Trade Compliance

Being able to trade effectively on the world stage offers the opportunity to build better economies, access more opportunities and create better lives. Trade compliance expert, BlueBlox GmbH, believes that international trade should be easy and accessible for all.  BlueBlox receives our Best International Trade Compliance Consultancy 2023 – EMEA award.

The regulatory frameworks governing international trade can be challenging, to say the least. Compliance with requirements for customs, tariffs, licences, and import and export controls is complex, made all the more difficult by the ever-changing and shifting state of foreign affairs. Non-compliance has a range of consequences from delays and disruption of the supply chain to hefty fines, legal action, and even bankruptcy for smaller businesses. Little wonder that businesses in less wealthy countries are reluctant to step onto the international stage.

Understanding the intricate complexities of international trade is an essential element in mitigating risk, protecting your investment, and building a business that will deliver sustained long-term growth.

Born and raised in South Africa, Dorothy Diedericks believes that the solution to empowering poorer countries is trade, not aid. But for trade to bring about that change it has to be compliant and sustainable. For that reason, in 2014 Dorothy founded BlueBlox. The company, based in Zug, Switzerland, is a trade compliance consulting house that enables and streamlines cross-border trade into Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Her reason for taking this route was that most entrepreneurs look for opportunities in countries with richer economic conditions. With poor and middle-class economic countries often overlooked, it was time for a change.

Dorothy says, “Growing up in South Africa, witnessing pervasive injustice, unfairness and corruption, motivated me to travel down the road of philanthropy. But, I soon realised, along that path lies hopelessness. Aid is a problem in Africa, not a solution. And, in many instances, African trade is exploitative and unhealthy. What’s needed is connection and courage. An Africa where the wisdom of the old meets the innovation of the new. An Africa that’s known for producing pioneers of industry, invention and thought leadership. My mission at BlueBlox is to be part of the solution, to help raise standards, create hope and inspire dreams.”

BlueBlox helps multinational manufacturers to overcome the barriers they face in importing products into developing markets. By doing so the company helps to empower nations one project at a time.

Serving multinational technology and telecommunications companies and manufacturers, BlueBlox works to reduce the gap between internationally agreed standards and local practical applications.

The company offers three Trade core Compliance Consulting services:

In proactive consulting, BlueBlox experts evaluate the viability of a market based on economic and political status, ease of entry, transparency and a host of other criteria. This approach enables clients to make smart decisions for the long term. Encouraging clients to take the time to fully explore a possible opportunity ensures costly mistakes are avoided.

Active consulting is for businesses or entrepreneurs looking to improve on current processes and operations. Here, BlueBlox provides a comprehensive analysis of where each business is now. The company then drafts development plans and maps out the required strategy with the client.

And finally reactive consulting – a service designed for those companies in need of urgent assistance. This service helps clients to find a path to resolution assisting with such challenges as customs, valuation and classification disputes.

The BlueBlox Importer and Exporter of Record (IOR/EOR) Advisory guides clients through the process of building an IOR or EOR framework and creating a network in their chosen trading country. BlueBlox assists with design and deployment, legislative defence, local supplier vetting, contract structuring, pricing, and more.

In the area of Trade Facilitation and Government Negotiation, BlueBlox understands that even thorough advice can fall short. For this reason, the company offers trade facilitation services that allow its experts to accompany clients through their challenges, helping them to solve issues side-by-side.

BlueBlox Trade Facilitation services take two distinct approaches, proactive, which prevents issues from arising in the first place, and reactive, which deals with issues and situations which have arisen outside of the client’s control.

Most disputes can be resolved through discussion and clarification. This avoids the stress, time and costs of litigation. BlueBlox aims to develop solutions that end as a win-win for all involved. The company has developed a number of key relationships with governments, chambers of commerce, and the WTO in Brussels, which allows it to facilitate mutually beneficial, compliant solutions.

Through its unique model of trade facilitation, BlueBlox has obtained significant breakthroughs on behalf of its clients in some of the world’s toughest emerging markets.

Dorothy tells us, “We tailor every solution we provide according to specific client and country requirements. Our people-centred approach ensures that all stakeholders benefit from a smooth and compliant trade programme that addresses our client’s current and future goals. We’re always working on new products and services to make trade more accessible for economic operators both big and small. This aligns with our core belief that ‘business should be easy…’.”

For every economic operator, having access to genuine local expertise is critical. But finding that expertise is not easy. BlueBlox benefits from a network of expert consultants in the field equipped with local knowledge of both international and national trade.

Dorothy explains, “We’ve invested in building a broad network of local experts. They are purpose-driven and engaged. We take a holistic approach to everything we do and always work towards achieving results that benefit the whole community. Our trade lawyers and consultants are experts in the area of law and operations and also understand the culture, language, and the way each specific market works.”

Dorothy tells us, “I’m incredibly proud of the diverse team at BlueBlox. We’re a small, close-knit squad of Trade Ambassadors. We’ve embarked on a mission to empower people and make a big impact globally through trade compliance. And I’m excited to say that the time has come to expand our team. At the moment our focus is on recruiting more like-minded professionals to join us on this amazing journey.”

Dorothy shares, “In 2021 we won the Swiss award for the base trade compliance consulting company within Switzerland which was for things that we did during COVID. We were able to get massive results at that time.” Of course, its team of Trade Consultants made all of this possible. They each work hard and want to “empower Africa,” and Switzerland. They want to inspire and raise the standard within the industry, and have been working towards this high standard with the BlueBlox innovation hub.

The rest of 2023 looks extremely bright for BlueBlox as it works tirelessly to help communities, especially by fundraising and investing in them. Its training programme is under construction at present, and this will inevitably change the industry for the better.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit the BlueBox website today.

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