Ignoring legal compliance can result in court rulings and fines running into millions of dollars, as Google and Microsoft have both found to their great cost in Europe.
Owners of small businesses are not immune and risk penalties imposed by local or national authorities if they contravene transport laws, health and safety rules, and/or customs regulations.
3 Areas Where Legal Compliance Really Counts
Besides the consequences of falling foul of the law, business owners may find their shipments tied up in red tape in ports halfway across the world if they don’t take the trouble to understand the tight rules and regulations governing international trade.
Three areas, in particular, deserve careful attention:
1) Customs Compliance
Globalisation has opened up new procurement opportunities and untapped markets for entrepreneurs everywhere, but cross-border trade comes with many regulatory requirements that have to be studied continuously.
Fortunately, there are plenty of specialist companies who will take care of all your documentation, such as letters of credit, export filings, certificates of origin, and customs clearance.
2) Transport Compliance
This is another minefield, with transport managers needing to ensure that:
- Drivers are trained and have the correct operating licenses
- Vehicles are roadworthy and regularly maintained
- Drivers’ hours don’t exceed safety limits
- Loads are within legal limits
- Tachographs are installed where mandatory.
3) Health and Safety Compliance
Regulations, usually set out in a country’s health and safety act, typically include the following checklist:
- Siting of first aid stations/kits
- Instructions for emergency procedures
- Defining unsafe conditions or acts
- Enforcing the wearing of protective gear
- Identifying hazardous work.
None of these lists are exhaustive but they do give some idea of the compliance issues you could face as a business owner.
Supply Chain Leaders Insights conferences are designed to address complex issues such as compliance. We bring in professionals to give expert advice and answer all your burning questions.
Keep a watch for announcements of upcoming events. Trust me—they are not to be missed!