Suppliers around the world offer a wide variety of goods that could suit your business. You could find lower-priced supplies, giving you a competitive edge or you might get your hand on completely new supplies, allowing you different business opportunities.
In January 2017, China was the second largest importer into the UK.
Before shipping from China, there are certain things which you will have to consider. Ranging from management of long-distance relationships to organising international transport and customs clearance. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Planning your objectives – Before importing right away, it is a wise idea to be sure of what you are trying to achieve. You might be looking at China due to cheaper source of supplies or you might be looking for something available exclusively in China. Whatever may be the reason, clarifying your objectives and business strategy should be a priority.
2. Finding a supplier – Finding a supplier in china is not that difficult but what you should keep in mind is the reliability and legitimacy of one. You will also need to understand the culture of the Chinese market to establish a successful relationship with your suppliers. Mandarin is becoming an increasingly important language with over one billion Mandarin-speakers worldwide, outnumbering any other language. Making an effort to learn a few short phrases can help to establish mutual confidence.
3. Reduce risk and crack a deal – The Chinese term ‘guanxi’, which implies a system of social networks and influential relationships which facilitate business and other dealings, is important for the Chinese people. Building a good relationship and getting supplies considering your financial condition can facilitate things smoothly. A clear contract setting out exact payment and delivery terms is important. The contract should also cover what payment is required, when and in what currency, and what payment method will be used.
5. Method of transportation – While choosing the method of import, you have to decide whether you will prefer to outsource the work to a freight forwarder or will handle logistics yourself. Imports form China rely mainly on air and sea. If your consignments are large in quantity, then seaways is better.
6. The significance of import licence – You may need an import licence to import goods from China into the UK. There are import controls on a range of different goods including firearms, food and textiles.
7. Taxes and duties – As a trader, it is important to know whether or not you have to pay import VAT and duty on your good. Imports may be liable to import duty, depending on the nature of goods.
These are some key points to remember before importing goods from China into Europe.