Import and Export FAQs

What is International Trade Compliance?

Trade Compliance describes how goods enter (or leave) a country, conforming to all local import laws and regulations including import licenses, restrictions and payment of taxes and duties.

What is an Importer of Record (IoR)?

An Importer of Record is an individual or legal entity who is responsible for ensuring that goods are imported in accordance with the local and international import legislation of a given destination. 

An IoR is responsible for the completion of all legally required documents, in addition to paying duties and taxes.  Typically, to act as an Importer of Record, the company must have a registered entity within the country they want to import into.

What is an Exporter of Record (EoR)?

An Exporter of Record is an individual or entity who is responsible for ensuring that goods are exported in accordance with the local and international import legislation of a given destination. 

An EoR completes all legally required documents, in addition to paying duties and taxes.  Typically, an EoR must have a registered entity in country.

Who can be an Importer of Record?

Anyone can be an Importer of Record as long as they have a legal entity within the country good are being imported into. The Importer or Record will need to have the ability and knowledge to complete and obtain the necessary forms, Import approvals, paperwork and follow the Customs guidelines in place to import prior to the goods being shipped. They will also require the funds the pay the taxes and duties and Customs departments will not release and clear the good before these have been paid.

In some countries, the Import of Record must be pre-registered with the customs department.

What is Reverse Logistics and how does it work?

Reverse logistics refers to the movement of goods in the opposite direction of a traditional supply chain import.  With the growing global focus on reusing and recycling goods, the EoR process allows you to send goods from the end user back to the original source.

What are “restricted dual-use items” and why do they require export and import licenses?

Dual-use items are goods, software, technology and documents which can be used for both civil and military applications. It covers everything in the Networking, Voice, Security and Storage arena that has a data transfer and data analysis function.

Dual Use items, by international customs law must be tracked to ensure it goes to legitimate consignee and therefore requires import licenses.

Who would use our Services?

Any company trading or moving IT equipment that falls under restricted dual use items. The IT Channel vendor / distributor / reseller / managed service provide or OEM could use Mouse & Bear Solutions to offer another layer of value to their clients. End users could use us directly having bought IT hardware for a global roll out and now need to ensure it gets there legally and correctly without delay.

What is the benefit of using an IoR / EoR Service?

Your end user does not have to get involved with the complexities, rules and vigorous checks for Import and Export of hardware technology. By using Mouse & Bear Solutions you and your client can be rest assured that your import or export is done legally and correctly to avoid delays and potential fines or worse.

Can I use my own Courier / Freight Forwarder when using IoR Services?

Yes, you can use your own freight services. However, for some countries we do require our clients to use our freight forwarder to ensure a smooth operation. This information would be provided upfront at quote stage.

What information is required to get a quote for IoR / EoR Services?

To issue a quote we require the following details:

  • Your company name and address
  • Product code, description, quantity, value
  • HS code and / or ECCN Number (see our Glossary of Terms if these terms aren't familar)
  • Weights & dimensions of the package if available
  • City and Country of delivery.

What does the IoR / EoR service include with Mouse & Bear Solutions?

We make the process as easy and clear as possible for our clients. We handle the entire process so you or the end user do not have to get involved.

  • Documentation compliance checks, import permits and licensing
  • Clear shipments through the relevant customs channels
  • Freight where M&B are required to perform it
  • All customs charges and levies pre-paid on your behalf
  • Perform the last-mile delivery to the end user
  • Shipment status reports
  • Storage solutions

How long does the IoR / EoR service take?

This depends on the country and consignment you are shipping. Some can only take 2 - 3 days. However more complex countries can take a lot longer depending on their requirements and procedures.

We advise you the estimated timescales at quote stage and through every step of a live shipment, so you can keep your colleagues and clients abreast the entire time. See Our Approach for more detail.

Who is responsible for creating the CI (Commercial Invoice)?

Generally the Shipper creates the Commercial Invoice. The document should include accurate and true information. Do not be tempted to devalue products, or guess any of the information;

  • The shippers full business name and address including country
  • Product code, description, serial number, quantity, and value in sale currency
  • HS code and / or ECCN Number - you must ensure these are correct
  • Weights & dimensions of the package(s)
  • Full business name, address, contact name, number and email address for the consignee
  • Information about Lithium batteries if applicable

If you require help creating you Commercial Invoice, or would like us to check your current template then please do let us know and we'd be happy to help. Note that we check CI's prior to the movement of a live job.

What if the end user wants to be the Importer of Record but does not want to be involved in the import process?

The IOR must be the entity that completes, signs and submits the Import documentation and pays all the necessary charges, therefore if the end user does not want to go through the import procedure they can’t really be the IOR. See our blog 'Why doesn’t the end user want to get involved in Trade Compliance?'

What is the difference between an Importer of Record and Consignee?

An Importer of Record is an individual or legal entity that is responsible for ensuring that goods are imported in accordance with the local and international import legislation of a given destination. 

A consignee is the company that the goods with be delivered to and used by.

What is required to ship when using an IoR / EoR service?

All shipments require a commercial invoice, packing list and a datasheet for the products being shipped. For some countries we may require more documents depending on the procedure. All documentation requirements are pre-listed on our quotations.

How long should I be expected to wait for a quote from Mouse & Bear Solutions for IoR / EoR Services?

We understand that time is important and often our IoR / EoR services are just a small part of a larger project. We aim to get quotes to our customers within 4-8 business hours (it is often less), but some countries require a little longer and can take a few days.

Do I need IoR Services when moving goods within the EU?

No. A free Trade agreement exists within the European Union which means that Import licenses and Trade Compliance is not required.

What will happen to the EU Trade Agreement after the UK leaves the EU / Brexit?

The UK government and heads of the European Union are still trying to work that out with a great detail of discussion to be had and negotiated. Mouse & Bear Solutions will release a dedicated page to Brexit when the details become clearer.  

If you have questions and can’t find an answer here, please contact us to find out how we can help.


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