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Export Codes: ECCN vs. HS, HTS and Schedule B

David Noah | September 23, 2020 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

As an exporter, you must be concerned with the proper classification of your goods and products.

I hear from many exporters who are confused about the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) classification for their product and the Harmonized System (HS), Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), and Schedule B numbers of their products.

First, it’s critical to understand that these classification systems have different purposes.

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How to Stay Current with Import-Export Product Classification Numbers

David Noah | September 2, 2020 | Export Basics

Lisa recently talked to someone who was having trouble with an EEI filing. He kept getting an error and couldn’t figure out why—until he realized the Schedule B number he was using wasn’t current, so AESDirect was rejecting the filing.

This is an important reminder for all exporters (and importers, too!) to stay current on product classification numbers. Exporters need to be concerned about the accuracy of their export documents and Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing through AESDirect. Importers need to be concerned as well; if they use an outdated number, it may cause problems with customs clearance.

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Schedule B Codes: 6 vs. 10 Digits

Catherine J. Petersen | August 24, 2020 | Export Basics

Dear Cathy:

During the past year, we have been working diligently to ensure that our documents clearly reflect all the details and information needed for export and import clearance. This has included a project to ensure that our classifications for export are accurate.

We are stymied now. The question that we are trying to resolve at this moment is whether we should report the six-digit portion of the Schedule B code number or the full 10-digit number on our commercial invoices.

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How Will I Get Paid for My Export?

Roy Becker | August 3, 2020 | Export Basics

My business dinner guest sat on the board of directors for a company preparing for their first export sale. This new venture thrilled the gentleman as he anticipated the prospect of the company’s initial entry into Mexico.

We discussed the benefits of the sale and examined some of the logistical details. Since he understood many of the twists and turns, he surprised me when he posed a basic question: "If we put the sale together, how will we get paid?"

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5 Excuses Exporters Should Avoid

David Noah | July 29, 2020 | Export Basics

If this year has taught us anything, it has taught us that even when our lives and our businesses appear to be running smoothly, they can be dramatically disrupted.

While we can probably be forgiven for not anticipating a black swan event like a global pandemic, organizations that have a business disruption or disaster recovery plan in place are often better prepared to respond to heretofore unthinkable problems like implementing new safety protocols, setting up remote work spaces, and managing supply chain disruptions.

On the opposite end of the preparedness spectrum are organizations that choose to ignore potential problems that they should be aware of. Instead their leaders make excuses why the challenges that negatively impact other businesses in their industry won't be a problem for their own company.

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The Chamber of Commerce and Export Documents: The Certificate of Origin

David Noah | July 22, 2020 | Export Basics, Export Forms

In my first article in this series, I discussed the role chambers of commerce play in exporting.

In this article, I'm focusing on one of the most useful services a chamber of commerce provides to exporters: export documents. Specifically, their role in helping you create a certificate of origin.

We spoke with Wendy Baggett, president and CEO of American World Trade Chamber of Commerce, to find out what exporters need to know about that process.

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No, You Probably Don't Need an Export License, But...

David Noah | July 15, 2020 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

I talk to a lot of people who ask me, “How do I get a license to become an exporter?” That makes me nervous for them, because it shows a general lack of knowledge about what’s involved with exporting.

Obviously, not everyone who exports needs an export license. But some exports do, and knowing the difference is an important part of export compliance.

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A Glossary of International Shipping Terms

Arnesh Roy | July 13, 2020 | Export Basics

Shipping products seems simple, right? You simply package the product and send it to your customer. But did you know there are different types of shipment?

Depending on the size of your shipment, it may be considered parcel, less-than-load (LTL), or a full truckload (FTL) shipment. Your shipment may be too small for certain carriers, or conversely, if you have a large shipment, you may have to rely on a carrier certified to be able to ship large containers. There are also unique considerations depending on the mode of transport—whether you’re shipping via air, sea, road, or rail.

The wide variety of terms that relate to the process of moving goods through a supply chain can seem overwhelming. But understanding the different types of shipment and related terms is crucial to ensure your goods get shipped on-time, within compliance, and in good shape.

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

David Noah | July 8, 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.

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An Introduction to Incoterms

David Noah | June 24, 2020 | 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—it's not!

While the vast majority of companies in the United States 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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