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Food Export Blog

Branded Program Documentation Series: Proof of Activity

Sep 09, 2020

by Haley Dack, Branded Program Coordinator, Food Export - Northeast

This is the third blog in a 4-part series where we will explore the types of documentation needed to approve reimbursement claims for the Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast Branded Program. You’ll find information on our requirements, tips, common mistakes and resolutions, and more. Other topics in this series will include: Proof of Payment, Invoices, and U.S. Origin Statement.


Every expense submitted for reimbursement under the Branded Program must have proof of activity.

This important piece of documentation demonstrates you have completed the activity you are claiming reimbursement for and that your participation meets our requirements.

What needs to be submitted for proof of activity depends on the type of activity

For most expenses covered under the program, we are looking for the proof of activity to have the USA Origin Statement. Expenses that do not meet this requirement cannot be reimbursed so it is important when documenting the event to ensure your proof of activity visibly shows the USA origin statement. We will talk more about the USA Origin Statement in the next and final blog of this series.

Advertisements

The proof of activity for advertisement expenses submitted under the program serve to show the ad ran as indicated on the invoice and targeted a foreign audience. Here are a few mediums and the specific proof of activity required:

Print Ads

  • The original publication or page from the publication clearly showing the date and name of the publication (cover page), as well as the ad itself. A circulation statement may be required to show the publication is distributed in the market under which you are claiming the expense.

Billboards

  • A clear photo of the billboard(s), as well as a list with the billboard’s locations and the dates of the promotion.

Radio/TV ads

  • A video or audio recording of the commercial. An English transcript must be submitted with all foreign language ads. If the expense is for broadcasting of the ads and not just the production, we must also receive a broadcast schedule showing dates, times, and the station(s) on which the spot(s) aired.

Digital marketing

  • For social media expenses, screenshots of the posts showing the entire post including the date and account featuring the post are necessary. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a screenshot of the targeted search results with ad is required. If the ad or search result does not have the USA origin statement, then please also provide a screenshot showing the link directs to a page with the statement visible.

In Person Events

In person events require proof of activity showing the US supplier promoted their products on location.

Exhibiting at approved domestic and international tradeshows

  • A photo of the supplier’s booth is required. If a participant is also claiming reimbursement for expenses related to product showcase at a tradeshow, a photo of the showcase is required.

Travel to approved international tradeshows/focused trade missions

  • Photo from the event and list of contacts made need to be submitted along with the travel expense.

In-store demonstrations

  • The list of store locations and dates of the demonstrations along with representative photos of the demos. Demonstration reports are allowed in cases when stores don’t allow photography.

International seminars hosted by the participant

  • Seminars must target buyers from a specific foreign market; therefore, the photos from the event, copy of literature distributed and the list of buyers who attended the seminar are all required to establish buyers attended from the market indicated.

Marketing and Promotional Materials

Expenses for the creation of marketing and promotional materials require a photo of the printed materials (literature, giveaways, etc.). Design mockups are not sufficient proof of activity.

Packaging

The development of foreign market compliant labels and packaging. An image of the printed label or original copy of the modified packaging must be submitted (design mock-ups alone insufficient).

You can learn more about developing foreign market compliant labels in this recent blog.

Website Development

The proof of activity for international website development claims will be either screenshots of the website or a working link to the site. It must be evident through the proof of activity that the site was developed to target a specific foreign country.

Learn more about the possibilities of developing your international website in this blog.

As always, if you have any questions on your reimbursement claim documentation, you can contact your Branded team, we’re here to help!