The following blog on ecommerce and export compliance is part of a 4-part series which explores our experiences with businesses in the ecommerce space. The content examines many of the issues experienced by ecommerce businesses as they grow their shipments and begin moving more and more product overseas.
Solutions to many common ecommerce problems are resolved by learning about the basic export processes businesses use to manage export risk and ensure export compliance with markets overseas.
As ecommerce continues to grow at unprecedented rates, we can expect Governments to introduce more scrutiny to these ecommerce shipments. Now is the time to get your export processes, export documentation and trade compliance under control.
Ecommerce & International Compliance
Ecommerce and Trade Compliance
When you send things overseas, authorities in both the origin and destination countries have an interest in what you are transacting. They are interested in not only collecting tariffs and duties but also ensuring the security and regulations in their country are upheld.
The principal authority that has this responsibility is Customs.
As you fast become an ecommerce tycoon, your understanding of export trade compliance and the processes your company is managing well (and those it is not), is vitally important.
A written export compliance program is one key tool to ensuring your company (and your team) is not only meeting its legal requirements but will also help to ensure your goods move freely and without delay.
Overcoming Compliance Obstacles
Different products have different compliance obstacles. Some will have next to none which is great if you’re in this category. For you it’s about clear consistent commercial documents presented in a format expected by the authorities (see our discussion on commercial documentation here).
In contrast, if you’re a business in say, the booming ecommerce Health & Wellbeing sector (see our case study on medical compliance), you can quickly find yourself in a minefield of compliance and regulatory hurdles. For these businesses, compliance should not be a barrier to your expansion, just a new process to learn.
“But I have been sending things for ages, why are my goods now having trouble?”
Customs can’t physically inspect every piece of cargo that is coming into a country. It’s just not possible but they do have a number of mechanisms that can highlight certain higher risk categories. In our experience it can be keywords, increased frequency or just a spot check. The goal for your business is to ensure you have all the necessary details on your documentation to ensure your goods pass straight through to your buyer.
Seems complicated you say… It’s not unlike your early days selling goods in your home market. You had to learn new skills in administration, compliance, accounting and possibly even law. This is no different.
In our experience, solutions to your ecommerce woes are often quite simple. Need some more details on just what you should be doing? Speak to the team at CVEN and we’ll be more than happy to make sure you’re on the right path.
Previously in our e-commerce series:
- International eCommerce: Invoicing and risk – Are your international invoices the same or similar to your domestic invoices? If so, then this is an important read for you.
Coming up in our e-commerce series:
- Taxation Liabilities – We only need mention the UK and Europe post Brexit to give exporters the willies
- Logistic options – This is gold as it’s a key part of the process. Get it there cheap and fast and minimise any headaches.
Who is CVEN?
CVEN is your team of international trade specialists.
We understand the difficulties involved with starting and growing your export. CVEN is an export management company with over 25 years of experience providing export solutions to business. We get to work tackling the export side of things, so you can stay focused on running your business.
If you’ve hit a roadblock with your ever-growing online business, get in touch and we’ll help get your international ecommerce operations running smoothly.