The American Conference Institute will be having its 8th Import Compliance and Enforcement Conference on June 11, 2013, in Washington DC. The conference will consist of two days full of lectures discussing highly complex U.S. import compliance challenges, along with how to satisfy Canadian and Mexican customs authorities. Unlike previous conferences, this unique event is designed to provide attendees with a comprehensive benchmarking experience, where participants can exchange best practices and lessons learned for 2013 and beyond. Some of the most notable industry experts that will be present are Chrystler, Hershey, Williams-Sonoma, Boeing, IBM, General Electric, Cisco, Tyco and yours truly.

This event is uniquely designed to maximize benchmarking on how to resolve the most complex, pressing import compliance issues affecting the industry. The new program features for 2013 are:

  • Two highly focused sessions on valuation and transfer pricing:
  • ISA member case studies: New and longstanding members speak about their recent experiences, and how to meet ISA requirements.
  • Inside a focused assessment: Lessons learned from recent experiences on how to handle common and unanticipated CBP requests
  • C-TPAT and Foreign Re-Validations: Meeting new expectations for C-TPAT risk assessments, and how the new EU Mutual Recognition Agreement affects importer validation requirements
  • NAFTA, CAFTA, and US-Korea – FTA success stories:
    • The finer points to minimizing duties, fees, taxes, red tape, and proving origin
  • Developing a global strategy for customs classification and tariff engineering.

One of the most notable topics discussed will be broker selection and management. I have the privilege to discuss important aspects within the broker selection and management process such as:

  • Detecting warning signs: How far you need to go in conducting due diligence.
  • Designing a questionnaire for brokers: Assessing the skills, experience, and resources of customs brokers.
  • Evaluating brokers’ supply chain relationships
  • Quantifying risk factors
  • Communicating compliance expectations and requirements to brokers, and developing guidelines for your brokers
  • Where the importer and broker responsibilities begin and end
  • Incorporating contractual safeguards, including audit mechanisms
  • How to monitor compliance, and what to do if you suspect or discover non-compliance by a broker
  • Auditing foreign brokers, and conducting periodic review sand site visits
  • When and how to terminate the relationship
  • What constitutes customs brokering and business,and how to avoid unintended brokering activities

The conference will kick-off with discussions about strengthening global trade compliance. Meredith Covey, Director of Customs Operations and Compliance at Williams-Sonoma Inc., will discuss real world issues related to the implementation and monitoring of monitoring a global import compliance program. She will discuss structures, resources, tools, and techniques leading companies are using to implement, manage, and monitor an import compliance program. Following the conclusion of multiple speakers discussing these aspects, a discussion on Canadian customs regulations and enforcement will ensue. Eric Trudel, a Manager of CBSA, will discuss the key concepts and common pitfalls to compliance in Canada.

The ACI offers my clients and colleagues, and you, my special blog followers, a discounted price to attend the conference on June 11-12. This rate will expire on May 17th.  Contact Adina Schwartz, JD, at 310-295-9789 or to get your discounted rate!  You don’t want to miss this!