Consider the following scenario: a multinational company with international manufacturing and distribution operations and sales companies around the world is fielding numerous export related queries. In one instance, the company’s General Counsel for Asia in Hong Kong receives a call from one of its operations in one country saying that the Customs and Excise Department wants to audit their Export Oriented Unit (EOU) operation. Later, it receives a second call from another country, saying that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry wants to conduct export control inspections. A third call, from the country legal manager in China, alerts the General Counsel that Customs in China will not release used machinery unless they produced the permit from the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). A fourth call, from the company’s trading company in Korea, informs the General Counsel that Korean Customs had initiated a customs audit on their related party transactions.
While these calls and reports on customs, trade, and supply chain issues may not take place in the course of a single day, they might well be happening over a week or a month. In Supply Change Management, this could be an ongoing challenge for global trade compliance professionals, particularly those who focus on regulatory compliance matters.
Until recently, Customs and Trade Compliance was not a buzz word in the corporate and legal world. However, today’s globalization has changed the business orientation and thought processes of the trade community, the customs and trade compliance profession, and the government.
The key component of today’s requirements is Informed Compliance, which advocates shared responsibility between government and the trade community. The government communicates its requirements to those dealing with trade, who then establish internal controls and exercise reasonable care in their trade operation consistent with the laws and regulations.
Many companies have been making great strides to establish customs, trade, and supply chain compliance program for trade facilitation. While each company’s compliance program is unique, all Informed Compliance must share certain features in terms of commitment, function, policy, record-keeping, internal auditing, training, efficient process management, information automation, quality service, advocacy, and other considerations. This a good segue to the questions I want to ask the Kinaxis Supply Chain Community Of Interest (COI): What are the most important export control challenges facing Fortune 500 companies from the supply chain perspective? How are the companies addressing them? What are the ramifications of inaction or slow action? What are the best practices? More precisely, how the companies can improve the overall outcome of international trade, customs, and supply chain activities? What are the basics that need to be addressed almost every day in the workplace?