Innovation, at its core, is spreading new ideas to new people. For high tech manufacturers, this means spreading product across audiences, regions and even countries. Unfortunately, the global trade landscape isn’t especially open to the constant movement of goods and ideas, and many customs regulations make it difficult for manufacturers to transfer goods across borders.
Adhering to customs and trade compliance regulations is crucial for high tech manufacturers, as there are some very real consequences attached to these seemingly innocuous laws. Monetary fines, penalties and shipping issues (read: delays) are a very real possibility, and these outcomes all put the customer experience at severe risk. Many of these issues could be solved with better record keeping and documentation, which is one of the biggest pitfalls of the current global trade compliance landscape. Maintaining trade compliance is a great way to take proactive steps towards optimizing customer satisfaction.
Below, we’ll explore three of the top trade compliance issues for high tech manufacturers and tips on how to overcome them.
Denied Parties Screening
For many high-security shipments, only specific entities or individuals are able to receive. If this person isn’t available or is off-site, it’s common to just get sign-off from any warehouse employee who happens to be present. Unfortunately, this practice violates trade compliance laws and can lead to serious fines. Particularly with certain types of technology, licensing restrictions may limit who can handle specific shipments and who cannot.
To make sure denied parties screening doesn’t come between an organization and streamlined shipping, it’s crucial to maintain clear and auditable documentation of all restricted or licensed parties, as well as deliver customs data in a easy-to-manage format. Often, denied parties screening issues arise when one person is out of the office and nobody else knows how to manage the workflow. With a documented process in place, denied parties screenings can run smoothly and efficiently.
For high tech manufactures looking to spread their innovations overseas, it’s important to be aware of certain licensing controls and regulations. It’s common that technology that has been created in one country can’t just be sent without restriction to another country. For example an item is shipped from a non-US country but contains a substantial amount of US technology or IP. Even though this item is not shipped directly from the US, it is still subject to US export controls. These licensing agreements must be managed extremely carefully, with every interaction and checkpoint being monitored and recorded in case of audit.
Leveraging a cloud-based global trade compliance solution can help take the guesswork out of licensing. With licensing requirements and regulations stored for individual manufacturers by critical metrics such as country, item, date or value, these platforms make it easy for logistics managers to ensure no licensing issues slip through the cracks, thus protecting a manufacturing organization from potentially devastating risk.
With today’s ever-changing global economy, it’s important for high tech manufacturers to keep a steady pulse on changing government export controls and sanctions. These sanctions include shipping bans on countries like Iraq and Cuba alongside detailed caveats on transferring high-security technology across borders. The consequences of doing so are monumental. Just ask the companies that ended up on the United States’ “Don’t Let This Happen To You” publication of actual investigations of export control and antiboycott violations.
For high tech manufacturers to stay completely up-to-date on sanctions, it’s important to have technology in place that is constantly updated and refreshed so that all new regulatory agency data?including the lists of sanctioned countries?are readily available to key stakeholders. This data can be associated to individual shipments to create more accurate records and facilitate more complete follow up.
So how can a high tech manufacturing organization successfully overcome these compliance issues? Implementing a cloud-based solution, such as a global trade compliance management solution, can help streamline the compliance documentation process while opening the door for a more hands-on, custom service approach.
For high tech manufacturers looking to grow across international borders, global trade and export management solutions deliver best-in-class analytics and visibility to international logistics managers as they seek ways to overcome compliance issues. Used in tandem, trade compliance management and global trade and export management solutions deliver a suite of tools designed specifically for addressing global trade issues, overcoming compliance roadblocks and streamlining manual efforts?all with the end goal of providing an amazing customer experience.
As high tech manufacturing organizations look to expand global operations and streamline trade compliance efforts, they must consider how to handle the roadblocks in front of them.
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