Guide to the Generalized System of Preferences30 August 2021
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Compliance is the area in shipping that most often trips people up. While just about all documents and licenses come with challenges, a class of documents takes complexity to another level.
Demystifying import certifications such as the NOM, KCC, CCC, and FFSB licenses, which commonly frustrate shipments and thwart timelines, can be a tall order.
While all compliance documents should be taken seriously, with even the most minor error resulting in disaster, these more complex pieces of documentation offer a significantly higher chance for disaster. Suppose we were to use the analogy of a picnic. In that case, general import compliance can be likened to the uninvited ants, annoying and difficult to control but still manageable with the right tools and knowledge. Then, these pieces of documentation are the killer bees, swarming to your lemonade and ready to sting with any wrong move. You may get a few lucky swipes in, but without the proper knowledge and equipment at your disposal, you are at serious risk for a painful sting.
Not only are issues with these certifications more challenging to resolve, but they are highly nuanced and contextual, making for a very long and often arduous acquisition process. This can pose particular problems for potential importers, especially those with a tight deadline, like this client whose $5000 shipment of electronics needed to be delivered to Mexico as soon as possible.
Due to the nature of the goods being shipped, our client needed a NOM certificate to prove the parts would not damage Mexican public networks. This, among other factors, makes Mexico an extremely challenging destination for those in the Tech industry like our client as Tech equipment is even more highly regulated, particularly if it is dual-use. Luckily, complexity in the Tech industry is what TecEx thrives on, leaving no doubt as to why we are the partner of choice for so many in the Tech space.
Having shipped similar products 18 months before, the shipper promised the end buyer that the goods would reach them within the month. Unfortunately, our client had not realized how limited the shelf life of a NOM was and was faced with the prospect of going through the entire application process again. This process alone would push the delivery date well past the one-month mark, leaving our client in a sticky situation.
While shelf life’s for various certifications differ from one year on a NOM to up to ten years for an FBS, managing these details is essential and, unfortunately, often overlooked. Shipping on an expired license will result in a stuck shipment, and the lead times on new applications can make fixing the situation in a reasonable time frame almost impossible. Luckily for our client, they noticed before shipping and turned to TecEx for help. Due to our high shipping volumes, we almost always have the proper certification on hand. Because these documents are usually importer specific and not shipment specific, we can often help our client straight away, as was the case for this shipment.
After meeting with the client, TecEx sprang into action, providing an accurate upfront cost estimate. We also provided the client with specific lead times, allowing them to manage expectations and anxieties. After only a short period, all compliance was approved, and shipment was sent on its way to Mexico. We quickly cleared the consignment upon arrival, working tirelessly with our reliable partners to deliver the products within the deadline.
Our vast database of import certifications spans the entire world of compliance, including NOM, KCC, CCC, and FBS certifications. Access to this means we can often offer our clients far shorter lead times into destinations like Mexico, Russia, Korea, and China.
We have established processes to quickly assist our clients looking to ship into these destinations with advice and guidance for acquiring new certifications. We also offer support to clients when sourcing peripheral licenses and can help with compliance renewals. Having all this information and expertise on hand drastically reduces the usual lead times, simplifying sourcing compliance.
Luckily for this client, TecEx was able to step in with an established NOM, allowing them to meet their tight deadline into one of the most complex lanes on the planet resulting in a happy end buyer. Since this shipment, the same client has used our services for two additional Mexico shipments and another complex lane into Saudi Arabia.
If you are planning a shipment and need help getting your compliance right, contact TecEx.