By land (red) and sea (blue) the “Silk Road” offered trade routes linking empires for millenia.
The term Silk Road is a fairly modern invention. Goods such as jade, or spices were as significant and unlike China’s current Belt & Road initiative, the routes evolved over time.
Still a key avenue, at a time in history when commercial civilisations were emerging elsewhere. From the horse traders of the Steppes, to the Greek and Roman empires, trade was pivotal to life but in no sense free trade.
Security, taxation and ownership rights were central to the philosophy of empire. Controls could be rigidly enforced, trade marks go back almost four thousand years, Greece and Rome literally had gods of weights and measures.
Trade as an instrument of state is a concept we understand and the issues merchants faced then are not so different from today, including a practical requirement.
Showing Your Wares
With travel taking time, popping backwards and forwards across countries was not so easy centuries ago. A need to take items on approval, for personal use, or as possibilities for a future deal still existed.
ATA carnets did not exist, yet systems were in place. The Roman concept of “exempla artis” literally means trade samples, the Sogdians, who dominated Silk Road trade for centuries, had a method for marking back in.
As we progress into the Middle Ages, commerce flourished through trade fairs and not all goods were for immediate sale. The town authorities who regulated them allowed for differences in the purpose of goods.
Before the days of rapid travel, IT and CCTV, common sense would have played an equal part, in an area of importance to all involved.
Building Society’s Systems
Wealth became money and banking systems evolved because of trade, as did government to a degree. The starting points for this can often require what we call temporary exports, to visit, demonstrate, or provide a service.
These activities stimulate long term interaction, which allows societies to flourish and sees exchanges beyond goods. People, cultures, science and technology cross boundaries, alliances are made, from marriages, to world changing treaties.
Nothing can grow without a seed and the first stage of growth often begins with what we now use an ATA carnet for. Clay tablets, or heavenly bodies to guide your way may no longer be needed but the principle is.
Stone age peoples traded in flint and obsidian, part of the reason society changed. We are pleased to help you continue the changes that fair trade brings.