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Regulatory/Compliance

How to Dance Your Way Through the New US – M – C – A

After nearly 25 years, on July 1, 2020, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be officially replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Now that the implementation of the USMCA has arrived, it is more important than ever to make sure you and your supply chain are ready for the changes. These modifications will […]

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Food for Thought: Are Your Section 301 Exclusions Approaching Their Expiration Date?

As of May 27, 2020, the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has published 32 rounds of Section 301 exclusions covering Lists 1, 2, 3 and 4a products. The exclusions include more than 2,000 possible items that, if produced in Mainland China and imported into the United States, may be eligible for an exclusion from the […]

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Hindsight 2020: A Look at Potential Impacts of the IMO Global Sulfur Cap

In 1919, people expected the year 2020 to be filled with high-speed trains, flying cars and seemingly utopic metropolitan areas. At the time, Prohibition advocates were fixated on banning the alcoholic content in beverages in an effort to improve what they viewed as a growing public health epidemic, while usage of fossil fuels perpetually increased […]

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Bonanza Guest Blog: How to Increase Repeat E-commerce Business and Build a Loyal Customer Base

To succeed as a seller, sometimes you have to think like a buyer. When you decide to purchase an item online, you’re likely going to do a quick search before picking whichever seller has the best reviews and/or lowest price… unless you’ve previously had a memorable experience with a particular seller. Perhaps you were impressed […]

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Keep Calm and Reconcile On: The Benefits of ACE Reconciliation

When submitting an entry to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there are a few essentials that comprise every transaction – valuation, country of origin, and product classification. However, it isn’t always possible to provide all elements at the time of entry. On occasion, the value, classification, 9802 or Free Trade Agreement (FTA) associated with […]

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Compliance Instruction Manual: Valuation Chapter

It’s time to open your Import Compliance Tools Instruction Manual! The first page brings you to one of Customs’ most common errors when importing: Valuation. The responsibility of reporting the correct value of the cargo to Customs falls on the importer because of ‘Reasonable Care,’ which states importers are aware of their obligations when importing. […]

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What’s an Importer to Do About the Chinese (Section 301) Tariffs?

“Knowledge is power.” – Sir Francis Bacon We couldn’t agree more! Freight is a variable game, but regulatory compliance requires a solid foundation of knowledge and experience. And Shapiro has over a century of that! Is your company being affected in some way by the imposition of additional Chinese tariffs under Section 301?  Will these […]

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Why Invest in a Compliance Program?

Does your company have a trade compliance program? In today’s fast-paced marketplace, lack of awareness about the benefits of a trade compliance program can be very costly.  Companies can save a substantial amount of money if they know how to apply and take advantage of free trade agreements, preference programs, drawback, first sale valuation, tariff […]

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CBP’s New E-commerce Strategy

These days, the world of e-commerce is constantly moving and evolving. If you blink, you may just find yourself 10 steps behind! A lot of the change is driven by the agility of both e-commerce sellers and a growing community of logistics & customs solutions providers that support them. You may be thinking, how exactly […]

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Can Your Shipment Benefit from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)?

It’s time to pull the handy-dandy Free Trade Agreement from your tool box! What are Free Trade Agreements? What do they achieve? Do your imports qualify for any reduced-duty program? Do you have written policy and procedures for FTAs? Basically, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are designed to boost trade and social relationships between two or […]

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Who Responds to Your Importer Inquiries from U.S. Customs?

As an importer, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asks your Customs broker a question about your merchandise, do you allow your broker to respond to that query or do you as the Importer of Record (IOR) respond to that query? When you receive Requests for Information (CBP Form 28), Notices of Action (CBP […]

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Harmonized Tariff Schedule: Properly Classifying Your Product

Dust off your compliance toolbox, it’s time to talk about classification! Did you know that all merchandise has a harmonized tariff number? Did you also know that it is your responsibility as the importer or exporter to properly classify your product? Customs classifications are complex and are used to determine applicable duties, trade statistics, whether […]

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ISF Enforcement: Penalties, Filing Errors, and Mitigation

While enforcement of ISF (Importer Security Filing) violations began in May 2015, the enforcement environment has stiffened markedly in the last year. ISF requires importers and carriers to provide a set of information for any shipments being imported into the United States within at least 24 hours before loading their shipments or else they may […]

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New Year, New Compliance Goals

The start of a brand-new year is a great opportunity to wipe your compliance slate clean and introduce positive actions to ensure a successful program. The main objective is to evaluate what’s working and what’s not, and the guide below should assist in keeping you on the straight and narrow. Resolution # 1: Your Own […]

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Simply VAT Guest Blog: HRME Is Clamping Down on Non-Compliant Non-UK Online Retailers. Have You Been or Are You Going to be Affected?

What you need to know? HMRC are currently approaching both sellers directly and via the marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay searching for non-VAT compliant non-UK sellers. What are they looking for?  If you are a non-resident UK business and hold stock in the UK, either in a 3PL center such as Amazon FBA, you […]

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Is Your Product Subject to Participating Government Agencies?

Participating Government Agencies, more commonly known as PGAs, regulate commodities imported into the United States. To avoid problems in the clearance of your merchandise, we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with policies and procedures prior to importing your goods. Unfortunately, figuring out if your specific product is regulated by one of these agencies can […]

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Be Prepared and Skip the Fines: A Guide to What Should be in Your Compliance Toolbox

If U.S. Customs decides to pay you a visit, will you be prepared? If you’re not complying with applicable laws and regulations, you could be facing some hefty monetary fines, seized shipments and maybe even jail time. No one wants to be in that situation, and now more than ever it’s imperative that importers and […]

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EINs and CAINS: These Numbers are Driving Me Insane!

Freight quote. Check! Duty rate. Check! Commercial Documents. Check! As importers tick items off their shipment checklist, one of the most important tasks is purchasing a Customs bond – and setting it up right. Customs bonds are required for all importers and are necessary for you to act as the importer of record for your […]

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What’s in a Set? Breaking Down Set Breakdowns

Importing sets to the United States comes with its own set of customs requirements; Shapiro is set on making this easy for you! See what we did there? Customs requires importers to not only declare the set within their Customs entry, but also each component of the set. Shapiro needs to know the weights and […]

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Don’t Let Wood Packing Material (WPM) Violations Slow Down Your Supply Chain!

If you’ve been living under a rock since 2005 or aren’t fluent in compliance geek, you’re likely not aware of the International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade, which we wanted to bring to your attention as U.S. Customs has plans to start issuing lofty violations against […]

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