Importing is the process of bringing product from one country to your own country. Here in the USA most of the products on the market are imported from other other countries such as China, India and the European Union.
Importing is not a complex process however; it requires expertise. Without enough knowledge of importing procedures, mistake might happen. There are no shorts cuts. You have to follow all the steps.
Let us discuss the importing Process. I am going to assume that I am a Miami Based company who would like to import Solar Panels from India.
After establishing a relationship with a reputable vendor and agreeing on the price, I will reach out to my freight forwarder to confirm the Ocean Freight rate from India. Seeking rates from different source is a good Idea.
At this point I have done my research . I know the duty I have to pay based on the HTS code.
I am now ready to ship my order via Ocean Freight to Miami
These are the main steps:
- Advise freight forwarder to contact vendor to arrange for shipping and make booking
- Custom broker will issue the ISF based on the information provided by the Freight forwarder and vendor
- Cargo is either picked up or delivered to Freight forwarder. Freight Forwarder issues BOL after ship sails.
- I receive copies of BOL.
- My Freight forwarded sends documents to My customs broker. I send him the vendor invoice for custom clearance purposes.
- Shipment arrives at port. At this stage the customs broker has cleared the shipment throw customs.
- Customs broker will issue Delivery Order which includes the delivery address and the name of the drayage company that will pull the container from the port.
- Shipment is delivered to the warehouse or a warehousing facility in Miami. At this stage the shipment is complete.
As an Importer I could have outsourced all the above to one of the 3Pl companies in Miami who would handle the whole process from vendor door to my door. That is one of the few benefits of working with a 3PL Company.