Global Trade is growing fast. International trade has grown from $9 trillion in 2005 to $16 trillion in 2009. World trade is predicted to grow 7-9% annually. That would result in trade volume reaching $70 trillion by 2025. The global economy is the new reality, and businesses of all sizes can benefit from selling internationally. Now is the time to go global.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) is the mechanism by which international tariffs are standardized. If you ship items overseas, you are required to classify them according to the harmonized system. Each country has its own Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).
If you didn't catch President Obama's State of The Union Address last week, you missed the announcement of a new Trade enforcement Unit. As part of his trade policy for the coming year, this new team of trade enforcers will allow the US to ensure compliance of fair trade practices. Below is an excerpt from the Presidents speech:
Doing business with Thailand might get difficult now that one of the Prime Ministers appointees includes someone on the sanctioned parties list.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reshuffled her cabinet which resulted in 10 new appointments. One of the new appointments was given to Nalinee Taveesin who was given the title of Prime Ministers Office Minister.
The World Trade Organization released a statement that according to its latest data, world exports in commercial services are rising. Data shows that commercial services increased by 12% in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter of 2010.
These estimates are based on aggregated data from individual reporters. Data is taken from quarterly balance-of-payments statistics taken from IMF and Eurostat. This data is further supplemented with estimates of missing data and national sources.
There is often confusion about the rules for electronic recordkeeping. Trade professionals often ask questions like:
- Who is responsible for keeping records?
- If you have an electronic recordkeeping process do you still keep paper
- How long to records have to be maintained?
The rules regarding recordkeeping span across several government agencies, but there are some guidelines that every trade professional should know.
Many people are needed to facilitate international e-commerce. There are sometimes third party intermediaries associated with facilitating transactions. Even though these intermediaries have nothing to do with the physical delivery process of the goods, they must consider customs liability when involved in a transaction.
According to the Associated Press, President Obama is seeking to merge six trade and commerce agencies. They are: The Commerce Department's core business and trade functions; the Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. The goal would be one agency designed to help businesses thrive.
What is an HTS Code?
The first hurdle that importers face when importing a new product is to answer the most basic question: what is it? Everything from apples to shoelaces needs to be classified by a number recognizable to the importing government. This number is of course, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code (HTS Code). Assigning an HTS code may seem like a simple step, but it is the most important considering the risks associated with getting it wrong.