Rapaport Magazine

Jewelry Export Seminar

By Denise Romano
The 47th Street Business Improvement District (BID) recently hosted a jewelry export roundtable at the Diamond Dealers Club in New York City. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Reed Exhibitions, the U.S. Department of Customs and ATA Carnet were on hand to address such topics as promoting U.S. trade globally, import and export regulations and helpful tips on how to efficiently export goods.

Anastasia Xenias, senior international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, kicked off the discussion, describing the National Export Initiative, a government-backed strategy by which President Obama hopes to double the volume of U.S. exports in the next five years. Xenias said the U.S. exported $4.2 billion in fine jewelry between January and September 2010. The Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service helps American businesses locate companies in over 80 countries to set up trade partnerships. The U.S. Commercial Service offers the following assistance to jewelers who wish to export their goods:

•     Coordinating assistance from U.S. government officials to ensure that products and services have the best prospects overseas.

•     Market research, including low-cost background
information, such as credit reports, on foreign buyers
and distributers.

•     Promoting U.S. products and services at trade events to targeted and qualified buyers.

•     Arranging one-on-one appointments with prescreened overseas contacts.

•     Promoting services on the web to showcase companies internationally.

Fees for these services range from $700 to $2,300, depending on the size of the business. For more information, visit www.buyusa.gov/nyc.

Beth Casson, from Reed Exhibitions, a firm that helps U.S. companies increase exports in 50 different industries, offered some advice on how to successfully participate in a trade show. Reed teaches local businesses about marketing and links them with information from government agencies. The firm is best known for its expertise in international trade shows, which Casson says are very cost effective because there are opportunities to connect with thousands of people in one location. Casson had the following pointers:

•     Find a trade show that offers good opportunities to U.S companies.

•     Make sure there is a customs agent at the show.

•     There is a duty of 5 percent sales tax on pieces of jewelry, but no duty on loose stones. Tax on gold is 6.5 percent and tax on silver is 8.5 percent.

•     There is a 20 percent value-added tax (VAT) for products from the U.K., but the buyer is responsible for paying the VAT, not the exporter.

For more information, visit www.reedexpo.com.

Amanda Barlow was on hand to talk about ATA Carnet, a trade service of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which is essentially a passport for jewelry. Sixteen thousand “Carnets” are given out annually in the U.S.

•     Carnet is an international customs document that allows temporary entry of items, duty-free and tax-free, whether shipped or hand-carried, as well as unlimited entries and departures for up to one year.

•     Carnet can be used in 68 member countries and the customs territories they administer.

•     Commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for exhibitions and fairs can all go on Carnet.

•     Arrangements can be made in advance and in U.S. dollars. Pre-registration can be done at www.merchandisepassport.org.

•     Fees include a security deposit of 40 percent on the shipment value, plus a basic fee of $215 to $315, based on the value of the goods. With a processing fee of $305 and a bond fee of $200, the total cost will be in the range of $505.

•     Standard processing takes two business days, rush processing for the next business day is $75 to $100 and same-day pickup costs $150 to $200.

U.S. Customs agent Ray Zizzo, who works in antiterrorism and contraband enforcement at JFK International Airport, offered some tips on how to properly declare goods to customs:

•     First, register in the Automated Export System (AES), which has no fee and any U.S citizen can file, at www.census.gov. An Internal Transaction Number (ITN) will be assigned, which serves as proof that the AES received the file.

•     Carnet is exempt from the AES, along with any other goods that are worth $2,500 or less.

•     According to the Clean Diamond Trade Act of 2003, a U.S. Kimberley Process (KP) certificate must be filed with the AES, as well.

•     Upon arrival at the airport, a broker will be waiting at the shipping office with all the paperwork.

•     It is very important to make sure that all goods are accounted for. A broker cannot be relied on; this is the jeweler’s responsibility. An accurate and complete invoice includes the name of the purchaser and/or seller, value and details of the goods, country of origin, quantity, currency, charges, discounts, packing lists and pictures of the goods — the more descriptive, the better.

For any questions about the Foreign Trade process, e-mail AskAES@census.gov or FTDRegs@census.gov.


Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2011. To subscribe click here.

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