The International Trade Blog

Understanding U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)

In the fall of 2000, the U. S. Census Bureau updated the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and replaced the term Exporter with the term U.S. Principal Party in Interest or USPPI.

Even though this change was made nearly two decades ago, some companies are still confused by this change especially when it comes to their responsibilities, even if they are only shipping the goods to a domestic location.

In this blog post, I'll try to clarify the responsibilities of a USPPI and use a series of case studies to identify the exporter and USPPI in each of the scenarios.

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When Do You Need a Certificate of Free Sale for Your Exports?

It's funny how you can go for years without knowing what something is and then all of a sudden be inundated with questions about that item.

The first time someone called and asked me about a Certificate of Free Sale, I had no idea what they were talking about. Now it seems that I get at least one query every week about that particular export document.

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What Is an EEI Filing?

Are you adrift in the sea of export acronyms? Like many industries there are scores of acronyms that get bandied about like tennis balls at Wimbledon. Some of them you probably have heard of. Others only come up in specific circumstances.

One of the most important of these acronyms is EEI, which stands for Electronic Export Information. You’ve probably heard it used along with another set of acronyms—AES, ACE and SED. Let’s take a look at what it means and why it’s important.

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Incoterms Comparison: DDP vs. DAP—What's the Difference?

The Incoterms DDP and DAP are very similar: Both deal with all types of transport, and both have similar timelines for the point at which risk and liability pass from seller to buyer. For these reasons, exporters may confuse the two. In this article, I’ll define DDP vs. DAP and share the differences between the two, so you can make an informed decision on which term is the best choice for moving your goods.

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Exporters Filing Through AES: USPPI Address and State of Origin Should Match

If you export goods valued at more than $2,500 per Schedule B number to anywhere other than Canada, you usually must file export information electronically to the Automated Export System (AES). It’s important you report this information accurately to meet your compliance responsibilities and to avoid receiving a response email warning that your filing was rejected.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently called attention to one instance where exporters aren’t always getting it right: Their U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) Address State and State of Origin do not match, despite the definitions provided in the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) being almost identical.

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Proforma vs. Commercial Invoice: What’s the Difference?

A typical export process includes the use of both the proforma and commercial invoices. Shippers who don’t know better may think the two forms are interchangeable—but they’re not.

In this article, we’ll examine the differences between the proforma and the commercial invoice—they're among the 11 most common export documents exporters need to understand. And we'll look at the role each form plays in an export shipment.

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22 Insane Supply Chain Statistics [DATA]

Supply chain management has taken center stage the last several years, beginning with disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At one time, shipping professionals were predicting a return to normal as pandemic pressures eased and the world got back to business. But the following supply chain facts show what importers and exporters now know: Supply chain pressures are here to stay. 

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Incoterms Comparison: FOB vs. CIF—What's the Difference?

The Incoterms FOB and CIF are very similar: Both deal with sea and inland waterway transport, and both have similar timelines for the point at which risk and liability pass from buyer to seller. For these reasons, exporters often confuse the two—sometimes to their detriment. In this article, I’ll define CIF and FOB and share the differences between the two, so you can make an informed decision on which term is the best choice for moving your goods.

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Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Places the Burden on Importers

A new  law was signed into law on Dec. 23, 2021, to supplement existing laws contained in Section 307 of the Tariff Act 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1307), which prohibit the importation of all “...goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions.”

The new law—the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA)—took effect on June 21 and is designed to reinforce United States prohibition of the importation of goods made with forced labor. On June 13, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a  guidance document, Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Operational Guidance for Importers, to prepare importers to comply with this new law. 

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Should You Use a Freight Forwarder for Your Exports or Book Your Own Freight?

Freight forwarders are a one-stop shop for arranging transportation for your exports. They book container space and and execute inland logistics up until the point when your goods are successfully delivered. Most exporters use freight forwarders when arranging delivery of goods, because they depend on their expertise in areas that are overwhelming for exporters (especially those who are new to international trade) to understand on their own.

But, it’s not impossible to ship overseas without involving a freight forwarder. If you’ve ever wondered if booking container space directly with a shipping line would be a good fit for your company, maybe even save you money, read on. This article addresses four points you need to consider before you start booking freight in-house. 

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