I hope this finds you well both professionally and personally.
There have been many changes in NAATA over the last several months which have substantially strengthened our organization and which makes it more important than ever for you to become a member. We like to call our organization now the, “New” NAATA. Let me detail for you what we have accomplished and the benefits of joining.
In the past our organization was comprised of a joint venture between a Canadian entity, NAATA and a United States entity, AASA. We eliminated that cumbersome approach and renamed the NAATA / AASA entity, the North American Automobile Trade Association. NAATA now operates as one, single entity that covers all of North America. In doing so we amended our By-Laws to provide for more input from our Membership. We have staggered the directorships so that our directors have terms ending on different dates to allow both continuity and new Members to join as directors. This provides insight to the organization as to past and existing issues and also allows for new ideas and new issues to be brought to the table for all.
We are working on a complete “re do” of our NAATA website and hope to have it launched shortly. We have also introduced a page whereby NAATA members can list their inventory for sale – our “ready inventory” page. In addition inquiries for purchases of vehicles that come in from overseas and from North America are sent to all members for response – not just a select few.
All of our Directors and Officers are actively engaged in the industry and have significant industry knowledge and know how so that we are always informed as to the trends and issues confronting our businesses. This is a change from the past. We created the role of Executive Director to assist in administrative issues. For this role we appointed Michael O’Rourke, Esq., and his administrator at the law firm of Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. (ST&R) Mike is a past President of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association and has intimate knowledge of the parallel market automobile trade industry. Mike and his firm were instrumental in 2014 and 2015 in negotiating with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to halt the seizure of vehicles leaving the United States and helped us form a relationship with CBP (which I will detail shortly) that allows for open access and communication to solve problems for our Members. ST&R have some of the preeminent lawyers handling trade and customs issues specifically as it relates to parallel market exports and imports. NAATA has already benefitted from ST&R’s expertise and counsel and will continue to rely on the firm in the future.
We have reduced the cost of Membership from $2500 per year to $1000 per year, thus making membership very economical and cost effective, particularly when compared to the value that we offer to our members. At this price point there is no reason not to join NAATA, participate and reap the benefits.
All of our Members are vetted for their honesty and integrity in their business practices. When you are dealing with a NAATA member, you are dealing with entities that adhere to the highest ethical and business practice standards in the industry.
Through our efforts we have established a communication protocol directly with CBP which allows our members to get a quick response from CBP whenever a problem arises. As President, I personally communicate with CBP officials both to solve problems for our Members and to gain important information about issues about which the government has identified or has shown concern. Information and insights gained from these exchanges are shared with our Members. Just last month one of our members had a container held for routine inspection. The ship date was approaching within days and had the container not made the ship date – the client in China was cancelling the deal. NAATA intervened and had the container released in a timely manner and the ship date was made. Think about the cost benefit: for its $1000 membership fee our member made a profit many times greater than $1000. He covered his fees for this year and for years to come. While we cannot always guarantee a perfect result, because CBP recognizes NAATA members as legitimate members of our trade , CBP responds to our inquiries. We are now working on a similar relationship with Canadian Customs and believe that we will be successful in achieving a similar result.
This year between October 26-28 our annual conference is being held in the beautiful city of Toronto. We have secured panel discussions with Canadian Customs officials and experts in tax refunds. We also will have other industry presentations. We are working to confirm attendance by CBP officials as well. The information that you will receive at this conference will be incredibly valuable. In addition, the conference will present networking opportunities for you with NAATA trusted traders and industry participants.
Another example of the New NAATA, is our recently rolled out an insurance program for NAATA members, one that reduces the cost of insurance and allows members to insure on a container by container basis rather than having to pay one lump sum, annual premium. We are working to create and implement additional benefits.
If you are trading in North America or you are a service provider servicing the industry in North America – NAATA membership is valuable to your business. I have attached a link to our membership application page and strongly urge you to join. I have also attached a link to our conference sign up page and again urge you to attend our Toronto conference in October.
I hope to meet you and speak with you shortly. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 917 747 7100. I am available to speak with you