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  • Oct 9, 2006, 10:31 AM
    Importing goods
    I am curious if anyone here knows the process of importing goods into the US. I have a contact in the Philippines to supply the goods I am selling. I know that typically a business would need to find a customs broker and purchase customs bonds and pay duties/taxes on the imported goods, however, I only plan on importing 5000 to 10000 dollars of product maybe twice to four times annually. Considering that this amount is rather marginal, am I exempt from certain steps in the process (such as needing a customs broker) or taxes?

    Thanks for any help.

  • Mar 11, 2008, 10:24 AM
    ROAM Enterprises
    Comment on feelhappy's post
    This is not a business site, this is a Q&A site...
  • Mar 11, 2008, 10:44 AM
    ROAM Enterprises
    Your best bet is to pay the extra small amount that a customs broker will charge you to file all of these things for you. They are experts in this field and doing it yourself is not only not worth the time, but can be EXTREMELY costly WHEN you make a mistake. On imports and exports of the amount that you are suggesting, it is best to hire and build a relationship with a customs broker, or a customs broker house. The base their business off quantity, so they charge a relatively small fee for their services and the work they do is 99.9% of the time right, and they usually always end up saving you money on the transaction as well because they know all the "loop holes" so to speak.

    It is especially necessary to use a local agent regardless of the country since these local agents know all the local rules, laws and customs agents. This will save you a lot of money and headaches in the future. If you don't know a good agent in the country, then I would recommend asking around for recommendations from others in the industry, contacting the US customs agency for a recommendation, contacting the IFLN association or if you need one in the US, just Google it. Do not use a customs house broker that has not been in business for at least 3 years (5 is recommended). The broker fees should remain pretty constant, usually a flat fee. The customs fees are going to vary dependent on product and value and the current tariff rates.

    You are not exempt from ALL customs and tariff fees, just some, and that only depends on what product and the countries involved and the way you hold you tongue, etc... lol A good customs agent is worth their weight in gold regardless of how often or how much you are importing/exporting.

    I hope this helps.

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