Importers and exporters are turning to a new generation of Web-based compliance platforms to help them navigate the complex world of global trade regulation as compliance matures into a core logistics function. Much of the action in recent months has come as the Importer Security Filing, or 10+2, mandate went into effect. Under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, importers and carriers must file 12 data elements before a U.S.-bound container is loaded aboard a ship at a foreign port. Enforcement began on Jan. 26.

"Visibility is not just about watching stuff happen," said Melissa Irmen, vice president of products and strategy for Integration Point, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of global trade and compliance solutions. "Things are changing so fast, and to have connectivity to all partners is just critical."

South Korea is a case in point. The United States' seventh-largest trading partner, the country has at least 14 free trade agreements signed or in process and is looking to expand FTAs to 60 different countries.

To help clients comply, Integration Point recently announced a strategic relationship with Samjong KPMG Advisory, a consulting firm and business unit of KPMG Sejong Customs Corp. "More and more companies are looking for assistance in understanding all the compliance rules of FTAs as well as how to benefit," said Young Hyo Kim, managing director of Samjong KPMG Advisory.

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