What’s more tedious than pouring over import/export regulations and filling out paperwork? Pouring over the last seven years of documentation with a government official who suspects you’re in violation of trade regulations. To top that, if it’s determined you’re in violation, you may face personal liability. That’s right: trade regulations aren’t suggestions. Compliance violations can carry stiff civil and/or criminal penalties. Even a minor mistake can delay a shipment or cause you to overpay taxes and fees.You need to do it right to deliver parts on time, every time, if you want to control costs and keep your supply chain running smoothly. You need Flash Global.
The Challenges Trade Compliance Managers Face
Large companies have the resources to maintain entire departments staffed with trade compliance experts. Not so in small- to medium-sized companies. It’s probably just you — maybe a couple of clerks too, if you’re lucky. Your goal: get components and products into and out of various countries as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
Trade compliance is a crucial part of cost control, because inaccurate paperwork costs you in both time and money — things you can’t afford to lose. But it takes a mammoth effort to monitor every twist and turn in a trade war drama, sanctions on foreign countries, and paperwork requirements.
You have days where nothing goes right. You’re not even through the first cup of coffee before you’re on the phone to India. A shipment is stuck in customs because the paperwork lists the components as retail items instead of service repair parts. Either get it corrected or pay extra duties and taxes.
Meanwhile, in Europe, a protest in Paris has main roads shut down and the rail workers are on strike. You have to get a service tech and repair parts to Reims ASAP, but how? The only person who is answering the phones doesn’t speak English. Things in the U.S aren’t rosy either. Fires in California are getting close to a warehouse, and you may need to implement the disaster plan (you do have one, don’t you?). All this, and it’s not even time for lunch.
To sum up the challenges you face as a trade compliance manager, you have to:
- Cram all the country-specific regulations — equivalent to approximately 100 sets of encyclopedias — into your head. You must know all the various countries’ requirements for import/export and taxes/duties associated with components and manufactured goods.
- Assemble an internal database of documentation. Every country has its own set of laws, compliance regulations, trade zones, etc. Some countries even maintain their own unique parts classification systems. The wrong classification code may raise the taxes/duties owed. Worst case, it could keep the shipment from entering the country at all. And documentation is needed for it all.
- Solve problems 24/7. Sleep? What’s that? It’s already tomorrow in Asia – and they needed an answer yesterday.
- Become multilingual. Problem solving is exponentially more difficult when you don’t speak the native language well enough to understand the issue.
Good intentions don’t count in trade compliance. You need experts to handle the details. Repeated customs violations can get your company banned from importing into some countries. Both you and your company can be held liable for mistakes that cost money and damage your company’s reputation.
Let our experts handle the details. We reduce the risks associated with fines and supply chain disruptions.
How Flash Global Can Help With Trade Compliance
How do you solve a problem across the globe if you can’t speak multiple languages? You don’t. That shipment may sit for six months, while you lose a customer permanently.
Once, we had a new client ask for help after having a shipment of expensive equipment stuck in customs in a foreign country for six months – millions of dollars in equipment just sitting in limbo for half a year! Our compliance team was able to get the problem resolved and the product cleared in 10 days.
Flash Global’s trade compliance services include:
- IOR/EOR: We mitigate your risk by acting as your Importer of Record and Exporter of Record. Our team is backed by one of the best trade compliance platforms in the industry.
- In-country support: We have actual employees in every country where we maintain operations because sometimes nothing can beat face-to-face interactions.
- Better customer service: Meet or exceed your SLAs with faster shipping & receiving of parts in the after-sales supply chain.
We also offer a complete set of logistics services:
- Spare parts logistics services that emphasize accuracy and on-time delivery.
- In-region technical services that provide rapid product test and repair.
- Asset recovery and recycling.
- Rapid support in more than 170 countries.
Above all, Flash Global offers you what we call global solutions locally fueled. We use local expertise for trade compliance. Our people are in the country, speak the language, and develop relationships with local officials.
We’re there so you don’t have to be.
Flash Global maintains a global network that offers support in over 170 countries. We create custom logistics and service supply chain solutions and help companies of all sizes scale operations and compete in the global marketplace.
Let us handle the details, making you look like a trade compliance genius that knows how to keep things running smoothly and troubleshoot with ease when issues pop up. Contact us today if that sounds like a near-perfect world to you.