Import/export is one of the most important forms of business activity today. Because of globalization, the open world we live in, and the ability to order products through global websites in just a few clicks,mostly domestic trade has become global. Today, even small companies can export and market their products in markets around the globe, and individuals can become importers. While options abound and execution is a snap, relatively speaking, import/export is still a complicated process involving many different parties, from the driver transporting the product to the port to customs authorities. That’s why having a company at your side that carries out the various stages of the process is pivotal to your success.
Import/export – suppliers, certification, shipping, customs and finding marketsIf you’ve decided to become the importer or exporter of a product, remember – if it’s important to you, it’ll happen. Nonetheless, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Again, working with a professional and reliable company is key. The import process consists of a number of stages:
- Finding suppliers: Finding suppliers is a crucial stage of the import process. It’s critical that you find the best supplier for you. The supplier must be reliable and top-notch, and it must be able to work within your budget. If you plan to create a product from scratch, based on a drawing, you’ll still need to find a supplier you can rely on.
- Licenses and permits: To import a product, you’ll need to obtain an import license from the Ministry of Economy. Many products also require additional approvals from the government ministry responsible for that product type. For example, automobile importers need to obtain permits from the Ministry of Transportation. Imported products must be checked by the Standards Institution of Israel, and a Hebrew-language label should be put on the product, with the manufacturer’s and importer’s details.
- International shipping: International shipping will determine whether the product will arrive at its destination, so it is critical that you get the best terms for international shipping, including all required stages, such as packaging and overland/aerial/maritime shipping until the product arrives, along with all of the logistics this entails.
- Customs brokerage: Clearing a product through customs is one of the stages after which all importers breathe a sigh of relief. For the goods to clear customs as quickly as possible, you should work with an experienced customs broker that is well-versed in freight classification and the entire process.
- Markets in which your product will be marketed: While the import process ends with marketing the product to retail chains and Israeli customers, in exports, the exporter needs to find the customers who will buy the products overseas. Naturally, this is a very complex process, and before getting started, exporters should take the time to do an in-depth study designed to identify markets that will give their products the best chances of success, and locate their customers.