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Import-Export Business Law Related Questions

Do you want know how to start an import-export business? Or, can an import-export business be started with an existing retail setup? In simple terminology, import is legally procuring goods from other countries while exporting is selling goods made in the U.S., overseas. Import and export operations form the backbone of international trade and directly impact the supply of various goods and merchandise being used on a regular basis. Many of you may have questions on this trade or wish to start such a business. This is where Experts inputs can be useful.

Read below a few questions about imports and exports answered by Experts.

On a scale of 10, how difficult would it be to start an import-export business?

Import and export businesses are not very hard or complicated especially with the vast presence and proliferation of the virtual world and internet. Therefore, on a scale of 10, with 10 being the highest, it is probably a two or three to start and run an import and export business. Usually, suppliers are easy to find and shipping is simple. The main concern would be with the product. Usually, authorities may have more rules and regulations with respect to products such as food, pharmaceuticals, and so on as they need to meet certain quality standards.

Is an import-export license required by the U.S. government, where businesses need to register as importers/exporters and obtain a valid license?

Typically, there is no requirement of a special import-export license to be issued by the U.S. government. However, different products and services can trigger other legal compliance requirements and export laws. This could the case with export of high-end technology products or information which can be used in military activities by hostile nations. Failure to comply can attract consequences, including criminal prosecution. Additionally, international import and export issues fall under the purview of federal law and common to all U.S. jurisdictions.

What are the steps to start an importer-exporter company in the U.S.?

As mentioned in the previous answer, there is no special license requirement for an import-export business. The business can be registered as any suitable legal entity such as an INC, LLC, LP, LLP, sole proprietorship, and so on. Personal income generated from the enterprise should be reported to the IRS. Typically, a tax credit is available under federal law for taxes paid to a foreign government. Similarly, the laws of each nation that one imports from and exports to should be adhered to. Though importing products is relatively straightforward, it would be sensible to hire an import broker to handle the first few transactions since the broker has knowledge on the applicable laws, excise taxes, shipping fees, and so on. This can help gain an understanding and replicating efforts in the future, without the help of a broker. Exporting products can be a bit more complicated since extreme penalties exist on export of technology. Based on the product, the rules of export can vary.

What are basic points to consider in importing products from Indonesia to the United States to sell on Amazon?

As per the U.S. customs office, the importer is responsible for assuring and ensuring that the goods comply with the array of both state and federal government import regulations. This implies that the importing goods which are unsafe, fail to meet health code requirements or violate quota restrictions should be avoided.

Can an import-export business be started in an existing retail setup without creating a new company?

There is no requirement for additional permits to import and export products. The import-export business can be carried out under the existing company if one chooses or it can set up as a separate LLC. This is dependent on whether the import-export business would be a part of the current business which is a personal choice. If an import-export business is setup, the required duties need to be paid to the customs for it to be valid. Apart from this, there is no additional permits necessary when goods are imported or exported. The merchandise needs to be declared to customs and necessary duty may be required upon import or export. Usually, most companies use import or export agents familiar with U.S. tariffs and other countries to ensure any duties due are paid.

What are the documents needed to get meat from U.S. to Canada?

The import-export rules are applicable here to each individual animal, meat, or produce separately. There will be a need to deal with the export rules in the U.S. and import rules of Canada as well as to get familiar with the rules since they are applicable to the products which intend to be shipped back and forth from the property in the States to the property in Canada. The volume of the shipments may be taken into account based on the import-export rules while there is no special consideration for citizenship.

What are the options if the U.S. Customs and Border Protection services wants to impose 138 percent tariff on imported goods that cannot be returned to shipper?

This can be a tricky situation because as a person or business importing goods, one needs to be aware of any tariffs due. Claiming ignorance or not being aware of these tariffs prior to import does not make the situation better. The customs have a right to charge what is due on already imported merchandise as it is the responsibility of the importer to be aware of the details. In case it is erroneous or the Customs have committed a mistake, one does have the right to submit proof and appeal the assessment. This would require the services of a customs/import/export attorney. However, if this is not the case and since goods cannot be returned to the seller, the choice is either to pay the tariff or allow them to seize the goods or place a lien and seek to seize the proceeds. 

Whether you are looking to start an import-export business, run an existing company or need help with any of the hurdles or challenges you are facing with regard to your import and export trade, Experts online can provide important tips and solutions. To ask your particular question or familiarize yourself on the various rules and regulations contact Experts, quickly and economically, from the comfort of your home. 

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