Pay close attention to business nature of your potential import supplier. You
may want to make sure whether they are actual
manufacturers, third party import supplier, or trade agents in China. Dealing
with manufacturers and import suppliers, i.e., exporters, have respective advantages and
disadvantages in terms of imports cost and convenience. Manufacturers
tends to have faster responses to your requests for product designs, developments
and production arrangements. You may also cut imports cost to certain
extent. However, the third part
import supplier and professional exporter typically have much broader channels
and connections in various industries so they may better satisfy your
broader needs for diversified products. In addition, professional
exporters in China may be able to save you some hassles as they tend to
have more experiences in dealing with potential
issues related to import export, such as customs compliance, import duty
and logistic arrangement. In general, working with any "fourth-party"
import supplier is not desirable so not recommended.
Establishing close but healthy personal relationship with key staff,
preferably the management of
your potential import supplier is very important in the process of
import to your country.
You will always need help from import supplier. As a matter of the fact, the word "Guanxi", meaning "relationship" in
translation, is a very famous and popular term in China's business
arena. Please keep in mind that saving other's face is an important gesture in
You must have a good estimate of the landing cost, i.e., "import to
destination" cost, before placing
your order with a import supplier in China. The landing cost is the sum of
FOB cost of goods, transportation costs quoted by your freight
forwarder including the ocean freight, land freight and local freight as
well as port/warehouse charges, import duty and other imports cost
imposed by logistic
service providers such as inspection charges, agent fees etc. There may be
imports cost in the chain. We would advise you to obtain advise from
import oriented consulting firm
to find out what hidden imports cost could potentially incur in the import
process of your specific products. The simplest way to avoid surprises
in imports cost is to make a small test order.
Pay attention to import duties. Import duty assessments are based on HS code of the
goods you are importing, the country you import from, and destination
you import to. If
your Chinese import supplier has some export experience, they shall have the
HS code available for determining import duty rate of your product at
your "import to customs". However, you still should do your homework
by verifying HS code and import duty rate corresponding to the product you import
to your country. In some cases, the import duty is somehow vague. A wrong HS code in
the bill of lading may result in unnecessary import duty, fail customs
compliance and delay customs
clearance of your shipment.
If you just started to import from China to your country, you should pay
attentions to payment terms. A letter of credit is commonly used and also
suggested to use in trade with the import suppliers in China, especially when
import from them for the first time. Consult with your bank
to obtain detail formality and cost.
There are two types of export companies in China. One is actual
import supplier that directly handles goods and merchandise for exporting. The
other is called "export agent" that is hired by manufacturers to
process import export documents. The export agents may also
provide certain logistic services to the manufacturers.
Pay attentions to customs compliance at the "import to" destination.
Failure to fulfill customs compliance can be very costly. It may
significantly delay customs clearance and force you to pay
extremely high and unexpected customs taxes such as anti-dumping import
Delays in customs could result in storage
cost at a railway station or container yard. Therefore, it is
critical to make sure the shipment you import from China fulfill customs
compliance and all products in the shipment comply
government regulations of the "import to" country. Any "import to"
customs may decide to inspect a shipment on a random basis. Assisting
the inspection is also a part of customs compliance.
Visiting import shows and international trade fairs is a great way to
meet potential import suppliers face-to-face. You can find the lists of
upcoming trade fairs from import sourcing websites. Most of trade fairs featuring Chinese
manufacturers and suppliers are hosted in large cities in Asia, such as Hong Kong, India, Dubai and Shanghai.
If the goods you import to America from China must have wooden packing, fumigations
are required before being allowed to import to the United
States. All wooden packaging for import to the States must also meet the nimp15 treated
wood specifications. Such customs compliance must be certified in official
import documentations including "bill of lading". You should
obtain advises from import freight broker for more information on this