If you work for a large company or multinational corporation, you will undoubtedly be faced with the question of shipping sooner or later. Whether you are importing or exporting, these situations can be tricky when moving product across borders. Every country has different laws, restrictions, taxes, and tariffs. It goes without saying that, at some point, you are going to have to solve a problem in the process. Here are 4 “hiccups” that companies regularly face when shipping across borders.
Taxes And Tariffs
Undoubtedly the most complex facet of international shipping, unexpected taxes and tariff fees have taken untold companies for millions, likely billions, of dollars. It is extremely difficult to foresee these issues arising, even if your company has a full-time legal department. Part of the reason is that a country’s tariff and tax requirements can change on a dime, based on their latest congressional moves and elections. Utilizing the help of an importer of record (IoR) like TecEx can drastically simplify shipping across borders, especially if you are moving large quantities of products or sensitive material.
Who doesn’t love going through international customs at the airport? With its third-degree questions, scans, and regular pat downs, going through customs is every traveller’s nightmare. Well, any product you ship internationally is going to be questioned, scanned, and patted down, too, even if you’re not around to see it. It is of the utmost importance to keep detailed records of what is being shipped. Do not leave the job of writing a shipping manifesto to an intern the night before a shipment goes out.
International laws are almost as much fun to navigate as international taxes. Different countries have different standards for what is and isn’t allowed in their country – even products that are just passing through. Products that might seem utterly innocuous in your country of origin might be illegal or taboo in another. For example, did you know Vicks inhalers and Sudafed are illegal in Japan? In this case, too, an IoR can be extremely beneficial. Part of their job is to keep a detailed map of the legal landscape, not matter how often it shifts, and they are able to help companies navigate this difficult terrain.
Picture this: You have just ordered a brand new hard-drive for your computer from Amazon, but when it arrives it has warped and cracked thanks to the altitude at which it was shipped. That would be a major downer, wouldn’t it? But now picture this: You have just ordered 7,000 hard-drives for your company only to discover that 2/3s of them have cracked. That ‘major downer’ is now an unmitigated disaster. Fortunately, breakage and unexpected en route problems are actually the easiest problem listed here to deal with. Get your company lights out shipping insurance and you’ll sleep easy knowing that someone else has got your back.
It might sound pessimistic but, when it comes to international shipping, one of the best things you can do is to expect problems. The process can be complex, especially when shipping over multiple borders, and hiccups like these will arise. Be prepared!