01 Nov FDRA and ecVision Launches New Innovative Footwear App That Will Boost Footwear Company Bottom Lines
As the US Footwear Industry has innovated and designers have created new styles and products, customs classifications have become ever more difficult. The issue is extremely serious because mis-classifications can cost companies millions.
In the 1930s, the U.S. instituted a tariff code, which sought to classify and tax imported footwear based on components. Over time, as new components have been used to produce footwear and as the industry moved overseas, the tariff code has become increasingly more difficult to understand and costs have increased as the industry works to comply with federal customs classifications.
For years, FDRA has provided customs classification clarification to assist its members. To enhance and expand its ability to serve the industry, FDRA worked with ecVision®, a leader in supply chain collaboration solutions for retailers and brands, to create ecVision Classify®. Classify is an iOS mobile app, the only of its kind, which allows footwear customs professionals to electronically submit footwear images, and corresponding product attributes, to FDRA for evaluation and a professional opinion about which Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code the footwear sample would be classified under.
“We launched this groundbreaking and innovative application at FDRA’s Footwear Distribution Traffic and Customs (FTDC) conference in front of 150 of the top footwear customs professionals from all the major companies, and the demand for our Classify app was off the charts,” said FDRA President Matt Priest. “I know customs classification is not the most exciting issue, but every footwear CEO knows the importance customs duties have to costs, revenue and profits. Companies are eager to use our app because we are the only footwear association that provides in-depth customs classification and will provide guidance in less than 24 hours – all of which will boost footwear companies bottom lines by saving them time and greatly enhancing their decision making abilities.”
“When I was approached by FDRA to help with the HTS classification project, I was thrilled at the prospect of using ecVision’s technology in a new, collaborative manner,” said Gary Barraco, senior director of product marketing. “What we are now introducing to the member community is an interactive, user-friendly, always up-to-date, and easy to maintain system that will be a solution to many communication issues.”
This portal allows members/users to upload footwear sample images and product material attributes using a mobile (iOS) application specifically developed for FDRA. The information is then relayed to FDRA’s customs experts who log into ecVision Content Collaboration Portal® (CCP), view the information/images uploaded, and then provide the member/user with a suggested HTS classification code. System and external email alerts will trigger FDRA staff users to take action on any open requests, and notify user members of completed classification submissions. The application will maintain a database of product records that will serve as a historical reference companies can use as they develop new samples.
Access is available for $48/year for FDRA members and $100/year for non-FDRA members. For information about the mobile app, contact FDRA at firstname.lastname@example.org or ecVision at email@example.com.