So what can our importer do?
• First, it should be certain it’s compliant, and can learn how to be so by talking to a customs broker about the appropriate duties and tariffs.
• Find out if there are special impediments to importing a given product. This will help the company decide if this endeavor is going to work at all. If our toothbrush was made of camel hair, for example, it may require approval from a fish and wildlife department. If the firm was importing a potentially perishable product, concessions might be made to expedite the shipment.
• Customs examination is a large roadblock in importing. This happens when U.S. customs officers decide the paperwork alone isn’t sufficient to allow the shipment into the United States, and they’ll have inspectors look inside the box to see what’s really there. Remember, just because U.S. Customs decides to hold your shipment doesn’t mean that those clocks stop ticking.
In a customs exam, the importer has to pay for truckers to pick up and deliver the shipment to a customs warehouse. The importer has to hire labor to open up the boxes (customs officials don’t do this). Once the inspections have been completed, assuming everything is OK, the boxes need to be reloaded and shipped to the importer’s warehouse. If there’s damage or difficulty in reloading the container back on the truck, this presents more delays and costs.
So far, this seems like a nightmare. But it doesn’t happen every day, and when it does, it happens for a reason: The U.S. customs department exists to protect the United States.
There are many international business videos that deal with these issues.