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Questions to Ask About Cross-Border Trade

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Even if your business handles most of its shipping throughout the United States, you might grow to a point where more significant North American trade opportunities might present themselves.

Whether it’s with Canadian- or Mexican-based companies, you’ll need to be ready with a plan of action to hasten your movement through customs. It can be arduous and costly, but there will be opportunities for you to improve your overall shipping efficiency.

Rockfarm Supply Chain Solutions operates as a comprehensive U.S. customs broker that focuses on the transfer of imports, so we can aptly assist you with cross-border trade.

Important Questions to Consider

You must abide by various trade agreements and regulations between multiple countries, but research has shown that companies rarely consider that caveat when deciding to engage in new opportunities across the border.

However, failing to understand the specifics can generate significant issues for your inbound logistics, as you might have to implement changes related to your product composition, transit times and cash transference. With that in mind, some considerations you should keep in mind include:

  • How must you classify your products? The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) is an international methodology that simplifies item classifications into 10-digit codes, which allows them to pass through customs more easily. You should familiarize yourself with the different classifications and review your products to ensure all of them fit in within a particular framework. Without the proper information, you’ll likely suffer from clearance delays and possibly even fines.
  • What do trade agreements allow? Depending on the products you’re importing, they may or may not qualify for various programs and regulations. You need to ask how your goods qualify, and then you’ll need to provide evidence that verifies your claims. Your best bet is to present some formal documents that outline your means and processes.
  • Do you understand the latest happenings in the industry? Your cross-border trade will go much smoother if you hold a proper understanding of what’s going on throughout the realm. Do you know about recent trade practices, tariffs or other upcoming political discussions that might affect your current setup? Subscribing to trade publications, remaining up to date with the news and discussing developments with your colleagues can keep you up to date on all your shipping management needs.
  • Do you understand the appropriate valuations? You’ll need to include several different price points in your declared transactional value to ensure accuracy. If customs finds the information to be incorrect, the trade can be delayed and even rejected while it waits for either side to clarify the error. Ask to see if the two parties have confirmed the valuations.

Rockfarm Will Aid in Improving Cross-Border Trade

We have more than a decade of experience assisting businesses with both domestic and foreign inbound shipping logistics, and our dedicated employees will use their available knowledge and tools to clarify your cross-border trade practices.

We invite you to call us at 815-573-0155 or get in touch with a representative online today. You’ll receive a prompt reply and a detailed outline that discusses the benefits of partnering with us.


Brad Stewart, President

By Brad Stewart

Co-Founder, CCO

Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena.  As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.

“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”


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