For many exporters, global trade management (GTM) software has made short work of the once time-consuming denied- and restricted-party screening process, freeing staff from the task of checking outgoing shipments against lengthy government lists of parties barred from importing U.S. goods. But even with automated screening, errors sometimes occur because of problems with transliteration.
Transliteration problems can arise when a foreign name contains letters or characters not used in English, forcing the software to "translate" that letter or character into something roughly equivalent. But different transliterations may produce alternate spellings, which means that the same name may appear in different forms on the various lists and/or on the exporter's own documents. Consider the following example, provided by Anne van de Heetkamp, director of global trade compliance for GTM software developer TradeBeam. An exporter receives an order from a German buyer who spells his name Michael Grüße on the purchase order. Because that name contains a character that doesn't occur in English, Grüße could show up on restricted-party lists as Grusse, Grüsse, or Gruesse. If the exporter uses a spelling that's different from what's shown on a list, the screening software may not make the necessary match.
TradeBeam says it has come up with a solution. The company recently released version 3.5 of its GTM software, which offers new features to address such language-matching problems. According to van de Heetkamp, the software's enhanced Western European language handling improves the translation and matching of words that use characters—including accents and other marks—that may appear in variant forms in English-language restricted-party lists. The new release also accommodates Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, whose complex writing systems include thousands of characters.