In international trade, “compliance” refers to how well a company observes the laws and regulations that govern its international business operations. Many of these rules are established by national governments to manage their countries’ trade with other nations (such as setting rates of duty), while others are created to fulfill the requirements of international trade agreements (such as opening up a local market to a trading partner).
If you’re an exporter or importer, you need a clear understanding of the rules that govern international trade in your sector. This is important for avoiding risk, since failing to comply with these trade rules, even accidentally, can lead to serious consequences. Depending on the transgression, you can be subject to fines, audits, seizures, inspections, investigations, loss of market access and even imprisonment.
This online guide will help you assess your company’s risk of non-compliance in several key areas. Because the rules of international trade are so complex, however, it can only provide a general overview of what is involved in complying with them. To estimate your risk of non-compliance accurately, or to obtain a full understanding of the agreement and rules affecting your business, you should always consult legal, tax, accounting and customs professionals.