Prepare Your Business for Importing
Import Regulations and Licenses
As an importer, it is important to comply with the policies and procedures of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to avoid potential problems during clearance of your merchandise at ports of entry. Familiarize yourself with the guides and resources below published by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
You should also seek relevant and existing Trade Laws with this Trade Toolbox published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Know Your Costs and Counterparties
You should consider all costs related to importing. These include shipping, duties, custom fees, and taxes. This will help manage your business effectively and quote prices to customers that maintain your margin. Additionally, you should be aware if the counterparty you are dealing with has not been placed on any official denied persons list, sanctioned by a government, or blocked from import or export transactions.
All of these can be done with UPS TradeAbility International Tools.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted some information regarding duty rates here.
You can also check out the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) Tariff Database.
Global Tax Implications
As you grow your business through importing, you should consider how current tax landscape could impact growth. Read what international tax experts have to say on this blog.
Expand Your Global Business Knowledge
Learn about the culture, history, government, and the economy about the countries you are dealing with as well as about the industries you are involved or interested in prior to doing business or importing.
globalEdge is a good resource to seek insights into different countries as well as industries.
Learn More About Your Shipping Company
Get a sense of the global supply chain by checking out this map of container ships, even tracking specific vessels or watching certain routes and ports.
Hapag-Lloyd, a major shipping company, publishes news and insights about containers, global trade, and more at this website.