Shelley McIlwain

Shelley McIlwain
Shelley is a Licensed Customs professional, with 10 years’ experience in import compliance complemented by a tax accounting background. Shelley’s experience includes both consulting and in-house compliance department management. Shelley specializes in the development of processes, procedures and tools to support import and export compliance, Special Trade Program verifications, C-TPAT validations, Focused Assessments, Binding Ruling requests, Post Entry audits and Information Systems development and integration. Shelley is a U.S. Licensed Customs House Broker and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon.

Recent Posts

Did You Know First Sale for Export Isn't Just for Apparel?

081716-first-sale-for-export.pngFirst Sale for Export is a duty mitigation program that is designed to reduce the dutiable value of eligible products imported into the United States. Usually, an importer would pay a higher duty amount based on the value of goods purchased from what is known as the ‘second sale’. This is the transaction between the importer and the middleman (vendor) which usually includes the middleman’s markup. Through the First Sale for Export program, importers are able to declare value on the goods purchased on the ‘first sale’, or the transaction between the middleman and the factory. In declaring First Sale valuation, an importer is able to cut out the middleman markup and to minimize the amount of duty paid when importing goods into the United States.

This duty savings program is especially popular among the textile and apparel industries where commodities have excessive middle man markups and duty rates as high as 32%. With a large potential to save on duty, it logically follows that this industry makes up the majority of the goods declared under the First Sale program.

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Topics: First Sale for Export

The Test We Love to Hate: The Customs Broker License Exam


Well, it’s that time again and even though it has been 15 years since I sat down to take “THE TEST,” it still gives me butterflies just thinking about it.

So, if you are taking the U.S. Customs Broker’s Exam on April 4th, whether it is for the first time or the fifth, I thought it would be nice to take a few minutes to remind ourselves why we take the test and what the best study tips are.

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Topics: Best Practices

Are You Ready For an Audit?

05At Tradewin, we often hear importers say, “I know we will be audited.  It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.  What can we do to be prepared?”

Our answer is always the same “conduct your compliance as if the when is now.”  A focus on the core areas of internal controls will assist you with audit preparedness:

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Topics: Audit