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Export Documentation Compliance: Getting to PAID
April 19, 2018 Office of Small Business

No export transaction is successful if you are not paid and most successful transactions begin with getting the export documentation right the first time. This means meeting all export documentation compliance regulations in a complete, concise, and accurate manner. That is not as easy as it sounds. Export compliance regulations can appear overwhelming and the numerous acronyms used tend to complicate rather than clarify.

The Pitfalls of Export Compliance
It is easy for U.S. exporters, both large and small, to make documentation errors. According to the Office of Export Enforcement, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), even exporters who unintentionally violate export laws expose themselves to heavy criminal and administrative penalties. Inaccurate export documentation can also lead to customs delays and shipping problems, upsetting your customers who do not get their orders on time.
Compliance Problems

EXIM Bank recently conducted a webinar discussing these issues with customs and logistics experts Michael J. Ryan and Adam Young of Preferred Shipping Inc. They were joined by Eric Miller, EXIM’s Regional Director in Houston, who discussed how to turn EXIM's export financing into a strategic and competitive advantage. The webinar was oversubscribed, suggesting compliance issues are a pain point with many small business exporters.

Here are some interesting results from audience surveys conducted during the webinar. When asked what problems the audience experienced most on their international orders, here are the results in order of priority:

  1. Avoiding customs delays
  2. Satisfying delivery expectations
  3. Slow payment
  4. Poor export paperwork
  5. Cultural knowledge

Customer satisfaction, meeting all export compliance regulations in a timely fashion, and minimizing risks in transport and payment are issues for experienced exporters, not just those new to export.  Over sixty percent of our audience were exporters and eighty percent were small businesses. An online survey of how long they had been in business revealed an established base of exporters. The results showed 42% had been in business more than 20 years, 18% between 10 to 20 years, 15% between five to 10 years, 18% between one to five years, and only 7% were in business less than one year.

EXIM supports American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. To achieve this goal we work with companies of all sizes though over 90 percent of our transactions are with small businesses. For EXIM, when it comes to protecting U.S. exporters against nonpayment, no transaction or company is too small.

Learn More

Check out the recorded webinar “Export Documentation Compliance: Getting to PAID” and download the presentation here. Learn how you can avoid costly documentation errors, streamline your logistics operations, and protect against nonpayment risk.

If you have questions or want to speak to one of the panelists, use the contact information provided in the presentation. Find out how EXIM can help turn your export problems into export solutions by protecting your foreign receivables and providing working capital to grow your international sales. Click on the link below.

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!


EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.