Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.

Lubrication of Domestic Clocks

Domestic clocks are one of the most ignored watches in the entire household. We make sure that our wrist watches are well maintained with good servicing, battery changes and of course lots of lubricating. But domestic watches are practically ignored till the battery runs down. Even then, we just replace the battery without getting any servicing or lubricating done on it. That means that the watch continues to run without any care or oiling till they finally expire and die! But just like wristwatches, domestic watches need to be maintained well too with regular cleaning and lubrication and care. Clocks are larger than wristwatches so a little too much lubrication is OK here.

But still there are rules to be followed in lubrication and care of clocks like-

* Try to use just a single drop of oil in the watch works to make the watch remain on time. These are bigger watches so they don’t really require you to be precise but it’s a good idea if you are. Carriage clocks require a smaller amount while long clocks and grandfather clocks require much more.

* Try not to scrape the oil pots while oiling watches as it scrapes up unnecessary settled grit into the workings of the clock. This is especially true of incalite pots. Use only fresh oil and discard any which has more than five years on the packing date on the seal; protect the oil you are using by storing it at room temperature and away from direct light. An ideal temperature would be about 15 to 20 C or as stated by the manufacturer of the clock. There are several points on a domestic clock where you can oil them and the oil will them spread to all over the clock workings. Good places to apply lubrication are at oils sinks or pivot holes, escapement pallet faces, weight pulley bearings and points of contact between different parts of the mechanism.

* Make sure you do clean the mainspring and refit the watch springs after you have oiled the domestic wall clocks. You can also apply heavy grade mineral oil around the edges of the barrel cap. Capillary action will make sure that the oil spreads all over the mechanism.

* Do not lubricate or oil pinion leaves and gear teeth, as they will slip while revolving. Another place to be careful of is the ratchet and the great wheel arbor in the main clock facings.

* The frequency of oiling depends on how frequently you use the clock and the location it is based in. Synthetic oils are very stable and do not deteriorate but non-synthetic oils do. The residue leaves a gummy deposit in the watch that can destroy a good watch.

* Contamination with dust will however really cause a tremendous amount of wear on the clock and that can damage the mechanism. Reapplication of oils is fine after the old one has been wiped off.

But do make sure that you do service the watch at least every two years to maintain optimum working conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trade Show Fabric Graphics

If you have attended a trade show, convention, or event in the past four years, you have seen large, colorful fabric graphics. Fabric graphics have become the standard for most large format images. They are lightweight, vibrant, and durable, and are the perfect medium for trade shows, where every exhibitor wants minimal weight but still wants to make a big splash.

The options can be a bit overwhelming and getting more varied all the time. But for most of us, fabric graphics can be lumped into two categories: tension fabric or pillowcase graphics. The following is a convenient FAQ to get you quickly up to speed.

What is a tension fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to a frame so the fabric is taut edge-to-edge, creating "tension." Typically, the graphic has Velcro hook sewn along the border, usually top and bottom, and attaches to Velcro loop on the frame.

What is a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Think of a printed pillowcase with zippers. A pillowcase graphic wraps around a frame structure and the inner and outer sections zip together along the least obvious edge. This creates a tailor fit. Almost all hanging sign structures are wrapped in pillowcase fabric graphics.

How does a tension fabric graphic differ from a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to the frame, leaving the frame exposed. The fabric is held taut by attaching it to the frame using Velcro. Pillowcase graphics slip over the frame and hide the frame structure. The fabric is secured by a zipper (s).

What are the benefits of fabric graphics vs. traditional first surface graphics?

  • Flexibility . An array of fabric options and finishing exists. Fabric graphics can be adapted to just about any hardware
  • Storage and Shipping . Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. Fold your graphics neatly when in storage and take up much less space.
  • Care . Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are just as durable and long lasting as traditional graphics.
  • Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
  • Cost . More image bang for the buck!
  • Green . There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
  • No Glare . Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any background that is photographed or filmed.
  • Versatility . Fabric can be applied to most display and hardware options and is perfect for skinning or covering displays or objects. Custom covers can be created to drape over objects, wrap, or completely pillowcase them!

Do fabric graphics offer the same color saturation, vibrancy, definition, and overall image quality as other graphics?

Fabric not only matches other graphic options, it often excludes it. Dye sublimation equipment is more advanced than ever offering near continuous tone (limited by the texture of the material you choose) and exceptional detail created from high dpi outputs and sophisticated image patterns. Color is permanently dyed into the fabric creating a deep saturated image.

How do tension fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Tension graphics will typically have Velcro sewn into the perimeter, although there are other options such as a pole pocket connection with a spline or a silicon edge. The finish used is dependent on the frame system requirements and or customer preference.

How do pillowcase fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Pillowcase graphics are sewn a seam along the bottom edge of the frame to attach the inner and outer sides of the pillowcase. The top has zippers to secure the two sides with slots made to accommodate eye-bolt or hanging hardware. Depending on the size and shape of the frame, vertical zippers may also be necessary. The seams are sewn to the inside of the pillowcase to create a smooth, fitted finish.

What is the maximum size of a seamless tension graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

The maximum size depends on the fabric and printing process. In general, the maximum width varies from 118 "to 58" depending on the process.

What is the maximum size of a seamless pillowcase graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

All pillowcase graphics have seams, usually just at the top and bottom of the structure. However, some frames are too large to cover without a seam. Frames such as a tapered circle need to be pieced because the shape of the print is an arc, making it too large to print in one piece.

How should tension fabric graphics and pillowcase graphics be cared for?

It is recommended that graphics be zipped up, folded, and stored in a bag. You may spot clean by wiping with a damp cloth. If it is necessary to wash the graphic and it is small enough, use a commercial size front-loading washing machine. Wash on the gentle cycle, with cool water. It is VERY important that the graphic be ZIPPED during washing. Dry cleaning is not recommended.

To limit getting the graphic dirty during installation, keep the set-up area clean by using a drop cloth and wash your hands prior to set up. You may want to consider purchasing inexpensive white cotton gloves. Weaving the gloves while handling the graphic will minimize the transfer of dirt and oils to your graphic.

What is the preferred file set up for tension graphics and pillowcase graphics?

Files should be set up with at least 1 inch of bleed on all sides and marked with guides or crop marks to indicate art area versus bleed. The best file formats are Photoshop layered files, InDesign, Illustrator, or Quark documents. Files need to be set up as close to 100 percent as possible with a minimum resolution of 100 dots per inch.

Other things to consider are the live area, the diameter of the frames poles, and borders. If your critical art is too close to the edge of the frame, it may disappear as the graphic bends around the frame. Try to keep critical information 3 to 5 inches from the edge and either make borders wider or do not use borders.

Homeschooling Young Children? Here Are 5 Key Benefits to Adding a Good Art Program

Homeschooling your children? I assume this means you want the best for your kids. An opportunity to give your children a rich multi sensory, personalized type of education ……… Is art included in your curriculum?

If you want the best type of education for your children then ART must be included in your day to day curricular activities

When I say good art I am not talking about the standard traditional arts and crafts that is done in so many preschool and kindergarten classes all over the world. That may be something you do with your kids on a spur of the moment thought when a Holiday is coming up, or you need to make something for Grandma.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

Nope, you left that. You left that along with the traditional world of education because you wanted something better for your kids, something that they cant get in most traditional classes with upwards of 20 kids …..

You probably spend quite a bit of time looking for curriculum on line for your homeschooling curriculum and that's great because you get to choose what and how your kids will be learning.

You do not even realize how necessary and valuable it is for your kids to make sure that there is a solid art program being integrated with the rest of your homeschooling curriculum.

Many parents have some kind of vague ideas about why we give our kids art and some of its benefits.

Oftentimes traditional preschool teachers have just as vague ideas and below are some of the reasons I've heard from some traditional educators, preschool teachers as to why they give their students arts and crafts

  1. They need the children to remember their lessons and figure that an art project will help them do that
  2. They want them to learn to follow directions so they give them step by step directions on how to follow cookie cutter art projects
  3. They need to fill up time in the day, so what better way than an art project
  4. They claim that this is what the Mothers want

So tell me Moms, you are some of the mothers they are talking about (well maybe you're not actually really not since your kids are being schooled) but is this really what you want?

Do you want your kids to follow cookie cutter instructions that turn them into little robots for them to make projects that look exactly like everyone elses?

No! I did not think so.

But I do think that you may not know any alternatives and in working so hard trying to put together some good homeschooling curriculum for your children sometimes art gets lost in the shuffle and that's too bad.

That's too bad because art gives adds such depth to any curriculum that it would be a crying shame when you have the opportunity at home to give such great activities to have your children lose out on these experiences.

Art is not only fun, it's lifesaving and life building and I would like to share with you 5 reasons for you to include really good art into your homeschooling curriculum

  1. Art helps build physical coordination. Art is good for both gross motor coordination and fine motor coordination. Gross motor coordination, the development of large muscle is not only helped by things like ball playing and beam balancing but young children also use their arms during art with wide sweeping movements ans they paint and draw that help build those large muscle. Of course fine motor coordination is better understood as benefit ted from art .. Cutting, gluing, painting, drawing. Your child's small fingers are developing each time they use these art tools
  2. Emotional development – There is no question that art can help a child through many difficult emotional experiences. If a child is jealous of a new baby sibling, she or he can pound on some clay and color furiously instead of pounding on the baby herself. Children also end to use art to work through issues that bother them such as a death in the family, a fire or other disturbing event. (I once taught little girl who had a fire in her home and for weeks that's all she talked and drew and painted about until she calmed down.)
  3. Intellectual development (often known as cognitive development). Children learn to make sense of their world as they use art to count, classify, sort, make their own decisions and learn to follow directions without doing cookie cutter art.
  4. Creativity … Of course children's creativity takes a flying leap if they are allowed to do art that allows them to create at their own level, which allows them to be creative in more ways than one
  5. Integrating curriculum And last but not least art in a home school curriculum can help integrate the curriculum and help them learn. Children learn best through their senses and the more art is integrated with the homeschooling curriculum the more their learning will stay with them.