When It Comes to Global Trade …

… Singapore has it down pat! As in a recent article over on BBC Business News, not only is Singapore [the] ‘best country in which to run a business’, but you only need four documents to export and import. Compare this to the US where you need at least half a dozen forms just to start the process (Entry Summary, Customs Declaration, Customs Bond, Certificate of Origin, Bill of Lading, and Invoice.) In fact, as noted by many of the companies that specialize in automating the production and submission of global trade documents, it’s not uncommon to require twenty (20) or more documents for import and/or export!

You would think that in the modern age, where information can easily be shared between government departments over secure computer networks, we could get it down to one primary import/export form and then one supplementary form based on the product and/or HTS classification, and possibly an optional form if you are part of an optional security program (like C-TPAT), but apparently we can’t. And it’s sad. There’s no good reason for Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the UK to be better countries in which to run a business. But until we smarten up and make things simple, that’s not going to change — and that’s a bad thing in a global age where global investors can take their money to countries of minimal burden.

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