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When to Use a Certificate of Origin Form for Your Export Shipments

1/26/15 10:00 AM | Catherine J. Petersen | Export Basics, Export Forms, Free Trade Agreements

The certificate of origin is a document issued by an exporter that confirms and certifies the country of origin of its products. The certificate of origin may be a statement added to the commercial invoice that supports the listing of the country of origin by line item. Alternatively, it might be a separate letter or form that incorporates a statement indicating the country of origin is as stated on the commercial invoice, certifies the document is true and correct, and then signed by the exporter’s employee.

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Update Available for the NAFTA Certificate of Origin

1/23/15 3:32 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has updated the NAFTA Certificate of Origin to show a new expiration date of 10-31-2016, and we have an update to Shipping Solutions available on the Annual Maintenance Program (AMP) website with the new form.

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8 Common Costly Mistakes Shippers Make on the Ocean Bill of Lading

1/21/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Basics

When shipping goods overseas, you’ll need to correctly complete an ocean bill of lading. It’s just a standard bill of lading… how hard can it be, right? Not so fast! Though the bill of lading forms are a template, they still require attention to detail in order to avoid mistakes that can cost you.

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Updating Your Carrier and Port Codes

1/20/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips
Shipping Solutions comes pre-loaded with two lists of carrier codes and two lists of port codes that are needed for filing your Electronic Export Information (EEI) through AESDirect. These lists change periodically, and Shipping Solutions provides two ways to update the lists.

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The Difficulties of Securing a Back-to-Back Letter of Credit

1/19/15 10:15 AM | Roy Becker | Export Finance, Letters of Credit

Many bankers have experienced this familiar scenario: A company, usually a middleman, claims to have landed a big export contract. Likely undercapitalized, they do not have the finances to purchase the product so they can resell it at a handsome profit. They do have, or claim they can get, a letter of credit in payment of the final sale once they ship the goods.

The middleman approaches a bank thinking that the bank would not turn down the financing for a deal this profitable. First, the company requests an advance, or a loan, since they have a letter of credit as a source of repayment. The company soon learns, however, that banks in the United States do not make loans against letters of credit because of performance risk.

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10 Terms You Need to Know When Determining Export Compliance

1/14/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Export Compliance

Export compliance isn’t one big thing—it’s a million little things. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a solid understanding of the the components… if you miss one, you could set off a chain reaction.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, by making sure you thoroughly understand these 10 terms, you can save yourself a lot of trouble (and potentially, a lot of money).

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Customizing Shipping Solutions Documents (Video)

1/13/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Shipping Solutions software allows you to make some changes to the appearance and functionality of certain export forms generated in the software.

This three-and-a-half minute video shows you how to change print options; change form and field labels; modify date, price and Schedule B formats; and hide certain data fields depending on your company's needs and preferences.

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Dealing with International Trademark Copycats

1/12/15 10:00 AM | Becky DeStigter | Export Markets, Intellectual Property Rights

I will never forget when I discovered that my company had a copycat. I assumed that my consulting firm was too small to attract attention and imitation. But there was my competitor in all my major markets with a confusingly similar online brand name and a mirror of my digital marketing program down to the blog topics and my twitter tips on international business. It was a creepy feeling, to say the least.

Those who enter international markets frequently encounter copycat brands and marketing. Companies in China often report from customer service that consumers seek product support only to discover that their product is a counterfeit. In the U.S. and Canada, it is particularly frustrating when legally remedies in the home market are more straightforward.

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What's the Difference between a Schedule B Code and an HS Number?

1/7/15 10:00 AM | David Noah | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

“All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.”

That idea really confounded me as a child learning geometry. How could one belong to another, yet the inverse not be true? As my teacher explained, the difference lies in specificity.

A similar concept applies in exporting: If you’re new to exporting, the difference between Harmonized System (HS) numbers and Schedule B codes may be vexing. You may be wondering, are they the same? Can they be used interchangeably? What’s the difference?

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Shipping Solutions DIY Help

1/6/15 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

At Shipping Solutions, we take pride in providing you with the highest quality of customer service.  We try to answer your phone calls and emails as soon as possible. Like a helpful handyman, we want to be there when you need us!

However, sometimes it's nice to be a do-it-yourselfer. Finding your own answers to your Shipping Solutions questions can be as satisfying as doing that home improvement project yourself! Here are a few resources we provide for DIY help:

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