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Legal, Government and Regulations

Companies of any size cannot do business with having to be aware of the legal, government and regulatory issues that affect them. These articles will examine some of the topics that affect supply chain management strategies and decisions.

Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations
Hazardous materials are transported across the US every day. The responsibility for safety lies with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the Department of Transportation (DoT), and they have developed the FMCSA Hazardous Materials Program. This article examines the regulations, the responsibilities of each...

EPA Regulations and Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry in the US has been affected by the new regulations that have been passed by a number of government agencies over the last thirty years. Approximately 2,183 unique regulations had been passed that affect the growth of the manufacturing sector. The EPA has passed 972 new regulations since 1981 at an estimated cost of $117 billion. This article looks at some of the EPA regulations that affect the manufacturing industry in the US.

Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created on December 2nd, 1970 after years of discussion on the environment. In 1969, President Nixon established the Environmental Quality Council, as well as a complementary Citizens' Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality. The summer of 1970 saw a number of hearings on the creation of the EPA, but by the end of September the final subcommittees had approved the EPA proposal.

Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) was published to harmonize rules for each of nine transactional areas that pertain to commerce and commercial law. The UCC has been adopted in full or partially in all fifty states, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. This article looks at the articles that make up the UCC.

Corporate Sustainability Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined by the European Commission (EC) as when "companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders". This article looks at the aspects of corporate sustainability responsibility.

Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the British food safety watchdog which was set up in 2000 to be responsible for food safety and hygiene across the United Kingdom. After a number of issues with food borne illnesses, such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as "mad cow disease". The FSA works with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations.

Foreign Trade Zones
The Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) was created in the United States to allow special customs procedures for US companies engaged in international trade-related activities. This article examines the history and benefits of the foreign trade zone.

California Unfair Competition Law
The first California Unfair Competition Law was enacted in 1933 and was based on the Federal Trade Commission laws which prohibited unfair trade practices. In 1992, the California legislature amended the law to expand the definition of unfair competition to include "any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice”. This article examines some of the recent lawsuits filed using the Unfair Competition Law.

Hours of Service Regulations
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who operate vehicles are subject to a set of regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The regulations govern the working hours of drivers, such as limiting the number of hours spent driving, and regulates the minimum amount of time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts.

Manufacturing and Transport Regulations
Manufacturing industry in the US has been adversely affected by regulations that have been passed by government agencies over the past last thirty years. There have been many transport regulations such as the fuel economy standards that have affected the manufacturing industry to the tune of $25 billion. This article looks at some of the transport regulations that affect the manufacturing sector in the US.

Cargo Screening and the 9/11 Commission Act
In 2007 Congress passed the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act. For the shipping industry the relevant part of the law was that all cargo transported on a passenger aircraft was to be screened for explosives as of August 1, 2010. As of this year all inbound shipments are required to be screened. This article looks at the efforts around cargo screening.

Safe and Efficient Transportation Act
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act was re-introduced for the fifth year running in the US Congress to increase truck weight from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds. There are many opinions on both sides of the argument. This article looks at the potential advantages and disadvantages of the potential new law.

Fair Labor Association
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) is an organization dedicated to protect workers’ rights and to improve working conditions. The FLA works with the world’s leading brands who have committed to ensuring fair labor practices and safe and humane working conditions throughout their supply chains. This article looks at the mission of the Fair Labor Association.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Manufacturing
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, sometimes called SOX, actually refers to the federal law, The American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002. It was introduced after the Enron and Worldcom scandals where billions of investor’s money was lost when the share price of these public firms became worthless. This article looks at how Sarbanes-Oxley has affected the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing and Labor Regulations
The Manufacturing industry in the US has been affected by many regulations that have been passed by a number of government agencies over the past last thirty years. The Department of Labor have introduced a number of regulations under OSHA and the National Labor Relations Board which employers see as over-regulation and detrimental to the industry. This article looks at some of those labor regulations that affect the manufacturing sector.

Fair Trade
Fair Trade is a trading partnership that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to small business producers and workers in developing nations. This article looks at aspects of the Fair Trade and ethical trade.

NAFTA and Agriculture
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented on January 1st, 1994 and is an agreement to remove both tariffs and investment barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Agricultural imports and exports are a significant component of the NAFTA agreement and this article examines the agricultural trade between the three NAFTA partners.

Hazardous Materials
Hazardous material has to be transported from one facility to another, either by road, sea or air. The Department of Transport provides and enforces regulations that ensure safe transportation of hazardous materials in the United States. This article examines the different classes of hazardous materials are transported on US highways.

Novel Food Processing
In the United Kingdom, there is a non-statutory, independent body of scientific experts that advises the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on any matters relating to novel foods and novel food processing. This body is called the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) and carries out safety assessments of any novel food or process submitted for approval under the European Community novel food regulations.

Reporting a Hazardous Material Incident
When carriers load, transport and unload hazardous materials, the unexpected can happen even when all safety procedures have been followed. When an incident occurs the shipper and their employees need to be aware of what to do, and who to report the incident to. This article examines the reporting required for hazardous material incidents.

Road Haulage Certificate of Professional Competence
Across Europe road haulage operators and drivers are now subject to regulations from the European Union regarding qualifications. Council Directive 96/26/EC has been implemented to harmonize the diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications that relate to road haulage and road passenger transport operations. This article...

Emissions Trading Scheme
The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is an initiative launched in the European Union (EU) that is part of the overall scheme to reduce climate change by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). The scheme is aimed at reducing emissions in a cost-effective manner so it does not impose a financial burden on companies and therefore gain...

Restructuring the USPS
After 237 years, the USPS finds itself in a crippling financial where its future is in doubt. There have been many suggestions on the future of the postal service in the United States, which includes privatizing parts of the USPS or letting the USPS go into receivership. This article looks at some of the solutions that have been proposed to help...

Speed Limit Management
In the US, a third of all fatal crashes are caused by excessive speed. Although most people think that accidents that are attributable to excessive speed occur on freeways, the fact is that almost half of those accidents occur on local roads or lower speed roads. This article examines some of the measures being proposed for speed limit management.

European Megatrucks
The US is considering longer and heavier vehicles to be allowed to travel along the interstate highway. Currently the weigh limit is 80,000 pounds, but in some European countries the limit is far greater, up to almost 133,000 pounds. This article looks at the megatruck that could be a common sight on European roads in the next decade, if...

Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP)
The US government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) has a central role in determining the policies and practices that federal agencies use to purchase the goods and services they need. This document looks at the OFPP and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBR)
In February 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking which mandated electronic onboard recorders (EOBR) for all commercial motor vehicles that operate in interstate commerce. The EOBR will be key to implementing the hours of service (HOS) regulations that will come into affect in 2013.

National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency that is determines the probable cause of transportation accidents, as well as promoting transportation safety. This article examines the different offices with the NTSB and the safety recommendations they make.

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
OHSA has implemented the latest Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) which now conforms to the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). According to the Department of Labor, nearly 70 percent of all OSHA violations involve the HCS. It is hoped that the implementation of the new HCS will reduce this and make it safer for workers to do their jobs.

Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Program
In 2004 the Environmental Protection Agency launched the SmartWay program. The program has created a partnership between government, business and consumers to encourage protection of the environment and improvement of air quality by reduce fuel consumption and lessen the carbon footprint. This article looks at the Smartway program and some of the important elements for freight companies.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as an identification credential for all workers requiring unescorted access of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA.

L-1 Visa
Technology companies in the US have experienced a shortage of skilled workers and laws have been passed to allow foreign workers into the US to perform certain jobs for a given period of time. The H-1B visa is the most well known of the foreign worker visas, but for some companies they can use the L-1 visa to bring to the US workers who have worked for the same company overseas.

Classification of Forklift Trucks
The forklift truck has been around for a little under a century, but today it is found in every warehouse operation around the world. Developed as a result of manpower shortages the forklift evolved from a tractor with attachments to the vehicle used today. Recent technology has led to new hybrid vehicles that are environmentally friendly. This article looks at the different classes of forklifts.

Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP)
The 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, required that by February 3rd, 2009, fifty percent of all cargo carried on passenger aircraft in the US had to go through a security screening. The TSA developed the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), a voluntary program designed to move the screening process to shippers, third-party logistics providers, air forwarders, and independent screening services.

H-1B Visa
Many technology and manufacturing companies in the US lack experienced workers or personnel that have a certain skill set. In order to allow foreign nationals to work in the US to fill this gap, the US government introduced the H-1B visa in 1990. Since then over two million H-1B visas have been issued by the US State Department through consular offices around the world.

US Export Regulations
Companies that want to export items from the United States need to understand that their exports fully comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements. Compliance involves the no-export of controlled goods and technologies and the restrictions on shipping to certain countries, companies, organizations, and individuals. This article exaplains some of the regulations that apply.

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency implemented a partnership with private companies after the events of 9/11 to help protect the global supply chain. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) was launched in November 2001, with just seven major importing companies and now includes over 7400 members. This article examines the basics of the C-TPAT program

Hazardous Materials In The Warehouse
Hazardous materials are often found in a warehouse. These materials can be either raw materials or finished goods depending on the nature of your company’s products. However, a hazardous material is one that is capable of producing harmful physical effects . This article examines the subject od hazardous materials in your warehouse and the...

International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS)
International commercial terms or Incoterms are a series of sales terms that are used by businesses throughout the world. Incoterms are used to make international trade easier. They are used to divide transaction costs and responsibilities between buyer and seller. This article describes in detail the thirteen incoterms that can be used.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
ITAR stands for International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and the U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense items, defense services or related technical data all have to be ITAR compliant or ITAR certified. This article examines some of requirements of ITAR.

ISO 9000 Certification
In recent years many companies have been through the experience of becoming ISO 9000 certified. Sometimes this can be long and expensive process, but businesses are willing to go through certification for the benefits it brings. This article looks at the procedure that a company must follow to achieve ISO 9000 certification.

Defense Acquisition
The Department of Defense spends vasts amount of money on outside contractors and equipment manufacturers each year. To help purchasing professionals there is the Defense Acquisition Guidebook which aims to help with the purchasing process for military spending.

Product Recall
At some point during the product lifecycle a manufacturer may have to issue a product recall. The normal reason for a product recall is because of safety issues. This may be a safety issue caused by a manufacturing problem or by a faulty component supplied by a vendor. This article looks at all aspects of product recalls.

US Child Labor Laws
Child labor laws have been enacted in the US over the past 100 years, but in many parts of the world, child labor contributes a major part of a country’s gross domestic product. The International Labor Organization estimates that over 211 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative.

Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) was a database that was maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA) that identified suppliers and vendors excluded from receiving Federal contracts and benefits. The system had issues and was replaced by the System for Award Management (SAM) in 2012.

Government Purchasing
The purchasing power of national governments is immense. In developed nations, government purchasing can be as much as fifteen percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). In the US, the GDP is over $15 trillion, which means the combined purchases of government entities is over $2.3 trillion per year.

Securing Cargo
To ensure that the loads they carry are safe and secure, there are measures that should be taken. If the load is not balanced or secure, this can pose an accident threat to other vehicles on the highway. When a cargo vehicle applies its brakes, the secured cargo will try to continue in its original direction independently of the truck, unless it is properly secured.

Uniform Trade Secrets Act
The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) was published by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) 1979 and amended in 1985. It has created trade secret protection for industry that covers all fifty states. The UTSA does not cover trade secrets internationally and each country has its own laws.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is aimed to be a trade agreement that covers a number of countries in the pacific rim region and aimed at reducing tariff reduction and increasing trade promotion. this article looks at the benefits and the issues for the negotiations.

Item Unique Identification (IUID)
Item Unique Identification, commonly known as IUID, was developed to streamline the implementation of unique identification technology across the numerous supply chains of Department of Defense (DoD). An item will have the same unique identifier from its purchase to its disposal.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
For companies that export items abroad the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) is important guide that should be adhered to. The EAR is administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which strictly enforces the EAR. The BIS regulate the export and re-export of many commercial items that also have a military or proliferation application.

Interstate Highway System
The supply chain in the United States depends in a great part on the movement of raw materials and finished goods from vendor to customer and finally to the consumer. The majority of products in the United States are moved by commercial vehicle along the Interstate Highway System which includes 47,000 miles of freeways, highways and expressways....

UK Motorway System
The British motorway system is important to the transportation of goods across England, Wales and Scotland. With limited air cargo within the UK, the road network is vital to the movement of goods. This article examines the history of the motorway system in the United Kingdom.

Autobahn System In Germany
The Bundesautobahn system, commonly known as the autobahn, is well known across the world as roads that have no speed limit, but that is not actually the case. Around forty percent of the BAB has no speed limit, while the other sixty percent has a variety of speed limits depending on the area. This article will examine the history of the...

Guestworker Visa Program
The guestworker visa program is there to give visas for seasonal and temporary workers to perform agricultural and non-agricultural work for US employers. The visas should be for a maximum of one year, and should be used where there are not enough able, willing, and qualified US workers. Many groups believe this visa program is being exploited and US workers are being denied employment opportunities.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972 established the Equal Employment Opportunity program, which was designed to guarantee fair treatment to all parts of American society without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or sex. The act was aimed at removing all discrimination when it applied to employment.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is aimed to prevent contamination of the food supply chain rather than reacting to the events after they occur. The FDA has with new enforcement authorities that have been designed to achieve higher rates of compliance with prevention and risk based food safety standards.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is to expand US trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to stimulate economic growth, encourage economic integration, and help facilitate sub-Saharan Africa's integration into the global supply chain. Currently the US imports almost $20 billion of goods from 37 nations eligible for the AGOA.

Introduction to NAFTA
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented on January 1st, 1994 and is an agreement to remove both tariffs and investment barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as encourage further trade. This article looks at the benefits and disadvantages of the NAFTA agreement.

Protecting the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 40 million prescriptions were filled in 2007 with counterfeit medicine. California is at the forefront of the effort to secure the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain. This article examines California's push to implement electronic pedigree, an electronic record that contains information regarding each pharmaceutical transaction.

Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA)
The Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) was passed to protect public health by regulating the public drinking water supply. Modifications to the Act now includes the sources of drinking water such as rivers, reservoirs, lakes, springs, and ground water wells. The SWDA gives the responsibility of protecting the water supply to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Electronic Data Agreement and the Supply Chain
The electronic data agreement (EDA) should govern how the parties transmit and receive electronic data. At the center of the agreement, a company is making important decisions regarding ownership, security and privacy. The article examines how the EDA and the legal aspects of financial data that supply chain managers will need to consider.

Building an Ethical Supply Chain
Companies will try to do business in an ethical manner. However today that may need to change as consumers, investors and regulators expect a company's complete supply chain to be ethical. This article discusses the requirement for a company to build an ethical supply chain, taking ethics and compliance to the furthest reaches of its supply chain.

Legal Issues in the Logistics Function
Legal issues can cause apparantly simple decisions to be made complex. This article shows how legal issues have caused problems for company's logistics function.

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