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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/

Postal operators face “double whammy” of STOP Act and ICS2 on March 15

Postal operators face a “hugely challenging” eight weeks after being told that full enforcement of the US STOP Act will now take effect on the same day as the EU’s ICS2.

Both regulations require postal authorities to provide advance electronic data on mail parcels entering the US and EU respectively.

The US STOP Act had been due to come into full force on January 1, but Senator Rob Portman reluctantly granted an extension to March 15 after hearing that Customs and Border Protection needed more time to finalise regulations.

However, Senator Portman made it clear that no further delays would be acceptable, saying: “Congress cannot provide this type of extension on packages without identifying data entering the United States again.”

He also highlighted how other countries including France, Spain and Germany have started to require identifying data ahead of the implementation of ICS2 on March 15.

Portman said: “Packages entering those countries without identifying data will be delayed or considered inadmissible and returned to sender.  Further, starting

March 15, the European Union will require identifying data on a package before it is loaded onto a plane for shipment.”

Hurricane Commerce, a cross-border

eCommerce technology specialist, warned before Christmas that the STOP Act enforcement would result in several hundred million mail parcels destined for the US being rejected if they have incorrect or incomplete data. Refused parcels would be returned to their country of origin triggering extra costs for returns, warehousing and storage as well as huge customer dissatisfaction.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “On the one hand, Senator Portman’s extension to March 15 gives postal operators a little more time to get prepared.

“But with the full enforcement of the STOP Act now coinciding with the implementation of the EU’s ICS2 on the same day – March 15 – it is a real double whammy and presents posts with a hugely challenging eight weeks to ensure they are able to meet the higher threshold of advance electronic data.

“There is now the very real prospect of hundreds of millions of parcels being rejected into the US and EU from March 15.

“Those postal authorities which are fully prepared for the greater requirements around AED will not only be compliant but will also put themselves in the driving seat to capitalise on the continuing exponential growth in cross-border eCommerce trade.”

Martyn added: “This is not just about the postal authorities as the data starts with companies that are selling their goods internationally on their own websites or via marketplaces. Data needs to be complete and correct at the point of sale to ensure that the end customer receives the service they expect.”

Hurricane has developed a suite of APIs that meet the needs of postal operators, carriers, eCommerce merchants, marketplaces and platforms.

Hurricane’s Zephyr data enhancement API allows bulk clearance facilities to check the accuracy of data including product descriptions and HS6 codes, and receive additional pertinent or missing information all under a single quick check function.

Zephyr can process over 700 million requests a day and can, on an item by item API call base, provide for a real time feedback with response times of 100 milliseconds. The screening of a file consisting of a maximum of 10,000 items that is sent to Hurricane takes no more than 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, its Aura API covers three other critical cross-border functions – duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Hurricane Commerce cross-border eCommerce solutions go live on Magento Commerce

Hurricane Commerce’s data enhancement, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening products are now live on Magento Commerce.

The release of Hurricane’s solutions on Magento Commerce comes at a crucial time for eCommerce traders with Brexit and other changes to laws and regulations, making complete and valid electronic data mandatory.

Without the right data, shipments will be held at customs, causing significant delays, customer dissatisfaction and increased costs.

Magento merchants will be able to access Hurricane’s bespoke AI classification engine Bluestone to ensure their products have the right descriptions and HS6 codes.

Bluestone was built to understand detailed product language and nuances to identify descriptions and match them against the most appropriate customs commodity description and subsequent HS6 code.

Merchants will also be able to integrate Hurricane’s Aura solution, its API that covers duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and screening of denied parties.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are excited that our products are now live on the Magento Marketplace and available to help eCommerce merchants drive greater performance in their cross-border trade.

“Our solutions reduce cart abandonment by enabling merchants to provide real-time calculations of duty and taxes, which gives their customers complete cost transparency.

“We know from our experience with existing customers that reducing cart abandonment can increase revenues by as much as 24%.”

The other major requirement for cross-border eCommerce shops is to ensure they are fully compliant.

Martyn added: “Regulations and laws are getting tougher around the globe.

“Merchants need to have complete and valid data on all shipments as well as ensuring they are not trying to ship goods into countries where they are not allowed. There is also the need to ensure you aren’t sending goods to anyone on a denied parties list.

“Hurricane’s industry-leading solutions are already used by merchants, marketplaces, postal authorities and carriers around the world. “We are delighted that they are available to Magento customers to enable them to accelerate the growth of their businesses and remain compliant.”

The Hurricane extension can be downloaded from the Magento Marketplace. Hurricane is a partner in the Adobe Exchange Partner Program.

https://marketplace.magento.com/hurricanecommerce-module-duty-tax-compliance.html

 

Hurricane in the news:

Tamebay – Duty and tax calculation for Magento Commerce from Hurricane Commerce

Early Brexit chaos just “tip of the iceberg” says cross-border trade specialist

Problems in the first few days since Brexit are the “tip of the iceberg”, according to cross-border eCommerce trade expert Hurricane Commerce.

Hurricane says that the issues caused by lack of complete and valid customs data and VAT now being payable on low value goods into the UK will cause severe challenges over the coming days and weeks.

Last week, DPD temporarily suspended parcel deliveries to the EU due to lack of data, stating that 20% of items had incorrect or incomplete information.

Several UK online retailers, including luxury food merchant Fortnum & Mason, have temporarily stopped taking orders from EU countries due to the extra customs paperwork now needed.

And some EU retailers have ceased taking UK orders following the January 1 change making overseas suppliers who send parcels containing goods valued at £135 or less to the UK responsible for paying any import VAT that is due.

Customer satisfaction has also been put under increased strain with consumers in the EU complaining about unexpected VAT charges and clearance fees, and UK consumers being asked to pay higher delivery charges to cover the extra work caused by Brexit.

Another major hurdle resulting from the Brexit trade deal concerns ‘rules of origin’ with the threat of tariffs due if goods do not meet the complex requirements or are not wholly made in either the UK or EU.

Martin Palmer, Hurricane’s Chief Content and Compliance Officer, said: “Online merchants and marketplaces, postal operators and carriers are starting to see the reality of Brexit and the ending of VAT exemption on low value goods by the UK Government.

“With the EU also removing the low value VAT threshold in July, the compliance pressures on all parts of the cross-border supply chain are set to intensify even further with similar issues to be experienced in all EU countries to those current being experienced in the UK

“The first week and a half since Brexit is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Martin added: “We predicted for the last six months of 2020 that many businesses were going to face serious challenges post January 1, while others did their planning and put the best possible systems in place.

“There is simply no escape from the need for complete and valid customs clearance data including product descriptions, HS6 codes, shipper and consignee details and country of origin.

“Retailers which offer Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) give themselves the best chance of keeping their customers happy by avoiding the doorstep shock of unexpected fees for customs duties and import taxes.”

Hurricane Commerce has developed a series of API solutions to help ensure seamless cross-border eCommerce trade covering data enhancement, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Its customers include some of the world’s leading postal operators, carriers, online merchant and marketplaces.

 

Hurricane in the news:

Tamebay – Early Brexit chaos just “tip of the iceberg”

Air Cargo Week – Hurricane: Early Brexit problems “tip of the iceberg”

Sky News Business – Brexit trade problems ‘just the tip of the iceberg’, e-commerce expert warns

Retail Times – Early Brexit chaos just “tip of the iceberg” says cross-border trade specialist

Eminetra – Brexit’s trade problem is “just the tip of the iceberg,” e-commerce experts warn 

Q Radio – Brexit trade problems ‘just the tip of the iceberg’, e-commerce expert warns

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

2021 – a year of huge change for cross-border eCommerce

If 2020 was the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, for those involved in cross-border eCommerce trade 2021 will be the year of sweeping regulatory change.

The changes come thick and fast, starting on January 1 with Brexit and the full enforcement of the US STOP Act.

Both make the provision of complete and valid customs clearance data absolutely essential.

Ten weeks later will see the implementation of Import Control System 2 (ICS2) requiring postal operators to provide entry summary declarations on goods into or through EU customs territory.

As if that was not enough to occupy the minds of everyone involved in cross-border trade, both the UK and EU are removing the exemption from VAT on low value items.

And there is also the launch of the EU’s Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) for retail merchants and marketplaces to contend with.

Combined, this plethora of regulations – all impacting in the first half of 2021 – will test postal operators, carriers, merchants, marketplaces and platforms to the absolute limit.

We know from our work with customers across all of these different segments of cross-border trade that some have invested the time and resource to get prepared for January 1.

They have tackled head-on the knowledge that the compliance landscape will look very different in just a few days’ time to what they had been used to.

For postal operators, good planning and preparation in terms of data enhancement means avoiding the nightmare scenario of parcels being stuck at customs resulting in huge delays and additional costs including warehousing, storage and returns.

For merchants and marketplaces, meeting the higher threshold for parcel data will be essential if they want to ensure the frictionless passage of goods to their end customers. Failure to do so will inevitably result in lost customers and reputational damage.

The final quarter of 2020 has seen increased activity among those whose businesses depend on seamless cross-border trade as the realisation dawned that January 1 really was going to mean a different way of doing things.

And while events like Brexit grab many of the headlines, the reality is that some or all of the regulatory changes outlined above will impact the way different postal authorities, carriers, merchants and marketplaces – irrespective of geography – conduct their business in 2021 and beyond.

Below is a recap of the big changes coming in 2021 and their timescales:

January 1 – Brexit: complete and valid data (including HS6 codes, product descriptions and correct values) will be required from the UK into the EU and vice versa.

January 1 – UK Import VAT Threshold: New regulations will make an overseas supplier who sends parcels containing goods valued at £135 or less to the UK responsible for paying any import VAT that is due.

January 1 – US STOP Act: the USPS has made it plain that from this date parcels will be refused entry into the United States and returned to origin if they do not meet the higher threshold level for advance electronic data (AED).

Martha Johnson, a spokesperson for the USPS, said: “Postal shipments containing goods not accompanied by AED will be considered inadmissible.”

March 15 – ICS2: Postal operators will no longer be exempt from having to make entry summary declarations into the Import Control System before moving goods into or through EU customs territory.

Under ICS2, shipments without the right data will no longer be allowed with the likelihood of severe delays in customs and increased costs.

July – EU VAT Exemption Removal: Abolition of exemption from VAT on low value items under €22. The changes mean that EU and non-EU sellers will charge VAT at the point of sale for consignments of €150 or below.

July – Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS): Modernising of VAT for cross-border eCommerce via the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) making the retailer, web shop or marketplace liable for the declaration and payment of VAT to the country of destination.

Hurricane Commerce was founded in 2016 to provide customers with industry-leading solutions to changing and evolving regulations and laws impacting cross-border eCommerce trade.

From this starting point, we have created our lightning quick Zephyr API which enhances the quality of parcel data.

Zephyr can process over 700 million requests a day and can, on an item by item API call base, provide for a real time feedback with response times of 100 milliseconds. The screening of a file consisting of a maximum of 10,000 items that is sent to Hurricane takes no more than 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, our Aura API covers the three areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

An API call via Aura is super-fast with throughput tested at 640 transactions per second. One single call can perform these three critical cross-border functions, presenting the data back in real-time.

To find out more about Hurricane’s solutions, contact sales@hurricanecommerce.com.

 

Hurricane in the media:

CEP Research – 2021 will be a year of huge change for cross-border eCommerce

Tamebay – Regulatory change to test cross-border traders in 2021

 

Pro Carrier teams up with Hurricane Commerce to provide customers with complete cross-border eCommerce experience

Pro Carrier, the cross-border delivery business of DG International, is partnering with Hurricane Commerce to ensure its retail customers’ parcels flow smoothly through customs.

The company has integrated Hurricane’s data enhancement Zephyr API and its Aura API, which supports on duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied party screening.

The partnership forms a key part of Pro Carrier’s goal of providing UK eCommerce merchants with a complete cross-border delivery solution.

Gary Tervit, Pro Carrier’s Managing Director, said: “We believe we have the most comprehensive set of solutions for eCommerce customers and the integration of Hurricane’s game-changing APIs on data enhancement and compliance are an integral part of our offer.

“Whether you are an established eCommerce merchant or looking to scale, we are helping to simplify the cross-border delivery experience.

“The onset of Brexit and other major regulatory changes like the US STOP Act and ICS2 are presenting some serious challenges for international retailers.

“By working with partners like Hurricane we can give our customers total peace of mind on key areas such as product descriptions, HS6 codes, calculating the correct duties and taxes and ensuring you are not sending prohibited or restricted goods into countries or exporting items to people on denied party lists.”

Gary added: “We are investing heavily in Pro Carrier’s technology capability and our team of specialists as part of our growth plans for 2021 and beyond.”

David Spottiswood, co-founder of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Pro Carrier as part of their strategy of providing their UK retail customers with the most complete cross-border eCommerce service.

“The opportunities for merchants to be part of the seismic growth in eCommerce are vast, but so are the regulatory hurdles that need to be met.

“Hurricane’s Zephyr and Aura APIs were created specifically to help merchants, marketplaces, platforms, postal operators and carriers put themselves in the best possible place to grow their businesses and ensure compliance.”

 

Hurricane in the news:

https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/pro-carrier-partners-with-hurricane-commerce-on-cross-border-e-commerce-experience.html

https://www.caasint.com/pro-carrier-teams-up-with-hurricane-commerce-to-ensure-parcels-flow-smoothly-through-customs/

Freightwaves highlights “speed and efficiency” of Hurricane technology

Freightwaves’ American Shipper has described how Hurricane’s technology “will foster speed and efficiency” and help postal operators meet the regulatory requirements for advanced electronic data (AED) from January 1, 2021.

The leading logistics media platform highlighted Hurricane’s game-changing Zephyr API solution in an article looking at the likely impact of the enforcement of the US STOP Act.

Freightwaves stated: “Effective Jan. 1, the U.S. government will refuse to clear international mail parcel shipments if electronic documentation allowing U.S. Customs officials to check for illegal opioids isn’t transmitted in advance of the shipment’s arrival. Despite having more than two years to prepare, the international postal supply chain will likely miss the deadline.”

According to the OIG, Posts in 135 countries and territories were still unable to send AED to the USPS as of March this year.

The USPS has made it clear that as of January 1, complete and valid customs clearance data will be mandatory – otherwise parcels will be refused and returned to origin.

Freightwaves went on: “Hurricane Commerce, an IT provider that specializes in cross-border e-commerce trade data and compliance technology, warned in a Nov. 16 communique that, unless the situation changes, hundreds of millions of parcels will be denied entry into the U.S. and may be returned to their origins. “This kind of volume will not only create immense logistical challenges but will also have a serious impact on air cargo capacity,” said Hurricane Commerce CEO Martyn Noble.

“Earlier this year, Hurricane Commerce launched a product called Zephyr, which it said allows bulk clearance facilities to check the accuracy of data and to receive additional pertinent or missing information all under one “quick-check” function. Zephyr can process over 700 million requests a day and can provide for real-time feedback with response times of 100 milliseconds, the company said.”

The article concluded: “There is cause for optimism. The UPU, U.S. and EU requirements will push international posts to accelerate AED compliance. USPS and other international posts are helping less-advanced nations by providing technical and financial support. New technology — such as that being offered by Hurricane Commerce — will foster speed and efficiency.”

Read the full article https://www.freightwaves.com/news/opioid-crackdown-deadline-for-international-mail-on-brink-of-miss

An Post partners with Hurricane Commerce to enhance eCommerce parcel data quality

An Post is working with Hurricane Commerce to help it develop its cross-border eCommerce capability.

The postal operator in the Republic of Ireland has integrated Hurricane’s Zephyr solution to enhance the quality of its advance electronic data on mail parcels.

The requirement for posts to meet a higher threshold for parcel data will be far greater from January 1, 2021, with Brexit and the enforcement of the STOP Act in the United States.

A further major change follows in March next year with the implementation of the Import Control System 2 (ICS2) requiring postal operators to make entry summary declarations on all packets and parcels.

Earlier this year, Hurricane Commerce launched its easy to integrate Zephyr data enhancement product which allows bulk clearance facilities to check the accuracy of data including product descriptions and HS6 codes, and receive additional pertinent or missing information all under a single quick check function.

Zephyr can process over 700 million requests a day and can, on an item by item API call base, provide for a real time feedback with response times of 100 milliseconds. The screening of a file consisting of a maximum of 10,000 items that is sent to Hurricane takes no more than 15 minutes.

David Spottiswood, one of the founders of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be helping An Post meet the mandatory requirements for data on mail parcels.

“An Post is an innovative, forward-looking post that is putting itself in the strongest possible position to not only be compliant but also to take advantage of the exponential growth in cross-border eCommerce.

“The swathe of regulations coming into effect from the start of 2021 will result in parcels being held up and, in many cases, rejected unless they contain the required customs clearance data. Having the necessary complete and valid electronic data will ensure that mail items flow smoothly through customs and on to their intended customer.”

Cyril Mc Grane, An Post’s Director of International Trade, said: “We are investing heavily in our cross-border eCommerce capability and Hurricane will play an important part in this.

“The continuing enhancement of the data quality on parcels will ensure we meet the regulatory requirements and provide benefits operationally, financially and, most importantly of all, in terms of customer satisfaction.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

https://postandparcel.info/129636/news/post/an-post-investing-heavily-in-cross-border-e-commerce-capability/

https://tamebay.com/2020/12/an-post-hurricane-partnership-to-enhance-ecommerce-parcel-data-quality.html

https://apex-insight.com/an-post-works-with-hurricane-commerce/

Hurricane makes the news around the world

Hurricane Commerce has been making headlines across the global postal and logistics media.

Leading publications including Parcel & Post Technology International, Air Cargo, Post & Parcel, the Handy Shipping Guide, Lloyds Loading List and The Loadstar have all carried articles looking at the likely impact of Brexit and the US STOP Act on cross-border eCommerce trade after January 1, 2021.

The Loadstar article focussed on Hurricane’s warning that as many as 700 million mail items could be rejected for not having the complete and valid advance electronic data required under the STOP Act in just 30 days’ time.

This was confirmed by Martha Johnson, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service (USPS) who told The Loadstar: ““Postal shipments containing goods not accompanied by AED will be considered inadmissible.”

To read The Loadstar article in full visit https://theloadstar.com/tougher-us-drug-legislation-set-to-derail-millions-of-parcels-on-1-january/

Meanwhile, Hurricane’s Chief Content and Compliance Officer, Martin Palmer, has been quoted at length discussing the looming “chaos” of Brexit on the cross-border shipment of eCommerce parcels.

Martin said: “This is not just about the UK and trading into the EU; it is also about the remaining 27 EU member countries and their cross-border trade into the UK.”

Read Martin’s thoughts in full on the Post & Parcel website –

https://postandparcel.info/127999/news/e-commerce/hurricane-commerce-time-is-running-out-to-get-brexit-ready/