Traders across the world dread the myriad export forms that need to be filled and accurately for each trade order. Despite the process consuming valuable business time, many traders still manually complete the forms. The redundant data entry that is involved means there’s a lot of room for errors. Errors which could lead up to the shipment being detained by customs. We will try to understand what are the advantages and disadvantages of creating your own formats for export forms in this article.


Why should you follow your own format for export forms?


You best know your products: As a trader you understand your products very well. You know what information your customers tend to look for as well as what is important for them. Having worked with certain forwarders and brokers for years you know by now what information they will request for.


It is an extension of your business: Building and sticking to your version of export documents gives you complete say over how the forms will look like, what information they capture and how they become a tool for brand recall. It also helps you save on money and time otherwise required for export forms.


There are no frills to add: Following your own format for export forms means you do not have to stay on the lookout for new solutions, new terms or procedures. Now one knows the export form better than you. It can also be put down to status quo.


Why shouldn’t you be following your format?


They will end up costing a bomb: While you may not realize it yet adhering to your format for export forms is expensive. Scouring through the internet for usable templates and then adapting them to suit your needs mandates quite a few business hours. You will also need to constantly track changes made to various regulations.


Incorrect or invalid templates for export forms could result in your shipments, payments or even hefty fines in case they violate set export norms. 88% of manually generated export forms are said to be erroneous.


You could fail to follow set guidelines: You cannot continue to recklessly use your format for export forms. Processes being followed currently might also put you at risk should you fail to assess if they  conform to the customs and export and import procedures. Also, what your customer wants to be displayed on the form may land you into trouble with the customs officials.


You are not best leveraging a global trade management software: Creating your export forms means you fail to reap the benefits of a comprehensive export management software. Software for exporters ensures you do not reenter the same information over and over again. This ensures that the data entered is uniform across documents which in turns earns you the trust of banks and customs. Further, a global trade management software offers you a single version of truth regarding your trade orders.