A few weeks ago I accepted a job at Shipping Solutions. I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
In no time at all, I was flooded with jargon about export documentation and compliance, a million different forms, dozens of government agencies, and other things relating to international trade. All of this was brand new to my naive mind!
I've never seriously thought about all the ins and outs that one must go through when exporting goods. For most of my life, I've been nothing more than a passive consumer, devouring food and using products from a myriad of sources. I’ve been entirely ignorant to the processes underlying the supply chain system required to facilitate this sort of behavior.
The phrase "American arrogant" comes up as I reflect on my own ignorance of our nation's laws. Why didn't I learn about any of this in school? Luckily, my team at Shipping Solutions has years of experience and wisdom to help guide me despite my initial lack of awareness. After having been here a few weeks, however, I'm starting to get the hang of things and I'm finding that not only is this system necessary—it’s pretty cool, too.
I'm writing this blog post primarily to sum up my own experience and create a sign post for what I have learned so far and what I have yet to learn. Yet, I'm also writing with an audience in mind—an audience like me. If you are new to export documentation and compliance, it may be overwhelming at first. But believe me, speaking from experience I can say that once you start to break things down to their basic building blocks, things get easier.
There are a few materials on the International Trade Blog that have helped me make sense of things and that might help you as well.
This article provides a good overview of the kinds of things new exporters ought to think about. I find tips #2 and #5 to be particularly helpful: "Do Your Research" and "Increase Your Company's Export Knowledge."
This article sums up why it is so important to have an EMCP, as this helps protect one from failing to abide by U.S. trade law and the consequences thereafter. It walks you through the nine elements of an effective EMCP.
As I continue to learn about the export business I am constantly inundated with acronyms. This article contains a long list of some of the most common acronyms—very useful!
This article helps you determine if you need an export license. This is very important to keep in mind, as exporting certain products without an export license is illegal.