Unless an international trader has authorised access to the Customs Handling of Imports and Exports Freight (CHIEF) system, they will be unable to process import (or export) customs declarations. This means that, by necessity, most traders have to rely on third party agents, such as freight forwarders, clearance agents and other registered parties, to correctly declare goods on their behalf.
However, just because the work is completed by an agent, this does not absolve the trader from the responsibility of ensuring that declarations are made correctly. Regardless of who does the work, the importer (or exporter) is solely responsible for whatever happens. The agent only has negligible liability placed on them when something goes wrong. So, what happens when an appointed agent fails to make the right declaration? HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can, through their audit system, actually identify when a mistake has been made. If this mistake (inadvertent or otherwise) has resulted in a shortfall of tax payments being made to the UK Treasury, then one of the functions of HMRC is to collect any outstanding amounts.
This can have serious implications for an organisation’s profit margin and cash flow.
Consequently, and partially to avoid the above scenario, but also to try and cut down on their workload caused by incorrectly completed entries, HMRC are keen that traders are aware of all declarations made on their behalf. The simplest and least expensive way that traders can do this is by ensuring that for every import and export made by them, they have copies of the corresponding import and export entries (C88) and that these are checked manually by someone in the organisation to ensure that the correct entry has been made.
Please note that this information, plus other accounting paperwork, needs to be kept for certain minimum periods to comply with statutory legal requirements. Most organisations keep records for 6 years, but it should be remembered that, in the event of a criminal investigation, trader’s records dating back 10 years may be used as evidence. Any record kept must be accurate and up to date; legible; readily accessible whether held on paper, computer, microfiche or microfilm and be available for inspection at all reasonable times.
Sometimes, however, traders find that Import and Export Entry declarations are not readily available from their agents, so (for a charge) HMRC can supply most of this information direct to the trader via their Management Support System (MSS). The MSS is an interfacing database with the CHIEF system and contains archived data for all cleared customs declarations for imports and exports. This data, which is collated under an organisation’s EORI number, includes information such as entry dates, commodity codes, Customs Procedure Codes (CPC), values of goods declared and taxes paid, and can be delivered electronically via e-mail (to a nominated person in the organisation) in the format of a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.
There are two things that should be noted about this system. First, not all information available can be released by HMRC, especially items which might compromise HMRC control activities. Secondly, in agreeing to this method of communication, HMRC are not liable to the trader for the security of the information once it has been transmitted via e-mail on the Internet.
If a trader does decide to sign up to this system, then they must do so for a minimum of 12 months. However, it is possible to have a single sample of one month’s import and export data made available without charge, to enable traders to assess whether or not the scheme is of benefit to them. The address to contact about this scheme is
Excise Customs Stamps and Money
10th Floor Central, Alexander House,
21 Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea,
Essex, SS99 1AA
Its also possible to obtain copies of individual entries from the MSS team. The amount of information supplied is limited, which is why it is known as a Partial Entry, but the information supplied is usually the most pertinent. Data is held in the CHIEF MSS Database for 4 years only, so any enquires need to be made within this period. To request a copy, a Partial Entry Request form needs to be completed and sent (along with an original signed letter on business headed paper of the company owning the relevant EORI number) to the MSS Team at the above address. Both these documents must be signed by a responsible person of the business i.e. Owner, CFO, CEO, Partner, Company Secretary or Director.
This form, as well as additional information about the MSS scheme, can be downloaded from the HMRC website. Go to the Import and Export page and scroll down to the bottom to CHIEF. Enter this page and scroll down to the bottom to Management Support System (MSS) trade information.
Ever wondered about doing an import export business in the UK? Running an import export business can be a challenging prospect, but with the proper import and export licenses1, one can easily move any product around the world. In the modern world, moving products from one country to another is a highly regulated practice, and the proper export documentation2 must be acquired for each item. Depending on the nature of the product, different licenses will be required upon entry into the terminal country.
Sometimes coordinating shipments can be very difficult for those running an import export business. Freight forwarders3 are companies that handle the movement of shipments, or act as shipment intermediaries, and can be invaluable for any import export business. Freight forwarders may also assist import export businesses with their paper work, invoicing, or shipment declarations. Proper paperwork is a must to avoid fines, fees, or excess import duties4. Of course, the owner of any import export business will be required to pay some import duties, and knowing when and how much to pay is integral to the success of and product movement operation.
In the UK some goods are considered controlled materials and require specific licenses for import or export. Import export businesses regularly apply for these licenses, which can be had quickly and easily if one knows the processes. Some controlled items, such as firearms, medication, and alcohol are regulated specially, and cannot be moved except with very specific export documentation. Other goods, such as foodstuffs and clothing, can be moved more simply, but require some quality testing upon importation.
Temporary licenses are available for those import export businesses looking to move items seasonally or in special circumstances; for example, taking sample items, scientific materials, historical objects, or artwork to an exhibition. Knowing the laws in the UK and around the world is the first step in owning a successful import export business.
Imports and China Distribution
We have developed a unique network of agents & services throughout the areas we serve. Each agent has been carefully selected to ensure they have the same philosophy as us that is providing our clients with an efficient and personal service
I.T and Communication
A dedicated communications network links our offices with interactive EDI file transfer to all our overseas partners. Cargo Link Express has invested heavily in an in-house software package C.O.S , specifically written to exacting requirements
Freight Forwarding in China
Any business operating within a global market needs a reliable freight forwarder with the technology, expertise, and efficiency to ensure that cargo is delivered on time and within budget. And as markets in the Far East continue to grow at a phenomenal rate, a Far East Logistics partner will become an essential part of any future growth.
As predicted at the beginning of the millennium, the Far East economies have grown exponentially in recent years, with China leading the way in terms of both imports and exports, closely followed by Japan. Freight forwarding in China has become a huge factor in the growth of logistics companies in both Europe and the US and China import / export services now account for about 30% of all global shipping. (30% of the value of liner exports and almost 32% percent of the global volume of containerized exports) And given the fact that many companies are looking to China as a possible site for relocation, it looks like logistic consumption in China will grow even more in the future.
China Import and Export Services
If you are looking for a Far East logistics partner with a strong presence in China then look no further. We have been offering China import export services for a number of years now and have become a leading China partner for UK businesses. We know this market inside out and our freight forwarding China department deals with shipping lines and airlines that dock at all ports in mainland China. Our freight logistics China team will ensure that all import licensing and customs clearance issues are dealt with to ensure the prompt and safe delivery of your cargo. If you are looking for China freight forwarding services from an established and experienced agency, then contact us India Freight Forwarding
As well as being a leading service provider in China, we also offer robust services to the Indian subcontinent. India is another economy experiencing huge growth at the moment. UK and European companies are now looking for reliable freight forwarding partners in India in order to capitalize on the potential within this market.
We have built up solid working relationships with local partners, which means you can rest assured your cargo is in safe hands from the moment it leaves at the very start of the supply chain all the way to its final destination. This is a big advantage given the nature of internal transport in India. We arrange collection from all the main cities and offer extremely competitive prices for both haulage and customs clearance.
Whether you re looking for Asia shipping services or a China cargo service we can offer tailor made solutions that are reliable and cost effective. Your cargo will be in expert hands right the way through from collection to delivery and if you have any questions or queries we are just a phone call or email away.
Need to ship a container from India to the US1? Service Shipping Inc. is one of the largest freight forwarders handling thousands of containers imported from India into the US each year. Due to the large volume of containers Service Shipping handles, they are able to offer below market shipping rates that no other company can beat. Whether it s a 20 or 40 foot container, Service Shipping has an Indian Break Bulk Division that handles all containers coming from India being shipped to the United States. Delivery door to door at any port within the US can also include a customs clearance and trucking arrangements. Working with one company throughout the entire import process makes it easier and more cost effective for the importer. Companies that import containers each month from India will benefit from below market shipping rates that Service Shipping has to offer. Additional customs brokerage services2 can be provided at the request of the importer that include:
- Customs Clearances All Ports Within the U.S.
- Door to Door Delivery
- Port to Door Delivery
- Port to Port Delivery
- 20ft Containers
- 40ft Containers
Our Indian Break Bulk Division specializes in the shipment of all types of goods shipped internationally from India to the U.S making sure freight meets government standards for a fast and easy delivery. Streamline the process of importing freight by using an experienced Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder3 that specializes in international cargo involving India. To help increase economic growth, the Indian government has invested money in growing its transportation infrastructure. This has helped reduce transportation costs of cargo being exported from India which leads to larger profit margins for distributors and retailers worldwide who are receiving the goods. The goal of this project is to make transportation easier, more cost effective and faster by opening up new roads and railways. The long term investment made by the Indian government will increase shipping productivity and the amount of exports coming from India. Considering India s rail system is the fourth most used rail system in the world transporting 350 million tons of freight per year, it is continuing to grow and become more efficient. The Konkan Railway Corporation built the roll on roll off service that commingles roads and railways to work together between Verna in Goa and Kolad in Maharashtra
The terms freight broker and freight forwarder are some of the most misused in the shipping or freight business. Some people even use them interchangeably but the truth is that the two sets of services are as different as day and night although they complement one another to facilitate smooth shipping of goods between carrier and shipper. The freight broker is simply a liaison or intermediary between the shipper and the carrier.
There is a difference between freight brokerage and freight forwarding
Freight brokers use technological tools and their deep knowledge of the shipping or freight industry to connect shippers to the best freight companies in the market and vice versa. For this service, the freight brokers are usually paid a certain commission. They play an important role in the industry as they help shippers find the most reliable carriers and a good rate while also assisting carriers in easily finding the goods to move into new markets. Freight brokers do not handle goods and are usually not held legally responsible for any damages or losses that the shipper may accrue.
Freight forwarders on the other hand operate warehouses and serve as shipping agents who move goods onwards to new destinations. Freight forwarders bring the advantage of the intricate knowledge of the import and export rules, paperwork, freight costs, insurance, packing advise, expertise in ocean and air freight and other details relating to government regulations and foreign trade. While freight brokers are usually licensed by their respective state and national governments, the freight forwarders are licensed by the international bodies IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the Federal Maritime Association for air and ocean freight forwarding respectively. It is also the freight forwarders that issue the bills of lading during shipping.
In 2010, at the height of the Somali high seas piracy, piracy earned itself a place amongst a litany of reasons why Ugandans had to pay extra costs for imported goods. Shippers, insurance agencies, underwriters, crews, cargo owners and ultimately the importing companies all complained about piracy especially in the popular Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
The reasons were plain simple: The cost of insuring against the pirates, the extra cost of container demurrage resulting from vessel delays, charges by the shipping company for ransom paid to retrieve the container and so on. According to a report by One Earth Future Foundation, Somali piracy alone cost about US$ 6.9 billion in 2011 owing to ransom, security and insurance costs, re-routing charges as well as labor and prosecutions.
Uganda s most vital shipping routes for her exports and imports all rely on the pirate infested Gulf of Aden. 61.9 percent of Uganda s imports are from Asia and Middle East while 13 percent are from Europe. 22.8 percent of exports go to Europe and 15.8 percent go to Asia and the Middle East. Any interruptions in the Gulf of Arden would therefore deal a blow to the import and export trade.
But today, almost a year since piracy was dealt a big blow by a combination of multi government patrolling initiatives by navy forces, as well as onboard defense mechanisms, but you won t hear the businessmen talk about how this will translate into reduced costs. They have since moved on to other things. According to the European Union Naval Force, Somali pirates hijacked 46 ships in 2009 and 47 in 2010.
In 2011, pirates launched a record number of attacks 176 but commandeered only 25 ships, an indication that new on board defenses were working. In 2012, pirates hijacked just five ships. The International Maritime Bureau reports that in the first nine months of 2012, there were 70 Somali attacks compared with 199 for the corresponding period in 2011. And from July to September, just one ship reported an attempted attack by Somali pirates, compared with 36 incidents in the same three months last year.
The obvious expectation from a consumer therefore would be that such a massive reduction in piracy would translate to an ease in the cost of commodities. This however has not been the case. Kampala City Traders Association Chairman Everest Kayondo explains to the CEO Magazine that some factors are motivators of cost of commodities while others are not.
Piracy has negative impacts on businesses but it is an exogenous factor meaning the likelihood of it happening or not does not mean that the cost of your commodities will go down because for some reason your goods were not captured. It is not often factored in when determining the cost of commodities, Kayondo explains.
The fact that piracy has come down to a record low therefore does not necessarily mean commodity prices will come down because piracy is just one of many factors influencing the same. Kayondo says the effects of piracy are what may cause an increase in the cost of importing goods because factors such as delays and extra charges from the shipping and insurance companies definitely affect business.
He also says that most of his organization s members do not insure their goods due to skepticism over whether the insurance companies will pay out in case goods are not only captured by pirates but in case of loss or demurrage.
I find that most of my members have no confidence in the insurance sector yet they occasionally witness challenges when it comes to delays caused by piracy meaning that by the time a ship is rescued the goods are already expired or the market demand has changed. Piracy, had emerged as a stumbling block to traders since consignments take long to be delivered yet the business runs on borrowed money leading to repossession of collateral from banks, he says.
Kayondo adds that the piracy scourge affects the economy more than it affects the cost of goods because government is forced to use extra resources to ensure exports and imports are protected while importers have to factor in the cost of doing business which is usually hard hit by freight costs, insurance charges, tax and time spent in transit.
Ronald Kanyerezi, a manager in charge of commercial projects, quality and strategy at Three Ways Shipping Group says that although piracy does not affect freight companies directly, it has a direct impact on the company s customers with the uncertainty of whether their goods will reach on time.
There is the insurance aspect of the international business which means that goods that were previously not considered high risk now require piracy insurance because chances of losing the shipment are very high yet the shipping company will not compensate the importer, he says, adding: Piracy coming down changes the dynamics in that there is increased security hence importers will take minimum marine insurance without additional charge risk as well as slightly lower costs of shipping, he says.
He however agrees that the cost of commodities may not directly come down owing to a reduction in Piracy. Most of our customers hit by piracy did not necessarily transfer these costs to their customers at the time so piracy is a small determinant to cost of commodities as business owners absorb that cost themselves, he notes.
Biggest real threat to import & export
He however says that the biggest cost driver for the import and export business is the disorganised Mombasa to Kampala route. A container will cost between US$1,500 and US$ 1,800 to Mombasa by sea from the Far East but it will cost between US$ 3,000 to US$ 3,600 to transport it from the port of Mombasa to Kampala.
This is because a ship will usually bring in over 500 containers at once which means the cost is shared but once on the road, they are transported one container at a time, Kanyere explains. Additionally, there are weigh bridges, border charges and bad road conditions to deal with which shoots up the shipping cost to over US$ 5,000 even to the tune of US$ 15,000 depending on the kind and quantity of goods being imported.
Piracy is a mitigatable risk meaning it can be prevented by insurance if the importer appreciates the need for it but issues with delays at the Mombasa port, inefficiency of the system, lack of infrastructure and global market trends, these directly impact the cost of commodities, says Kanyerezi.
Kassim Omar, the chairman of Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association says that hidden costs imposed by the shipping companies and other players in the logistics chain, make an already bad situation worse.
The hidden costs which include (EMF) Equipment Management Fee a cost imposed on every transit entry unit cleared on the East African cost, In Transit Fee (ITF) as well as Deliver Order Fee (DOF which has gone up from US$ 5 to US$ 60 and US$ 100 have remained as a result of ignorance on the part of the business community doing business within the international trade framework, Omar says.
He says that these costs were initially, attributed to piracy but have continued to be imposed long after piracy has ceased being a major contributing factor. There should have been a downward trend in the cost of doing business and cost of commodities but these still remain high. Overall, hidden costs constitute between US$ 600 to US$ 1,000 per container thus compensating for other costs that may have been eliminated as a result of a decrease in piracy, he says.
Hunter Hunted: A joint strike force attacks pirates at sea in the Gulf of Aden
Kanyerezi says that although piracy is on the decline, it is not yet time to celebrate, saying that international navies should maintain their presence in the high seas for the foreseeable future so as to deal piracy a permanent blow.
As of 30 September 2012, suspected Somali pirates were holding 11 vessels for ransom with 167 crew members as hostages on board. In addition, 21 kidnapped crew members were being held on land according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Uniserve has announced the award of an export air freight contract of over three million kilos to seven countries in the Middle East, on behalf of Debenhams to their franchise partners Alshaya.
As part of the agreement, Uniserve will also be responsible for all sea freight movements. This prestigious export contract was highly sort after by a number of other major carriers.
Debenhams franchise partner Alshaya manages some of the best known brands in the Middle East and North Africa and has been working with Debenhams for some time to help deliver the company s shopping experience in that region. Uniserve will be responsible for delivering all Debenhams products from fashion, through to homeware.
Steve Bowkis, Director of Import /Export said, We have now partnered with Uniserve on an inbound Airfreight basis for 3 years and their unfaltering focus on our business continues to deliver operational efficiencies and value adds with a surety that our product always moves. With our new Export opportunity we had no hesitation at assigning this important task to Uniserve through the confidence that they will bring those same excellent business traits to bear
Gary Cobbing GTM Director for Uniserve commented, We have been working closely with Debenhams in true partnership as an integral part of their international supply chain and multichannel retail operation. We believe there is no other company capable of providing the innovative solutions we have developed.
Uniserve has designed a Global inventory management system that provides end to end control and complete visibility of the whole supply chain.
Iain Liddell, Group Managing Director for Uniserve commented, I am delighted that Debenhams have awarded us this prestigious export contract, which further demonstrates the success of the true partnership approach that has helped to build and develop Debenhams international retail business.
We are prepared to invest in our customers as we have total confidence in our own ability and vision and we understand that as in any relationship, we will be judged on our contribution. We know we have to bring value to the table to justify our continued involvement.
Uniserve have already been successfully handling all Debenhams global air freight and some of their sea freight into the UK. The service standards that have been achieved have been an influential factor in winning this contract.
We live in an age of globalisation and our marketplace is no longer confined to our home country s border, but encompasses all nations. Trade with other countries that involves selling goods from one country to another needs freight services for the efficient transfer of goods. Freight services cover a wide range of complex freight and transportation requirements such as documentation, duties, customs clearance, and carrier selection. There are firms that provide quality freight services, and their assistance is invaluable. They are familiar with the various subtleties of freight services and can save their customers both time and money.
Someone exporting goods to another country for the first time should get in touch with a firm that has some prior experience in this field, has a proven track record and is very familiar with the intricacies of exporting. Working with an experienced and reputable company makes the whole job of importing and exporting a lot easier. A company that specializes in custom brokering and other freight services will be able to successfully navigate the whole process of moving goods across borders by land, air or sea. Their freight forwarders NZ1 services are of great value because they understand the importance of timely and efficient delivery of exported goods. They can assist you through all the customs clearance NZ2 formalities quickly and simply.
These firms can not only save you time, they can also save you money Because of their thorough knowledge and experience you will find yourself in an advantageous position and the whole job of importing or exporting will not seem like a task anymore. If just the thought of import duties makes you feel anxious, then just relax and contact a quality custom broker firm. They will take care of all the import duties NZ3 requirements and will save you money at the same time.
From sea freight to air freight a wide variety of services are offered by these firms. They can provide smooth and efficient transportation of goods and commodities, ensuring they arrive safely and timely at their destination. You can also get advice and guidance by these firms and use their knowledge and experience for a better trade. Choose your freight service company carefully, and select one that you are confident will offer the best freight services for your needs. You will then be on track to optimize the export side of your business and maximize its global potential and reach.
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Often small businesses face the dilemma over how to ship big. There is an easy solution to this problem. Using freight shipping is a good idea in such situations. The shipping service ensures that your items or products reach their destination in a safe, cost-effective and timely manner. This service is known as the less-than-truckload shipping or LTL. The main advantage of this service is that it offers you all the benefits of freight shipping while your shipment is not large enough to fill a complete truck trailer.
The main attractions of freight shipping are the savings of money as well as time. Such advantages make it an easy matter to deliver heavier shipments to clients. Management of a freight shipping service can be broken down into the following steps:
* Select a trusted and reputed shipping service provider.
Finding out a service provider requires a bit of careful searching. Depending on your requirement find a trusted name in the business. The provider must have a proven track record of delivering shipments on time and in a safe and secure manner.
* Select the type of service that suits your needs.
There are different types of services that a shipping company provides. Try to find the one that solves your need. Some providers offer a combination of shipping service and trucking service to deliver the goods depending on the customer’s need. If your shipment requires that sort of shipping, then make sure that you select the proper service provider who will deliver your goods in a safe and secured manner.
* Complete the paper works for the shipment carrier.
Paper works are an essential part of any shipment carrier. Several documents are needed for a shipment to be delivered like the Bill of Lading, commercial invoice, import and export license, transportation and exportation (T&E) customs bond, etc. While some of these documents are to be provided by the shipping and trucking service provider, some have to be retained by the customer or the person sending the shipment. One of the most essential things that need to be done carefully by you is to provide the complete and correct address. This is a vital piece of paper work that must be done with a lot of care if you want the shipment to reach its destination on time and in a hassle-free manner.
* Keeping track of the shipment.
A lot of shipping and trucking service providers today offer the option to track the shipment online. It is a good idea to keep track of your shipment until it is delivered at its destination.