How to Manage Compliance when importing products internationally
Compliance management is vital when dealing with global sourcing of goods and products. Regulations and laws differ between countries and regions, making it important to ensure that goods sourced elsewhere meet the requirements of the local market and authorities. Product laws and regulations are continuously developing and updating, making it vital that you are able to manage and keep up-to-date with the laws and regulations as pertain to your company’s products.
There are, however, a wide range of resources available to assist you in; finding the correct overseas procurement service, better understanding the rules and regulations domestically and internationally, and developing relationships with companies in your industry. Listed below is just a snapshot of the resources available to you.
When you’ve decided that global sourcing is the correct path for your company, the next step is to utilize government information resources. Given that the major challenge of global sourcing, beyond finding an appropriate and reliable sourcing partner, is complying with rules and regulations, it is imperative that you get a better understanding of all rules and regulations as pertain to the product or parts you are looking to source.
Given a typical project structure, communication channels may need to be established across Planning & Construction, Environmental Protection, Fire Protection, Land Administration, Power Supply, and Technical Supervision. Depending upon the scope of your product, you can contact each of these organizations to see how your product fits within their regulations, or seek advice on testing procedures.
Trusted Suppliers Database
It can be difficult in the beginning of the global sourcing process to determine how best to go about procuring products at low cost, whilst also complying with relevant laws and regulations. Verified supplier listing on trusted global sourcing platform helps you to find reliable suppliers. Those suppliers and manufacturers are able to advise you on how local and domestic compliance rules differ, and how to solve these issues.
Fairs and Trade Shows
Fairs and trade shows offer a great platform for companies to connect with suppliers in their industry. More often than not, face-to-face interactions will allow you to build better relationships, which can then be utilized to find the latest rules and regulations.
Expand your Networking
Online social networks enable you to bridge the gap between the online and business worlds. Platforms such as LinkedIn allow companies to reach out to and develop rapport with distributers around the world. Utilize these networks to discover individuals or companies with a good reputation for providing quality goods at competitive prices.
Keep up with the Latest News
With global sourcing it is important to stay up-to-date with all of the latest news and developments in your industry. This includes keeping abreast of the latest retailer news, and changes in national, regional and international compliance regulations as pertains to your business.
Set-up an in-house compliance team
Given the complexity and importance of utilizing global sourcing to drive profits, you may want to look at developing a strong in-house compliance team. Whilst this is not always feasible at the off-set of the global sourcing process, an in-house team will enable you to keep track of changing laws and regulations. An internal team will also have a better idea of product requirements and be able to better communicate this with suppliers.
Depending upon your industry there is a wide array of information available on local safety regulations in addition to international standards. Below are a few helpful links to good resources.