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What's the Difference between a Schedule B Code and an HS Number?

David Noah | January 15, 2020 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

“All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.”

That idea really confounded me as a child learning geometry. How could one belong to another, yet the inverse not be true? As my teacher explained, the difference lies in specificity.

A similar concept applies in exporting: If you’re new to exporting, the difference between Harmonized System (HS) numbers and Schedule B codes may be vexing. You may be wondering, are they the same? Can they be used interchangeably? What’s the difference?

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Foreign Trade Zones: Advantages for Importers and Exporters

Arnesh Roy | January 13, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

If you import or export, you may be familiar with the terms foreign trade zone and free trade zone, both of which are frequently abbreviated as FTZ. These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to a class of government-run duty-free zones, but they actually mean slightly different things.

Free trade zone is a more general, universal term. Customs authorities representing governments across the globe have established free trade zones. Free trade zones are areas in which commodities can be manufactured, modified or stored under specific customs regulations and generally not subject to customs duties.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), foreign trade zones are the United States’ version of free trade zones. FTZs are designated areas within the United States that are legally located outside of the customs territory of the United States, meaning that goods that reside within an established FTZ haven’t yet cleared customs.

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Incoterms 2020 CFR: Spotlight On Cost and Freight

David Noah | January 8, 2020 | Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms 2020 rules are the latest revision of international trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are recognized as the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions.

Incoterms 2020 rules outline whether the seller or the buyer is responsible for, and must assume the cost of, specific standard tasks that are part of the international transport of goods. In addition, they identify when the risk or liability of the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm CFR, also known as Cost and Freight.

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World Trade Month Is May 2020 and You Are Invited

David Noah | January 6, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

May is World Trade Month in the United States, and to coordinate the plethora of events scheduled for May 2020, the World Trade Month Association has published a new website: WorldTradeMonth.com. This website will serve as a directory of international trade-related events held during May 2020 across the country and on the web.

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 period of trade wars, a reexamination of free trade agreements, and questions about future economic growth.

Individuals may register on the website to receive notifications of World Trade Month events they may wish to attend.

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Incoterms 2020 FOB: Spotlight On Free On Board

David Noah | December 18, 2019 | Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms 2020 rules are the latest revision of international trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are recognized as the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions.

Incoterms 2020 rules outline whether the seller or the buyer is responsible for, and must assume the cost of, specific standard tasks that are part of the international transport of goods. In addition, they identify when the risk or liability of the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm FOB, also known as Free On Board.

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Export Compliance: The Importance of Knowing End Use and End Users

Arnesh Roy | December 9, 2019 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

You’ve just found a buyer in a foreign country and you’re preparing to close the sale—great! But there’s one thing you should keep in mind that is easy to overlook: the end use and end users.

You will need to determine the end-use (how will the product ultimately be used) and the end-user (who will ultimately use the product). To ensure that you are compliant with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) of the United States, you must be sure that you are not shipping goods to a prohibited end-user or for a prohibited end-use.

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Incoterms 2020 FAS: Spotlight on Free Alongside Ship

David Noah | December 4, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms 2020 rules are the latest revision of international trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are recognized as the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions.

Incoterms 2020 rules outline whether the seller or the buyer is responsible for, and must assume the cost of, specific standard tasks that are part of the international transport of goods. In addition, they identify when the risk or liability of the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm FAS, also known as Free Alongside Ship.

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10 Items That Belong on Your Export Commercial Invoices

Catherine J. Petersen | December 2, 2019 | Export Basics, Export Forms

A commercial invoice is a formal request of reimbursement by the seller to the buyer. For your export shipments, it can serve several added functions:

  • The destination country requires it before clearing the goods through customs.
  • If there is an insurance claim on the shipment, it serves as a key supporting document.
  • The buyer uses it to release funds through its bank to the seller.
  • A bank examines it before reimbursing funds under a letter of credit or documentary collection.
  • U.S. export regulations require that exporters retain it for five years from date of shipment.
  • Exporters can use it to support foreign credit risk insurance claims.

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How to Write an Export Plan

Joseph A. Robinson | November 25, 2019 | Export Basics

Companies frequently ask me to provide a sample outline for producing an export plan. Small companies typically request the outline so they can establish an export department, whereas larger companies are either looking to expand their export promotion program or to use the outline in ISO 9000 procedures.

The following is a simple export plan outline that is a compilation of a dozen outlines that have come across my desk in the past 25 years. This outline is by no means inclusive; however, it covers many basic issues that should be addressed for the plan to be useful and implemented.

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Incoterms 2020 FCA: Spotlight on Free Carrier

David Noah | November 20, 2019 | Export Basics, Incoterms

Incoterms 2020 rules are the latest revision of international trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are recognized as the authoritative text for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties conducting international transactions.

Incoterms 2020 rules outline whether the seller or the buyer is responsible for, and must assume the cost of, specific standard tasks that are part of the international transport of goods. In addition, they identify when the risk or liability of the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

There are 11 trade terms available under the Incoterms 2020 rules that range from Ex Works (EXW), which conveys the least amount of responsibility and risk on the seller, to Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), which places the most responsibility and risk on the seller. The Incoterms 2020 Rules: Chart of Responsibilities and Transfer of Risk summarizes the seller and buyer responsibilities under each of the 11 terms.

In this article, we’re discussing the Incoterm FCA, also known as Free Carrier.

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