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How AI Transforms Trade Classification and Compliance

AI on road - blog

Product classification and compliance are essential yet time-consuming elements of global trade. Importers and exporters are challenged by the need to access relevant information and regulations, match product characteristics and shipment details with Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) codes, and meet license requirements. In short, the trading world is a perfect candidate for artificial intelligence-based tools and capabilities, to enhance the quality and productivity of classification and compliance.

AI and machine learning today take multiple forms, from reactive (no memory, only responses) to limited memory (used to learn and improve responses), theory of mind (understanding the needs of other intelligent entities), and self-aware (human-like intelligence and self-awareness). But when it comes to traveling the AI/ML path to perfection, global trade is barely clearing the reactive AI hurdle.  

Even in its infancy, however, AI can be of considerable help in managing global trade. Reactive AI models can take in large amounts of data (say from a material safety data sheet or other document with product details), extract information for classification purposes, match it with potential classifications, then ask smart questions if an immediate answer isn’t available. All this can take place in a chat that can be saved and added to the product catalog for audit trail purposes. That’s not bad for a start, especially if the model can be trained to improve its answers, has an option to cleanse data inputs, and can improve its capabilities through self-learning. (Thus upgrading from reactive AI to a limited memory or generative AI model).

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