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Port Notes - 2 July 2019

From the Desk of Capt. Jeff Monroe, MM, AMPE

International Association of Maritime and Port Executives


"Made in China" catches the quick attention of US Customs but what about "Made in Vietnam?" While there are a number of commodities which are regulated and cannot be masked in regard to point of origin, other manufactured goods whose origins begin in China are undergoing final assembly in other Asian nations and coming in legally outside of tariff requirements. It is strictly illegal to re-label goods manufactured in one nation as a product of another but partially assembled products can be transshipped to other nations not under tariff restrictions for final assembly and considered manufactured in that nation once completed. Commodities moving out of China are headed to Vietnam and Indonesia, undergoing value added services and final assembly and then being reshipped to the United States. Manufacturers are also shifting manufacturing from China to nations such as Vietnam as China continues to feel the impact of US tariffs. In the first five months this year, exports to Vietnam from China of electronics, computers, and machinery and other equipment have sharply increased compared with a year earlier. In turn, so have exports of such goods from Vietnam to the U.S. according to Vietnamese trade data (Source: WSJ).

Exports from Vietnam increased by 7.5 percent from a year earlier to USD 21.50 billion in May 2019, boosted by higher sales of chemicals (57.3 pct); vegetables and fruits (15.8 percent); phones and components (19.5 percent); vegetables and fruits (15.8 percent); footwear (13.8 percent); and textiles and garments (10.8 percent). Exports in Vietnam averaged 6629.30 USD Million from 1990 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 23480 USD Million in August of 2018 compared to a record low of 537 USD Million in February of 1997 (Source: Trading Economics).

Exports from China rose 1.1 percent year-on-year to USD 213.85 billion in May 2019, recovering from a 2.7 percent decline in the previous month and defying market expectations of a 3.8 percent fall. The rebound in overseas sales came in amid efforts from companies to rush out shipments to avoid higher US tariffs. Sales rose for unwrought aluminum and aluminum products (10.5 percent); coke & semi-coke (4.8 percent); and rice (236.3 percent). In contrast, exports of steel products dropped 16.6 percent; while those of coal declined 39.6 percent. Exports of rare earths slumped 18.2 percent from a year ago. Among China's largest trade partners, exports rose to the EU (6.1 percent), ASEAN (3.5 percent), Taiwan (12.8 percent), Japan (0.5 percent), South Korea (1.8 percent) and Australia (2 percent). In contrast, sales to the US fell 4.2 percent. Exports in China averaged 633.22 USD HML from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2315.23 USD HML in December of 2017 and a record low of 12.50 USD HML in February of 1983 (Source: Trading Economics).


The IAMPE - in cooperation with the University of Maine Law School, University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center, and the Maine Port Authority - will offer a 1-day program for port and terminal attorneys, municipal attorneys, and legal professionals working or interested in the port industry. The seminar will cover a wide range of critical topics in this specialty area, and is being developed to provide CLE credits. Agenda to follow. Please contact for further information. The date for the program is Friday, October 4th from 0830 to 1700 (8:30AM-5PM).


The dates for the fall Tariff Seminar, Maritime Port Manager, and Maritime Port Executive seminars at the University of California Maritime Academy in Vallejo have been moved up one week. The Tariff Workshop (providing credit for Accredited Maritime Port Executive-AMPE) will now be held September 12th and 13th. The Maritime Port Manager (MPM) modules will be held September 16th and 17th, and the Maritime Port Executive (MPE) modules will be held from 18-20 September. Registration for all of September programs is now open, and will close on September 6th for all three seminars. Reserve your seat now at

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