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OFAC Compliance Best Practices

David Noah | May 20, 2020 | Export Compliance

For exporters, OFAC compliance is non-negotiable: If you’re shipping to one of the people or companies identified by OFAC, you must be aware of the associated sanctions for every single shipment.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as checking one list one time. OFAC lists may change at any time based on current events or changes in the political landscape.

And there isn’t just one single list that needs to be checked. The Federal Register compiles at least 125 relevant lists every day; and it’s up to you to keep up with them. Fortunately, there are best practices that can help you stay compliant with regulations. Read about them below.

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Middleman Blues: How to Make Sure You Don’t Get Cut Out of the Loop

Joseph A. Robinson | May 18, 2020 | Export Basics

A middleman is a person or organization that provides services and offers something of value to both buyer and seller. In other words, a bona fide middle person bridges the gap between suppliers and buyers by initiating quality contacts, providing sourcing services for buyers, assuring reliability of suppliers, and ensuring a continuous supply of products.

This matchmaking process can be hard work and deserves to be appropriately compensated. But once the suitors have been introduced and the relationship has been consummated, how can you, as a middleman, protect yourself from being cut out of the deal?

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3 Things You Need to Know about the Bill of Lading Form

David Noah | May 13, 2020 | Export Forms

Are you a new exporter looking for a primer on bills of lading? Or maybe you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum—a seasoned professional seeking a reference or training tool.

Either way, this article is for you! We’ll explain, in simple terms, three things you need to know about the bill of lading form.

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Who Is Responsible for Filing the Electronic Export Information (EEI)?

Arnesh Roy | May 11, 2020 | Automated Export System (AES)

As an exporter, you will no doubt become familiar with the Automated Export System (AES) if you aren’t already. This is the system that the United States uses to collect data on exports out of the country as outlined in the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR).

The U.S. Census Bureau uses this data, which they call Electronic Export Information (EEI), to compile statistics on economic indicators and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses this data to ensure that exporters are following regulations and that exports do not end up in the hands of restricted parties who may pose a threat to the national security of the United States.

All exporters should know if, how and when they are expected to file their export information through AES.

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What's the Big Deal about Export Compliance Software?

David Noah | May 6, 2020 | Export Compliance

When it comes to export compliance, creating export documents, or, really, anything in the exporting realm, it’s definitely possible to do the work manually.

If you’re conscientious, thorough and pay attention to the universe surrounding what you’re trying to do—including changes in export regulations and general news—you certainly can do anything manually.


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8 Documents Required for International Shipping

David Noah | May 4, 2020 | Export Forms

You’ve heard people talk about how to do the sexy part of exporting—the research, the schmoozing, the travel, and all the marketing and sales stuff that people think about when they think about the glamour of international trade.

But what I want to talk about is the not-so-sexy part of exporting: documents required for international shipping. It’s the stuff you need to do—and do correctly—to successfully deliver goods and make money. I’d argue that this not-so-sexy part of exporting is more important than the sexier side, but maybe that’s just because it’s what I’ve been focusing on for the past 22 years. 

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May Is World Trade Month

David Noah | April 29, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

May is World Trade Month, and with it, several events designed to celebrate the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy and to teach new and experienced exporters about the various aspects of international trade in this changing global economy.

This year's theme is "Growing exports in uncertain times," and I can guarantee you that no one who picked that title had any idea just how uncertain things would be in May 2020.

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6 Reasons Not to Use Word Templates for Your Export Documents

David Noah | April 27, 2020 | Export Forms

In Minnesota, you go out of your way to celebrate the end of winter, because up here, it lasts a very long time.

The first snow of the season fell in Minnesota on October 3, 2019. And the last winter storm (at least I hope it's the last) dumped 10 inches of snow in the state on April 12, 2020.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the end of winter is by grilling in the backyard.

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Incoterms 2020 DDP: Spotlight On Delivered Duty Paid

David Noah | April 22, 2020 | Incoterms

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

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm DDP, also known as Delivered Duty Paid.

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Export Regulations: The U.S. Agencies We Often Overlook

Arnesh Roy | April 20, 2020 | Export Compliance

Those of us who’ve worked in exporting for a while are aware that government regulations on exports are primarily administered by either the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) via the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) via the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

BIS governs commercial and dual-use items, while DDTC governs military items. Successful, compliant organizations need to understand and abide by those regulations.

In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau, also part of the Commerce Department, administers the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), which require the reporting of electronic export information through the Automated Export System (AES). (You can learn more about the three primary sets of export regulations by reading: The Three R’s of Export Compliance: FTR, EAR and ITAR.)

That was my take on things. For a while. But I talk to more and more people whose exports (and imports) are controlled by other U.S. agencies.

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