Five Trade Compliance Resolutions Every Company Should Make

By In Insight On 11th January 2024

Trade compliance is a critical component of import and export. More than ever, customs agencies can access the latest digital tools to help with enforcement. Stay ahead in the compliance game by implementing important compliance activities.

Here are some of our suggestions for 2024:

  1. Know who you are doing business with. Ensure your shipments don’t involve ‘bad actors’. For export, this could mean a party involved is on one of the Restricted Party Lists. For import, it could mean a party within the supply chain is using forced labor. More than ever, Customs is cracking down, so now is a good time to reevaluate your parties and maybe take it further this year (if you haven’t already) by vetting your supply chains down to the raw materials. 
  2. Regularly audit your customs entries. Assign a responsible person to review your entries for errors or irregularities. This person should understand how to read a customs entry and know the products you are importing. Finding an error before customs does will save your company from extra headaches from having to locate supporting documents and fixing an issue by a strict deadline.  
  3. Keep thorough records for five years. Ensure your company retains documentation to support any claims made on export and import declarations. Especially important are 'red-flag' items, for example, imports claiming reduced duty or duty-free treatment is low hanging fruit for U.S. Customs.
  4. Routinely evaluate your imports for duty discounts. Check if your imports are eligible for reduced or duty-free treatment. Depending on the country of origin, the type of product, or the import circumstance, there could be significant savings in duty and taxes. Why pay extra when you are eligible to pay less.
  5. Apply correct tariff classifications. The 10-digit U.S. Harmonized Tariff number is very critical. It determines how much duty is paid, how a product is regulated, and what government agencies are involved with clearance. Periodically reviewing your classifications and taking time to classify new products will keep your company compliant and free from surprise duty bills.

If you are searching for more ideas on how to keep your company more compliant in 2024, many resources are available online. 

Here are a few resources:

Our teams can help! Our Licensed Customs Brokers are available to assist with classification and duty evaluations. For more information contact your local NNR office.

Tatiana Snigurski

Business Development Manager - Customs & Trade Compliance



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