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Export Invoice vs. Accounting Invoice: What's the Difference?

David Noah | March 22, 2017 | Export Basics, Export Forms

An export invoice is an umbrella term that encompasses exporting forms like the Commercial Invoice and the Proforma Invoice—forms that indicate the buyer and seller of the goods, a description of the items, the items’ value, and the terms or proposed terms of the sale. Many governments use export invoices for calculating and assessing customs duties and taxes.

Though they are often confused with one another, export invoices and accounting invoices are not the same. Sometimes, customers look at our sample export invoice forms and call our office with questions, worried because our forms have either extra information they’re unfamiliar with or think a form is missing information because it doesn’t have the fields they’re used to seeing on their invoices.

So, what’s the confusion?

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The NAFTA Screen in Shipping Solutions Export Software

Lisa Nemer | March 21, 2017 | Free Trade Agreements, Shipping Solutions News & Tips, Shipping Solutions: Screen By Screen

Today in my continuing series on the Shipping Solutions EZ Start screens, I describe the NAFTA/Other Free Trade Agreements (FTA) screen.

The United States has many FTAs with different countries and regions of the world. Some have specific certificates of origin that are required, and some only require a statement verifying origin. But in most cases, the FTAs are based on the granddaddy of FTAs, which is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA covers over $1 trillion in annual trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Help Answer Export Documentation and Compliance Questions

David Noah | March 20, 2017 | Export Compliance, Export Forms

I get a lot of emails and phone calls about international trade—particularly specific questions about export documents and compliance.

While I'm happy to help when I can, I'm the first to admit that I don't know all the answers. But I'm betting that you—or one of the 15,000-plus subscribers to the Shipping Solutions International Trade Blog—do know the answers.

That's why Shipping Solutions has started a new group on LinkedIn: the Export Documentation and Compliance Professionals. I hope you will become a member.

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What the Heck Is a Routed Export Transaction?

David Noah | March 16, 2017 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

A routed export transaction occurs when a foreign purchaser, or foreign principal party in interest (FPPI), requests to have their merchandise delivered to another location within the United States. The merchandise is retrieved by a freight forwarder or other agent who has been contracted by the foreign purchaser to export the merchandise from the United States.

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ACE Portal Password Rule Changes

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

Of life's little annoyances, passwords are right up there with mosquitoes and people who don't silence their cell phones! And, if you use the ACE Portal to file with AESDirect or send the government other information, your ACE password is about to get even more annoying!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Export License Exceptions

Arnesh Roy | March 13, 2017 | Export Regulations

In my previous blog post, I described how to determine if you need an export license by identifying the reasons for control and checking the Commerce Country Chart. In this article I will describe how to determine if there are any export license exceptions available and how to utilize these exceptions.

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Overcoming Export Trade Barriers

David Noah | March 8, 2017 | Export Marketing, Export Basics

Exporting can be difficult given the distance, language and cultural issues that can be involved. Unfortunately, it can be next to impossible when governments erect trade barriers that make it difficult for foreign products to enter their markets.

In 2015, for example, more than $1.3 trillion in potential U.S. exports were impacted by foreign technical regulatory requirements, according to a report issued by the International Trade Administration (ITA). This impact is particularly felt by small- and medium-sized businesses that probably aren't well-versed or well-equipped to deal with trade barriers or unfair business practices, nor do they have the resources to tackle them.

Fortunately the ITA's Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance Office is charged with assisting U.S. companies of all sizes overcome these barriers.

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Harmonized System vs Export Control Classification Numbers

Lisa Nemer | March 7, 2017 | Export Regulations, Export Basics, Shipping Solutions News & Tips

How many ways are there to classify things? When my kids were little my mother bought them way too many Beanie Babies, but sometimes it was fun (and kind of educational) to classify them. The Beanie Babies could be organized by type of animal or by color or by what they ate or type of habitat.

You could say that governments do the same thing with goods. Sometimes goods are classified on the basis of their objective characteristics. Sometimes they are classified based on their use. Today I’m going to compare two types of classifications, the Harmonized System (HS) codes and the Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN).

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Understanding Bank Drafts: Sight Draft versus Time Draft

Roy Becker | March 6, 2017 | Export Finance

A client called from his cell phone as he drove to the bank with a set of documents to present for payment on a letter of credit, which expired at the end of the day. While speeding on the interstate, he asked about the format of a draft.

As best I could with words, I tried to create an image in his mind of what a draft looks like. I also informed him he could purchase some from an office supply store, or we could give him one from our supply cabinet.

When he asked if he needed a printed draft, I said, “No, we will permit a hand-written form.”

Then he asked, “Can I design a form on any kind of paper?” I assured him those details had nothing to do with the legal purpose of a draft as long as it contained the correct criteria.

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NAFTA Preference Criteria, Producer, and Net Cost

Lisa Nemer | March 1, 2017 | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

Occasionally I’ll get a call from someone who says, “I’m almost done filling out my NAFTA Certificate of Origin. I just need to know how to complete items 7, 8 and 9. What do I put in those columns?”

Well, that’s the rub isn’t it? The rest of the form is easy, but the meat of it is in those three columns. Those columns determine whether your goods deserve preferential duty treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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