Happy Thanksgiving from the NEI!

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Thanksgiving is not only a wonderful holiday, it is a reminder to pause for a while and give thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives.  We give thanks for our lives, our family and friends, our health, and for living in this wonderful country where we are allowed to have freedoms to express ourselves as well as improve our lives through hard work and dedication to our professions.  We at the NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving holiday and we look forward to our next year together continuing to improve our knowledge and increase the professionalism of our industry.  “Be proud of your profession and the service you provide not only your clients but your country as well.”

-From the entire staff of the NEI

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What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

Summer is slowly rolling in across the country.  You will most likely be spending your late afternoons relaxed under a tree, or sprawled out on your lawn, or even next to the pool.   Your kids will probably be doing cartwheels in the grass, or performing pool acrobats with floaties on arms.  While you, in shorts, sandals and shades, will have a cold glass of lemonade or ice tea in one hand and in the other hand, a book!  What book will it be?  Well if you’re keen are staying on top of your profession, it will most likely be a selection from our newly opened online bookstore!

PC: themoatblog.com

If you haven’t heard, the NEI is proud to be working with the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) in delivering to your hands, excellent quality books on industry relevant topics.  Topics such as:

We offer these books at competitive prices straight from the American affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).  Don’t wait now, check out our hot titles for a hot summer!

As always, be proud of your profession.

The Importance of Determining Country for Origin on Imported Products

The process of determining the country of origin for a product of international trade has long been a subject of much discussion within the global trade community.  This issue, for many traders, causes an economic barrier to trade.  Since there is not a specific U.S. statute that provides an overall definition of “rules of origin” or “country of origin,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the principal agency in determining origin. They rely on a body of court decisions, agency regulations and interpretations to confer origin on an imported product.  At times, this can be very subjective and can convey a lack of transparency in the process of determining product origin.

PC: freshfetchpetfoods.com

CBP recognized this issue, and attempted to address it in 1994 and 2008 by offering more simplified and standardized rules for determining origin. However, when they were put forward to the international trade community, CBP’s efforts were met with opposition; CBP ultimately decided not to proceed with their proposals.  Simultaneously, in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) formed a committee to address this issue and while the committee has made substantial progress in addressing rules of origin, to date they still have not come to an agreement on all aspects of origin rules.

Country of origin is just one component of the information required when filing an entry for customs clearance purposes into the United States. However, the role of this small piece of information is usually at the heart of many problems with the data submitted on a customs entry. This single component will determine tariff rates, enforcement of trade remedies (Dumping and Countervailing duty claims), quotas on products, product labeling requirements, product procurement policies, government trade policies, etc. Should you make a mistake on this issue, you could be faced with fines and penalties based on the entries you have filed with CBP.

The country of origin of an imported product is defined in U.S. law and customs regulations as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering customs territory of the United States, and while this sounds very simplistic, in today’s global economy, it is not always so simple.  Much of what is produced today is a collective product, which has components from multiple countries.  CBP uses two sets of rules when determining origin, the Non-Preferential Rules for countries with which we have most-favored nation (MFN) status and Preferential Rules for countries or regions with which we have free trade agreements (FTA) or bilateral agreements to extend preference to those counties or regions.

Determining country of origin may be very simple when a product is produced, manufactured, or assembled in a single country where component pieces are from the same country. However, in today’s global trade environment, where goods are sometimes produced using components from multiple countries but assembled in another country, the process of determining origin becomes very complex. To add more complexity to this single piece of information, you now have to add specific rules, which are written into various trade agreements, determining the eligibility of a product for specific trade agreement qualifications.

With the enactment of the Modernization Act, much of the responsibility for determining origin now falls on the importer of record to demonstrate reasonable care and supervision on the international trade process he is involved with.   Therefore, a strong knowledge base on this subject is required.  It is due to this specific fact that individuals involved in international trade must continually keep informed on the changes in trade regulations, which include the enactment of trade agreements with other countries.  The NEI is dedicated to providing people involved in international trade with an entryway to for education on this type of subject.