Global Sourcing Is A Complex Process Which Refers To The Sourcing Of Materials Or Products From The Producer To The Buyer

Global sourcing covers packaging, transporting, insurance, inspection and customs clearance. Importing goods from foreign markets can be difficult because of potential issues with cultural barriers, unexpected delays, communication problems and the red tape required for importing.

Understanding Import Laws

When importing goods you need to understand the laws within the country you are importing from and the country you are importing to. Many countries restrict or prohibit certain types of goods from being exported or imported from or to their country.

The UK bans the import of the following products:

  • Illicit drugs
  • Flick and gravity knives
  • Self-defence sprays (e.g. pepper spray)
  • Stun guns
  • Indecent and obscene material
  • Counterfeit, pirated and patent-infringing goods
The following items are also banned but in certain cases can be imported to the UK with relevant licences:

  • Firearms, explosives and ammunition
  • Imitation firearms (realistic)
  • Offensive weapons such as swords exceeding 50cm in length
  • Live animals
  • Endangered animals or plants
  • Certain fur skins and fur skin products
  • Certain radio transmitters
  • Rough diamonds

Understanding Product Costs

Many first time importers find a product they like at a great price and without much thought, jump in with an order; this is a big mistake when other cost factors have not been considered. It is important to remember that on top of the actual product cost you will have to pay for transportation, tariffs (see below), import VAT, trade restrictions, cargo insurance and packaging for transportation. By working with a trusted shipping agent you can get reasonable price for all transportation costs and safe delivery of your goods.

Understanding Import Tariffs

Tariffs are UK government taxes on the value of the imported goods (also known as import duty). These charges are calculated as a percentage of the customs value of the goods, the customs value is made up of: the price paid for the goods, insurance cost and shipping costs. These charges are collected when the shipment clears customs.

Note: Import Tariffs are not charged for non-commercial goods imported from the E.U.


Understanding Licences, Permits and Documentation

When importing goods to the UK you should check if you need an import licence for your shipment, some goods including: firearms, food and textiles require an import licence and goods imported from certain countries will also require a licence.

If your goods are being imported from within the E.U. then minimal paperwork is required, although it is good practice to ask the supplier to include a copy of the invoice with the shipment.

If you are importing from outside of the E.U. then you generally need an invoice and a copy of the shipping documentation such as the Bill of Lading, for customs clearance. If your goods are worth more than £6,500 then it is recommended that you include a valuation statement with the shipment.

Goods from some countries can be imported with a reduced or zero rate of import duty, in order to apply for this you must include documentation proving the origin and showing that the goods were manufactured or produced in the preference country and in accordance with preferential rules of origin.

A C88 form (or Single Administrative Document – SAD) is used to declare imports to customs, this form must detail the goods using a ‘commodity code’ which determines what the duty import rate will be.

As an experienced international freight forwarder Tuscor Lloyds can handle all required import documentation and help with a swift and hassle free customs clearance.

Understanding Import Timing

When importing goods from abroad you should try and time your orders and find a middle ground between shipping too early (could incur extra costs due to storage) and shipping too late (risk that product won’t arrive in time for your needs). Your source should be able to give you an accurate time scale for production and shipping, this should be used along with possible delay considerations to determine suitable order dates to keep inventory at a healthy level and protect against possible delays or stock issues.

Understanding Shipment Processing

By working with Tuscor Lloyds you can ensure that there is someone ready to take control of the shipment, obtain licences, handle documentation, facilitate communication between you and the country of product origin and calculate duties, taxes and fees. With Tuscor Lloyds acting as your transportation agent and customs broker you can be confident in the safe and timely transportation of your goods whilst removing the headache of international logistics and focusing your time on the rest your business.

Please contact Tuscor Lloyds for a quote or more information on importing goods to the UK: +44 (0) 161 868 6000 / – our professional staff can help you with every aspect of importing to the UK.

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