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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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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 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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Incoterms 2020: Here's What's New

David Noah | October 9, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics, Incoterms

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released the new Incoterms 2020 rules that identify the responsibilities of buyers and sellers for the delivery of goods in international trade. The terms also identify when the risk for those goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

The new terms take effect on January 1, 2020.

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How to Use the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

David Noah | September 25, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics

As an exporter, you’re probably familiar with the Harmonized System (HS) and Schedule B codes, but you may not be as familiar with the role of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, or HTS, codes.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of the HTSUS, including what it is, when it should be used, and why Schedule B codes are a better option for companies that export only.

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Metrics Help Track Import-Export Compliance Performance

Tracy A. Smith | July 15, 2019 | Export Compliance, Import Basics

Successful companies use metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure aspects of their performance. Often times, these metrics or KPIs apply to sales, marketing or manufacturing. But they can—and should—be used in import and export compliance functions, too.

When effectively applied, trade compliance metrics drive process efficiencies, provide better visibility, and promote the efforts of the trade compliance group to the executive team and throughout the entire organization.

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How Exporters Can Identify Import Country Requirements

David Noah | June 5, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics

One of the most costly mishaps an exporter can face is to get their goods to the destination and realize that something was overlooked. Either they made a mistake, the deal was structured incorrectly, or responsibility was overlooked.

Often, this happens because sellers get seduced by the thought of a sale and put on blinders for the realities of it. Unfortunately, they end up in a difficult and costly situation because they didn’t think about what steps needed to be taken.

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Wood Packaging Certificates for Export and Import

Catherine J. Petersen | March 4, 2019 | Import Basics, Export Basics

“Keeping out the bugs” has become the worldwide mantra for exporters and importers. The bug that gained everyone’s attention in the United States was the Asian Long Horn Beetle, while other countries are concerned with the Pine Worm Nematode plus many other.

There are more than 85 countries that have adopted the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) regulation for wood packaging since its inception in 2001, according to the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (PLIB). The regulation applies to wood packaging materials (WPM) made from softwood or hardwood.

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Everything Has a Value—to U.S. Customs

Hank Selby | February 25, 2019 | Import Basics

In my last article I discussed the importance of properly classifying products imported into the United States. As I stated, the Harmonized Tariff number determines the duty rate that U.S. Customs applies to imported products.

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Import-Export Compliance: The Black Magic of International Trade

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