Importing goods overseas is a tedious process that requires a lot of planning and preparation. Outlined in this article is everything that you need to know and consider as you plan to import goods from China to New Zealand.
- Check the Items You Plan to Import.
New Zealand imposes strict measures on the products and items that get imported to the country. Thus, it is necessary to be aware of their regulations and be legally allowed to import these items.
Importing prohibited items like weapons will not only lead to confiscation but will incur penalties. On the other hand, some products are restricted, and you will need a permit to import them. Visit New Zealand’s customs service for an extensive list of these products.
Other products such as food and animals and plant products need a biosecurity clearance from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
It is important to note that the buyer is responsible for ensuring that products comply with all regulatory requirements and safety standards. It is unlikely that the Chinese suppliers will be able to provide AS/NZS reports. However, they’re most likely able to provide you with compliance documents such as US and EU test reports. To be sure, it is best to check their product safety regulations and standards.
- Find a Reliable Supplier in China
Once you’ve determined that the items can be imported, you need to find a supplier. You can opt to find one through marketplace platforms such as Alibaba. You can also opt to find one for yourself. The best way to do this is to go to fairs and trades in China.
Most importers, on the other hand, utilize China sourcing agents. Their role is to assist foreigners in their negotiations and transactions with Chinese suppliers.
- Choose an Affordable Trading Term
Be knowledgeable on international commercial terms, also known as incoterms, which are simply terms that exporters and importers agree upon. This simply delineates the obligations and costs either party is responsible for, such as packing, loading, customs clearance, and taxes.
It is essential to know if both sides have the same understanding of the terms before signing for any import order. Some of the most commonly used trading terms are:
- FOB (Free on Board)
- FAS (Free Alongside Ship)
- EX (Ex. Words)
- CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)
Visit the International Chamber of Commerce for more details on these trade terms.
- Determine the Port of Origin and Destination.
China has three major ports: Ningbo, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, while NZ also has major ports: Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch, and Wellington.
The port of origin where your products and goods will be transported from the supplier is an important factor in the transportation cost. Usually, suppliers will suggest the port nearest them to cut costs.
In the same vein, you have to determine the port of destination and secure all necessary documents for your products’ entry and clearance in NZ’s port.
- Prepare All Necessary Documents.
Before shipping goods from China to New Zealand, it is important to secure permits for the entry of your products to the port of New Zealand. Import entries vary depending on the products you are planning to import. It is important to be aware of their requirements on import entries before you even import the items to avoid delays and problems.
It is also crucial to prepare for the fees and costs that come with the importation process. This includes import duties and goods and service tax (GST) among others.
- Hire a Freight Forwarder.
To make the logistics process easier for you, you can hire a freight forwarder to deal with this part of the importation process. A freight forwarder is responsible for handling the logistics process of the physical transportation of the cargo. They will assist you
They are also in charge of completing necessary documentation and filing for compliance purposes.
- Hire a Customs Broker.
Licensed Customs brokers lodge all necessary documentation to NZ’s Customs Service. They are knowledgeable about customs laws and regulations and will help you speed up the clearance of your goods. It is best to hire weeks before your products arrive in NZ.
You will need to undergo a lot of processes to be able to import goods from China to New Zealand. The good thing is, it is not that complicated as long as you follow the regulations that are laid down.
Obtaining assistance from reliable Chinese sourcing agents and forwarders will ensure that your products are of the best quality and that they will arrive safely and securely while making sure that you comply with all the requirements.
So go on ahead and start with your importing business!