Bordallo to San Nicolas: Guam’s Placement Outside U.S. Customs Zone “Consistent With Preference of Local Leaders”

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Guam – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has written to Senator Michael San Nicolas pointing out that the current federal law placing Guam outside the U.S. Customs zone “is consistent with previous preferences expressed by our local leaders.

The Congresswoman was responding to a letter written from Senator  San Nicolas in which he asked her to introduce legislation that would recognize Guam as a domestic destination for goods shipped to the island from the U.S. mainland.

He argued that reducing the bureaucratic process and costs of having to fill out customs form every time something was shipped to Guam would “improve product availability, delivery times, and potentially lower costs.”

Read Congresswoman Bordallo’s response letter to Senator San Nicolas HERE

In her response, Bordallo writes that she recognizes the “frustrations that this classification has caused” and that she is “open to having a broader discussion” with San Nicolas, but she cautions that “it is important for local leaders to fully consider the ramifications and potential impacts that including Guam in the U.S. Customs zone will have.”

READ Senator San Nicolas’ response to Congresswoman Bordallo HERE 

In response, San Nicolas writes that he seeks only a re-definition of  Guam’s classification.

San Nicolas writes that he believes “that legislation can be crafted to maintain our status as outside of the U.S. customs zone for goods transiting from Guam to the U.S., and inside the U.S. customs zone for goods transiting to Guam to the U.S.” 

San Nicolas says he recognizes that “this type of dual classification … is unique” but Guam’s circumstances are unique as well “so defining the uniqueness through federal legislation to improve commerce for Guam would be a public service that only you can provide.”

READ Senator San Nicolas’s release in FULL below:

Senator San Nicolas responds to Congresswoman Bordallo and seeks Congressional Action to make shipping to Guam from the United States easier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2013

Senator Michael F.Q. San Nicolas responded to Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo regarding his request for legislative action over the process of shipping inbound goods from the United States to Guam.  Congresswoman Bordallo responded to Senator San Nicolas’s initial request for legislative action by saying in part:

“Current federal law places Guam outside the U.S. customs zone and is consistent with previous preferences expressed by our local leaders… However it is important for local leaders to fully consider the ramifications and potential impacts that including Guam in the U.S. customs zone will have on our community.”

In response, Senator San Nicolas said, “I believe that legislation can be crafted to maintain our status as outside of the U.S. customs zone for goods transiting from Guam to the U.S., and inside the U.S. customs zone for goods transiting to Guam from the U.S.  While this type of dual classification as proposed is unique, our existing circumstances are already unique, so defining the uniqueness through federal legislation to improve commerce for Guam would be a public service that only you can provide.”

Senator San Nicolas continued his call for Congresswoman Bordallo to introduce legislation which would recognize Guam as a domestic destination for the shipment of inbound goods from the contiguous United States.

“…[T]his type of classification would not be of detriment to the United States as it would improve the ability for contiguous merchants to access our markets, while still protecting and enforcing all applicable duties and tariffs on goods that flow from Guam to the U.S.  For benefit of our people, this proposed dual classification will still maintain our status as a duty-free destination for international goods and increase the availability of domestic U.S. goods for our people and local businesses, all while maintaining our existing customs autonomy,” said Senator San Nicolas.