Global trade requires speed, to be sure: you have to be able to react quickly and appropriately to any situation. It also takes reliability. Understanding that time is money requires reliable responsiveness.
But without compliance, none of the above matters. You could have a great team, be comprehensively driven to move faster and smarter than anyone else, but if you aren’t in full compliance with regulations you can be slower and unwieldy, with any momentum you may have costing you big later on. Really, trade is about navigating the complexities of import and export, not just about navigating rough waters.
That’s where a Global Trade Compliance Consultant (GTCC) comes in. They keep you compliant by getting you prepared on a regulatory and licensing front during your SAP GTS implementation. They help you steer away from erroneous filings and fines based on skewed data or inaccurate reporting. They help keep your operations running smoothly.
No company can handle all the complexities of the global trade compliance on their own. A GTCC can help you avoid fees, open doors, and be the fast and reliable partner your partners need you to be. Here are 11 reasons why you need one on your team.
11 Ways a Global Trade Compliance Consultant Keeps Your Operations in Order
When you run a business in imports and/or exports, you deal with overlapping sets of macro and micro issues, both the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day and the big picture of the global trade system.
A GTCC keeps both in order. They are experts in handling the broad issues, including:
- They understand how global trade works. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is the single-most important factor. They are versed in the complexities of regulations, levies, tariff structures, trade agreements, and more. This is their world. While you have to deal with hiring, ship acquisitions, travel logistics, partnerships, and more, they are focusing entirely on global trade.
- They understand how to configure SAP GTS for your specific business. When a GTCC works with you, they distill that broad knowledge into a working SAP GTS plan for your specific business needs. You have a company culture, routes, and preferred partners. You may specialize in certain types of goods. All of this is factored into how your SAP GTS works for you, and that is your GTCC’s focus.
- They know how to keep your system flexible to account for regulatory changes and your growth. Trade deals are not set in stone. They are constantly being changed, amended, and even ripped up. They also will help you grow and adapt to the challenges that come with expansion. A GTCC keeps your system flexible.
- They help streamline daily processes outside of system automation. One of the great benefits of SAP GTS is that it automates a lot of your daily processes, eliminating the risk of human error—which is almost inevitable in such a vast, global system. There are some processes that can’t be automated, and a GTCC works to recognize and improve those. They’ll help your people do their jobs in an efficient and even easier manner, improving accuracy and boosting morale. GTCCs eliminates roadblocks, redundancies, and chokepoints, whether in the system or your office.
How do they do that? By being experts in a lot of different areas, and making sure you have every moving part in perfect working order. If global trade is a huge machine, these are the cogs and gears and teeth that make it work smoothly.
- Import/export compliance and license management. You will have different licenses for different ports and for different goods. What holds true for one product in one country might not hold true in another. It is a swirling and dizzying mess of paperwork, but a GTCC gives you the tools to manage it efficiently while avoiding fines, fees, and even license revocation.
- Free Trade Agreement qualification, data solicitation and verification. What products qualify for savings? What product information do you need from your vendors? Where are hidden red flags? Where are hidden treasures? A GTCC helps you find them all.
- Global harmonized tariff schedule (HS) classification. Here’s how the USITC defines the harmonized tariff schedule: “the HTS is based on the international Harmonized System, which is the global system of nomenclature applied to most world trade in goods.” If that sounds complicated, it is. If it sounds like something that changes all the time, it does. A GTCC makes sure that all your classifications are controlled the way you need with solid audit trails to withstand scrutiny.
- Country of origin determination. In a world where vast fleets of trucks criss-cross continents and tankers sail from port to port, it can be difficult to track country of origin on every product for proper classification and compliance. A GTCC helps you organize your system to keep track of everything.
- Foreign Trade Zone management. FTZs have been set up to encourage US competitiveness in overseas markets. They provide reductions or even eliminations of duties on a wide variety of goods. These are situation-dependent, of course, which is why you have to always be aware of them. Proper FTZ management, the kind that a GTCC expert can help set up during SAP GTS implementation, can help you maximize savings.
- Warehouse management. You’ll be operating in a lot of different warehouses, whether those are in a foreign trade zone or are considered bonded warehouses. There are different rules, and different chances for savings or risks of penalties. Your SAP GTS can help you keep track of everything and increase your savings. A GTCC can make that happen.
- Embargo/sanctions compliance. Conflict goods, Banned vendors. Countries in tiffs over tariffs. International and unilateral sanctions. Your business is beholden to decisions made at the highest levels, involving the fates of nations and the bank accounts of individuals. Global trade compliance demands that you stay current with any and all embargoes and sanctions. A GTCC makes sure that you do.
It’s a confusing and complicated business, but it is one that you can manage. The right software gets you there. A GTCC who understands your business can help you implement it correctly, and make sure you can operate it on your own.
How a Global Trade Compliance Consultant Makes You an Expert
GTS implementation takes a team. The scale of global trade makes it impossible to go it alone, it demands that you and your team understand GTS software and how to use it. That’s what a good GTCC does.
A good GTCC provides training to make you self-sufficient. They set up your SAP GTS with the optimum levels of automation and personalization so that you can run it yourself. They make sure that your team is the expert in all of this. They give you the tools to succeed.