Spring Clean Your Trade and Compliance Processes

This is the time of year when many of us begin our spring-cleaning projects around the home. Yet it is a good idea to also consider some spring cleaning of your organization’s trade compliance processes, perhaps dusting off some plans set earlier and readying programs for developments coming in the remainder of the year.

Prep for trade partnerships: While the Trans-Pacific Partnership is now in the protracted political process of ratification among member nations, it is too early to know regulation outcomes and to make operational decisions based on it. However, it is a good idea to proactively ensure tools are ready for whatever comes from it. If you count on your global trade management system for critical landed cost information—or maybe you are considering purchasing such software—is it able to handle quick changes to tariff rules as they become known? If you anticipate this might promote significant changes in your shipping patterns, give a "heads up" to your logistics and trade partners. You also need to alert service partners so their networks can be ready for you, too.

Scrub your screens: Companies must ensure goods are not sourced from, sold to, or do not come into contact with parties on the many national and government agency restricted party screening lists—not only those of many US bureaus but also of other national and international lists, including those from the United Nations, Japan, the UK, the EU, Japan and others. The frequency of change of these lists continues to increase, especially given the recent volatility of some regions of the world. Check that you are accessing the latest lists, and if you are multinational that you are employing the lists associated with all your shipping lanes. Choice recently implemented a new global trade management solution employing an expanded set of over 200 lists so that our restricted screening process keeps pace with where we are growing with our clients.

Check your batteries: Not only were recent year, high-profile aircraft incidents attributed to lithium batteries, but even popular news reports of battery accidents in consumer goods seem to drive heightened scrutiny of moving batteries and products with batteries across the supply chain. Now is a good time to review the latest requirements internally or with your service provider to ensure people are trained and following the current regulations. You might also consider your strategic alternatives in shipping products with batteries to optimize the cost and speed of your shipments, given that these shipments classified as dangerous goods usually come with extra handling costs.

Should you keep an internal battery in a machine unit? It may be that you just created a larger, heavier dangerous good out of a machine than if you shipped the battery separately from the machine. Given the interoperability of many batteries, you might even consider sourcing batteries in your destination country and having them installed locally, bypassing the need to ship internationally altogether.

Choice Logistics’ Global Trade Solutions group offers clients a single source solution to manage international trade, and we are helping clients right now on issues like these. Whether your needs involve trade compliance, consignment, direct sales, warranty or repair, we can facilitate and fulfill all of your IOR, EOR, and customs clearance requirements. From consultation to outsourced solutions, Choice manages customs, duties, permits, certifications, registrations and other regulatory requirements.

For more than 50 years, Choice has helped the world’s leading companies better manage their global supply chains. We offer enterprise-grade warehouse, inventory, and transportation solutions throughout our network of 400 locations in more than 90 countries. Please contact us if we can help you with your operations

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