MOMENTUM BUILDS TO END PUERTO RICO, VIRGIN ISLANDS SED REQUIREMENT
Momentum is building within the U.S. shipping industry to change the practice of filing shipper’s export declarations in the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands trades.
Industry groups, such as the American Trucking Associations, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Air Transport Association, and American Association of Exporters and Importers, have already committed to change the law.
Under the U.S. Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations carriers are required to collect and submit SEDs to the U.S. government on behalf of the governments of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.
Last year’s release of the Census Bureau’s new exporter definition, the so-called “U.S. principal party in interest” rule, highlighted the industry’s dislike of the SED requirement for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands trades.
“Since they already have the information in these countries’ tax offices, filing SEDs is redundant,” said Michael R. White, director of facilitation for the Air Transport Association. “This is just paper on top of paper.”
But changing the rules is not expected to be easy. The industry will have to negotiate the changes with government officials in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Reliance of the SED data has become well entrenched in these countries. In Puerto Rico, for example, Census has an office to gather trade statistics from SEDs and compile them for the Puerto Rico Planning Board.