The Valley International Trade Association Newsletter – February 2015

Save The Date – Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The Port of Long Beach – A Trailblazer in International Goods Movement

The next VITA Global Networking Breakfast is set for Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at The Valley Economic Alliance’s BFG Boardroom. Gina Barro, Business Development Manager at The Port of Long Beach will discuss the Port’s infrastructure projects, green initiatives and congestion relief strategies. Breakfast and networking begin at 8am. Program and presentation at 8:30am.

As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at $180 billion annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. The Port welcomes 4,000 vessels a year and serves more than 140 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports around the world. Goods moving through the Port reach every U.S. congressional district and help support nearly 1.5 million trade-related jobs across the nation, including 300,000 in Southern California. The Port is continuing with a decade-long capital improvement program topping $4 billion, the largest in the nation, building some of the most modern, efficient and sustainable marine facilities in the world.

Contact aamirkhanian@economicalliance.org for more information or visit www.thevalley.net/event/vita-global-networking-breakfast-march-2015 to register.

Meet the new VITA Board of Directors

The VITA Board of Directors elected their board members for 2015 on February 11. See full list of Board of Directors below:

Robert Rodine – Chairman; Principal Consultant, The Polaris Group

Katherine Whitman – Vice Chairman; Partner, Pomegranate International

Greg Mariscal – Secretary; Director of International Sales, Hirsh Pipe & Supply Company

Angela Amirkhanian – Treasurer; Economic & Workforce Development Coordinator, The Valley Economic Alliance

Britta Eriksson – CEO, Euro VAT Refund Inc.

Robert Kulesh –  Vice President Sales, Matthews Studio Equipment

Elyse Hookaylo-Rosenblatt – Global Trade Services Vice President, U.S Bank

Natasha Suton – International Account Executive, UPS

Andrew Sweibel – Vice-President International, Bobrick Washroom Equipment

Brett Tarnett – Owner, Brett Tarnet Insurance Services

Charles Bearchell, Phd. – (Ex-Officio) Professor Emeritus, California State University Northridge

Tony Livoti (Ex-Officio) – President, MBITA

Delia Valdivia – Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Los Angeles (West)

Visit http://www.thevalley.net/international/vita-board-of-directors for more information.

VITA Global Networking Breakfast with Export-Import Bank

Gregory Moore from Export-Import Bank presented at the VITA Global Networking Breakfast on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Gregory Moore is the export finance director of the western region, where he helps small businesses close export sales by insuring and financing those sales. Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies, both large and small, to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. They provide export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing.

Gregory discussed express insurance, as a short-term trade credit insurance policy that reduces how much risk your business faces when allowing foreign customers to buy on open account. Express Insurance can protect your business against losses if one of your foreign buyers cannot pay for goods or services that you exported.

Visit www.exim.gov for more information.

Meridian News Political Risk Insurance

International business opportunities are no longer being pursued only by large corporations. When smaller U.S. companies sell to foreign governments or invest in overseas operations, they need protection against political risks just as much as bigger firms, even more so if they’re trying to attract lenders or investors.

Political risk insurance is now available for all sizes of companies and all types of international projects, ventures, and transactions, including (1) contract coverage for sales to foreign governments risk insurance (2) protection for U.S. companies’ assets located in other countries.

Contract Coverage: When you’re doing business directly with a foreign
government, public-sector buyer, or government-owned entity, contract repudiation insurance can protect against non-payment of your invoices or non-honoring of your contracts, either before or after your shipment of goods or performance of services.

Coverage can also be written to indemnify against frustration of your contracts with private-sector entities that might be unable to perform due to expropriation, currency inconvertibility, political violence, or other local/international government actions or political events that would be out of your-or their-control.

If your business relies on licenses or permits issued by foreign governments, then you can obtain political risk insurance to cover against cancellation of import or export licenses or business permits, as well as embargoes, boycotts, sanctions, or decrees causing business interruption, payment defaults, or other losses.

Asset Protection: If your company has assets located abroad, you can insure them against expropriation, inconvertibility, and political violence-long-term or for the duration of a contract-in order to secure your balance sheet and facilitate the arrangement of financing from your lenders or investors.

Expropriation insurance protects against confiscation, nationalization, and other foreign government actions or political events which would deprive you of your rights of ownership, security interests, or control of your assets situated in other countries.

Inconvertibility policies cover your right to exchange local currency for U.S. dollars or other hard currencies and protect against government prohibitions on transferring hard currency out of the country.

For more information about political risk insurance, visit www.meridianfinance.com, call (310) 260-2130 ext 125.

The Valley Business Expo ’15

The Valley Economic Alliance is hosting their 7th annual The Valley Business Expo ’15 on Thursday, March 5th at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel at 9:00am. Join us to network, connect, and promote. Business owners will also be able to get a private one on one assessment by a loan consultant from The Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) to determine their lending options at the Here’s the Money! Loan Pavilion, happening conveniently at the expo.

For registration, exhibit booths and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.thevalley.net/event/valley-business-expo-15

Euro VAT Refund News

VAT Filing Deadline for Europe 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 March 1, 2015 for a VAT refund.

Sales of Electronically Supplied Services Within the EU

VAT rules regarding Electronically Supplied Services were implemented within the European Union (EU) this year. The new rules make it possible for a North American company to register in one EU country, different from where their customers are located.

Most North American companies that sell services online to private people within the EU (and other parts of the world) are not aware about their VAT registration liabilities. If a North American company sell online services to private people within the EU, then VAT registration in one of the EU countries is required. Once the North American company is VAT registered (In the UK for example) they charge VAT according to each country’s VAT rate where your private customers are located; example: 25% to Swedish customer, 21% to Dutch customer, 19% to German customer, and so on.

Companies that do sell services illegally to private people without a VAT registration can run into major liability issues. The risk of getting caught is also very high because many EU companies are on the lookout for these North American companies since they compete with their client base.

Rules change when a North American company sells services business to business from the US to the EU countries, since then generally no VAT registration is necessary. In turn, the North American company generally does not need to charge VAT to the company customer if they can confirm that they are VAT registered within the EU. But this can vary also depending on what service it is.

It is also important to be aware that most countries outside of the European Union have a VAT system as well. If services are also sold to other countries it is extremely important to look into the rules for each of these countries before any trade begin, since the North American company might be required to have a local establishment before any services are sold online.

Contact Euro VAT Refund for further information at 310-204-0805 or www.eurovat.com

Free Advanced TradeConnect Workshop
Legal and Business Strategies for Exporting to Hong Kong and China

The Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Bar Association present a free, full day workshop on Legal and Business Strategies for Exporting to Hong King and China on Friday, April 17, 2015. Registration: 8am-8:30am, Workshop: 8:30am-2:30pm. Presenters include experienced international trade attorneys, export professionals and country trade representatives, as well as a keynote speaker.

Location: Los Angeles Central Library-Mark Taper Auditorium at 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Contact Jean Coronel at jcoronel@potrla.org or register at http://tinyurl.com/LegalHKC

Complete Version: http://conta.cc/19BO1RU