VITA Newsletter October 2015

VITA Presents “The Cross-Border eCommerce Experience” with iGlobal

Join VITA & Daniel Johnson from iGlobal Stores on Wednesday, November 18th, from 8-10am to learn:

  • Benefits of localizing your website with foreign addresses, characters and currencies.
  • Mitigating the risk of international credit card fraud and refused orders.
  • Increasing revenue with transparent shipping options and upfront landed cost calculation.

Daniel Johnson is Vice President of iGlobal Stores, a leading provider of cross-border eCommerce technologies that simplify cross-border complexities in eCommerce for international consumers by eliminating or reducing common barriers that occur when selling globally.

Register at

Port of Los Angeles Boat Tour

VITA Board members and members took a field trip to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro for a boat tour around the harbor on October 20th.

Attendees got a close-up view of day to day cargo operations with massive ships, cranes and containers being imported and exported.

Connected World Trade

Mark Matsumoto, author of “Exporting in the Connected World” and President of Network International Exports, Inc. spoke at the VITA Global Networking Breakfast on Wednesday, September 30th.

Mark shared effective techniques, actionable tools and advice from his book for those starting and growing an international business.

Visit for full presentation.

New Member Spotlight
Jeffery Daar, Daar & Newman Lawyers

Jeffery Daar has practiced law since 1982 and is a principal of Daar & Newman Lawyers. His diverse expertise includes strategic planning, complex state and federal litigation, innovative dispute resolution, and international transactions and disputes.

Jeffery’s practice focuses on both litigation and transactional projects. Jeffery’s extensive litigation background gives him added insight into structuring transactions for clients along with his entrepreneurial approach to problem solving and dispute resolution.

Jeffery’s background also includes cross-border litigation and transactions, class actions, insurance, including insurance insolvency, products liability, consumer litigation, unfair competition, appellate work, private post-secondary schools and colleges, and intellectual property. He has extensive experience with restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, attachments, and other prejudgment relief.

Visit for more information.

Ex-Im Bank Reautorization Update
By Gary Mendell, Meridian Finance Group

Late last month the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of reauthorizing the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States after a bipartisan group of members filed a discharge petition allowing a floor vote. Now it’s up to the Senate to vote in favor of reauthorization and send the legislation to President Obama to be signed into law so Ex-Im Bank can resume full operations as expeditiously as possible.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States, with a mandate to provide financing, insurance, and guarantees that increase U.S. exports. Since commercial banks and insurance companies support most U.S. export trade finance requirements, Ex-Im Bank serves as the lender/underwriter of last resort when options are not available in the private sector. They also deal with sales to high-risk foreign markets, small U.S. companies new to exporting, competition from foreign countries, etc.

Meridian Finance Group is one of Ex-Im Bank’s most active partners, brokering hundreds of Ex-Im Bank credit insurance policies, originating Ex-Im Bank direct loans to exporters, structuring Ex-Im Bank cross-border equipment financing, and collaborating with Ex-Im Bank lenders nationwide. While most of Meridian’s credit insurance and trade finance business is underwritten in the private sector, we’re proud of the work we do with Ex-Im Bank to foster exporting; a key component of U.S. economic recovery.

During the lapse in Ex-Im Bank’s authority, the agency has continued supporting its existing customers but has been unable to take on new transactions. While carrying on our work with Ex-Im Bank to the extent this has remained possible, Meridian has joined with insurance companies, banks, and our other private-sector partners to try and fill the gap in the availability of trade finance. In some cases we’ve been able to improvise successfully; in others, our clients have had to stand by awaiting Ex-Im Bank’s return.

Once Ex-Im Bank has been reauthorized, the agency should be able to resume underwriting new business, from large aircraft deals to transactions for small-business exporters. Ex-Im Bank programs support tens of billions of dollars in U.S. export sales annually, strengthening the economy and creating or sustaining hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide. Rather than costing U.S. taxpayers money or adding to the fiscal deficit, since 1990 Ex-Im Bank has returned nearly $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

For more information about Ex-Im Bank programs and/or updates regarding Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, contact Meridian Finance Group at 310-260-2130 or

How to Avoid and Manage Disputes in International Transactions Webinar

This webinar discusses what business people should know about how international disputes work and what they can do to avoid them when conducting and structuring international business transactions.

The speakers are highly experienced international lawyers, including Jeffery Daar, Peter Kaye, Linder Myers, Diego Zavala, and Mersan Abogados.

Royce Law International Trade Expo

VITA member Euro VAT Refund will be presenting at the first annual RoyseLaw International Expo on Wednesday, November 18 from 6:00pm-9:00pm, at the San Mateo Marriott-San Francisco Airport.

This is an opportunity for North American companies to hear from a worldwide mix of country representatives, importers and exporters, and subject matter experts on international trade. Gain local knowledge from experts and foreign trade offices:

  • Opportunities, incentives and pitfalls by country and region
  • Where and when to access resources
  • Each country’s competitive advantages and challenges
  • Top contacts and local knowledge

For further details and registration, please visit To receive a 50% discount on this event, please use discount code: SPECIAL

Port of Long Beach Delivers Best October in Eight Years

The docks continued to be busy at the Port of Long Beach in October as cargo volume rose 6.3 percent compared to the same month last year, making for the best October in eight years. The gains also come on the heels of the top quarter in the Port’s 104-year history.

Strong export growth of 6.5 percent in October buoyed the Port’s overall numbers. A slight decline in imports indicated that retailers of clothing, electronics and other consumer goods apparently stocked up early for the rapidly approaching shopping season that starts with “Black Friday” on the day after Thanksgiving.

“We had an early peak in July and August, with much of the inventory for the holiday shopping season coming early. Year to date, we’re up more than 5 percent, so 2015 is shaping up to be one of our best years ever,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup.

A total of 619,983 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) moved through the Port in October. Imports were down 0.8 percent to 307,995 TEUs. Exports increased to 128,308 TEUs. Empty containers continued to rise, climbing 20.8 percent to 183,681 TEUs. Empties are sent back overseas to be refilled with goods.

For more details on the cargo numbers, please visit

Science Partnerships Promote Trade, Investment and Sustainability
By Tony Livoti, President, Monterey Bay International Trade Association

Global trade and investment between countries are cornerstones for sustained peace and prosperity. Countries that interact via business and investment opportunities create a win-win environment, leading to job creation and economic development for each country involved. This fact is no more true than in the ocean technology sector, where countries that collectively address the challenges of a shared ocean through trade and investment opportunities also directly affect the globe’s “blue economy,” bringing economic and environmental benefits to the countries involved and to the entire global marketplace.

Qingdao, Shandong in China, the ninth busiest port in the world, and sometimes referred to as the “California” of China, has been tabbed as China’s “Blue Silicon Valley,” where up to 50 percent of China’s investment into its blue economy has been focused. At the same time, America’s “Blue Silicon Valley” is emerging in Monterey Bay, just 20 miles from Silicon Valley in California.

Monterey Bay’s one-of-a-kind national marine sanctuary has seen hundreds of millions of dollars invested in 30 different marine science organizations located in Monterey Bay in the last 20 years. Now, this community is ready to share its expertise, technology, services and products in sustainable marine science with the rest of the world.

The Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA) has initiated an outreach program to commercialize Monterey Bay’s marine science community in the global marketplace by forming a partnership with the leaders of Qingdao’s marine science community…

Read More

New Vat Liabilities for eBay Sellers

Many eBay sellers are unaware that they are crossing the fine line from non-commercial to commercial sales activities. There was a recent court case in Germany where Finance Court handled the case of an eBay seller generating about EUR 20,000 and up annually through acquisitions and sales from a coaster collection inherited from his father including about 320,000 pieces. It was estimated that he generated 20% profit of total revenue and was therefore assessed VAT by the revenue office.

The decision of the Finance Court demonstrates that auction platform sellers can be considered businesspersons even when selling private items. Therefore, when making multiple sales on platforms like eBay, it is important to seek advice ahead of time to determine whether the sales are considered non-commercial or commercial business activity, and the VAT liabilities that come into play when the fine line is passed.

To find out if your company is required to register and charge VAT within the EU, visit

Global Business Resources

There are many resources available to both the newcomer to global business and the seasoned professional. The sites listed below offer a wealth of information.

Asia Manufacturer

Asia Manufacturer is a website dedicated to posting trade leads solely originating from Asia. Its aim is to increase foreign trade between Asia and other nations interested in the trade leads provided. Leads can be searched by selling leads, manufacturers, products, and buying leads in the search bar at the top of the homepage. Free membership is required in order to use this site.

MSU-CIBER: Market Potential Index (MPI)

The Market Potential Index (MPI), an indexing study conducted annually by MSU-CIBER, helps companies rank Emerging Markets on eight dimensions. The dimensions are then combined to create an overall market potential index. The latest rankings are provided on the site as well as access to past analysis.

The World is Open for Business

This module was created in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service and is the first chapter of the book “A Basic Guide to Exporting.” Subjects covered in this module include: Why you should sell globally; agencies that specialize in helping small to medium-sized businesses export successfully; old assumptions about exporting that may not be accurate; and how to transform yourself and your business through exporting. A case study on the company Domes International is also included.

Analyzing a Company’s Ability to Export

This website introduces one to the following concepts: how the CORE software helps to understand a company’s ability to export; competitive capability in the domestic market; how to ensure defensive competitiveness; how motivation can influence a company’s ability to export; how important the commitment of top management in a company can be for the firm’s ability to export; how organizational readiness is important to a company’s ability to export; and how product readiness can influence a firm’s ability to export. Also included is a case study on Advanced Biomedical Devices, Inc.’s readiness to export.