Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.

Internet Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing – Can I Abandon Traditional Marketing?

This is a common question raised by novices in Internet marketing. Actually, it reflects a misunderstanding of the whole concept of Internet marketing. Because of its reliably novel stage, there is a mystique attached to the concept by newcomers and so the question: If I go for Internet marketing, should I abandon traditional marketing (as if one should now exclude the other)?

My simple answer is – why would you? Internet marketing and traditional marketing should complement each other. The Internet simply allows you to extend your reach beyond the current confines of your traditional marketing system such that areas in the world that were previously beyond your reach can now be accessed through the Internet.

To better appreciate that, it would be helpful to know what Internet marketing actually is. In a nutshell, it means putting up a website where you can display the product or service you are selling, and then encouraging people to drop by your site so that you can have buyers or customers. Everything else you will encounter in Internet marketing, including what may initially appear to you as highfalutin terms – like search engine optimization, search engine submission, reciprocal linking, keyword research – are nothing more than part of Internet marketing strategies to bring people to your website so that you will have the chance of making a sale. Without people finding out your website, you will never succeed in Internet marketing.

To better visualize this, consider the example of putting up a store in the physical world. Your store is located in a vast empty prairie. How are you ever make any sale if there are no people around? No matter how good your products or services are, if you have no passers by, if people can not locate you, you're finished. You have a choice of absolutely shutting down the store – or start an aggressive marketing campaign so that people will get to know about the existence of your store. And if you are successful in enticing them, people may start flocking to you to patronize your merchandise. Your strategies may occasionally include distributing leaflets announcing your store, putting up giant air balloons where from a distance, people will spot you, advertising on mass media, an so on.

The same thing happens to a business website – your virtual store in the Internet. Much like that solitary store in the prairie, all business websites initially exist in a much much vaster cyberspace prairie where no one will find you unless you now adopt and implement the well known Internet marketing strategies. But here's the exciting part – the analogy between the physical store and the business website (your Internet store) ends when it comes to their probable reach for potential customers. In that example of a physical store, how far can you reach out physically to attract customers? Realistically, even with a massive advertising campaign, you will most likely attract only people who are living within your immediate locality. Maybe a radius of fifty kilometers is good enough. Beyond that distance, people will find it impractical to still go to your store to buy anything. But not so in the Internet marketing model. You can be in the middle of the Sahara but your website can be found and access by anyone all over the world where you have Internet connection and where people will need your product or service! That's how massive you can get in Internet marketing!

Now, going back to the question – should you then abandon traditional marketing? That question sounds to me like coming from someone who's using a cellphone for the first time and who, in excitement about the power of the new gadget requests – will I now abandon face to face encounters and just talk with everyone through my cellphone? Of course not! Use your cellphone to get in touch with people who are not physically in your vicinity. But for people who are around you, there is nothing wrong with talking with them directly in person. In fact, that might even be preferred.

Instead of abandoning one system in favor of another, I suggest you combine Internet marketing with your traditional marketing skills. You could build an awesome marketing network that way!

Investing in the Commercial Tampa Real Estate Market

For years, financial expert have made it clear that one of the best investments that a person can make is real estate. Of course, in this day and age – as has been the case throughout history – the most important investment most people ever make during the course of a lifetime is that of his or her primary residence. Indeed, you may be like many, many people who have invested a significant amount of their life savings in your own home.

With that said, you may also be interested in making the purchase of additional Tampa real estate for investment purposes. Of course, a good number of people who take this course end up buying residential real estate that they either remodel and resell (oftentimes called flipping) or that they utilize as rental property. On the other hand, an increasing number of people are also investing in commercial real estate as a means of enhancing their financial portfolios.

If you are interested in investing in commercial real estate in your community, there are five tips or pointers that you need to keep in mind before you make the plunge and make the purchase of commercial real estate for your own investment portfolio.

1. Learn how to identify appropriately the most suitable commercial real estate prospects. In other words, you need to take the time to consider which types of commercial real estate options will make the most sense for your overall financial portfolio.

2. Learn the basics of commercial real estate investing. You need to understand and appreciate that there are some significant differences between purchasing and owing residential real estate as opposed to investing in commercial real estate.

3. Learn how to quickly assess and evaluate different potential commercial real estate transactions. The Tampa real estate market can be competitive for commercial property. Therefore, you need to be able to swiftly analyze a particular investment to determine if it is appropriate to your situation. A professional Tampa real estate agent can be helpful in aiding you in these calculations.

4. Come to a logical understanding of all factors relating to a particular commercial real estate opportunity and the financing you can access for the purchase. The bottom line is you need to understand what your financial obligations will be when it comes to purchasing a particular piece of property. You need to make certain that it is an investment that you not only can afford but that will financially benefit you well into the future.

5. Come to an understanding of the potential risks and benefits associated with becoming involved in any Tampa real estate transaction. In other words, you will want to undertake a cost and benefit analysis. Generally speaking, the typical commercial real estate investor simply cannot afford to invest in such property that does not allow for a regular and strong stream of revenue. Indeed, it will be the revenue generated from the property that will service the mortgage loan that needs to be obtained to make the purchase and investment in the first instance.

Three Benefits of Private High Schools

Are you a parent who children are getting ready for a new school year? Are you troubled by the prospect of sending them to a public institution? If so, then it might be beneficial for you to consider sending them to one of the private high schools in your area. There are several benefits to this type of education. First, these institutions are generally better funded than their public counterparts, they employ high quality teachers, and they are free from any outside political influence. For all of these reasons, they make an excellent option for your children's education.

When it comes to funding, private high schools generally do much better than public institutions. While they may be more expensive, this is more than made up for the quality of their facilities and the resources that they make available for students. The educational opportunities that they offer are greatly enhanced due to the availability of quality textbooks, scientific equipment, and classroom technology. So, if you are looking to equip your children with as many resources as possible, these institutions hold a definite advantage.

You will also be very pleased with the quality teachers that private high schools employ. In general, these institutions offer higher wages for their teachers, and, as a result, they are able to attract more candidates for their positions. This results in the acquisition of extremely well qualified instructors who are able to offer some of the very best educational opportunities to your children.

Finally, private high schools are also free of some of the outside political influences that public institutions have. Since public institutions operate on government money, they are accountable to the local politicians. In recent years, the political environment has changed dramatically, and this has been resolved in a decrease in funding to educational programs. As a result, the expectations for public institutions have changed dramatically, and much of the public curriculum is focused on answering the political demands that are being made. This leads to educational institutions that are focused on meeting certain quantifiable outcomes rather than offering a quality education. This problem can be avoided by choosing a non-public institution.

Overall, private high schools offer several advantages over their public counterparts. So, it is important that you take these into consideration when deciding where to send your children as they may offer a much better option for your student's education. You will surely be grateful for the opportunities that they afford.