8 points to be taken into account when transporting goods outside the European Union
1. Orientation in the export / import policy of a particular country or superficial knowledge of the regulations there.
Dealing with international trade outside the European Union, it is vital to know the laws of each country, as well as the international freight regulations, which set out both the responsibilities and obligations that govern the buyer-seller relationship. Without such knowledge, freight costs may increase and make the freight in question unprofitable.
Another concern is the lack of knowledge of customs measures, which in the worst case scenario could lead to failure to load and unload cargo on schedule. In addition, it can be time consuming and lead to various additional costs in terms of both storage and fines.
2. Trust verified freight forwarders.
International trade would not be possible without professionals and competent freight forwarders, as they are the ones who build relationships with everyone involved in the freight chain (such as shipping lines, customs brokers, loading and unloading terminals, warehouses, etc.) and take responsibility for cargo delivery. Even when starting international trade, there is often a risk of falling victim to fraud. There are some ways where a seemingly cheap offer does not cover everything and you will soon start getting bills for renting a container, loading or/and unloading or even extorting a BL (Bill of Lading), without which you will not be able to complete all the procedures before receiving or handing it over to the buyer.
By trusting a relatively low freight offer from a supposedly reliable company, make sure that their website address is similar in design to the service provider you are looking for and web address is correct (www.), where a one-letter change can lead to theft or withholding and delivery.
3. Accurate completion of the declaration, indicating the correct value of the goods.
In the case of import and export shipments, one of the most important points is the correct completion of the declaration, saving time and avoiding disagreements with the authorities, who may require additional costs. Attempts to save customs duties can lead to an audit of the cargo, and given that all this can happen in a country 5,000 km away from you, it might cause problems both in terms of communication and the potential increase in unplanned travel costs.
4. Knowledge of the incoterms.
Not knowing the rules does not release you from liability. Incoterms are laws governing global trade and the movement of goods that define the obligations between the buyer and the seller at all stages of transport. Not being aware of these rules may lead to a decrease in the price of your exported goods or that imported goods will actually be more expensive than planned. Inaccurate delimitation of liability and customs procedures with the other party may lead to loading/unloading costs or customs clearance costs.
5. Properly concluded insurance contracts.
Both freight forwarders and carriers must be insured and this should be checked before the shipment is processed. Cargo insurance should definitely be taken out according to both the type of goods and their value, as the liability of freight forwarders and carriers is limited and may cost you dearly. This should be done with an international insurance company that can promptly arrange documents according to the exact formatting with national law.
6. Check that the customer/supplier does not have any valid infractions and has a legitimate business as declared.
One of the integral parts of the transaction is the background check of customers/suppliers before concluding any contract, in order to avoid inconsistencies and misunderstandings in the future. One of the obligations is to check the so-called sanctions list, where all beneficial owners must be reviewed, ensuring that the transaction takes place in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Secondly, it is important to have information on the taxes paid by the business partner and the legal and business background. The fact that a particular supplier was found on the online platform does not always mean that the terms of the contract are met.
7. Exact weight and dimensions
When transporting the cargo, regardless of the transportation mode, make sure that you have the exact dimensions of the cargo (including the transport packaging). Otherwise, when loading the goods, you may find yourself in a situation where the cargo is not loaded because the dimensions do not match - for example, there is no space in the truck, etc. Carriers try to avoid empty space during transport, so cargo transports are planned according to the dimensions and weights of the goods.
Proper packaging is very important, because incorrect packaging is one of the main reasons why goods are damaged during transport. It is important to know what the supplier uses to pack your goods, because, for example, packing fragile items is significantly different from packing other items. Secure the shipment to the pallet or box with additional wooden slats and make sure that during transport, when the load shakes or vibrates, your product will not slip off the pallet and be securely fastened to prevent breakage.