|Auditing Your Export Information; Retrieving Data from AES
12/2/2013 - by Catherine J. PetersenWe were just acquired by a larger company, and they have advised us that they will be conducting a compliance audit of our international procedures and processes in January. They gave us a checklist of documents that we are to have available for the exports we've shipped during the past 12 months. Will we be able to rely on our freight forwarders to retrieve some of this information?
Make Sure Your Confirmed Letter of Credit is Properly Confirmed
11/25/2013 - by Roy BeckerExporters generally understand the protection they receive with a confirmed letter of credit. They know the confirming bank obligates itself to pay even if unable to collect from the issuing bank. However, some exporters do not fully understand how to effectively ask for a confirmed letter of credit. Let's begin by emphasizing one very important principle and then provide a right way and a wrong way to ask for a confirmed letter of credit.
How Stable is Stable Enough? Choosing International Markets
11/18/2013 - by Becky DeStigterIf your company is doing business around the world, at some point you need to decide: How stable does a country need to be for us to do business there? Watching the U.S. Congress go through their puzzling brinkmanship last month over the federal government's budget and debt ceiling certainly left most Americans questioning our own country's economic and political stability. But the reality is that there is much more uncertainty in politics, market stability, regulations, exchange rates, armed conflict and/or inflation in places like Zimbabwe, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela. There are many companies doing business in remote corners of the world. Here are some criteria that you should consider when assessing your company's international business risk tolerance.
The Informality of Importing
11/11/2013 - by John GoodrichWhen boarding a plane recently I noticed a guy dressed in cutoff shorts and flip flops and mentally noted how times had changed. With a "que sera, sera" mindset, I withheld judgment. That is until the guy stuck his overly ripe, flip-flop clad feet under my airplane seat. I don't care how informal our culture has become; wearing flip-flops on a plane is just wrong! And so it is with importing. There are times when it is appropriate to be formal and there are times one may be informal, at least in the type of entry that the importer files.
The Transformation of Vietnam—Part 4: Challenges
11/4/2013 - by Prema NakraLike China, Vietnam's nominally communist one-party system crushes dissent, keeps its military under tight control, and changes government policies and leadership slowly. While Vietnam offers an attractive environment for investment, the country is not without its drawbacks. In addition to widespread corruption, red tape and high inflation, Vietnam's infrastructure is still underdeveloped.
Assessing Country Risk and Customer Risk—Part 6
10/28/2013 - by Roberto BergamiThis is the sixth part in my series of articles on country risk and customer risk assessment. To recall, it is important to classify both countries and customers, because a rogue customer in a good (from a risk perspective) country is not a much better risk than a good customer in a rogue (from a risk perspective) country. In this article I will discuss the competitiveness data from the World Economic Forum.
The Infamous Monday in Brazil
10/21/2013 - by Roy BeckerEven the best relationship with international customers can be put at risk by forces outside of either parties' control. A Denver exporter discovered the realities of sovereign risk when the Brazilian government intervened to prevent payment from being made.
That Sinister Left Hand: Avoiding an International Incident
10/14/2013 - by Becky DeStigterAs a left-handed American, I rarely think about my dominant hand. Sure, the world is set up for right-handers, but we lefties have learned to adjust. In Italian, the word for left is sinistra. While I've never found bias against my left-handedness in Italy, there are many places in the world where I could stop traffic or invite disgusted looks from an entire restaurant for openly flaunting my left-handedness. So what's a lefty to do when traveling to those parts of the world for business?