tax rate or credit assigned and requested, and quantity claimed for tax rate or credit.

Refund requests will be processed no earlier than January 15, 2019.

Post Summary Corrections (PSCs) must not to be utilized for requesting refunds until 19 CFR 24.36 has been updated and necessary programming completed. The CBP Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers) will reject any PSCs pursuant to CBMA claims pending a regulatory change to 19 CFR 24.36.

Once the regulations are amended and CBP commences accepting CBMA refund requests, importers will need to identify entry summary lines that they believe qualify for excise tax relief under the CBMA. This identification will serve as the importer’s request for relief. CBP plans to develop a flag at the entry summary line level in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) that importers may utilize to request a refund. Further instructions will be published via CSMS once CBP is capable of accepting refund requests.

For the importer to substantiate its eligibility to receive the reduced tax rates or the tax credits and meet its reasonable care obligations, its internal records should, at a minimum, include:

– Foreign producer’s name;

– Foreign producer’s manufacturing facility address and FSMA registration number;

– Number of barrels of beer, number of gallons of wine, and number of proof gallons of distilled spirits eligible for each reduced rate/tax credit assigned to the importer for the calendar year by the representative of the foreign producer authorized to assign its allotment, and documentation showing that quantity as assigned to that specific importer;

– Contact information for such authorized representative; and

– Statement from the authorized representative of the qualifying foreign producer that the number of barrels or wine/proof gallons assigned by the foreign producer (including any members of a controlled group) to all importers for the calendar year does not exceed the quantities allowed by law and does not exceed the foreign producers capacity.

Importers who are assigned reduced tax rates and/or tax credits from multiple foreign producers should maintain in their records the above information applicable to each foreign producer.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact

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Strike Scheduled for French Ports

Union workers in France have called for a nationwide strike Thursday, June 28, 2018. The work stoppage could potentially cause transportation disruptions impacting rail, air, and ocean shipments, and even public transportation. As all French ports are involved in the strike, we are working hard to mitigate any delays this may cause to current bookings.

According to the union representatives, the intent of the strike is to fight for the rights of the workers, students, and the unemployed.

We will stay abreast of this situation and keep you informed of any changes or resolutions that may arise.


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