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Using the Commercial Invoice Template to Create Export Shipping Forms

David Noah | March 21, 2018 | Export Forms

You don’t often go to the grocery store just to buy one thing.

You don’t make a single trip to buy bread, then go back for toothpaste, then eggs, then pasta, then milk, etc. Most of us try to combine those tasks into a single trip to save time.

You’re probably thinking, “Of course! It’d be ridiculous to make several trips when you can cross everything off in a single trip.” It seems like an obvious strategy for tasks like grocery shopping, but we rarely think about using that same strategy for our export documentation.

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Repaired Goods: Import and Re-Export

Catherine J. Petersen | March 19, 2018 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Congratulations! You sold a piece of your equipment and machinery to a customer in the United Kingdom who also purchased an extended warranty and service agreement from your firm.

Before you shipped your equipment to this new customer, of course, you verified that the goods did not require an export license and that the customer was not listed as a restricted end-user by any U.S. government agency.

Now, some months later, the equipment that you sold to your British customer has broken, and they wish to return the item for repair. They have asked you for guidance on how to proceed. It is urgent. You want to be sure that the return process is as inexpensive as possible and without any delays in shipping, handling, customs clearance, repair, and return.

Here are some steps that will help you make arrangements that will ease the flow of paperwork and goods between you and your customer.

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Why You Shouldn't Include HS Numbers on a Commercial Invoice

David Noah | March 14, 2018 | Export Compliance, Export Forms

A commenter left this note on one of our recent articles, 10 Items That Belong on Your Commercial Invoices:

“Nice overview of elements of a commercial invoice. I was glad to see the interesting note on the whether or not to include HS numbers. This is coming up more and more with clients.”

Her comment gave me a thought: As a rule, I encourage exporters to include Harmonized System (HS) numbers on their commercial invoices.

Correctly applied, HS numbers can help ensure your exports make it through customs without delay and get delivered to their final destinations, which can help you get paid faster. However, as the reader noted, while most businesses consider it a best practice to include HS numbers on their commercial invoices, there are certain situations where including a HS number could actually backfire.

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Import-Export Trade Compliance: Becoming the Department of Yes!

John Goodrich | March 12, 2018 | Export Compliance

Is your trade compliance office known as the office of NO? Perhaps your company considers you to be the Sales Prohibition Department?"

When you walk through the aisles at work do colleagues avoid you by turning the other way? Perhaps when you pass by they pretend to be on the phone?

I am sorry to inform you but these are all symptoms that you are losing the battle for trade compliance within your company.

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Exporting to the UK: What You Need to Know

David Noah | March 7, 2018 | Export Markets

Despite its rocky start some 250 years ago, the United States’ trade history with the United Kingdom (U.K.) has blossomed into a mutually beneficial relationship—some 40,000 U.S. companies now export to the U.K. each year.

Thanks to a common language, low trade barrier, and the U.K.’s business-friendly environment, exporting to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—the countries that make up the U.K.— should continue to grow.

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5 Reasons to Invest in Export Software—Reason 1: Ensure Consistency (video)

Arnesh Roy | February 28, 2018 | Export Forms, Exporting Basics

Exporting companies that do not have an export documentation and compliance software in place often have a rather haphazard procedure for creating their export documents.

They may use Word or Excel templates, which entails typing the same data over and over and doing a lot of copying and pasting. Or they may have a specific software program for each of the export forms they need to create. This makes for a rather disorganized, inconsistent and potentially unreliable process.

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International Trade Risk: Regulatory Issues and Market Access

Roberto Bergami | February 26, 2018 | Export Marketing

This is the ninth part of my series of articles on assessing risk in international trade. In my last article, I made some comments about Chambers of Commerce and Trade Consulates.

In this article I focus on certain aspects of regulatory issues that affect market access. As this is a very big topic covering a multitude of issues, I will limit my comments to regulations and documentation.

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Why Free Trade Agreements Are Important

David Noah | February 21, 2018 | Free Trade Agreements

If you’ve watched the news, read it online, or opened up a newspaper during the past several months, you’ve undoubtedly seen or read something about the current climate of free trade agreements—specifically President Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA and whether he’ll withdraw from the deal completely.

Many of us involved in exporting are urging the president not to abandon this deal. Free trade agreements like NAFTA are imperative for a growing U.S. economy, and give our country an opportunity to lead in areas like worker rights and the environment. Read on to find out more about why free trade agreements exist and just how they benefit the United States.

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The Essentials of Export Financing: International Finance Options

Curt Hanson | February 19, 2018 | Export Finance

While the idea of exporting your goods and services may seem a bit overwhelming to many small business owners, there is no doubt of the benefits. Approximately 95% of consumers live outside the United States, and in many economies of the world, there is a rapidly growing middle class.

Small- and medium-sized companies represent 97% of U.S. export companies, while small companies—those with 20 or fewer employees—represent about two-thirds. And yet, only about one percent of U.S. small businesses actually export their products. And half of those that do export to only one country.

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What's the Difference between HS, HTS and Schedule B Codes?

David Noah | February 14, 2018 | Export Basics

Do you know the difference between HS codes, HTS codes, and Schedule B codes? In casual conversation, exporters tend to use these terms interchangeably; they, for the most part, understand that these are codes representing classifications of products.

While it’s not wrong to use them interchangeably in casual conversation, it is important to understand the differences—if not, you could get into trouble, and your shipment could, too!

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