VITA Newsletter April 2015

VITA Global Networking Breakfast with The Port of Long Beach

Gina Barro from The Port of Long Beach presented at the VITA Global Networking Breakfast on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Gina discussed infrastructure projects, green port initiatives, and congestion relief strategies.

New projects include the Middle Harbor with initial cargo movement operations in late 2015, additional Ship to Shore Cranes with an outreach of 226 feet and 211 feet of clear lift above the water, and can lift two containers at a time, and a $1.3 billion replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which carries 15% of all imports brought from overseas into the U.S. to complete early 2018.

Many West Coast ports have been experiencing congestion and cargo delays since September 2014 due to several factors. Gina shared that The Port of Long Beach has made efforts to relieve this issue, including creating a near-dock container depot at the undeveloped Pier S that will allow the port to store empty containers for export delivery, relieving pressure on congested terminals, in addition to loaded containers and chassis. A peak chassis pool is also under consideration. The idea is to ensure that there is an ample supply of chassis even during peak season or when a mega-vessel is in port. The Port is prepared to purchase chassis if necessary, to ensure cargo owners can get their goods out of the port and onto store shelves.

Visit  for full presentation.

Save The Date! Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Impact of the Foreign Currency Market on International Organizations with AFEX

Join VITA and AFEX at our next global networking breakfast set for Wednesday, May 27 at The Valley Economic Alliance’s BFG Boardroom. Networking and continental breakfast begin at 8am, followed by presentations at 8:30am.

Frank Hallak from AFEX will be discussing the impact of the foreign currency market on international organizations, current market trends, case examples and tools to help you combat market volatility.

AFEX is a global payment and risk management solutions specialist that offers a range of global payment and foreign exchange services, including Foreign Currency Drafts, Wire Transfers, risk management tools and designated Account Executives. They handle every aspect of a client’s foreign payment needs, from risk consultation to transaction execution. With a diverse client base of more than 24,000 active commercial clients including importers and exporters, educational and financial institutions, small businesses, multinational corporations and individuals, AFEX recognizes the distinct requirements of each clients.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is our event sponsor and will also be in attendance to share updates and answer questions.

To register and attend, please email or click on flyer below.

Chinese Company Buys Chatsworth’s Align Aerospace

Aircraft parts supplier Align Aerospace Holding Inc. has been sold to a subsidiary of a Chinese importer and exporter of commercial aerospace products.

Terms of the deal between Align, in Chatsworth, and AVIC International Holding Co. Ltd. were not disclosed. AVIC is a subsidiary of AVIC International Holding Corp., in Beijing. Align had been owned since August 2011 by Greenbriar Private Equity Group LLC of Rye, N.Y.

The Chatsworth company was founded in 1972 and operated under various names before adopting its current name after Greenbriar acquired it. It runs distribution centers for aerospace parts and components in California and France, and stocking locations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

AVIC International Chairman Wu Guangquan said the company gains from Align’s experience in supply-chain management.

“With AVIC International’s investment, resources and relationships we plan to grow Align’s relevance with its current customers in parallel with expanding the business globally, especially in the China market,” Guangquan said in a prepared statement.

AVIC International is involved in several business sectors, including aerospace, trade and logistics, retail, electronics and real estate investment, with revenue of $25 billion in 2014.

World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast

For more than 80 years, World Trade Week (WTW), an initiative of the L.A. Area Chamber, has been the most extensive and unique program of its kind in the country. WTW dedicates itself to educating the public on the importance and benefits of global trade on the local and national economy through a series of educational programs and events. World Trade is celebrated throughout the month of May with more than 30 events hosted by partnering organizations in Southern California that are jump started by the Chamber’s Annual WTW Kickoff Breakfast with more than 500 guests. World Trade Week supports college and high school scholarships, high school student and career counselor workshops, as well as briefings for civic and business leaders interested in benefiting from the global economy.

Orange County World Trade Week

The Irvine Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations and the business community will be celebrating the power of global trade on May 14, 2015 at the Hilton Irvine Hotel, from 8am-12pm.

Mark O’Connell, CEO of OCO Global, will keynote the event, sharing his experience in the leading source and destination markets for exports and foreign direct investment. OCO Global will bring a fresh perspective on how to successfully develop and implement International Expansion and Foreign Direct Investment strategies for the Irvine and Orange County business community.

The program will also feature:

  • Trade & Export Overview: U.S. Commercial Service
  • Export Success Stories: An interactive interview session with several local business leaders already engaged in exporting their products and services successfully around the globe, featuring Natalie Plain, Owner of Billion Dollar Brows, an SBA international trade loan success story; Lynae Chang, V.P. of Boscogen, Inc., winner of the Presidential “E” Award for advancing US exports and Bob Bowen, Associate General Counsel with the global giant Western Digital.
  • Networking and one-on-one consultations with trade and business organizations will be available for attendees following the program.

Admission: $50 includes breakfast, parking, and networking


For more information contact Anthony A. Crouch at 949-502-4128 or

European VAT Implications with E-Commerce Webinar – Thursday, April 23, 2015

Euro VAT Refund’s CEO and VITA board member, Britta Eriksson will provide insight on how VAT works when North American companies sells products on-line (e-commerce), or sell software, cloud services, games and music on-line to customers in the EU at a webinar hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service; “European VAT Implications with E-Commerce” – At Your Desk on Thursday, Apr 23, 2015, 11:00 am EDT, 8:00 am PDT. Visit to register or contact or 612-348-1639 for more information.

The VAT Filing Deadline in Most of the European Countries is Approaching

Many U.S. companies are leaving Value Added TAX (VAT) money behind in Europe. Are you one of them? The possibility of receiving the VAT paid on most business expenses refunded has been around for many years, but still hundreds of millions of Euro are not reclaimed. The deadline for claiming back last year’s (2014) business related VAT incurred on events, hotels, transportation, and other costs in the various EU countries is fast approaching. Please contact Euro VAT Refund, Inc. before May 1, 2015 if you are interested in proceeding with a VAT refund.

Alert! The German Tax Authorities are actively contacting North American companies

Several U.S. companies doing business within the EU, including Germany have indicated that they have been contacted by the German tax authorities. They are attempting to catch any foreign company selling digital services (on-line games, music, cloud services, and other) to private people within the EU. These companies are often unaware that they are required to register for VAT and charge VAT to the private customers. The call from the German tax authorities might come as an unpleasant surprise since they demand that the company declares and pays in the VAT due from sales to Germany. If this is not done the North American company can expect back taxes and penalties.

Visit to inquire about registration.

World Smart Veterans:Transferring your Skills to Global Business

By Ayse Oge, President, Ultimate Trade

In a fast-paced combat zone, veterans learn to lead their teams and make split-second decisions in the face of enormous complexity and ambiguity. More than 1.5 million of these vets who served in Afghanistan and Iraq have re-entered the civilian world so far, and another 1 million will be joining them over the next few years as budget cuts shrink the U.S. military.

For companies conducting business internationally, hiring a veteran with his/her past training and current qualities would be ideal for the following three reasons:

  • They can manage the complexity of a constantly changing global marketplace and deal with regulatory issues, complicated business practices, commercial and economic risks, and even political barriers.
  • They can spot opportunities ahead of time and act upon them, even without having complete data on-hand and in the face of uncertainty. They are also equipped with the ability to be flexible enough to change their plans as needed.
  • They can navigate the conflicting demands of both local and global customers, and they would be able to introduce new products/services and build bridges between religions, languages and cultures easily.

Commitment to Quality 

Military people strive to achieve the highest quality standards for themselves and their units. Quality is ingrained in the military culture, in terms of training, education, physical requirements, and goals. Quality is also the passport to success in international business. A vet’s commitment to quality enhances the competitiveness of U.S. products in world markets.

A veteran’s discipline to learning other aspects of business, marketing, sales, customer service, and logistics makes him/her ready to contribute to society and make a huge difference when working for a company entrenched in global business.