Happy Thanksgiving from the NEI!


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

WCO, WTO, and You!

Recently, I attended the ASAPRA Annual Conference, which is the association of international trade Forwarders and Brokers of South and Central America.  It was here that I had the good fortune to hear a representative from the World Customs Organization (WCO) address the conference attendees.  During his presentation he spoke not only of the work of the WCO but also of the work being done by the World Trade Organization (WTO).  While listening to the presentation, I realized how much the decisions made at these global organizations affect the trade as well as the livelihood of the trade community, including service providers.  We should make sure we stay informed on the work being done in the global trade arena because eventually it comes back to affect how we accomplish our jobs within our own countries.

In my mind, I was always trying to distinguish the difference between the WCO and the WTO when it came to the effects it would have on my business as a service provider. In brief, the difference between the WCO and the WTO is the following:

The WCO is comprised of Customs Authorities within countries around the world (179 Members, three-quarters of which are developing countries and are responsible for managing more than 98% of world trade).They deal mostly with procedures to streamline the process of customs clearance in the global market while improving security and improving transparency and predictability in the customs clearance process.

World Customs Organization HQ

The WTO has 160 members as of June 2014 and is an organization where countries negotiate trade agreements, settle trade disputes, and operates a system of trade rules. In a nut shell, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out trade problems they may have with each other, creating rules which are transparent and predictable for global trade.

World Trade Organization

From this group come some WTO agreements we have all heard of regarding international trade such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) agreement.  These agreements are essentially contracts binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits.  The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives.  This process is in place to help trade flow as freely as possible, thus improving the economic growth of the global economy.

One of the latest agreements being discussed at the WTO is the Bali Package, which was adopted on December 7th, 2013.  While you may initially think that this package is not important to our daily jobs and work, when you read through the agreement, which is being deliberated and adopted by the member countries, you will see statements  addressing the importance of services providers such as brokers and forwarders in the process of international trade.  We should never take for granted the work being done by the WTO as well as the WCO because the recommendations being made by these global organizations will eventually be adopted by our own governments. In turn, directly influencing our daily work.

Never forget the pivotal role we play in the movement of International goods as well as the importance of being well informed on what is being agreed to, decided, or changed within our industry.  We can only be effective if we stay informed and are part of the process.  Be proud of what you do for the global economy.

Oktoberfest Indeed!

It’s October and the year maybe winding down but the party here at the NEI sure isn’t.  When I say party, I don’t mean with beer and all (though it is Friday, so hey who knows?!).  What I mean is that we’ve been going full steam ahead with loads of activities and new developments!  So what’s happening?  Allow me to indulge you:

  • 90 Day Continuing Education Credit Checks were sent out last week. If you are CCS/CES certified, you know that you need to maintain 20 continuing education credits a year.  We gave you a heads up so that just in case you’ve fallen behind, you know now is the time to get caught up!  Make sure you check your transcript by doing the following:
    1. Go to ncbfaa.org
    2. Sign in at Individual Profile Login
    3. Click on Continuing Education Credits
      • If you are missing credits, email ei@ncbfaa.org ASAP! To expedite the process, please include the event name, date, credit value and proof of registration for any missing events.
  • The fourth quarter edition of the 2014 NEI program was released with a little surprise about what’s coming next year.  There is also a little nice photo montage recapping the NEI’s activities this past year and of course, updated webinars, online courses and in person events you can attend!
  • The NEI is kicking off its “Don’t Be a Hog” branding campaign to help make your company branding a little more special. The NEI brand is recognized by the industry as a respected institution dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in global logistics through education.  But we don’t want to keep that recognition to ourselves; instead, we want to help you use it to enhance your own branding. Learn more by clicking here!
  • Our June-December 2014 CCS Course will be wrapping up soon! Good luck to all the current students as they enter the final exam month!  Also, registration for the January to June 2015 course is now available (link to the registration page with the words
    now available) until December 15, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
  • …and lastly, our October Newsletter will be coming out soon, so keep an eye out for that!

As you can see, there’s a lot going on and we’re just getting started.  I recently just passed my three year mark of serving as Executive Director of this fine institution and I could not be prouder to see the ongoing evolution of the NEI!  Every day, more and more people are joining and getting certified by the NEI because they see the value in the educational services that we offer and how it is improving their careers.   So if you haven’t done so, join us and get involved the NEI – I promise you, it is worth it!