As regional companies look to grow into multi-nationals in the never-ending search for new markets, an understanding of Global Trade Compliance becomes critical for several reasons. One of the most obvious reasons is to reduce the risk of running afoul of local laws and regulations. Additionally, maintaining a consistent and reliable supply chain and taking advantage of various government programs such as Free Trade Agreements, Duty Drawback, Security Programs and other initiatives designed to benefit compliant importers and exporters speeds the supply chain and saves money.
As companies expand into more and more markets, inevitably they reach a critical mass where the need to standardize compliance functions across multiple geographies, business units, and Customs regimes becomes apparent. By “apparent,” we mean that you have done such a good job that you have been gifted compliance responsibilities for not 1 country, but 108. This is often a daunting task given the labyrinth of varying trade regulations. The first phase to this process is assessing the company’s current state compliance profile on a global basis, then moving to implement global frameworks to bring a level of consistency across the network. Here are a few simple steps to get you started: