Customs & Trade Planning: It all Starts with Knowing What you Donít Know

Mark K. Neville Jr.
December 14, 2012 — 1,183 views  
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This is not a paradox. High performing companies know the secret to success lies in adopting the proper attitude—once based upon a confident willingness to do whatever is needed to win.

That frame of mind starts with knowing what is expected of them by Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies. Only after first learning what the company is expected to do can it take the next step and gauge what it is actually doing – to measure whether it is on track to meet its legal obligations.

An importer or exporter that fails to educate itself or undertake a customs and trade audit may be violating the law and be liable to penatlties and to side-tracked tripments held up by CBP or other agencies. Clearly, compliance is a smart business practice and a key performance indicator (KPI).

Of course, this self reflection exercise has implicaitons for the company’s bottom line, because any informed review must also take into account all of the various cost savings options available. A company that overlooks its obligations usually overlooks strategic planning opportunities as well.

A final word: Smart companies know what they don’t know. Why not be smart?

Mark K. Neville Jr.

International Trade Counsellors

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