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FAQ: Creating a Certificate of Origin for Your Exports

David Noah | February 12, 2020 | Export Basics, Export Forms

Since Shipping Solutions unveiled its online portal for generating electronic Certificates of Origin (eCO) in April 2019, almost a thousand U.S. exporters have registered for free for the service and successfully generated hundreds of Certificates stamped by the American World Trade Chamber of Commerce (AWTCC). By utilizing the eCO portal, these companies have reduced the time and expense they’ve traditionally spent on creating their Certificates.

During the past several months as we’ve talked with users and prospective users of the eCO service, we’ve compiled a list of several frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we posed to Wendy Baggett, president of AWTCC, the Chamber that stamps the Certificates created through the portal:

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

David Noah | February 10, 2020 | Export Forms

Invoices play an important role in the export process. The invoice is the single document that describes the entire export transaction from start to finish.

When completed properly, the invoice provides important information to the buyer, freight forwarder, customs, the bank, and other parties in the international transaction. Done wrong, it can cause confusion, delays and disagreements.

Too many exporters—particularly new exporters—don't understand how the invoices they prepare for their exports often require more information than they may include on the invoices they use for their domestic sales. I get too many calls from exporters whose shipments are stuck in customs, or they're having trouble getting paid because their invoice is incomplete.

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Incoterms 2020 CPT: Spotlight on Carriage Paid To

David Noah | February 5, 2020 | Export Basics, 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 transfer from the seller to the buyer.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm CPT, also known as Carriage Paid To.

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World Trade Month 2020 Calendar of Events

David Noah | February 3, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

World Trade Month is scheduled for May 2020, and the WorldTradeMonth.com website is publishing a calendar of international-trade-related events scheduled to be held throughout the United States that month.

If your company or organization is hosting events during May 2020, simply complete the form located on the World Trade Month website to add it to the directory of events.

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Six Basic Steps for Export Compliance

David Noah | January 30, 2020 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

Export compliance regulations don't just apply to the big guys. Even the smallest U.S. businesses that send their products to customers outside the country are subject to a variety of export regulations and could face substantial penalties for violating these rules.

Unfortunately for many small and medium-sized businesses, company personnel may not know these requirements until it's too late.

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NAFTA Preference Criteria, Producer, and Net Cost

Lisa Nemer | January 27, 2020 | NAFTA, Free Trade Agreements, 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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Incoterms 2020 CIF: Spotlight on Cost, Insurance and Freight

David Noah | January 22, 2020 | Export Basics, 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 transfer from the seller to the buyer.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm CIF, also known as Cost, Insurance and Freight.

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Export Invoices: How to Properly Value Free Samples

Catherine J. Petersen | January 20, 2020 | Export Forms

Dear Cathy,

I found an article online that you wrote regarding the value on a commercial invoice titled Repaired Goods: Import and Re-Export. I am a transportation coordinator for my current employer, and there has always been a question in my mind that I'm not sure how to answer.

Many times we ship items to customers free of charge as an incentive for a bulk order or just as samples for them to try out. I've always thought that their actual value must be listed on the commercial invoice whether we charge the customer or not. Usually when I do that, however, I always make a notation on the commercial invoice stating there was no charge to the customer. The value was for customs use only.

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What's the Difference between a Schedule B Code and an HS Number?

David Noah | January 15, 2020 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

“All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.”

That idea really confounded me as a child learning geometry. How could one belong to another, yet the inverse not be true? As my teacher explained, the difference lies in specificity.

A similar concept applies in exporting: If you’re new to exporting, the difference between Harmonized System (HS) numbers and Schedule B codes may be vexing. You may be wondering, are they the same? Can they be used interchangeably? What’s the difference?

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Foreign Trade Zones: Advantages for Importers and Exporters

Arnesh Roy | January 13, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

If you import or export, you may be familiar with the terms foreign trade zone and free trade zone, both of which are frequently abbreviated as FTZ. These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to a class of government-run duty-free zones, but they actually mean slightly different things.

Free trade zone is a more general, universal term. Customs authorities representing governments across the globe have established free trade zones. Free trade zones are areas in which commodities can be manufactured, modified or stored under specific customs regulations and generally not subject to customs duties.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), foreign trade zones are the United States’ version of free trade zones. FTZs are designated areas within the United States that are legally located outside of the customs territory of the United States, meaning that goods that reside within an established FTZ haven’t yet cleared customs.

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