China Customs new "single window" clearance process

By Christian Sivière, Solutions Import Export Logistique MC, Montréal

The General Administration of Customs (GAC) has announced the implementation of a “single window” pilot project at the China Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

This follows the government initiative to simplify procedures for businesses announced earlier this year by Premier Li Keqiang. GAC spokesperson Zhang Guangzhi explained that under the "single window" mechanism, trade enterprises will be allowed to submit all relevant documents, certificates and import declarations via a single platform and one-stop processing will then be provided to such submissions. The "single window" process will help facilitate coordination among the various departments involved and enhance customs clearance. This "single window" pilot will first be implemented at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Online function testing will first be carried out at the Yangshan Bonded Port Zone In June. Once tested and fully functional, it should be expanded to other areas.


Currently, clearing goods for consumption into China is a two-steps process involving the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), involving two declarations, potentially two inspections, etc. When fully operational, this single window should shorten clearance time and lower costs for Chinese importers.                    

 

China Customs new "single window" clearance process

By Christian Sivière, Solutions Import Export Logistique MC, Montréal

The General Administration of Customs (GAC) has announced the implementation of a “single window” pilot project at the China Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

This follows the government initiative to simplify procedures for businesses announced earlier this year by Premier Li Keqiang. GAC spokesperson Zhang Guangzhi explained that under the "single window" mechanism, trade enterprises will be allowed to submit all relevant documents, certificates and import declarations via a single platform and one-stop processing will then be provided to such submissions. The "single window" process will help facilitate coordination among the various departments involved and enhance customs clearance. This "single window" pilot will first be implemented at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Online function testing will first be carried out at the Yangshan Bonded Port Zone In June. Once tested and fully functional, it should be expanded to other areas.


Currently, clearing goods for consumption into China is a two-steps process involving the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), involving two declarations, potentially two inspections, etc. When fully operational, this single window should shorten clearance time and lower costs for Chinese importers.                    

 

Canada's international merchandise trade, March 2014 statistics

By Christian Sivière, Solutions Import Export Logistique MC, Montréal

Canada's merchandise exports declined 1.4% in March, while imports were up 0.4%, bringing our trade surplus with the world from $847 million in February to $79 million in March.

Exports declined to $42.7 billion. Energy products were the main contributor to the decline (-7.9%), following three consecutive months of significant increases. Exports of forest products and building and packaging materials declined 7.6% while exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 8%.

Imports edged up to $42.6 billion, as increases in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (+6.3%) as well as consumer goods (+1.7%) were largely offset by declines in electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-2.6%) as well as energy products (-3.7%).

Read more: Canada's international merchandise trade, March 2014 statistics

Risks with foreign exchange rates

The solution exists at the operational level

By Optionsdevises

Currency fluctuations are unpredictable and they involve a good deal of risk that can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Fortunately, corporate management can develop some simple and effective solutions for taking control of profitability in spite of volatile foreign exchange rates.

Taking control of profits in spite of fluctuations in exchange rates is possible as long as one’s analysis is carried out with the right focus, meaning within the company itself. Unfortunately, there are still too many managers who find it difficult to assess and define risks involved in exchange. Some wrongly believe that solutions exist on the exchange markets, where one can find a plethora of offers of all sorts and analysts who, it must be said, don’t always make the right predictions.

Read more: Risks with foreign exchange rates

Review of Incoterms

Incoterms 2010®

By Think Big Management International

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has recently reviewed the Incoterms. This is the first revision in ten years and in particular, it reflects the many profound changes that have taken place in the world in that time, including the 9/11 attacks, reform of the UCC codes in the United States in 2004, extension of the euro zone, increase in the number of duty-free zones in a number of countries and the 2009 version of the Cargo Clauses Institute (LMA/IUA).

This complete review of the Incoterms by the ICC is also aimed at simplifying transactions and their interpretation, as well as improving the legal safeguards, whilst retaining its basic objectives which include sharing of risk, costs and responsibilities for traders.

Read more: Review of Incoterms

Six questions and answers on factoring

By Desjardins

What is factoring?

Factoring is a financial transaction in which an institution purchases (or discounts) an account receivable from a company and then ensures collection for which it is paid.

When should factoring be used?

Factoring may be used at any time. Whether in a period of growth or stability, pressure on current cash flows can sometimes be a serious matter. What’s more, factoring constitutes a partnership that can be used to prevent bad debts as well as reducing administrative concerns, while allowing adequate and appropriate financing for the company at the same time.

Read more: Six questions and answers on factoring

Have you completed a certificate of origin for your exports to the United States?

By Louise Chevanelle, Formation en douanes Louise Chevanelle Inc.

Firstly, let’s clear up the myth that suggests you have to fill out a certificate of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to export your products to the United States. Nothing could be further from the truth! Although this document allows you to save on Customs duties, a certificate of origin is not a condition for export to the United States. Determine your risk beforehand; is it better to pay duties or risk financial penalties by being uncertain of the information being transmitted on the certificate?

The NAFTA certificate is a legal document

The certificate of origin from NAFTA is valid with Customs authorities for four years, although it must be renewed every year. Are you recopying the same certificate of origin year after year simply by changing the date? You should be careful. Are you entering products on your certificate that you export but do not produce? Has the producer supplied you with a valid certificate certifying the origin? Are you sure the producer is reliable?

Read more: Have you completed a certificate of origin for your exports to the United States?

Exporting our construction know-how: not so easy!

By Julie Lessard, partner, lawyer, BCF Business law

Québec has numerous strategic advantages in the construction sector. This is particularly true of its know-how in general, and its highly-qualified workforce operates in numerous Québec-based companies that add plus value to the various products and services they offer, allowing them to position themselves in both Canadian and international markets. However, this strength also represents one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, due to both the growing shortage of manpower resources and the many difficulties related to worker mobility for a number of professions and specialized labour force.

Read more: Exporting our construction know-how: not so easy!