The Diligence Report – Spring 2024

Young Company Newsletter

Dear valued clients and partners,

With the first quarter of 2024 behind us, we’ve entered a time of anticipation for us at ITC Diligence International Inc. Reflecting on the past year, we've seen significant strides in our industry, driven by collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to excellence that each member of our team embodies.

This edition of The Diligence Report highlights some of the key areas where our efforts have converged to foster growth, ensure compliance, and enhance operational efficiency within the trade and logistics sectors. From our active participation in the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) to our strategic responses to the evolving US-China tariff landscape, our dedication to supporting and advocating for the trade community is unwavering.

As you navigate through the updates and insights in this newsletter, I hope you find valuable information that resonates with your business needs and sparks conversations that lead to fruitful collaborations. We are committed to continuing our work with all stakeholders to address challenges and seize opportunities in the dynamic landscape of international trade.

Thank you for your trust and partnership. Together, we are setting the stage for another remarkable year, equipped with the knowledge and networks to thrive in the global market.

Warm regards,

David Harlow

President & CEO, ITC Diligence International Inc.

ITC Diligence’s Advocacy is Shaping the Future of FTZs

Supporting Trade and Growth at ITC Diligence International Inc.

As active members of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), ITC Diligence is excited to collaborate with industry peers to contribute to the NAFTZ's strategic goals over the next five years. Our commitment involves participating in specialized Working Groups, which are vital in shaping the future of trade policies and practices.

Focus Areas of Our Working Groups

These groups, distinguished by their specific focus areas, are designed to tackle unique challenges and opportunities within the foreign trade zone (FTZ) community:

Resource Allocation Advocacy: We are keen on providing insights into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) resource allocation to ensure that FTZs continue to thrive without negative impacts from federal policy shifts. Our goal is to safeguard the interests of the FTZ community by highlighting local effects and advocating for necessary funding and support in the upcoming fiscal years.

Zone Operations and Trade Policy: Recent changes in U.S. trade policy have posed challenges, particularly with regulations around goods suspected of forced labor. Our response has been to engage in constructive dialogue with CBP, aiming to find solutions that support both regulatory objectives and the needs of the FTZ community. This includes addressing the increase in Bonded Warehouse applications and seeking ways to manage these shifts without compromising the availability of FTZ spaces.



Enhancing Collaboration and Support

At ITC Diligence International, we understand the delicate balance required between enforcing regulations and fostering trade. By working closely with the NAFTZ and CBP, we strive to advocate effectively for the FTZ community, ensuring that our collective voice leads to practical solutions and sustained growth.

Our involvement with the NAFTZ and participation in these crucial Working Groups demonstrate our commitment to the enhancement and success of the FTZ program. We value the ongoing support of our clients and partners in these endeavors, and we look forward to making a positive impact together.

ITC Diligence International Inc. is Supporting the Solar Industry While Addressing Forced Labor Concerns in Xinjiang

In response to concerns about forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has taken significant steps under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). This legislation specifically targets exports suspected of being produced with forced labor, affecting industries such as chemicals, textiles, and notably, solar panels from Xinjiang.

ITC's Role Guiding and Advising Solar Panel Importers

ITC Diligence International Inc. actively supports businesses in navigating these new regulations by providing expert guidance on compliance. This includes assisting importers and exporters of solar panels to establish due diligence programs, assess risks associated with goods produced in Xinjiang, and prepare for CBP inquiries to prove their goods are free from forced labor.

Due to the complex nature of supply chains in the solar industry, ITC now advises using bonded warehouses as a strategic alternative to Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) for storing solar panels.

This shift ensures compliance with UFLPA while maintaining efficient logistics and supply chain integrity.

Supporting the Trade Community

As the global community intensifies its focus on ethical supply chains, ITC Diligence International remains committed to supporting transparency and compliance.

This ensures that our clients can confidently demonstrate their adherence to the UFLPA and other related regulations, particularly in the import and trade of solar panels.

For a detailed understanding of the implications of UFLPA and how it affects global trade, read the full article on ITC's website.

Boosting E-Commerce Competitiveness with Section 321 Coalition

ITC Diligence International Inc. has joined the Section 321 Coalition to address the challenges facing cross-border e-commerce trade, particularly for businesses operating within US Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). Current regulations under Section 321 offer significant economic benefits for e-commerce orders shipped from outside the US, but not for those coming from within FTZs.

The Need for Regulatory Change

The coalition aims to amend these regulations to allow shipments from US FTZs to also enjoy de minimis exemptions from duties and taxes for shipments valued below a certain threshold. This change would level the playing field, allowing US-based e-commerce businesses to remain competitive against foreign counterparts and maintain American jobs.

ITC Diligence International's Role

ITC Diligence International plays a critical role in guiding businesses through the complexities of FTZ operations and compliance, ensuring that they are poised to benefit from potential regulatory changes. The firm's expertise is instrumental in helping businesses adapt and thrive in a rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape.

For more detailed insights into how Section 321 impacts cross-border e-commerce and the efforts of the Section 321 Coalition, visit ITC's dedicated page on this topic.


Fun Fact: The Mighty MSC Irina

Imagine a ship so vast that it could carry the Eiffel Tower! As of January 2024, the MSC Irina holds the title for the world's largest container ship, with an incredible capacity of 24,346 TEU—that's Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units, a standard measure in the shipping industry. Stretching nearly 400 meters in length and over 60 meters wide, this colossal vessel can stack 26 layers of containers, making it a titan of maritime logistics.

The sheer scale of the MSC Irina highlights the remarkable capabilities of modern cargo ships, which are central to the global supply chain. These gigantic vessels enable the efficient, large-scale transportation of goods across oceans, bringing everything from electronics to furniture right to our doorsteps. The MSC Irina truly represents a triumph of engineering while underscoring the critical role these ships play in sustaining global trade and connectivity.

Client Spotlight: MHL Custom / Lift Foils

Revolutionizing Water Sports with Lift Foils

Lift Foils, a pioneer in hydrofoil technology, has transformed water sports with its innovative eFoil electric surfboards. Founded in 2010 in Puerto Rico, this family-run business combines cutting-edge technology and high-performance design to deliver unique experiences on the water. Lift Foils' products allow riders to glide above the surface with ease, supported by electric propulsion that ensures a quiet and smooth ride.

Collaboration with ITC Diligence International Inc.

ITC Diligence International Inc. assists Lift Foils in navigating the complexities of international trade and regulatory compliance. ITC’s expertise in foreign trade zones (FTZs) enables Lift Foils to optimize their manufacturing and distribution strategies, ensuring efficient and compliant operations across borders. This partnership highlights ITC's commitment to supporting innovative companies in leveraging global trade benefits effectively.

Benefits and Impact

At ITC Diligence International Inc., our partnership with Lift Foils showcases our commitment to supporting innovative companies in navigating the complexities of international trade. We provide Lift Foils with crucial guidance on customs compliance and effective use of foreign trade zones, ensuring their revolutionary eFoil boards reach global markets efficiently and legally. This strategic collaboration aids Lift Foils in expanding their reach while aligning with our mission to facilitate seamless international trade for cutting-edge products.