An Overview of America’s Imports and Exports

two businessmen shaking hands with a shipping yard in the backgroundSince the beginning of the country, the trajectory and nature of imports and exports have changed dramatically in the United States. The U.S went from being quite protective and isolationist in its approach to favoring a more open and free-flowing market that led the way to modern foreign relations many today would term globalization. Each has accompanied the very different cultures and customs of the time. The change was, in large part, brought about by global conflicts that changed the way nations exchanged goods with one another. Post-war America began to see open trade as a way to open up countless possibilities to advance the country’s economic interests, as well as establishing strong ties with foreign nations. 

Some of the country’s founders had differing ideas about the ideal trade policy. Alexander Hamilton, for example, was far less of a protectionist that he is often made out to be. He knew the importance of the import market and how that could help fund the public debt. He had much milder tariff policies that found the support of traders and merchants of the time. Others, like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison,  considered much more draconian trade policies and seemed to purport a more domestically focused economy. Interestingly enough, when he became president, Jefferson imposed an unusual trade policy, which had a nearly complete embargo on international commerce from December 1807 to March 1809. This was a short-lived experiment that showed what it would look like to have an almost complete stop to international trade. This embargo, along with effects on trade from the War of 1812, is often said to have further sparked the rapid industrialization of the country and encouraged domestic manufacturing. 

The Early American Isolationism 

In the early days of American history, Americans seemed to have a ‘leave me alone,’ attitude. In large part, Americans still hold this attitude, as it is greatly inculcated in our nature and our country’s culture. Even after World War I, America slowly returned to a more isolationist foreign policy. The war, after all, had brought with it a very large unpaid debt, as well as a generation of men scarred by the war. And by the mid to late 20s, foreign policy was not something on most people’s minds.   The Hoover Administration set forth the Hawley-Smoot Tariff. Because trade was a large arbiter of foreign relations, the tariff was a way to cut off the discussion altogether. This caused a lot of foreign retaliation that contributed, at least in some part, to the economic downturn that gripped the U.S and the world in the late 1920s. 

At the London conference of 1933, Rosevelt refused to tie the American dollar to a gold standard. This upset many European leaders. At the same time, Roosevelt realized that the Hawley Smoot Tariff was crippling American economic growth and the U.S made the policy more flexible. 

Trade Policy After World War II

The breakout of World War II was of course another cataclysmic change to the world and the global markets. The United States, unlike Britain and other Ally countries, did not have their industrial centers and cities bombed and therefore did not suffer the kinds of losses to their manufacturing that other nations did. This opened the way for the United States to manufacture a lot of necessary parts and materials for the war effort and otherwise. The U.S dominated many export markets after the war because the manufacturing centers were intact, this allowed for innovation and technological advancements, and due to inherent strengths in numbers of workers and the growth of several industries. All of this set the United States up for success in a global market by the time the war was over and countries were trying to rebuild their cities and lives. U.S aid was important to this recovery and these nations also needed export markets in order to return to economic independence. The U.S helped create the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which consisted of an international code of tariff and trade rules that was signed by 23 countries in 1947. 

In the 70s, the U.S trade balance was hurt due to some externalities like the oil price shocks, global recession, and increases in the foreign exchange value of the dollar. The American demand for foreign goods meant that America demanded a lot of imports. 

Still in the 1990s the nation remained committed to free trade and pursued to establish new multilateral trade negotiations, worked on new trade negotiations that involved Europe and Latin America and worked to solve other trade disputes. For a large number of people in the U.S, the idea of free trade means the liberal movement of goods across nations and the world. This opens up opportunities and markets and allows for better relations among nations. 

The nature of the current trade agreements and trade policies might be called into question after the world fully recovers from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. This might return some manufacturing and production to the United States, or perhaps curb China imports some.  

The history of the United States trade policy shows how the country began and how it grew slowly as the world grew with it. Because of some of the global conflicts that gripped the 20th century, the U.S benefited and was able to build a great production machine with a lot of trade potential. 

Get With A Brokerage You Trust

Here at Cordova Brokerage, we are on top of all the changes and nuances of the U.S import and export business. It can get complicated following the many restrictions and compliance requirements. If you are looking to get into exporting goods or need brokerage services, we are here to help. Call us today. 

 

The Importance of the Supply Lines: How We Play a Role 

The world of trade is interconnected. In fact, everything is connected through a vast network of social media platforms, websites, media sites, and, when it comes to our exported and imported goods, through a network of supply lines and international trade. As the world is watching carefully for the developments of the virus that has already altered life for many, these supply lines are a big part of keeping things moving. The outbreak has, of course, impacted global supply chains and so we thought we’d take a look at how we play a role in all of this.

Many might look back at the beginning of the outbreak with some curiosity, as frenzied buyers began fighting over the rolls of toilet paper in the grocery stores and shoppers rushed to stock up on canned goods and food. People feared that the supply chains would be completely disrupted, preventing people from accessing the goods they need. The good news is, that the domestic supply lines are still running and goods and products are still being transported throughout the country. 

Changes in the World of International Trade 

As experienced and licensed customs brokers, we handle all types of customs movements such as imports, exports, freight forwarding, and more. Every day, we deal with the international markets and the complex web that connects all of the world’s consumers and producers. We help U.S producers sell their products across international borders and do so efficiently and with full compliance with all customs laws here and abroad.  As word of the COVID-19 virus began to circulate, the world of export and imports began to see some changes. The world turned its head to China and suddenly realized just how interconnected we really are, as many U. S products are, in fact, imported from the country. 

Common Chinese Exports

There are a lot of products that we use in our everyday lives that come from China. You might be holding that device in your hand right now, as there are many production sites of Apple products and more in the country. In February of 2020, Apple announced it already expected its quarterly earnings to be lower than previously expected. This is partly because of a constrained global supply.  The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants fell since the beginning of the virus spread and will likely do so for a few months. Some of China’s main exports include:

  • Electrical machinery, equipment  ($671 billion)
  • Machinery including computers ($417 billion)
  • Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings ($99.5 billion)
  • Plastics, plastic articles  ($84.4 billion)
  • Vehicles (74.4 billion)
  • Optical, technical, medical apparatus  ($73 billion)
  • Knit or crochet clothing, accessories (71.4 billion)
  • Articles of iron or steel ($69.6 billion)
  • Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet) ($66.8 billion)
  • Toys, games ($62.8 billion)

In the past 18 years, China’s importance in the worldwide markets has increased dramatically. And perhaps this is why more countries around the world will feel the China markets drop. During the SARS epidemic of 2002, the effects on China’s transportation and manufacturing industries were not as big. Experts are projecting then that the effects of Covid-19 will be much broader because of the scope.  Many suppliers around the world receive materials from China which affects about 17,600 finished products. 

At the same time, The U.S also does a lot of trade with China. This means that we have some major exports going into that country as well. In 2019, according to Market Watch, U.S exported 120.3 billion in goods to China in 2018 including transportation equipment, computers and electronics, chemicals, machinery, oil and gas, crops, and more. 

Products From Every Corner of the World 

Today’s global economy is far more interconnected than ever before. Consumers today are used to seeing products from every corner of the world. It’s why you can go to your local grocery store and find products from Japan, Germany, or China. All of these exports and imports provide more choices to consumers across the globe. If a country is importing too many products as compared to its exports, this might end up affecting the country’s currency. 

While Global Trade is in Decline, Supply Lines are Vital 

And while the production of some computer products or other manufacturing has largely ceased, the production of food both domestically and abroad has continued. After all, maintaining the supply lines open is vital to the ability for societies to fight this pandemic. There have already been new measures set in place with countries like United States, China, Colombia, Canada, Brazil, and other WTO (World Trade Organization) members when it comes to the trade in Covid-related medical products, cutting import duties, curbing customs-clearance burdens and flexibility in licensing and approval. All of these measures should help and/or facilitate the movement of goods during these chaotic times. They also help make these goods a little more affordable for domestic consumers. 

In these trying times, keeping supply lines smoothly running will be a major part of the worldwide effort to battle the virus. Countries have already ramped up the production of certain medical products like masks, gowns, and gloves. Trade is a big part of the effort and any worldwide effort to improve the response to the virus by ensuring that countries are able to get the medical supplies and necessary equipment they need. According to some data, the average applied import duty on all Covid 19 medical supplies is 4.8% to 11.5% and about 17% for hand soap. No country today is completely self-sufficient and trade allows for the ability of necessary supplies and equipment to continue flowing and get to where it needs to go. 

Where We Come In — A Trusted Brokerage 

As we operate in the world of trade, exports, and imports, we are operating to serve people and businesses needing to continue their product trade in and out of the country. Here at Cordova Brokerage, we are on top of changes that happen in the world of customs and imports and exports. We ensure that we comply with all of the customs regulations and the ongoing changes to the trade policy that might happen during this chaotic time.

The Importance of the Trucking Industry

A white truck running on the street in the morning.

The trucking industry is a very important one, in fact, many would argue that it is the most important one in the United States. Everything you’ve ever owned has probably seen the inside of a semi-truck at some point. We’ve all seen them on the road and while we might sometimes get annoyed with them, we must remember that our society would crumble without them. These huge vehicles are responsible for your food, your medicine, your clothes, and just about everything else you have ever touched besides the soil on the ground outside. In fact, a giant truck might have transported that too, you can never tell these days. 

 

Employment

 

Next time you decide to honk at a truck driver for going just a little too slow, think about the person inside that truck. They are doing a job that is very difficult and very vital to our society. Truck drivers typically work very long hours, spending hours and sometimes days on the road. They are pulling massive loads and can’t even see behind them for the most part. Truck drivers also have to spend days and weeks away from their families, which can be really difficult for any person to do. Truck driving is definitely an important but rather thankless job. 

 

There are over 800,000 truck drivers working in the united states today and they account for $30 billion dollars each year. That is a lot of money being out into our economy that we can’t afford to lose. Without the trucking industry, we wouldn’t really be able to buy anything because there wouldn’t be anything to buy. The trucking industry supports consumers and business by transporting products all over the country to be purchased by everyone. Truck driving jobs are very hard, and not many people really want to do it, so we need to appreciate the people that do. 

 

Being in the trucking business can get lonely and there are many days where drivers are on the road for more than 14 hours a day. They spend several days all alone in their trucks. Driving a truck is most certainly a living, but it also probably will not make anyone rich. 

The Economy

 

Our economy is never an easy thing to talk about. It’s a lot of numbers that account for the lives of a lot of people, but right now we only need to discuss how the trucking industry affects the economy. Not to be dramatic, but we essentially would not have an economy. With a country as huge as the United States, we need trucks to travel all around it in order to make sure that everyone can get what they need. 

 

Trucks transport pretty much everything that we could ever need. Think about it. Most of our country is not surrounded by water, so we can’t use boats for everything, and flying everything to where they need to go is far too impractical and expensive. Truck driving is our only option. 

 

Our economy relies on consumers buying goods and services. Our economy does not work if consumers cannot find goods to buy. The trucking industry is pretty much responsible for everything that we buy. Even if your items didn’t get there in a semi-truck, it is likely that they were shipped as raw materials in a truck to a factory where they then got assembled into the item that you ended up buying. 

 

A Little History

 

Before our country had the trucking industry, we had trains and pack animals. In order to get all of our goods across the country, they would be shipped in trains and would be transported locally with wagons and pack animals. The transportation industry changed forever when the internal combustion engine was invented in the middle 19th century. A short time later, a man by the name of Alexander Winton invented the first-ever semi-truck in 1898 and sold the first manufactured one in 1899. By 1914, there were approximately 25,000 semi-trucks in the United States driving around and delivering goods across the country. As the country started building cultures around motor vehicles and started building suburbs and highways in the 1940s and 1950s, the trucking industry only had more reasons to get even bigger. 

 

If you are in the trucking and transporting business, Cordova Brokerage has your back. We can provide you with cross-docking and warehousing if you would ever need them. Get your goods and services to your customers in a way that is quick and efficient. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments, and concerns. 

The Role of the Freight Forwarder and the Supply Chain 

The goods we purchase every day—from our clothes to our home appliances—have often traveled a long journey to get on the shelf on which we buy them from. Every day, the world continues to produce goods, trade them, and transport them across borders and across the globe. The international supply chain is a magnificent and complex living thing that is always changing, growing, and adapting to global changes, demands, and downfalls. Here at Cordova Brokerage, we love being part of the bigger picture that is the global supply chain. Freight forwarding is part of this bigger process that is happening every day. 

While it might seem simple on the surface, freight forwarding actually involves many different components and occupies a very strategic position on the supply chain. It might seem that freight forwarding is nothing but the movement of physical goods from one place to the other, it is actually much more than that. There is a logistical component that plays a big role in getting these goods safely, legally, and orderly to the right place, at the right time frame, on the right budget, etc.  

The Early Days of Freight Forwarding and How it Has Changed Over the Years 

As we covered in previous blog posts, the history of trade goes back hundreds of years. Freight forwarding, in some way or another, was always part of that process of trading across borders. As of 1800, the earliest freight forwarders were known to be innkeepers that helped the hotel guests to hold and ship forward their goods. Over the years, as trade and business progressed, the role of the freight forwarder became a more professional and controlled business to business enterprise that helped merchants and traders ship their goods to other parts of the world. 

Established in  1836, Thomas Meadows and Company Limited helped the transportation of items through contracting using a network of local carriers. These services also helped their customers with documentation, tracking, and in regarding to customs. As the decades went on, of course, the advancement in transportation systems increased trade and made it much more effective when it came to forwarding freight. This access to better transportation such as steamships and trains, international trade was facilitated and therefore increased. 

Freight forwarders play an important role in businesses trading their goods across borders. Customs regulations and legalities can often require a lot of paperwork, and a reliable freight forwarder is in charge of all of this paperwork. For many businesses, these can be quite time-consuming. 

The Use of Technology in Freight Forwarding 

While the customs regulations and rules are still very much an inevitable part of international trade, the use of technology has really facilitated all of these processes. There is still a lot of forms and documentation to fill out, but the advent of wireless internet and functional software, tracking and documenting freight has become much easier. This has allowed for immediate tracking and following shipments, as well as easy documentation. 

Ways to Tell if Your Freight Forwarder is Trustworthy 

Forwarding your goods from one side of the globe to another and across borders means dealing with customs regulations from both countries. This is why it’s important then to make sure that your freight forwarder is trustworthy and is an expert in the industry of customs and brokerage. A few ways to assess the professionalism of your freight forwarder include:

Flexibility: In a perfect world, everything would always go as planned. When dealing with products leaving the factory, however, and being transported, there are often unforeseen circumstances. A reliable freight forwarder knows the process and has the tools and the capacity to deal with last-minute changes. 

Transparency: At the same time, a good freight forwarder should be able to supply you with status and tracking and be transparent about the transport of your product. A good forwarder will have the capabilities for cargo tracking and always change information on updates and important changes. 

Proven expertise and reputation:  A freight forwarder will have experience and understanding of various aspects of international trade. They will have an effective and efficient process and all of this will be reflected in their expertise and their reputation as a business. At Cordova Brokerage, our hands-on experience has served us as the best education for perfecting and implementing the best process and effective workflow. 

Choose the Experts and Secure Your Freight the Right Way 

A trustworthy and competent freight forwarder is a necessary part of your international dealings. Don’t risk not being in compliance or losing part of your shipment for trusting a freight forwarder that was not prepared to handle your job. Here at Cordova Brokerage, our expertise lies in the supply chain, customs, documentation, and transport. Give us a call today and see how we can help you with your freight forwarding. 

The Origins of Trade & How to Get Started in the International Markets

a handshake superimposed over a cityscape at sunsetAs old as silk; as common as tea; as valuable as spices. The history of trade can be traced back for thousands of years. It’s almost something human beings are naturally inclined to do and a mutual agreement that is found in all civilizations. And, in fact, it was silk, tea, and spices that were the major trade items that sparked what would later be known as ‘international’ trade. Today, the biggest trading markets include the European Union, the United States, and China. Cordova Brokerage helps businesses dive into the world of international trade by helping companies establish secure and legal pathways for exporting and importing their goods. The trade industry, while lucrative, is composed of plenty of regulations and rules that can be difficult to navigate without the right level of experience.

The Early Days of Trading — A Human Impulse to Share Goods and Services

The early days of trading, however, involved domesticated animals like camels, carrying goods across lands. Fast forward to the Middle Ages, and you have the famous Silk Road. The Silk Road, of course, refers to the ancient network of trade routes that were established during the Han Dynasty of China. The famous Marco Polo traveled on these routes. And some of the most common goods that traveled from East to West and West to East included silk, tea, dyes, horses, saddles, honey, fruit, and more. 

Trade was then continued and advanced thanks to the forming of new countries and the establishment of routes, as well as the invention of ships, trains, buses,  and airplanes. In 1946, the Bretton Woods system goes into effect; it had been planned since 1944. It was designed to prevent further world conflicts and depressions. In 1947, 23 countries to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. This rationalizes and improves trade among nations.  In the ’90s the European Union formed and centralized their trading power. Only a few years later, in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect as well. This trade deal changes the nature of trade between the North American countries and really impacts the border region when it comes to jobs, trade across the border, and more. 

The Importance of NAFTA — How It Reshaped North America’s Economic Ties

You will often hear arguments about the impacts of NAFTA. Depending on who you ask and when you ask it, but one thing that is undeniable is the fact that NAFTA did have a big impact on how the three neighbors do business. It also facilitated trade, so it made it easier for goods and services to flow back and forth. It fundamentally reshaped the economic relations between the three countries and drove regional trade to triple as well as cross-border investment. 

As a brokerage company located on the border, we know the impact of the deal. We also know that the implementation of the renegotiated NAFTA—called the USMCA— will have its own impact as well. We wrote a little bit about that in a recent blog

Trading in the Modern Day 

Today, trade works very differently than it did on the Silk Road, although the idea is the same. A powerful country will want a strong trade agreement that allows them to bargain and bring terms to the table. 

How To Prepare Your Product for Import and Export 

Here at Cordova Brokerage, we specialize in taking products to market in international markets. Whether it’s your first time, or you have been doing it for many years, the prospect of putting your products onto the world stage can be pretty exciting. Here’s a couple of things to consider right off the bat:

  • The name of your product. 
  • Packaging and labeling design. 
  • The size and quantity of your product

There is about $1. 2 trillion dollars worth of goods in the importing industry and about $772 billion in merchandise every year in exports that go to over 150 countries.  Every product you can think of is fair game to the global market. It’s why, if you have a successful business and a thriving product, trying your hand at the global market might be a good opportunity for you. 

The Possibilities that Lay at Trade’s Door 

Imports are important to all countries because no matter where you are there is something that cannot be produced or grown in your area. So importing comes down to three main things: 

Availability: There are some things that simply won’t be available naturally in certain areas.

Cachet: Some products develop value by the fact that they are imported from somewhere else.

Price: Some products are simply cheaper when they are brought in from another country, as opposed to producing locally. 

Every business needs its customers and finding your target audience and customer base is the next big step when embarking in international trade. Any manufacturer, supplier, crafter, or retailer is a good place to start or explore. You also want to consider the start-up costs and marketing costs in order to hone in on a specific audience more successfully. 

We Take Care of the Shipment, Forwarding, and Warehousing

Taking your business onto the modern Silk Road can bring lucrative opportunities for you and your company. For many, it opens up doors and increases investment and customer base. At the same time, the rules and regulations surrounding the transfer and shipment of goods and services across borders can get a little complicated and that’s why we are here. Here at Cordova Brokerage, we specialize in the movement of those goods, the paperwork, the storage, and freight forwarding, in order to protect your investment. 

America’s Exports and Imports and Why Freight Forwarding is Necessary 

The new NAFTA is coming to town, slowly but surely. If you were anywhere on the internet during the 2016 elections, chances are you heard your fair share of news involving NAFTA and its possible renegotiations. Since the election of the new President, NAFTA has been a bit of a political football and in the midst of talks between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Today, lawmakers are urging Congress to approve the final negotiated bill so that business can continue and the imports and exports to and from Mexico and Canada can move forward. 

So What is the New NAFTA?

The new NAFTA was renamed as USMCA and has a few of the former provisions in the old agreement. The agreement has some improvements for North American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. The goal is to support high paying jobs for all workers, including American workers, and include more balanced trade. The new bill was negotiated last year, but has been on hold until Congress ratifies it. 

The United States Imports and Exports

The United States is a land of opportunity, but it is also a land of innovation and creation. This is because the free market allows people to create and sell their products in the worldwide market. The United States is the third largest export economy in the world. This means that on any given day there are hundreds of goods moving across borders. That’s where we come in. We support the legal and efficient transportation of goods across the border. 

The Top Exports

The United States has several top exports and of the countries to which we export the most include Mexico and Canada, both bordering nations. China is the third.  Our major exports include:

  • Refined Petroleum 
  • Cars
  • Planes
  • Helicopters or Spacecraft 
  • Gas Turbines 
  • Medications 

Why Freight Forwarding Matters

Selling and trading your goods across the border is a lot more complicated than might first meet the eye. If you are new to exporting or importing business, all of the Custom regulations and inspections might come as a surprise to you but the truth is that the trade regulations can get a little complicated. This is why logistical services and export services are key. Freight forwarding is there to help ensure your products are following the necessary regulations and tracking.

If you are looking to take your good across the border, give Cordova Brokerage a call today. We can walk you through the process and more importantly take care of the logistics for you. Call us today!

How to Get Your Start in U.S Customs Brokerage

An aspiring customs broker finds out that he passed the customs exam

For most of the U.S population, customs brokerage is not a major talking point. In fact, customs brokerage is an industry that drives a nation but works in the background, like how the electrical wiring in your home is hidden but essential. For the few that think about brokerage, it can be a complex, exciting, and fulfilling job that opens up new ideas and perspectives. If you’re one of those people that find brokerage fascinating, we’ll take you through what you need to break into the customs brokerage industry.

Basic Requirements

According to U.S Customs and Border Protection, you’ll need to meet three eligibility requirements before you can become a customs broker. The three requirements include:

  • Be a U.S citizen 21 years of age or over
  • Not be a current federal employee
  • Possess good moral character

So if you’re old enough for a Bud Light, don’t work for the government, and aren’t a member of the mafia, you’re probably eligible to be a broker. Some companies prefer a bachelor’s degree, but it’s not required. This just covers eligibility; actually becoming a customs broker involves a few more steps.

Becoming A Certified Customs Broker

If you’re eligible, then the next step is to pass the Customs Broker License Exam. Before you freak out about the test, it’s an open book exam, so you needn’t stress about memorizing everything you’ll need to know. As far as what the test will go over, you can expect to see these topics:

  • The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
  • Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations
  • Specified Customs Directives
  • Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements document (CATAIR)

These are the basics for a customs broker, so make sure to internalize all of this information. The test is four and a half hours long, and there is a $390 fee that needs to be paid a month in advance. If you receive a 75 percent or higher on the exam, congrats! You can move on to the next step, which is getting your customs broker license. Get ready to shell out another $200 for that, and to wait a while for background checks. Credit reports, arrest records, character references will all need to be reviewed before you are cleared. In the meantime, learn as much as you can about being a customs broker.

If you have any questions about customs brokerage or want to join our team, Cordova Brokerage can help. Contact us today for more information!

The Quick and Dirty of ISF in 2019: What You Need to Know

 

Container ship carrying container for import and export, business logistic and transportation by container ship in Atlantic ocean headed for America

If you’re reading this, you probably know that the world of import and export can be full of confusing information, especially in the current trade climate. ISF is no exception, and has gone through a number of changes since its inception in 2009. At Cordova Brokerage, we have an intimate understanding of ISF rules and guidelines, and wanted to give you a quick overview of how ISF has changed over the decade. 

ISF Overview

First, ISF stands for Importer Security Filing, which is simply a filing that details when, where, and how you plan to import goods into the United States. The ISF is usually referenced as a “10+2”, which refers to the information that the importer and carrier have to provide to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Below are the 10 pieces of data required from the importer, and the 2 required by the carrier: 

  1. Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
  2. Seller (or owner) name and address
  3. Buyer (or owner) name and address
  4. Ship-to name and address
  5. Container stuffing location
  6. Consolidator (stuffer) name and address
  7. Importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number
  8. Consignee number(s)
  9. Country of origin
  10. Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number to six (6) digits

From the carrier:

  1. Vessel stow plan
  2. Container status messages

This information is largely non-negotiable, and has to be received by CBP no later than 24hrs before the goods are set to leave for the United States, and you can be subject to significant fines if the information is not filed on time or appropriately. That is why we at Cordova Brokerage specialize in ISF, because it can be a complicated and costly process if not done correctly. 

Quick History of the ISF

The ISF was first conceived of in late 2008, as a way to more accurately track the flow of goods into the U.S. It was part of the SAFE Port Act, a bill that was signed into law under the Bush administration to bolster maritime trade security and record keeping. The ISF was a pursuant of this bill, but full finings didn’t begin until 2016. Now non-compliance can cost several thousand dollars, which will certainly eat away at any potential profits that exporting/importing can reap. Recently, as of May of 2018, the definition of an ISF Importer was broadened to include non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), and also to be the goods’ owner, purchaser, consignee or agent. It is important to keep up to date on all the changes to ISF, and we at Cordova Brokerage are bonafide experts when it comes to ISF and shipping. Call us today if you would like more information on filing, or would like to use our services for your goods and cargo. 

CTPAT & CBP: What Security Guidelines Do I Need to Follow?

importing and exporting across the globeWhen it comes to importing and exporting goods, there are certain guidelines you should follow that ensure the safety of you, other importers, and the countries to which you are importing and exporting. By following these guidelines, you can rest assured knowing you are taking the safest route and making the safest decisions when it comes to importing goods. While these guidelines put a focus on both importing and exporting, they are especially important when importing to the United States. In fact, most are required by the governing institution that has put them in place.

At Cordova Brokerage International, we are dedicated to upholding and enforcing strict security and safety guidelines, and we try to ensure that all of our trade partners and the importer clients we work with do so as well. We don’t do this because we are picky or selective but because we want to ensure that safety is kept at all times.

Who Sets These Guidelines?

These safety and security guidelines are set by two governing organizations: the United States Customs and Border Protection agency and the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. These two organizations work to keep our borders and the rest of the United States safe, something that should be on the minds of any importer importing from other countries.

At Cordova Brokerage International, we are CTPAT certified, so you can rest assured knowing we take the necessary steps to help protect our country from acts of terror.

Security Guidelines for Trailers and Containers

Part of ensuring safety when importing is knowing how to properly load trailers and containers while adhering to the guidelines set by the CBP. These guidelines include:

  • Following the seven-point inspection process for empty trailers and containers coming through the borders
  • Following the 17-point inspection process for loaded tractors and trailers

While this may seem like a lot, it is absolutely necessary (and also required) in order to maintain our safety. The last thing we want is for what should be a successful import from another country to turn into something that neither country wants. By following these guidelines, you are doing your part in ensuring that every import and export is safely given and received.

Contact Cordova Brokerage International Today!

If you’re in the business of importing and exporting, working with a customs broker can help make going through customs easier by ensuring you are meeting all the guidelines set forth by the CBP and CTPAT. By working with Cordova Brokerage International, you can make the customs process much simpler for your business. Call us today to learn more!

How Tension at the Border is Affecting Importing and Exporting

importing and exportingWith an increase in immigration, both legal and illegal, and a government that bases much of its “allure” on its opinions and actions regarding immigration, tension has grown on both sides. This coupled with people in need of a safer place, or country, to live has increased tension at our borders tenfold. This increased tension has affected where, how, how quickly, and what comes and goes through our borders. While both sides of the government have gone back and forth to improve and/or worsen these conditions, they can definitely have an impact on your business and the products you import and export.

Here’s how we can help.

#1: We Can Help You With All the Paperwork

During crises like this one, paperwork and processes end up becoming much more difficult, more so than it already is. We can help you with all of the necessary paperwork and processes needed to get through customs. This will help the process be much smoother.

#2: We Can Negotiate With Customs

Going through customs can be difficult in and of itself, but when you add high tension situations to the mix, it can be even more so. We can help you get through customs much more quickly so you don’t have to worry.

#3: We Offer Warehouse Storage

Travel times have increased since tensions arose, meaning goods are being stuck in one place much longer than anyone can plan for. Luckily, we offer warehouse storage options for your products,  so they can be protected as you wait to pass through. We offer temperature controlled and secure storage along with the option to supervise and manage your inventory online, ensuring everything is in place without having to manually check everything in the warehouse. This makes the process much easier.

Contact Cordova Brokerage International Today!

The tension at the border is a crisis right now. It may get better but it might also get worse. Why, of course, we want everyone to be helped and aided in the crisis happening, we can play our part by ensuring the supply chain is affected less by it than it could be. If you’re in need of help with importing and exporting products and goods for your business but are worried about what might happen when going through customs, we can help you. Give us a call today to learn more about the services we offer.