Fast-changing policies within the global trade stage have stirred predictions of a large trade vacuum to fill. A number of exporters and importers are looking for stronger trade ties to the Asia Pacific region to complete what may be a large void. That leap may just pay off. As of April, the Asia Pacific region has noted some of its best export gains in recent years – a move that has been essentially blocked by policy makers’ thoughts about the future direction of global trade.

One part of the world looking to take a leadership role is the Asia Pacific region led by the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In 2014, its total GDP reached US$2.6tr, making it the seventh largest economy in the word, while its total trade was US$2.5tr –the majority of which was intra- ASEAN trade. To help bolster further growth and cooperation across the region for growth, Asia has a number of new and existing trade deals in the works to boost imports and exports in the near future.

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After three days of invigorating discussions on the latest trends and the emerging developments in the world of border and IT supply chain management, the 2017 WTO IT Conference & Exhibition was concluded on 9 June. The announcement by Secretary General Mikuriya that the WCO has decided to make the source code of the WCO Customs Targeting System (CTS) publicly available and that it will be placed on an open source before the end of 2017 was very well received by the participants of the conference and extensively relayed through social media.

Over 550 delegates from more than 80 countries gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, to attend one of WCO’s prime events, co-hosted by Georgia Revenue Service and the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. The Conference was supported by more than 40 sponsors and exhibitors, including Smiths Detection as the corporate sponsor, while the agenda included 73 speakers who spoke under 8 keynotes, 14 round tables and various panels. In the year when “Women in Customs” is being celebrated, gender equality has stayed high on WCO’s list of priorities, with half of the 16 moderators being female!

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This article was published on the Adam Smith Project website on June 7, 2017. For the latest investigative analysis of trade policy, compliance, and supply chain technology, visit

Foreign trade zones programs exist around the globe for companies willing to understand their differences

Many importers and exporters throughout the United States have participated in or are aware of our nation’s nearly 90-year-old Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) program. Foreign-Trade Zones are secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervision, but considered outside CBP territory so that they can provide significant duty and related savings to U.S. manufacturers and distributors.

Foreign and domestic merchandise may be moved into a zone for operations that include storage, assembly, manufacturing, and other processing. Under zone procedures, payments of duties are not required on the foreign merchandise until it enters CBP territory for domestic consumption, at which point the importer generally has the choice of paying duties at the lower rate of either the original foreign materials or the finished product. Deferring and/or inverting duty to the lower rate can result in savings in the millions of dollars for many companies.

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This article was published on the Adam Smith Project website on April 24, 2017. For the latest investigative analysis of trade policy, compliance, and supply chain technology, visit

Uncertain times for trade compliance pros call for "what if" planning and accurate data

If one thing has been profoundly clear in the three plus months since America’s 45th president was sworn in, it’s that the world of global trade compliance has become one rife with unanswered questions. I can’t remember a time in my career when I’ve been so glued to media outlets.

I’m constantly reading news stories about the latest possible change to regulatory positions, wondering what this change or that announcement might mean for our clients and our industry on a larger scale. We are regularly hearing the same sorts of questions from those customers too. “No more TPP?” “Renegotiate NAFTA?” “What’s a BAT?” “What exactly does that antidumping executive order mean for me?”

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Integration Point Senior George Weise was recently featured in a Washington Post article focused on the new White House proposed border wall and immigration trends. With more than 44 years of service in both the public and private sectors, Weise is globally recognized for his expertise on customs, trade and supply chain matters. He spent the first 25 years of his career in Government, starting as an Import Specialist in U.S. Customs and ending as the Commissioner of Customs.

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Each year, Inbound Logistics develops a list of the Top 100 Logistics IT Providers. IL editors research capabilities based on submitted questionnaires and other sources, then select 100 technology providers offering solutions designed to meet business logistics managers’ supply chain challenges.

This year’s Top 100 Logistics IT Providers include those serving Fortune 1000 companies, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

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