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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

Technology Brings Changes to the Freight Forwarding Industry

Catherine J. Petersen | June 10, 2019 | Export Basics

I’ve been reading article after article about the future of freight forwarding in the face of A.P. Moeller-Maersk’s and CGA CGM Group's approach to integrated services along with the widely available technology we employ in standard business transactions.

Maersk and CGA CGM have acquired large freight forwarder and customs broker organizations to create an end-to-end, port-to-port service profile for their core business, container shipping. Maersk acquired customs broker Vandegrift, Inc. to complement its acquisition of Damco Sea & Air; CGA CGM acquired CEVA Logistics.

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

Catherine J. Petersen | April 15, 2019 | Automated Export System (AES)

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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Wood Packaging Certificates for Export and Import

Catherine J. Petersen | March 4, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics

“Keeping out the bugs” has become the worldwide mantra for exporters and importers. The bug that gained everyone’s attention in the United States was the Asian Long Horn Beetle, while other countries are concerned with the Pine Worm Nematode plus many other.

There are more than 85 countries that have adopted the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) regulation for wood packaging since its inception in 2001, according to the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (PLIB). The regulation applies to wood packaging materials (WPM) made from softwood or hardwood.

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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 | Import Basics, Export 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 Compliance, Export Forms

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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