If you manage international shipments, global trade may seem like a never-ending maze of import/export regulations and duty deferral programs. For every product in every country, the rules and regulations are different. As an exporter, you must answer these seven essential questions for each product you ship — which is easy in theory but difficult in practice. For example, in a single motorcycle shipment, the answers to these questions vary greatly depending on your country of import or export.

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There is a lot of news in supply chain management today – from single window initiatives to secure supply chains to regional trade agreements. With each having its own set of obstacles and benefits, companies should not only weigh the costs against the benefits, but also consider the effect that these new policies, rules and agreements will have on their entire supply chain, including trade compliance.

In the last few years, regional trade agreements have taken a foothold in the trade compliance world. Currently there are three major regional trade agreements in negotiation or ratification – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

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Those in the trade often discuss the benefits of free trade agreements (FTA) - from the duty savings to preferential market access. However, actually securing the promised benefits for FTAs is not always straightforward. Many companies do not know where to start, and as the numbers of agreements keeps increasing, many do not know which FTAs are the right ones for their business. Getting started might seem like a daunting prospect; but if you take a step back and simplify your approach, you can put the right building blocks in place for a manageable FTA programme.

Continue reading on page 21 of Supply Chain Asia

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As the trade anxiously awaits the November 1, 2015 mandatory filing deadline from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to go into effect, Integration Point is preparing as well.

As the trade anxiously awaits the November 1, 2015 mandatory filing deadline from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to go into effect, Integration Point is preparing as well. As a global trade management (GTM) solutions provider, Integration Point provides import/export management capabilities along with important interfaces throughout the supply chain for its global customers. While the November 1, 2015 mandate is not the first in a long line of changes to move the US to electronic filing through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), it will certainly be one of the largest changes to go into effect.

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More time to test ACE air manifest. U.S. Custom’s five-week postponement of mandatory filing of electronic air import manifests through a new IT system is actually a positive development and reflects well on the agency’s ability to manage the rollout of the Automated Commercial Environment, air industry officials said.

The manifest delay has an indirect impact on customs brokers and importers, explained Elizabeth Connell, vice president of product management at Integration Point, a global trade compliance software company.

Air manifest data is used to fill out special forms to move air freight from the airport to a foreign trade zone under bond without paying duties and companies will now have to wait to realign their processes for the new electronic form (called QP/WP) until June 7. Also on hold is a new CBP requirement for three extra data elements from the manifest for an in-bond permit to transfer cargo within the same port limit.

The rest of article can be viewed on American Shipper which does require a subscription.

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