by Erin Crowley, International Marketing & Branded Program Associate, Food Export - Midwest
This is the first 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: Invoices, Proof of Activity, and U.S. Origin Statement.
If you’ve participated in the Branded Program before, you’ll know that proof of payment documentation can be one of the trickier forms of documentation, and we have fairly strict regulations to follow. The amount you receive in reimbursement is directly based off the amount showing as paid on your proof of payment documentation, so it’s one piece of paperwork that you don’t want to forget.
Food Export accepts the following 5 different types of payment documentation:
You must submit one of these documents as your proof of payment; an invoice showing a zero balance, or full payment does NOT count as your payment. In most cases, a receipt also does not count as your proof of payment.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these 5 types of payment.
You may send us your credit card or bank statement showing the payment made to the vendor. The statement must show the account holder’s name, the date of payment, vendor name, and amount paid, but you may black out any other non-relevant information on the statement. The statement should also clearly show that it’s from a banking institution. If photocopied, please make sure the text and numbers are clear and readable.
Note: If you don’t have the full statement to submit (for example, if you submit a claim before your monthly statement comes out), you can usually access the individual transaction through your online banking portal. If you send us an image of the transaction, it must include all necessary information – date, vendor name, amount, and you must also include some documentation linking that transaction to your company account.
We must see either 1) the image of the front and back of the check or 2) the image of the front of the check, and a checking statement showing the date the check was posted (cashed/deposited). The vendor name and date must be legible.
Cash receipts are ONLY accepted for payments of USD$1,000 or smaller. Any cash receipts over this amount will not be accepted and your claim cannot be reimbursed. The cash receipt must be marke ‘paid’, show the payee name, recipient name, date, time period worked, and services provided.
For this type of payment, we must see the wire transfer confirmation; the wire request alone is not sufficient. The confirmation must show the account holder’s name, vendor’s name, amount, and the transfer completed date.
Credit memos are mainly used as payment between U.S. companies and overseas agents (for example, a distributor). This type of proof of payment requires more documentation, but we are happy to help you through the paperwork.
We will need a copy of your credit to the vendor, and we will also need your invoice to the vendor that the credit will be applied to. Once the credit is applied to the invoice, we must see the balance paid in full. We must see a bank statement showing a transaction between you and the vendor. We recognize that in some cases the credit comes in the form of a line item deduction on your invoice to a vendor, which is also acceptable. Last, we will need to see the bill of lading or shipping freight receipt showing the items shipped. Each of these documents allows us to “close the payment circle” of the credit that was given to your overseas agent.
If you’re collecting proof of payment documents from your overseas agent, we will accept the same types of payments listed above. If you and your importer or distributor are interested in taking advantage of the Branded Program, see our blog about Marketing Support for your Importer.
As always, if you have any questions on your reimbursement claim documentation, you can contact your Branded team, we’re here to help!
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