In this section , the supply manager is being asked to be aware of the kind of documentation and laws must be kept in mind, when buying from global sources. Also it is the responsibility of the supply manager to ensure that proper documentation is maintained so that the exact steps taken in foreign sourcing is always available for scrutiny by government and international agencies.
It's sort of interesting that as the CPSMBlog discusses this important topic, President Obama mentioned the corruption problem at the University of Cape Town, South Africa today. The full text of President Obama's University of Cape Town speech is here and scroll down to the 44th paragraph from top and we quote:
"Now, I know that there are some in Africa who hear me say these things -- who see America's support for these values -- and say that's intrusive. Why are you meddling? I know there are those who argue that ideas like democracy and transparency are somehow Western exports. I disagree. Those in power who make those arguments are usually trying to distract people from their own abuses. (Applause.) Sometimes, they are the same people who behind closed doors are willing to sell out their own country’s resource to foreign interests, just so long as they get a cut. I'm just telling the truth. (Laughter and applause.)"
Paying a bribe to a foreign government official is prohibited by International Anti-Bribery Act of 1998 in the US. Although it applies for selling abroad , supply managers are expected to be aware of the provisions as a part of this topic and its implications for supply management.This is particularly important to understand for the non-US supply managers who read this blog and are pursuing the CPSM.
Other topics in this section include keeping track of any import licenses, customs duties applicable and making sure that you are meeting the legal requirements of international transactions as applicable to your location. Brokers are particularly helpful to clear goods and make sure that all customs duties are paid and importantly there is no delay in clearing goods. Inbound containers are also checked for threats by port security and smart containers can help.
To summarize, this section is very timely for supply mangers given the increasing globalization and ease of communication via the Internet. Just getting the right supplier at the right price is not enough but keeping track of applicable laws relating to foreign supplies is an important responsibility for supply managers irrespective of their location.