Let’s start at the beginning: What is import compliance, and why is it essential for global expansion?
Import compliance means following specific regulations to get goods or products successfully imported into a country. This is made up of three main aspects:
- Entity compliance
- Product compliance
- Compliance for sale
Regulations around these aspects differ according to the destination you are importing into. Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to a seized, returned, or destroyed shipment—something we prefer to avoid.
In the following blog post, we will discuss each aspect in more detail.
1. Entity Compliance for Import
Entity compliance refers to the maintenance and upkeep of corporate documents and records. Entity compliance must come before product compliance. This is because entity compliance feeds into product compliance. If your business is not compliant for import, your products definitely won’t be.
Research and experience are the best tools when making sure you are compliant. Just because you are compliant in one marketplace does not mean you will be compliant in another. It is essential to assess if any restrictions are levied on a foreign importer in every area you intend to expand.
2. Product Compliance for Import
Product compliance refers to documents or safety procedures that a product must comply with in order to be successfully imported.
It is important to stay up to date with product compliance policies in your chosen country of import; as with all policies and regulations, product compliance is constantly under review and can change at any given moment. There can also be a disconnect between how the law is interpreted and how governing authorities apply it. This means your product may pass inspection once, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will clear again.
3. Compliance for Sale
These regulations are usually in the form of consumer protection laws and differ widely according to the country of sale. While customs authorities enforce product compliance, the federal authorities enforce national product safety. This means it is illegal to sell your goods if you do not comply with these legislations.
Some standards are developed for specific products or categories. In other cases, directives (e.g., Low Voltage Directive) refer to entire lists of standards. Not all products are covered by product-specific safety standards. But what is essential to understand is that you, as an importer, are responsible for ensuring that all products you place on the market are safe and legal to sell.
In conclusion, global expansion compliance may seem daunting and complicated, but with some research and the correct compliance expert, it’s eZee.