Globally, the increased concern around public safety has resulted in the intensification of security measures for transportation of goods internationally. Businesses which trade internationally need to be aware of the security measures in place to mitigate the risk to their operations and their people.
This is according to Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) who was speaking in light of the recent announcement of three African countries, namely Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti, joining the list of red countries, a classification which results in strict security measures being imposed on goods transported across the country’s borders. The African countries currently classified as red countries include Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia and Somaliland.
Countries across the globe are classified according to their security risk profiles and are either regarded as red, white or green – The classification determines the level of security measures applicable to the countries, and include various restrictions on the items that can be transported, as well as the screening levels packages need to be subjected to before being cleared for transportation to the EU and US. Facey explains that a red country is considered high risk due to potential national security concerns. Similarly, a white country is considered to have a certain level of risk, but not as high a security risk as a red country whereas green countries, such as France, have a minimal security risk level.
Facey says that the nature and degree of security is changing, and that society at large needs to be aware of the possible implications. “The business-to-consumer (B2C) market in SA / SSA is growing with the emergence of e-commerce and the increased demand for consumer goods. The rise of the SME has also resulted in greater variety and accessibility to new and competing products. Goods are now just a click away, and can be sourced and ordered from anywhere in the world.”
Facey explains that global security breaches, such as terrorist threats and the trading of illegal substances, have resulted in the global transportation of goods being subjected to a number of security regulations, largely driven by the European Union (EU) and United States (US).
“In order to trade with the EU and US, red countries have to comply with set regulations and conditions. There are however certain challenges in select red African countries. For example, in Nigeria, a certain airline will be compliant with the regulations, but the country’s airport is not – which results in a package needing to be redirected so that it can undergo the required security tests and authorisations. In order to counteract these challenges and to assist local businesses and individuals to trade internationally, DHL Express has invested over EUR 3 million in the last two years to improve security processes in select SSA countries.”
Facey says that while the regulations should not hamper trade between certain red countries and the rest of the world, consumers and businesses need to be aware of them and understand that certain items cannot be moved as easily as others.
“Additional time needs to be spent on planning as certain items may need to be rerouted to countries in order for them to be screened and cleared for shipping. When it comes to global opportunities, knowledge is key to success for many businesses; and knowing which markets to target, how to market their product, how to identify customers, how to get paid and critically, how to ship globally. It’s important to have a trusted partner to assist you, not only with complying with the regulations, but to assist with solutions to ensure that your products reach the desired recipient,” added Facey. (APO)