As companies come under increased pressure to closely scrutinize their global shipping processes, SAP Thursday announced a new agreement with FedEx Trade Networks, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., to build in shipping data into SAP's Global Trade Services (GTS) application.
When a company ships chemicals, cylinders and other materials overseas, stringent regulations ensure that a close eye remains on the materials and those shipping procedures.
SAP GTS software allows trade compliance managers to review and calculate imports and exports and to ensure compliance with federal and global trade regulations. The agreement makes SAP the first vendor to integrate automated global duty and tax information into its compliance software.
SAP's product is well positioned in a growing market for the software, said Dwight Klappich, vice president at Stamford Conn.-based Meta Group. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, new regulations have stiffened controls on global trade and shipping practices, Klappich said.
"Companies want to make sure there are internal audits and controls so that shipping is being done properly," Klappich said. "People realize now that fines are being levied more quickly than in the past."
The FedEx data give companies automatic updates, including tariff system numbers supplied by FedEx Trade Networks, SAP said.
In addition, the data give access to accurate product classifications and corresponding duty and tax information. They also audit product classifications in foreign markets, ensuring subsidiaries pay the lowest legal duty rate.
"Companies will now be able to integrate and leverage worldwide duty and tax data, as well as automate, standardize and expedite the trade compliance and customs clearance process," said David Parks, a senior manager of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Trade Networks.