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The NAFTA Producer Solicitation—Part 1: The Exporter's Conundrum

5/23/16 11:58 AM | John Goodrich | NAFTA

We've all seen them. Either we've drafted them, received them, or rolled our eyes at them. They are the infamous NAFTA solicitation letters we receive from our customers each year.

The first time I heard that solicitation was a part of the NAFTA I blushed. Obviously I had the wrong idea. I've since learned that solicitation refers to letters like the following:

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Use the CE Marking When Exporting to the European Union

5/20/16 1:45 PM | Prema Nakra | Export Markets

The European Union (EU) is a massive market that takes great pride in unifying the region so products and services can flow throughout the market seamlessly. To achieve greater integration, the EU has adopted what it terms the CE Marking Directives. These directives insist that CE Marking is mandatory if your product falls in one of the defined categories stated in its directives.

In this article I will highlight the power of the EU in the world market and the importance of CE Marking to enter and sustain your international marketing operations. As always, I won't provide any legal counsel or advice.

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Understanding the U.S.-Israel Certificate of Origin (COO)

5/18/16 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Forms

It’s pop quiz time!

What was the first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into by the United States?

If you said the United States-Israel FTA, you’re correct! Also referred to as the Israel FTA, this agreement continues to serve as the foundation for expanding trade and investment between the United States and Israel.

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Scary ACE Error in AESDirect Filing

5/17/16 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Shipping Solutions users have been filing their Electronic Export Information (EEI) with AESDirect via the ACE portal for a few weeks now, and every time I help someone do their first filing, I learn something new. For example, one of our Shipping Solutions users got the error message shown below.

It doesn't matter that you can't read the details. The point is, it's a scary looking error message that begins HTTP Status 500-Request processing failed. This must be a big deal!

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What Exporters Need to Know about the U.S. Munitions List (USML)

5/16/16 4:29 PM | Kathryn Toomey | Export Regulations

In a previous article, I explored and discussed what the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR) are, why they exist, and what items (by category) they control.

In summary, the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S. 2778, authorizes the President to designate items that could be considered defense articles and services. These items constitute the United States Munitions List (USML).

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Export Compliance: Using the Proper Value on a Commercial Invoice

5/13/16 8:00 AM | Catherine J. Petersen | Export Regulations, Export Forms

Whenever you work on an export transaction, there are dozens of steps you must follow to successfully complete the process. One of these steps is issuing a commercial invoice(See a sample of a completed commercial invoice.) That is true whether your firm sells hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars worth of merchandise.

Occasionally, you may have a customer who  requests that you ignore export compliance regulations and alter the invoice value to allow them to save money on import duties.

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USML vs. ECCN: What's the Difference?

5/11/16 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Compliance, Export Basics

Wishing something were true doesn’t make it true.

This simple fact that some exporters ignore came into focus for me at one of the two-day Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) export control seminars held across the country. I heard a licensing officer tell an interesting story about “wishing it were so,” and I want to share a paraphrased version of what he said:

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Automated Export System (AES) Certification Statements

5/10/16 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Shipping Solutions Version 9.10/8.10 will now allow you to file your Electronic Export Information (EEI) with the Automated Export System (AES) using the ACE Portal. Before using your new ACE login (click here if you need to apply for one) for the first time in Shipping Solutions, however, you should first login to ACE using Internet Explorer. Make sure pop-ups are allowed.

Once you have logged in, you may be asked to verify your ACE account. Then click the Accounts tab. The tab is located below the ACE Secure Data Portal heading. Choose Exporter in the Account Type drop-down list and click Go. A screen will pop-up showing the AES Certification Statements. You must check all the boxes and click Accept.

Like most terms of service we agree to, we don't study the statements very carefully.  But the AES Certification Statements actually include helpful information, so I thought it would be worthwhile to publish them here.

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Export Basics: 7 Tips for New Exporters

5/10/16 9:38 AM | Francis Peters | Export Marketing, Export Basics

Smaller businesses often think that exporting is only for large multinational companies. But that's usually not the case. In fact, more than 97 percent of all U.S. exporters are small and medium-sized businesses employing less than 500 people.

What's really surprising is the number of businesses that aren't exporting. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, less than one percent of the 30 million companies in the U.S. actually sell their products internationally. Many of these firms could benefit from exporting, but have yet to do so.

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The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

5/6/16 12:09 PM | Mary K. McCormick | Export Compliance

The United States Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977 to make it illegal for U.S. persons and certain foreign entities to make payment to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

In the early years, criminal prosecutions under the FCPA were few and far between. That has changed.

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