Business Consulting Services

Compliance Review

International businesses, especially large multinationals, are being held to increasingly stricter standards of global compliance oversight. The regulatory requirements associated with goods traveling across borders are complex in any country; when multiplied by the 20, 40 or 100 countries many companies operate in, the level of complexity may seem unmanageable. Yet non-compliance with regulations affecting cross-border trade can be a very significant risk, leading to high costs and disrupted supply chains. The difficulty of managing trade compliance risk begins with the difficult first step of even knowing what regulations and standards apply in countries like France and Brazil, let alone emerging markets like Indonesia and Peru.

The Trusted Trade Alliance has a comprehensive set of solutions for global trade compliance assessment. With a team including recognized trade compliance experts with on-the-ground experience in virtually every country around the globe, we specialize in providing comprehensive reviews of international trade operations to assess and improve your level of compliance. Whether for a country operation, a region, your global operations, or your supply base, our reviews are focused on assessing whether the company is meeting the standards and regulatory compliance burden of each country covered, and in a cost-effective way. We can assist you in examining every aspect of your company’s international trade-related processes--and we can often find ways for you to save money while improving compliance.

Our range of compliance assessment services include:

  1. Import and Export clearance processes, including service provider oversight and record keeping
  2. Handling of sanctions, export and defense control compliance, including dealing with US controls under the responsibility of the Departments of Commerce (BIS), State (DDTC), and Treasury (OFAC), EU controls promulgated by the Commission and the national export control agencies of the EU Member States, and the national restrictions of Australia, Mexico, Brazil and others.
  3. Classification processes (both under the harmonized tariff system and under export control lists)
  4. Customs valuation issues
  5. Compliance with human rights and environmental mandates in the supply chain (including prohibited labor practices)
  6. Health, phytosanitary, quarantine and safety-related import requirements
  7. Handling of preferential and non-preferential origin programs
  8. Trusted trader programs, including Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and national programs focused on supply-chain security or compliance.

Our review can be tailored to specific operations or compliance focus areas, and can be as comprehensive or limited in scope as you require.

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Compliance Advice

Regulatory requirements vary from country to country; while many are based on multilateral treaty or convention, the letter of the law, the definition of what is required to import or export, and what constitutes compliance under applicable sanctions or export control regimes differ from country to country. A determination of whether your company’s operations are compliant requires knowledge of local requirements, yet at the same time an awareness of regional multi-country or global frameworks (sometimes supplementing or even conflicting with national standards) which may apply specifically to your company’s activities. The Trusted Trade Alliance has a very broad coverage geographically, yet at the same time a very deep experience in compliance matters specific to countries across the globe, including in regions where expert trade advice is often hard to obtain.

Our general philosophy is that businesses wishing to trade internationally need to maintain a close eye on regulatory requirements impacting their cross-border activities from origin to destination. The trend has been towards stricter import and export requirements over the past few years, and the proliferation of punitive sanctions and retaliatory trade measures has only added new layers of complexity. We provide you with specific, tested, practical advice, and our goal will be to assist you in combining a global strategic view while reflecting applicable national requirements in your cross-border trade activities. Our aim is to help you achieve compliant processes which are also cost-effective, compatible with your business and IT processes, and flexible to meet future needs.

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Company Trade Compliance Policy Development

Many companies have had key internal financial and business processes certified under the ISO quality standards. The key to meeting the certification process is having standard, documented processes in place which meet specified minimum requirements. For Sarbanes-Oxley and similar regulatory initiatives in the financial area, accurate, documented policies reflecting compliant processes are the key to prove that minimum standards have been met. They also serve as guidelines for employees and service providers engaged in the company, and form a basic assurance that the company is aware of its compliance obligations and has thought through the operational implications of them. Whether in an audit by governmental authorities or in a certification review by a qualified ISO review body, having a comprehensive, up-to-date set of written policies in place is essential for a positive outcome.

Survival of a trade compliance audit, approval for and maintenance of self-assessment programs, and achieving the “green lane” status of programs implemented under the auspices of the WCO's SAFE Framework all have one major underlying pre-requisite in common: adequate documentation of compliant practices, typically in the form of written policies, and evidence that these policies are tailored to the company operations, and really in use within a company. The Trusted Trade Alliance team is comprised of seasoned professionals who have been directly involved in partnering with governments to pilot programs such as the US Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA) & C-TPAT (currently being combined into a new “Trusted Trader” program) and the trusted trader and AEO programs of the EU, Australia,, the UAE and Singapore. We can assist you in developing written policies tailored both to the requirements of the programs and to your business, helping you to achieve and maintain the desired status efficiently.

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