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Don'ts of Importing



Don't #1:

  • Don't assume that your product is exempt from US import restrictions or that those that are in effect at any given time will always be so.

Don't #2:

  • Don't forget to look into any "specific requirements" that may apply to the import of the product.

Don't #3:

  • Avoid being complacent about how your products are categorized or giving them arbitrary harmonized code numbers.

Don't #4:

  • Don't represent the nation of origin for your imported product based on "common sense" or "gut sentiments."

Don't #5:

  • Don't overlook the possibility that you could be qualified to take advantage of a preferential duty program provided by US Customs Law (American goods returned, American goods assembled abroad, Generalized System of Preferences) or by one of the many trade agreements the US has made with individual nations (Israel) or groups of nations (NAFTA).

Don't #6:

Don't forget that the transaction value (entry value) of an import is determined by adding numerous add-ons, such as various royalties and license fees, the cost of assistance, etc., to the FOB value of the imported product.

Don't #7:

  • Make no false statements on your admission documents.

  • Avoid or decrease duties by not misrepresenting transaction values on your imported goods.

  • Avoid giving false information about the country of origin of your imported goods in order to participate in a preferential duty scheme to which you are not legally eligible.

Don't #8:

  • Don't forget to consider the performance history of your overseas vendor when choosing the best payment option for your import operations.

Don't #9:

  • Don't confuse INCOTERMS with other sales terms formulations, such as the Warsaw Terms, the Uniform Commercial Code, or the Revised American Foreign Trade Definitions.

Don't #10:

  • Don't forget to consider the insurance coverage's sufficiency for your import transactions, taking into account the transfer points for title and risk of loss as well as the chosen payment method.

Don't #11:

  • Do not assume that using a letter of credit will serve as a replacement for a legal, binding purchase agreement.

Don't #12:

  • Don't forget to make sure that your import transactions are consistent.

Don't #13:

  • Don't forget to provide your customs house broker with a letter of instructions, and make sure they are covered by errors and omissions insurance.

Don't #14:

  • Do not ignore your obligation to follow US Customs Law's record-keeping standards.

Don't #15:

  • Don't forget to determine whether duty drawback, a program funded by the US government and available to US importers, is applicable.

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