Under U.S. law, a trademark is defined as any word, name, symbol, device, color or combination thereof used to identify and distinguish goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the origin and source of goods. When importing trademarked goods, what compliance steps should companies take to secure financial well being? How can importers ensure compliance with federal government trademark laws and regulations?
Each year, more than 25 million containers and trailers move via intermodal transportation in North America. Intermodal transportation involves the transportation of cargo using multiple modes of transportation, such as rail, truck and ship. During 2014, 60% of NAFTA freight was moved across the border via truck. Similarly, 15% of NAFTA freight traveled via train. Why do shippers elect to move goods via truck or train? The answer reflects the individual company's unique transportation needs and budget.
Proper export documentation is imperative to the success of an export program. Shipping documents provide customs officers with the necessary information to proceed with customs clearance at destination. On the contrary, the lack or inaccuracy of required documentation can lead to cargo delays and unexpected expenses.
Duty drawback is the refund, reduction or waiver of customs duties assessed or collected upon importation of an article or materials which are subsequently exported or destroyed. Duty drawback is an opportunity for companies to recover expenses from taxes and other fees collected during the import process. Drawback allows companies to recover up to 99% of duties paid on qualifying U.S. imports. These duties include normal customs duty, internal revenue taxes and marking duties. So how do you know if your product qualifies for duty drawback?
Freight forwarders are an essential link within the international supply chain, transporting goods worth $5.3 trillion every year. Forwarders are agents who arrange for cargo to travel from origin to destination. They contract space with carriers to move cargo via ocean, air, rail or truck transportation.
Technology plays a large role in today's world, making valuable information available at the touch of a button. Technological innovation has improved supply chain management practices, creating opportunities for shippers around the world. These innovations have increased customer service and reduced unnecessary costs. New technologies will continue to transform the industry and facilitate improved logistics processes.
Less-Than-Container-Load (LCL) shipping is a great solution for importers and exporters who buy or sell small quantities of product. LCL shipping enables shippers to combine their small quantity of freight with other shippers to reduce transportation costs. Additionally, LCL shipping can be used within Just-In-Time (JIT) supply chains to increase efficiency and decrease inventory waste. Electing to move cargo via LCL options can result in cost savings due to the fact that shippers only pay for the space they need. Furthermore, shippers who do not have enough product ready to fill a full container, can ship via LCL to meet a customer arrival deadline.
In 2014 alone, forest product imports reached nearly 16 million USD. The Lacey Act Declaration is a required form for forest products, imported wildlife, fish and plants. If Lacey Declarations are not filed correctly, legally binding fines can result.
United States federal trade regulations are constantly evolving, creating the need for a customs broker for most shipments. Shippers must comply with various government agencies such as: U.S. Customs Border and Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Federal and Drug Administration, as well as other government agencies. These government entities have their own procedures and rulings, creating a complex environment for importers to clear their own customs entries. Importers can self clear goods valued under $2,500 if they are in the port of clearance or have an authorized agent to act on their behalf. However, many shippers elect the assistance of a customs broker, regardless of the value, due to the complexities of various government regulations.
Cargo insurance plays an important role in supply chain success. Cargo insurance protects shippers' financial investments during domestic and international transit. If cargo is damaged or lost, shippers could be burdened with unexpected costs and lose out on expected profit.