Business Continuity During COVID-19

Open Letter to Members from Peter Robinson, CEO and President USCIB: Response to COVID-19

USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson

Dear Members,

Things have been rapidly developing since my last message to members of March 9. Going forward, our emphasis will be on doing what we can to ensure business continuity during COVID-19.

During this period of uncertainty, USCIB will be using our weekly e-newsletter to stay in touch on what we, along with the international business organizations for which we serve as American affiliate, are doing to ensure the continued, proactive representation of your interests internationally. Our newsletter will focus on communicating what is happening in the UN and multilateral system with regards to response efforts, which we hope will mitigate the impact on your business.

I assure you that USCIB is fully operational during the pandemic and we will continue to provide the services you depend on.  While there are challenges to this new reality as we adjust to social distancing, travel restrictions, work from home and rescheduled or cancelled meetings across the multilateral system, we have implemented a comprehensive teleworking strategy for conducting our daily routine that allows us to protect our employees and respect the role we all play in preventing the spread of the virus to our families, friends and communities.

On the policy front: to maintain the flow of information and advocacy critical to support your interests, policy managers continue to monitor and report back to their committees (through virtual meetings and conference calls) new measures that our global affiliates and network of multilateral organizations we typically interact with have implemented.

Going forward, we will communicate this aspect of our work under this page “Business Continuity During COVID-19”, (see also tool bar on the right of this page) that will keep you informed on how we represent your interests at the multilateral “virtual” meetings we will continue to attend.

On the trade services side: to provide the services required in our role as the National Guaranteeing Association for ATA Carnet in the U.S., our Carnet managers continue to process claims and handle inquiries from Carnet holders in support of the free flow of goods and services across borders during this difficult time, and our Service Providers are adapting their processes and procedures to the new circumstances. Relevant developments will be reported that may impact your operations globally.

Our dedicated web pages mentioned above will spotlight USCIB-member initiatives, such as new public-private partnerships, financial assistance programs, innovations, and accelerated projects that help identify, develop and scale potential treatments and vaccines, all of which strive to minimize the devastating global impacts of the virus.

During this uncertain time staying in touch is critical.  We want to hear from you.  Please let us know where USCIB can add value in coping with the crisis by answering a few questions:

  • Where can USCIB assist your company or association during these challenging circumstances?
  • What role should global business networks like ICC, IOE and Business at OECD (BIAC) take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?
  • Which are good private sector practices and partnerships to be shared through the multilateral system?

If members find it helpful, we will organize weekly exchanges tracking efforts to advance private sector solutions and initiatives as the pandemic affects countries across the globe.

In closing, the COVID-19 pandemic has significant implications for every policy area in which USCIB engages. Rest assured that we remain focused on how we can best engage with our partners in business, government and the multilateral system to bring business solutions to the discussion.

Coronavirus Impact on ATA Carnet

USCIB, as the national guaranteeing and issuing association in the U.S. for ATA Carnets, along with our service providers, Boomerang Carnets and Roanoke, have been watching with concern reports of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact to ATA Carnet holders and the business community at large.

In our role as an advocate for global trade and a passionate supporter of its importance to growth and prosperity, USCIB believes that every effort should be made to balance legitimate health and safety concerns with the imperative to actively support the free flow of goods and services across borders.  In that spirit, we will work with Foreign National Guaranteeing Associations and National Customs Administrations to attempt to mitigate any ATA Carnet claims for U.S. issued Carnets that are caused by restrictions in the country of re-exportation due to the virus.

USCIB has been in contact with China Customs and have received their support on dealing with any future claims on U.S. issued Carnets. At the same time, USCIB also plans to work with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in efforts to help mitigate any Chinese Carnets impacted by the virus on re-exportation from the U.S.  It is important to note, however, that all holders should keep as much documentation (e.g. airline ticket cancellations/rebookings, hotel reservation extension etc..) as possible to support their case.

USCIB Helps Mark World Trade Week NYC

L-R: Chuck Ludmer (CohnReznick), Jonathan Huneke (USCIB)

Each May, in cities across the United States, supporters of international trade gather to mark World Trade Week, which was first proclaimed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. USCIB has long championed World Trade Week NYC, and this year was no different.

At a World Trade Week NYC 2019 kickoff breakfast on May 13 at Baruch College’s Weissman Center for International Business, several leading exporters and companies who have achieved success on the global stage were celebrated. Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs, presented WTW NYC’s Global Achievement Award to the accounting firm CohnReznick, which has served as a World Trade Week co-sponsor each year for the past decade. The award was accepted by Charles G. Ludmer, CohnReznick’s chief practice development officer and the private-sector co-chair of World Trade Week NYC 2019.

“Celebrating its centennial this year, CohnReznick has established itself as a cornerstone of international trade in the region and around the world,” Huneke said. “There’s no better ambassador for New York than CohnReznick. And there’s no better ambassador for the firm, and for World Trade Week, than Chuck Ludmer.”

Key speakers at the awards breakfast included Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert B. Kaplan and Al Mangels, president of Lee Spring Co.

Frankie Raddish, senior trade advisor in USCIB’s Trade Service and ATA Carnet Department, also took part in the awards breakfast and a neighboring exhibition by World Trade Week partner organizations. Numerous partners are holding trade-themed events around the New York metropolitan area during the month of May.

International Chamber of Commerce Prepares to Launch Incoterms® 2020

Paris and New York, April 22, 2019 – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is preparing for the publication of Incoterms® 2020, an update of the renowned regulations that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers operating in the international trade system, according to ICC’s American national committee, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).

Facilitating trillions of dollars in global trade each year, the “international commercial terms,” or Incoterms® rules, are a commonly accepted set of definitions and rules governing commercial trade activity.

“The revised Incoterms® rules will have a direct impact on traders throughout the United States and the world,” according to USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “It will be important for everyone involved in cross-border business to familiarize themselves with the changes. We will be working to educate our members and the business community at large on the most important changes.”

Nearly a century ago, following a series of studies conducted in the 1920s, the Paris-based ICC concluded that there was a need for the creation of a common protocol for importers and exporters everywhere. The first set of Incoterms® rules was published by ICC in 1936. Since then, ICC has periodically revised the Incoterms® rules to reflect changes in the international trade system.

For the past decade, Incoterms® 2010 has provided critical guidance to importers, exporters, lawyers, transporters and insurers across the world. ICC is preparing for the official release of Incoterms® 2020 later this year.

USCIB said that, joining with ICC chapters around the world, it plans to roll out training programs and seminars alongside the worldwide publication of the new terms.

“Now more than ever, participants in the global trading system require guidance and clarity,” Robinson said. “With the emergence of new technologies, government policies, and environmental regulations, Incoterms® 2020 will provide a common framework for the future of trade.”

USCIB has established a central information page on its website for all the latest developments surrounding the introduction of Incoterms® 2020. Go to for more information.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB, +1 212.703.5043


Business Guide to Trade and Investment, Vol. 2

Business Guide to Trade and Investment
Volume 2 – International Investment
by Arthur E. Appleton and Patrick F.J. Macrory

Focusing on Investment, this book provides an overview of rules applicable to making and protecting foreign investments. It will enable the business community, in-house counsel, and government counsel to better understand the types of protection provided by international investment agreements and investment contracts, as well as the range of issues that arise in the arbitration of investment disputes.

With contributions from 25 legal experts, the book addresses:

  • preliminary issues that an organisation contemplating making a foreign investment must consider;
  • sources of investors’ rights with respect to their investments;
  • the substance of investors’ rights;
  • important jurisdictional issues;
  • the process of investor-state dispute settlement.

User Friendly

Throughout the book, business guidance can be found in shaded boxes. Case descriptions and brief legal analyses appear in text boxes. Legal references and cases are provided in endnotes that follow each chapter.

Order your copy soon at Amazon.

Business Guide to Trade and Investment Vol 2

ICC Publication No. 795E
Paperback, 2018 Edition
Pages: 216
Price: $75.00
ISBN: 978-92-842-0477-9

Incoterms® 2020

Incoterms® 2020
ICC Official Rules for the Interpretation of Trade Terms

Subscribe to the USCIB Bookstore Newsletter to stay updated on the release of Incoterms® 2020.


The first Incoterms® rules were released in 1936 by the International Chamber of Commerce.  They caused a sensation in the business world by bringing coherence to a commercial and judicial system that changed from country to country. ICC’s Incoterms® help traders avoid misunderstandings and disputes by clarifying the costs, risks, and the allocation of certain responsibilities of buyers and sellers in contracts for the sale of goods.

Incoterms® 2020 continues an 80-year ICC tradition and reflects the latest developments in commercial practice and updates, and consolidates some of the former rules. Changes made to the rules have been made to adapt the terms to new developments in world trade.

The updated Incoterms® 2020 will be released in Fall 2019, with implementation starting on January 1, 2020.

More details to come.

Incoterms® 2020

USCIB Lays Out Priorities for WTO Modernization

Washington, D.C., March 13, 2019 – Responding to this week’s hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on the future of the World Trade Organization, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, has submitted a business roadmap for the WTO laying out priorities for the organization’s modernization.

“The continued existence and effectiveness of the WTO is vital to U.S. business,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Chair Charles R. Johnston in their transmittal letter.

“The WTO is a cornerstone of the global rules-based trading system and has helped spread growth and development for decades. The WTO’s existing agreements, such as those on intellectual property rights, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical barriers to trade, provide practical commercial benefits for business because they establish global frameworks of rules designed to facilitate international trade.”

USCIB’s roadmap focuses on addressing subsidies and other market-distorting support provided to state-owned enterprises, the establishment of new rules for current issues such as digital trade and customs processes on electronic transmissions, and ensuring a properly functioning appellate body, among other issues.

The statement notes that the U.S. has been a major beneficiary of the WTO’s dispute settlement system, bringing and winning more cases than any other WTO member. “In fact, the U.S. has prevailed in over 90% of the complaints it filed,” USCIB observed.

USCIB urged WTO members to actively solicit the views of the business community, which undertakes the vast majority of cross-border trade and investment that is impacted by WTO rules. “The private sector has a direct stake in the rules that will be the outcome of the government-to-government discussions and, accordingly, private sector comments and recommendations should be actively solicited and given careful consideration,” the statement said.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043,


Users’ Handbook for Documentary Credits under UCP 600

Users’ Handbook for Documentary Credits under UCP 600
By Walter (Buddy) Baker, John F. Dolan

Users’ Handbook for Documentary Credits under UCP 600 is designed to serve as an introduction to users of documentary credits, that is, to sellers and buyers who seek to increase their access to cross-border markets. It strives to demonstrate the way commercial parties and bankers have used this remarkable commercial device, the documentary credit, to achieve their objectives.

The Users’ Handbook is divided into five parts:

  • Part One is a brief discussion of international sales and transport.
  • Part Two explains the banking industry’s crucial role in documentary credit transactions and illustrates many of the transactions in which commercial parties utilize the documentary credit.
  • Part Three explains the way documents control the payment function of the documentary credit.
  • Part Four introduces the all-important feature of the documentary credit – the ways it opens financing options to sellers, which can then extend credit to buyers.
  • Part Five introduces the standby credit and illustrates its role in cross-border transactions.

Users’ Handbook also contains a handy glossary of international trade terms for easy reference.

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Users Handbook For Documentary Credits UCP 600

ICC Publication No. 694
Paperback, 2008 Edition
Price: $75.00
ISBN: 978-92-842-0043-6

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Commentary on UCP 600

Commentary on UCP 600
Article-by-Article Analysis by the UCP 600 Drafting Group

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has established rules on documentary credits worldwide for more than 70 years. UCP 600, the latest version of ICC’s universally used rules on documentary credits, came into effect on July 1, 2007.

Members of the Drafting Group that developed the new UCP have produced an article-by-article commentary on the rules. Commentary on UCP 600, which reflects the Group’s personal views, explains their rationale behind the changes in the rules and clarifies the general principles that underlie them.

The Drafting Group’s Commentary on the UCP 600 examines each of the 39 articles of the new UCP. Each article and sub-article is analyzed under four different topics:

  • the text of the article or subarticle
  • the key changes from UCP 500
  • the commentary explaining the rationale for the new language
  • the cross references to other articles in UCP 600

Practical, compact and easy to read, Commentary on UCP 600 will be a reference book of choice for students and users of the new UCP.

Commentary on UCP 600 frankly addresses the contentious issues in the new rules, among them:

  • the term on their face and why it was dropped in all but one UCP article
  • the removal of the words reasonable time
  • the language allowing discounting of deferred payment credits
  • the new article on definitions, containing terms such as honour and negotiation

On these and other key points, Commentary on UCP 600 provides an invaluable insight into the thinking of those who drafted the new UCP.

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Commentary on UCP 600

ICC Publication No. 680
Paperback, 2007 Edition
Price: $75.00
ISBN: 978-92-842-0015-3

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Application of ATA Carnet System Expands in China

New York, N.Y., January 23, 2019 – China has significantly expanded its use of ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods. As of January 9, the country is now accepting the widely used “merchandise passports” for professional equipment and product samples, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

Previously the country honored ATA Carnets just for goods destined for trade shows and exhibitions. China also extended the period for which goods may be brought into the country under ATA Carnets to a full year, from six months as had previously been the case.

“We expect China’s decision to accept Carnets for the full range of uses to significantly expand American exports to the country,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Carnet usage is often a leading indicator of future exports, and this move will make the process of getting goods to and from the country much smoother.”

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, generally for up to one year. They are used by a wide variety of exporters and businesses as a simple, cost-effective means of moving goods temporarily to 78 countries and customs territories around the world. Additional information on developments related to the use of ATA Carnets in China is available on USCIB’s website here.

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee. Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at

Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or

About USCIB:
The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide.

As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB also works to facilitate international trade and investment. It is the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, which enable the temporary export of many types of goods, free of import duties or taxes, for up to one year.