PROGRAM GETS EXPANDED FUNDING!
By Wanda Keefer, Port Manager, Port of Clarkston
The Port of Clarkston, in Clarkston, Washington, will receive a $100,000 grant from the State of Washington to continue the successful Snake River Boat Builders Export Program. The Port was one of six statewide organizations to receive a total of nearly $3 million in grants, as part of the Washington Export Assistance Program, to help small and medium sized businesses in exporting.
The continuation of the Program highlights an unprecedented level of cooperation among economic development organizations. The Program was initiated and administered by the Clearwater Economic Development Administration (CEDA) in Lewiston, Idaho, funded by a USDA grant, beginning in the Spring of 2010. The Port of Clarkston’s grant will provide a continuation of the Program while transitioning administration responsibilities from CEDA to the Port, with CEDA still involved.
Clarkston, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho are located on opposite sides of the Snake River in what is known as the Lewis-Clark Valley. A total of 17 economic development organizations in both Washington and Idaho are supporting the Program, working together to position the area as the “Jet Boat Capital of the World”.
By Gary A. White, President, P’Chelle International
Training, Training, and More Training
The manufacturing participants in the Snake River Boat Builders Export Program are experts in manufacturing high quality, welded-aluminum jet boats and boat trailers. Even though some have experienced export success in selected markets, developing a professional export marketing program, especially focused on the European Union, requires in-depth training and the development of an “export team” of professionals. The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program is providing that training and developing that team.
Export Finance[caption id="attachment_291" align="alignright" width="86"] Tarnet[/caption]
It’s great to sell boats to foreign buyers. It’s better to sell boats to foreign buyers and get paid. The Export Finance Seminar in July was designed to provide the fundamentals of export finance success. Presenters were the best of the best. Lee Gibbs, Manager, Zions Bank, Moscow, ID provided an overview of how the local bank can facilitate the financial side of the export transaction. Pru Balatero, Regional Manager, SBA International Trade Programs, Seattle, WA drilled deeply into the SBA Export Working Capital and the Export Express Programs. Brett Tarnet, President, Tarnet Insurance Services, Newbury Park, CA detailed the various Export-Import Bank programs and the intricacies of Letters of Credit. Brett is currently in the process of pre-registering the program participants, so they are ready when EX-IM Bank help is needed.
Freight/Logistics[caption id="attachment_292" align="alignright" width="86"] Hizzey[/caption]
Now that the program participants understand how to get paid, the next step is understanding how to get that boat or boat trailer from Lewiston/Clarkston to Düsseldorf, London or Paris. That challenge was addressed in the Freight/Logistics Seminar presented by Ian Hizzey, Spokane Operations Manager, Expeditors International. Mr. Hizzey covered the whole gamut, including the information needed to get an Ocean Freight Quote, Incoterms, Approximate Ocean Container Specifications and Common Metric Conversion Factors. The author of this article snuck in a short presentation on European Trade Show Participation…the DOs and DON’Ts (i.e. DO qualify the prospect with powerful questions; DON’T sit, read, smoke, eat, chew gum or drink in the booth).
CE Mark Certification[caption id="attachment_293" align="alignleft" width="86"] Vollmer[/caption]
Now that the program participants understand export finance and freight/logistics, it was time to get into that all important, at least to sell into the European Union, CE Mark Certification.
We were very fortunate to secure the services of Michael L. Vollmer, P. Eng., Certification Expert, Recreational Craft Industry, Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Vollmer represents the International Marine Certification Institute, a Belgian based Notified Body accredited by BELAC, the Belgium national certification agency, the world’s leading organization in the certification of small vessels to the European requirement. Mr. Vollmer presented two days of intensive overview of CE Mark Certification requirements as they pertained to the participating boat builders, including personally examining several boats.[caption id="attachment_294" align="alignright" width="200"] THE CE MARK IS A MANDATORY CONFORMANCE MARK ON MANY PRODUCTS PLACED ON THE SINGLE MARKET IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA). THE CE MARK CERTIFIES THAT A PRODUCT HAS MET EU CONSUMER SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT REQUIREMENTS.[/caption]
All right, now that the program participants understand export finance, freight/logistics and the basic requirements of CE Mark Certification, it is time to apply that training to the purpose at hand: selling boats and boat trailers to the European Union. The next BIG STEP in accomplishing that goal is the European Boat Buyers In-Bound Trade Mission to Lewiston/Clarkston in late October. It should be – it willbe – very exciting. Stay tuned for an article on the In-Bound Trade Mission in the next Snake River Boat Builders Export Program E-Newsletter.