The International Trade Blog

Roberto Bergami

Roberto Bergami

A full time member of staff at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, since 1998, Roberto holds a PhD (Thesis title Risk Management in Australian Manufacturing Exports: the Case of Letter of Credit to ASEAN), a Master in Education and Master of Business by Research (Applied Economics). Roberto additionally holds the Certified Documentary Credit Specialist qualification. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the College of Business and Visiting Professor at the University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, the Czech Republic. Roberto is also an Associate Researcher of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing and the Centre for Strategic and Economic Studies. Roberto has maintained his involvement with industry through a number of peak associations where he enjoys various grades of senior level membership. In 2002 Roberto received the State of Victoria Quarantine Award for his efforts in educating students in quarantine matters. Roberto is an advisor to the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. and an external examiner for the Export Council of Australia. Roberto has published widely in academic and professional journals, has written several book chapters and authored his own textbook International Trade: A practical approach (now in its fourth edition) and he is regularly called upon by industry associations and individual businesses as a guest speaker in matters relating to international trade practices.

Roberto’s main areas of research interests in international trade focus on government regulations, delivery terms (Incoterms), international payment terms and market entry barriers. His other research interests include the development of communities of practice, online teaching and online communities, migration from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to Australia and teenage/youth dialect.

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Articles Written By Roberto Bergami

Import-Export Due Diligence: Measuring Corruption

This is the second part in my series of articles on assessing country and customer risk.

In my first article, I explained why it is important to classify both countries and customers. A rogue customer in a good (from a risk perspective) country is not a much better risk than a good customer in a rogue (from a risk perspective) country.

In this article I will concentrate on measuring the level of corruption in your current or potential foreign markets.

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Import-Export Due Diligence: Assessing Country and Customer Risk

Any entrepreneur interested in exporting to a foreign country or importing goods from abroad is inevitably faced with assessing the risk of doing business with both the relevant country and the particular customer or supplier.

Risk assessment is something that should be done by any entity. The process of assessing risk varies from organisation to organisation and industry to industry simply because the context and, therefore, the variables are not the same.

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Best Practices for Using Incoterms 2010

In the second article of this three part series, I discussed some common variations in terms and practices in the Incoterms® 2010 rules and definitions. In this article I will focus on some best practices that sellers and buyers may use to manage their delivery term risks.

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Variations in Using Incoterms 2010

In the first article of this three-part series, I discussed the responsibilities of the seller and buyer in relation to freight and associated charges depending on the Incoterms® 2010 rule chosen in the contract of sale.

In this article I will focus on some of the most common variations in terms and practices that sellers and buyers need to consider under the international trade terms so that the cost of the transaction can be properly accrued and to ensure certainty about the point at which risk is transferred.

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Incoterms 2010 Freight and Associated Charges

 A fundamental aspect of any sale of goods transaction is costing the product accurately. This equally applies to both the seller and the buyer. In this three part series, I will be discussing the responsibilities of the seller and buyer in relation to freight and associated charges in accordance with the Incoterms® 2010.

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Incoterms 2010 Rules: Revisiting the Correct Usage of the Terms

International trade is both important and problematic.

Important, because we live in a globally interconnected economy where we depend on one another for commercial activity. At times this dependence is dangerous, as the problems created in one country may affect others.

Problematic, because international trade is not easy. As one of my former staff members used to say when trying to explain the complexity of export transactions to others in the organisation: when you export, you just don't whistle for a taxi. How true this is.

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The Ship’s Rail Is Dead: Incoterms 2010

The International Chamber of Commerce released the text of the Incoterms 2010 with much fanfare before the new rules went info effect in January 2011.

These voluntary set of trade terms require specific incorporation into a sales contract in order to apply to a specific transaction. They are one part of the contract and not the whole contract, and in particular, they say nothing about the price to be paid or the method of payment that is used in the transaction.

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International Logistics: Four Critical Elements

The transport of cargo is one of the most critical aspects of international trade. As essential as transport is, however, it is only a means to an end—goods are transported from origin to destination to meet demand. Demand is driven by what individuals wish to do with the product—be it in an industrial setting or a private setting. As an executive of a drill manufacturing company once said, "People do not buy 1/4-inch drill bits, they buy 1/4-inch holes."

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The Rotterdam Rules

An important ceremony for users of sea freight services will take place on September 23, 2009: the signing of the Rotterdam Rules, officially known as the Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea.

Negotiations over the past seven years saw the United Nations General Assembly adopt the rules on December 11, 2008.

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Letter of Credit Risks in Uncertain Financial Times

It is widely accepted that one of the most crucial aspects for any business is the management of risk, particularly credit risk. This is fundamental to any firm’s success.

Risk management is based on a thorough understanding of business processes and practices, and successful risk management programs incorporate risk mitigation principles.

Risk mitigation is the actual anticipation of risk—that is, being able to predict, somewhat, where things could go wrong and taking preventative steps to minimize or avoid that risk from becoming reality, thereby avoiding potentially dire consequences.

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