Why do you need import or export documents?
When you, whether as a business owner or as an agent, take part in international trade where you either import goods or export goods as a part of your business, you need to have documents that allow you to take part in such activities.
Without proper documentation and paperwork, your business will not only face various costs and delays but may also cease all operations until you the required documents. This is why you should apply for the necessary documents before your business begins its import or export operations.
What is the key documentation for international trade?
International trade is a complicated business, the interests of parties from two or more countries are what make these trade practices even harder to manage. Without the proper documentation for your work, you may not find the correct way of transporting your goods, be it imports or exports.
Whatever nature of your work may be, here is what your documents should expressly show:
- There should be a crystal clear contract between the buyer and the seller about the products and the services so rendered. This also includes the details of the place where the goods will be delivered.
- Specific documents are required to allow the goods in the country. Both the countries may have different requirements, and the shipment of the products and goods should check all the boxes for both countries. There is a different set of documents and paperwork for the customs and tax charges on the goods, without these your goods will not be imported.
- The documents that cover the transport journey of your goods for import are required including the transport insurance of the goods.
- Correct paperwork for your payment mechanisms is also required to allow the goods to pass through customs and their scrutiny.
There are various requirements when it comes to importing and exporting goods. Always make sure that you have all the above-mentioned documents ready to avoid delays in importing your goods.
If you are facing problems with drawing up what kind of documents does your shipment require, you can avail the help of British International Freight Association (BIFA) to figure out the answers to your queries, as many businesses do.
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How to make sure that your goods are imported safely in the UK?
Like many other companies, the UK only demands clear documentation for the goods you wish to import. The documents supporting the journey of the goods and products for import should spell out everything clearly. From the details of the sender to the details of the recipient should be clearly mentioned. Other than this, a clear contract including the mode of payment should also be included with the goods that are to be imported.
Also, the same stands true for exporting goods as well.
Here is what you will require to successfully import goods in the UK without any miscommunications:
- Where should the goods be delivered?
- Who arranges the transport of the goods?
- Who is responsible for insuring the goods and who agrees to pay for the costs?
- Who is responsible for handling customs on the goods and who is responsible for paying taxes and customs on the same?
With the above-mentioned points, remember that every detail along with the goods that are to be imported should be clear and relevant, or else your goods will be stopped in transit, and you may face some issues with them.
Are there any other documents you may require to import goods in the UK?
The UK has a different set of standards and requirement of documents for you to import goods in the country. Although there are some relations between EU countries, there are still some more documents that you may need to import goods without any problems.
The UK has various standards and codes for importing goods. And you may need an imports to license to import goods in the country. There are various kinds of documents which you may need to import your goods into the country. Every kind of article or good that you import will require a different kind document to support it. Firearms, textiles, food items, etc. all have different document needs.
There are many relaxations for those who wish to import goods from EU countries. Most goods can be imported into the country with the bare minimum documents. However, it is always advised to follow the perfect documentation practice to avoid confusions and issues in the future. Furthermore, in the case where there are no documents supporting the goods that are to be imported, you will need to fill out Entry Summary Declaration or an Exit Summary Declaration for your imports.
For goods that are being imported from countries outside of the EU, there are many requirements that need to be fulfilled. Along with the documents for import, an invoice along with the good or goods are required. Furthermore, for goods worth over £6,500, a statement of valuation of the goods inside the shipment is also required to be provided.
In the UK, you can import goods even at the rate of 0% customs duty. However, this is available only for the goods to be imported from certain countries. It is advised that you look into the countries that are not charged any customs tax when you import goods and then fill out the documents accordingly. In cases such as these, the origin of the shipment is important and needs to be spelled out.
Do I have to pay VAT on imports?
Yes, you have to pay import taxes on your goods and shipments imported outside of the EU to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The VAT rates for such goods are same as the ones for other goods in the country.
If you are already registered for VAT, you can claim the benefit of the tax paid on your imports with the help of C79 provided by the HMRC of the country. However, you are required to carefully fill out the form to be eligible.