Manufacturing, retail, and distribution businesses face many new, unfamiliar compliance requirements as they grow, which can become sources of uncertainty if not addressed proactively. We’ve previously discussed this in regards to retail compliance, but how about international expansion? Growing an international customer base is exciting, as it opens up entirely new markets to your products. When domestic markets become saturated, overseas markets make for logical expansion choices. However, along with that excitement comes a degree of uncertainty – the good kind – of all the additional requirements of shipping goods cross-border.International expansion comes with a whole new set of compliance regulations, mostly related to export and customs documentation. The documentation required for cross-border shipping are lengthy, complex, and require absolute accuracy.
A time-consuming task
Nobody ever accused regulators of brevity, and export documentation is no exception. When it comes to key forms, like the Commercial Invoice, a lot of information is required about the sender, the recipient, the goods, and the value of the shipment. And it all needs to be filled out, otherwise you’ll have difficulty exporting the shipment, which may be held or returned to you until all relevant forms are properly completed. Making sure that these forms are complete takes a lot of time – many businesses have a staff member dedicated to this full-time – and those are hours that could be spent on other, less tedious tasks.
Not only are exportation forms long, they can be anything but straightforward. Take the Certificate of Origin, for example. There will be many questions about the goods themselves that can be confusing (despite knowledge and experience with those goods). For example, questions about what constitutes the goods’ origin, and by what standard that is being measured, from a regulatory perspective (not a practical manufacturing or distribution perspective). Try importing your goods to another country without a properly filled Certificate of Origin and they will likely end up stuck!
Then, there are special situations, like the USMCA Certificate of Origin – a form of the certificate specific to trade between the Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. While trade agreements like this may, in fact, make trade itself easier to facilitate, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have yet another form to familiarize your business with.
No room for error
Length and complexity of customs and export forms create enough difficulties, to say nothing of the requirement for absolute accuracy and completeness. Inaccurate forms could leave shipments stuck in transit indefinitely. Worse, they could subject the shipper to penalties for appearing to misrepresent the contents of the shipment.
Pacejet = Compliance
Filling out compliant export documentation will never be easy, but having Pacejet do it for you couldn’t be easier! Pulling product information from your ERP, Pacejet has been configured to fill in all of the necessary documents with the push of a button. Now, rather than a dedicated team member having to become an expert in this form of compliance, the necessary forms for each shipment can be generated right from the shipping workstation so your goods can get on their way around the world.
Interested in learning more? Let’s connect and talk compliance!
Other Related Topics:
The Different Types of Compliance Shippers Need to Know
With bigger retail shipping opportunities come more compliance complexities. Are you ready?