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Labor Day Shipping Awareness

The Shipping Risks Making Supply Chain Logistics Vulnerable Everyone looks forward to a long holiday weekend, especially after a busy summer season. Labor Day is just around the corner and while you may be in vacation mode, it’s important that manufacturers and logistics service providers be prepared for the risks associated with the long weekend. Did you know that in Labor Day weekends between 2014 and 2018, the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) recorded 2.4 thefts a day? This statistic is 14% higher than the industry average for any other time during the year.   Why is there so much risk for manufacturers and logistics-related organizations during this specific weekend? Organized cargo theft rings are happy to take advantage of the fact that many shipments will be left unattended due to the extension of the weekend. The most affected industries include: Tobacco (+71%) Pharmaceuticals (+37%) Personal Care (+18%) Home & Garden (+18%) Electronics (+18%) These statistics are not meant to scare you, but to inform you of the impending risks for your manufacturing or logistics-related organization. Facility theft can lead to hundreds of thousands of lost value.   How to Protect Your Shipments This Holiday Weekend  Luckily, there is still time to prevent some of this Labor Day theft and avoid becoming one of the horrible statistics. The SensiGuard SCIC recommends that logistics and security professionals increase or test all security protocols to make sure everything is in-line with best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations. Other ways your business can work to diminish any potential criminal attempts this time of year include: Confirm your receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend Plan for secure parking locations in the event that a shipment will be left unattended for a longer period of time Invest in GPS tracking and active monitoring of your high-value shipments Not only will these measures help to mitigate potential threats, but in some cases, they have also been proven effective in helping to facilitate the successful recovery of stolen merchandise.   Important Information for Transportation and Storage Facilities In order to take all measures to prevent cargo theft rings from successfully stealing shipments, the following guidelines have been released and endorsed by IMUA, PCSC, Travelers Insurance, SWTSC, SETSC, NETSC, the Cargo Security Alliance, and Sensitech. For Transportation: Verify the authenticity of all shipment-related activity…
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What is a Cyberattack and How to Protect Against It?

Last updated on May 20th, 2020Transportation and logistics service providers, and mostly all companies large and small, are suffering business disruptions due to cyberattacks. A single email sent by a hacker to an unsuspecting and trusting individual — if opened by mistake —  can compromise the operations of an entire company. Every company is vulnerable and it’s only smart to take precautions and make contingency plans against cyberattacks.   What is a Cyberattack? A cyberattack is a proactive targeting and attack of a company’s computer information systems, technology infrastructure, network or personal computers and devices. The attacker is a person or group with malicious intent that intends to access data and technology functions without authorization.   How to Defend Against a Cyber Attack? There are several ways to defend your company and colleagues against a cyberattack. Below are the most important methods from the Department of Homeland Security. Never click on links in emails. Never open attachments. Never give out personal information. While this is great advice, it’s hard to conduct business without doing any of the above. That being said, how can you protect your company?   How to Protect My Company? One such plan is to include Cyber Coverage as part of your business insurance portfolio. While it won’t prevent the cyberattack from occurring, it will provide resources, support and compensation to get you back in business.   A Cyber Claim Illustration A client of Roanoke Trade recently discovered that their systems had been infected with a ransomware virus. Even though their IT team was notified quickly, their system was still compromised. In total, eight devices were infected with ransomware. To get back to normal business operations, the servers had to be rebuilt and the data restored from a back-up by a team of technical specialists. Fortunately, a forensic analysis concluded that no data was accessed and withdrawn by the attacker. However, the efforts of the IT team and specialists, and general downtime resulted in a loss of company productivity and real dollars. Our client filed a claim under their Roanoke policy and the underwriters determined that this “computer attack” qualified as a covered loss under their Cyber Suite Coverage attached to their Errors and Omissions policy. The client received a payment from the underwriters of $22,210 after paying their $1,000 deductible. The business was back in business…
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Using ATA Carnets for Global Expansion: A Video Interview

Last updated on May 20th, 2020Ever wondered how ATA Carnets benefit businesses looking to expand on a global scale? Find the answer to that question and more in this brief excerpt from an interview with Amanda Barlow, Vice President of ATA Carnet. “The ATA Carnet is an absolutely amazing and dynamic tool that allows and assists U.S. business as well as foreign business to expand in foreign markets,” Amanda explains in a recent interview. Watch to learn more: Contact Us We will be releasing additional segments of this interview in the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the benefits of the ATA Carnet for global expansion of your business or need help with your ATA Carnets, please contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1.800.Carnets (1.800.227.6387) or by email. About Roanoke Trade Roanoke Trade, a division of Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc. and part of Munich Re Specialty Group Ltd., operates as a specialty insurance broker focused on surety and insurance solutions for logistics service providers and companies with supply chains. Years of dedicated focus and responsive service have earned us the recognition as a trusted provider of customs bonds, marine cargo insurance and ATA Carnets for the industry.

Why Logistics Service Providers Need General Liability Insurance

Last updated on May 20th, 2020As your customer’s primary resource in trade facilitation, your focus is to hone your expertise and provide the best information and service possible.   Finding time to focus on general business concerns can sometimes take a back seat to business growth and client retention.  Just as your goal is to simplify the complicated with your clients, you want the same assistance from your insurance provider.  Liability is a multi-faceted risk category, and the insurance that protects your exposures will often have a multi-coverage solution.  The foundation of most insurance programs, however, begins with General Liability (GL) coverage. You may think the only reason you need a GL policy  is to satisfy your landlord or vendor’s requirements, and you may have purchased coverage for this purpose. However,  GL is so much more than a checked box.  It is a policy designed to protect your business against claims from bodily injury or property damage sustained by a third party as a result of your business operation. In addition to bodily injury and property damage your GL policy also provides coverage for: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability –  This responds to any lawsuit that is alleging that you are responsible for Personal Injury arising out of the advertising of your products or services.  An example of covered offenses are libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and misappropriation of advertising ideas. Medical Payments – Responds to non-litigious medical claims for bodily injury which occur in the normal course of business.  In plain terms, this could act as the “please don’t sue me coverage”, where medical payments will be paid by the policy to avoid a lawsuit. GL, and specifically medical payments, do not extend to employee injury claims as this risk is covered under Worker’s Compensation. Products and Completed Operations –Responds to lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that is derived from your “products” or “completed operations.”  Although transportation and logistics companies don’t typically sell tangible products, those providing packing, crating, assembly, and pick and pack services may have a risk.  Both bodily injury and property damage claims can arise while employees are performing your services, or as a result of your professional service mistakes or failures Products and completed operations coverage should not be confused with Errors & Omissions (E&O). An E&O policy addresses claims for financial…
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Ransomware. To Pay Or Not To Pay? That Is The Question.

Last updated on May 20th, 2020If you haven’t been the victim of a ransomware attack yet, you may be someday soon. According to research by the cybersecurity company, Malwarebytes, six of every ten malware infections during the first quarter of 2017 were attributed to ransomware.1 If and when it happens to you, you will have to decide whether to pay the ransom or not. Here are some things to consider that may help in coming to the right decision for you. If You Decide To Pay If you pay the ransom, you may get your data back and your operations can return to normal. You can reduce business interruption, although investigation and remediation of any damage to the system is still necessary. If you pay the ransom, at least there’s a better chance of getting your data back. But there are a few things to consider. First off, bad guys aren’t known for keeping their word. In recent large-scale attacks, the emails associated with digital currency payments were disabled shortly after the attacks and there was no way for the attackers to track who paid ransom and who did not. In other attacks, hackers simply took the money and never provided the encryption keys. In still others, once a ransom was paid and the attackers provided the encryption key, they returned and attacked again. Another thing to consider if you decide to pay the ransom is that you will likely need to purchase digital currency to do so. That is not the easiest thing to do when you’re under pressure and have never done it before. Bitcoin is usually the currency requested and can be purchased through an online exchange, but the transaction is not immediate. It can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days to set up an account and process a transaction. For that reason, if you determine that you’re inclined to pay ransom, you may want to purchase some Bitcoin or other digital currency to have on hand to facilitate the transaction. However, be mindful that you will need to have access to the funds should your system become encrypted, so you will want to set up your account and store your currency somewhere separate from the system you wish to protect. Although the media have reported a few ransomware cases with demands that range from…
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Tariffs and Bond Sufficiency: How the Customs Broker Can Help

Last updated on May 20th, 2020Since the onset of the trade wars between the United States and China in spring of 2018, the growth of additional duties owed for goods where the country of origin is in China is not slowing down.  On May 10, 2019, the duty amount on products subject to Section 301 tariffs contained on List 3 increased from 10% to 25%.  There is also concern that the U.S. will soon assess additional duties on nearly all goods from China. The impact of these additional duties has a direct effect on U.S. Customs Import Bonds, as the bond amount is primarily calculated as 10% of the total duties, taxes and fees you have paid in the last 12 months (subject to a $50,000 minimum bond amount).  As imports of goods from China continue, the additional duties owed will likely increase, causing many importers to need a larger bond. In the last nine months we have seen an unprecedented rise in bond insufficiency notices sent out by CBP. The number of letters that used to be seen in a year is often seen in just one month. Customs brokers, importers and surety agents are all scrambling to comply within the short timeline allowed in the letter – 15 days after the date of the letter, termination must be received by CBP. Many of the notices are for principals that have already had at least one bond increase since the inception of the increased tariffs. Now more than ever it’s important for importers to understand their Customs Bond obligations. Maintaining a sufficient bond is the importer’s responsibility under informed compliance requirements, but it often falls to the surety agent and the customs broker to guide the importer towards a proper bond amount. Education is key. Many importers don’t understand the ramifications of needing to increase their bond amount multiple times. Having more than one bond in a year creates a “stacking liability” or aggregate liability issue for both the surety and the importer. When a bond, a financial instrument, is terminated and replaced, the liability represented by that bond for both the importer and the surety under that bond doesn’t go away with the termination. Depending on the entry type, the liability can remain open for years. Even under the normal liquidation cycle, entries will stay open for 314…
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ATA Carnets in KnowledgePort

Last updated on May 31st, 2019Have you visited KnowledgePort for your ATA Carnets education needs recently? Whether you’re looking to stay current on the industry or jumpstart revenues, the ATA Carnet content in KnowledgePort is there to help you.   We currently have three courses on ATA Carnets for you to check out. Learn online and on your own schedule with any or all of these courses, and earn NEI continuing education credits to meet your CCS, CES or MES requirements. These courses are available at no cost to Roanoke clients.   ATA Carnet Fundamentals | Interactive Course This series of lessons will familiarize you with what the ATA Carnet is, how it functions, when it is appropriate to offer the ATA Carnet to your clients, and how to obtain the ATA Carnet for your clients. You will learn what you need to know to discuss the ATA Carnet with your clients, including the types of goods, purposes of travel, and locations where the ATA Carnet applies. Additional lessons to follow. This course is approved by the NEI for 1 Continuing Education Credit for CCS, CES, or MES certified individuals.   ATA Carnet | A Jumpstart to Stalled Revenues [Recorded Webinar] This webinar is a primer for customs brokers, freight forwarders, and other logistics service providers who are interested in adding ATA Carnet to their suite of services. The webinar covers what a carnet is, where and how it works, and how incorporating carnet procurement services can boost revenue. Completion of the course is 1 NEI CCS or CES credit.   ATA Carnet Fundamentals of Temporary Imports and Exports with CBP and Foreign Customs [Recorded Webinar] Virtually all goods, whether hand-carried or cargo-shipped, may be covered by ATA Carnets. This ATA Carnet webinar will help you understand all the ins and outs of U.S. issued ATA Carnets, from best customs clearance practices to mitigating claims and avoiding compliance red flags. Completion of the course is 1 NEI CCS or CES credit.   The content listed above is contained in our KnowledgePort online learning platform. KnowledgePort is a dynamic learning platform that contains a course library, goal achievement and course management. The platform contains a dashboard to track the status of projects.   Roanoke Trade developed KnowledgePort to engage and educate clients and industry stakeholders. Roanoke Trade is not only committed…
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Customs Bond Roundtable Discussion – Online Event

Last updated on May 29th, 2019 Back by popular demand, our next customs bond roundtable discussion is scheduled and will be live on June 6th! This second event in our webinar series is designed to focus on the issues that matter most to you, our customers. Representatives from our Customs Bond Management Team will be your hosts, educators, troubleshooters and entertainers (well, maybe entertainer is a stretch!). Mark Thursday, June 6th on your calendar, pick a comfortable seat and join us at 1PM CT for this exciting event!

Tomato Trade Law Update: Bonds Allowed for ADD In Lieu of Cash

Last updated on May 20th, 2020On May 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) posted a press release  stating the following:   “During the negotiations, Commerce will continue with the investigation and instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits or bonds based on the preliminary determination by Commerce, which was issued in 1996. Any deposits collected will be refunded if a revised agreement is reached, or the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines there is no injury based on its own independent investigation.”   This modification in the trade law is significant because DOC has not allowed the use of single transaction bonds in lieu of cash for the preliminary Antidumping Duty (ADD) rate since 2011 when they abolished the use of bonds to secure the ADD due at entry.   Once an agreement is reached and a new suspension agreement is in place or if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finds no injury, any cash deposits collected will be refunded.  If bonds are used to secure the ADD, the underlying entries should liquidate timely and with no ADD.   For additional information and bond requests, please contact your Roanoke bond customer service representative.

Increased Duties & Bonds: A Plan of Attack for Customs Brokers

On May 9, 2019, in the Federal Register, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice advising the duty amount on products subject to Section 301 tariffs contained on list 3 will increase to 25% on May 10, 2019.  The move to increase the tariff amount from 10% to 25% is a result of stalled negotiations with China since March.   All entries of covered products with BOTH an entry date AND date of export to the U.S. of May 10, 2019 and later, will be subject to the 25% duty, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has updated ABI to reflect the increase.   Managing Bond Sufficiency It is ultimately the importer’s responsibility to ensure their bond is sufficient under informed compliance requirements.  However, customs brokers are strongly encouraged to assist their importing clients to review their bond sufficiency, particularly if the clients are importing products subject to the Section 301 tariffs (and Section 232 and 201 also).   A bond’s sufficiency status is continually measured by CBP on a rolling basis of the prior 12 months of activity. The bond amounts required by CBP are calculated on past activity, but these amounts could be deficient for the future 12 months, especially those subject to increased tariff amounts. This means that if the importer relies on CBP to determine the correct bond amount, they may receive multiple increase demands in a 12 month period, causing delays of bond replacement, additional premium charged, and multiple saturated bond terms, which could complicate the underwriting process. To avoid these obstacles, customs brokers are encouraged to regularly monitor the sufficiency of their clients’ bond amounts.   Roanoke Trade can assist! Customs brokers can run reports of importer’s past activity through FastBond™ on any bond where they are the broker of record. Additional tools available are the “5 Steps Guide to Managing Bonds Subject to Trade Wars” and a Bond Sufficiency Calculator to determine the proper bond amount.   For additional information and bond requests, please contact your Roanoke bond customer service representative.