FAQs

 

What is importing and exporting?

Import and Export are terms used in international trade. When goods and products are sold to an international outside of the country destination then they are being exported. When products are being brought into a country from an overseas source outside the country, then these goods are being imported.

 

What is IEC Number?

IEC Stands for IMPORTER EXPORTER CODE. No export or import shall be made by any person without an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) number unless specifically exempted. 



WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EXPORT
AND A DOMESTIC SHIPMENT?

    Aside from the fact that the shipment is leaving the country, there are federal laws and documentary regulations that pertain only to export shipments. Secondly, while domestic shipments travel typically by truck to their final destination, an international shipment may go by truck to a railroad to a boat and back onto a truck for delivery to the customer overseas. There are several more steps in an export transaction than there are for domestic orders, which also means there is a lot more potential for problems.  



HOW DO YOU EXPORT?
JUST PUT IT ON A BOAT?

Due to the complexity of transportation logistics and customs laws around the world, it is not possible to simply put goods on a boat and expect it to reach its destination. Because of this complexity, most exporters use companies called Freight Forwarders to negotiate transport, successful exportation, and to set up transfer of documents to the customer so that they can easily import the goods on their end.

 This means that shipments change hands many times. For example, from your dock, goods may go to a Freight Forwarder to be consolidated for final transport to their destination,then either by truck or rail the goods will be shipped to the export port, loaded onto the boat and so on. Freight Forwarders are contracting with 3 or 4 different transportation providers to get freight overseas and preparing all the transportation paperwork for each leg of the journey (e.g. inland BOL, ocean BOL, Container packing certificate etc…).


Who is involved in import export process?

There are many businesses and agencies that are involved in importing and exporting trade. Here is a short list of some:

 

  • Exporters and/or Importers: Sometimes the manufacturing company have an export and import department that handles its international trade operations and sometimes these transactions are outsourced to intermediaries such as import export management companies.
  • Freight Forwarders and Shippers: Freight forwarders are companies that take care of the process of moving goods from their origin to their destinations. Freight forwarders are one of the biggest most useful tools to those involved in importing and exporting goods. They are usually aware of import and export rules, regulations, and needed documents and licenses. They provide importers and exporters with air and ocean transportation estimates based on provided volume and weight of goods. Beside freight cost, freight forwarders provide an estimate for ports charges, consular fees, documentation costs, insurance costs, etc. They are extremely useful and will simplify your export import operations. They can arrange to receive/pick your goods from multiple sources, package them, consolidate them into one shipment and provide you and your bank with proof of shipping. letter of credit Bank services: Letters of Credit is a common method used to pay and receive payments for import export transactions. Based on L/C, a payment is made when goods have been sent to buyer.


WHAT KIND OF DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR AN EXPORT SHIPMENT?


At the point of export, the exporter must provide the following documents:
• Invoice- in export lingo this is called the “Commercial Invoice’
• Packing list
• SED (Shipper’s Export Declaration)- this document is required by US Law
• Material Safety Data Sheets (when necessary)
• Hazardous Declaration in the case of hazardous materials

These documents are the bare minimum that the exporter has to provide to be able to move goods out of the country. However, keep in mind, for every export there is an import. These documents will get goods out of the US but may not guarantee entry into the destination country.



WHAT KIND OF DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED BY THE IMPORTER?


Importers need copies of all the paperwork required to export goods and, in addition, they may need specialized paperwork such as Certificates of Origin (required for Mexico, Italy, El Salvador) or, for Canadian shipments, a Canadian Customs Invoice may be necessary. Also, for Caribbean shipments a Caricom Invoice may be required. Brazil needs an import license before anything can be shipped. 



WHO SHOULD PREPARE
ALL THESE DOCUMENTS?


The shipper is responsible for ensuring all required documents necessary for import are provided.

 

 

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