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Wait, but I’m not importing that

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Importing products is a great way to save money and increase your margins, but it also comes with some serious risks. It is important to avoid those risks and make sure you understand the rules or regulations before importing products. So grab your coffee (or maybe a stronger drink considering the challenges presented in this article) and let’s dive in!

The Risks of Importing Products

The import process is complex, and there are many risks that you need to be aware of. Some of the most common pitfalls involve failure to know importing rules and regulations as outlined by Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or other government agencies (FDA or EPA) can make what seemed like a simple task into a nightmare.

Companies who fail to understand their legal obligations can face hefty fines or even prison time for breaking customs laws. You need to know what products can be imported, how they should be classified and labeled, how they should be packaged and shipped, how much duty you’ll have to pay on them (or if any), and whether there are any restrictions or special licenses for their importation.

Know the Law, Know the Risks!

The process of importing products is not simple. It’s a complex legal process that involves multiple agencies, parties and forms. And while there are many great reasons to import products into the United States, it is important to recognize the risks involved.  Regardless of what your decision may be to import products, you should always include your trade compliance team in this process as it will save you lots of time and trouble.

Product Changes

Some product changes are good, but others can be bad. Typically size or color changes are not a big deal. However, when the product designers decide that the end tables you are selling will look fabulous with an added natural stone on top, that is when the problems start.

When you make a product more appealing to consumers, it will sell better. Although product changes may be a great enhancement, the product designers may not know that there is a ban on the mining process of that stone because of forced labor concerns or maybe there is an antidumping duty for that commodity.

You should always be aware of the risks and do your due diligence before importing products.

If you’re thinking about importing products especially from countries like China, you should always be aware of the risks and do your due diligence before importing products. Importing products can lead to fines, penalties, and other legal ramifications that can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and damages.

Conclusion

If you’re importing for your large corporation or selling on Amazon or Etsy or other channels, then you need to understand the risks of importing products and how they can affect your business. It’s important to do your due diligence before making any decisions that could put your entire business at risk. If you’re importing products for your small business, then it’s important to understand the risks and do your due diligence. You don’t want to get caught up in a legal mess that could cost you thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. Take the time to learn about this with any of the following relevant courses from Global Training Center:

Tariff Classification

Importing Procedures

Importing 201

USMCA

You may also want to listen to these free podcast episodes on the Simply Trade Podcasts that cover lots of the information found in this article:

Exploring the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act – Part 1 (Episode 2)

Exploring the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act – Part 1 (Episode 3)

Discussing Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Part 1 (Episode 5)

Discussing Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Part 2 (Episode 6)

An Importers Perspective on Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (Episode 7)

An Importers Perspective on Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (Episode 8)

10 Recommendations for Importing to the United States Part 1 (Episode 12)

10 Recommendations for Importing to the United States Part 2 (Episode 13)

Course: Importing Procedures

Import Procedures and Documentation Course that will teach key procedures and regulatory obligations. Too often importers expect their brokers to do all of the work when it comes to the importing process. Unfortunately, the broker is NOT a tax advisor.

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