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5 Tips to Choose the Right Importer of Record Provider

5 Tips to Choose the Right Importer of Record Provider

Released On 2nd Jul 2024

In today’s global market, ensuring the secure and compliant import of IT and technology products is more critical than ever. A decade ago trade compliance was simpler, and taxable assets on imports weren’t a consideration; there were fewer companies offering Importer and Exporter of Record services and end-users were happy to take on the role of importer.  

However, times have changed, and with the evolution of complex technology goods there is a need to prevent misuse. Trade compliance has evolved to ensure that next generation IT doesn’t get into the hands of groups that want to use it for harm, so the role of the importer of record (IOR) has become significantly more complex and crucial.

Choosing the right importer or exporter of record (EOR) provider can make the difference between seamless, compliant operations and costly import/export complications. 

Here are the top five things to look for in an IOR or EOR provider, especially for IT and technology imports:

1. Regulatory compliance and expertise

  • Understanding regulations: Ensure the Importer of Record has a thorough understanding of local regulations, customs laws, and trade compliance requirements in your target countries. This can be done by checking they have a broker in-country where extensive due diligence and finance checks have been carried out in compliance with ISO9001. You should also check that they have proven experience of importing technology goods. 
  • Licenses and certifications: Verify they have the necessary licenses and certifications to operate legally as an IOR in those regions. Any credible IOR should provide a full list of documents that are required to apply to import licences, and list the licences / permits / authorisations within a quote.
  • Proven track record: Verify their history of handling compliance issues and their ability to stay updated with changing regulations. Speak to peers within the industry about which IOR they are using, visit the IOR websites and look for recent blogs, information on importing, guides, etc.
  • Documentation: Always receive a copy of the customs receipt after the import to verify payment details and compliance.

2. Global reach and experience:

  • International expertise: The provider should have experience managing imports across multiple countries, particularly in your target markets.
  • Local presence: Look for a provider with a global network and local presence to handle region-specific import challenges efficiently. 
  • Industry experience: Their experience in with various industries, especially IT and technology, can be a significant advantage.

3. Service offerings and support:

  • Comprehensive services: Evaluate the range of services they offer beyond acting as an importer of record, for example customs brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, and distribution.
  • Customer support: Assess their support capabilities in terms of including availability, responsiveness, and expertise.
  • Technology solutions: Consider if they offer tracking systems and digital documentation to streamline supply chain operations.

4. Reputation and references:

  • Industry reputation: Research the provider's reputation in the industry through reviews, testimonials, and case studies from other businesses.
  • References: Ask for and speak with references to get first-hand insights into their reliability, and professionalism.
  • Financial stability: Ensure they are financially stable to be a trustworthy long-term partner. Check how long they have been trading, what public accounting information is available, ask them who their clients are, how big their shipments are, etc.

5. Cost and value:

  • Pricing structure: Compare pricing structures but don't opt for the cheapest option. Consider the overall value in terms of reliability, compliance, and service quality.
  • Transparency: Understand their fee breakdown to avoid hidden costs that could affect your budget.
  • Long-term savings: Evaluate how their services can help save costs over the longer term by preventing compliance issues, reducing delays, and optimising supply chain efficiency.

By thoroughly evaluating these factors, you can choose an importer of record service that aligns with your business needs, ensuring smooth and compliant import operations for your IT and technology products.

For further information regarding importer of record services, please contact Mouse and Bear. 

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