Kiel Ursin, with Boomerang Carnets.Current and potential exporters in southern Illinois are encouraged to attend a virtual roundtable discussion on “How to Expand your Global Footprint with Trade Shows and Carnets,” hosted by the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in partnership with the Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council.

Attendees will discuss export challenges and opportunities, share ideas with regional exporting peers, and develop solutions to navigate unchartered waters due to the pandemic in order to remain successful in the selling of goods and services to international markets.

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The event is free. It will take place from 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursday, May 20 via Zoom. Space is limited and registration is required by Tuesday, May 18 at

“Don’t miss this opportunity to connect without leaving your office,” said Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the ITC at SIUE. “Participants will have immediate access to export funding via the ISTEP program and the newest CARES Act supplemental funding.”

A Carnet or ATA Carnet is an international customs and temporary export-import document. It is used to clear customs in more than 80 countries and territories without paying duties and import taxes on merchandise that will be re-exported within 12 months, which benefits companies by reducing costs.

“Carnets are also known as Merchandise Passports of Passports for Goods,” explained Torres Bowman. “Virtually all goods, including commercial samples, professional equipment, and items for trade shows and exhibitions, such as display booths, are covered by ATA Carnets.”

Tom Dustman, international sales director of Sunnen Products.According to Torres Bowman, each year, approximately 190,000 ATA Carnets are issued worldwide covering goods valued at $26 billion. Additionally, ATA Carnets are widely welcomed by countries wishing to boost international cooperation and take full advantage of the global economy.”

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Kiel Ursin, with Boomerang Carnets, is the event’s featured speaker. Ursin has experience in carnet usage, carnet countries, and foreign and domestic customs services. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, manufacturers, film productions, symphony orchestras, individuals, and small, medium and large enterprises. He conducts trainings and coaches companies on how ATA Carnets can help grow their business. Ursin is an accomplished ATA Carnet presenter in the U.S. and U.K.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to maximize the benefits of attending trade shows
  • What benefits and advantages are offered by the use of an ATA Carnet
  • How to apply for an ATA Carnet and the time to allow from application to granting
  • Costs of attaining an ATA Carnet

The event’s moderator is Tom Dustman, international sales director of Sunnen Products. Dustman has more than 25 years of experience in international sales and serves on the National District Export Council for the Midwest region.

Dustman will also present an introduction on the benefits of trade shows. “Trade shows offer a single, short-term venue to network, market and keep tabs on competitors and innovation,” Dustman said. “One day spent at an exhibition provides access to more clients from more places than one could ever visit during a typical workday.”

To register, interested businesses located in the southern Illinois region should email to share contact information for each member participating, including name, company name, email address and phone number.

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE serves businesses in southern Illinois by providing individualized, no-cost export advising, identification of foreign buyers, agents and/or distributors through trade leads, international market analysis, and more. The ITC is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a service to the region’s entrepreneurial and business community.

As a key member of the Illinois SBDC Network, the ITC delivers these important services to its clients while supporting the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

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