English Language: It is the part of my life!

I have been dealing with export- import documentations, banking negotiation and rules related to the international trade for the last 17 years, subsequently for three different companies. From one company to the other, 80 percent of my tasks is dealing with English language. With such a long dealing, and as working with the main charge is handling export documentation, English seems to have been not secluded from life. English is not just a hobby-related matter; it has been the part of my life, the part of livings. Is there anyone else who is still thinking of making English for livings?

If you are selling your products at domestic markets, you will receive payment when you deliver the goods to your buyers or at the maturity date if you are selling on tenor or you grant them a credit. It is not as simple as selling one at local markets when you are selling abroad or, as it is commonly famed as exporting. Exporting goods to other countries is more complicated in both delivery procedures and payment receivable.

The problems are because of the different country of the exporter (seller) and the importer (buyer), different currency, political situation, and different regulations. As the buyers are in different countries, we do not know exactly about their credibility. Furthermore, exporters and importers have different currency in use, different political situation and each authorities may differently regulate the flow of foreign currency or import commodity entries to their customs area.

In relation to the payment for the exported goods, exporter will have not just to deliver the goods and receive payment like one of local sales. They have to prepare a certain sets of documents required by the buyers for the cargoes release at the port of destination. These kinds of the documents are, export or shipping documents as people usually refer to, all in international-standardized English. As the staff preparing the export documents are in the demand of qualifying this international standard requirements, in both their knowledge of the type of duties and the respective language, proficiency in English is a must, or at least, it is more than just an average.

Staffs working for the export-import department are not only dealing with the export documents. Further to this clerical works, they must also get in touch with internal related departments and external institutions, such as customs, shipping lines, government institutions, embassies, consulates, and other related parties. Like preparing the documents, communicating with these institutions will also not keep apart from English.

When we are exporting the goods, when will we get payment from customers? It depends on the terms of the sales itself. If the term is payment in advance, of course we get fund prior to shipment. If the term is open account or document collections, we will get it after we ship the goods; depending on how many days we give them tenor.

Most exporters, however, prefer to sale under documentary letter of credit as this is considered as the most secured method of payment. Having prepared all the shipping documents required by the respective letter of credit, exporter will present the documents to their bank. As long as all of the documents comply with the letter of credit stipulations, bank will negotiate (pay first) the clean documents, while they claim to the opener bank of the letter of credit for reimbursement thereafter.

The other interesting job of an export-import staff is having calls or emails from customers or, sometimes, from other related parties. With their calls or emails, customers usually inquiry us for certain requests, or even, complain us for something that is not of their convenience. Often, they are upset for certain services that are not satisfactorily. In respond to all their dissatisfaction, we must be cool and calm. Customers’ complaints are not always correct, of course. Anyhow, we should treat them wisely as despite their hard complaints, they are our valuable assets.

After a thorough justification, we may clarify what have actually happened or, in case that the complaint is acceptable, we apologize and offer improvements for the next with certain compensations for the lost. To treat complains comfortably requires a skill of good public relation, as this may reflect the company image to them.

Working for export-import documentation as above described will require special skills and dealing with English is likely intact in day-to-day activities. Thus, English is not just a matter of hobby; it has been the part of life. Anyone who is now learning English language may also be thinking of this as an option of career. Not only does it give you prestigious position, but vacancies for qualified export-import staffs are now also widely available. Are you interested in?

Mojokerto, 08/07/2009
The site keeper

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