Join the 18,950 other exporters who get the latest export news, tips and insights from export professionals.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Hank Selby

Articles Written By Hank Selby

Doing It by the Book: Classifying Your Goods for International Trade

Hank Selby | July 23, 2018 | Import Basics, Export Basics

In the first article I wrote for the International Trade Blog, I examined the importance of proper product classification for the importer. Accurate classification is a reasonable care requirement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and non-compliance can result in substantial cost, both in back duties and penalties for the importer.

I noted in that initial article that proper classification requires an understanding of the rules and the process. What follows are my recommendations to anyone who has to classify product.

Read More

Import Basics: The Generalized System of Preferences

Hank Selby | March 14, 2004 | Import Basics

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was established by the Trade Act of 1974 as a mechanism by which U.S. trade policy can assist so called Beneficiary Developing Countries or BDCs.

Under GSP, certain articles designated by A, A*, or A+ in the Special subcolumn of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) may enter the U.S. duty free if they qualify under the GSP regulations as found in the Customs Regulations of the United States.

The theory is that by allowing certain goods to enter free of duty, the U.S. is able to support indigenous manufacturing and production and thus raise the standard of living of the beneficiary country.

Read More

The 5 Most Common Mistakes of New Importers

Hank Selby | June 29, 2003 | Import Basics

With more than 20 years of observing new businesses try to get into international trade, I have seen many mistakes made and many companies fail. I am going to give you my perspective on what new importers, particularly those dealing in consumer goods, should not do.

Read More

Applying to C-TPAT Makes Sense for Importers

Hank Selby | March 2, 2003 | Import Basics

Since U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) in November 2001, I have been recommending to importers that they should participate.

This article will give you more information about what C-TPAT is, why you should participate, and how to apply.

Read More

The 24-Hour Rule: New Customs Requirements for Importers

Hank Selby | January 26, 2003 | Import Basics
On February 2, 2003, U.S. Customs will be implementing the so-called “24-hour rule,” which went into legal effect on December 2, 2002. With this rule, U.S. Customs will now require carriers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) to transmit certain cargo data to U.S. Customs 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a ship bound for the U.S. at a foreign port.

Read More

How to Select Your Customs Broker

Hank Selby | November 10, 2002 | Import Basics
U.S. Customs Brokers are private individuals, partnerships, associations or corporations licensed by the U.S. Customs Service to prepare and file entries, arrange for payment of duties, arrange for release of goods in Customs Custody, and otherwise represent their clients in Customs matters. By U.S. law, these are the only entities that are authorized to act as agents for importers in their import business.

Read More

An Introduction to Importing Into the United States

Hank Selby | September 29, 2002 | Import Basics

As someone who works with importers of various sizes and with different product mixes, people often ask me what they need to know to start importing.

The first thing I always point out is that U.S. customs regulations continually change. It is every importer’s responsibility to stay abreast of these changes.

With that caveat in mind, I would offer the following advice to new importers.

Read More

Prior Disclosure: Reporting Mistakes In Your Import Entries

Hank Selby | August 25, 2002 | Import Basics

In previous columns, I discussed the concept of informed compliance under which importers in the United States are required by law to understand the U.S. customs regulations as they apply to their importations and to comply with them completely.

One major problem with this concept, however, is that the customs regulations are complicated and are constantly being changed. Moreover, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regularly issues rulings further interpreting the regulations and product classifications.

Read More

What Is an Assist?

Hank Selby | July 21, 2002 | Import Basics

In an earlier article (Everything has a Value—to U.S. Customs), I stated that the value of any type of assist must be added to the transaction value of imported merchandise in order to obtain the correct value for customs duty purposes.

I went on to say that this was an extremely complicated subject. In fact, the whole subject of assists is so complicated that they are the first subject covered in the official Customs Valuation Encyclopedia.

Read More

Customs Focus: Country of Origin Marking

Hank Selby | May 5, 2002 | Import Basics

Most articles written today about U.S. Customs and Border Protection focus on fighting the war on terrorism or on drug interdiction. While fighting terrorism and drugs has received increased visibility, Customs continues to enforce a large number of ongoing commercial initiatives.

One such initiative: All imported goods, with a few exceptions, must be marked with their country of origin.

Read More