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May 28 2018

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86 The Journal of Commerce | May 28 2018 JOC Top Importers and Exporters $2.3 trillion in 2017 and are forecast to double to $4.8 trillion in 2021 according to Statista. A working group formed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) is developing tools and instruments for managing cross-border e-commerce transac- tions. "The e-commerce tsunami has arrived," Sider said. Customs services, to varying degrees around the world, are using technology to manage the grow- ing volumes of e-commerce sales. "Customs services are getting pretty sophisticated in their targeting, and they will ask customs brokers to help them," said Federico Zuniga, di- rector of the NCBFAA's educational institute. "Even with this tsunami, the technology is available to target this stu„," he said. Pitney Bowes uses the data provided by customers to assess the risks involved in shipping products to other countries. Red flags are raised when dangerous goods, controlled items, or export controls governing shipments to certain countries are involved. "Compliance starts with the prod- uct," Basso said. US Customs is vigilant in assur- ing that imports are properly valued so the federal government is not shorted on revenue, Sider said. Cus- toms brokers are increasingly work- ing into the e-commerce space, and they should advise their beneficial cargo owner customers, especially small businesses, to avoid customs issues by going through the process required to become a "known ship- per" under CBP rules, she said. Forwarders and brokers caution that CBP's decision in 2016 to raise the "de minimis" value before im- port duties are charged, from $200 to $800, could make it more di¡cult for US Customs to guard against the importing or exporting of products with safety or security concerns in international e-commerce ship- ments. For customs services in general, though, WCO guidelines for managing e-commerce call for the use of advanced electronic data collection to target risky shipments for safety, security, and revenue collection, Sider said. JOC email: twitter: @billmongelluzzo volume, enhancing of partnerships with US government agencies and foreign governments, and the boosting of data collection for better targeting of suspicious shipments. The agency's first e-commerce strategy "positions CBP to address the various complexities, oppor- tunities, and threats resulting from this global shift in trade to an e-commerce platform," Customs Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said in a statement. Regarding small businesses involved in goods trade, Basso addressed the question of who is responsible for complying with the US government's and other govern- ments' regulations by explaining how Pitney Bowes handles those matters. Pitney Bowes takes title to the merchandise and assumes the responsibility for conforming to customs regulations, she said. Global e-commerce sales totaled E-COMMERCE HAS CHANGED the logistics of international trade, but the customs rules that govern cargo admissibility, valuation, and revenue collection are still very much the same as they were before the internet introduced new potential risks and unknowns into the transaction process. "Customs agencies are building out their e-commerce strategies," Candace Sider, vice president of regulatory affairs North America at Livingston International, told the annual meeting of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) this month in Rancho Mirage, California. "Countries have vary- ing degrees of sophistication with e-commerce," she said. That means importers, or the customs brokers who represent them, must know which products are admissible and what duties may be involved, and exporters, or the freight forwarders they rely on, must be familiar with US export regulations and the customs rules in the countries they are shipping to, said Luisella Basso, vice president, international trade and customs compliance at Pitney Bowes. US Customs and Border Pro- tection (CBP) in May released a long-awaited e-commerce strategy, detailing the streamlining of en- forcement processes to handle rising Lagging e-rules Importers and exporters advised to be diligent as e-commerce brings new challenges By Bill Mongelluzzo Importers must know which products are admissible and what duties may be involved, and exporters must be familiar with US export regulations and the customs rules in the countries they are shipping to. "Customs agencies are building out their e-commerce strategies."

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