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The import process from outside the country, and its stages, step by step

Import process: In many commercial activities, importing from abroad is a necessary part of the activity that a person works on, whether the import is for the purpose of importing raw materials and then using them for manufacturing purposes, or importing ready-to-sell products directly to the consumer.

And this import process, whether from any country, may include some difficulties and complications for people who are beginners and who do not have sufficient experience in this matter, as the import process itself includes a number of procedures such as clearing legal matters, customs matters, shipping and transportation matters, negotiating with suppliers.

In the following lines, we will learn how to properly import from abroad, and the steps that you will go through during the import process from the first moment until your products arrive at the last destination where you are.

Learn how to import from abroad step by step


  • Products

This stage does not only include determining the products that you intend to import, but rather is the planning of the project as a whole represented by the import process from abroad, and therefore there are several things that you must do during this stage.

First, you must study the local market in order to know if the market needs this type of product. Otherwise, it may happen and import products that have no customers and consumers and therefore cannot sell them.

Also, studying the local market requires making sure whether the products are available in it or not, there may be local factories that manufacture the same products that they import and thus sell them at a lower price than the imported ones, and in this case there is certainly no need to import if the products are not at a lower price than they are in The market, or at least you have a competitive advantage other than your competitors.

After determining the product that you intend to import, you have to search again, but here you will search for the most suitable countries to import from, each country has its own specifications and products, for example importing from a country near you will have shipping and import costs cheaper than importing from another country far from your country, As well as the quality of the products in every country and another.

A final thing that you must make sure of is the legal matters for importing, some products and goods may be imposed by the local government on special restrictions and conditions to import them, other products that may be completely prohibited from importing, and these details you can know when you obtain an import license, which we will talk about shortly.

So that you have determined the products and the country from which you will import, you need to go to the next step.

  • Find a supplier

Here you will search for the supplier from which you will buy your goods in the foreign country from which you decided to import. This stage may be somewhat difficult, especially for beginners and new traders.

There are several ways and means that can help you to get to know suppliers in the foreign country, and even while you are in your place without having to visit that country, search on the Internet for manufacturers and suppliers in that country.

In some countries, there are government agencies specialized in foreign merchants who are looking for suppliers in their countries. You can contact these bodies and they will guide you.

Ask experienced traders in your country. Trade conferences and workshops and importers can be an important resource at this stage.

Once you find the right supplier, you can start the negotiation stage with the supplier. The negotiation should be on all the details such as the quantity, quality, price, shipping and transportation issues. (Right Customer)

  • Legal matters (things)

After agreeing with the supplier on all the details, the time for legal procedures will come. In most countries, and perhaps all of them, you will need an import document or an import certificate stating what goods or products you intend to import.

This process may take some time, depending on the legal procedures and routine in place in your country. So this should be taken into account from the start.

This import certificate is an approval from the official authorities to import whatever products you want, meaning without the import certificate, you will not be able to enter the products into your country.

Here you must have a clear and complete perception of the way your goods will arrive to you, the method and method of shipping and who will bear the costs, the company that will ship you, and where the last destination will be, will you receive your goods from the port and you have to ship them to your warehouse or storage places or the shipping company will Delivered to the storage location, these are important details that must be agreed upon in advance.

Some suppliers and manufacturing companies in foreign countries have shipping companies or deal with a specific shipping company that handles shipping operations to the country of the importing person, and of course with additional costs, other destinations give the importer the freedom to choose the type and shipping company he wants.

Sometimes, some products and goods require special shipping operations. For example, food products are not shipped like plastic products, as food products require special care and shipping via refrigerated containers. Sometimes products require special care, or they may be damaged if shipped by regular shipping methods.

As well as other shipping options such as express, air, sea and land freight, and each of these types has its own terms and prices, and the importer must choose what suits him. Of course, these matters are agreed upon when negotiating with the supplier in the foreign country.

  • Customs

When you import any form of goods and products from abroad, you must clear some customs matters in order to be able to enter these products into the country, so there are several options for clearing your customs goods matters that you import from abroad.

Sometimes the shipping company that transported the goods for you from abroad (from the country of origin) is the one who clears customs matters, and of course this requires an agreement with the company (the shipping company), with additional fees paid in addition to customs fees.

The second option is for you to clear your customs affairs as soon as your goods arrive at the port in the case of sea freight and to the airport in the case of air freight or to the borders in the case of land freight, and of course with paying customs fees as well.

The third option, which is the easiest, is that you can deal with one of the customs clearance agencies, so that the agency in turn will completely clear your customs matters so that you can enter your goods into the country, and of course with paying customs duties, in addition to the dues of the customs clearance agency.

  • Transportation for storage

After entering the goods into the country, they must be transported to the storage places, and here it is assumed that storage warehouses are prepared in advance according to the quantity and size of the products that arrived to you, there are several options for securing storage places, such as obtaining warehouses according to the principle of leasing, dealing with private companies specialized in transportation and storage and what distinguishes these Establishments is their ability to deal with various products, including products that require special care, such as preservation in refrigerated places, for example, or other conditions of preservation and storage.

Or in the event that you own your own storage space, you can use it and save additional costs. So that you have received your goods and are ready for you, and you have to move to the next step of distribution and marketing of your imported products.

  • Distribution and Marketing

The stage of distribution and marketing of the goods and products that you have imported must take place separately from all the previous steps, that is, you must deal with this stage as a special project that differs from the entire import project represented by the previous steps.

This stage requires a study and research of its own, whether studying and researching the market, or studying the target groups expected from them to buy your goods and get to know them, so that you know to whom these products will be sold, will they be sold to retailers or directly to consumers, in addition to the need to define your strategy for marketing products and distributing Markets around you.

This stage is the basis and it will determine the success or failure of your entire project. Even if you import the best and most quality products at the best prices and with low shipping costs, you will not be able to make profits before you can sell these products in your country, so what is the benefit of all the previous steps Knowing how to distribute and market these products, from that comes the importance of this stage.

We have talked about many previous topics about how to market products, the basics of the marketing process, or in this topic about the requirements of marketing campaigns, you can refer to any of these topics to learn more about how to promote and market your products.

So that your project by importing from abroad has become fully-fledged and you can start working on it effectively and make profits.

Where we have answered the question that led you to this page about how to import from abroad and the correct steps for that.

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