Navigating Global Trade Waters
By Joanne Leggett
As the economy recovers, more companies of all sizes are exploring going global. Whether you manufacture medical devices, auto parts, or construction equipment, global trade can mean high rewards – and high risks.
Doing business on the world stage demands a hyper-efficient supply chain. A common efficiency is just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, which reduces inventory to improve your ROI.
While JIT reduces your costs, it increases your vulnerability to supply chain surprises. When clearing your goods between countries, customs holds or fines can mean the difference between you realizing a profit – or not.
Importers may get their goods into the country, but can face fines during a customs audit months later because of shipper error. With JIT, if you have fines imposed months after your shipment, you cannot make up the difference by adjusting the price on your inventory.
Exporters may need to contend with required licenses, providing advance information before shipping overseas, and monitoring the Denied Party Screening List.
Customs is only one agency that regulates trade – others such as the FDA, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense and Department of Agriculture have their own regulations. Companies cannot be expected to keep up with the hundreds of complex import and export rules.
If you’re venturing into global markets, it’s essential to protect your investment by aligning with partners with the expertise to navigate global business. A partner that focuses on Customs and trade compliance can save you millions by helping you avoid fines or delays, and ensure your company doesn’t pay more than necessary in the first place.
Never before has efficiency been tied so closely to profitability. When planning your company’s foray into global trade, consider working with a customs broker. They have the expertise to seamlessly transfer goods between borders, guiding your company to lower risks and increasing your bottom line.
Joanne Leggett is the U.S. Consulting Director for Livingston International, North America’s number one company focused on customs brokerage and compliance. Livingston recently acquired the former Vastera business from J.P. Morgan Chase, extending the company’s presence into Europe and Mexico, in addition to offices throughout the United States and Canada. www.livingstonintl.com
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