A few months back, I posed the question to you, “Do I really need a trade compliance expert?” The overwhelming response, was that yes, in fact, I (you) do. However, let’s dive a little deeper into some of the reasons why you need an expert.
I have had this nagging light on in my car for oh, a good 6 months now. I think it is fine, car seems to be running smoothly, so, in typical “Nara fashion” I put a piece of paper over that distracting light and ignore it. Problem solved. I suppose not, apparently I have been driving around with some sort of an engine problem. Car expert, I am not.
So why didn’t I just take the car in? Easy, right. Well, you know, I have a busy life (see earlier blog about the two cutest critters in the world) the days go by so fast, the weekends are filled with family, and next thing I know, I am sitting there with a broken down car and an expensive bill.
Sound familiar? Pushing things that you know are seemingly important to the side because you are busy? Let’s outline some of the reasons you need to let a Trade Compliance Expert (aka professionals) handle it.
- Because things are running smoothly – Now that things are running smoothly, take the time to review your policies and procedures. Are you doing things the right way? Would it be worthwhile to have a training seminar?
- Because things, well, they are not running so smoothly at all. You are no dummy. You know that when things are not going particularly well, you need to consult an expert. And, if you’re unsure about that, let me be the one to tell you – when things are not going well, you need to consult an expert. Now is not the time to put a piece of paper over the “check engine” light.
- Because you want to grow – Perhaps you have a solid history of importing goods into the US. You have your Import Compliance Manual in place (woot!!) but now would like to start exporting from the US, let’s say, into Iran. Interesting fact, you can’t generally do that. The US has a strategic embargo for exports to Iran (as well as several other countries). This includes not only US companies, nationals and permanent residents, but extends to ANY entity outside of the US that is owned or controlled by a US person. With growth, comes complexity. What might seem as simple as setting up a few Fed Ex labels and sending your goods out, can be much, much more complicated.
- Because something is telling you that there might be money hiding in the sofa – I always love that! Go to clean out the sofa of the goldfish crumbs, and BAM! A shiny nickel. Best. Feeling. Evah! Well, wouldn’t it be great to find out that there could be thousands hiding in your company’s sofa? Have you looked into seeing if your company may qualify for a Duty Drawback, First Sale or Reconciliation program?
- Because it is the prudent thing to do. Much like how I could have sorted through my car manual and tried to open up the hood to figure out how to fix that light, you can absolutely go through the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, Customs Regulations, Food & Drug and other government agency regulations for your goods. Chances are you will skip a step, or cover up the light like I did.