Why should you attend the Import Procedures & Documentation course offered by the Australian Institute of Export?

By Maxence Lefebvre
Understanding importing is vital for your business! “Why? Freight Forwarders do the job for us.” This is the most common answer when it comes to importing. However, at the end of the day, this is your business that will suffer from mismanagement. Having the ability to understand and judge how a third party is managing your freight movements is essential in order to overcome the risks associated with importing. Are the import procedures respecting the law? Am I using the safest Incoterms® and insurance policy? Is the job done effectively and cost efficiently?
This Import Procedures & Documentation course can assist in showing you the risks in importing, arming you with real life examples and giving you the ability to make changes to your import strategy in order to import more efficiently and/or decrease the risks associated.
After participating in the 2-day course offered by the AIEx in Sydney, I would like to tell you a bit more about my experience and what I learned during this training.
You will learn about successful import practices, documentation, finance and payments, transportation options, marine insurance, customs clearance and risk management in a friendly environment. Classes are relatively small, with approximately 15 people and open discussion is encouraged between trainers and participants. The facilitator and trainers are experts and professionals working in areas related to importing. The main facilitator, Dianne Tipping, a highly skilled expert with years of experience in international business, runs her own business and has been solving import and export issues for many years. During the training, you will have the opportunity to meet several other experts from the banking and insurance industry and the Australian customs.
The course is well balanced with theory, practical examples and discussions. You will start with the basic principles of international trade and finish with a very detailed description of the different types of containers used in the import process. At any time, participants are encouraged to ask questions, even if this is specifically related to their business. The background and experience of the facilitator make the learning experience practical rather than academic.
You will be provided with all necessary materials: course note folder with copies of presentations and support material, the Australian Import Handbook (value of $89), Incoterms® 2010 Chart, notepads and pens. The 2-day course will end by working on a case study that summarizes most of the points discussed in the course, using samples of real import documentation. After those 2 days, you will receive a certification of attendance.
There is another aspect, less often considered, but which can considerably positively affect your learning experience with the AIEx: learning from the other participants. Indeed, you are encouraged to share with the rest of the class and explain your difficulties and issues. By listening to other companies, you may find out some risks that could possibly affect your own business. You may want to know the solutions the facilitator will give to others and consider it for yourself. Other participants may ask questions that you might not have thought of. Once again, this spillover effect is more than encouraged through discussion and interaction.
You must also appreciate the fact that the learning outcomes from this course will not only be relevant to your imports. You will obviously learn a lot for other areas of your business. Indeed, this will also be relevant to your exports (using Incoterms®, insurance policy, and so on.), your intercompany and other overseas operations.
The objective at the AIEx is to support and follow Australian businesses for the long term. You will be more than welcome to come back and ask for some more advice after training.
Remember, that it does not matter whether you want to start importing or you are already importing and looking to streamline your process and eliminate areas of risk. In both case you will learn a lot from this training, feel confident in this field of expertise and be able to have your own opinion about whether your company is optimizing and securing its import strategy and processes.

Find more info on AIEx website: http://www.aiex.com.au/education-training/short-courses-workshops

Maxence Lefebvre is interning with the Australian Institute of Export while studying a postgraduate program majored in International Business at Macquarie University, Sydney.