On Feb. 8 UPS announced two new Web-based trade management tools that help businesses better manage their customs clearance process for package shipments.

UPS TradeAbility’ helps international shippers quickly and easily identify specific country tariff codes to calculate duties necessary for customs clearance; generate cost estimates for duties, taxes and transportation, and locate compliance information for 34 countries.

And Quantum ViewSM Manage, UPS’s popular package visibility service, has been enhanced to help US importers clear shipments into the country, audit cleared shipments for correct classification and electronically archive shipment data.

“With the rapidly changing regulatory environment, managing cross-border shipping is complicated,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing. “UPS TradeAbility and Quantum View Manage for importers both simplify the process to improve regulatory compliance and transform international trade from a daunting challenge into a competitive advantage.”

UPS TradeAbility is available on UPS.com or can be integrated into a customer’s business applications or Web site using Web Services, a technology that allows developers to more easily link computers, software and networks through standard interfaces. UPS TradeAbility is the first UPS service to be made available via Web Services technology.

Key TradeAbility features:

Landed Cost provides a door-to-door cost estimate of international shipping including duties, fees, taxes and transportation costs based on the origin, destination and products in a shipment. Accurately estimating landed costs helps exporters provide shipping rates with all duties and taxes included at the time of order, speeding cash flow and reducing the number of refused shipments and returned products.

Harmonizer quickly and accurately identifies harmonized tariff codes, which are used to describe goods for duty calculation, tariff assessments and documentation filings. It replaces a process that often is done manually, requiring employees to search many volumes of product codes.

Additional UPS TradeAbility compliance services indicate restricted trading parties and identify license needs. Transactions are available to view online for up to 90 days and customers can download a single transaction or their entire history for their permanent records.

Quantum View Manage provides visibility of inbound package shipments, allowing importers to easily see when a package is processed, in transit or when it arrives - or to receive an alert if it’s delayed. For delayed shipments, a simple mouse click provides a recommended course of action, or creates an e-mail to UPS customs brokerage operations that is automatically populated with information about the shipment.

The service moves the process of auditing and archiving shipments online, eliminating the need for file cabinets full of physical documents. Users have one-click access to all associated clearance documents, including images of invoices. Brokerage data is archived online for 45 days; images are stored online for up to 12 months, and customers can easily request a CD ROM of past shipments, all very important when you consider the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency routinely pursues multi-million dollar penalties against companies that fail to keep import records as required by U.S. law.

Quantum View Manage pilot customer America II Electronics uses the tool for timely and accurate entry submissions to US Customs. Frank Oliveria, import coordinator says, “With the new imports enhancement to Quantum View Manage we can review import documentation and amend information via e-mail immediately, preventing the need to submit amendments to US Customs for imports. This resource helps our company demonstrate to US Customs we are proactive and compliant with the changing customs regulations.”

Additionally, the flagship product, Quantum View Manage, has expanded to 22 countries after debuting in the US last year.