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7 Things to Consider Before Buying Shipping Solutions Software

Lisa Nemer | August 2, 2021 | Shipping Solutions News & Tips

You may know that Shipping Solutions software is used by thousands of companies across the U.S. to create export documents, file with the Automated Export System (AES) and run compliance screenings quickly and easily. You may also know that Shipping Solutions could help your company, too! But making the final decision to purchase new software can often be fraught with questions. We’ve tried to make it easier by laying out seven things to consider before buying Shipping Solutions.

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Which Trade Compliance Certifications Should You Get?

David Noah | July 28, 2021 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

From time to time, I hear new or inexperienced exporters ask what trade compliance certifications they should get. My answer? There is no one, single certification out there for export compliance that is necessary—or in my opinion, recommended!

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Due Diligence for International Sales: Do’s and Don’ts

Richard Corson | July 26, 2021 | Export Markets

During my nearly 30-year career with the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, both as an International Trade Specialist and as the director of a U.S. Export Assistance Center, I spoke many times with exporters who told me that their buyer in China owed them money and their multiple attempts to reach them were unsuccessful. I always asked the exporter if they had conducted due diligence on the buyer and, invariably, the answer was no. The exporter never stood a chance.

Had the exporter conducted due diligence, the company might have concluded that the buyer was not legitimate, which would have prevented the problem in the first place. (To be fair, this can happen anywhere; however, in my experience, China was the preeminent player). Due diligence is not a guarantee, but it can certainly mitigate risks.

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Incoterms 2020 FCA: Spotlight on Free Carrier

David Noah | July 21, 2021 | Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms 2020 rules are the latest revision of international trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are recognized as the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions.

Incoterms 2020 rules outline whether the seller or the buyer is responsible for, and must assume the cost of, specific standard tasks that are part of the international transport of goods. In addition, they identify when the risk or liability of the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

There are 11 trade terms available under the Incoterms 2020 rules that range from Ex Works (EXW), which conveys the least amount of responsibility and risk on the seller, to Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), which places the most responsibility and risk on the seller. The Incoterms 2020 Rules: Chart of Responsibilities and Transfer of Risk summarizes the seller and buyer responsibilities under each of the 11 terms.

For a summary of Incoterms 2020 and a short definition of each of the 11 terms, read An Introduction to Incoterms.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm FCA, also known as Free Carrier.

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Screening International Distributors: Separating Pretenders from Contenders

Alberto Rodriguez-Baez | July 19, 2021 | Export Markets, Export Basics

In my previous article, I described why it's critical to not only select the right distributors, but also to keep them for the long run (see the Fit/Tenure Matrix) and develop them into highly productive distributors.

Choosing international distributors without a thorough selection process is less than ideal and to be avoided at all costs: selecting the wrong distributor is a tremendous setback for the exporter and the distributor alike.

In my experience as an exporter and as a trade consultant, I have realized that this situation can be avoided by implementing a solid screening and selection process that is used for every candidate, every time.

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Freight Forwarder vs. 3PL Services: Which Do You Need?

David Noah | July 14, 2021 | Export Basics

If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it’s the importance of constantly reviewing your company’s processes and procedures. Take, for example, remote work: For decades, we thought people needed to work in offices—but in many situations, working remotely has been a value-add for all companies.

For those of us involved in international trade, one thing we need to reexamine is our handling of inventory and warehousing. In this article, I’ll discuss the differences between using freight forwarders and third-party logistics (3PL) companies for these jobs and how to identify the right partner for your needs.

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USMCA: One Year Later

Helen Mann | July 12, 2021 | Free Trade Agreements

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect just over one year ago, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and promising to increase North American trade. NAFTA created a solid foundation for trade liberalization. It reduced most tariffs to zero, subsequently bringing trade levels up by $1 trillion. Now its successor updates and tweaks several of its provisions. 

In honor of the USMCA’s first birthday, we thought we’d look at how implementation has gone. What, if anything, has changed over the past year?

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Build a Visitor Management Program That Ensures Export Compliance

Matthew Silverman | July 7, 2021 | Export Compliance

In addition to controlling tangible shipments of U.S. products and software from one country to another, U.S. export regulations also control the transfer of U.S.-controlled technology to non-U.S. persons. This type of transfer or “release” is called a deemed export. A deemed export can occur via a number of channels, including verbal exchanges or visual inspections. Therefore, companies must be discreet and secure with regard to export-controlled documents, products and technology that could be viewed or discussed during on-site meetings or site tours—hence the importance of visitor management in the field of export compliance.

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

David Noah | June 30, 2021 | Import Basics, 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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What Is an Authorized Economic Operator?

David Noah | June 28, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

I sometimes get calls from exporters who have been asked by their international customers for their AEO number for import customs clearance.

The calls are all very similar:

What is an AEO code, and how do I find out what ours is?

My short answer:

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