Import Compliance Deep Dive: Tackling Tough Questions in Global Trade

Technology is your best friend when you're dealing with the twin beasts of needing to see everything from start to finish and the need to make things run smoother.

Importing and exporting are not without challenges, especially in terms of the complexity of import compliance regulations. The global trade environment is ripe with geopolitical tensions, varying stages of digitization, and a lack of automation.

Meanwhile, DHL’s 2024 Global Connectedness Report proves globalization continues progressing, with companies generating more money internationally. Those companies are investing more in overseas projects than they have in over a decade.

This article leans on subject matter experts to tackle some of the most challenging questions about operating in the global logistics environment. Keep reading to explore technology’s role in overcoming common hurdles to drive growth.

How is Today’s Global Environment Impacting U.S. Customs Filings and Regulations?

The dynamic nature of global trade makes it challenging to be confident that your goods will breeze through customs. Businesses in this space deal with data overload, product variability, and multiple parties, not to mention the ever-changing landscape perpetually reshaped by regulations from entities like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Partner Government Agencies like the FDA. Disruptions such as geopolitical tensions and environmental factors further complicate the environment, making a one-size-fits-all approach infeasible.

Key industry players recognize the need to digitize their supply chains. As they pursue this path, customs filing and clearing processes must keep pace to avoid becoming bottlenecks.
Intelligent automation offers another solution to navigate the complexities and variability of customs compliance. Business rules and workflows can reduce manual intervention. This strategy ensures that operational efficiency and accuracy growth outpaces the increase in overhead costs, allowing for sustainable expansion as volumes increase.

How Are Customs Brokerage Companies Navigating Import Compliance Challenges to Protect Profit Margins?

Technology is your best friend when you need to see everything from start to finish and make things run smoother for customs brokerage companies. Implementing a strategic blend of digitization and automation across the supply chain helps safeguard profit margins. This approach streamlines operations and fosters collaboration among shippers, carriers, 3PLs, customs brokers, and U.S. Customs, laying a foundation for sustainable profitability.

How Are Technologies Utilized to Generate Value While Lowering Risk in International Trade?

Import compliance is more complex than it used to be. Understanding U.S. Customs is just one piece of the puzzle today. You can find yourself dealing with the daunting task of gathering data for multiple other agencies.

MercuryGate’s Customs & Trade Compliance software steps in to help manage all this data, keeping track of permits, sending notifications about holds or releases, and even creating workflows to deal with exceptions. The software makes a complex process manageable and moves you towards a paperless, digitized system for efficiently handling imports.

Do Global Trade and Supply Chain Technologies Work Together to Deliver Additive Value?

A data-centric approach allows companies to leverage data across the entire supply chain, from global transportation management to customs and trade compliance. Visibility, product testing, sourcing, and import compliance all play critical roles in creating a cohesive supply chain strategy. Aligning visible and relevant data to upstream and downstream activities ensures a smooth and uninterrupted flow of goods. Beginning early from sourcing to final mile delivery optimizes profitability and compliance.

What does Success Look Like for Customs & Trade Compliance?

Success in customs and trade compliance depends on the smooth flow of goods across borders. Many things disrupt this flow, from missing documents to suspended releases. Many importers cross their fingers throughout the process.

The MercuryGate Customs & Trade Compliance platform instills confidence through unique features like browser popups, dashboards, and push notifications that alert users to potential issues. Our latest feature, portal chat, facilitates conversations and allows for the exchange of documents, eliminating much of the back-and-forth we see in the compliance process.

How Can a Customs Brokerage Ensure the Right Investment in Technology at the Right Time?

Import compliance is one of the most complex processes to execute and continues to evolve. Finding the answer to this question begins with several exploratory questions.
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Is the product comprehensive to your current requirements?
  • How well does the product help you to create, manage, and automate workflows?
  • Can your other supply chain partners access relevant data?
  • Does the technology vendor sell solutions or partner with you to ensure success through ongoing support?
  • Does the technology vendor have a resonant vision of the role of technology in the future of customs data, filing, and clearance, as well as the shipper’s broader supply chain and the customs broker’s business demands?
Leveraging this checklist and tailoring it to your needs helps you identify a technology partner who is familiar with the demands of import compliance and works alongside you to improve your efficiency continuously.

How Will Technology Shape the Future of Import Compliance?

As technology improves and more players move toward digitization, you will see a more seamless data exchange that reduces manual interventions and errors. Artificial Intelligence will continue to boost operational efficiency and accuracy by proactively suggesting codes and assigning tariffs and customer data based on past learnings.

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Confidently Navigate Import Compliance with MercuryGate

Global trade offers significant opportunities but comes with inherent challenges and risks, particularly for those involved in U.S. import and export activities.

Leveraging technology, like MercuryGate’s Customs & Trade Compliance software, delivers end-to-end supply chain visibility and operational efficiency to protect profit margins. Our solution provides the confidence and agility to successfully navigate today’s environment and beyond. For more information on thriving in global trade, check out our webinar “Navigate Global Trade Aspects To Keep Freight Moving.” Download our eBook “2024 Guide to Thriving in Global Trade.”

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