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FAQ

How long does it take to walk into a gun store and come out with a semi-automatic, if I have a clean record in America?
It depends on the state, and I’m not an expert - but I wanted to share my personal experience for a couple reasons.It may surprise some people - especially non-gun ownersI feel it illustrates that gun control and gun laws are two different things and before jumping to the conclusion that we need more (or fewer) laws pertaining to guns, everyone should take a few minutes to educate themselves and use common sense (gasp)This is my first time gun buying experience from about 4–5 years ago.I’d done quite a bit of research online, pretty much settled on what I wanted and decided it was time to walk into a gun store to look and make the final decision in person. After about 15 minutes I’d settled on a gen 4 Glock 19. The store was running a special on the gen 4s and I received a free box of ammunition, as well as an extra magazine. Awesome.Next up it was time to go through the background check and pay. I had to wait, because there was an older guy and his son in front of me. He was purchasing the gun for his son (because he wasn’t 21) - apparently his son was joining a junior police academy and needed a handgun. Well, his background check came back - he had some kind of domestic abuse charge - no gun for you, no gun for your son. The owner of the gun shop chastised him for even wasting her time since he clearly knew that was on his record.My turn. They ran my details, everything came back clean and it was time to pay. Something people may not realize is that guns aren’t cheap. Mine was close to $500. That’s a decent chunk of change and puts them out of many people’s reach economically. Of course, I’d imagine criminals acquire weapons for much less - but then again they don’t go through the proper channels.Great, background check cleared, I’ve paid and ready to go. The guy behind the counter bags things up and hands it to me - then the owner starts berating him. Apparently by putting the newly purchased gun (still in the case) and the box of ammunition, into the same bag they were setting me up to get a felony when I walked out of the store. They also gave me specific instructions about putting the gun and/or ammo in the trunk of my car - NOT the passenger compartment. Again, throwing the now two separate shopping bags into my back seat would have potentially been criminal (felony).This is where things get crazy. In Ohio, you can load up a gun - put it in a holster (on the outside of your clothes) and walk around in most public places. But, as soon as you cover up the gun - or get into a car with it - you’re breaking the law (felony) unless you’ve gotten a special license/permit. This requires more background checks, fingerprinting, attending a class, paying more money, etc.Now, let’s say you’re all about following the letter of the law and you go through all of these steps so that you can carry your gun in your car. Things don’t get easier - because each state can be different. Despite having a permit, passing the background checks, etc - if you happen to drive into Chicago you could be in a lot of trouble. Apparently, you can drive right through with no problems, but if you step foot outside of your car (even to get gas, even if you leave the gun in the car) you’re now in a world of trouble (felony). It makes you wonder why Chicago has so much gun violence when the gun laws there are so strict.The laws are very strict for gun owners, they can be very confusing, and it seems, by definition, only followed by law abiding citizens.
What is the most effective way to generate real estate SELLER leads?
My grandmother is the most selling-ist realtor in Wayne County, Michigan.My uncle started his own real estate company that routinely sells million dollar homes.He then went on to found a revolutionary company with Stefan Swanepoel.He then went on to found another revolutionary company that produces leads for realtors which is completely disrupting the industry.My first “joby-job” was working at his real estate company. He taught me some lessons I still use.He, and the realtors I ended up executive assisting always did three things that developed sellers:They got to know nearly everyone they could in the community - People were their greatest resource. They became members of as many communities as possible and tried to constantly add value. Whether it was churches, country clubs, school groups, networking groups or gyms, there were so many opportunities for connecting with communities. They tried to add value in any way they could, not just by being “the realtor.”Software to use: Contactually. It allows you to take lots of contacts and sort them into “buckets” that you can contact regularly. Set this up for different communities including your own neighborhood.They collected leads from online services - Whether it was Zillow or nearly anything else, sellers, or people thinking about selling, leave an online trail. A service that collects these leads, or better yet a website that you, yourself owns.Software to use: Leadpages. Set up a leadpage for “selling a home in X” where “X” is your local community. Now pay for SEO and Adwords. Have one page that collects information in exchange for something small and valuable for a potential seller like “Top 5 things to think about before listing your home.”Set up a lead engine - This is what I was great at. It’s how I helped my uncles company, other realtors, and even other real estate offices and realtors across the country. SET UP A TEAM that calls FSBOs and houses that just came off the market. It’s simple, it’s painful, but if you can hang out in the cut and have a small team that does this even decently well, you’ll be having listings coming out your ears.Software to use: Mojosells.com. Get a team together with a team and use this power dialier. Have a simple script and try to sell people on how you’re different. Have a good, clean, simple sales script and something else to follow up it up with.Do these things and you’ll have more sellers than you can handle, for real.Like my thoughts on Sales Development? Subscribe to my YouTube channel Sell Like A Comedian
What are the best ways to encourage my sales team to keep their CRM data clean?
I’d say that the first thing you need to do to is make sure that your team knows the cost that they as individuals and you as a company feel when data is input without care. If they don’t understand the real problem with bad data, they might not be invested in being part of the solution.This also means that you have to really understand what the cause of your ‘dirty data‡ is. You have to undergo a thorough evaluation of where the problem is coming from and what steps you need to take to clean your data. Once you have a plan in place, you can generate buy-in by making clear your reps‡ responsibility to keep their data clean, incentivizing clean data with rewards, or disincentivizing dirty data with punishment (Carrot or stick is your call?).Once you’ve identified the problem, got buy-in from your team, and are ready to implement a solution, here’s some advice you can follow.There is more detail in this article ‡ Dirty Data in your CRM? What's the real cost?, but this will give the highlights of how to have your team keep your data clean.One thing to note is that fraudulent data can be caused by humans and/or bots, so different causes will mean different solutions. If your team is creating fraudulent data to meet metrics, you have a bigger problem on your hands.Either way, as you work to detect fraud and dirty data, bots will get more intelligent and beat your systems until you outsmart them again, and the cycle continues. The human error that causes accidental dirty data will always be an issue, but there are several ways to drastically reduce the impact of dirty data on your business.1. Start With The Data You HaveUndergo an extensive scrub of your data. This will require an investment in time, headcount, and software, but getting your existing data as accurate as possible will help establish a quality baseline for the data that continues to stream in. Making clear the responsibility of your teams to keep the data clean from this point forward is key to long-term success.2. Implement A Data Quality ProgramIdentify the roles or programs you need to have in place in order to better find and filter fraudulent data, consistently scrub existing data, and house data safely. This part will likely require some help from your IT department, or from an outside consultant. Individuals on your team with these responsibilities have to understand their importance and be held accountable for egregiously bad data.3. Consider UX FixesRun through your customer-facing offers and forms to identify potential problem areas for accidental dirty data. Partner with UX experts to find ways to improve the customer experience and make it more difficult for users to commit errors.4. Make Data A PriorityUnless our titles have the term in them, most of us don’t think of our roles as data-oriented. But the truth is that anyone who works in sales is in a data-facing role. Get your whole team on board with the importance of making accurate data a fiscal and scheduling priority.Hope those thoughts give you some insight on how to get your team to recognize the importance of keeping data clean? Thanks to Karri Bishop for the original insights?
Shipping: I want to import five large containers of shoes from Italy to the US. What are my options to find out the cheapest prices for the quality I want?
You need a freight forwarder. When you say containers do you mean actual shipping containers or cartons/boxes of shoes.  I have sent 1000's of shoes from Italy to the USA.  Problem with shoes is that they take up a lot of volume and freight costs are all based on volume calculations. You will also need a customs broker. Many times the freight forwarders have their own customs broker in house which you can use to clear your goods through US Customs.  By the way, US Customs is now Dept. of Homeland Security and Border Protection. You will need to pay the customs bill directly to the broker and they will pay US Customs on your behalf.  There is no wiggle room here. You must pay on the exact date US Customs wants the money or there are HUGE penalties.  You will also need to post a bond. You cannot import without this. The Customs broker will give you all the details.  They will also need a power-of-attorney to make decisions on your behalf involving customs. You must know the composition of the materials in the shoes and how the shoes are put together. Are they made from leather, canvas, rubber, cement etc. If you import any exotic material such as snakeskin, crocodile, stingray, lizard, your shipment will be held pending inspection by Dept of Fish and Wildlife. You need a yearly permit to import those items into the USA. Get it before you import anything if you plan on using these materials at any time. After Fish and Wildlife clear your shipment then Dept. of Homeland Security and Border Protection need to clear it as usual.  Allow for delays here. If this is a one time import for your company you can pay to post a bond for a one time import.  If you will regularly do this, it pays to set up an account with US Customs (pay fees) as to not have to post a bond each time.To name a few forwarders that specialize only in shipping clothing type goods from Italy :  Savino Del Bene, Franco Vago, Port Brokers (that's their name) and JAS.  Don't forget the biggies: DHL, UPS and Fedex.  Do not count the biggies out. They are competitive and offer a great service because every step can be tracked online. They all have their own fleets of planes unlike freight forwarders who are using commercial carriers such as Delta, KLM, Alitalia, Lufthansa etc. I always had good luck with JAS and DHL depending on the size of the shipment. Freight forwarders are usually cheaper than the big carriers. That does not mean better service. Not all forwarders can send goods from all ports. They may need to truck your goods over land to get to a port. Guess who pays for over land trucking?  You? Unless you cut a deal to have it all in the price you agree upon.When the goods clear customs you will have to arrange for shipment from the freight forwarder to your final destination in the USA. Do not assume the goods will be delivered to your door for the price you were quoted.  Some forwarders have their own truckers and charge for the delivery on top of the import. Others may just ship the goods to you UPS once they are cleared.  Most forwarders are on the coasts or in main points of entry in the USA. Since I am in NYC, there are many main points of entry. NY ports for freight by sea. JFK and Newark Liberty airports for shipments by air.  I always shipped by air. By sea, even though cheaper, takes too long. Fhas a special phone toll free number for cheap forwarding by air. They give you an immediate quote. Why is it cheap or cheaper? Reason is they need to fill up their planes. If you call in with 3 large cartons they might just have that exact space on a flight leaving Italy and will give you next day or 2-day air for a very low price because they want your freight US bound to fill up the last available space.Here is my contact info if you have any more detailed questions. I imported all types of goods from Italy over the last 30 years, mainly luxury menswear, including shoes. The forwarders I named all have offices in major US and European cities, especially Italy. Good luck. Philip Pravda Founder, http://www.suitcafe.com.
What does "closing the feedback loop" mean with regards to product management?
Great question? Baptiste Debever and I answered this in our recent episode of The Marketing Automation Discussion. Watch the episode to learn how we close the feedback loop:Listen to the episode on anchor Today is all about automating your feedback loops to increase customer satisfaction, improve the speed/efficiency of bug fixes, and reduce churn.My guest today is Baptiste, the founder of Feedier - Next generation feedback.Baptiste, why don’t you tell us what Feedier is exactly?Yes of course. And thank you for setting this up Alex. I think everyone will find a lot of value in what we’re about to show them.Feedier is a feedback application focusing on gamification of the user experience in order to gain more actionable feedback results.It’s great to have you and I am really enjoying my initial experience with Feedier. It’s a gorgeous product.The situationLet’s start today’s discussion by presenting a few situations most of you should be familiar with. Let’s say you are trying to solve for any of the following:Improving user experience by testing new site design, onboarding funnels, web app dashboards…Gaining feedback on a specific piece of content you are sending traffic to - this could be a new ebook, video, white paper your team put a ton of time into so the feedback is important.Reducing churn in your product, or increasing conversions from free to paid accounts.Finding and fixing issues as soon as they happen.In each of these situations, on-page analytics for time on page, heat maps, and fall-off percentages at each stage in your funnel, although important, do not prthe full picture from the customers‡ perspective.The automation we are about to discuss will.Now Baptiste, tell our listeners how to set up this automation:Here’s how to set it upYes Alex, and like you said, we need to get the customers‡ feedback in order to really tackle UX, churn and issues in the funnel. So, in this automation, our product Feedier is used on top of Slack in conjunction with zapier and possibly Asana to solve for the needs you mentioned earlier.Here is how to set it up:Step 1 - Setup the widget.Read the in-depth article here https://help.feedier.com/getting...Add .js snippet setup the survey customize widget.Step 2 - Connect zapier and install native Slack app:Link: https://help.feedier.com/api-and...https://slack.com/apps/A8P7FH6LR-feedieIntercom is coming soon. Tag them based on satisfaction.Step 3: Setup your first surveyWatch the demo videoUse case - testing out a new checkout funnelAlright, so now that we’re set up, let’s discuss a quick scenario we recommend using this automation in -I have designed and deployed a new pricing page or a new checkout funnel for an ecommerce site. I can see conversion drop off at each step in the funnel via my site analytics (GA or otherwise). But, why are users more or less interested in this new pricing/checkout funnel? Well, you can find out by running a survey.Then, the next step is to automated the actions for your team post-survey to ensure you are making the most out of this new data.Baptiste, please tell us what we are going to set up:What you’re going to setup are two surveys for this funnel:Survey #1 is deployed if/when they spent too much time on the page (say checkout page). This requires a bit of .js, here is the documentation:The reason we deploy this survey, after say 15 seconds on any particular page without typing going on, is because we are fairly sure they are having issues or doubts around the http://product.To create the 15 second delay, you will need to add some javascript - simply follow the show or hide instructions in the docs: https://help.feedier.com/getting...Survey #2 is deployed post-checkout and includes an offer. We include an offer because this survey is not meant to help them (like the former), but it’s meant to help us with product changes and improvements. So, we offer them an extra month of service, a discount code for their next purchase, a small amount of money back on the current purchase‡ No javascript necessaryOk, now let’s explain what happens when either survey is filled out:When they fill out survey #1‡ since this is deployed during the funnel, AFTER 15 seconds of non-activity on any page, we assume they are experiencing issues. So, Baptiste, what do we do with the results from survey #1 in this example: At the end of the survey, we publish a phone number to call customer success department. A notification pushes to Slack as soon as anyone fills out this survey. That notification includes a link to the survey results. Everyone involved in CS is on this channel and receives an alert. Tags are added to their profile in CRM for “Negative Survey” or “Positive Survey” based on the qualitative questions in the survey. Text analysis feature coming soon…IF positive: tag added into the CRM (“Positive Survey”), then they are pushed to a thank you page where there would be an option to add their experience to your review platform (i.e. Trust Pilot, App Store, Capterra…), and a social share option.IF negative: tag added to the CRM (“negative review”) + CS team is notified via Slack and email followed-up by an email to the customer asking for their phone number → then call from CS when they reply to gain a better understanding of what happened.Time of survey + browser info + location are pushed (via zapier) to an Asana list so the engineering team can investigate.When a conversation happens, CS updates their profile and adds a task to the correct list in Asana.Ok great, so we have actions on survey #1. What if they skip survey #1 (do not experience any issues in the funnel), but they do fill out survey #2…Remember, since this survey happens only AFTER they have completed the checkout, we do NOT assume their experience was good or bad. Also, we need to incentivize them to leave a survey since they have no other reason to hang around. How is survey #2 setup Baptiste:They are introduced to the survey via an introduction page with the offer of a free ___ (discount code, rebate, free month…), and any additional information (how long it takes, why they are collecting feedback, etc.)A notification pushes to Slack as soon as anyone fills out this survey. That notification includes a link to the survey results. Everyone involved in CS is on this channel and receives an alert.IF positive: Tag added into the CRM (“Positive Survey”), then they are pushed to a thank you page where there would be an option to add their experience to your review platform (i.e. Trust Pilot, App Store, Capterra…), and a social share option.IF negative: tag added to the CRM (“negative review”) + CS team is notified via Slack and email followed-up by an email to the customer asking for their phone number → then call from CS when they reply to gain a better understanding of what happened.Time of survey + browser info + location are pushed (via zapier) to an Asana list so the engineering team can investigate.When a conversation happens, CS updates their profile and adds a task to the correct list in Asana.The anti-churn sequence starts from your CRM - now that they have the tag, you can add them to an automation in your CRM which helps them get better at using the software as well as forms a tighter bond between them and their CS rep.Alex’s note: Check out CRM’s with built-in automations and the ability to programatically add tags from third-party tools. Some of my favorites are Agile CRM, Active Campaign, Sales Seek…Zapier - Feedier Video Tutorial #6 - Integrations using ZapierThe results from the feedback loop aboveAfter running this, you can expect to gain,A very clear and organized system to increase response rates on poor satisfaction to reduce poor reviews or churn in the checkout funnel.An automated way to send highly-satisfied individuals to your Trust Pilot, iTunes profile, Capterra review page‡ in order to receive a positive rating and more social proof for your brand.More customer trust, less churn etc…If you would like this feedback loop, head to Feedier - Next generation feedback or contact the team at Marketing and Sales Automation - Automated.AF - Automated.af to set this up for you.Baptiste, thank you for being a part of this and sharing this valuable automation.Tell everyone how to get in touch with you:LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/bdeb...Email: contact@feedier.com and we have a very active Intercom Widget on Feedier - Next generation feedback SUBMIT YOUR AUTOMATION OR EPISODE
What are the biggest lessons you have learned in the corporate world?
If you’re going out of your way to do something, let your manager know it. CC him/her.This one is from some source I am not able to recollect: “ A management career has more snakes than ladders”.Don’t be happy when you get a work laptop. You know what it is for.The person who says he knows everything and is in charge of everyone repeatedly has no idea of what his work is about.Your manager hates you less than you think he hates you.Your manager likes you less than you think he likes you.The boss who says you can walk into his cabin if you have any trouble hardly means it. These stuff are only for the inductions. Intercom him before barging in.Nothing fruitful has ever been achieved of the “meetings” of the team.Never depend on your company to make you grow. Your company doesn’t owe you anything apart from the CTC. Do stuff outside your office which improves your visibility.A salary is not an entitlement, but a reflection of contribution. It’s a business deal. Neither of you are doing each other any favour.Don’t bank on your past glories to think you deserve good work. Try to make a difference everyday to get great work.If you aren’t efficient, your manager will micromanage you. That’s your fault. Not his.If you think there is something wrong with the processes at work always make sure you put forward your views. Standing up for what you feel is right requires guts. Good managers understand it and address it. Bad managers rebuke it. At least you’ll know when to quit?Next time your manager talks to you about “Internal deadlines” don’t laugh out loud.If you want to get the best out of your subordinates, teach them something first. It is always a give and take. Conversely ask yourself every time “What’s in it for me?”The office goodies like ID cards, tees and key-chains are not to flaunt but to own you totally. Imagine a dog with a leash. Strangely, ID cards give me a similar feeling. Not that I’m disloyal to my company. But I’m against the concept of ID cards.Respect your company’s corporate culture. If you’re not aligned to it, quit the office.Calculate the real time put in for office. This includes commute time, time playing table tennis with the colleagues and the weekend outings with colleagues. When on an outstation, the weekend off in a new unknown city still qualifies as office time. Team lunch, team off-shores, team outings, team crap, everything counts as work time. You’ll be surprised that this “real time” would be way more than what you thought it would be before accepting the work offer.Blaming time for every failure is ignorance.Go to your managers with problems and solutions not just problems.Remember that the company is one step ahead at all times . Take the example of salary hikes. Beyond a particular point salary hikes don’t happen every year unlike rental escalations. They probably increase it say by 75% every 3 years. So assume the salary you’re getting in Y5 is 100. You will get 175 in Y8. The increase is for the “performance already put in”. If you quit the office in Y7, you’ll be at a loss. On the other hand, if you had quit office in Y9, you’re still at a loss because you’re not in a position to reap the benefits of your efforts as you’ll be quitting at an enhanced salary. Had the salary hike been linear and yearly this “centripetal force of salary hike” binding you to your office will be less. At the max. your loss would be 25%. Not 75%. Most shrewd and clever companies do this to retain employees for an extended period.If you’re ordered to do something which is possibly illegal always get the order in writing.Don’t get worked up about performance reviews.
How do you find out who a phone or cell phone number belongs to?
You got a phone call from someone ‡ but you don't recognize the number? Spokeo's phone number lookup service can help find out whose phone number it is.Just enter the phone number to search Spokeo's enormous telephone directory. Successful searches show the owner's name, location, time zone, email address and other public profile datainformation.Unlike traditional white pages, where you look up someone by their name to get their phone number, this works the other way around. When using a reverse phone number lookup tool, you give a tel. number and find out who calls from that number. It's something like a universal Caller-ID lookup.Spokeo is an easy to use tool for making a reverse phone lookup when you find a lost cell phone. It also allows you to spot telemarketers.
How do I fill out a required section for a phone number if I don’t have a phone yet?
Grab a Google Voice number. It is free and gives you a phone number where people can leave voicemail.When you have a phone, you can forward that number to your phone.