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SAP GTS (Global Trade Services) – All You Need to Know

SAP (GTS) is a comprehensive software solution that enables companies to effectively manage and streamline import and export trade processes from SAP ERP systems. GTS serves as a valuable tool for businesses involved in international trade by providing a range of features and functionalities to support and enhance their global trade operations. 

One of the primary benefits of using SAP GTS as a central foreign-trade IT platform is its ability to assist companies in complying with complex and ever-changing global trade regulations.  

SAP GTS is a mature product that lays the foundation for strategic alignment of foreign trade within your company. In addition, a company-wide user community of foreign trade specialists is established. A system built on this type of foundation enables you to create real value in your international trade in goods and document it in an audit-compliant manner. 

By integrating, automating and centralising trade compliance activities, GTS can help reduce the time and costs associated with ensuring adherence to various – 

  • Trade laws,  
  • Tariffs,  
  • FreeTradeAgreements,  
  • Embargoes, and  
  • Customs regulations 

This ensures that companies can navigate the complexities of international trade smoothly while minimising the risk of non-compliance penalties. 

The Components of SAP GTS 

SAP GTS – a satellite system to one or many feeder systems (e.g. SAP S/4), like any other SAP tool, comes with its own set of features and components. Each of these is quite important in its own accord and, thus, requires proper recognition. 

Keep reading to know more about them. 

1: Compliance Management 

This component ensures compliance with international trade regulations, laws, and customs requirements. It helps companies stay updated with changing regulations, embargo checks, screen business partners against restricted party lists, manage licences, permits, and certifications, and perform trade document management. 

2: Customs Management 

The customs management component facilitates efficient customs clearance processes by automating and streamlining customs declarations, documentation, and (electronic) communication with customs authorities. It assists in managing import and export customs procedures, duty calculation, tariff classification, and customs valuation. SAP GTS can also map complex customs procedures – such as foreign trade zones, customs warehouses, processing trade, active/passive refinement processing, and processing under customs control. An open interface is also predefined to connect customs brokers directly with SAP GTS. 

3: Risk Management 

This component helps assess and mitigate risks associated with global trade operations. It includes functionalities such as trade preference management, determining the origin of goods, managing free trade agreements, and conducting risk analysis and audits to ensure compliance and minimise financial and operational risks. 

4: Electronic Compliance Reporting 

This component enables companies to generate and submit electronic trade documentation and compliance reports to regulatory authorities (e.g. INTRASTAT for Germany (European Union).   

All SAP GTS services can be implemented individually in a modular approach and provide certain synergies, i.e. integrational aspects (e.g. automatically derive customs codes in customs declarations (Customs Management) from export licenses assigned (Compliance Management). 

SAP GTS is a separate system, i.e. not an add-on to SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA. As it offers a comprehensive set of foreign trade process solutions in SAP standard – usually no other add-ons/interfaces are required anymore.  

Setting GTS up as a separate system allows to connect more than one “feeder system” to SAP GTS and, thus SAP GTS to serve as the central foreign trade platform also for large international enterprises.  

Standard interfaces are available for SAP feeder systems (e.g. ERP, S/4HANA, TM, EWM, etc.) to ensure data transfer via Remote-Function-Calls (RFC). This also allows a manageable switch of feeder systems (e.g. to S/4HANA). Also, non-SAP systems can be connected to SAP GTS – however, the interface will likely require specific adaptations. 

Our cbs GTS Services 

  1. Implementation Consulting  

Our team consists of experts of all experience levels, which fully covers the areas of foreign trade in specialist groups, the process and implementation consulting. So, you will find the right answer to every question. 

  1. GTS Library 

We provide a best practice development library with predefined extensions, selectable in each GTS service. From reconciliation filters to country of origin, interactive supplier declarations as well as export licences for special cases such as returns or solutions for customs declarations to overseas territories: We have a wide range of leading practices to extend SAP GTS sensibly and efficiently and to adapt it to your needs.  

  1. AMS / Support / Upgrades  

We support your running GTS applications and offer various service models tailored to your individual requirements, such as Experts on Demand, on-site service or 24/7 Application Management Support. 

  1. GTS as a Service  

The most efficient and convenient way for you to conduct foreign trade is our GTS as a Service product. We offer you a central foreign trade platform with SAP GTS, managed by cbs GTS experts. This includes housing & hosting, SAP Basis support, upgrades & support services, converter monitoring and expert knowledge. 

  1. SAP S/4HANA Strategy & SAP GTS E4H 

We guide you in the analysis of foreign trade processes and the associated system adjustments in dealing with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Global Trade Services, edition for SAP HANA, with the help of our pre-study. 

  1. Internationalisation 

Our one-stop shop for all issues relating to foreign trade and cross-border trade – globally and with teams in Europe, Asia and the USA. 

From tool selection to concept validation, master data maintenance, design, implementation, training, authorisation concepts, GTS application management or all-round carefree in our cbs SAP GTS Cloud: With the cbs GTS Leading Practice Library, you benefit from comprehensive experience and expertise and are equipped for the challenges of the SAP GTS standard. 

Cultural and legal specifics need to be understood, not only in Golden Tax and Golden Audit, Free Trade Zone and Processing Trade and China’s Export Control Law. As an industrial client, you benefit from multilingual focus teams in Logistics & Foreign Trade and Finance & Controlling. 

  1. Authorisation Concepts 

We offer an individual authorisation and role concept for each SAP GTS service to significantly shorten the test cycles and implementation time during a project. 

  1. GTS Academy  

Do you want to train yourself or your employees in SAP GTS? With our GTS Academy, we offer standardised courses for all four GTS services. The learning content can also be customised on request. 

  1. Process Mining 

With the Celonis app, we can provide you with higher process transparency at management level and thus generate queries from the GTS or foreign trade processes. This can enable greater visibility and understanding of the operational business.
Full support for process mining by cbs and technical and functional integration. Root cause analysis, tracking, benchmarking – all based on “real” data. Variants: Pre-studies, full testing and ongoing review. 

  1. Cloud Integration of Foreign Trade Processes 

The cloud-based solution for the confirmation of goods in transit:  

Entry Certificate Solution. Our app-based and platform-independent movement confirmation solution offers a complete, flexible solution for the entire process of intra-Community movement of goods. It is already in use with numerous customers. 


Final Thoughts 

“cbs has a unique consulting portfolio: Customs expertise combined with comprehensive process knowledge in foreign trade and technical know-how on the use of SAP GTS as a global foreign trade solution.” Thomas Marx, Consulting Director GTS.  

We are the SAP GTS community´s integral & reliable partner! 

We deliver productive systems and help our customers to transform their processes into reality! You can choose single products or combine different products into an end-to-end foreign trade solution. 

So, if you need any help, be sure to drop cbs a mail today!