What you need to know.

GTPI is often asked the same kinds of questions from big and small companies involved in international trade. In addition to giving you an understanding of how to best approach import and export challenges, the answers below demonstrate GTPI’s understanding of the delicate complexities of global commerce. Feel free to contact us with your own questions. arrow_bw

What are common importer errors?

Importers generally make errors surrounding valuation, classification, US Goods Returned, special trade programs, and record keeping. In order to avoid these pitfalls, do your research, and above all, partner with the right team of advisors to ensure compliance.

What items are subject to US export controls?

  • All items in the US
  • All US origin items, wherever located
  • US origin parts, components, and materials incorporated abroad into foreign-made products
  • US origin technology and software co-mingled with foreign technology and software
  • Certain foreign-made direct products of US origin
  • US persons and foreign nationals

What kinds of records do I need to maintain for my import and export shipments?

As an importer or exporter of record, you must keep all records related to your import and export transactions for 5 years.

Import: all documents noted on the (a)(1)(A) list, including Customs entries, Powers of Attorney, packing lists, commercial invoices, transportation documents, and anything else related to the import transaction.

Export: export control documents, memoranda, notes, correspondence, contracts, bids, accounting and financial records, documents related to restrictive trade practices, as well as anything else related to the export transaction.

How can I ensure that my customer will not re-export my US products to an embargoed country?

Nothing is guaranteed, but these steps could help:

  • Your customer service and marketing representatives should thoroughly screen customers. If there are any red flags, address them immediately.
  • Ask your customer to sign a document stating they will not re-export your product.
  • Include destination control statements on commercial invoices.
  • Keep records.

How can I reduce duty payments?

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers many ways for importers to save on duty payments and improve cash flow. Some options include first sale basis of valuation, duty drawback, free trade agreements, bonded warehouses, foreign trade zones, temporary import bonds, and carnets. GTPI can expertly assist your company with duty management. To find out more click here.

How does Customs assign the imported value to merchandise?

Customs assigns a value to imported merchandise that may be different than the value appearing on a commercial invoice. Even buyer and seller relationships affect your Customs valuation. Customs assesses the imported value based on the price actually paid or payable (the total payment for the merchandise, less international freight and insurance charges). It also includes charges paid directly or indirectly to the seller such as packing costs, selling commissions, assists, royalties, licensing fees, and proceeds of subsequent resale. GTPI understands the intricacies of valuation, and can guide your business. For more information, check out this helpful guide.