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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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Tools for Classifying Your Products for Export and Import

Catherine J. Petersen | November 26, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

Dear Cathy:

I have a question regarding the use of Schedule B Codes relating to spare parts.

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4 International Marketing Strategies for New Exporters

Becky DeStigter | November 19, 2018 | Import Basics

We live in uncertain economic times. But I believe that we learn far more about how to grow stronger companies in lean times than in times of plenty.

That said, this month I am sharing some of my hard-won marketing advice that I often give to internationalizing clients in B2B markets.

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What Is an Authorized Economic Operator?

David Noah | October 10, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

I sometimes get calls from exporters who have been asked by their international customers for their AEO number for import customs clearance.

The calls are all very similar:

What is an AEO code, and how do I find out what ours is?

My short answer:

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When Classifying Parts Using HTS Codes, Read the Notes!

John Goodrich | September 10, 2018 | Import Basics

We all know intuitively what a part is. Nearly every company has a parts department. These are the areas of the company staffed by those magical people who never throw anything away and always seem to be able to find that one widget or what is needed to repair a product and satisfy a customer.

It comes as a surprise to some that the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) uses the word part with a much narrower and precise definition. What we call a part in industry is rarely what the HTS code refers to as a “part” or “parts thereof.” As examples, it is not uncommon to find headings in the tariff such as:

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Classifying Your Goods for Import and Export Requires Expertise

John Goodrich | August 13, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

Following is a bit of light fiction blended with, I’m afraid, a heavy dose of truth:

“Even a trained squirrel could do classification, John!” a product engineer at a manufacturing firm told me the other day when we were discussing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification process at his company.

“What’s that you’re saying?” I had to restrain myself from reaching across the table and throttling him.

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Doing It by the Book: Classifying Your Goods for International Trade

Hank Selby | July 23, 2018 | Import Basics, Export Basics

In the first article I wrote for the International Trade Blog, I examined the importance of proper product classification for the importer. Accurate classification is a reasonable care requirement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and non-compliance can result in substantial cost, both in back duties and penalties for the importer.

I noted in that initial article that proper classification requires an understanding of the rules and the process. What follows are my recommendations to anyone who has to classify product.

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Freight Forwarder vs Customs Broker: What's the Difference?

David Noah | July 18, 2018 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Many exporters, especially beginners, assume that freight forwarders and customs brokers are two names for the same thing. This couldn't be further from the truth.

With that in mind, I asked Jay Devers, managing partner of Bestway International in Kansas City, Missouri, to share his knowledge on the topic. Devers, who has been involved in the logistics business since 2009, provides an explanation of the differences between freight forwarders and customs brokers as well as use cases for hiring both.

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International Organizations That Play a Role in Importing and Exporting

Arnesh Roy | May 14, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

In an increasingly globalized world, international organizations play an important role in importing and exporting. Their functions include maintaining standards to ensure safety, helping developing countries achieve economic security, and establishing norms regarding how countries make trade agreements and resolve conflicts.

Whether you’re new to international trade or a seasoned veteran, understanding the part that these organizations play is key to clear communication and compliance with both import and export regulations.

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Repaired Goods: Import and Re-Export

Catherine J. Petersen | March 19, 2018 | Export Basics, Import Basics

Congratulations! You sold a piece of your equipment and machinery to a customer in the United Kingdom who also purchased an extended warranty and service agreement from your firm.

Before you shipped your equipment to this new customer, of course, you verified that the goods did not require an export license and that the customer was not listed as a restricted end-user by any U.S. government agency.

Now, some months later, the equipment that you sold to your British customer has broken, and they wish to return the item for repair. They have asked you for guidance on how to proceed. It is urgent. You want to be sure that the return process is as inexpensive as possible and without any delays in shipping, handling, customs clearance, repair, and return.

Here are some steps that will help you make arrangements that will ease the flow of paperwork and goods between you and your customer.

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