Six Key Steps To Maintaining Trade Compliance

TNETS is often asked to advise on the best approach for businesses to take in driving home the message that maintaining trade compliance is critical to business success for importers and exporters.

TNETS Director, Neil Johnson, was recently called upon to speak on the same subject at Logisym 2014 in Singapore and took the opportunity to share TNETS’ suggestions as to how best practice in trade compliance is best conceptualised, introduced and maintained within corporations large and small. Below are the six key points of his speech:

– Compliance starts at the stop and the message must come from the board of directors as to what the targets are in each area…… and why.

– Embed compliance as part of a day to day operations and not as separate workflows or sub-routines. Adoption will be faster, more sustained and easier to manage in the long run.

– External advisers may need to be called upon to stay ahead of regulations as only the largest of corporations will be able to maintain such a talent pool in-house.

– Deploy software tools and automate compliance processes as far as possible. This will help reduce costs, increase uniformity, and minimise exposure to staff availability.

– Train, train and retrain key staff….. and customs service providers. Manuals, work processes and flowcharts are only useful if front-line staff are familiar with what has actually required them.

– Set stretching goals and reward innovation. The best ideas will come from those for whom maintaining trade compliance is a day to day challenge.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list and not everything works for everyone but hopefully, this will give food for thought on where to start.


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