The import export business is a fast moving area of international trade. This particular type of trade exists because one country or demographic area has a product or commodity that is in high demand by another – and as our world has become more technologically advanced, we have been able to move such products much faster in order to meet those demands. In fact today, due in large part to ease of communication through the Internet, locating international customers and suppliers has never been easier. A simple Google search on import product suppliers will show you
Because of this ease of entry into the business, though, it has also become more important than ever to ensure that those who enter into the import export industry are knowledgeable about how it operates in order to ensure proper transactions and compliance on both sides of the deal.
That is why those who are considering entering into the import export business – as well as those who have been working in this field for many years – absolutely must be sure that they are not caught without their compliance training.
This training can help you to ensure that you and your employees have the most up-to-date knowledge that is required to keep you and your company in compliance. Having the knowledge that is taught via these courses can also make you more competitive in the industry, as well as more well-respected with clients, potential clients, and other companies that work within the industry.
Why it Matters
In today’s world, it is essential to ensure that global trade is legitimate. A big part of doing so is by assisting export traders in complying with export control and anti-boycott requirements. This can help export companies to prevent various violations before they even occur. It can also help to bring any wilful export control violators to justice.
Staying in compliance can be easy once you get the documentation and make a few calls and keep a journal.
The importing and exporting of various goods – even some very common items – carries certain restrictions as it pertains to the laws of the Australian and New Zealand governments, as well as to the laws of other countries.
This has also led to numerous new trade regulations that must be followed on all transactions with substantial penalties – including fines, restrictions, and even jail time – for those who don’t comply. With that in mind, it is essential that all companies both understand and closely follow all of the import export rules that are now in force.
Getting your compliance certification can matter for a number of other reasons, too, such as:
- Protection – Such certification can help to protect your company by insuring that you and your employees are up-to-date with all of the necessary federal regulations.
- Confidence – By knowing that you and your company are certified, your clients (and potential clients) will have more confidence using you to outsource the exporting of their goods – especially in that their liability will be minimized.
- Training – Going through the compliance certification is a great way to provide an organized, hands-on training in the reduction of liability in your business, as well as your overall industry.
- Leadership – This certification can also help to teach you and your employees about industry leadership.
- Proof – Your compliance certification will also serve as proof of your due diligence efforts.
While reading and learning about the import export business is a great way to get started in the business, there can really be no substitute for an actual certification program that teaches you how to follow specific regulation and remain compliant in your day to day business operation.
Keeping Your Company in Import Export Compliance
The import export arena is filled with many compliance rules – and certainly one of the biggest challenges to most companies is finding a way to implement them into their daily processes. As an example, it is essential that your customers are checked against Restricted Party lists. If this process isn’t performed, it could lead to substantial compliance issues down the road.
We all know that documentation is a pain, so developing a system to minimise the work can be extremely helpful. This is because the Australia import administration regulations prohibit trade with certain companies, organizations, institutions, and even specific individuals. But, rather than simply publishing all of the restricted names in one single list, each department and agency within the Australian government – as well as the United Nations – will publish a list of their own. All of these lists must be checked.
Likewise, there are also certain product classifications that must be followed before items can be shipped. That is why documents like, the Documentary Import Declaration, the Export Control, the Tariff Advice Applications, etc, are important – and also useful if dealing with the U.S., the Harmonized Schedule, or HS, is an internationally standardized system of numbers and names that classifies traded products. This system, developed by the World Customs Organization, is required to be used in order to determine whether or not your product will need an export license, as well as whether or not there are any possible licensing exceptions.
There are also various import quotas that are imposed by the Australian & New Zealand governments when bringing goods into the country. In this case, certain goods must have a license or a certificate. All of this information will require that your company remains in compliance with the government imposed rules and regulations that have been enforced. If the agents that are employed at your company are not aware of how to perform these duties properly, it could spell trouble. So, to start off well, and be sure to get some solid training in the export documentation process of this venture.
Implementing Export and Import Training
Regardless of how large or small your company may be, in order to ensure that all of your agents are knowledgeable about the procedures that must take place for staying in compliance with imports and exports, they must first be educated.
There are several different ways of implementing an import export agent training for compliance. These can include:
- Live import export training classes– Live import export classes can help the agents in your company to learn the in-depth procedures that must be performed with regard to products and customers, as well as all of the ancillary functions. Live classes provide the opportunity to learn first-hand from individuals who have typically been in the industry for many years. These live trainings can also encourage additional question and answer sessions from agents who attend the import export class. These classes can be taught on an ongoing basis year-round in order to keep up with any new regulations that may be enforced over time.
- Import export seminars– By using an import export seminar, various topics can be broken down into individual and more in-depth topics. Seminars can be a great way to focus on certain subject
matter within a short period of time. In addition, a local seminar can allow agents from an entire demographic area to be invited to attend. Similar to the import and export classes, questions and answers could be encouraged, in addition to networking and learning on a more regional basis. These could even lead to business and / or partnership opportunities.
- Import export classes online– By offering an online version of the compliance training, agents would be able to learn at times that are more convenient for them. This would also allow them to go back at any time and review the information multiple times in order to better understand the concepts. An online version of the training could also incorporate quizzes or exams in order to test the agents’ understanding of the information that has been presented. This can help to ensure that the agents are actually retaining the concepts that are being taught in the training courses. Often, online courses will provide the ability to print various materials so that attendees can have it as a reference to carry with them and / or to refer to whenever needed. These courses will also usually have video modules, so it is as if the attendee is actually taking a live class and listening to an instructor. The main difference is that the attendee can replay the videos multiple times, and at times that are convenient to his or her own personal schedule. Going the route of online training is also cost efficient, as it can allow your company to train large numbers of people simultaneously – regardless of where they may be located – yet without the need to pay expensive travel and hotel costs to have them attend a live training event. In many cases, online training can even be monitored so that employees’ progress can still be tracked and managed, and so that you can ensure that participants understand the material.
Keeping Your Business Successful
There are many things that go into keeping a business successful – but certainly the most important include your company’s reputation and trust. You also want your company to stand out among the rest. Ensuring that you are in compliance with government regulations – as well as the constant updates in this area – can help to keep your company on the up and up.
Compliance can literally affect every area of a company – no matter how large or small it may be. And, when it comes to export compliance, the potential stakes can be quite high – especially if your business happens to operate outside the lines. With that in mind, it is essential that anyone who works in your company’s sales force, as well as at any other level should know the importance of integrating the compliance laws into your overall business operations on a day to day basis.
For example, knowing what screenings must be performed prior to exporting, along with the record keeping requirements and issues that could be faced while you are exporting products (such as anti-boycott laws) are an essential key to keeping your business successful.
This valuable training can help you to ensure that your employees have a deeper understanding of what complying with the law means, as well as the consequences of not complying – both for the company, and for the employees personally.
Export compliance training should be at the top of the list for those businesses that export products, as well as those companies that interface with customers, and those who plan to enter into the export business at some time in the near future.
There are thousands of companies in the export marketplace today – so you need to be one step ahead of your competitors in order to keep your customers coming back and have them refer your company to other potential clients. By complying with the rules and regulations of the import export industry, your import export business will certainly have a good start.