A Step-by-Step Guide to Importing

Part 2

In case you missed it, part 1 is here

To grow market share and remain competitive, importing from China is a must.
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Whether you source through agents or Alibaba, we’ve generated an informational list plus strategic do’s and don’ts.

Buying and delivering imports can be complicated, confusing, and costly. Profits can be erased by factory error, longer than expected production and transit times, delivery costs, regulatory fees, etc.

We’ve compiled our unique step-by-step guide offering basic facts and suggestions. Our guide is based on 25 years of importing and from the unique perspective of an express air blind shipping company delivering express freight for nearly a decade.

In Part 2 we look at making sure your import product is allowed into the country and identifying your product, and calculating landed cost.

1. Making sure your import product is allowed into the country

Certain goods are prohibited from entering the country. Other products require special handling. For example, products with batteries require a special shipping protocol. It’s your responsibility as an Importer to determine if your chosen products are subject to any special permits, restrictions or regulations. Exporters are not on the hook for any clearing issues for difficult products. It is solely your responsibility. Other Products must meet health code and labeling requirements. Restricted or mislabeled products trigger fines and penalties. Issues like this will stop your order cold. Shipments are detained and possibly destroyed! As a best practice, it’s important to work hand-in-hand with a trained logistics provider to identify potential pitfalls before the sampling process even begins.

2. Identifying your product, calculating landed cost

Once you determine that the product is an easy pass-through-customers, you have verified its ok to import, it’s time to determine the tariff classification. The tariff clarification or HS Code is used to determine rates of duty. If your shipment is valued at $2500, and the duty is 18%, your landed cost looks like this: $2500 (cost of goods) + $450 (duty) + shipping and brokerage. It is very important that you know specific vendor-negotiated terms to calculate your total cost before issuing a PO to the factory. A handy tool for knowing your HS Codes can be found here.

In Part 3 we look at how to find your supplier, and how to ship.


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