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5 Things Every New Exporter Should Worry About

8/26/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Basics

Twenty years ago, it took some effort to become an exporter. Today, primarily due to the World Wide Web, you can market your products and services around the globe without even trying. In fact, if your company has a website, you already are!

But just because it may be just as easy for someone in Tunisia to order your products online as it is for a person in Topeka, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to be a successful exporter. Being an accidental exporter is easy; being a successful exporter—one who makes money, grows a business, and stays out of trouble—takes some work.

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Combining Line Items on the Shipper's Letter of Instruction

8/25/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Let’s say you’re creating a shipment in Shipping Solutions export software, and you’ve just entered a dozen line items on the EZ Start-Product Detail screen. You print the Commercial Invoice and everything looks fine, but when you print the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI), there are only five line items! What happened to the rest of the line items? The answer depends on which SLI you are printing.

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Should You Care about Country of Origin Impact?

8/24/15 9:17 AM | Prema Nakra | Export Marketing

Imagine for a moment that the $95 dress shirt you are wearing today was actually produced for a large upscale retailer in the United States by a mega company based in Hong Kong (China). On further research you find that the shirt was actually manufactured in Singapore with fabric from Pakistan and buttons from Japan. Better still, it could have been manufactured in any of 25 countries where this Hong Kong-based company has branches. This is a truly global shirt that has probably traveled farther than many of us involved in international trade.

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7 Common Mistakes When Preparing Letters of Credit

8/20/15 9:16 AM | David Noah | Export Finance, Letters of Credit, Export Basics

Once you’ve established that a letter of credit is the best form of payment for shipping your goods internationally, you must pay special attention to make sure you’re correctly completing not only the letter of credit, but the entire process.

We spoke with John A. Novak, Vice President of International Services at Bremer Bank N.A., headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, to find out some of the common mistakes exporters make when completing letters of credit. Here’s what he shared:

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10 Reasons You Might Need Shipping Solutions Professional

8/18/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Shipping Solutions Classic does a great job of creating basic export documents and helping you file through AESDirect. But did you know that Shipping Solutions Professional can do so much more?

Here are 10 things you can do with Shipping Solutions Professional that you can't do with Classic.

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Who Has Jurisdiction over Your Exports?

8/12/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Regulations, Export Compliance, Export Basics

Have you ever started something in haste and realized—once it was too late—that the first steps were the most crucial to get correct?

I certainly have (a few times, in fact). I bet you can think of some instances when you’ve done the same thing. From following instructions while putting together a piece of furniture to skipping a step in order to save time while cooking, these mistakes are often inconsequential or small in our daily lives. There may not be any real harm done.

However, in exporting, the opposite is true. The first step in the export compliance process is an integral part of the beginning of your journey, and it can determine if things go smoothly. Conversely, a misstep could very well lead to severe fines, loss of export privileges, and even land you in jail.

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Creating Dangerous Goods Documents

8/11/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Dangerous Goods, also known as Hazardous Materials, can be a risk to the vessel or aircraft transporting them. For that reason, they need to be carefully documented in your export paperwork.

Shipping Solutions Professional export software provides the IATA Dangerous Goods form for air shipments, the IMO Dangerous Goods form for ocean shipments, and the Non-Dangerous Goods form used for air shipments to document items that appear to be hazardous but actually are not. In addition, Shipping Solutions Professional provides databases to store your hazardous product information.

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Defining and Using a Manufacturer’s Affidavit — Part 1

8/10/15 8:30 AM | Catherine J. Petersen | Export Forms

Doing business internationally means responding to requests for certain documents, certain statements on documents, or additional terms and conditions.

When exporting, firms create certain standard documents: a commercial invoice, a packing list, and a certificate of origin. International customers may request additional documents to satisfy their country’s import requirements, letters of credit, sales contracts, or purchase agreements. One of those additional documents is a Manufacturer’s Affidavit.

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A Behind the Scenes Look at Incoterms

8/5/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Basics, Incoterms

If you've been involved in international trade for any period of time, you've probably heard about Incoterms. They are those three-letter abbreviations that buyers and seller use to help identify who is responsible for what in an import-export transaction.

(If you don't yet know what Incoterms are, check out my previous post, The Beginner's Introduction to Incoterms.) 

But even if you know what Incoterms are, you might not know where they came from or who decides what they should be. As Toto showed Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it's important to know who's standing behind the curtain.

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Converting from Shipping Solutions Version 6 or 7 (Video)

8/4/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

If you are still using Shipping Solutions export software version 6 or 7, your software is getting precariously out of date. Shipping Solutions versions 8 and 9 were released in September 2012, and we've had eight updates since then!

Just to clarify, Classic 6 became Classic 8, and Professional 7 became Professional 9.  You will find your version number on the main screen under the Shipping Solutions logo.

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