Career Development

What Does a Trade Compliance Manager Do?

Find out what a trade compliance manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a trade compliance manager.

Trade compliance managers are responsible for ensuring that companies adhere to all relevant laws and regulations when it comes to international trade. They commonly work with a company’s legal department, but may also interact directly with other departments such as sales or operations.

Trade compliance managers often have a background in law or business administration. They may be tasked with developing policies and procedures related to trade compliance, training employees on these policies and procedures, and overseeing their implementation.

Trade Compliance Manager Job Duties

A trade compliance manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Monitoring legislation and regulations to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws
  • Creating reports that detail the status of all projects and tasks, including start and end dates, status of projects, and any issues that may have arisen during the course of the project
  • Recruiting new suppliers who meet company standards and verifying supplier information such as creditworthiness and financial stability
  • Reviewing purchase orders to ensure they comply with company policies and industry regulations
  • Working with customs brokers, freight forwarders, and other third parties to ensure that products are legally imported and exported
  • Developing and implementing internal compliance standards to ensure that all transactions comply with laws and regulations
  • Working with legal counsel to develop policies and procedures to manage trade compliance risks
  • Providing training on import/export regulations and policies to employees in order to prevent violations from occurring
  • Monitoring international trade news and political developments that could impact the company’s operations

Trade Compliance Manager Salary & Outlook

Trade compliance managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $137,000 ($65.87/hour)

The employment of trade compliance managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

As e-commerce continues to grow, more companies will need to ensure that their products are compliant with import and export regulations. In addition, the growth of global supply chains will require compliance managers to monitor the movement of goods across borders.

Trade Compliance Manager Job Requirements

A number of qualifications are necessary to become a trade compliance manager, which may include:

Education: Most trade compliance managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, finance or another closely related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in international business.

Training & Experience: Trade compliance managers typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning about the company’s specific policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. It may also include shadowing a current trade compliance manager to learn about the daily responsibilities of the role.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can provide trade professionals with additional knowledge that can help them perform their jobs more efficiently. There are several certifications available for professionals who wish to advance their careers through additional education.

Trade Compliance Manager Skills

Trade compliance managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Regulatory knowledge: Regulations are laws that govern how businesses operate. Compliance managers need to understand the regulations that affect their company’s trade and how to ensure their company is following all regulations. This can include knowing what regulations exist, how they affect your company’s trade and how to ensure your company is following all regulations.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for trade compliance managers to convey information to their team and clients. You can use these skills to explain complex trade regulations, answer questions from employees and explain the importance of complying with trade regulations. You can also use communication skills to communicate with other departments, such as finance, to ensure the company is meeting trade regulations.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes and make corrections. This skill is important for trade compliance managers because they often review large amounts of data and information. They need to notice any errors or inconsistencies in the data to ensure the company is following all regulations.

Problem-solving skills: Trade compliance managers are responsible for ensuring that their company complies with international trade regulations. This involves identifying potential issues and finding solutions to them. Your problem-solving skills can help you find the most efficient way to address trade compliance issues.

Ability to work under pressure: Trade compliance managers often work in fast-paced environments where they may be required to meet strict deadlines. Having the ability to work under pressure can help you meet the demands of your job. You may also work with other compliance managers to ensure that all trade agreements are being met. Being able to work under pressure can help you meet the demands of your job and ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your company.

Trade Compliance Manager Work Environment

Trade compliance managers work in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, corporate offices, and government agencies. They typically work full time during regular business hours, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines or attend meetings. Trade compliance managers who work for manufacturing companies may travel to visit plants or suppliers in other countries. Trade compliance managers who work for the government may also travel to attend international conferences or to conduct on-site inspections of businesses. The work of trade compliance managers can be stressful, as they must often deal with complex regulations and tight deadlines.

Trade Compliance Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how trade compliance managers work. Trade compliance managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Automation

The need for more automation is a trend that is quickly gaining traction in the business world. This is because it allows companies to save money and time by eliminating manual tasks, such as data entry.

As businesses continue to adopt this trend, trade compliance managers will need to find ways to automate their processes. This may include using software to track shipments or manage customs documents.

More Focus on Supply Chain Risk Management

As businesses become more globalized, they are increasingly focusing on supply chain risk management. This means that they are looking for professionals who can help them identify and mitigate risks along the supply chain.

Trade compliance managers are well-positioned to take advantage of this trend, as they have experience dealing with complex regulations and ensuring that products meet the standards set by governments and industry associations. In addition, they are familiar with the latest technologies and methods for tracking and tracing products along the supply chain.

Greater Attention to Security

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for security professionals will continue to grow. This is because hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they are finding new ways to exploit weaknesses in computer systems.

Trade compliance managers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in security measures. They can then use their knowledge to help businesses protect themselves against hackers and other threats.

How to Become a Trade Compliance Manager

A trade compliance manager has a unique career path. They must be able to understand and interpret complex international trade regulations, as well as the laws of different countries. This requires a strong understanding of both business and law.

To become a trade compliance manager, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or law. You should also have experience working in a trade compliance role. This can be gained by working for a company that exports or imports goods, or by volunteering with an organization that promotes free trade.

Related: How to Write a Trade Compliance Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for trade compliance managers are good. With experience, they may move into senior positions such as director of trade compliance or vice president of international trade. They may also become consultants, working for themselves or for firms that specialize in trade compliance.

Trade Compliance Manager Job Description Example

The Trade Compliance Manager will be responsible for ensuring that the company is in compliance with all relevant export/import regulations. The ideal candidate will have experience with U.S. export/import regulations, as well as knowledge of the relevant regulations of the company’s foreign markets. He/she will be responsible for developing and implementing compliance policies and procedures, conducting training on compliance issues, and auditing compliance with regulations. The Trade Compliance Manager will also be responsible for investigating and responding to potential compliance violations.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand and keep current on all relevant trade regulations, including but not limited to those administered by the US Department of Commerce, US Department of State, and US Treasury
  • Maintain compliance with all export/import control laws and regulations
  • Develop and administer training programs on export/import compliance for employees, managers, and executives
  • Conduct internal audits and investigations of potential violations of trade regulations
  • Interface with government agencies as necessary to resolve compliance issues
  • Prepare and submit required reports to government agencies
  • Negotiate with government officials to obtain licenses and other approvals
  • Manage the company’s product classification system
  • Determine country of origin for products
  • Prepare and file Shipper’s Export Declarations
  • Process export documents through Automated Export System
  • Arrange for freight forwarding and insurance

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, law, international relations, or related field
  • 7+ years experience in trade compliance or a related area
  • Working knowledge of U.S. export control laws and regulations (EAR/ITAR)
  • Ability to interpret and apply complex rules and regulations
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong project management and organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in business, law, international relations, or related field
  • 10+ years experience in trade compliance or a related area
  • Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) or Certified Export Specialist (CES) designation
  • Experience managing a team of trade compliance professionals
  • Familiarity with other countries’ export control regimes

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