By: Omari Wooden
In the world of exporting, it’s important to be proactive, instead of reactive. Not knowing is not an excuse! Whether you are a small business, first time exporter, or a large multinational corporation, you are in control of your company’s compliance as it pertains to exporting laws and requirements.
As the Trade Ombudsman for the U.S. Census Bureau, I travel the nation and work with all types of companies involved in the exporting process. I offer advice and clarifications on the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), solutions to problems regarding the Automated Export System (AES) and assist with a wide range of other topics. However, one of the most important messages I convey is that the Foreign Trade Division (FTD) of the U.S. Census Bureau is available to assist you with your exporting questions and concerns. Our goal is to provide you with tools and resources to maintain export compliance. We reach out to the trade community through various methods to provide a better understanding of your roles and responsibilities in the export transaction. Our outreach efforts include, but are not limited to:
- AES compliance seminars – dynamic full-day seminars where we discuss the AES, FTR, commodity classifications, enforcement, and other topics. Excellent place to meet face to face with experts who are able to answer your exporting questions
- Webinars – online training, if you can’t make it to one of our compliance seminars
- Best Practices Manual – document that provides a lot of helpful resources and recommendations to help improve your exporting business and maintain compliance
- Call Center – helpful FTD staff that can assist with the AES, commodity classification and regulatory questions. Call us at 800-549-0595 and select menu option 1 for AES, option 2 for commodity classification, and option 3 for regulatory assistance.
With the FTR, penalties have increased, and can be up to $10,000 per violation. Our goal is to help you get it right the first time to avoid delays, seizures, and penalties. As I share with forwarders, manufacturers, carriers, big and small, new and experienced, I encourage them to take control and be proactive. Be sure to tap into these resources to get it right the first time.