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What is Landed Cost?

Arnesh Roy | January 10, 2022 | Import Basics, Export Basics

If you are involved in international shipping at your company, chances are you’ve heard mention of the term “landed cost.” Understanding the landed cost of your international transactions is a key factor in making strategic business decisions. But what exactly is landed cost?

This blog post explains what landed cost is, why it’s important, the role of Incoterms in determining landed cost, how to calculate landed cost, and the benefits of using landed cost software.

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HS Codes 2022: What Every Exporter Needs to Know

David Noah | January 5, 2022 | Import Basics, Export Basics

As new products come on the market and existing products change, the harmonized system numbers used to classify them need to be updated. To make these changes, the World Customs Organization (WCO) undertakes a formal process.

On Jan. 1, 2022, a new version of HS numbers, called HS 2022, went into effect. In this article, we’ll discuss the changes to HS classification and how exporters can stay up-to-date when classifying products.

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How Sourcing Impacts the Supply Chain

Dr. Cheryl McCloud | December 13, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Sourcing is an upstream part of the supply chain: It’s the process of strategically choosing the right services and goods that a company needs to run their business. Sourcing is also the act of buying goods, including seller selection, contract negotiation and measuring the long-term performance of your suppliers.

Sourcing greatly impacts an organization’s operations, so establishing long-term relationships will help companies gain a competitive advantage. Because after all, suppliers impact a company’s operations on many levels: finances, inventory levels, quality of goods and timely arrival. A stable sourcing process ensures your inventory levels will meet market supply and demand.

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U.S. and EU Seal Deal on Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Leslie Glick | December 6, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Announced during the G-20 summit in Rome, European Union (EU) and United States negotiators reached an agreement over the long-standing issue of Section 232 tariffs on EU exports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) to the US.

Originally limited to "mill" products when imposed in 2018 by President Trump, the tariffs were later expanded to cover "derivative" products such as nails and wire.

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Supply Chain Management vs. Logistics: What’s the Difference?

Dr. Cheryl McCloud | November 17, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

When you think of supply chain management (SCM), you also likely think of logistics and maybe even use the terms interchangeably. But the truth is, both concepts are different. Supply chain management involves the coordination of an entire network of activities, including: partner management, sourcing, manufacturing, production and assembly, storage, distribution and the final delivery of goods. Logistics supports supply chain management—it pertains to one part of the supply chain, where SCM involves the whole supply chain. Logistics, also known as distribution, involves managing the flow of inventory from supplier to final delivery to the customer. 

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U.S.-China Trade: USTR Will Restart Section 301 Tariff Exclusion Process

Leslie Glick | November 8, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Hopefully many of you have read our previous articles on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (start here if you missed them), tracing the history of this important trade law from its inception to the famous (or perhaps infamous) use of it to impose billions of dollars of tariffs, ranging from 7.5% to 25%, on imports from China.

Some had hoped these tariffs would end with the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration, but until a few weeks ago, nothing concrete had occurred.

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What Is Country of Origin Labeling? An Overview

David Noah | November 3, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Country of origin is known as one of the last areas of definition under international trade, and it’s one that has no formal definition. (Even the World Trade Organization’s developed protocol has been interpreted differently.)

One subset of this incompletely defined area is marking and labeling. Despite the fact that 130 years have passed since the McKinley Tariff Act (also known as the Porcelain Marking Act), the way we label goods still isn’t standardized. In fact, we continue to legislate country of origin labeling today!

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Exporters May Be Eligible for Import Tax Refunds

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

If you’re exporting to another country, there’s always a cost. In addition to paying fees for customs duties, you may also be paying Value Added Tax (VAT) if you’re selling goods to a country with a VAT regime. What many U.S. exporters don’t know is that they may be able to get some of this VAT refunded. In this article, we’ll look at where VATs exist and how to recover these costs.

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How to Manage Disruptions in the Supply Chain

Dr. Cheryl McCloud | September 1, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

The word chaos is a metaphor describing how individuals and groups in a system, through lack of knowledge and understanding, make decisions that create chaos. Chaos Theory explains how a change in one variable can affect systems, deliveries, destinations, product structures, origins and packing requirements, resulting in delays, increased costs, loss of goods, loss of customers and loss of quality.

Continuous major market disruptions since 2020 have evolved from linear to complex, and constant change has created chaos in decision making and management strategies. Managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are learning to lead in times of unpredictability, macrotrends, chaos, unstable and volatile markets, and destabilization.

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How Stronger Buy American Rules Will Impact International Traders

Leslie Glick | August 30, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Many international traders were surprised by the Buy American rules proposed by President Biden soon after inauguration—they were expecting the incoming president to have a gentler approach to international trade than his predecessor. (See my previous article Buy American Legislation Importers and Exporters Should Watch.) The January 2021 proclamation offered broad guidelines and few specifics but signaled the direction the administration would take on trade: goods purchased by federal agencies would need to contain less foreign-made content and waivers would be harder to come by.

Six months later, the White House released more specifics in this fact sheet. The proposal requires that goods purchased with taxpayer dollars contain more U.S.-made content—60% as soon as the rules go into effect and 75% by 2029, up from 55%.

What does this mean in a practical sense to the trade community?

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