Importing and exporting can help small and medium businesses as well as established enterprises expand their presence and market reach on a global scale. However, there are rules and regulations in this sector that importers and exporters must be aware of. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) outlines this basic information on importing and exporting.

When importing, the CBP outlines specific tips for new importers — foremost of which is remembering that certain types of goods and services mandate a license or permit to import. Exporters, meanwhile, are given tools, assistance, and knowledge by the International Trade Administration to help them grow in the global marketplace. Just like in importing, exporters may be required a license or permit to export from the U.S., depending on the type of products or services.

In all of these, there’s a catch. Adhering to these guidelines is easier said than done. Importing and exporting may face customs-related problems such as:

Sometimes, customs won’t clear the shipment to your buyer or importer due to any or a combination of these issues, resulting in rejections. Rejections can be governmental — which means the government rejected the importer’s country and may have banned the importation of that specific good. There are so-called importer rejections, too, which may be due to the exporter, shipper, or importer.

Exporter origin reasons may involve the importer rejecting the goods due to mistakes by the exporter, such as wrong or defective goods or improperly packaged or labeled goods. Shipper origin reasons result from the rejection of damaged or delayed goods. Lastly, importer reasons may include a sudden change of mind or that they ordered the wrong goods.

To avoid any of these scenarios, companies must have a dedicated team or department overseeing all export shipments, working with the freight forwarding company. For rejections of importer origins, it’s very important to conduct proper inspection and screening of buyers. Meanwhile, minimizing damage during shipment is the responsibility of the exporter through proper packaging — guidelines provided by the freight forwarder.

In this process, the U.S. customers collect broker fees on most shipments entering the country. It's calculated at “0.3464% of the entered value (the cost of the merchandise…), with a minimum of $27.23 and a maximum of $528.33.” But a lack of accurate and systematic process in importing and exporting can cost you company so much more than that — especially when importing or exporting a significant amount of goods — and it is in this point that many different risks may arise, such as:

How an American Food Company Eliminated Broker Fees with SAP GTS

McCormick & Company — which manufactures, markets, and distributes condiments, seasoning mixes, spices, and other flavoring products to food manufacturers, retail outlets, and foodservice businesses worldwide — was able to eliminate unnecessary broker fees by streamlining its foreign trade processes using SAP GTS Import-export Self-Filing. Through such implementation, it has enabled import self-filing in the United States to the U.S. Customs, allowed for Import in Great Britain, and implemented electronic Import filing through a broker in many other countries.

McCormick & Company partnered with Ropaar, thought leaders in the world of Global Trade, to implement SAP GTS and remove manual and costly import filing processes. Using its TradeBlazers’ Approach, Ropaar helped the client enable import self-filing to eliminate broker fees and increase regulatory confidence. The project was seamlessly and accurately completed, allowing McCormick to quickly realize a substantial ROI for this project.

As a result, McCormick & Company became the first U.S. ACE self-filing implementation for U.S. Imports using SAP GTS. They were able to eliminate their existing cloud-based U.S. import-filing software, and they now self-file 90 percent of their volume into Europe through Great Britain, eliminating broker fees altogether.

Implement SAP GTS with Ropaar

While implementing SAP solutions might sound like a lot of work, companies like Ropaar can assist you and guide you through your journey. At Ropaar, we have helped various companies from across different industries. We help you assess your unique landscape and implement cutting-edge SAP global trade solutions to help you execute in the digital age.

By leveraging Ropaar’s years of experience in foreign trade, you can be confident that your organization can overcome current and future global trade challenges. Contact us to learn more about our solutions and services.