There’s always a market for imported specialty goods. However, changes to importing laws are stymieing a lot of people involved in the merchandise fulfillment importing process.
Once these laws are on the books, you, as the importer, have to be ready to determine how these regulations will affect your ability to acquire and sell imported goods. You may even have to revise your fulfillment service to accommodate these new laws.
Goods coming from another country must be cleared by customs, specifically by the FDA. Before your goods can be moved from the vehicle they arrived in to your distribution warehouse, the government must issue a clearance. While this can seem like a nuisance, it’s an important step to ensure the imported products are safe for consumer use while maintaining national security.
What does this mean to you? For one, it means that you need to make sure all of your imported goods from your supply chain companies are bonded and insured. Customs bonds can vary in cost and differ based on if you are bringing in goods as a single entry or as multiple ones. Also make sure you submit all related documentation to the FDA, including contracts, invoices, and a copy of your import bond.
Most of these new import laws are to take effect within the next 18 months; you can obtain copies of these practices online or from your local customs office. Also ensure that you keep in close touch with your logistics companies, as they are the ones responsible for navigating your cargo into the country. The better logistics companies are aware of what proper importing entails and will ask you for the proper documents in advance.
You might run into problems importing certain goods. Some get detained at the border because a new regulation requires them to be further inspected, or maybe the goods have only been conditionally approved, meaning you cannot use them commercially until final approval is given.
These potential issues mean you have to make the right adjustments to your business. Don’t offer these products to clients until you are absolutely certain you can and be ready to provide whatever information government agencies ask for in the event of an emergency situation.
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