Integration Point: A Global Content Provider

When we last covered Integration Point (in 2008 and 2010), we discussed their solutions for customs, security, and product classification; for free / secure trade zones and for regulatory compliance.

We talked about how their SaaS solutions helped companies with product classification under HS codes, advance notification (as required by 10+2), denied party screening (through integration with the US denied party lists), free trade / special economic zones (and identification of associated agreements), and the creation of necessary documents as well as the creation of surveys to determine if the supply base was compliant.

It was a good all-around solution, but it wasn’t a one-stop shop. While the import and export management solutions were extensive, the supply chain compliance solutions were limited; free trade was primarily ECCN, entry visibility, and country of origin; there was no automatic HS or country of origin classification; and content was primarily limited to HS/HTS codes, common import documentation, custom compliance documentation, and FTA summaries.

However, recognizing that their entire solution was dependent on good content, Integration Point, which now has twenty (20) offices across six (6) continents (and which promises an Antartica office as soon as the penguins start trading), started working on a Content Repository ten years ago and over the last decade has grown that content repository into a Global Content Repository with relevant trade data for over 185 countries. This include HS Codes, Tariff Schedules, Import/Export documentation requirements, rulings, free trade agreements, free trade and special economic zones, customs compliance programs, denied parties, sanctions and embargoes, and relevant trade acts, such as Lacey. The repository, which is maintained by a team of over 200 people globally, contains millions of base documents and millions of codings and mappings and is updated daily.

Daily updates is a critical part of a trade content repository. While some countries only update their tariff schedules a few times a year, others update their schedules monthly, and some update their schedules weekly (or more as Brazil once updated its schedules 80 times in one year). In addition, as trade relations improve or break down between countries, new trade restrictions / sanctions / embargoes are created almost overnight, denied parties get added to the list daily, and new regulations and rulings also come out on a daily basis. Correct classification, coding, and documentation is the difference between trouble-free trade and having your shipment held up for days, weeks, or months. And not shipping a restricted product to a denied party is the difference between smooth sailing and being federally investigated and fined millions of dollars. In both cases, your logistics and trade managers can only insure properly documented, legal, trade if they are on the ball with up-to-date data.

Since Integration Point has a global team, Integration Point, which sells access to its content repository as well as its trade management solutions on a subscription basis, is able to keep its repository current, which is no mean feat considering there have been over 2M updates to HS classifications alone on a global basis so far this year and over 1M updates to the import / export document database were required to capture regulation updates, trade agreement updates, form updates, and new rulings.

Integration Point now has one of the best and most complete Global Content Solutions out there and should be included in your list of content solution providers as you endeavour to get your compliance under control because Content is a Cornerstone of Compliance.

Plus, based on this content, Integration Point is now able to offer innovative solutions around country of origin determination, product classification, tariff analysis, and supply chain costing. We will cover these in future posts in early 2015.