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Memorial Day 2021

With heartfelt gratitude, we honor all fallen soldiers who have fought for our freedom. In recognition of Memorial Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st and will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, June 1st.

NCBFAA Scholarship Award 2021

Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc. is very pleased to announce the 2021 recipient of the annual NCBFAA Scholarship Award. This year the award is presented to Ms. Daniela Piperno. Ms. Piperno is currently enrolled at Kean University in its BA program in Supply Chain and Information Management. The winning essay is titled, “Is the USMCA an improvement of NAFTA? If so, how, if not, why?”   Ms. Piperno is committed to her studies in supply chain and information management. She states, “Advancing my studies in supply chain management will help me to further understand more how my organization operates as a whole and will allow me to enhance my value-add to the organization.” Roanoke Insurance Group has been sponsoring this $5,000 scholarship award for over two decades. The purpose of the scholarship is to help members of our industry — including Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders and others involved with international trade — achieve their goals in furthering their education. Roanoke’s President, Karen Groff remarked, “The professional support and comradery that exists within the NCBFAA has enabled so many of us to grow and develop in our careers. A scholarship opportunity for its members and members’ families seems like an appropriate way to give back. Roanoke thanks the NCBFAA for the opportunity to contribute in this way and we congratulate Daniela. The scholarship was set up to help cover the costs of higher education including tuition, student housing, books and materials and other items essential to learning. Daniela is originally from Rome, Italy. In 2003 she had the opportunity to move to New York City for an internship at a shipping company. This later turned into a full-time job and put her on the path to a career in logistics. The team at Roanoke is once again thrilled to support the ongoing training and development of our industry members and their families. It’s not too soon to start working on next year’s application and essay.  

Air Cargo 2021 – Register Today

How can the Air Freight industry stay agile in this year of upheaval and constant change? This is a question that’s been on the minds of everyone this year. And, we believe this webinar will provide you with insights and ideas to tackle the situation. Roanoke is proud to be a sponsor of this webinar. Use this link to register: http://ow.ly/Ar9X50ELg10 The FREE webinar features Jim Rice, Deputy Director at the Center for Transportation & Logistics, Supply Chain Exchange Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and @Cathy Roberson, President of Logistics Trends & Insights. If you’re a freight forwarder, trucking company, or airport cargo provider you’ll certainly want to attend. Those who attend are eligible to win a raffle prize of $500. See you at the webinar?

World Password Day — Keep it Strong, so Hackers Get it Wrong!

May 6th is #WorldPasswordDay, an entire 24 hours devoted to emphasizing the critical need of strong passwords, so your information isn’t exposed in the abyss known as the dark web. In recognition of this special day, we are sharing some tips with you on how to create a cybersmart password! For more tips on creating secure, cybersmart passwords, read our post from cyber awareness month. Get a complimentary cyber risk profile to receive a baseline on the scope of your cyber risks. This information will help you implement the right plan to protect your business. Source: NetDiligence

MSAs and Shipper Contracts | Strengthen your Position & Profitability Webinar

Master Service Agreements (MSAs) and shipper contracts are becoming commonplace in the logistics industry. While potentially profitable, they can place added burdens and financial risk upon the recipient. Join us for an informative webinar that will be sure to strengthen your position and profitability. This informative webinar will: Identify key contract provisions that require legal and risk management input. Provide insight on how to minimize risk, cost, and complexity. Create a template to apply to future MSAs to streamline their onboarding. Assist in understanding the necessity for insurance policy approvals or special quotes. Join us on Wednesday, May 12th at 12pm CT for this free event. This Webinar has been approved by the NEI for 1 CCS/CES/MES credit.

ATA Carnets – A Revenue Boost for Logistics Professionals

How can ATA Carnets boost your revenue? As international travel opens back up across the world, it brings opportunities for business growth to the trade and logistics industry. When you add a complete ATA Carnet solution to your suite of services, you will help develop, grow, and retain clients. The ATA Carnet is a proven added value service that benefits many different types of clients. Prevent customs hassles, ease customs clearances, and save your clients money by providing ATA Carnet document preparation. You are providing an important service, and you can make additional income from the document preparation. That’s added revenue for you, and it helps to round out your offering and make you a one-stop shop for your customer. What is an ATA Carnet? It is a passport for cargo. It’s that simple. Just like a personal passport for an individual, the ATA Carnet  covers cargo. The items on an ATA Carnet can be shipped or hand-carried, and you as the logistics provider can offer your clients the ATA Carnet service whether they ship the goods or they hand carry them. This keeps you involved throughout the entire lifecycle of your customer’s international business. In some cases, you can even meet them at the airport to help them with the ATA Carnet clearance when they’re exiting or reentering the United States and have your agents overseas greet them at the airport of arrival. What does the ATA Carnet do? It allows temporary entry of items, duty-free and tax-free, whether shipped or hand-carried. Duty-free and  tax-free is very important to note, as every free trade agreement that the United States is currently signatory to  is only a duty-free agreement. None of them are tax-free. Most of our largest trading partners with whom we have these free trade agreements impose high import taxes. The ATA Carnet fixes this for your  clients, as goods entered for temporary import go in not only duty-free, but tax-free as well. Why is ATA Carnet good for your clients? Arrangements are made in advance in American English and US dollars Eliminates posting of a financial guarantee in the foreign country in the foreign currency. Eliminates having to post duties and taxes. If we look at three of our top trading partners for example their import tax alone can vary from 16% to 22% that is not…
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Colleen Clarke Elected to AAEI Board of Governors

Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc.  is proud to announce the election of Colleen Clarke, Vice President of Surety & Trade Relations, to the Board of Governors for the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI). Clarke serves as co-chair of the AAEI Customs Committee and continues her industry leadership by advising members on the facilitation of lawful trade. Members of the AAEI organization will benefit from Clarke’s expertise in customs and government trade topics as well as her past experience in assisting importers and customs brokers through surety bond issues of all kinds. This appointment further acknowledges Roanoke’s ongoing commitment to provide resources and actively participate in the industry.     “Working alongside Colleen for many years, I’ve seen how dedicated she is to helping clients,   sharing knowledge with colleagues and advocating for the industry. She truly “knows her stuff” and I’m confident she will be also be a great asset to the AAEI. Congratulations Colleen. We are proud to have you on our team.” – Karen Groff, President, Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. Clarke began her career in 1988 with Washington International Insurance Company. She handled a range of important responsibilities for the surety across the organization including the customs claims and underwriting units. Clarke has also served  with the following organizations: Customs Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (2009-2012). Member of the Trade Support Network Trade Leadership Executive Committee. Member of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation private sector working group. President of the International Trade Surety Association (2015-2020) In response to her election, Clarke says, “I am honored to be elected to the Board of Governors by the AAEI members.  I sincerely appreciate the trust instilled in me by the members.  I look forward to working with AAEI’s leadership and the Board of Governors to accomplish the goals of the association on behalf of its members.”

Are You CARM Ready?

What Is CARM? CARM is a multi-year initiative implemented by Canada Border Services Agency  (CBSA). CARM stands for CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management and is intended to modernize and streamline the process of imports into Canada. Under CARM, importers will need to secure and post their own import bond in order to participate in the Release Prior to Payment Privilege (RPP). This is a significant change that impacts importers and customs brokers. Prior to CARM, customs brokers were allowed to extend use of their own customs bond to any importer. CARM Customs Bond Requirement Details CARM Phase 0  went into effect in January of 2021. Release 1 is scheduled to launch Spring 2021 and Release 2 in the Spring of 2022. As of Release 2, an importer must post security using one of the following two options to be eligible for RPP: A surety bond for 50% of their highest monthly accounts receivable with a minimum bond of $25,000 – OR – a cash security for 100% of their highest monthly accounts receivable The RPP Bond will allow the importer to: Obtain the release of goods from the CBSA before paying duties and taxes Defer accounting for goods Defer payment of duties and taxes (including GST) What Can You Do To Be CARM Ready? Although CARM Release 2 is scheduled for Spring of 2022, customs brokers and their import clients should begin discussions now with their surety bond provider. We recommend that brokers take the following steps now to prepare: Confirm accurate information (importer address, business number)​ Review all importer clients to determine bond amount​ For bonds greater than $25,000 – underwriting may be required​ and should be sent to Roanoke or your surety partner for review​ Work out a schedule to ensure an orderly process to obtain bonds for your clients Visit CBSA’s website to learn more about CARM. CBSA provides information specific to importers, customs brokers, trade consultants, surety companies and other trade partners in an effort to assist all parties in preparing for Release 1 and 2. Roanoke and their surety partners are already working closely with CBSA on the business requirements they need to enhance their online customs bond issuance system FastBond™ for the upcoming bond changes. Once these negotiations are finalized, the digital platform will be updated to provide a convenient and fully compliant application for customs…
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Be CyberSmart: Don’t Let Your Business Be Held For Ransom

When ransomware strikes, business stops. You may be in the middle of writing an email or arranging a shipment or paying a bill when your familiar screen disappears and is replaced by an ultimatum: pay up or lose your data forever. A typical ransomware screen might inform you that your system’s data has been encrypted and to get the key to unlock it, you need to pay a ransom – usually in the form of bitcoin. Ransomware notices will also include a timeframe to pay, maybe in the form of a clock counting down to the second that your payment window closes, and your data is destroyed or distributed across the web. A unique and particularly malicious form of cyberattack, ransomware has become a widely distributed threat in the last several years, targeting businesses and organizations of all sizes in all industry sectors including the transportation and logistics industry. Ransomware attacks against third-party logistics providers can be particularly insidious as they not only compromise a the data of the customs broker, forwarder, or 3PL/4PL but also that of your clients and partners. What Is Ransomware? Ransomware is a money-making scheme utilizing malicious software, or malware, that encrypts a business’s computer data and makes it inaccessible to its rightful owner. Criminals demand a fee to be paid in order for the data to be unencrypted and available. Like other types of malware, ransomware is a computer program that may be installed through deceptive links in an email message, instant message program, via a removable drive or device or through unprotected widgets, plugins or other entry points in a website. This malicious software is like an infiltration unit that sneaks into your computer and sets up shop. Once it’s there, it runs like any other program installed in the system. Most recently, bad actors have upped their game utilizing a double-extortion ransomware tactic. They demand a ransom payment to decrypt the stolen data and another payment to keep that data private. If the ransom is not paid within a specified timeframe, the criminals threaten to publish the data for all to see or reveal it to a competitor or industry segment. The High Cost of Ransomware In addition to a shift in the disruptive tactics used by cyber criminals, a 2020 study performed by NetDiligence reveals that the average amount of ransom…
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Roanoke Opens Office in Toronto

Roanoke’s Expansion into Canada Explained On March 17, 2021, Roanoke announced a major milestone that positively impacts our customers, our business and our team. We issued a press release that proudly announced the opening of a new Canadian company headquartered in Toronto, ON. The new organization, Roanoke Insurance Group Canada, Inc., part of Munich Re Specialty Group, N.A., leads our expansion into Canada. RIG CA is a retail and wholesale broker representing several top-rated insurance and surety bond companies. The new organization is led by one of Roanoke’s own industry veterans, Glenn Patton. He will serve as Managing Director of the Canadian operation. “I am very excited for this new opportunity to expand Roanoke’s presence and serve the logistics industry in this growing market. I have had the privilege of working in the Canadian insurance marketplace for over 3 years, and I look forward to building strong relationships with our Canadian partners and clients”, states Glenn Patton. Although Roanoke has been working with Canadian partners for over 25 years, establishing a Canadian entity enables Roanoke to provide a stronger and more seamless service experience to clients with cross border operations. RIG CA is positioned to support the Canadian trade industry with unique and expertly crafted insurance and surety bond solutions designed to meet the needs of freight brokers, freight forwarders, customs brokers and others in the supply chain. RIG CA is an affiliate of Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. (RIG), a prominent specialty broker to the logistics and trade industry in the United States since 1935. Roanoke focuses on a  full scope of insurance, surety bond, ATA Carnet products and risk management services for companies involved in transportation, logistics or shipping whether your operations are digital or traditional. Contact us at 800.ROANOKE (762-6653) or infospot@roanokegroup.com to learn more about our Canadian and cross border products and services.