Exporting products to international customers is generally a difficult process involving huge risk. In this competitive global market, a successful export business is ensured only when the exporter is able to carefully predict probable pitfalls and avoid several common mistakes that are made by various other exporters.
The process of import involves multiple steps. Some of the prime components primarily involved during importation include bankers, freight forwarders, carriers, custom house brokers and finally U.S Customs.
Developing an appropriate business plan is the foremost step while importing any product. While planning, it is always important to determine the requirement of the product and its end use. Apart from this, complete information with respect to various government regulations and import controls on the product is vital. It is also important to determine the nature of the product for the purpose of assigning a harmonized bar code number.
The next step after planning involves a properly structured logistics plan. A proper documentation regarding the merchandise is a prerequisite while importing any product. The most important of these documents is the sales confirmation or proforma invoice that contains details regarding the destination port, payment details, delivery mode, shipment details, details of the buyer and the seller, product price and its specifications. There are certain other documents that are required by the US Customs which include insurance certificate, certificate of Origin, Consular invoice, Certificate of Manufacture, invoice from exporter and inspection certificates.
Apart from these documents, an importer must also determine the route through which the product can be imported. If the product can be imported into a foreign trade zone as a manufacturing component, several tariffs can be eliminated on the merchandise. There are even certain regulations pertaining to packaging and labeling that need to be considered. It is always better to ensure that the product is properly packaged and labeled before being shipped. An improper packaging can result in delayed Custom clearance on the product.
Other steps that need to be measured while importing any material from other country include foreign sourcing, financing and security measures.