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The Beginner's Introduction to Incoterms

10/29/14 9:00 AM | David Noah | Incoterms

An Introduction to Incoterms for Beginners

Part 1: What are Incoterms?

Today, we’re going to take a look at Incoterms—what they are and how they originated. Next time, we’ll discuss how to apply Incoterms, how exporters benefit from them, and why they matter, so stay tuned!

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How to Complete a Generic Certificate of Origin

10/28/14 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

The word “generic” doesn’t just refer to the cheap stuff at the grocery store. It also means nonspecific, inclusive and all-encompassing. And so, the Generic Certificate of Origin is a nonspecific form that can be used for any country that does not have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. 


Watch this video to see how simple it is to create the Generic Certificate of Origin using Shipping Solutions software.

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How Swift Is SWIFT?

10/27/14 6:44 PM | Roy Becker | Export Finance

Technology continues to raise international banking to new heights. Prior to electronic communication, banks transmitted messages via mail or telex. While quite adequate, both remained slow, vulnerable to fraud, and lacked standardization.

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If You’re Relying on Your Freight Forwarder for Export Compliance, You’ve Probably Already Violated the Law

10/22/14 9:42 AM | David Noah | Export Compliance

You wouldn’t appropriate money from your company for your own use and benefit. 

You wouldn’t send documentation with a forged signature.

You wouldn’t commit fraud in filing or paying your business taxes.

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Resources for Completing the NAFTA Certificate of Origin

10/21/14 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

I got a call this morning from a customer who asked, “If I’m shipping a part we purchased in the United Kingdom to a customer in Germany, can I use Preference Criteria B on my NAFTA Certificate of Origin?”

Now, I’m no NAFTA expert, but even I can tell that there are several things wrong with that question. Can you spot them? My answers are at the bottom of this post.

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Damage Control for Cultural Blunders

10/20/14 7:44 AM | Becky DeStigter | Export Strategies

We’ve all seen it—insensitivity to cultural differences that derails business efforts, especially around exporting. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion, powerless to stop it.

A few years ago I had taken the role of chief operating officer for a start-up software company. For months a colleague and I had been cultivating a business relationship with a potential partner in Israel. Our contact was excited enough about the software and our company to fly from Tel Aviv all the way to Denver, Colorado, to meet our team.

I had briefed our company CEO on Israeli business culture and typically used negotiation techniques. I told him that Israelis were known to be shrewd and savvy business people; the CEO needed to come prepared. He sounded ready for this all-day meeting.

But when the day of the meeting came, my CEO was very late to the meeting. He wore old jeans and a sweatshirt. He sat down, looked our contact in the eye and asked her what she wanted from the company. Within an hour, the CEO got up and left. The Israeli, my colleague and I were dumbstruck by the entire interaction.

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The Beginner's Guide to the Shipper's Letter of Instruction

10/15/14 7:00 AM | David Noah | Export Basics, Export Forms

The golden glow of an early autumn sunset shone through my kitchen window. The smell of pumpkin bread wafted through the kitchen, and I quickly removed it from the oven as the timer buzzed. Eagerly, I took a knife, cut a thick slice of the bread, covered it with a pat of butter, and took a big bite.

And then, I spit it out.

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Installing Shipping Solutions

10/14/14 1:00 PM | Lisa Nemer | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

For years Shipping Solutions used a Microsoft Access database to store all of your contacts, products and shipments. In the fourth quarter of 2012 with the release of Shipping Solutions Classic 8 and Professional 9, we moved to a Microsoft SQL Server database. When you purchase Shipping Solutions for the first time or upgrade from version 7 or earlier, we will send you the software on CD-ROM.

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5 Reasons You Need a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction for Your Exports

10/13/14 8:30 AM | Catherine J. Petersen | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics, Export Forms

When it comes to preparing export paperwork, the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is one document that many exporters are unexplainably reluctant to prepare. They shouldn’t be.

By completing an SLI and sending it to the freight forwarder, you are establishing a best practice for your firm. You have a written record of who received the shipping documents, who to contact for questions, who to contact for proof of export, and who issued the export control documentation that supports the decision to send your products to your foreign customer.

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Filing through the Automated Export System with Custom Software

10/8/14 1:09 PM | David Noah | Automated Export System (AES)

Filing through the Automated Export System can be a tedious experience.

That's no secret. While there is software you can download from the AES website to help you complete the process, you still have the challenge of making sure you've got everything entered correctly. And don't forget you also need to complete all your export forms that include much of this same information! 

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