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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.

Get the Right Errors and Omissions Coverage for your Business!

Last updated on May 6th, 2019 After careful consideration, you’ve made the decision to obtain Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage to protect your company’s financial assets. So what exactly are you getting? An E&O policy is a type of professional liability coverage intended to defend your business from suits of negligence, regular business operations errors, and failure to perform business duties. All E&O policies serve the same purpose of liability defense, but not all are created equal. Before deciding on an E&O program, it is wise to consider asking your broker some key questions to ensure that you are getting the best possible coverage.   Defense First and Foremost: Like any liability policy, E&O is intended first and foremost to defend you, the assured. Often times E&O claims have no merit, yet still require defense. Many E&O policies provide “first dollar defense”. This means that the defense against a lawsuit is secured in advance of the deductible being paid – so if you are the target of a frivolous charge, your defense is entirely provided by the insurance company. With any E&O policy, you don’t have to worry about the unexpected costs arising from lawsuits for covered claims. Out of pocket expenses are limited to your policy deductible, which is only applicable in the event the insurance company is unsuccessful in defending the claim and agrees to a settlement. These potential claims come in many forms such as misdirection of freight, negligent carrier selection and improper release of goods to name a few. The common thread among them is that they are made against you by your customer.   Coverage Form: Claims Made vs. Occurrence The coverage form is a fundamental part of your insurance policy that contains the insuring agreement, coverage conditions, exclusions, and policy definitions. The two most common types of Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage forms used are claims made and occurrence. Let’s discuss herein how these forms differ and why it’s important to your business. The essential difference between a claims made and occurrence form is the ‘trigger’. Under an occurrence policy, the occurrence of injury or damage is the trigger; liability will be covered under that policy if the alleged negligent act or error occurred during the policy period. Under a claims-made policy, the making of a claim triggers coverage. A claims made policy form…
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Advancing Your Success in San Antonio | See You at the NCBFAA in April

Last updated on April 10th, 2019Advancing Your Success in San Antonio | See You at the NCBFAA in April More than 600 industry members will be convening in San Antonio from April 14-17, 2019 at the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Annual Conference. Will you be one of them? Our theme for the conference this year is “Advancing Your Success.” The conference promises to be an amazing event full of learning, collaboration and the opportunity to build lasting connections in our industry. Roanoke Trade will be playing an active role at the NCBFAA Annual Event. Monday will be a busy day as our own Karen Groff, President of Roanoke Insurance Group, presents the NCBFAA Scholarship Award during lunch, just after the keynote presentation. The scholarship is available to high school seniors or undergraduates at an accredited college or university. This is the 26th year that the NCBFAA and Roanoke Trade have promoted this scholarship competition as a way to further education in the transportation and logistics industry. Roanoke Trade is thrilled to announce that Ms. Irmak Sensoz is the proud recipient of a $5,000 scholarship for her essay titled “Impacts of the US-China Trade War.” Ms. Sensoz is the daughter of Gokskin Sensoz of NIT Logistics, Inc. Colleen Clarke is also participating on a “Trade Wars & the Role of the Broker” panel. Considering the turmoil in today’s international trade landscape, this is sure to be a spirited discussion. Don’t miss it! In addition, Roanoke Trade is hosting the Outdoor Hospitality Gatherings at the NCBFAA Annual Conference. Be sure to attend! Expect to have fun with old friends and new, and pick up a treat on us. You have a range of times to choose from for the Outdoor Hospitality Gathering: Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you can’t make the gathering, you can find us in the exhibit hall at booths 22 & 23. Please stop by to say hello and spin the wheel for prizes that we’re giving away at the booth. You can also enter a drawing for a $100 gift card. If you can’t make it to either the Outdoor Hospitality Gatherings or to our exhibit hall booths, we still want to see you – whether at the Annual Conference…
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Announcing the 2019 NCBFAA Scholarship Award Winner

Last updated on April 4th, 2019Roanoke Trade is thrilled to announce the winner of this year’s National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America scholarship award.   Ms. Irmak Sensoz is the proud recipient of a $5,000 scholarship for her essay titled “Impacts of the US-China Trade War.” Ms. Sensoz’s outstanding work met or exceeded all of the requirements to receive the award.     The award will be presented on Monday, April 15, 2019, by Karen Groff, President of Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc., at the 46th NCBFAA Annual Conference. Introducing Ms. Groff will be Anne-Marie Bush, the 2019  NCBFAA Annual Conference Chair   Our winner, Ms. Sensoz, is currently a high school senior in the Academy for Business and Finance at the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey.   She is already an accomplished young adult. Ms. Sensoz has been admitted to Georgetown University class of 2023 in the Early Action program. The accept rate for the program is only 12% of the approximately 7,800 that applied.   “Throughout my life, I have seen my parents work in freight forwarding and they have inspired me to continue work in international trade during my career path,” states Ms. Sensoz.   Ms. Sensoz’s essay examines the effects of the current trade war with China and the impact it may have on the entire U.S. economy, especially as it relates to the dollar, prices for American consumers, the investment market and the long-term outlook for monetary policy.   Ms. Sensoz’s motivation for writing about this topic was developed during her IB Macroeconomics class. Of all of the classes she’s taken, it taught her the most about her areas of interest. Specifically, international trade and foreign trade policy. Her class has discussed many aspects of the US-China trade war, particularly its causes and potential effects. This class has also inspired her to go into a field that deals with trade policy and economics.   During her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing and intends to read all of the great American classics. She is also an intern in the Office of Senator Cory Booker and on the Federal Reserve Challenge and debate teams in her school.   Her goal is to study Government and Economics and complete a minor in International Business Diplomacy at Georgetown University. A near-term goal will be…
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CBP Form 5106 – Create/Update Importer Identity Form

Absent any implementation delay, starting on March 17, CBP will begin using its new version of the CBP Form 5106. The new version differs quite significantly from the current version, and many of the changes, while optional, involve collecting more details about the entity. For those that file the form by mail/email with CBP, the Revenue Division will not accept the old version after March 17. For customs brokers that file the information through ABI, there is a hard cutover with no overlap. To assist the trade with identifying the changes to the form – particularly the newly required versus option fields – CBP has published the CBP ACE Information Notice. Your Roanoke Trade bond service team is here to assist you with any questions about the new form. Please call us at 1-800-ROANOKE with any questions.

Bond Sufficiency in the Current “Trade War” Environment – A Webinar in Partnership With Airforwarders Association

5 Steps to Managing Continuous Import Bonds in Today’s Trade War Environment Due to the dynamic trade environment, properly calculating the amount of a continuous import bond has never been more important. The higher tariffs have precipitated a spike in CBP-mandated increases to customs bond amounts. Fortunately there are 5 steps to better manage Continuous Import Bonds in today’s trade war environment. If you’re interested in learning more, then please join us. Roanoke Insurance Group is proud to partner with the Airforwarders Association (AfA) in delivery of a FREE AfA member webinar! The presentation is titled, Bond Sufficiency in the Current “Trade War” Environment. The presentation kicks off at 2:00 p.m. sharp on Thursday, March 14. Representing Roanoke is Colleen Clarke, Vice President of Surety Trade Relations & Business Development as well as the President of the International Trade Surety Association.   If you can’t make the webinar but still want the information, please contact us learn more.  

Risk Management Webinar – March 21, 2019

3 Risk Management Methods to Help You Avoid  E&O Claims | Free Webinar Managing risk is just as important as managing the growth of your company. To learn more, join us Thursday, March 21 at 12pm CDT for a free webinar. “How to Avoid E&O Claims Using 3 Risk Management Methods” features two leading experts in transportation liability insurance. Presenting the webinar will be Karen Rzeszutko, Vice President, Professional Liability with Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc. and Lenny Feldman, Operating Committee Member with Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, PA. Click HERE to register today. If you’re a customs broker, property broker, domestic freight forwarder, international freight forwarder, or NVOCC then you’ll surely want to attend. Unfortunately you’re all aware of the substantial and costly legal claims that could result due to improper performance of your professional services. Karen and Lenny will delve into actual claims scenarios to illustrate key risk management methods. The webinar will kick off with a review of the most common E&O claims including: Negligent Selection of Carrier Improper Release of Goods Misdelivery of Cargo Misclassification of Goods Next they will review specific risk management techniques to boost compliance and minimize financial impact. Anyone attending will learn: The proper use of TERMS & CONDITIONS How to maintain STAFF AWARENESS How to sufficiently VET CARRIERS In addition to the key learnings, you will also earn NEI credits. This webinar has been approved for 1 CSS or CES/MES point. We look forward to seeing you and your team on Thursday, March 21. Please contact us if you have any questions in advance of the webinar.    


Last updated on March 14th, 2019‘Step Toward Success’ with the Roanoke team in San Antonio for the 46th Annual NCBFAA Conference! This important, yearly conference brings together more than 600 of the international trade industry’s top representatives from around the United States. Roanoke is also hosting the NCBFAA Outdoor Hospitality Gathering. We hope you can join us! Registration Information: April 14, 2019through April 17, 2019 Grand Hyatt San Antonio San Antonio, TXUSA Earlybird Registration Deadline: March 8, 2019 Advance Registration Deadline: March 22, 2019

CCBFA Panel Discussion – Everything You Wanted to Know About ATA Carnets But Were Too Afraid to Ask!

The CCBFA is hosting an ATA Carnet panel discussion on 2/28 from 2pm-4pm at the Topco Building in Elk Grove Village. This event will be led by CBP and some of the top ATA Carnet providers in the nation. Roanoke’s own Amanda Barlow is a presenter and will address all of your ATA Carnet questions. Put a face to the name! If you haven’t met your Roanoke representatives in person, you’re in luck! Our Chicago ATA Carnet Service Team and Sales Team will be on site attending this event! Earn NEI Credit. Attendees will receive 2 NEI Certified Export Specialist (CES) points.

Roanoke Speaks to Managing Transportation Risks

Many imported goods and materials are currently subject to increased tariffs resulting from the ongoing “trade wars.” The higher tariffs have precipitated a spike in CBP-mandated increases to customs bond amounts. In the first half of this session, learn how to eliminate the frustration of replacing bonds, avoid the risk of paying unnecessary  premium, and reduce the likelihood of having to obtain a larger bond again in the future. Customs brokers and importers are encouraged to proactively manage their import bonds on goods subject to the Section 232 and 301 increased tariffs by projecting the amount of duty paid in the next year. In the final part of the session, you will learn about the significance of cargo insurance when loss or damage occurs to cargo in transit. Even a robust risk management strategy, can’t prevent a loss from occurring and recovery from carriers is extremely limited. Carriers are liable only if they are considered negligent and they are not responsible for losses that are unforeseen or beyond their control. Examples of this include fire, heavy weather, earthquakes, acts of war, riots, and civil unrest… Without cargo insurance, in the event of a loss a cargo owner may only be indemnified for a small portion of what their cargo is actually worth. To learn how to manage these risks to your customs bond and cargo, please join us at the Advanced Topics in Customs Compliance Conference. We’re leading a session in the Advanced Exporters and Other Topics track. Colleen Clarke from Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. will be joined by H. Shane Garcia from R.W. Smith & Company to present on the topic, “Managing Bond Compliance and Transportation Risk” on Thursday, February 21 at 4:15 p.m. Find Us in the Exhibit Hall If you can’t make the talk, you can find us in the exhibit hall. Please stop by to say hello and drop your business card to enter our raffle for the chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! Also, we’d be happy to share key takeaways from Colleen and Shane’s presentation.