Changes to Special Procedures such as IPR and OPR

As part of the European Union the UK is subject to the European Customs Code. Consequently, Notice 221 (regarding special procedures such as IPR) have now been withdrawn, and as Read more…

New rules for Nigerian Manufacturer’s Certificate of Production

New rules established recently by the Nigerian Standards decree that all pro-forma invoices that are sent, especially those pertaining to Documentary Credits, must be accompanied by an attached copy of Read more…

Nigerian Manufacturer’s Certificates of Production

To eradicate the dumping of sub-standard goods, fake products and also control the movement out of the country of hard currencies, the Nigerian Government initiated pre-shipment inspections for all imports Read more…

Reasons for Discrepant Presentations for LCs

  Successfully obtaining payment through a Letter of Credit is achieved by submitting documents which conform to the wording and terms of the Credit and in accordance with UCP 600 Read more…

Shipments to Libya require special Certificate

Due to fraudulent practices identified by the Libyan authorities, and to protect the transfer of hard currencies from Libya, the Central Bank of Libya issued Resolution 96 on 30th April Read more…

Changes to ISO 9001 are coming.

ISO 9001 is a International Standards Quality Management System, part of the list of standards run by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).  Anyone holding this standard in their organisation Read more…

Availability and Presentation with Letters of Credit

Article 6 of UCP 600 deals with the subject of availability and place for presentation for Letters of Credit. Availability has two meanings. The first requires the Issuing Bank to Read more…

Presenting documents under Letters of Credit

A common mistake by inexperienced exporters using Letters of Credit, is to present the documents required to the wrong branch of the bank, or even the wrong bank. It must Read more…

Types and Uses of Letters of Credit

There are various types of Letters of Credit/Documentary Credits which have, over time, been developed to satisfy certain needs of the Buyer and Seller.  Each type of Credit carries primary Read more…

Both-to-Blame Collision Clause

If two sea vessels collide then, in some instances, the Both-to-Blame Collision Clause comes into effect.  This clause is detailed on the Bills of Lading of the Carriers concerned, usually Read more…

Letters of Credit and ICC Incoterms 2010

  The terms and documentation requested under a Letter of Credit must match the details of the Export Sales Contract.  Factors such as, who is responsible for the freight, goods Read more…

Problems shipping to individuals in Russia

  Shipment of dutiable goods to private individuals in Russia are presently heavily restricted by Russian Customs.  Parcels can be sent to registered business addresses, but must be for commercial Read more…

ISM now required for goods shipped to Kenya

The Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has advised that all imported finished products are now required to be labelled with the ISM (Import Standardisation Mark) sticker, effective 1st September 2015. Read more…

Letters of Credit and the Export Sales Contract

A Sales Agreement/Contract between a buyer and seller consists of a number of terms, the most essential being the seller’s agreement to provide goods to the buyer and the buyer’s Read more…

Basic Definitions used in Letters of Credit

This article provides definitions of phrases relating to the parties involved in a Credit as well as clarifying the different wording used to describe Credits. Credit   –  This is Read more…

Necessary Reference Material for Letters of Credit

Anyone wishing to present correct documents to support a Letter of Credit/Documentary Credit presentation must have access to UCP600, ISBP and Incoterms 2010. 1.  ICC Uniform Customs and Practice for Read more…

How Letters of Credit (Documentary Credits) work

  Letters of Credit, also known as Commercial and Documentary Credits, are used to guarantee payment to the seller and delivery of goods to the buyer.  Payment is exchanged for Read more…

Getting paid using a Letter of Credit – Introduction

By using Letters of Credit an exporter is guaranteed payments from international buyers.  However, four factors need be in place beforehand for this to work. ♦ 1.  The Credit needs to Read more…

A historical perspective of Futures Trading

Commodity trading is the actual trade of a commodity.  However, many people get this confused with Futures Trading.  This articles explains what Futures Trading actually is and how it developed. Read more…

Export Documents – Packing Lists

New time exporters (and people who have exported before) often get confused about packing lists. The function of a packing list is to provide an accurate listing of the goods Read more...

Supplying Computer Software under Documentary Credits

Using a Letter of Credit/Documentary Credit to pay for computer software, could be problematic today, due to technological changes which were designed to make purchasing software easier. A Documentary Credit Read more…

Incorrect usage of C-Terms – Incoterms 2010

One problem in Incoterms 2010 concerns the correct usage of CFR and CIF and the question – who pays for the terminal handling charges at the port of import? To Read more…

Article 14d UCP 600 for Letters of Credits

The rules that apply to Letters of Credit are known collectively as UCP 600.  However, there are challenges with some of the rules (also known as articles). When the Uniform Read more…

Form M shipments to Nigeria

Shipments to Nigeria, especially those being shipped by sea freight, must be shipped under a Form M.  The Form M is instigated by the Nigerian importer and issued through their Read more…

2013 WTO decisions affecting exporters

Every 2 years the Member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meet to vote on continuing and new measures to achieve their goals of promoting open trade, and assisting producers Read more…

The importance of Pro-forma invoices

There are certain documents which play a vital, but often understated and misunderstood role in export contracts – one is the pro-forma invoice.  More often than not, the submission of Read more…

Mitigating fraud with Letters of Credit

Although Letters of Credit should guarantee that the right goods are shipped and the shipper gets paid, Letters of Credit can still be used fraudulently.  This article discusses what happens Read more…

Saudi Arabian import procedure

Compliance, especially in the form of Certificates of Conformity, is becoming one of the more costly aspects of international trade.  In part this is to prevent fraudulent practice, which is Read more…

Commodity Trading – Cobalt goes radioactive

This article on commodity trading concentrates on the very onerous challenges faced when the commodity being shipped is registered as Hazardous Goods.  The commodity used as an example in this Read more…

Commodity Trading – Niobium and Tantalum

Trading commodities can carry great risks, especially when ensuring that no part of the trade supply chain is involved in any illegal or unlawful activity.  Guaranteeing this can be more Read more…

SONCAP regulations for exporting to Nigeria

On the 1st March 2013 a new (and rather stringent) set of regulations came into force for anyone wishing to ship goods into Nigeria.  There are certain goods which may Read more…

HMRC assistance to importers

HM Revenue and Customs now offer a programme of free live and pre-recorded webinars to assist traders on international matters.  A list of topics is available at www.hmrc.gov.uk/webinars/ under the Read more…

Kenyan Imports and IDF

In the same way that in the UK all imports and exports are lodged electronically on the CHIEF system, in Kenya the same procedure is followed on the Simba 2005 Read more…

Letters of Credit – Assignment of Proceeds

There are three main ways that a beneficiary of a Documentary Letter of Credit (DC) can use the original DC to pay suppliers using the DC itself. The first is Read more…

Completing a C99 for IPR Suspension

It is possible to import some types of goods into the United Kingdom (UK) and not pay any Duty or VAT (if these taxes normally apply), as long as the Read more…

Country Information: Gabon

Gabon is based in Africa and offers many opportunities for trade for UK companies. General Information Official language: English (from 12th October 2012); formally French Other languages: Fang, Myene, Bakeke, Read more…

Credit terms and imports from Pakistan

It is common to pay taxes when importing into a country.  Some countries, however, apply taxes when exporting from their country, and one such country that applies an “Export” tax Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – DDP – Delivered Duty Paid

The DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) incoterm is one where the seller’s price to the buyer should include all costs required to deliver the goods to the buyer’s door, up to Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – DAP- Delivered at Place

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has put a lot of effort into marketing their Incoterms and they have been subsequently very successful in promoting these terms into international trade Read more…

Commodity Trading Cocoa – Food of the Gods

Chocolate is big business.  In 2012 the global candy and chocolate industry had estimated total sales of US$ 118 billion.  Between 2007 and 2012 the annual growth in this industry Read more…

UK Export Finance – help for Exporters

The UK Export Finance (UKEF) Department is probably one of the best kept secrets in British trade, which is a shame because they are potentially one of the most effective Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – DAT – A new incoterm?

DAT (Delivered at Terminal) can be applied to all types of shipping contracts.  With a DAT term, the price offered by the seller to the buyer should include (as with Read more…

Title to Goods and Bills of Lading

An original Ocean Bill of Lading, as well as being a receipt for the goods given by the carrier and evidence of the contract of carriage, is also a negotiable Read more…

Certificates of Conformity for Qatar

A lot of Governments are now much more protective (and rightly so) about the quality of goods which are being imported into their Countries.  This means that an increasing number Read more…

Commodity Trading – Wheat

The commodities traded on commodity and futures markets are almost invariably the ‘raw’ products: items that have been grown, mined, or pumped from the earth.  Commodities vary from being very Read more…

Letters of Credit and Transport Documents

It’s a good idea, when receiving the Documentary Credit, to check that the transport document required under the Credit conditions can actually be supplied, bearing in mind the form of Read more…

Exporting, VAT and some HMRC regulations

Exporters need to be clear, when shipping goods outside the UK, whether they are involved in a direct or indirect export, with regards to the treatment of VAT. Value Added Read more…

Piracy on the West Africa Seas

Piracy apparently accounts for almost 7% of all global trade! The most notorious episodes in recent years have been the hijacking of massive container ships (amongst other craft), and the Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – Solutions to CIP risks

CIP appears to be one of the less problematic incoterms with regards to international trade.  However, there are still risks which need to be considered. The incoterms (international commercial terms) Read more…

Commodity Trading Palladium – a rare useful metal

In its simplest form, successful commodity trading requires extensive knowledge and understanding of the supply and demand cycles of the commodity in question.  As mentioned in a previous article, it Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – New opportunities using CPT

Under Incoterms 2010 the C-terms CPT and CIP can be used for all forms of transport.  But when should CPT be used? Negotiating international trade contracts can be a bit Read more…

Monitoring Imports to avoid unforeseen costs

Unless an international trader has authorised access to the Customs Handling of Imports and Exports Freight (CHIEF) system, they will be unable to process import (or export) customs declarations.  This Read more…

Institute Cargo Clauses: Inclusions and Omissions

INSTITUTE CARGO CLAUSES (LMA/IUA) 2009 History The introduction of the 1982 Clauses was a radical step that finally liberated cargo policies from the old S.G. Policy (the second schedule to Read more…

Brief History of Incoterms

The use of Incoterms in International Trade is widespread today, yet this has not always been the case.  This article studies the history and development of Incoterms during the 20th Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – CIF – Universally used, but no longer universally relevant?

CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) is one of the most commonly used incoterms in international trade terminology, and like CFR, this term is used when the seller has met his Read more…

Starting to Import: Here’s some help.

It’s so confusing – you find the perfect supplier, but they are based overseas.  All sorts of buzzwords are thrown at you – deferments, DAP, EORI, HS Commodity codes – Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – Some points to note with CFR (Cost and Freight)

It can sometimes take time for a new phrase or wording to replace an old established one.  This is certainly the case with the incoterm C and F, which I Read more…

Special document requirements for used car shipments from UK to Kenya, Uganda, Zambia & Malta

The shipment of used vehicles to Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Malta from the UK now requires pre-shipment inspection and certification from JEVIC (Japanese Export Vehicle Inspection Centre) whose UK offices Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – The versatility of FCA (Free Carrier)

One of the most intriguing questions raised about Incoterms 2010 came during a training course, run by the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), in 2010.   A fellow delegate asked whether Read more…

Concept of Utmost good faith in Transit Insurance

The function of Transit insurance (and all insurance actually) is to transfer the risk of physical loss/damage, liability arising from ownership or interest in the property to the insurers.  The Read more…

Cards, Colours and Chopsticks in Vietnamese Business Etiquette

Viet Nam is a fascinating country with which to do business, but there are certain requirements of behaviour that, if attended to, can enhance a proposer’s presentation to their Vietnamese Read more…

Commodity Trading – A few thoughts about Pepper

I have recently been inundated with e-mails offering various commodities for sale – sugar, soybeans, gold!! and I have to admit that it is rather seductive.  I mean, anyone can Read more…

Exporting Vehicles to Tanzania from the UK

The following considerations should be borne in mind when exporting vehicles to Tanzania and these can be divided into three main categories. –  Physical shipment –  Export documentation –  Import Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – FAS (Free Alongside Ship)

Free Alongside Ship (FAS) is, like FOB (Free on Board), an Incoterm which should only be used for sea or inland waterways transport, but is not suitable for container traffic Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – Changes to Free On Board (FOB)

Free On Board (FOB) is one of those phrases/buzzwords in International Trade that a lot of people recognise, and a surprising amount use in their international contracts, but struggle to Read more…

‘I have bamboo in my heart’.

I absolutely love this phrase in Chinese Mandarin which is spelt xiong you cheng zhu (pronounced shong yow chungg jhoo – any Chinese readers please don’t hesitate to correct me if Read more…

Incoterms 2010 – Ex-Works (EXW)

Introduction The International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) which are owned and monitored by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) consists of 11 different terms under the 2010 rules.  Which term to Read more…

Country Information: Jordan

Jordan has a number of opportunities for exporters, and in some fields, for importers too.  It is not a country that should be overlooked as an international trade partner. General Read more…

Finding the right Commodity code in the UK?

Any item imported into the UK has a commodity code (tariff heading) and this must be detailed on the C88 on import. Although the shipper of the goods is responsible Read more…

SFDA Ban on Mouthwash containing Alcohol

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) have issued circular no. 3597 dated 2.2.1432 (or 16th January 2011) banning the import into Saudi Arabia of all mouthwash and related products Read more…

Ethiopian Dry Ports

In 2007 the Dry Port Service Enterprise (DPSE) in Ethiopia started building a dry port at Modjo, 76 km east of Addis Ababa in the Oromia Regional State. The opening Read more…

Random Scans at European Sea Ports

One of the possible hidden costs when sea-freighting goods from European ports, is that Customs are allowed to seize containers without notice on a random basis for a Customs Scan. Read more…

Shipments from Yemen and Somalia to USA

New security measures came into force on 8th November 2010 for everyone involved in shipping by air to the USA. The U.S Transportation Security Administration has issued the following additional Read more…

Booking Hotels in Ethiopia – rules for foreign travellers

In November 2010 the Ethiopian Government imposed a new regulation on Ethiopian Hotels which means that payment for hotel facilities by foreign visitors must be made in either US Dollars, Read more…

Demurrage discharge costs for containers

Most shipping lines require their containers to be unloaded and returned back to a port after a short period of time so that they can be re-used quickly for new Read more…

Introduction to ISPM 15

A number of countries around the world require wooden packaging materials to be treated to a standard known as ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures 15). This is a Read more…

Finacial pitfulls for the Seller with the DDP Incoterm

According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Incoterms 2010, DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) means that the seller delivers the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of Read more…

Cargo Tracking Note (CTN)

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) requires validated and endorsed Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) for all consignments (including groupage consignments within containers) to Nigeria. This came into effect on 11th January Read more…

Apostille

An Apostille (a French word meaning certification) is an international certification comparable to a notarisation in domestic law. It came into being as a result of a meeting of a Read more…

CPC for Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

When importing goods into the UK, a Customs Procedure Code (CPC) must be used to declare the type of procedure being used under which the goods are being imported.  Detailed Read more…

Introduction to CFSPs

HM Revenue and Customs devised the CFSP’s (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures) to facilitate the movement of goods through Customs faster and more easily. This is quite a complicated procedure and Read more…

Definitions of Terms in UK Import Procedures

This report sets out to define some of terms used in UK Import Procedures. Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)An AEO is an economic operator who, by satisfying certain criteria, is considered Read more…

Preliminary information about Incoterms 2010

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has now published their Publication No. 715E on Incoterms 2010. These rules can be used from 1st January 2011, although there is nothing to Read more…

Transferable Letters of Credit – Problematic Documentary Clauses

Occasionally a Letter of Credit might have a documentary clause which could state, for example (or a variation thereof): “Beneficiary must advise us (usually name of issuing bank) value of Read more…

Certificates of Conformity

A number of countries require specialist certification which relates to verifying the quality and safety of imported goods prior to export. These documents are normally known as Certificates of Conformity Read more…

The Bribery Act 2010

In some international markets, corruption is said to be so endemic that doing business is only possible when bribes are paid. In the past such payments may have been routinely Read more…

Letters of Indemnity (Bills of Lading)

When goods are shipped by sea freight, A Bill of Lading is issued. A true Bill of Lading (there are a number of documents issued called Bills of Lading which Read more…

Simplified Inward Processing Relief (Suspension)

The HM Revenue and Customs office dealing with Inward Processing Relief (IPR) Suspension using a Simplified Authorization is based at the National Import Reliefs Unit, Killyhevlin Industrial Estate, Enniskillen, Co. Read more…

ATR1, “House” Bills of Lading and Turkish Import Procedures

We recently completed a sea freight shipment consisting of one 40’ GP container which travelled from Canada to Turkey. Whilst organizing the initial contract and the shipment, three queries were Read more…

EORI Registration

In many countries today, registering your intent to import or export has become a necessity.  The situation in the UK is as follows: If an importer is importing goods from Read more…

Incoterms 2010

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has issued new Incoterms which will be in use from 1st January 2011. ICC Publication No. 715E, 2010 Edition, will be available to purchase Read more…

A Weakness of Irrevocable Letters of Credit

Letters of Credit (Documentary Credits) can be complicated.  Submitting compliant documentation is always a challenge.  In some circumstances, however, even when everything has been done correctly, problems can arise.  This Read more…

Manufacturer’s Certificates of Production for Nigeria

Virtually all Nigerian Letters of Credit now require Manufacturer’s Certificates of Production as part of the documentary presentations. These Certificates need to be issued by the manufacturer of the item Read more…

Freight collect shipments to Ethiopia from the UK

If you ship on freight collect terms from the UK to Ethiopia using Ethiopian Airlines, please note that Ethiopian Airlines can only forward the freight costs. All other costs, such Read more…

Marine Insurance Institute Cargo Clauses A, B and C

Any contract where the shipper pays for the marine insurance, under CIP or CIF for example, needs to consider what type of insurance cover they are paying for and to Read more…

“To Order” Endorsements on Bills of Lading

When a Letter of Credit asks for Bills of Lading with a phrase such as “Bills of Lading made out To Order and Blank Endorsed” this means that the Consignee Read more…

Managing Performance Guarantees

A Performance Guarantee (sometimes known as a Performance Bond) is often required when the customer has either paid funds upfront or guaranteed funds through a Letter of Credit, but wants Read more…

D-terms in Incoterms 2000

There are five D-terms in Incoterms 2000. These are DAF (Delivered at Frontier), DES (Delivered Ex-Ship) DEQ (Delivered Ex-Quay), DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) and DDP (Delivered Duty Paid). These terms Read more…

Jurisdiction Clauses in International Trade

Before any organization enters into an International contract for the supply of goods and services, they should be aware of the legal pitfalls involved in so doing. The best and Read more…

Shipment to Tincan Port, Lagos from Japan

There are some routings in international trade which, due to various circumstances, can result in delayed shipments.  Please note, however, that all of these shipping routes are subject to change. Read more…