In a world gone flat, global expansion is necessary if one is to remain competitive. For most companies, such a shift in operations also adds complexity to the trade functions that support those operations. For the most part, companies have come to the conclusion they are ill equipped to deal with an ever changing landscape consisting of new sets of regulatory requirements needing to be understood and to which they company must adhere. With increased complexity comes more trade-related risks. To minimize these regulatory risks, it is imperative that accurate and timely trade compliance data be available across the entire global supply chain.

As companies struggle with the issues surrounding sourcing and selling in a global marketplace, managing a global supply chain and improving efficiency has become a top priority. For any compliance manager involved in importing or exporting goods across an extended supply chain, there is a true understanding and appreciation of the effort required to have the "right products at the right place at the right time."

Read Full Article

U.S. Customs and industry representatives on Monday outlined how a simplified process for filing import declarations would look and said a trial program will start soon to demonstrate how fewer documentation requirements could benefit the government and importers alike. The goal is to give trusted traders a more streamlined process to get goods released by linking security and admissibility data requirements. A simplified customs entry would resemble the Importer Security Filing (ISF) with a few extra data elements such as a 10-digit Harmonized Tariff System code, the estimated value and an entry number, reporters were told during a telephone briefing about last week’s Trade Support Network plenary session.

The “ISF-lite plus value” doesn’t have to be submitted 24 hours prior to vessel loading, but the earlier the form is filed the sooner CBP will be able to provide a release decision, Melissa Irmen, senior vice president product and strategy for trade management software firm Integration Point, said in a telephone interview.

The simplified entry can take the place of the ISF as long as it meets the filing deadline, she added. The reduction in the number of ISF data elements is a function of CBP taking a hard look at what information it truly needs to make an informed decision about release and the security risk of the shipment, said Irmen, a TSN member who has been involved with CBP’s simplified entry working group.

Read Full Article

Integration Point, Inc. has selected Karen Lobdell as Director of Global Solutions for the trade management software firm. Lobdell will be repsonsible for managing the supply chain compliance products and customers incorporate other visibility and management tools. A licensed customs broker, she recently completed her first term on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee to the Department of Homeland Security.

Integration Point acquired the Global Trade Division of TAKE Solutions effective May 1, 2011. This includes the PSI Software assets acquired by TAKE in 2009 which encompass, but are not limited to, the following applications well recognized and with a large install base in North America, CAM (Maquiladora / IMMEX software), and NAFTAssistant.

Read Full Article

Considering the effort it took to comply with the Jan. 26, 2010, Importer Security Filing (ISF) mandate, it would be understandable if we adopted a “set it and forget it” mindset and assumed there was nothing left to do now that we’re all filing our ISFs. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Any time you are required to submit data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pertaining to importing goods, there is an inherent understanding that it must be accurate. If it is not, then CBP will hold you — the importer — responsible.

The same expectation holds true for ISF — with one major exception. Successfully submitting the ISF filing does not end your responsibility as an importer. You must also ensure that the data elements common to both the ISF and the entry documents are the same on both documents.

Although ISF’s intent is security targeting and it is not to be used for compliance purposes, the CBP can compare ISF data against entry data to look for inconsistencies. Today, the ISF is filed via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) or the Automated Manifest System, and the data is then sent to the Automated Targeting System (ATS) for analysis and review. The entry is sent via ABI to CBP, then to the Automated Commercial System (ACS) for review by Customs. ACS is not the end point for entry data, however — it is also pushed to ATS for additional targeting purposes.

What does all this mean? CBP now has the ability to view a shipment “holistically” and to compare shipment data filed on an ISF against data filed in an entry. In fact, as of late 2010, CBP is now validating ISF data against information contained in the entry.

Read Full Article