Global trade regulations are stringent, and enforcement of them is only getting stricter. If you violate one, it’s money out of your pocket in a number of ways, including fines, labor, and potentially an angry customer who didn’t get a shipment on time.
As such, if your company has to execute international shipping, you need a plan that is proactive and thorough to prevent issues from coming down the pike. Here are the steps you need to implement.
- Always know the current export environment. Keeping up with the law is the most basic responsibility your company has, and it’s the best way to avoid a violation. However, it’s easy to lose track of this and maintain business as usual until you find out the hard way that you’re not compliant. Laws continually change, and if no one is tasked with the responsibility to keep up with the changes, how will you know when you need to adjust? Identify a person or people to stay current on the laws. Some of the agencies that send out bulletins and announcements are:
- Department of Commerce
- Bureau of Industry and Security
- State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
- The World Trade Organization
- European Union
- Engage with the agencies. Your needs and your company’s needs are factored into the development of new rules and regulations. The person designated to keep up with laws should also communicate with the agencies when they request opinions and issue new proposals. If you help shape the law, it will better accommodate your bottom line.
- Be fast and flexible with your response. Have the agility to change your process immediately upon learning of a change. Don’t hold off until the last minute and expect to be able to handle the new regulations on the fly. This is an adjustment to your entire process that affects numerous people. Do it right.
- Practice transparency in the company. Every part of your company is impacted by changes to strategy as well as export violations. Visibility is important, so don’t limit supply chain tactics to exporting, logistics, legal, and finance. Include purchasing, manufacturing, customer relationship management, inventory management, and everyone else who is involved in the lifecycle of your product.
- Conduct a strategy audit. Do a quarterly and yearly measurement of compliance results for internal operations and service providers. You can compare disruptions and identify gaps in your plan so you can make appropriate adjustments.
If you have any concerns about meeting requirements for packaging and shipping, you can also work with a trusted packaging company. Packnet stays current on all regulations, like ISPM, and can handle any size, shape, or volume of products. Our solutions also improve handling, minimize damage, and reduce overall costs. See how we can help your compliance and your bottom line: 952-944-9124. You can request a free assessment here.