A recently released study by London-based Accuity reveals a disturbing trend among financial institutions involved in global trade: some two-thirds of those organizations still rely on manual internet searches to maintain compliance with global trade controls. And if financial institutions are doing so, what about actual importers and exporters?
Perhaps this is a silly question to ask, but does your company’s trade compliance rest with Google? Do your company’s global trade solutions depend on a small number of staff members running internet searches to find relevant compliance data? If so, trouble lies ahead.
More About the Study
To get a better handle on how organizations are addressing global trade compliance, Accuity surveyed officials from banks, non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies, logistics providers, and a variety of corporations whose operations are in some way connected to global trade. More than 120 were surveyed through the first half of 2021.
Here are some of the study’s key findings:
- While banks tend to manage trade compliance through dedicated teams, non-financial organizations are not as likely to do so. They are more likely to maintain compliance through general operations.
- Banks are more likely to screen five or more data points to guarantee compliance. They do so at a rate of about 90%. Non-banking organizations do not screen as much.
- Constantly changing regulations are the biggest challenge among all organizations attempting to maintain trade compliance. Evolving expectations makes keeping up with changes harder.
- The majority of surveyed organizations are planning to invest in systems to improve efficiency. Some 74% also want to improve transparency and data sharing capabilities.
- The number one reason companies strive for trade compliance is to maintain a competitive advantage. Companies are less concerned about fines and penalties for noncompliance.
It is clear that international companies understand the need for global trade compliance. However, that doesn’t necessarily equate to identifying the need for dedicated solutions from companies like Ohio-based Vigilant Global Trade Services.
- Leaving Compliance to the Experts
There are some aspects of business that companies manage to keep in-house without issue. Global trade compliance is not one of them. It is simply not enough to handle compliance via guesswork. Running to Google every time there is a question to answer doesn’t guarantee that things will be handled correctly.
The internet is a valuable resource for all sorts of information. But we all know that we cannot believe everything we read online. Even in the world of global trade, there is plenty of erroneous information floating around the cyber sphere. Trusting compliance to manual searches is a fool’s errand.
Vigilant and its competitors are the experts. Their global trade solutions are rooted in years of accumulated knowledge, experience, and practical application. They make it their mission to stay abreast of changing regulations. They know what the expectations are at any given moment.
- Don’t Go Looking for Trouble
Even if a company chooses not to partner with a global trade services provider, there are things that can be done in-house to maximize compliance and minimize risk. At the very least, companies shouldn’t go looking for trouble by leaving their compliance to Google.
It is surprising that so many companies still rely on manual internet searches to get answers to their compliance questions. If two-thirds of the organizations surveyed by Accuity are doing it, what do the numbers look like across the entire global trade sector? It is almost frightening to think about.
Few things in business are as complicated as global trade compliance. That’s why an entire industry has sprung up around providing companies with dedicated global trade services.