The Definition of Trade Compliance

Trade compliance is responsible adherence to foreign trade regulations.
Trade compliance is responsible adherence to foreign trade regulations. (Image: dekadi/iStock/Getty Images)

Trade compliance is the process by which companies that ship goods internationally strategize to comply with all laws and regulations of the countries being shipped to.

Host Country

The United States Customs Service is the entity responsible for checking all incoming cargo for compliance with U.S. import rules and regulations. The goal of an importing country's legal checkpoint is to freely accept legally qualified goods while enforcing rules consistently.

Shipping Company

Companies that ship products internationally have both moral and practical responsibilities when exporting to a particular country. It is the duty of exporting companies to comply with foreign country trade regulations to promote U.S. goodwill and to avoid unnecessary expenses.


International shippers should be trade compliant solely because it is the ethical thing to do. Additional benefits of compliance are that it can "save you money, prevent negative publicity, and improve your overall business efficiency," Compliance Assurance LLC notes.

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