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Verifying Shipments

Posted By rosannatorres On March 31, 2010 @ 7:58 am In Foreign Trade Data | 4 Comments

By: Dan Cariello [1]

Man distressed on the phone [2]Each month analysts in the Foreign Trade Division contact freight forwarders, customs brokers, exporters and importers to verify the data elements on import and export records filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This process involves calling the filers to confirm the accuracy of the reported data. At times there is hesitation on the part of filers to provide this information. In order to ensure the accuracy of the merchandise trade balance, it is important that analysts verify the data and correct any errors in a timely manner.

When analysts call to verify a shipment, they are frequently checking on data elements such as:

1. Value and Quantity

-the currency in U.S. dollars

– the dollar amount does not include cents in the total

– the unit of quantity is reported in kilograms, number, or other measure specified in the import or export commodity classification schedule

2. Shipping Weight

– the weight of the commodity is ALWAYS reported in kilograms

– the weight in pounds has been correctly converted to kilograms (2.2lbs=1kg)

3. Schedule B or Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number

-the commodity is classified according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI)

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4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "Verifying Shipments"

#1 Comment By Peter Beklian On April 20, 2010 @ 10:25 am

I have a commercial invoice in a foreign currency, the value must be declared in USD, what exchange rate do I use ?

#2 Comment By Taylor Cottrell On April 21, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

Above you say that the correct conversion for LBS to KGS is 2.2 but alot of folks use 2.2046. I do not recall the regulations actually stating that it should be coverted using 2.2? Please clarify

#3 Comment By Global Reach Dan On April 27, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Peter – Assuming you know which foreign currency is reported on the invoice(i.e. Japanese Yen, Euro, etc.), you will need to use a currency converter like the one found on [3] to find out what the correct conversion would be in USD. Certain European currencies such as the Italian Lira have been replaced by the Euro.
The link provided has a currency converter you can use:
I hope this answers your question.

#4 Comment By Global Reach Dan On April 27, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

Taylor-Thank you for your concern since this is a technicality that can show a large discrepancy if not reported correctly. According to Appendix M of the AESTIR, the required conversion is stated:
2.20462262lbs = 1kg
This conversion is extracted from the Federal Standards 376A, which is used government wide. If the conversion does not affect the shipping weight to the nearest whole number then the smaller conversion factor will do, but when in doubt, be sure to use the entire conversion rate of 2.20462262. Thanks again ad I hope this answers your question. If not, you may want to contact our Rules and Regulations Branch on our call center at 800-549-0595 opt.3

Article printed from Global Reach Blog: http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov

URL to article: http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov/2010/03/31/verifying-shipments/

URLs in this post:

[1] Dan Cariello: http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov/blogger-biographies/

[2] Image: http://globalreach.blogs.census.gov/files/2012/04/6a0120a61b56ed970c0133ec3d9cca970b-pi.jpg

[3] : http://www.OANDA.com

[4] : http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/