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Catherine J. Petersen

In 1992, Catherine Petersen founded C J Petersen & Associates, LLC, a research, instruction and consulting firm located in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. She has designed documentation and procedure manuals for exporters and has authored/co-authored five books:

Ms. Petersen has had day-to-day practical experience at a freight forwarder, a trading company, and an ocean carrier; she has been active in international business since 1980. Her background led her to develop C J Petersen & Associates, LLC, which is a collaborative consultancy that works with clients to identify compliance gaps and to resolve them. Ms. Petersen is a speaker and instructor at U.S. and foreign venues.

She holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees in regional planning from Mankato State University, Minnesota, and she is a Licensed Customs Broker with a Permit from Minneapolis Port Office of US Customs & Border Protection. She has also completed the ICC Incoterms® 2010 online training and received the ICC Certificate of Achievement in 2011. She has been awarded the Certified Customs Specialist certification by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.

Ms. Petersen has been appointed by U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce to the International Trade Advisory Committee on Customs Matters and Trade Facilitation (ITAC14).

She has been active in several organizations including the Minnesota District Export Council, University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies Logistics Task Force, Twin Cities Roundtable Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Midwest Global Trade Association of Minnesota, Global Minnesota, and the International Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.

Articles Written By Catherine J. Petersen

Exporters: Review the ACE Reports of Your AESDirect Filings

Catherine J. Petersen | February 11, 2019 | Automated Export System (AES)

Most exports from the United States require that the Electronic Export Information (EEI) be filed through AESDirect on the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal. Depending on the circumstances of the export—Is this a routed export transaction?—a filing must be done by the exporter (also known as the U.S. Principal Party in Interest or USPPI), the freight forwarder, or some other agent.

Even if your company isn’t doing its own EEI filing, it behooves you to set up an ACE account so you can obtain and examine the ACE reports for all your exports. I have seen the look of shock and surprise on the faces of trade compliance professionals when they review their reports and see what information has been filed using their companies’ tax ID numbers.

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How to Correct Errors in Your Export Paperwork

Catherine J. Petersen | January 14, 2019 | Export Forms

Dear Cathy:

We have an export customer who placed a telephone order for a shipment of goods they needed quickly. They gave us a purchase order number and instructed us to bill one of their subsidiaries.

We processed the order quickly and shipped with all the documents showing the customer as the subsidiary company as requested.

When we received a hard copy of the purchase order it was actually from the parent company and not the subsidiary. Now they are telling us that the parent company is the customer and that all paperwork should match the purchase order.

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Tools for Classifying Your Products for Export and Import

Catherine J. Petersen | November 26, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

Dear Cathy:

I have a question regarding the use of Schedule B Codes relating to spare parts.

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Export Compliance: Using the Proper Value on a Commercial Invoice

Catherine J. Petersen | October 22, 2018 | Export Forms, Export Compliance

Whenever you work on an export transaction, there are dozens of steps you must follow to successfully complete the process. One of these steps is issuing a commercial invoice. That is true whether your firm sells hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars worth of merchandise.

Occasionally, you may have a customer who requests that you ignore export compliance regulations and alter the invoice value to allow them to save money on import duties.

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Export License Requirements: Understanding Dual-Use Products

Catherine J. Petersen | September 24, 2018 | Export Compliance

A customer service representative recently approached me at a seminar and told me about a phone conversation she had with one of her U.S. customers who was looking to export a product they sell. Her customer asked if she had an ECCN for her product since it seemed to be a dual use item that might need an export license.

She needed help understanding what her customer meant.

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Certificate of Origin Requirements for Exports

Catherine J. Petersen | August 27, 2018 | Free Trade Agreements

Dear Cathy,

We took a few export training sessions with you some time ago. Since our sessions with you, our staff in customer service raised a question about certificates of origin. I was wondering if you could help us.

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Does Your Product Require an Export License?

Catherine J. Petersen | July 16, 2018 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

Before you can decide whether or not your product requires an export license, you need to understand what constitutes an export. According to U.S. export regulations, an export is any item sent from the United States to a foreign destination, organization or individual.

Here are some examples of when an item is being exported:

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When to Use a Certificate of Origin Form for Your Export Shipments

Catherine J. Petersen | June 25, 2018 | Export Forms, Free Trade Agreements

The certificate of origin is a document issued by an exporter that confirms and certifies the country of origin of its products.

The certificate of origin may be a statement added to the commercial invoice that supports the listing of the country of origin by line item. Alternatively, it might be a separate letter or form that incorporates a statement indicating the country of origin is as stated on the commercial invoice, certifies the document is true and correct, and then signed by the exporter’s employee.

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9 Things You Need to Know to Prepare an Export Quote

Catherine J. Petersen | May 30, 2018 | Export Basics, Export Forms

More often than not, an export transaction begins with a request for a quote from the buyer to the seller.

The quote, which is often presented in the form of a proforma invoice, serves as a formal statement of promise by your firm that you will provide certain goods or services at specified prices and within an identified period of time. Acceptance of the quote by the buyer constitutes an agreement binding on both parties.

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5 Reasons You Need a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction for Your Exports

Catherine J. Petersen | May 21, 2018 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Forms

When it comes to preparing export paperwork, the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is one document that many exporters are inexplicably reluctant to prepare. They shouldn’t be.

By completing an SLI and sending it to the freight forwarder, you are establishing a best practice for your firm. You have a written record of who received the shipping documents, who to contact for questions, who to contact for proof of export, and who issued the export control documentation that supports the decision to send your products to your foreign customer.

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