An import-export manager oversees all of the processes involved in importing and exporting goods and materials. She may in some companies be part of a wider logistics or distribution department so may be referred to as a logistics or distribution manager, or even a sales manager. Typical employers of someone in this role are large manufacturing companies or logistics companies that provide import-export services to clients.
A key part of an import-export manager's role is ensuring compliance with the customs regulations of all of the countries to which her company is delivering goods. If regulations are not adhered to, shipments can be delayed for inspection and, in some circumstances, completely rejected. Fulfilling compliance responsibilities entails completing and maintaining compliance procedure manuals and carrying out regular compliance audits.
Typically, the import-export manager will plan the transport, handling and storage of goods in a cost-effective manner and in a way that conforms to the company's environmental policies. This could involve subcontracting some duties, such as transport, to another company. If the import-export manager is working for a logistics company, it is likely that the company would undertake all of these duties.
The import and export of goods and materials requires a large amount of documentation, from inventory notes to licenses, shipping schedules, credit control notes and customs documents. In many circumstances it is necessary to have these documents translated into other languages. Some official documents have to be filed within a certain time limit. The import-export manager is responsible for these and all other administration and documentation duties.
The import-export manager is a crucial link in the supply chain and must maintain effective working relationships with all the other people and organizations in the chain. She must monitor and maintain subcontractor contracts and plan or manage sales through distributors or other sales outlets. In addition, she must work with other departments in her own company, particularly sales, marketing and finance.
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