When you want to be “trade compliant” but…

When legislation is unavailable or inaccessible

We’ve previously said that, to trade, you must be “trade compliant”. We’ve defined this as complying with all laws and regulations that apply to your transaction, regardless of what you may be told by officials or governments.

But the developing world, in particular, is known for local legislation and regulations that can be hard to find. So what do you do if you’re unable to access what you need? If it appears to be unavailable?


You can start with our 5-step process:

  1. First, narrow down what you do know.

What information do you already have about that country? For instance, are they a signatory to GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)? If so, this has implications for their local legislation.

  1. Look into other memberships that the country may have.

For example, are they members of the WCO (the World Customs Organization) or the WTO (World Trade Organization)? Have they already signed the Trade Facilitation Agreement? Based on this, you’ll be able to gauge what legislation they’re interested in and get a sense of how far along the implementation process they are.

  1. Visit the World Bank website.

This step may sound simplistic, but the World Bank has a lot of what you’ll need, including information on transparency figures. Its 2016 survey contains many great points of reference and can guide you when it comes to local legislation.

  1. Do online research, generically.

Here we mean: visit the country’s local customs website, their local Ministry of Finance website and their local regulatory website – if you can find these online. You may well uncover a list of local legislation on one or all of these.

  1. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce (as a final step).


But if you want a faster option (or you’ve already tried all of the above), get in touch with us at BlueBlox. We’ve been down all of these roads before, and can help you.