Blog Posts

Is it my imagination… or is Customs getting smarter?

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jul 20, 2016 10:53:29 AM
Have you ever experienced inconsistency at the hands of U.S. Customs? Ever had shipments of similar or even identical goods classified differently at different ports of entry?
Chances are, you have. This isn't really that surprising, given that import assessment and decision-making has historically been done by whichever Customs official is on duty at whichever port of entry your shipment happens to come through. The result of this system, as you may well know, is inefficiency and unpredictability. And that’s not good for business.
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Ordering offshore for the first time? Here’s what you should know.

Posted by Customs Brokerage Department - Cole International on Jul 20, 2016 10:10:51 AM
Many businesses today source offshore to take advantage of lower prices or to obtain goods unavailable in North America. The savings can be significant: sourcing from China, for example, can reduce product costs by as much as 75% - or even more (1).
However, there also may be different financial requirements, export requirements, and import requirements associated with using offshore markets. The best way to ensure your company meets the requirements for clearance of goods from offshore is to have a safe, researched, and contracted plan.
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Chapter 2: Importing into the U.S. - Change is in the air

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jul 19, 2016 8:58:06 AM
Regulatory changes related to border enforcement were signed into law in February of this year under the TFTEA (Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act). All indications are that enforcement at the U.S. border is on the rise already, and this trend is likely to continue. 
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Chapter 1: Importing into the U.S. – The “Mod Act”: Compliance and Penalties

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jul 18, 2016 9:48:14 AM
The U.S. Customs Modernization Act (the “Mod Act”) is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Act and pertains to improving compliance and enforcement with U.S. customs laws. Among other things, the Mod Act places legal responsibilities on the importer for declaring all relevant information with respect to goods imported into the U.S. (information such as the value, classification, and rate of duty, among others).
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jul 12, 2016 11:10:28 AM
What is it?
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement involving 12 Pacific Rim countries and is considered to be one of the most ambitious such agreements ever signed. Ratification would create the largest trade zone in the world, spanning four continents and 800 million people. The 12 nations involved produce an estimated 40% of the world’s economic output.
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Free Trade Agreements: Rich with opportunities for those in the know

Posted by NAFTA & Free Trade Dept. - Cole International on Jun 30, 2016 9:57:09 AM
In today’s fast-paced and evolving global marketplace, countries are increasingly turning to free trade agreements (FTAs) to enrich their relationships with important trading partners.
Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, Canada has entered into new FTAs with more than two dozen countries, including the massive but not yet ratified Trans Pacific Partnership.
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Cole International Launches Another Industry First

Posted by Canadian Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jun 30, 2016 9:55:34 AM

Cole International now offering new Free Trade services.

See Press Release.  

List of FTA Countries.

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Part 2: U.S. Customs Non-Compliance. Penalties vary, but none of it is good for business.

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jun 29, 2016 8:21:25 AM
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) assesses penalties based on level of culpability (degree of fault), which has three different designations. In decreasing order of magnitude, these are: fraud, gross negligence and negligence.
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Part 1: U.S. Customs Compliance. It’s important. What’s involved?

Posted by U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jun 21, 2016 3:46:53 PM
Importing and exporting commercial goods across the Canada-U.S. border can be a complex endeavour. Doing it right requires a solid understanding of and strict adherence to a litany of government regulations overseen by government agencies on both sides of the border. On the American side, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the gate-keeper.
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The Dreaded Audit

Posted by Canadian Customs Dept. - Cole International on Jun 15, 2016 8:48:55 AM
So you’re being audited by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)… Now what?
Anyone who ships items across the Canada-U.S. border should be aware that at some point they are likely to be targeted for a CBSA audit.
“For every customs problem, there is a solution which is straightforward, uncomplicated and wrong.”
(Officially called a Trade Compliance Verification, we’ll continue to use the word “audit” in this blog since it’s a term that everyone is familiar with.)
Audits are serious business and need to be handled carefully.  It can take you significant time and money to wade through the process and navigate the tie-ups and potholes inherent in a complicated and highly technical process.
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