Why Quality Matters in Being Compliant

Author: Paul Condeco, Manager of Sales Development & Strategic Solutions – Icecorp

Have you ever gone out to dinner on a special occasion and ordered the steak and was disappointed at the results? Was it too chewy, tough, or overcooked? Maybe it wasn’t AAA grade. Maybe the cook didn’t know how to grill the perfect steak. Just like a trip to a steakhouse, quality matters in customs brokerage.

As an importer you are responsible for the accuracy and compliance of the customs entries submitted to the Canadian government.

Compliance standards

The quality assurance standards that your customs broker uses to audit your Canadian customs clearances matter because they are part of the compliance strategy you have so meticulously laid out. As an importer you are responsible for the accuracy and compliance of the customs entries submitted to the Canadian government. Your custom broker’s ability to catch errors can literally save you money. CBSA can mandate changes after a tariff or value verification going back 4 years, potentially adding landed costs such as duty and administrative costs for corrections that you can’t re-coup. A compliance strategy is the approach you take to ensure that you comply with the policies and regulations set by the government by evaluating your internal and external resources, verification processes, expertise and access to information. If your compliance strategy doesn’t include an internal check for errors, do you have faith in your compliance provider? Have they put quality control processes in place to protect you from non-compliance?

If you are responsible for managing compliance for your company, you should ask yourself these questions: Who is reviewing my entries? Do they review every entry or just a small sample size? Do they know enough about my business and the commodities I import? What are the data elements they review? Do they track and record the types of errors found? Is the reporting part of my vendor performance review? Is quality control done before or after final accounting with Customs?

If your customs broker has good controls in place, they help reduce the risk of non-compliance, improve accuracy of submissions and reduce the amount of administration required to correct mistakes.

If you have experienced Certified Customs Specialists reviewing your entries, identifying technical and human errors, and being transparent and proactive about the results, you have a greater assurance for the quality of work.

If you have ever sent back your steak, you’ll know the experience normally leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It always starts with quality