A Guide to Importer of Record Services

You can download this guide for your own use. Click here to view, download or print a pdf version. If you'd prefer a non-branded version that you can send to your own customers to explain IOR services and processes, please contact us.

What is an Importer of Record (IOR)?

  • An Importer of Record is either the owner or purchaser of the imported goods, or a third-party agent representing the owner. The Importer of Record must have a registered legal entity and physical presence within the country the goods are being imported into. They are responsible for adhering to all of the required legal customs import processes and procedures. This includes completing and submitting the relevant import applications and certifications prior to the shipment arriving, as well as working with local customs authorities to clear the goods and paying the taxes and duties. The Importer of Record must also ensure the shipment is phsically delivered to the listed consignee.

Who would use IOR services and why?

  • A business wishing to import dual-use goods (this term covers the majority of IT equipment, namely Networking, Voice, Security and Storage equipment) on a global scale may not have a registered entity in the countries they wish to import into. And even if they do, the personnel in country may not have the required customs knowledge or accreditations to complete the entire customs compliance requirements and follow the correct procedures. These are often complicated processes in the local language with the requirement for a person to be physically present within the Customs offices to complete and submit the relevant documents. 

Can the End User /  Consignee be the IOR?

  • Although the end user may have a registered entity in country, they usually do not wish to be involved in the import processes as they do not have employees familiar with the processes, so an IOR provider is employed to handle it on their behalf. Additionally, the consignee may not wish to be noted as the Importer of Record as the goods become a taxable asset listed against the entity in country; for example if goods are purchased from a central budget by the Headquarter office, then the local country hub would not own the goods, therefore wouldn’t want to have the goods listed as an owned asset in country.

What does the IOR Service include?

We make Trade Compliance as clear as possible for our clients. We handle the entire process so the end user does not have to get involved:

  • Pre-ship Import licence(s) and permits, documentation and goods compliance checks, 
  • Customs Clearance: Clear shipment through the relevant customs channels
  • Freight if required
  • All customs charges and levies pre-paid on your behalf
  • Perform the last-mile delivery to the end user
  • Shipment status reports
  • Storage solutions

IOR charges explained


  • The cost to act as the Importer of Record. This is charged based on a percentage of the value of the goods. 

Import Approval Fee

  • This includes the cost of Import Licence Approvals, Permits, Endorsements, Labelling, and Electronic Data Intercharge.

Customs Clearance

  • This represents the charges for airport handling, customs brokerage, customs processing and inspections, agent handling, warehousing and the customs clearance process.

In Country Delivery

  • Cost of transport in destination country from port of entry to the End User. This is also known as the last mile delivery. The fee for this is dependent on the weights and dimensions of the goods.

Taxes & Duties

  • Destination Country Customs and Government Import charges. Based on many factors which are dependent on the import regulations of each country.

Please contact us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help with your requirements. 


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