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A Primer on the Export Proforma Invoice

David Noah | February 20, 2019 | Export Basics, Export Forms

Before your goods are transferred, flown, shipped or driven out of the country, a proforma invoice will set the stage, serving as a negotiating tool between you and your international customer and a blueprint for the entire process.

As one of the first documents prepared in an export transaction, a proforma invoice acts like a quote and looks like a commercial invoice. This document, when correctly completed, contains several key pieces of information that will be used on many of the export forms you'll need to create later on.

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Growing Your Exports: Calling On Overseas Customers

Joseph A. Robinson | February 18, 2019 | Export Basics

A successful export manager recently told me that many years ago he made an overseas business trip to a major country in Asia.

As an afterthought, he decided to stop by a small country that he had never visited before. Much to his surprise, he was able to develop a reasonable amount of business developed from his side trip that continues even today.

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Who Is the FPPI and Why Are They Important?

David Noah | February 4, 2019 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics



All the acronyms we use in exporting can make you feel a little overwhelmed. If you’re a little unsure how the FPPI fits into this alphabet soup, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know about the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI) in plain English.

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USPPI vs. Exporter: What's the Difference?

David Noah | January 30, 2019 | Export Basics, Automated Export System (AES)

The language of exporting can be confusing. There are several different terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have small but important differences.

The differences between the definition of an exporter versus the definition of a U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) may seem minute but are actually important to understand. While many people use these terms interchangeably, they’re not exactly the same.

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Import-Export Compliance: The Black Magic of International Trade

Michael Laden | January 28, 2019 | Export Basics, Import Basics

In many companies the art of moving goods across international borders is viewed as black magic. In fact, I have a colleague who keeps a magic wand in his desk just for such emergencies.

When someone from the inventory or shipping department begins screaming about back orders and delays at customs, he simply produces the potent wand, whisks it mindlessly through the air, and presto-chango the consignment appears… sometimes.

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What Is a Bill of Lading?

David Noah | January 23, 2019 | Export Basics, Export Forms

Bills of lading are issued every day, but the transportation professionals who truly understand their significance are in the minority. With that in mind, we spoke with transportation law expert Brent Primus, J.D., CEO of Primus Law Office, P.A., and CEO and senior editor of transportlawtexts, inc. to discuss the Bill of Lading and its purpose.

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EAR99 Isn't a Free Pass for Export Compliance

David Noah | January 16, 2019 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

One of my favorite aspects of working with our customers is getting their feedback about the export processes and systems they use and love. However, there are some instances when I hear things that make me cringe.

This is especially true when I’m talking to people about export compliance. I ask them what they’re currently doing to stay compliant with export regulations.

Too often I hear: “We don’t have to worry about compliance because our items are EAR99.”


What I then emphasize (often to deaf ears) is that EAR99 is not a pass to get out of the compliance due diligence process. In fact, determining the proper classification for your goods is only part of the compliance process—end use and end user make a difference!

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The Beginner's Introduction to Incoterms

David Noah | January 9, 2019 | Export Basics, Incoterms

If you ship goods domestically, you may wonder why you need to know Incoterms too. FOB is FOB, isn't it?

Well, actually, no—they’re not!

While the vast majority of companies in the U.S. use the shipping terms identified under the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) when shipping domestically, these shipping terms aren't appropriate to use when exporting.

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Kim Kardashian and the Shipping Solutions International Trade Blog

David Noah | January 2, 2019 | Export Basics

We've made it to the big leagues. A Shipping Solutions blog post has been quoted in an article about Kim Kardashian.

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How Americans Often Lose in International Negotiations

Becky DeStigter | December 10, 2018 | Export Basics

Have you ever left a negotiation with a potential international client or partner and felt like you didn't get what you wanted or expected?

Maybe you were being honest about what you were thinking and that led to the other side taking the conversation in a direction you weren't expecting. Or perhaps you were trying to keep the conversation going when the other side just stopped talking.

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