China: Status quo, Turkey: Packaging regulations, USA: Customs regulations

Dear Sir or Madam,

China: Status quo

Now of all times ... According to the Chinese calendar, the year of the rat has begun. Technically, a good year. But its beginning has been shaped by the corona virus. Millions of people travel far and wide throughout the Middle Kingdom. This made it possible for the pathogen to initially spread uncontrollably from Wuhan and the province of Hubei.

What implications for import and export can be expected? For one thing, authorities are now implementing measures nationwide. The Chinese Lunar New Year holidays have been extended for factories, authorities and service providers. Normally, work would restart on 31.01.2020. In the regions Shanghai, Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu Province, the end of the holidays has been postponed until 09.02.2020. The target date in other regions of China and in Hong Kong is 02.02.2020. The exceptions to this are vital facilities such as water, electricity, gas supply etc. Secondly, shipping companies will react and expand probably blank sailings that werealready planned. It is already apparent that there will be a shortage of space for exports from Europe to the Far East from March. The graphic shows affected services to-date. Others could follow.

Pre- and onward carriage in China is often made across provinces. Bottlenecks can also occur here. Airlines are following developments very closely. Passenger numbers are falling. As such, this could lead to a reduction in passenger flights in particular. The rail link between China and Europe will gain more attention. 

The bottom line: Scaremongering would be out of place. Bottlenecksare foreseeable as of today. All parties involved in the supply chain should be prepared for this. Please contact your SENATOR branch in specific individual cases. We will seek solutions on a case-by-case basis: By ship, train and plane. The link to the German Chamber of Commerce in China is also helpful

Turkey: Packaging regulations

A new regulation for Turkey has been in force since 01.01.2020. It provides provisions for labelling wooden packaging. Only an unofficial translation is available as yet. The information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Turkey is titled "Heat treatment of wood packaging materials". Accordingly, in addition to the IPPC marking, additional information about the heat treatment should be included. This only applies to woodpackaging materials produced and treated in Turkey. According to research by the German Federation for Wood Packaging, Pallets & Export Packaging (HPE Bundesverband Holzpackmittel, Paletten, Exportverpackung e.V.) and the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Turkish treaters must stamp a traceability code on wooden packaging. Article 15 (c and ç) of the regulation stipulates that wood packaging material from other countries (outside of Turkey) marked according to ISPM 15 does not need any additional traceability marking. Link to the original text:

USA: Customs regulations

In the trade conflict between the USA and China, the signs point to an easing in tensions. However, products are still affected by punitive tariffs. The search engine recently published by the authorities is a good tool. The first 8 digits of the US tariff code can be used to determine whether a product is affected:

The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is a part of U.S. government levies. Customs increases minimum and maximum: Minimum USD 26.79 (previously USD 26.22) and maximum USD 519.76 (previously USD 508.70).

Regulations for signing a Power of Attorney (POA) have also changed. US customs authorities’ security policy is pursuing stricter measures. Licensed Customs Broker says: “Every POA must be accompanied by either a trade register excerpt for foreign importers (DDP) or a Secretary of State Registration for U.S. Importers. Both types of registrations need to prove who has legal authority to sign a POA.” Details can be found at:

We will gladly keep you informed.