With today's fast paced business climate time is limited and precious. There is always a long list of tasks to accomplish so why would you take valuable time out of your busy schedule to attend an educational course?
Like any good business person worth his or her salt, let's examine the Return on Investment (ROI). Obviously the course topic has to have some relevance to your business. Here are some questions a potential attendee may ponder on as they contemplate the decision to attend or not:
- Is there a way my company can save money?
- Will it improve a process?
- Will it provide potential insight to solve a problem?
- Will it provide valuable knowledge to move a project along?
- Is the topic one that cannot easily be ignored? (e.g. compliance issues)
What is Customs Compliance?
Customs compliance refers to importers and exporters meeting all of the requirements governing the movement of their commercial goods across the border. To be trade compliant is to ensure that the tariff classification, origin and valuation of goods are all accurately declared in accordance with legislative requirements and that the appropriate duties and taxes are paid. There is a clear obligation under the Customs Act to provide true, accurate and complete trade information including a proper description of the goods, as well as correcting erroneous information regardless of dutiable status. Furthermore, an essential part of customs compliance is to ensure that all import requirements are met such as having the appropriate import permit. Failure to meet all import requirements violates the control measures that are in place to protect the economy, the environment and the health of citizens.
The Importance of Customs Compliance:
In recent years, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have shifted much of their emphasis from import inspections to post-audit verifications. The responsibilities put upon Importers of Record (IOR) have steadily increased as all members of the supply chain endure higher scrutiny from customs officials. Now more than ever it is imperative that the IOR maintain a high level of sophistication, demonstrate due diligence, ensure they understand their responsibilities, implement internal sets of controls and procedures for best practices as well as understand the consequences of non-compliance.
International trade no longer stands on the sidelines of corporate awareness. It is being transformed from an operational function into an evolving eco-system that helps mitigate organizational risks and strategically drives value. In order to do business efficiently, smart businesses need to strike a balance between ensuring timely movement of cross-border goods and complying with complex regulatory systems designed to ensure safe, verifiable cross-border transactions. Effective global customs planning can help improve a company's bottom line.
Benefits of Attending a Customs Compliance Course:
1. Gain Insight on Key Trade Topics
A well designed course will help you gain a better understanding of key trade topics, teach you how to manage customs compliance and utilize free trade agreements to your benefit. The substantial knowledge you receive will aid in completing accurate documentation, understanding logistics and getting a feel for how transactions move through the regulatory process.
2. Stay Current on Customs Regulations
In our industry, where we deal with customs and other government agencies, regulations are ever-changing. A customs compliance course can be a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade.
3. Avoid Possible Penalties and Risks By Being Informed
Customs agencies and other government departments emphasize the importance of compliance. This is monitored through increased enforcement and could result in monetary penalties to the importer. One of the most important reasons to attend a course is the knowledge and guidance you will receive from the presenters with regards to the steps your organization will need to take to become more compliant with government agencies.
4. Cost-effective Training and Knowledge Refreshment Tool for Logistics Professionals
Courses make for excellent training for someone in a new role, a new employee, or training for yourself. Quite often we have repeat attendees who regularly register on an annual or bi-annual basis. Part of our education program (PCB Learning Center) covers general overviews of importing or exporting, but we also offer training on specific subjects (e.g. North American Free Trade Agreement, H.S. Tariff Classification, Customs Valuation, etc.), thus providing an excellent opportunity for companies to utilize them as a cost-effective training tool.
5. Access to Customs Compliance Experts
A well designed course should include adequate time for audience participation or a valid opportunity at the conclusion to get answers to your questions. A live seminar gives you the chance to personally speak to the presenter(s) or other subject matter experts. We all agree that sometimes the best experiences occur when there are excellent inquiries that promote further ideas and discussion, particularly when you thought you were the only one with that challenge.
6. Reasonable Time Commitment
The ability to obtain some specific knowledge in a short period of time is an added benefit. Night school courses are requisite for more in-depth subject learning but often you need something that is less intensive but still provides substantial knowledge. Half or full-day seminars or on-demand videos are an excellent way to get a quick update.
7. Networking - Make Valuable Professional Connections
A live course allows you to network and learn alongside other like-minded professionals, coming away with increased knowledge and understanding. Perhaps you will encounter a person who had a similar business problem to yours, or people who can share their own experience on a certain issue and provide you with valuable insight.
Here is a quote from an attendee at one of our recent Customs Compliance Seminars "..it's always interesting to have an informal conversation with compliance people from other industries," which brings up another great point - where else would you have a chance to rub shoulders with people of similar business interests?
Hopefully this has inspired you to take the next step in your customs compliance education. Check out our PCB Learning Center to find a perfect resource today!
We hope you'll join us and encourage you to share this with colleagues and business partners who might find it useful.