4 Common Import / Export Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re in the process of setting up an overseas operation where you will import or export goods, we’ve teamed up with Woodgrange Immigration Lawyers to give you some tips and advice on for exporters and importers.
If are early on in your import / export journey, it’s always important to prepare, do you due diligence and understand the complexity involved.
The more business owners are able to find out about, and understand this process, the easier it will be to spot mistakes, challenges or risks early on and avoid them. Here are some of the most common import/export mistakes:
Failing to Pay Attention to the Exchange Rates
The first thing you will need to avoid when trying to have success with the import and export of goods is the exchange rate in the country you will be operating in. The currency market fluctuates on a daily basis, which can cause you a lot of problems if you are not paying attention. Even if you make a deal with a foreign supplier, a lot can change from the time the deal is signed and the goods are actually delivered.
Instead of losing money on these deals due to a lack of focus, you need to keep your eyes peeled for any changes in the currency market. If you start to notice large fluctuations, you may want to wait on making a deal with a foreign supplier until these prices start to level out.
Understanding in market Country Regulations
Some business owners think that they can import/export just about anything they want from a foreign country, but this is not the case at all. Most of the countries out there will have very strict guidelines when it comes to the types of products and materials they will allow to go in and out of their territory. Failing to know what these regulations are will usually lead to make a variety of costly mistakes. If you are shipping in things to a country that are regulated, the shipments will usually be seized. This means that you will lose product and money. Rather than having to take these losses, you need to find out detailed information regarding what a particular country allows regarding import/export.
Building Relationships With Customs Officials
Another important thing you will need to do when trying to be a successful importer/exporter is to build relationships with the custom officials. Each country will have customs officials that will be in charge of checking all of the shipments that come in and go out of their territory. Ideally, you will want to develop a relationship with these officials so you can make it easier to get your goods moving to their final destination in a hurry. If you are known as someone who might cause issues at customs, you may find it difficult to get your goods through the custom officials a country has in place.
Paying Attention to Packaging and Marking Regulations
You will also need to pay close attention to the regulations a country has regarding the packaging and markings you can use on your goods. The last thing you want is to have your items shipped back to you due to a violation of these regulations. If anything on your packaging is even somewhat offensive, you need to think about changing it before shipping to a foreign supplier. While new packaging may be a bit costly, it is well worth the money invested due to the trouble it can save you in the long run.
If you need help with customs documentation, see our page here outlining the key customs points you should bear in mind when shipping goods.