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Preparing for USMCA: 6 Steps for Importers and Exporters

David Noah | June 10, 2020 | Free Trade Agreements

On April 24, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will enter into force and replace NAFTA on July 1, 2020. In this announcement, the Trade Representative said this new free trade agreement will provide "significant improvements and modernized approaches to rules of origin, agricultural market access, intellectual property, digital trade, financial services, labor, and numerous other sectors."

While the new agreement is no surprise, the timing of its implementation caught many companies off guard coming in the midst of a pandemic and economic turmoil. These companies are now rushing to prepare for July 1.

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Incoterms Lesson: The Danger of Using Ex Works for Your Exports

Roy Becker | June 8, 2020 | Incoterms

In my experience, many U.S. importers, exporters and bankers don’t understand Incoterms rules.

They often don’t understand the definitions or the risks and responsibilities of even their favorite sales terms that they’ve always used. They also don’t understand how Incoterms relate to payment terms.

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The Export Shipping Documentation Process

David Noah | June 3, 2020 | Export Basics, Export Forms

In a previous article, I explained the purpose of several common export documents and the information they typically include. This article expands on that discussion and explains how to use them in the export shipping documentation process.

Here’s how they work together:

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World Trade Month 2020 Wrap-Up

David Noah | June 1, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

When the World Trade Month Association chose the theme for May 2020—Growing Exports in Uncertain Times—the group had no idea just how uncertain things would become.

A year ago much of the uncertainty of international trade focused on the United States' trade war with China, the United Kingdom's implementation of Brexit, the implementation of new U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, and negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on a new free trade agreement to replace NAFTA.

But things really turned upside down with the outbreak of a global pandemic that is infecting millions.  In addition, it's causing major disruptions of world economies that, at best, is changing the way many companies are conducting business and, at worse, causing businesses to close and millions of workers to lose their jobs.

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NAFTA vs. USMCA: The North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

David Noah | May 27, 2020 | Free Trade Agreements

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably seen or heard something (maybe a lot of things) about the end of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the beginning of a new trade agreement called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA.

Well, after years of talk, it's finally happened. On July 1, 2020, NAFTA was replaced by USMCA.

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6 Reasons Exporters Are Frustrated with Their ERP's Export Module

David Noah | May 26, 2020 | Export Compliance, Export Forms

Our office occasionally fields calls from people who are looking at our Shipping Solutions software as a short-term solution for their export documents while they are implementing their organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) export modules.

The concerned callers on the other end of the phone are worried about how long their ERP trade/export modules are taking to implement, and they see our software as an affordable bridge, making their export departments more efficient.

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OFAC Compliance Best Practices

David Noah | May 20, 2020 | Export Compliance

For exporters, OFAC compliance is non-negotiable: If you’re shipping to one of the people or companies identified by OFAC, you must be aware of the associated sanctions for every single shipment.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as checking one list one time. OFAC lists may change at any time based on current events or changes in the political landscape.

And there isn’t just one single list that needs to be checked. The Federal Register compiles at least 125 relevant lists every day; and it’s up to you to keep up with them. Fortunately, there are best practices that can help you stay compliant with regulations. Read about them below.

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Middleman Blues: How to Make Sure You Don’t Get Cut Out of the Loop

Joseph A. Robinson | May 18, 2020 | Export Basics

A middleman is a person or organization that provides services and offers something of value to both buyer and seller. In other words, a bona fide middle person bridges the gap between suppliers and buyers by initiating quality contacts, providing sourcing services for buyers, assuring reliability of suppliers, and ensuring a continuous supply of products.

This matchmaking process can be hard work and deserves to be appropriately compensated. But once the suitors have been introduced and the relationship has been consummated, how can you, as a middleman, protect yourself from being cut out of the deal?

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3 Things You Need to Know about the Bill of Lading Form

David Noah | May 13, 2020 | Export Forms

Are you a new exporter looking for a primer on bills of lading? Or maybe you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum—a seasoned professional seeking a reference or training tool.

Either way, this article is for you! We’ll explain, in simple terms, three things you need to know about the bill of lading form.

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Who Is Responsible for Filing the Electronic Export Information (EEI)?

Arnesh Roy | May 11, 2020 | Automated Export System (AES)

As an exporter, you will no doubt become familiar with the Automated Export System (AES) if you aren’t already. This is the system that the United States uses to collect data on exports out of the country as outlined in the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR).

The U.S. Census Bureau uses this data, which they call Electronic Export Information (EEI), to compile statistics on economic indicators and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses this data to ensure that exporters are following regulations and that exports do not end up in the hands of restricted parties who may pose a threat to the national security of the United States.

All exporters should know if, how and when they are expected to file their export information through AES.

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