Implementing trade compliance best practice is required to seize the opportunities associated with Canada’s renewed trade policy agenda. Competitiveness depends on shifting the topic of trade compliance from being more than an afterthought to transportation infrastructure development.

British Columbia annually trades with the world about $74.4 billion in goods: exports account for around $31.7 billion and imports $42.7 billion. As a result, 34 percent of provincial gross domestic product directly relies on merchandise freight and the international supply chains, transportation services, port, and logistics infrastructure that underpins this constantly pulsating flow of traffic that moves across our entire province.

The results of the Surface Annual Transportation Annual Review 2014 survey revealed that increasing export growth and support for sales channels were important logistics priorities for 2014. Increasing trade reliance results in a corresponding duty for logistics service providers and companies to be in trade compliance. A clear understanding of the rules that govern international trade is beneficial since failing to comply with the trade rules, even accidentally, can lead to serious consequences. This BC Shipping News article touches on some of the issues influencing maritime trade compliance and highlight best practices that may offer insights to shippers as they seek future growth opportunities.

Trade Compliance Best Practices

Regarding best practices, small and medium-sized importers and exporters would be well advised to no even think about logistics options until after they have figured out how to address trade compliance issues. Timm observed, “that, in his experience, clients just want to do the right. We have hardly ever seen clients trying to do something fraudulent. Sometimes they don’t pay enough attention, and they don’t follow the process. But just about 100% are trying to do it honestly, just conducting their business. Doing what they think they should do and sometimes, they’re wrong.” It can be a costly mistake to adopt a ship first and worry about trade compliance later approach.

With a rising economic outlook and the need to support new sales channels, supply chain professionals will need to navigate deftly trade compliance shoals using both a strategic and operational perspective. Pilot projects, collaborating with others to assesses and adopt new technology, and including subject matter experts on your team are all best practices that are used chart a successful course.