Exporters, those who are ready to export their first consignment as well as the experienced ones, may find [export documentation] to be a complex process. However, there are only few steps to take and changes to make that can help one gain expertise in this direction. Discussed below is the sure-shot procedure to learn and adopt the right documentation strategies.
Step 1: Get Familiar
Get every minute detail that would be useful at different stages of documentation process. For example, find out:
- What is the exact purpose of each and every document and certificate?
- Which documents are specifically required for your export consignment and those not required?
- Whom to contact for each and every document?
- Which forms you need to fill and where to get those forms from?
- How much time does it take for every document or certificate to get issued?
- What are the costs associated with document preparation?
Step 2: Install a Software
The process of documentation for export activities lacks efficiency without the use of modern technology-based tools. You need to find a tool that would help you to electronically apply for:
- Export permits and health and phytosanitary certificates if you are exporting plants and animals based products
- Certificates of origin if you wish to avail the benefits of Free Trade Agreements
- Export declaration number from the Customs and so on.
By opting for a software, you not only reduce the occurrence of human errors, but can also save time and money. It is recommended to choose a cloud-based software which further adds to the benefits.
Step 3: Avail Training
Even if you gain knowledge and install an export documentation software tool, you may still lack the practical experience to apply for various documents. In such a situation, don’t hesitate in getting trained. If export documents related activities are managed by your staff, you can avail the training for them too. After training, you would be able to use the software in the right way, handle the delays and rejections and prevent the possible business losses.
Step 4: Organize the Process
Once you have the right knowledge, tools and expertise in hand, failing in organizing the process can still cause a roadblock to success. Here are some tips:
- When you feed business data to the software for the first time, make sure there are no errors.
- Avoid adding duplicate data and inconsistencies in information can make the documentation procedures complex and time-consuming.
- Authorize only the reliable people to access the software.
Step 5: Track and Improve
After the first and a couple of more export consignments, you can prepare reports about how the experiences have been. It would help you know the loopholes that still exist. You would also analyse which procedure consume unnecessary time. All this would help you make improvements for the future documentations.
Rather than learning from your mistakes, which may be extremely damaging, it is better to follow these steps from the very start and become an expert in export documentation.