By Raphael Madarang
JUST SAY “KNOW:” EIGHT IMPORTANT COMPLIANCE CONTACTS EVERY INTERNATIONAL E-TAILER SHOULD HAVE
nock, knock. In case you didn’t recognize it, that’s the sound of one of your most promising sales opportunities — international e-commerce. But unfortunately for your workload, opportunity isn’t the only thing that’s knocking. So are many legal, regulatory, and financial requirements that your company is obligated to comply with each time it ships to a global customer. Allow me to introduce you to eight key players your company should get to know — or get to know better — as you grow your global business.
NEED TO KNOW Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS): This US government organization oversees export control licenses for goods that are sold to end users overseas. Although chances are good that your products won’t require these licenses, it’s important to study this organization’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) before making that determination. In particular, you’ll want to look at whether or not any of your products have an Export Control Classification Number, also known as an ECCN (which could indicate the need for a license) rather than an EAR99 classification (which
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usually means no license is required). Customs: The fluidity of your products’ border crossings will ultimately come down to how well your company makes the grade with the many “local” versions of this organization throughout the world. Each country’s Customs Department has its own distinctive set of rules and restrictions, and many of their nuances can be difficult to decipher. There can also be notable customs-related differences from port to port (or from airport to airport), particularly in terms of how various rules are interpreted and enforced. Make sure your company cultivates cordial, professional, and