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FAQ: Creating a Certificate of Free Sale for Your Exports

David Noah | January 27, 2021 | Export Forms

Successful exporters understand how important it is to properly complete and provide the required export paperwork. The export documents you may need for a particular shipment vary depending on where you are exporting, how you are transporting the goods and what you are shipping.

The Certificate of Free Sale is one export form you may need to provide. It provides assurance to the customs authority of the importing country that the items listed on the certificate are the same items that are manufactured in the United States and sold here without restriction, and that they presumably meet all state and federal laws and regulations. It provides that assurance because the form is certified by a U.S.-based chamber of commerce. Some countries may require a certificate from a government agency such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain products.

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International Trade Frequently Asked Questions

Arnesh Roy | January 25, 2021 | Export Basics

In my role at Shipping Solutions, I am privileged to talk with people from many different kinds of companies involved in international trade. As you might expect, I receive a lot of questions!

Today’s blog post compiles some of the most frequently asked questions that I hear. I hope that by the time you reach the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of some of the most common issues relevant to international trade.

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How to Classify Your Products for Import and Export

David Noah | January 20, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Understanding product classification is a necessary and important part of a successful importer and exporter’s toolkit. Unfortunately, it’s also a complicated, and therefore misunderstood, aspect of international trade. Companies may be quick to rush through classification and make mistakes. Improper classifications may trigger audits, long delays in shipping and substantial financial penalties, so it’s important to do correctly!

This article will help clarify this often-muddled topic by summarizing some of the key points discussed by Robert P. Imbriani in his free webinar, Classifying Your Products for Importing and Exporting.

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Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow-Part 2

Leslie Glick | January 18, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

In the first article of this series—How Section 301 Investigations and Tariffs Have Impacted TradeI gave an introduction to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a trade law with a long history and one which has been used more frequently during the Trump administration. I traced the use of the law through the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the historic Japanese semiconductor investigations in the mid 1980s.

Today I'll look at Special 301, which emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s to address trade barriers to U.S. companies due to the ineffective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.   

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World Trade Month Is May 2021 and You Are Invited

David Noah | January 13, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

May is World Trade Month in the United States, and to coordinate the plethora of events traditionally scheduled for that month, the World Trade Month Association's website,, will once again serve as a directory of international trade-related events scheduled for May 2021 across the country.

The theme for this year's World Trade Month website is "Growing exports in uncertain times," a reflection of the challenges facing companies during a global pandemic, economic volatility and a new U.S. presidential administration.

Individuals may register for free on the website to receive notifications of World Trade Month events they may wish to attend. Organizations may submit the events they are planning to host during the month. There is no charge for the listings.

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What HR Needs to Know About Export Compliance and Deemed Exports

Matthew Silverman | January 11, 2021 | Export Compliance

For most human resources professionals, international trade and export compliance are not topics they expected to encounter during their day-to-day jobs. However, at many companies, the partnership between export compliance and HR is crucial. The following summarizes key intersections and how HR may serve a valuable and necessary role in ensuring export compliance company-wide.

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Exporting to India: What You Need to Know

David Noah | January 6, 2021 | Export Markets

Looking to break into the world’s fastest-growing economy? Then look toward India. That’s right—within the next decade, India will outrank China as the most populous country in the world. So what does the growth of this nation mean for its economy and for exporters who may want to enter it?

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What's So Important about the Harmonized System Classification?

Hank Selby | January 4, 2021 | Import Basics

For those of us who have been in the international trade arena for a while, the subject of product classification has always been interesting and, often, quite confusing.

When I started in this business more than 20 years ago, there was no single system used to classify imports worldwide. The United States used the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS), Europe generally used the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature, and many other countries had their own unique systems.

Sound confusing? It was!

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FCA Incoterms 2020: A Replacement for the Domestic Trade Term FOB

Catherine J. Petersen | December 28, 2020 | Incoterms

Companies that ship domestically within the United States often use the trade term FOB—Free On Board. But FOB has a completely different meaning under the international trade terms, Incoterms 2020. Exporters who want to use the international equivalent to FOB often use the Incoterm FCA—Free Carrier At.

Like all 11 of the 2020 Incoterms rules, FCA identifies whether it is the seller or the buyer who pays the domestic, international and on-carriage freight charges. So, let’s compare the domestic use of FOB with the international use of FCA.

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Creating the IATA Dangerous Goods Form: The Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods

Robert Smith | December 21, 2020 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

Before you can ship dangerous goods by air, you need to properly complete the required transport documents: the air waybill and the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods.

The main purpose of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD) is for the shipper to provide critical information to the aircraft operator or carrier in a format that is consistent throughout the transportation industry. This standard is part of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

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