Tips for New Importers and Exporters

Tips for New Importers and Exporters

May 30, 2020

The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) regulates all imports to and exports from the United States. Before you start importing and/or exporting goods, make sure you’re familiar with CBP policies about your specific product. You’ll also need to know if there are other industry or federal regulations regarding your exports and imports, as you’ll be expected to comply with all of them.

Of course, if you’re unsure, it’s smart to get tips on importing and exporting in North Charleston, SC from experts in your industry, as well as from shipping providers. They may be able to alert you to regulations or laws that you overlooked when just starting out.

Where to start

The first stop on your research journey should be the CBP website. Familiarize yourself with the basic ins and outs of importing and exporting, including information on arrival of goods, the different types of entry, classifications, mail shipments, restricted merchandise and other CBP import requirements, among other valuable information. There’s also a series called “What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About,” which covers a variety of topics and can be incredibly useful for the newcomer.

Ask the experts

If you’re still having trouble understanding what’s required of you, or if you need more information about importing your specific commodity, call the port of entry where your shipment will arrive. They will put you in touch with an import specialist for the specific good or commodity you’re importing, who can advise you on everything from how to classify your shipment and advisory duty rates to entry filing and any specific requirements that the CBP has for your commodity.

When you call the port of entry, you’ll need to provide the county of origin, exactly what it is that you are importing, what it will be used for and how much it costs. This will help the specialist determine the classification and tariffs associated with your imports.

You can also turn to experts in your specific industry for their tips and tricks on dealing with the CBP. Learning more about different experiences can help you plan for the best and worst outcomes.

Consider a customs broker

When you’re first starting out, you might consider hiring a customs broker to help you with filing entry. Customs brokers are experts in imports and exports, and can make the process much easier to navigate when you’re learning the ropes.

A customs broker is not a CBP employee, but legitimate brokers are licensed by the agency. Each port of entry will have a list of their approved licensed brokers so you’ll know who is available to help. However, note that the responsibility for correct information, duties and fees remains on the importer or exporter themselves, so make sure to work with a highly-rated broker.

Do you have questions about tips for importing and exporting in North Charleston, SC? All Points Transport is the area’s authority on intermodal and container transport. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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