Import is a crucial part of the supply chain industry for many businesses in every country. Over the years, the number of import businesses has grown drastically. Considering the fact that import business can turn out to be extremely lucrative many people are inclined towards being an importer, however, only a few of them become successful in this area.
Now, the question arises is why is that so? Well, as beneficial as it is, importing goods is a bit technical as well. It is essential to make sure you plan out the entire process perfectly and avoid any hiccups so that your goods don’t get stuck at any point through the process. If you are in search of the basics of how to make your import business successful, you would need these 5 essential tips for sure.
Make sure to establish the Right Team
During your work, you will be dealing with two groups of people including the clearing agents and your commercial team. Importing is a group work in which even if a single person lags behind the entire process will slow down and affect the work flow.
During import, customs clearance is a mandatory step before the freight officially enters its destination region. Here the clearing agent will be responsible to facilitate the customs clearance process and make sure all the formalities are being followed as per the regulations. Therefore, it is important that you hire a qualified and experienced clearing agent so that you can avoid any delay or problems during the process.
Moreover, the commercial team is responsible for the commercial invoices, packing list, and letter of credit in order to ensure a smooth customs clearance process. It is extremely important for all these documents to be completely accurate as slightest of the errors may end up affecting the cost or duration of import.
Know all your Shipping Routes
The route for importing goods between countries is sometimes straightforward, whereas the indirect routes are a bit more complex and may take up more time. Hence, it is important for you to be aware of the route that your freight will be taking so that you know whether there would be delay in delivery or not.
Moreover, in some situations during the shipment being moved from one country to another it may pass through the route of a third country in between. In some countries, the goods (even though not being sent to them) are to be checked and charged for at their terminal. Hence, it is important to do your research and know of all such laws in order to avoid any unpredicted additional cost or delay.
Be-aware of the Demurrage or Hold-up Policies
Once your goods have arrived at the receiving terminal or airport, it is allowed to stay there for a certain allotted period of time. In case the shipment is not removed even after the ‘free’ period ends, a demurrage charge is placed by the operators on your freight regardless of the reason for this delay.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you are aware of all the hold-up policies of your destination airport before the shipment is delivered so that you can avoid any hassle. The demurrage charges may be applicable on the basis of the size of container or on per day due to which it can cost you a high amount if not removed as soon as you can. Luckily, it is not that difficult to do research over the demurrage charges as these details are mostly available on the government websites of every country.
Find out the Packaging Requirements
In order to make sure your goods are delivered safely without any damage, it is important that they are packed the right way at the point of origin. The goods may be subjected to extreme weather conditions or be harshly loaded, stacked, pushed and dropped which is why it is crucial to ensure that the shipment is packed as per the requirements.
Air shipments usually need a lighter packaging as compared to sea shipments. Moreover, it is better to pack it on the standard pallets so that it can be handled easily. Nevertheless, import businesses need to keep a track of the packaging rules and requirements of the country they are importing goods to.
Check for all the Banned Goods
Before sending any freight, it is your responsibility to check and ensure that the goods being imported are not banned or prohibited in the destination country. For instance; wine can be imported in the US or Europe as it is not banned there, but it cannot be imported in any Muslim country due to the rules. You can still import certain banned goods if you manage to obtain a written permission in case you meet the conditions and requirements provided by the government of the destination country. In case you are caught trying to import goods that are banned without permission, your goods will be seized and you may have to face penalties.
Nonetheless, the best way to be successful in importing is that you do your research and make sure that you abide by all the rules and regulations for importing goods so as to avoid any hiccups and delays in getting your shipment delivered on time. It is crucial to be cautious and well-versed in order to make your import business grow.