Shipping Solutions News
  May 2003
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In This Month's Newsletter:

Export Mgrs. Reveal Top 4 Documentation and Compliance Programs

BIS Dual-Use Licensing


Upcoming Events:

Export Documentation & Procedures Seminar
Anaheim, CA (7/15/03) Atlanta, GA (6/17/03)
Boston, MA (7/22/03) Chicago, IL (7/21/03)
Dallas, TX (6/10/03)
Philadelphia, PA (6/24/03)
Pittsburgh, PA (6/17/03)

NAFTA Rules of Origin Seminar
Atlanta, GA (6/12/03)
Boston, MA (7/25/03) Chicago, IL (7/30/03)
Dallas, TX (6/18/03)
Philadelphia, PA (6/27/03)
Pittsburgh, PA (6/12/03)

Letters of Credit:
Export & Import Seminar

Anaheim, CA (7/16/03) Atlanta, GA (6/18/03)
Boston, MA (7/23/03) Chicago, IL (7/22/03)
Dallas, TX (6/11/03)
Philadelphia, PA (6/25/03)
Pittsburgh, PA (6/18/03)

International Logistics: Ocean and Air Transportation Seminar
Atlanta, GA (6/10/03)
Chicago, IL (7/23/03)
Dallas, TX (6/12/03)
Pittsburgh, PA (6/10/03)

Tariff Classification: Using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Seminar
Atlanta, GA (6/11/03)
Chicago, IL (7/29/03)
Dallas, TX (6/17/03)
Philadelphia, PA (6/26/03)
Pittsburgh, PA (6/11/03)

These one-day seminars are taught by qualified and knowledgeable instructors in small-group settings. All attendees receive the corresponding reference book and a Certificate of Completion.


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Is your company using the Automated Export System (AES) to file your Shipper's Export Declarations (SEDs) electronically?

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Export Managers Reveal Top 4 Documentation and Compliance Programs

Shipping Solutions Rated #1

(Reprinted with permission from IOMA'S Report on Managing Exports, June 2003)

ME’s latest survey of export software products that readers are using contains valuable information for export managers who are planning on automating aspects of their export operations. Among our respondents, 27.9% report using standalone export software in their operations. We also asked which software program is currently being used (see below).

It might initially seem surprising that just one-third of responding export pros are using such software, until one takes into account the answer to our third survey question: Are you using the Internet? To this question, fully 78.4% of respondents answered in the affirmative. Since the greatest recent proliferation of export software products has been Webbased, it’s clear that the great majority of our respondents are taking advantage of either standalone or Internet-based technology to automate their export functions—lowering costs and gaining efficiencies.

Four Top Providers in ME Survey
When asked which program they are now using, 30% of survey respondents cited InterMart's Shipping Solutions software (1-888-890-SHIP;, making this the runaway favorite among ME readers responding to the survey. These results also give some added heft to Shipping Solutions’ claim to being “America’s Number One Export Documentation Software.” In second place—at 10% of respondents—was Vastera, which markets modules that automate everything from documentation and compliance to logistics and collections.

At 7% of respondents, and in third place, is Exits Inc.’s Global Wizard for Export Documentation. In fourth place, cited by 3% of respondents, is Export Prowriter 5.0 software from Export Forms Co. Smaller numbers of respondents are using a range of other products.

Four Solutions: Low-Cost to High-End
Since the four most popular products in ME’s survey cover a wide range of export automation products—from the very economical to the very high-end—we describe their features in some detail below. The features offered by these four give export pros a good idea of what is available within various price ranges.

1) Shipping Solutions (a division of InterMart: email: offers two basic export documentation products. Shipping Solutions Classic is designed for smaller or new-to-export firms and costs only $295 ($795 for the network version). The software runs on a desktop computer using Microsoft Windows.

Shipping Solutions 2000 is aimed at midsize and more frequent exporters and is an AES-certified filer. The software includes an Integration Utility that allows you to link Shipping Solutions 2000 with your company’s
accounting, order-entry, or ERP system. The standard version costs $995 and runs on a 133 MHz or higher Pentium. If your firm utilizes more than one person to complete export documents, the network version allows you to install the program on up to four workstations for $2,495 (additional licenses are available at $250 per workstation).

The Shipping SolutionsWebsite allows easy comparison between the two products, and export pros can download demo versions to try them out.

2) Vastera’s products are on the high end in terms of cost, at $65,000 to $130,000, but for that kind of investment you get full global trade management of export operations, from order to fulfillment. Vastera’s TradeSphere Solutions is a scalable, Web-native, integrated solution. TradeSphere Exporter, one of its modules, automates and integrates all features of export management, including export requirements and controls, trade regulations, shipping documentation, language barriers, preferential trade programs, and statistical reporting.
The Web site features an elaborate online demo, and Vastera also offers a wide range of other trade products, from consulting to training to global trade content. Exporters can choose to license Vastera technology from the provider, access it in a hosted environment, or allow Vastera to manage the complete process.

3) Exits Inc.’s Global Wizard for Export Documentation, now out in Version 8.1, lets export pros prepare 30 standard export documents, e-mail documents, consolidate invoices, file SEDs electronically (the provider is a licensed AES filer), invoice in foreign currency, duplicate previous transactions, generate reports by country, place your product corporate logo on documents, and access a Help Desk. The single-user cost is just $700. For up to 12 users, the LAN version’s cost is $2,200. A free demo can be downloaded from the site.

5) Export Forms Co.’s Export Prowriter 5.0 Software automates export documentation, using only the forms supplied by the provider. The software allows export pros to copy a previously completed form and make the necessary changes when preparing shipments, saves completed forms for later review, calculates extensions and invoice totals, and has a field-specific Help Program. The database allows you to save pertinent customer and product information and transfer your keyed data from one form to another.

Questions to Ask
When shopping for a product, export pros should ask the following questions. Is the software userfriendly? Can you get online help? Does the product audit and identify discrepancies in transactions? Does it have the capacity to send to Customs? What are the software’s compliance features? Is the product compatible with your company’s existing computer systems?

© Copyright IOMA INC.

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Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) Dual-Use Licensing

By Catherine J. Petersen email | bio

A customer service representative recently approached me at a seminar and told me about a phone conversation she had with one of her U.S. customers who was looking to export a product they sell. Her customer asked if she had an ECCN for her product since it seemed to be a “dual use” item that might need an export license.

She needed help understanding what her customer meant.

According to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), part 730.3, dual use is used to distinguish those products covered by the EAR from those that are covered by the regulations of other U.S. government departments and agencies with export licensing responsibilities.

The term serves to distinguish EAR-controlled items:

  1. that can be used both in military and other strategic uses (e.g., nuclear) and commercial applications; and

  2. that can be used both in military and other strategic uses and in civil applications from those that are weapons and have a military-related use or design and are subject to the controls of the Department of State or subject to the nuclear related controls of the Department of Energy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; however,

  3. the shorthand term dual use may be employed to refer to the entire scope of the EAR, since the EAR also applies to some items that have solely civil uses.

The Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) is the agency responsible for administering export control laws and safeguarding U.S. national interests, including dual-use technologies.

The BIS maintains controls on exports from the United States and re-exports of U.S.-origin items from foreign destinations. The controls are on strategic commodities and technical data to prevent their diversion to hostile countries.

The United States participates in four multilateral control regimes that enhance the effectiveness of its export controls:

BIS implements U.S. foreign policy controls such as crime control, antiterrorism and regional stability and is responsible for export controls on terrorist countries. BIS also administers export controls to protect the United States from the adverse impact of the unrestricted export of commodities in short supply (e.g. some crude oil, other petroleum products, and unprocessed western red cedar).

BIS partners with a number of agencies and laboratories including:

Fictional Case Study

Gumbo Rubber Company, 65531 Gumbo Road, Fremont, California, regularly exports a variety of rubber insulators and connectors for electric fencing, power lines and facilities. Some of their customers request specific modifications. These customers operate nuclear power plants.

If the item is to be used in a nuclear power plant, then the exporter must investigate the regulations that cover dual use items. These would include, but may not be limited to, the Export Administration Regulations, regulations under the control of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Energy regulations.

It is important for each firm to develop an export compliance procedure and policy that all employees will follow to avoid violation of the regulations.

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