Do I really need a trade compliance expert?

Posted by Nara Mitchell
Blog originally posted on 07/07/2014 01:58 PM


I have come to realize that a very, very common question in social settings is “So, what do you do for work?” I will give my general elevator speech and when I am done, often times, get a look of “Huh?”

I always walk away thinking the same thing “Pull it together, Nara, simply explain what you do.” Then I remember, there is no simple explanation. I realize, that a quick elevator speech of “We focus on import and export consulting, classification, trade preference programs, duty mitigation and supply chain security”  Well, quite honestly, it would have to be a VERY long elevator ride….

This realization circles me back to an oldie but goodie.  The simple reasoning of why yes, you do need a compliance expert. 

For example, you might not be right on top of the 9801 changes that happened on February 24, 2016.

Compliance is easy to push to the side.  It is not always in the forefront of your operation. It’s not flashy or exciting. It may be considered an expense that doesn’t generate any revenue, it is so easy to say “I will get back to Customs tomorrow.” However, the ramifications of being non-compliant are outstanding.

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Some Trade concerns you may have never thought of:

  • How compliant are my suppliers?
  • Is the information that I was given by my predecessor accurate?
  • Could my company maintain stability if our shipments came to a stop?
  • Why are my goods getting stuck at the border?
  • What is this “reasonable care” you write of?

 Some indications it may be time to call in the professionals:

  • Document “fire drills”
  • Insufficient record keeping that shows “Reasonable Care”
  • Notification of a pending Customs Audit
  • Assessment of fines and / or penalties
  • Never ending compliance issues

If you are comfortable with the chance that Customs may knock on your office door and shut down your operation, then don’t sweat compliance! However, if you are like me, and a little sketchy on acting as the professional when I am not, then it just may be time to call in the actual professional.  

The non-flashy, non-exciting staff at Tradewin includes licensed US and International Customs brokers, lawyers, accountants and former CBP employees. Tradewin not only has worldwide offices, but the depth of the global Expeditors network.


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Topics: Best Practices

Blog originally posted on 07/07/2014 01:58 PM

Nara Mitchell

Written by Nara Mitchell

Nara is a US Licensed Customs Broker and has worked in the Global Logistics industry since 2010. She specializes in import and export compliance with an emphasis in the textile and apparel chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Nara is a graduate of Western New England University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.