Supply Chain News / Green Matters / Warehousing

Import Assessment on Paper, Paper Packaging Effective March 1, 2014

The order makes paper and paper-based packaging products subject to an initial assessment rate of $0.35 per short ton.

Domestic manufacturers and importers of paper and paper-based packaging have approved a new Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order. The new order was approved through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) referendum with an approval of 85 percent of those participating, which represented 95 percent of the volume of product covered. The order makes paper and paper-based packaging products subject to an initial assessment rate of $0.35 per short ton (2000 lbs). The assessment will pay for the marketing and education of consumers regarding the renewability, recyclability and reusability of paper and paper-based products, which will expand markets for the industry. The order and assessments are effective Mar. 1, 2014.

The program will cover four industry segments: printing and writing (except for newsprint); kraft packaging paper (used for products, such as grocery bags and sacks); containerboard (used to make shipping containers and related products); and paperboard (used for food and beverage packaging, tubes and other miscellaneous products). The assessment will be charged to U.S. manufacturers and importers of paper products at a rate of $.000386/kg on Customs entries that include the applicable HTS numbers found in Volume 79, Number 14 of the Federal Register.

A 12-member Paper and Paper-based Packaging Board, nominated by the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Panel, will administer the program under the supervision of AMS. Domestic paper and paper-based packaging manufacturers will pay the assessment directly to the board. Importer assessments will be collected through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If CBP does not collect the assessment, the importer is responsible for paying the assessment directly to the Board within 30 days following the end of the quarter in which the goods were imported. At this time, CBP has not completed programming to allow collection of this assessment on Customs entries and a timeline for automated payment has not been made available.

Exemptions are available to companies that import and/or manufacture less than 100,000 short tons of these paper products per year. To determine eligibility for an exemption, companies will need to assess their U.S. production and U.S. imports, or tally both if they are importers and manufacturers, of the paper products subject to the assessment. The new rule also excludes carbonless paper, tissue paper, newsprint or converted products, and manufacturers that are USDA-certified “organic producers” under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Importers should apply to the board for exemptions.

Deringer will provide additional guidance regarding method of payment, as well as additional information as it becomes available. Please visit the Federal Register.

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