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Hurricane and ELI launch new China website

Hurricane Commerce and our Chinese partner ELI Holdings have launched a new dedicated Chinese website to enable Chinese businesses to learn more about our suite of APIs.

Hurricane has teamed up with ELI to provide Chinese eCommerce and logistics companies with the tools and technology to enable them to trade cross-border successfully and seamlessly amid tough global regulatory requirements.

Among these regulations is the US Stop Act which requires all mail parcels to have complete and valid advanced electronic data (AED) to pass through US customs.

The UK and EU are also removing the exemption from VAT on eCommerce packets containing low value items while, in March 2021, the implementation of ICS2 will require postal operators to provide entry summary declarations before parcels can pass into or through the EU.

The demand for services that allow businesses to continue trading cross-border is soaring, with the need for compliance screenings, cost transparency and accurate and complete customs declarations. The need for accurate data is becomingly increasingly important and is becoming key in providing a positive customer experience by reducing transit times and the risk of unexpected fees upon delivery.

Nothing moves without the right data and increasing global regulation is providing huge challenges to those involved in cross-border eCommerce trade.

Hurricane is the preferred data partner for postal operators, online retailers, eCommerce platforms and carriers.

Contact us to find out more about our suite of APIs and how they can benefit your business.

The dedicated Chinese site can be round at this address – http://www.hurricanecommerce.cn/

Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross-border eCommerce partnership

Cross-border trade specialist Hurricane Commerce has joined forces with leading UK-China business organisation ELI Holdings.

Hurricane and ELI signed an agreement to work together to help Chinese companies involved in international eCommerce.

The partnership was agreed during a prestigious event at The Swan in Tetsworth, Oxford, attended in person or virtually by senior Chinese delegates from the worlds of eCommerce, logistics and government.

Hurricane, which was founded in 2016, provides businesses with a range of solutions including data enhancement, product classification, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Its services are in demand from customers around the world, including postal operators, carriers, retail merchants, marketplaces and platforms, all of whom are having to meet increasing global regulations.

Among the regulations is the US Stop Act. Since January 1, all mail parcels require complete and valid advanced electronic data (AED) to pass through US customs.

The UK and EU are also removing the exemption from VAT on eCommerce packets containing low value items while, in March 2021, the implementation of ICS2 will require postal operators to provide entry summary declarations before parcels can pass into or through the EU.

Hurricane Commerce

Martyn Noble, Chairman and CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are excited to have formed a partnership with ELI Holdings.

“ELI has been enabling businesses in China and the West to trade successfully for over 25 years.

“We will be working with James Wang and the ELI team to enable companies and organisations involved in Chinese eCommerce to capitalise on the many opportunities available while also successfully meeting the challenges of a fast-moving regulatory environment.”

ELI Holdings

James Wang, Chairman of ELI Holdings, said: “ELI is delighted to have agreed this important partnership with Hurricane Commerce.

“Together, our two companies can offer businesses the required technology, knowledge and skills to succeed in the complex world of global cross-border trade.”

The event at The Swan was held in the Queen Victoria Room. Queen Victoria is believed to have visited The Swan in 1832.

In addition to the agreement between Hurricane and ELI, the two companies also launched the China Europe eCommerce and Logistics Club (CEELC). The club brings together senior leaders from both sectors to create opportunities and share best practices.

 

Hurricane in the news:

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross-border e-commerce partnership

Cargo Airports and Airline Services – Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross border eCommerce partnership

Jayne headshot

Q&A with Jayne James, Business Development Director

In the latest of our Q&A sessions with key members of the Hurricane Commerce team we catch up with Business Development Director Jayne James.

 

Tell us about your early career and how you moved into the world of international eCommerce?

I started my sales career in directory advertising which meant being away from home on specific campaigns throughout the year particularly close to print deadlines.

Targets were tough and the hours more so but sales training was excellent, the best anyone could have at that time.

In those days, we had no mobiles, laptops or sat nav which meant we had to rely on A–Z maps and directions from customers to find them.

Following the birth of my son in 1994 I realised this would not work and 5 months later I joined DHL Express and, subsequently, Deutsche Post, working in various roles in international express, parcels, and mail.

 

You briefly switched from international eCommerce and shipping to owning your own events and marketing start-up. What prompted this move?

I always like a challenge. My partner designed a boutique spa hotel in Andalucía and it was my job to market it globally and try and fill it 300 days a year.

I started by inviting some of the best online holiday agents to visit and following their recommendations we started to attract the right customers who came back regularly each year.

The books were full, so what did I do next? The strategy was to sell the property and move back to the UK. Thankfully the 3-year plan was a success and I was able to move on to the next chapter of my career.

 

How did you come to be so involved in the Chinese eCommerce and logistics markets?

During the eCommerce boom Chinese businesses became incredibly savvy and found that they had the infrastructure to handle the shipping process themselves, but just needed local knowledge on customs process and final mile deliveries.

china ecommerce

My role was to be that contact who could supply them with the customs processes for Europe and aid in the final mile delivery process. This allowed me to build good relationships and have a great career helping Chinese businesses successfully trade cross-border.

Working with Chinese businesses is incredibly rewarding. If they know how they need to improve their service, particularly improving transit times and reducing costs, then they are very hardworking and focussed to accomplish their goals. This makes collaboration with them straightforward as they are always quick to adopt any solution to enable them to improve the end-to-end process.

 

What is it about the Asian and, more specifically, the Chinese market that makes them so unique and such a big opportunity?

China has a sophisticated IT infrastructure which allows businesses to generate high sales and volumes, with a focus on short transit times. Because of this, a package from China to the UK is capable of only taking 4-5 days door-to-door nowadays.

This is incredible considering all the touch points of the supply chain, from receipt of order to airfreight, customs and handover to the final mile delivery in the destination country.

This does require businesses to provide accurate data with any packages, otherwise they can get caught in customs until the information is provided. This can drastically impact transit times and the overall customer experience.

However, having accurate data brings its own challenges as the different regional languages and dialects make it difficult to always have correct translations of descriptions and codes available.

 

What drew you to Hurricane?

Quite simply, the people and the technology.

I have worked with both Martyn Noble (CEO and Chairman) and Ash Dexter (CFO) since the mid-1990s and I trust and respect them and the rest of the Hurricane team.

Alongside this, the data enhancement and compliance products Hurricane has created are perfect to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the continuing huge growth in cross-border eCommerce trade.

 

How has Coronavirus changed the focus of businesses?

eCommerce has grown exponentially for many businesses in the logistics and delivery sector. This has meant that postal operators, couriers and logistics providers have had to evaluate their delivery services and adapt to meet the expectations of the customer.

Food, homeware, furniture as well as fashion and footwear can now be delivered to your door, and, although it has allowed physical stores to remain open in another form, it has meant there are more online returns to deal with, adding further cost for the delivery companies.

As a sales person, not travelling to meet customers is the main drawback. Face-to-face meetings have a different perspective and allow you to better connect with someone. Having said this, the Hurricane team has adapted quickly to ensure its sales and marketing processes are as strong as ever.

US Customs and Border Protection document

Is this the end of De Minimis (Low Value) clearance in the USA?

In 2016, the United States increased its De Minimis threshold to US $800 – one of the highest levels in the world.

The De Minimis level is the financial threshold level at which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) do not collect import duty.

In addition to the benefit of no duty, the clearance process for the importer, transporter, and clearance agent, may be simplified.

The De Minimis exemption applies only to low-value shipments of not more than $800 on non-restricted goods. (Certain goods such as excise, licensable goods are excluded).

We understand that the US CBP is preparing a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting a change that would eliminate the $800 De Minimis exemption for imports subject to Section 301 tariffs (China). Details are yet to be published.

Section 321 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 USC § 1321) provides for an exemption from duties for certain shipments imported having an aggregate retail value in the country of shipment of not more than $800.

Exemption under Section 321 is most applied to eCommerce, low value transactions where the seller ships directly to the buyer from a foreign country.

The removal of the $800 De Minimis exemption would not only increase the delivered price of an item to the US customer, but would also likely increase the number of checks and holds due to poor data from the shipper, additional documentation and possibly a Power of Attorney from the importer.

It may also have implications on the door-to-door delivery time. Complete and valid data will therefore become more important than ever to properly calculate your landed cost.

China, which is likely to be severely impacted by any change in US De Minimis levels, has been identified as a key origin of poor and inaccurate data.

While this proposal is at a very early stage it does mirror actions already taken by countries such as Australia and New Zealand in recent years with the removal of the GST (Sales Tax) De Minimis in their countries and the action that is being taken by EU countries in 2021, with the removal of the VAT threshold for imports.

The Covid19 pandemic has seen an exponential growth in eCommerce with huge implications for the traditional methods of importation and duty collection.

Is this just a targeted proposal aimed at improving data accuracy from China? Is this another part of the ongoing trade wars between the USA and China? Or will we see the US move completely towards the removal of Section 321 De Minimis levels?

Hurricane’s Content and Compliance team will continue to monitor these important proposed changes and keep you full informed as to their consequences for cross-border eCommerce trade.

  • Blog by Martin Palmer, Hurricane’s Chief Content and Compliance Officer.