International Procurement & Finance

The International Operations (IO) division of UMB assists Schools and Centers to purchase and pay for goods and services outside the United States. When vendors provide these services internationally and require payment to a foreign bank account, and when State of Maryland procurement and payment terms are not viable in foreign contexts, IO may be able to use the MGIC mechanism to conduct business on behalf of UMB. IO’s goals are to support UMB faculty and staff to comply with the policies and regulations governing international finance and procurement, and to facilitate equitable collaboration between UMB and its global partners. 

Need to talk to someone about your international finance and procurement questions? Contact us at Globalhub@umaryland.edu 

Want to talk to us?

Need to talk to someone about your international finance and procurement questions? Contact us at Globalhub@umaryland.edu 

Procurement

What Do You Need To Purchase?

GOODS (PRODUCTS THAT ARE TANGIBLE)

COMMERCIAL SERVICES (ADD EXAMPLE)

CONSULTANTS AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

PAYMENT OF HONORARIA, STIPENDS, AND TRAVEL ADVANCES FOR NON-EMPLOYEE FOREIGN NATIONALS

PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS (ADD AN EXAMPLE OF THIS)

If MGIC has completed the purchase order, contract, or partnership agreement with your international collaborator, an IO employee will be in touch with you regarding the Finance Stage. Please review the Finance process below.

Finance

Who Do You Need to Pay?

VENDOR (SENDING PAYMENTS TO INTERNATIONAL VENDORS)

VISITING STUDENT OR FACULTY (HONORARIA, STIPEND OR FELLOWSHIP)

TRAVEL SERVICES (HOTEL, TRANSPORTATION, ETC.)

NON-UMB PERSONNEL INCURRING TRAVEL EXPENSES

Finance FAQs

How can I receive payment from an organization outside the US? 

If this is not a frequent vendor/collaborator, please direct your request to UMB Accounts Receivable and the globalhub@umaryland.edu. Our Finance team will be able to collaborate with the appropriate internal partners within UMB to ensure payment is received.

If this is a frequent vendor/collaborator, we recommend you maintain and track the credit with the international organization.

How do I pay a person or entity outside the US for services and other work provided? 

Does UMB/MGIC already have an engagement with this person or entity outside the US?

If yes, the UMB department or administrative unit with the engagement must process the payment.

If no, reach out to globalhub@umaryland.edu to discuss the use of the MGIC mechanism.

Whenever possible:

  • Payments should be made to an entity, rather than an individual.
  • Payments should not be made in cash to persons or entities outside the US, especially when the financial consideration exceeds US$200 or the equivalent in foreign currency. See the next question below on honorarium payments for guidance.

For international consultants, see "How do I hire an international consultant" below the honorarium payment FAQ.

Can I pay a lecturer outside of the United States for teaching activities?  

Yes, MGIC could be used to pay for teaching activities as long as the payment is to an (international) non-US bank account.

In order to get the payment processed, it’s important to know if the person is providing these services outside of the US or inside the US because the tax treatment would be different in each case. In addition, it will be essential to confirm if he/she is a foreign national for tax purposes or if he/she is a US citizen or resident alien.

For any payment through MGIC, the following three documents are required to be submitted through a ticket to globalhub@umaryland.edu:

  1. Copy of the Agreement or any other contract document for the services between UMB and the recipient along with a confirmation from the School/Department that services were provided at specified cost.  
  2. Payee Bank details Verification Form completed and signed by the recipient.
  3. Payment Authorization Form signed by the department/School representative authorized to commit the funds.

In addition to these three required documents, an additional document will be required for tax purposes which depends on the questions asked above:

  1. If the person is a foreign national and is providing services to UMB entirely outside of the United States, he/she should complete a Foreign Source Statement - MGIC (FSS), there is no tax withholding required in this case.
  2. If the person is a foreign national and is providing services to UMB in the United States (for example, as a visiting lecturer coming to Baltimore), he/she must complete a W-8BEN Form (non - US citizen) Form. The payment will be subject to a 30% flat rate that MGIC must withhold and submit to the IRS unless he/she is a Citizen of a country that has a tax treaty with the US.
  3. If the person is a US citizen or resident alien, he should provide a W-9 Tax Form regardless of where is he/she performing the services to UMB. In this case, the payment is not subject to any withholdings.

Special note:  US tax rules and requirements are complex.  The International Operations department cannot provide tax advice or guidance.  Recipients should consult a tax professional to determine their residency status for US tax purposes and to understand their obligations under US and foreign tax laws.

Can I pay an honorarium to a person outside the US? How? 

Yes. If the honorarium recipient is a non-US resident (per US tax regulations) and the honorarium needs to be wired to the recipient’s bank account outside the United States, the payment can be made through MGIC. Please note, that a $40 transaction fee will be charged by MGIC to the Department/School requesting the payment.  To make this payment through MGIC, please contact the International Operations department at globalhub@umaryland.edu and provide:

  1. Support Letter or equivalent document from your department/School to the recipient, describing the purpose and amount of the honorarium.
  2. Payment Authorization Form signed by the department/School representative authorized to commit the funds.
  3. Payee Bank details Verification Form completed and signed by the recipient.
  4. Appropriate tax declaration:

Please contact us at globalhub@maryland.edu with any questions about the above forms or the MGIC payment process for international wire transfers to non-resident honorarium recipients.

The above guidance applies to honorarium payments made outside the United States. If, on the other hand, the honorarium needs to be paid in the U.S., (for example, to a foreign national who is in the U.S. on a visa and who needs to receive the funds in the U.S.) the payment must be processed through UMB Payroll instead of MGIC. UMB will request much of the same information described above, and other information, through its online GLACIER system, and the honorarium will be paid directly by the State of Maryland with a paper check (not a wire transfer) to the honorarium recipient.  Please contact Candace Chow (cchow@umaryland.edu) or Shanay Smith (Shanay.smith@umaryland.edu) in UMB’s Office of the Controller for assistance paying an honorarium to a foreign national in the U.S.

Finally, please be advised that regardless of which way the foreign national is paid, an honorarium for services performed inside the U.S. will be subject to a U.S. income tax withholding of 30% in most cases. Some exceptions apply. The Global Hub can guide you to applicable IRS regulations but cannot provide tax advice.

How do I hire an international consultant? 

The following guidance is for hiring a consultant or consulting firm based outside the US to perform a scope of work outside the US.

Have you clearly defined the scope of work? If not, please do so prior to contacting SSAS or International Operations.

Once you have a clearly defined scope of work, submit your international procurement requisition to SSAS following the usual procedure. For information on what happens after that, see the Procurement FAQ below "Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs?"

Have you already identified an individual or consulting firm to serve as the consultant? Keep in mind that UMB requires a competitive procurement or sole-source justification for contracts with a value of US$25,000 and above, and MGIC requires a competitive procurement or sole-source justification for contracts with a value of US$3,500 and above.

How can I open a bank account outside the US? 

Due to state law, this can only be done by and through the Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation (MGIC), a nonprofit affiliate of UMB formed to support the implementation of UMB's international programs.

Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu for assistance.

Procurement FAQs

Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs? 

Yes, if the procurement is for an MGIC country office. If not, the short answer is "no," as the decision is made between UMB Strategic Sourcing and Acquisition Services (SSAS) and International Operations, not by the unit or department requesting the procurement.

Steps:

1. Please submit your international procurement requisition to SSAS following the usual procedure.

2. SSAS will reach out to International Operations regarding tapping the MGIC mechanism.

3. MGIC may only get involved under certain circumstances. As noted in the Considerations for Purchases using MGIC flowchart, those circumstances are:

  • If the client is UMB, and if goods or services will be delivered primarily outside the US, then the MGIC mechanism may be used.
  • If the action/transaction poses a threat of potential or actual liability of UMB or the State of Maryland outside the US, then the MGIC mechanism may be used to protect UMB from the liability.
  • If there are other major risks or costs that make it unwise for UMB to take an action, then MGIC may be used.

Examples of situations in which UMB may prefer that MGIC make a procurement of goods and services on UMB's behalf are:

  • Urgent situation - for rapid facilitation of an international procurement
  • Engaging foreign vendors for supply of goods or services outside the US

Note: If MGIC does make the procurement in lieu of UMB, MGIC will send your department or unit an invoice. You'll be instructed to make the payment to UMB, which in turn will transfer the funds to MGIC.

What should I include in the procurement package? What do I need to do? 

First, follow the steps outlined under "Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs?"

Once SSAS and IO have determined which mechanism will be used:

When is a competitive procurement required? 

Work with SSAS and IO to determine which mechanism will be used - UMB or MGIC.

  • For UMB procurement, competitive procurement is required for purchases of $25,000 and above.
  • For MGIC procurement, competitive procurement is required for purchases of $3,500 and above.

What are UMB's and MGIC's procurement dollar thresholds and limits? 

For UMB procurements, see the Quick Reference Guides for Purchases and Payments webpage or go directly to the UMB Procurement Dollar Thresholds and Limits Guide.

For MGIC procurements, see the MGIC Procurement Thresholds & Requirements.

Of note:

  • Procurement levels or thresholds apply to the total value of all the requirements for a specific procurement. Taxes, shipping and delivery costs, the value of any warranty, operating system software, and other associated costs must be included when calculating the total value of the procurement of goods.
  • Running out of time? UMB's procurement requirements still apply. (You already knew that!)

What if my contract or invoice is not in English? 

You are responsible for providing an English translation or explanation for any procurement document written in a foreign language.

For receipts, the translation/explanation should provide:

  • an identification of the type of expenditure (e.g., lodging, transportation)
  • a general description of the item(s) included on the receipt (e.g., taxi)
  • the name of the vendor and address
  • the date and time
  • the amount converted to US dollars

 Need help finding translation services? Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu for help.

If I've lost the receipt, can I still get reimbursed? 

Yes, probably.

First, try to obtain a duplicate receipt.

If unsuccessful, complete a Missing Receipt Certification Form. Attach proof of payment (required) and any other supporting documentation.

Financial Services will review the circumstances to determine whether the form is sufficient documentation to support the expense.

My PCard is too limited – what can I do? 

It can be difficult to use PCards for transactions outside the US, and we can help you find another way if need be. Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu to be connected to one of our international procurement specialists.

Your PCard may not work because of State of Maryland limitations on what you may charge to it, or because the amount of your proposed procurement exceeds the PCard transaction cap. Even if you can use the PCard for the procurement, you may encounter delays when foreign banks flag the transaction for possible fraud or other reasons.

Common Procurements

Legal Services (lawyers)

Need legal advice about general operations, taxes, visas? We strongly recommend seeking the services of an in-country legal firm. Ask International Operations at globalhub@umaryland.edu about a list of preferred and recommended firms across the globe.

Project-Based Medical Equipment

Does your sponsor or project require the purchase of medical/laboratory/health equipment from an international vendor and delivery to an international destination? Are you unsure about your award's guidelines? Ask us about preferred vendors, exports, and customs guidance at globalhub@umaryland.edu.

Employer of Record

Has your unit identified talent outside the US that will improve and support UMB's mission? An international Employer of Record may help you formally engage that talent. Contact International Operations at globalhub@umaryland.edu.

Translation Services

Do you need to prepare an official document to use outside the US? You may be required to notarize, authenticate, and translate the document. Ask about our notaries, authentication services, and translations in and outside of the US at globalhub@umaryland.edu.