Since 9/11, import and export compliance has become a huge factor in the success and failure of supply chains that span the globe. Imagine the impact to your supply chain if the 300 units of machine parts you ordered from Taiwan were flagged by U.S. Customs. What sort of impact would that have on the entirety of the business? In this article by Mary Siegfried, the importance of import/export compliance is explained, as well as best practices for assuring that simple oversights don’t turn into huge problems. Marie P. Cabral (director of import/export compliance at America II Electronics, inc.) explains how having open communication and early dialogue helps smooth out some of these possible issues: Trade compliance employees must build bridges between their department and supply management so that compliance and security issues can be addressed before there is a problem. Those bridges are built when supply management and other departments invite compliance employees to strategy and planning meetings, for instance. Cabral says she encourages supply managers to “bring me in upfront so we can address any compliance concerns” when sourcing a new supplier or exporting products that need to be licensed to a new buyer, for example. “Anything less than a collaborative effort around trade compliance regulations will result in service delays or customer dissatisfaction,” she says. Some of the best practices listed in the article include education and training, senior management commitment, and written policies. Two of the most beneficial suggestions both deal with assessments – one internally performed, one by a third party.