International parts trading hot topic at ARA NY Convention

By Mike Davey

Niagara Falls, New York — October 23, 2013 — Even in an age of heightened security, there are advantages to doing business that crosses the Canada/U.S. border. This was illustrated recently at the Automotive Recyclers Association of New York (ARANY) Convention and Trade Show, which took place at Niagara Falls Conference & Event Center in Niagara Falls, NY, from October 17 to 19. 

Automotive recyclers from across New York state, the Northeast part of the U.S. and Canada came together for professional business development, to learn about the latest trends, practices, equipment and technology. To help promote the cross-border appeal, Canadian auto recyclers could attend the event at the same rates as ARANY members. 

The international theme was further heightened by a Canadian keynote speaker: Donald Cooper, the former head of Cooper Canada. He presented on the topic “Celebrating Success … Committed to Excellence!” 
Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada and Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association opened the General Session on October 17 with “Cross Border Opportunities with Canada & New York.” Taking the form of a panel discussion, the goal was for attendees to learn how to improve their business across the international border. The panelists for the discussion were David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers, Chris Miller of Miller’s Auto Recycling and Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts.
The objective of the panel was to discuss international parts trading, specifically focusing on existing barriers and possible solutions. 
“One of the issues that recyclers run into is that they don’t know what the brokerage fees and duties will be until they get the bill,” says Gold. “I gave some firsthand explanations of our business model and how we work very closely with businesses on both sides of the border to promote the sale of used auto parts internationally.”
Standard Auto Wreckers has a facility located in Niagara Falls, NY. Gold says the conversation started with some stating “You must be brining cars into Canada,” but he notes that this isn’t the case. 
“It’s quite the opposite,” says Gold. “We buy salvage in the U.S. and we do all the disassembly indoors at our New York plant. We do a full trailer load of parts every night from New York to Toronto, with a half to three quarter full trailer heading in the other direction.” 
Marc Parisi is with Buffalo Engine Components, a U.S. based company that buys and supplies used automotive parts/cores for the remanufacturing industry that does a high percentage of business with Canadian automotive recyclers. He noted that a remark by Chris Miller during the panel discussion did a good job of describing one of the major challenges when it comes to cross-border business. 
“I think he nailed it on the head,” says Parisi. “Ten to 15 years ago, it was relatively easy to go over the border, but the rules have gotten a lot more complicated. Often it seems like if you go to five different customs agents with a question, you’ll get five different answers.”
Other highlights from the event included the New York-Canadian Automotive Recyclers Roundtable, updates on crime, fraud and permits, a large trade show area and much more.  
The final event of the 2013 Convention was the official Closing BBQ, complete with a tour of the Standard Auto Wreckers’ facility in Niagara Falls. 
“One of the big advantages of a cross-border meeting like this is a chance to get together, share ideas and get feedback,” says Gold. “We all need a healthy auto recycling community.”
Members of the ARANY will be invited to attend the OARA Convention & Trade Show, taking place March 28 to 30 in Toronto, Ont., to continue the discussions and to encourage more face-to-face meeting with recyclers on both sides of the border. For more information on the event, please click here

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