Do you want to start an import/export business? Following tips would definitely help you in getting started your own import/export firm.
There are Embassies or Consulates in foreign countries that have been set up by many countries in order to boost exporting of their goods. The Consulates are present in different cities whereas Embassies are usually located in a nation’s capital. You can get industry directories and other important information related to this business through Consulates. Manufacture lists, directories and contact information such as email address can be obtained from the Embassy website.
Contacting a particular country’s Consulate is essential if you want to import goods over there. You can get the lists of manufacturers and drafts, in case if you are unsure what products the other country wants.
You should communicate with your country’s taxation department to get registration numbers or to know more about different policies that you need to follow. Trade barriers have been set up against certain countries and they are known as embargoes. For example, Cuba comes under embargo list in many countries. It is always better to get full details from your own government to know whether the country you are considering comes under embargo or restriction list or not. Next step would be to get in touch with that country’s Embassy or Consulate to know if there are any restrictions against products from your own country.
Gather all the important information about licensing requirements. These days various countries have exempted license requirement for most of the products. But, if you are looking to import or export certain food items, chemicals, apparels, pharmaceuticals etc. then you would need a license in this scenario. It is always advisable to initiate your business with low risk products that are easy to exchange and have less trade barriers. To give you an example giftware is one such item that can be imported or exported easily.
To get reliable trade information you should go through research libraries and participate in the programs organized by the Chambers of Commerce. Such programs offer good trade information and will also help in increasing your network knowledge.
It’s important to bear in mind that when exporting goods every shipment deal will be different with regards to shipping and customs. Each company will have different set of products and will require different set of services. Hiring the services of a freight forwarder is a good option. They manage shipping and customs for goods being imported or exported to other countries. You need to understand their complete work procedure and question your queries in advance in order to avoid any untoward incident in the future. You have to be very clear with your shipping, license, insurance and all such important things.
Letters of credit are the easiest way of paying when trading internationally and are available with banks. Contact your bank to provide with letters of credit. With this service, the banks gives assurance that the goods are delivered before the amount is exchanged thereby reducing the risk of doing business internationally.
Again, it is recommended to participate in Trade Fairs or Missions. You will discover more options available in import/export business by consulting with your local Chamber of Commerce.
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