Blog Posts

Welke Customs Brokers USA to Sponsor Session on "Doing Business with Cuba"

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Welke Customs Brokers USA will sponsor an educational forum, "Doing Business with Cuba: The Landscape Today and Expectations," on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon, at the Genesee County Economic Development Center Innovation Zone, 99 Medtech Drive, Batavia, NY 14020 (across the street from GCC). The event, co-sponsored by Greater Rochester Enterprise, Genesee County Economic Development Center and World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, is free and open to companies with interest in exporting to Cuba.

Welke Customs Brokers Clears Santa's U.S. and Canadian Customs Entries

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Damon Piatek, President and CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA, announced today that Welke has cleared Santa Claus' imports into the U.S. as he brings presents into the country as part of the time-honored Christmas Eve tradition. Piatek stressed Santa's thorough understanding of import and export regulations focused on compliance. Welke Customs Brokers, operating in both the U.S. and Canada, facilitates imports through all ports in both nations.

Christopher Scalisi Joins the Welke Customs Brokers USA Team

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Damon Piatek, president and CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA, announced today that Welke has hired Christopher J. Scalisi as Global Trade Advisor. With over 20 years' experience in business development and sales and 12 years working in international trade, Chris has developed and implemented international trade and economic develop programs with the Consulate General of Canada, Erie County Industrial Development Agency, and World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara. At Welke, Chris will use his experience to build and develop new clientele for Welke's international, U.S. Customs and consulting services.

Long Road Ahead for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On Thursday, the long-awaited text of the landmark trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was released to the public for the first time. While there's a great deal of information to unearth, analyze and react to, it's important to keep in mind that there is a significantly long road ahead for ratification of the deal. The text of the document, itself, still has to be translated into the languages of the signatories, and the deal must also still be ratified by lawmakers in each member country. In some of the countries involved, TPP needs to undergo a legal review. 

Welke Customs Brokers Canadian Market Entry Seminar - 10/8

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Welke Customs Brokers and Celebrezze Law will host a seminar on Canadian market entry on Thursday, October 8, "Doing Business in Southern Ontario/Golden Horseshoe - Importing, Exporting and Understanding the Landscape," for Western New York companies. The seminar, perfect small to mid-sized manufacturers and distributors, offers free registration, and will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Welke Customs Brokers USA offices, 36 Delaware Street in the City of Tonawanda (parking behind building). Light refreshments will be provided.

Welke Announces Cargo Insurance for U.S. and Canadian Shippers

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

For both U.S. and Canadian customers, Welke Customs Brokers offers cargo insurance to protect against the risk of loss or damage to freight in transit due to heavy weather, theft and rough handling. It is estimated that 30% of all freight damage in transit is unavoidable, and for shippers, the risks of transportation cargo are yours - not your carrier's.

With the significant need for protection, Welke has worked closely with our insurance partners, Roanoke Trade International (U.S.) andThe CG&B Group (Canada), to create a program to protect your financial interests. 

When Safeguarding Your Business - Don't Forget About Customs Audits

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

As business owners, we spend a good amount of time and energy safeguarding our businesses. Every year, we bring in professionals to audit our operations related to human resources, finances and employee safety among other areas, to ensure that we're on the up-and-up, our people and our processes are taken care of and, if inspected at any point, we can avoid penalties. It's a part of responsibly running a business.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Makes Individuals Potentially Liable for Import Infractions

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

On Tuesday (May 26), the U.S. Supreme Court passed on reviewing a bid by the president of Trek Leather Inc. that had requested to undo a Federal Circuit ruling holding him personally responsible for penalties levied against his company for import violations. The closely-watched ruling is noteworthy, precedent-setting news in the import world.

The suit stems from shipments in 2004, in which Trek imported dozens of men's suits but allegedly failed to disclose the costs of fabric and other materials in their entry documents - resulting in Trek paying lower duties for the imports.

Welke's Piatek to Participate in Buffalo Business First Roundtable

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Welke Customs Brokers USA President & CEO Damon Piatek will participate in an industry roundtable sponsored by Buffalo Business First on Thursday, May 7 on various cross border topics. The roundtable, hosted by Buffalo law firm Hodgson Russ, features a number of expert panelists from various cross-border industries throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.

Welke Customs Brokers and COSE Canadian Market Entry Seminar - 4/30

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Welke Customs Brokers and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) will host a seminar on April 30 on Canadian market entry for Northeast Ohio companies, "Doing Business in Southern Ontario/Golden Horseshoe - Importing, Exporting and Understanding the Landscape." The seminar, open to COSE members, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the COSE offices, 1240 E. Huron Street, Cleveland.

Operational vs. Transactional Customs Brokers

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

U.S. and Canadian Customs are an ever-changing landscape of regulations, rules and relationships. Importers and exporters must always be in-the-know on international trade policies as they engage in new markets and growth opportunities. It's a responsibility that must never be taken lightly.

But while the largest manufacturers and distributors have the wherewithal to maintain an in-house team to handle that responsibility, for small and medium-sized shippers looking to grow, you might not be quite to that level yet. Instead, you engage a Customs broker to walk you through the process and trust that they're keeping your entries on the up-and-up.

Peace Bridge Capital Improvement Plan Moving Forward

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Q&A with Damon Piatek, President & CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA

There are some important updates related to the Peace Bridge Authority's capital improvement plan that were recently announced. What can you tell us about this news?

This is very exciting news in my opinion. As you may know, the Peace Bridge will turn 88-years-old this year; however, the bridge remains in solid structural condition. It is definitely a safe crossing, just a bit out of date.

What the Peace Bridge Authority has proposed is a series of on-plaza improvements to make the crossing work more efficiently. Let's call it a "makeover" of sorts to the bridge and some plaza areas.

The projects are part of a $167 million capital plan that includes widening the Canadian plaza bridge approach to four lanes, upgraded radiation portal monitors, and also the conducting of a full re-decking of the bridge.

Address Import Compliance to Avoid Penalties, Spur Business Growth

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

This Thursday, I'll be speaking as part of a panel at World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara's (WTCBN) seminar on Import Compliance. Special thanks to Erin Cole, president of WTCBN, for inviting me to participate.

If you've been following this blog, or have caught any of my presentations in Buffalo, Cleveland, or recently at this month's CoffeeFest in Atlanta, you'll know that customs compliance is a key topic of discussion for Welke Customs Brokers, both our U.S. and Canadian operations. That's because if you're an importer into either country, it should be a key topic of yours, as well.

Welke's Damon Piatek to Speak at World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara's Compliance Seminar

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Welke Customs Brokers USA President & CEO will be the guest speaker at the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara's (WTCBN) "Import Compliance Event" on Thursday, February 19, 8-10 a.m. at Salvatore's Garden Place Hotel, 6615 Transit Road in Williamsville.

Piatek will be speaking on various trade topics, including Customs Trade Transformation, compliance, benefits of trade agreements, and eliminating risk in import and export procedures. Attendees will also receive important information about ACE - Automated Commercial Environment - from with Peter Russell of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), Program Manager, ACE Communications.

New Canadian Food Safety Policy will Impact U.S. Exporters

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

On January 1, 2015, new regulations regarding the importing of food into Canada went into effect, with additional requirements later this year and in 2016. These new regulations will have a significant impact on U.S. companies exporting food to Canada, and should be understood closely.

Specifically, Canada has introduced new licensing requirements for Canadian food manufacturers and importers, adding a layer of regulation that previously did not exist. Food manufacturers exporting to Canada, now abiding by the requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, will now have to include all of the CFIA requirements for the Canadian license, as well. In addition, U.S. exporters to Canada must have a fixed Canadian location, or Canadian manufacturing standards must be equaled by the country of origin's own standards, which will be difficult to enforce.

Happy New Year! - 2015 at the Buffalo Niagara Border

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

From a number of perspectives, 2015 will be an interesting one at the border in Buffalo Niagara. Here's a quick overview:

First, we're looking forward to seeing how the exchange rate impacts border travel, particularly those Canadians coming across our bridges into WNY to shop and attend sporting and cultural events. Many global financial institutions are forecasting the Loonie to see a slow decline in 2015, with the exchange reducing to the 81-84 cent range. Several economic factors, including the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and global oil prices, are driving this decline in the Canadian dollar. Obviously, this will impact Canadian traveler spending power, so it's something to watch closely.

CBSA Elimination of GPT Kicks in January 1

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

In September, 2014, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) released a statement that, effective January 1, 2015, the Canadian government has eliminated the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) for 72 countries with which Canada has an import relationship.

Valid v. Invalid vs. Defective NAFTA Certificate of Origin

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

The New Year is almost upon us which means it's time for importers to update their NAFTA certificate of origin. Welke Customs Brokers is currently securing blanket NAFTA certificate of origin for calendar year 2015.

Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway - creating a globally-known logistics center

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

This past Sunday (11/30), the Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway Organization (ITGO) was highlighted in the Buffalo News in the group's first public outreach since becoming its own organization earlier this year. ITGO, as the article states, is a volunteer-driven organization created to forward the logistics and trade advantages the Buffalo Niagara region has to offer - in particular, our geographic location in the middle of the largest U.S. and Canadian markets. As president and CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA, I am proud to sit on the Board of ITGO and chair its CanAm and International Trade Committee.

Piatek Invited to Present at Coffeefest 2015 in February

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Damon Piatek, President and CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA, will be a featured presenter at the 2015 Coffeefest, an international trade show serving the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries. Coffeefest will be held in February in Atlanta, GA. The event has been in existence since 1992.