Feliz Halloween de América del Sur!

Happy Halloween from South America!

This past week, I was pleased to attend the Asociacion De Agentes Prof De Aduana De Las Americas (ASAPRA) Conference in beautiful Uruguay.  I cannot begin to articulate the honor of representing the NCBFAA, NEI, and the United States!

So what is ASAPRA?  According to their website (translated):

“ASAPRA is an international private corporation, nonprofit organization, which was founded in Vina del Mar, Chile, in 1969, in order to integrate into a single entity to the chambers, federations, associations and unions Agents, Brokers and / or Customs Brokers in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The Customs Agents, thus represented by ASAPRA, now reaching more than 25,000 professionals located in different countries of Latin America.”

Alfonso Rojas, ASAPRA President at opening session of ASAPRA Conference in Uraguay.

Alfonso Rojas, ASAPRA President at opening session of ASAPRA Conference in Uraguay.

In a nutshell, ASAPRA exists to “study the problems related to the exercise of the activity of customs agents and foster solutions” in South America.  In many countries that depend greatly on foreign trade, the value of customs brokerage and exporting continues to be in high demand.

With much of the U.S. efforts focused on Asia with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we must never forget our trade partners down South.  Often, we are so focused on the issues as customs brokers here in the States that we forget trade professionals in other countries face their own problems.  In fact, it’s helpful to hear the stories of our foreign counterparts and learn from their experiences.  Many of these relationships with our South American allies are prosperous thanks to the trade agreements forged, and the diligence of the global logistics professionals working with one another internationally.  I am confident that continuing dialogue and trade between our continents will result in a better global economy and a safer world for you and your children to spend a wonderful Halloween in!

Happy Trick-or-Treating and don’t forget to always be proud of your profession!

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WESCCON 2014

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending and exhibiting at the 2014 Western Cargo Conference (WESCCON) in beautiful Coronado, California.   The conference is hosted by the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Associations, Inc. (PCC) which includes numerous associations and organizations in global logistics.  The conference featured outstanding speakers and topics, many ongoing while others are new.   Some topics that were highlighted were:

  • Single Window
  • CBP Export Enforcement
  • FDA & PGA’s within ACE
  • eBonds for Imports
  • and more!

The NEI was not only there to educate the attendees about its extensive programs but was also there to gather information to deliver back to our greater audience.  We were proud to publish our “From the Field” event recaps of the conference, summarizing on notable discussions and sharing highlights from the conference.   By doing so, we were able to bring the conference to you:

Day 1
Day 2

This type of event allows people to be up to date on the ever changing rules under which we work and this being the principal mission of the NCBFAA Educational Institute we would like to congratulate the PCC for bringing together such well informed people not only form the private sector but the public sector as well  to present such an impressive amount material related to the changes in international trade rules.

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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!