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Tips For New eCommerce Importers

The eCommerce industry has seen a huge increase in activity and new customers as a result of the pandemic. Unlike traditional retail, eCommerce is extremely convenient for customers to purchase whatever products they want online. It’s clear that eCommerce is rapidly transforming how we buy! Before you jump headfirst into this business, there are a few important tips to keep in mind.

Familiarize Yourself on Laws, Trade Agreements, and Procedures

  • Preparatory to importing goods for your eCommerce business, educate yourself on duty classifications! There may be substantial tariffs to consider for your cost strategy depending on where your imports are from and what they are. New eCommerce businesses often make the mistake of not familiarizing themselves with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) laws before working with foreign suppliers to import goods, which can lead to delays and even penalties. Product classifications may be intimidating, but don’t be discouraged! It is advised to seek help from a licensed Customs Broker in order to verify that your imports are cleared for shipments.

Prepare Your Paperwork

  • To clear customs, gather the vital paperwork to get your products into the U.S. You will need:

    • Packing List

    • Commercial invoice; make sure to check that the value is the correct cost you pay to the supplier!

    • Bill of lading

    • Other government agency requirements if applicable.

Choose A Freight Forwarder

  • Freight forwarders are companies that handle shipments for individuals or businesses to receive goods from their suppliers. Most of the time, your foreign suppliers may provide their own freight forwarders, but this may not be the cheapest option. Remember that you have the option to choose your own freight forwarder and customs broker! Choosing your own freight forwarder can be more cost efficient for your price strategy. If you find a customs broker that can also handle your freight forwarding needs, this can save you from having to communicate with a handful of different people. Customs brokers can communicate directly with the CBP as well as ensuring that your shipments will get to where they need by communicating with a freight forwarder on your behalf.

Here at Spirit CHB Inc., we can help you clear your shipments and find a trusted freight forwarder for your imports. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact or call 714-738-1196



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