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Exporter of Record - What, Who & Why?

Released On 9th Dec 2019

What is an Exporter of Record & What is Their Role?

Read on to understand the definition of an Exporter of Record, who can act in that capacity, and their responsibities. You can also enquire about Mouse & Bear's Exporter of Record Services.

International trade compliance has many elements, but one role or service that we've written less about until now is that of the Exporter of Record. This role carries out a valuable service, not only helping businesses to meet trade compliance rules and regulations when moving goods around the world, but also ensuring accountability for global shipments. 

To recap on the main objectives of international trade compliance:  goods entering (or leaving) a country must be accurately described and valued; shipments must conform to all local import / export requirements, laws and regulations including import and export licenses, restrictions and payment of taxes and duties where applicable. This includes the requirement for an Exporter of Record to be listed on all shipments.

Who is the Exporter of Record?

An Exporter of Record is the legal exporting entity for goods exiting a country. In many cases, the Exporter of Record is also the shipper, and may also be the owner of the goods, too. The exporter may be a customer returning their goods back to the manufacturer or supplier (for example, many of our clients are returning out-of-date technology equipment to be replaced or upgraded). Equally, the exporter might be a supplier exporting brand new goods to their client.

If the Exporter of Record is not the owner then they could be a licensed and knowledgeable third-party export service provider.

What are an Exporter of Record's responsibilities?

  • With similar responsibilities to the Importer of Record, the Exporter of Record is responsible for adhering to the customs processes required in that country for the export of those goods. This would include obtaining all the necessary documentation for export clearance such as licenses and permits, and ensuring a clear and accurate description and value of the goods that are being exported.
  • If a breach of compliance procedures or regulations does occur, the Exporter of Record could face severe financial penalties, or criminal liability, or both. If they are even aware of negligence, or knows that a violation has occurred and does not take steps to resolve it or report it, they face same level of penalty.
  • If the goods don't arrive at their destination, it's the responsibility of the Exporter of Record. Furthermore, if delivery is not made, or the shipment isn't delivered on time, the Exporter of Record bears the responsibility for any financial consequences to the recipient. 
  • An Exporter of Record must also forward detailed infromation about a shipment to a forwarding agent, if one is involved in the transaction.

The word "Export" on a computer keyboard

Why is an Exporter of Record required?

One may think that the owner of the goods would want to assume the responsibility for being the Exporter of Record, since there are rarely taxes and duties to pay for the exit of goods; however, the owner may not have confidence in their own knowledge of the export processes. In that case, it might be preferable to leave this to a third party to avoid mistakes occuring, and the potential financial or legal consequences. 

Reasons an Exporter of Record for goods may be required:

  • The supplier or manufacturer are shipping brand new goods and are unaware of the export requirements, or do not have a legal entity in the country the goods are being exported from
  • Fair Market Value: The owner of the goods does not know how to evaluate the value of the goods, since they may not be brand new
  • Goods may be typically aged; a return to the manufacturer or supplier and the end of a contractual period, in which case evaluation of the goods is also required
  • The goods are end-of-life and being swapped out for a newer version – evaluation of goods is required
  • The goods are broken; they may have arrived unfit for purpose and need replacing, or may need to be returned to the manufacturer or supplier to be fixed.

What is the difference between shipper and exporter?

The Shipper is the company who has sold the goods. The Exporter of Record is the business that is responsible for the correct export process of the goods out of the originating country. Often, the Shipper and Exporter are the same company; however, where an end-user wishes to return warranty goods for example, or the Shipper does not want to deal with the export procedure, they will employ a third-party company such as Mouse & Bear Solutions to act as the Exporter. 

Can a freight forwarder be the exporter of record?

In most cases, freight forwarders do not offer Exporter of Record services. This is because, in areas where goods are controlled, export licences are required and customs processes are very strict, and freight forwarders usually don't have the resources or the experience to act as the Exporter or Record.

Mouse & Bear's Exporter of Record services

Mouse & Bear Solutions has extensive experience in providing Exporter of Record services for technology and IT equipment in over 160 countries worldwide

If the goods are being returned and are aged we have a clear process in evaluating the goods at the site of origin. We can advise you regarding repacking services, as aged, damaged or broken kit rarely comes with its original packaging, so this must be replaced. We will also ensure that the value and goods are declared correctly to the in-country customs officials and comply with all export compliance obligations.

For helpful advice and a quote, please call us on 01935 848526 or email iorsolutions@mouseandbear.com about your Exporter of Record requirements, or send the enquiry form below. 

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