February 2019 | Commentary | IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Time to Get Cracking on Compliance

Tags: Logistics, Vendor Compliance, Supply Chain

Doug Surrett is Chief Product Strategist, BluJay Solutions Co., 866-584-7280

As the global marketplace expands and countries start to flex their economic muscle, the rules that keep goods moving across borders will only get more complex. How can your company keep up?

Automating your import/export processes is one smart step. A future-oriented customs management suite that goes beyond electronic customs declarations, with flexible integration and multi-country support from one platform, eases workloads and reduces errors that lead to inefficiency and costly fines.

When shopping for a customs system, make sure it can accommodate future customs and compliance developments with:

Integrated knowledge database. In light of globally diverse and dynamically changing regulations, laws, and tariffs, customs systems should have constantly updated knowledge databases.

Limitations and preferences. It should be recognizable prior to import whether goods are subject to any import restrictions, what the underlying tariffs are, and whether you can apply a tariff preference.

Interfaces with the existing IT environment. Through integration, all IT solutions can work with one central database to save time, avoid transmission errors, and ensure a standardized and consistent database.

Integrated workflow management that automatically defines the proper individual customs clearance processes and assigns them to the right employees for handling.

An integrated document management system, which files all documents that are part of a customs clearance process in a digital folder, so you find them quickly and meet audit requirements.

Fully or semi-automatic classification of goods is a significant simplification. Classifying means attributing the right commodity number to one's own goods.

Automatic tariff assessment. Attributing the correct customs tariff to a commodity is the basis of all import and export processes. An intelligent customs management suite can automate the attribution process to the furthest extent, which greatly reduces the risk of error.

Backup. All supply chain partners demand fast, safe, and simple access to data. Having integrated data backup is essential for a modern customs system.

Correct handling of the Anti-Terrorism Directive. In the fight against terrorism, regulations often center around embargo measures aimed at prohibiting business contact with certain people, organizations, and affiliations.

Simplified manual input. Automation does not eliminate manual input, so it is important to simplify input activities when possible.

Automatic customs value assessment, which is complex and should be supported by a high-performance IT system.

Powered by people. Licensed customs brokers to interpret and implement changes into the software are invaluable, and save time and resources for companies that do not have to staff experts for these functions.

As changes continue to invade global trade, it's time to take advantage of future-oriented customs management suites.






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