Welcome to the first part of this 6-part e-course on import strategies. Are you thinking about importing goods into your country for direct resale or to use in the manufacture of your products? Importing can be an extremely profitable business; you may be able to find access to lower prices, higher quality and unusual items that are not available in your country. However, to be successful as an importer, you must approach this business strategy carefully, learning about the technical and legal process of importing as well as analysing its value to your business.
If you have cruised trading chat rooms and message boards, you have seen the horror stories from inexperienced importers who recount, “Customs seized my shipment for non-compliance with standards!’ or “I just found out that I have to pay 20% VAT. What is VAT???!!” What’s wrong here? These folks did not take the time to learn about importing first. Your experience will be different because you are taking this course.
Our lessons will help you learn the dos and don’ts of importing, make decisions based on good information, cut through the red tape and use strategies that the pros use.
Before we begin, let’s walk through the steps involved in the importing process, in order.
- Analyse your business situation; make an initial determination about the business value of importing a selected product.
- Analyse the costs of importing. Begin by classifying your product then research the most advantageous countries to purchase from, based on the customs duty that will be charged. (Contract with a customs broker, if appropriate.)
- Calculate the cost of any consumption tax, excise tax or state/provincial/other tax.
- Select a supplier, using a thorough evaluation process and an in-country agent.
- Negotiate an arrangement with the supplier.
- Arrange for shipping.
- Obtain any needed permits, licenses, certificates. Register and receive any revenue tracking numbers that are required. Establish access to electronic data processing if possible.
- Either facilitate the shipment through customs or work with a customs broker to move the goods through the customs process.
The course is divided into sections.
- Section I tells you how to analyse whether or not to import a product and how to anticipate import duties and taxes so you can figure out how importing will affect your costs and competitiveness.
- Section II tells you how to find and evaluate suppliers.
- Section III explains the information and issues you need to discuss with your supplier, including contract terms.
- Section IV is a primer on transportation of imported goods.
- Section V walks you through the customs process and gives you tips to make the processing trouble-free.
To our success working together,