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What Are the OFAC Regulations?

David Noah | February 22, 2017 | Export Compliance

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is an agency within the Department of the Treasury that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.

You’ve probably heard about sanctions in places like Russia, Iran and Cuba—these countries are all subject to sanctions under different OFAC regulations. It’s important to know these regulations and the resulting sanctions so you understand how they may affect your company’s international trade plans.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Make Shipping Solutions a Part of Your Export Management Compliance Program

Lisa Nemer | February 21, 2017 | Export Compliance, Shipping Solutions News & Tips

What’s the first thing an export enforcement officer will ask if you are being investigated for an export violation? According to Bryce Bewley of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the export enforcement officer will ask to see your Export Management Compliance Program (EMCP).

When I attended the BIS Update Conference in November 2015, I sat in on a round-table discussion with Bryce whose job in the Office of Exporter Services’ Export Management and Compliance Division is to encourage companies that export to develop an EMCP. While an EMCP is not required by law, it will help protect your company from costly export violations and can mitigate penalties.

Now in 2017, BIS has come out with a guide called Export Compliance Guidelines: The Elements of an Effective Export Compliance Program. If your company doesn't have an EMCP or hasn't updated it in awhile, I'd really recommend doing so with the help of this new guide.

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16 Terms You Need to Know When Filing through AES

David Noah | February 20, 2017 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

Does your company export goods valued at more than $2,500 to anywhere other than Canada? If so, you’re probably no stranger to the U.S. Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) that require you to file your export information electronically through AES, the Automated Export System. Most exporters need a thorough understanding of AES because the consequences of filing incorrectly can be costly.

If the process of filing through AES seems a bit convoluted, or if you could use a refresher in AES terms, read on.

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Incoterms EXW: Spotlight on Ex Works

David Noah | February 15, 2017 | Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms are the official International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules for the explanation of trade terms.

Incoterms 2010 is adhered to by all major trading nations of the world, and it is the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions. Incoterms facilitate the conduct of international business by defining the responsibilities of the involved participants.

This is the eighth article in our series investigating the basic meaning of all 11 Incoterms.

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The EZ Start Packing List Screen in Shipping Solutions Export Software

Lisa Nemer | February 14, 2017 | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Lately I’ve been using my blog posts to explain each screen on the EZ Start tab of Shipping Solutions export documentation and compliance software. This week we unpack the Packing List screen!

The Packing List screen is a little different than the other Shipping Solutions EZ Start screens because it isn’t just a place to enter data that will appear on the document. The Packing List screen actually allows (aka requires) you to organize your shipment into containers just like they will be physically packed in the warehouse. It gives you maximum flexibility to get your Packing List to look exactly the way you want it to look.

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When Should Exporters Use a NAFTA Certificate of Origin Form

Sue Senger | February 13, 2017 | NAFTA, Export Forms

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) grants preferential tariff treatment on goods traded between the United States, Canada and Mexico. As part of this agreement, the three countries created a uniform NAFTA Certificate of Origin that importers must possess to qualify for preferential tariff treatment.

The Certificate of Origin summarizes the importer's claim that goods qualify as originating and should receive preferential tariff treatment.  View a sample of a completed NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

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Tapping into the U.S. Commercial Service's In-Country Offices

David Noah | February 8, 2017 | Export Markets, Export Marketing

Where should exporters turn when they need help expanding their markets and promoting their businesses internationally? One of the first places I point exporters toward is their local U.S Commercial Service office.

We talked with Meredith Bond, director of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Omaha office, who shared with us a bit more about how the Commercial Service can help exporters interested in beginning or expanding their global reach.

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The Shipping Solutions Export Software EZ Start-EEI Screen

Lisa Nemer | February 7, 2017 | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

This week I finish my discussion of the EEI-Electronic Export Information data-entry screen in the Shipping Solutions export documentation and compliance software. I discussed the top section of the screen in last week's blog post, and today we will review the bottom half of the EEI screen, which is found on the EZ Start tab.

The bottom half of the screen can best be described as a hodge-podge of fields that will be used to convey information to your forwarder so that they can file through AESDirect for you or that will be used to convey to your carrier that you have already done the filing yourself.

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How to Succeed in Going Global (Infographic)

David Noah | February 6, 2017 | Export Basics

Marketing starts with a very basic premise: One of the most important ways to grow your business is to find more customers. And to find those new customers, you need to identify where people and businesses that can benefit from your company's products are located.

While this premise seems obvious to almost everyone, it's one that is ignored by most U.S. companies. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), less than one percent of the 30 million U.S. companies currently export their goods despite the fact that 95% of the world's consumers are located outside the United States.

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AESDirect Tips Direct from Census

Lisa Nemer | February 1, 2017 | Automated Export System (AES), Shipping Solutions News & Tips

The U.S. Census Bureau sends out a lot of emails! But if you are an exporter who needs to file Electronic Export Information (EEI) with AESDirect, you may want to join the distribution list because the emails are full of tips and tricks about filing through AESDirect as well as letting you know when AESDirect is down.

In case you aren't yet a subscriber, here are some interesting things I've learned from reading their emails.

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