Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
April 2006
NAFTA Seminar
After the positive response to the "Exporting to Canada" seminars that the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection held in Wausau and Pewaukee last September, the departments are helping organize "Avoiding Roadblocks to Increased NAFTA Sales," a similar program, but expanding the focus to include Mexico. The seminar will be part of the 42nd Image of Wisconsin on a map of North Americaannual Wisconsin International Trade Conference to be held in Milwaukee on May 9.

Canada and Mexico are Wisconsin's two most important export markets. Almost half of the products exported from the state remain within North America. Because of this high volume of business, an understanding of border procedures, tariff preferences, and paperwork can have an impact upon many firms' bottom lines. Products qualifying for NAFTA preferential treatment can save customers from paying higher duty rates and improperly completed paperwork can cause delays and expose exporters to fines, penalties, and audits.

Presenters with hands-on experience in NAFTA compliance, from both the Canadian and Mexican perspectives, will discuss tariff classifications, NAFTA Certificates of Origin (including rules of origin, and examples of tariff shifts and regional value content calculations), Mexican NOMs (Normas Oficiales), border procedures, and record keeping. Julie Milliard, Compliance Verification and Services Office of the Canada Border Services Agency, and a presenter at the September events, will be back to speak on Canada. Allen Vigil, Director of Business Development for Grupo Logistics, a customs broker and logistics firm operating at many US/Mexico border sites, along with Marcos Hernandez Rivas, Assistant Director of the Wisconsin Trade Office in Mexico City, will present the Mexican side of the issue. Louisa Elder, Trade Specialist, Western Hemisphere Customs and Trade Compliance at Abbott Laboratories, will address the topic from an exporter's perspective. Vince Lencioni and Nancy Ward, Directors of Wisconsin's trade offices in Mexico and Canada, will also participate in the Q&A session.

Members of the sales, marketing, logistics, customer service, credit, finance, and compliance departments within your company can benefit from a better understanding of NAFTA requirements and learn the secrets to smoother cross border shipments, sales, and profits. Click here for more information on the seminar and the Wisconsin International Trade Conference.

-- Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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