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Foreign Goods

Foreign Goods Safe? Risky? Duty Drawback Software | Import Export Consulting | Processing Filing | Full Service

Foreign Goods Safe? Risky?

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The coronavirus has caused a lot of uncertainty this year across the globe. What is safe? Who is safe? What can we do? What can’t we do? So many questions. So little answers. Because of the uncertainty, consumers are questioning their every move including where they choose to buy from and which goods they choose to buy. CNBC reported that in April the market research firm, Kantar, surveyed 45,000 people across 17 counties. In the study, they found that a third of global consumers are now worried that products imported from outside countries is a safety risk. Countries perceived China and the U.S. as high risk with 47% of them saying that they were far less in favor of buying American and Chinese products. An executive from Kanter also said that people were beginning to favor locally-produced goods even though the price point was higher.

The question is, is there really a risk in foreign goods? According to the CDC and the British government, the risk is low. The CDC says that the virus can survive for a short period of time on some surfaces but is mostly spread via respiratory droplets. It is unlikely that consumers contract the virus from international mail, products, or packaging. Similarly, the British government says that the risk of contraction from imported food and packaging from affected countries is low. They justify their position by arguing that their laws require all exporters to follow the proper controls during the packing and shipping process to ensure good hygiene is met. So, if you are concerned about the safety of foreign goods the CDC and the British government claim that you are safe. The best way to avoid the virus is to wear a mask, limit your time around others, and stay 6 feet away from everybody. For more information on the import and export business, stay updated here on our monthly blog.

Varying Cargo Volumes

Varying Cargo Volumes

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc across the globe. Importers and exporters are scrambling as some industries are booming while others are really struggling. It has been a mixed bag in terms of cargo volumes received last month. In May of 2020 the Port of Oakland and the Port of Los Angeles reported significant drops in cargo volumes while the Port of Long Beach reported significant growth. Oakland reported this month that the loaded box volume is projected to continue to decline as it did last month. Los Angeles moved 29.8% less in May than it did a year ago. To date, overall cargo volumes have decreased 18.7% compared to last year’s numbers. Keep in mind that May 2019 set a pretty high bar as it was the busiest month in the Port of Los Angeles’ 114-year history. The decline seems really drastic for the month of May but this is in large part because of the great month they had a year ago. In turn, the Port of Long Beach has received a shift of some services from the Port of Los Angeles and they have seen a 10% increase in their normal business traffic. The Port of Long Beach moved 628,205 TEUs last month which is a 9.5% increase from May 2019. Imports grew 7.6% to 312,590 TEUs while exports increased 11.6% to 134,556 TEUs. Though the Port of Long Beach has seen impactful growth Los Angeles’ Port Executive Director Gene Seroka says that, “any notion of economic recovery in the shipping industry is a little bit too early to discuss.” Overall, this year the cargo statistics show a 7.8% decrease compared to the same time period just a year ago. Until we see consistent growth in the majority of Ports, we cannot assume that the U.S. economy is beginning to recover.

US Trade and Investment Policy Updates Duty Drawback Software | Import Export Consulting | Processing Filing | Full Service

International Trade & The Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected international trade. If you are an importer or an exporter you have seen the impact first-hand. But we understand that there are so many changes that it can be hard to stay updated. Because of that, we are here today to highlight some of the most important changes in the industry.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is accepting comments through June 25 on the possible removal of the Section 301 25% tariff on medical products from China. This includes the products that have previously been rejected for an exclusion. In order to submit a comment, you must identify the product as precisely as possible, including the ten-digit HTSUS subheading and its functionality and physical characteristics. Then you must explain precisely how it relates to the COVID-19 response, according to Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. International Trade, Customs & Export Law.  There have also been changes coming from the Department of Homeland Security. On April 7, they issued a temporary rule that prohibits exports of personal protective equipment being used to treat COVID-19 without explicit approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Lastly, companies might be able to use a sophisticated transfer pricing strategy to achieve significant duty savings and conserve cash. Retroactive transfer pricing adjustments are generally considered part of the customs value of previously imported goods and may need to be reported to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. By utilizing CBP’s reconciliation program companies can take advantage of any retroactive transfer price adjustments by reducing previously declared dutiable values. They can also help provide liquidity which some companies are in dire need of during these times.  During this pandemic, the import and export industry is changing constantly. To stay updated reach out to us or stay updated her on our monthly blog.

Import and Export Company Guide 

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Venable LLP is a law firm headquartered in our nation’s capital and one that ranked 64th in the 2017 AmLaw 100 survey. They recently hosted a webinar geared towards assisting companies that are involved in international trade and how they can navigate around the global coronavirus pandemic. Today we will be going over a few important topics that they discussed to help importers and exporters during this economic slowdown.  Venable attorneys suggested looking back at how the import and export industry handled both the Great Recession and 9/11. Understanding how companies dealt with both economic slowdowns can provide valuable insight in terms of responding to the COVID-19 recession. Look to our country’s history to help us get through struggles that we face today.  Venable attorneys also suggested monitoring for any regulatory changes that may ease certain restrictions on import clearance, or provide relief by means of tariff payment deferrals, and consider whether the stimulus package may benefit business operations, among other changes, according to Lexology. Venable attorneys collectively advise import and export companies to reach out to local, state, and/or national government contacts and stakeholders in order to stay up to date and be open to any developing opportunities. For example, there have been various changes made to the CARES Act, specifically targeted towards small businesses, financial services, air carriers, and related workers. With these changes come opportunities for subcontracting to support the government in providing services to help contain the epidemic.  Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused an economic slowdown there are still ways that importers and exporters can capitalize on opportunities. Look at our history, monitor for changes, and take advantage of every new opportunity that will come your way. For more information on the import and export industry, stay updated here on our monthly blog.   

Coronavirus Impact on Importers & Exporters

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The Coronavirus pandemic is threatening a global recession. The virus is causing major disruptions to businesses around the world. Supply and demand shocks in China have led to other countries, like the US, fearing a prolonged global slowdown or even a recession. Policy makers are making quick calls in response to help cushion the economic blow of the epidemic. Specifically, the U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an emergency rate cut at the beginning of March.  According to Reuters Business News, shortages of vital parts and components from China last month cost other countries and their industries $50 billion. And things are not projected to get any better. Analysts are saying that many businesses in China, businesses that U.S. companies partner with, are taking longer to reopen than expected. Some are saying that there is a chance that businesses will not return to normal production until late April/early May.  Firms that had not shut down or ones that have reopened are suffering from shortages of parts and other raw materials as well as labor. According to a survey by China’s customs administration that was released earlier this month, over 80% of foreign trading companies in China have returned to work. However, less than a third of small and medium-sized businesses are operating normally. A workforce that employs about 80% of China’s labor force.  The scare had caused China to postpone January’s data release and they had decided to instead combine the first two months on the year. That data has since been released and showed that China’s exports shrank by 17.2% in January and February combined due to the Coronavirus’ impact.  We are still learning more about the virus and it’s impacts on the import and export industry so make sure to stay updated here on our monthly blog for updated information! 

US Trade and Investment Policy Updates Duty Drawback Software | Import Export Consulting | Processing Filing | Full Service

US Trade and Investment Policy Updates

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What is DrawbackContact usIt has been a while since we have discussed recent news regarding U.S. trade and investment policies. Things continue to change rapidly, and it is important to understand what is going on for all importers and exporters. The Presidential Administration has released numerous trade proclamations, executive orders, and has signed major legislation with trade implications within the past couple of months. Below are some of the developments you should keep an eye on. At the end of last month, January 21, 2020, the Presidential Administration issued a new executive order on importer of record criteria. This executive order is intended to implement the administration’s policy to prevent the circumvention of U.S. laws and the avoidance of U.S. duties, taxes and fees in e-commerce transactions. On January 29, 2020 the president signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that implemented legislation into law. The USMCA will take effect of the first day of the third month after the last country notifies the others that it has completed all of their domestic procedures for ratification. On January 15, 2020 the United States and China concluded their Phase One Agreement. China has agreed to purchase $200 billion more of U.S. manufactured goods than they did in 2017. The agreement is called the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. On December 13, 2019 the Department of Justice came out with their revised policy regarding voluntary self-disclosures of export control and sanctions violations (VSD Policy). The VSD Policy encourages companies to voluntarily disclose all potentially criminal export control and sanctions violations directly to the Department of Justice. These are only a few of the recent changes that The Administration has made. As an import or export business, it is crucial to stay updated on all of these changes. For more information stay updated on our monthly blog. 

Improving Import Benefits

Improving Import Benefits

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If you are already in the import business and looking to improve your benefits here are some things you might want to consider.  The first thing you can do is work with a government-regulated trading program. Doing this will be more than worth the investment because they will help you navigate doing business with countries with strict regulations. Many programs are restrictive and overbearing but they do have many benefits for foreign importers including reduced risk when trading with a government-approved firm. Working with a government-regulated trading program is also a good idea if you want to increase your security.  A second thing you can do to improve your import benefits is to hire a third-party risk assessment. A compliance consultant or firm will help you assess risk and evaluate your import logistics. Many import companies have a staff member dedicated to compliance, but the downside is that often times staff members who are familiar with business operations, overlook potential threats. Hiring a third-party will eliminate this risk and best alert you of risks before they arise.  The last thing you can do to improve your import benefits is to develop a niche! For example, if you are running a new import business, you might be only importing one product. However, certain forms of the product may sell better than others. Compare the products that cost the most to import based on things like cost per product, customs, and shipping fees, to your most profitable products based on highest demand. Then ask yourself if there is a way to eliminate products that are costly and low-volume sellers. Generally speaking, you want to put all of your efforts towards products that are cheapest to obtain and the ones that bring in the highest revenue.  Work with a government-regulated trading program, hire a third-party risk assessment consultant/firm, and develop a niche to improve your import benefits! For more tips on importing reach out to us here at Dutycalc. 

Different Players 

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Different Players 

Duty Drawback Software | Import Export Consulting | Processing Filing | Full Service

What is Drawback

Contact us If you are looking to start an import/export business one of the first things you must understand are the different kinds players. Understanding what each of these different players do is essential to running a successful import/export business. Sure, there are importers and exporters but there are many variations on the main theme. Today we will focus on three different players – an export management company (EMC), export trading company (ETC), and import/export merchants.  EMC: These guys handle export operations for any domestic company that wants to sell its product overseas but is unsure how to do so. An EMC can do everything from hiring dealers, invoicing your customers, communicating with distributors and representatives, handling advertising and marketing promotions, overseeing marking and packaging, arranging shipping, and much more. These guys basically do it all. EMCs typically specialize by product, foreign market, or both.  ETC: While EMCs are taking care of all of the merchandising to sell and focusing on seeking out buyers, an ETC is a bit different. They attack the other side of the trading coin. ETCs usually specialize in identifying what foreign buyers want to spend their money on and then they hunt down domestic sources willing to export. ETCs will often times take title to the good and sometimes they work on a commission basis.  Import/Export Merchant: This is somewhat of a generic title that basically identifies a person who is an international entrepreneur that has no specific client base and does not specialize in any one industry or line of products. Instead this person purchases goods directly from a domestic or foreign manufacturer and then packs, ships, and resells the goods. Unlike an EMC, an import/export merchant assumes all risks as well as profits.  Understand how each of these players differ and you will be in much better position to make those big business decisions going forward. For more information on the import/export industry, stay tuned on our blog. 

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