CBP K-9 and Handler Training

customs dogIt is always our pleasure to welcome US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and their canine partners to our UCanTrade (UCT) warehouse facilities.

CBP has been using UCT for over ten years. The officers use our warehouse(s) for regular training and certification of both K-9s and handlers. They like our warehouse because we are friendly, understand the border, and have an interesting variety within the warehouse.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Know before you grow (or buy, or sell, or transport, or handle.…)

Marijuana: Know before you grow (or buy, or sell, or transport, or handle.…)

By: Jim Pettinger, President at UCanTrade, Inc.

Whether you are crossing the Canada/USA border for business or pleasure, DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING about the “legalization” of marijuana. Some provinces and states have changed their laws, and the Canadian government is set to possibly legalize recreational use sometime in 2018. However, the U.S. federal government has not changed any laws; it still considers marijuana to be a “controlled substance” and does not recognize any difference between medical and recreational use. Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not indicate that will change any time soon.

Marijuana plants

FILE PHOTO: Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on July 11, 2014. REUTERS/David McNew/File Photo

Consequently, any connection to marijuana whatsoever, may result in serious consequences. For example U.S. immigration attorney, Greg Boos, of Cascadia Cross-Border Law in Bellingham cites an example of a person residing in the U.S. with “green card” status who works for a marijuana retail shop. If they should apply for citizenship, they could be immediately deported for “trafficking”. And, as this article in Rolling Stone describes, mentioning any use or connection to marijuana when attempting to enter the USA could result in being deemed “inadmissible”, with possible banishment from the country for life.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Changes in U.S. immigration could be good news for Vancouver Tech

For decades U.S. companies have sought out and successfully recruited talented foreigners to work for their American based businesses in a specialized, specific capacity. Classified under H-1B visa immigration status, “which helps employers hire foreign-born workers for high-skilled, high-paid jobs,” said Seattle immigration attorney Tahmina Watson, she’s seeing a ‘seismic shift’ in visa approvals, reports Geekwire in its December 2017 article.

Seattle corporate immigration attorney, Lola Zakharova says, ‘the spike in H-1B rejections’ is related to President Trump’s executive order titled, “Buy American, Hire American” which reportedly tasks the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State “to suggest policies to reduce fraud and abuse of the H-1B visa,” reports Geekwire.

These changes could be a further boon for tech development in Vancouver, already underway with the “Innovation Corridor” initiative started in 2016, says Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, B.C. (photo credit: Josiah Coates)

As reported by the New York Times in their October 2016 article, “Next Big Tech Corridor? Between Seattle and Vancouver, Planners Hope” , Microsoft president, Brad Smith said, ‘[Canada’s] more open immigration policies [were] an important factor’ in its reported $120 million investment in new Vancouver offices back in June 2016. Microsoft was reportedly aiming to hire more than 750 people in the city.

Microsoft’s commitment to the Cascadia Innovation Corridor appears to have ‘deepened’ as it has reportedly backed a Seattle-Vancouver high speed rail study which was announced at the second Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference, held in Seattle this past September. “By linking our two cities together through cross-border collaboration, research, funding and educational opportunities,” said Smith, “we will spur new economic activity and opportunity that creates a better future for everyone.”

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Peace Arch Monument

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who lives and/or works as we do, in Ferndale just south of Blaine, WA and/or (South) Surrey, British Columbia (a suburb of Vancouver, B.C.), who does not know where and what IS the Peace Arch Monument.

While many know and recognize the Peace Arch as a prominent, brilliant white archway that sits in the middle of a shared cross-border park and marks the international border crossing between the United States and Canada, few know its rich and relevant history.

Dedicated on September 6th, 1921 (… the same date the Mayflower left England in 1620), the Peace Arch ‘commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814′, ending the war of 1812 between Great Britain (Canada is a commonwealth nation, formally the Great Britain Commonwealth) and the United States. It continues today to be a symbol of peace all along the pacific corridor.

Fun Fact: A piece of wood from the Mayflower was placed inside the Peace Arch during its construction. It’s situated behind the corresponding bronze plaque displayed on the outside of the arch.

Watch this excerpt  – or better yet, the whole documentary(!) produced by the International Peace Arch Association’s* called, “The Peace Arch Rises” and learn more about “Cascadia’s” iconic landmark of unity.

(Excerpt starts at 2:06; Dedication at 8:24; Full Documentary – 22:58)

*Formerly known as the United States Canada Peace Arch Association (USCPAA)  Copyright 1996-2016.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade
 

Focus, Focus, Focus

During the recent Doing Business in the USA seminar held in Langley, B.C. June 9, 2016, cross-border veteran, Jim Pettinger detailed practical, affordable marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business into the USA.

Pettinger, president and C.E.O. of UCanTrade, Inc., provides Canadian
businesses, particularly those in British Columbia, with USA business
and logistics services from his Ferndale, WA warehouse, located just
south of the Peace Arch border crossing.

UCanTrade.com

He advised the group of attendees, made up of SMEs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, to ‘think domestically’ when selling goods and services to the U.S.A., adding the “number one obstacle is not the border, it’s dialing in on a target market.”  (Related Article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

You Can Trade! We Want To Help.

At UCanTrade, Inc., we exist to help Canadian companies market and distribute their goods and services profitably to the U.S.A.  We aim to assist them in removing any ‘border barriers’ and to provide them with a low cost, fully equipped and fully staffed extension of their Canadian office on the American side of the border.

U.S. based third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, like UCanTrade, Inc., offer Canadian exporters many benefits. Here’s a list of our ‘Top Ten’:

  1. Reduce Operating Costs: Our shared resources can save you as much as 80% of the cost of setting up an independent office.
  2. Increase Marketing Productivity: By delegating the “back-end” of their business to UCanTrade, our clients increase their USA marketing productivity by up to 20% or more.
  3. Improve Prospect Response: A U.S. office will increase sales response, enhance your credibility, and generate confidence.
  4. Increase Sales: By responding to orders and inquiries from your U.S. office you can reduce response time, significantly increasing your selling effectiveness.
  5. Save Time: We know who you have to talk to, what you have to do, what steps you must take to do business in the U.S. We can save you many hours of legwork.
  6. Fast, Easy Startup: With UCanTrade, you literally have an instant office and staff in the U.S., so you can begin operations immediately.
  7. Maintain Control: Our offices are 15 minutes from the border, allowing you to stay in close contact and maintain tight control over U.S. operations.
  8. Minimize Taxes: U.S. federal and state taxes may be avoided or reduced by contracting with UCanTrade instead of establishing an independent office.
  9. Reduce Effect of Exchange Rates: Lower cost U.S. services can be paid with dollars generated by U.S. sales, thus eliminating the exchange rate penalty.
  10. Learn From Others Dealing with Same Problems: UCanTrade has established a community of Canadian entrepreneurs, allowing you to benefit from the experience of others.

Learn how Canadians can earn US dollars (USD) as ‘non-resident importers’ and find additional helpful articles about expanding a business into the U.S.A. here: http://ucantrade.com/articles

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Know Before You Go

By: Jim Pettinger, President & CEO of UCanTrade, Inc.

The “Know Before You Go” slogan is familiar to most Canadians (and some Americans). Along with “I declare” (Je déclare), it reminds us to make sure we know our obligations at the border when traveling. However, when planning to expand your Canadian business into the USA, it’s important to understand two more specific initial obligations relating to both persons and goods. (Dealing with certain other obligations can usually be deferred until your USA business venture gains a foothold.)

First, make sure you know your (or your employee’s) status as a “temporary business visitor”. The last thing you want is to have your (or your employee’s) name and/or license plate entered into the DHS database (or worse, to be instantly and arbitrarily banned from ever entering the U.S. again!). And second, make sure you have a 100% understanding of U.S. Customs (and related agencies) “release” requirements for any goods (and packing materials) you intend to import into the USA from either Canada or offshore (e.g., products, samples, marketing materials, trade show booths, etc.).

U.S. Customs penalties can be enormous and, worse, you don’t want to lose all those precious initial orders because you can’t deliver your first container/pallet/carton of product.

For more, please view/print Ten Tips for Better Border Business.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

B.C. Businesses Cut Cross-Border Costs

“Canadian companies want to consolidate several small shipments into a larger one to minimize customs clearance costs,” says Jim Pettinger, UCanTrade, Inc.’s president and CEO. “This is where UCanTrade can step in and provide cross docking services and work in conjunction with our client’s U.S. Customs Broker to expedite this process at a low cost.”

Further, UCanTrade’s state-of-the-art warehouse and shipping facility, conveniently located on I-5 only 10 minutes (24 km) from the border in Blaine, WA, is strategically positioned to help British Columbia businesses save money. Our cross-docking, ‘pick-and-pack’ and third party logistics (3PL) services, combined with years of cross-border experience, give our clients a competitive advantage. By eliminating the border, Canadian businesses lower their shipping and handling costs whereby increasing their profits.

Noteworthy, if you are making acquisitions in the United States, ask your vendor if they offer free delivery to addresses in the U.S.  If they do, call us for cross-docking services and you could save thousands on freight fees and international shipping charges.

Get in touch with the logistics experts at UCanTrade, Inc. today, and find out how your company can save money with cross-border cross-docking and 3PL services.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

A simple, inexpensive proposal to reduce border wait times.

By: Jim Pettinger, President and CEO at UCanTrade, Inc.

David Davidson, retiring interim director of Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI), is leaving us with a challenge to implement a relatively simple plan to issue RFID-enabled cards to about 75,000 “high-frequency” border-crossing Canadian passport holders. He estimates this cost would be about 20% of the cost of adding staffed booths to achieve the same reduction of average wait times. The proposal would not replace NEXUS, which provides the fastest crossing, but would be simpler and faster to implement in the short term because it requires no additional data from the passport holder.

Details of Davidson’s proposal, “A Business Case for Increasing RFID at the Canada – U.S. Land Border”, can be found at the BPRI website, www.wwu.edu/bpri. We encourage all frequent border crossers to support the significant work being done by BPRI by subscribing to its e-mail distribution list.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news and/or follow us on Twitter @UCanTrade.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Interstate 5: Artery of Commerce in Western North America

By: Elliott Smith

Did you know: I-5 is the only road in the USA’s Interstate Highway system to run all the way from Canada to Mexico?

At the Peace Arch, BC Highway 99 becomes Interstate 5 and runs through Washington, I-5 Peace ArchOregon and California, passing through virtually all of the largest cities on the US west coast, before becoming Mexican Federal Highway 1 in Tijuana. Uninterrupted twin ribbons of concrete from BC to BC: British Columbia to Baja California.

With Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijanua all on the I-5 corridor, San Francisco is essentially the only large metro area on North America’s west coast that is NOT accessed via I-5.

The full proper name of the US Interstate network is the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.” It was conceived by President Eisenhower following World War II as a means to facilitate troop movements and national defense, as well as commerce. Contrary to popular myth, the Interstates were NOT designed to act as emergency airstrips in time of war. Although, small planes do sometimes make emergency landings on the freeway. One such landing occurred near Bellingham in 2012.

In Washington state, Interstate 5 largely follows the route of old US Highway 99, which connected to BC Highway 99 at the Peace Arch. The cross-border numerical continuity ended with the adoption of the Interstate numbering system.

In the US, mainline Interstates are numbered 1-95. North/South routes are assigned odd numbers, East/West routes even. For North/South routes, numbers start low on the West Coast and get progressively higher. For East/West routes, numbers start low closer to the Mexican border and get higher the closer to the Canadian border.I-5

As such, I-5 is the lowest numbered North/South route, and I-95, which links the East Coast from Maine to Florida is the highest. Interstate 10 is the southernmost East/West route, linking California and Florida. Interstate 90, which runs from Seattle to Boston is the second-highest numbered East/West Interstate in the US, only Interstate 94 reaches closer to the Canadian border.

A three digit interstate indicates a smaller route that links to a mainline interstate. On a three digit interstate, an even first number indicates a loop around a city, an odd first digit is a spur into the heart of a city. In Washington state, for example, Interstate 405 loops around Lake Washington, bypassing the urban core of Seattle. In Pierce County, Interstate 705 is a short spur into the center of downtown Tacoma.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 10,000 and 35,000 trucks travel on I-5 every day. The agency predicts that by the year 2035 average daily traffic on I-5 will include 22,000 trucks.

In addition to providing access to many of the West Coast’s major seaports, including Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, and Long Beach I-5 and its connecting routes also link most of the West coast’s large international airports. YVR, SeaTac, PDX, and LAX are all located in the I-5 corridor. Additionally, many smaller airports important to cargo operations are located right along the route, including Bellingham International and Paine Field.

Access to I-5 is a big part of the reason UCanTrade, Inc. chose to locate in Ferndale, Washington. UCanTrade’s facilities are located only 500 yards from I-5, giving our clients direct access to Western North America’s artery of commerce. Trade moves by truck, and in Western North America, trucks move on I-5. Our Ferndale facilities with easy access to I-5 are ideally suited to handle cross-border shipping and logistics, with quick connections to all major sea and airports in the Lower Mainland and Puget Sound region.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade